Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Can you guess where we are standing?Hint #1: This room is one of the most famous rooms in the world
Hint #2: The place where this room is, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hint #3: More than 2.5 million tourists from around the world visit this place every year

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Growing up in New York City, I was always either a "city girl" or a girl who traveled to far away places for vacation. But, this past weekend I did something a bit different...I didn't hop in a cab to go check out a new place on the Lower East Side, I didn't get on a plane to jet set to some exotic destination, instead...I got in my car, drove for a little over an hour, and wound up in a place that is charming and quaint. I went to a place that has good restaurants, shopping and things to do, but when I looked around I wasn't in the city or in another country...I was in Cold Spring, New York! I kept on saying to myself, "Who Knew?"Cold Spring is located on the Hudson River. It is a very walkable town. Mostly all of the antique shops, chic boutiques, restaurants and cafes are located right on Main Street. I think it is a perfect destination if you live in the city (1&1/2 hour drive or a little over an hour train ride on Metro-North's Hudson Line) for a little weekend getaway. I'll admit it was a bit chilly this time of year (due to it's proximity to the water), but that's all the more reason to snuggle up to the person you are with. However, I would really like to go back in the summer when things are in bloom and you can sit outside at one of the cafes, or in the fall when the leaves are changing. For those who like adventure...Cold Spring has hiking trails, and there are kayaking tours along the Hudson that you can easily arrange as well.Where to Stay:
There are not too many options in this department, so if you want to stay right in town, you have to act fast because rooms do book-up quickly.Hudson House River Inn (where we stayed): This Inn is located right on the water, so its a little bit more of a walk (I really do mean little) to where the action is on Main Street. But, if you are a person who doesn't like B&B's, then this is where you should stay. Your breakfast is included in the morning, and it's served in their restaurant. You must order their Blueberry pancakes...they are delicious! They are light and fluffy inside, with a nice crispy crust around the edges. The rooms are a bit small, but they all have bathrooms. I would honestly have to say that the rooms in this place are in need of a makeover...some of the carpets are stained, and the bathrooms aren't the greatest, and I did think to myself, "boy the potential for what this place could be is incredible." That being said, that would probably also raise the prices to be more comparable to what you would expect to pay for a place in the Hamptons. It was good enough, and would I stay here again? Yes. The rates here start at $179 a night.

Pig Hill Inn (where I want to stay next time) A charming B&B that features nine cozy bedrooms, some with fireplaces, stoves, and whirlpool tubs. Breakfast is served in their Victorian glass conservatory, and their is a boutique in the lobby that sells great jewelry and handbags. Rooms start at $170 a night.The Kittleman House (only open from May 1st-October 31st) Another charming B&B right on Main Street. The place has a lot of history- in 1850, The Kittleman House was a small hotel catering to Cold Spring's foundry workers and their friends. Rates start at $175 for a weekend night. Where to Eat:
Cold Spring Pizza and Deli- Great Sicilian and Regular PieLe Bouchon- Classic French Brasserie cuisine. The Chef/Owner is Pascal Graff, formerly of Les Halles in New York City (Tony Bourdain's restaurant)
Silver Spoon Restaurant- Casual spot that's good for lunch or dinner
Foundry Cafe- They are supposed to have really good soups (like their navy bean with andouille sausage), good sandwiches, and yummy breakfast food.
Hudson House Inn- Inside of the Hudson House Inn is a great restaurant. If you go for dinner, make sure to try their popovers with strawberry-honey butter and dry-aged steaks.Cathryn's Tuscan Grill- Supposedly one of the greatest restaurants in this town!
Cupoccino Cafe- Cute little spot for a cappuccino and a pastry, they also have homemade ice cream. Cold Spring Depot- This is a former train station that's a popular spot especially in the summer months.
McGuire's On Main- Irish pub that's supposed to serve a great, juicy ten-ounce burger
Riverview- Good brick-oven pizzas, and the pasta is made in house. Generally the menu is sort of eclectic with lots of fish dishes and Asian flavors. They are supposed to have a great creme brulee for dessert!

Monday, March 29, 2010


CNN had a great article on its website last week called "Great Movies That Inspire You to Travel, " that I, of course, was instantly drawn to read. A film critic and author, Jay Boyar is quoted in the piece saying "Sometimes, it (a movie) can really inspire people to visit a place...They'll see the beauty of a city or a country, and they'll just start dreaming about that place, and the next thing they know, they're there." I couldn't agree more...movies and books have inspired me to jet set in the past (like when we went to Positano, Italy (see pic), and still do now. In fact, one of the movies, 'Sideways,' is a movie Jet Set Smart told you to watch to get you excited about wanting to jet set to Santa Ynez Wine Country in Santa Barbara County, California, just like it did for me. (That's twice in the last week that JSS was ahead of the gang with recommendations! :-)

Movies That Inspire Jet Setting:
• "Before Sunrise" (1995) and "Before Sunset" (2004)- Takes place in Vienna, Austria • "Under the Tuscan Sun" (2003)- Takes place in Tuscany and in some parts of the Amalfi Coast of Italy
• "Sideways" (2004)- Takes place in Santa Ynez Wine Country in Santa Barbara County, California
• The "Bourne Identity" and James Bond series. These movies take place in locations that are fun and spectacular. Think the Bahamas and Italy in "Casino Royale," and Morocco, Germany and England in "The Bourne Ultimatum."
• "Out of Africa" (1985)- Takes place in Kenya
• "Enchanted April" (1992)- Takes place in London, England
• "The English Patient" (1996)- Takes place in Tunisia and Italy
Rent one now...and have happy travels! :-)


Happy Monday Jet Setters! Hope you all had a great weekend! For those of you that follow Jet Set Smart on Twitter, then you should know that JSS went to check out a quaint little town this weekend...Cold Spring! The little town of Cold Spring, New York is located about an 1 and 1/2 drive north of New York City. It's a great town with lots of antique stores, boutiques, cute little restaurants and cafes that is a perfect destination for a little weekend getaway. Have any of you guys been there? It's located on the Hudson River and is nestled right in the mountains. It's such a beautiful place, and I couldn't believe as someone who grew up in New York City, that I've never been. I'll tell you more about where we stayed and what we did on our little overnight trip tomorrow...stay tuned!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I'm always looking to buy comfy and easy to pack shoes to take with me when I jet set. Well, check out what I found at Target my friends...Rollasoles! They are portable ballet flats for women and they are only $9.99!!! They come in black, silver, gold or pink. I love the way they just roll up into a little pouch that you can stick inside your handbag. I'm jet setting to "Tarjay" right now! :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


As a person of Puerto Rican descent, I have jet setted many times to the favorite place in the Caribbean hands down! That being said, I have never made it to the island of Vieques. Vieques Island is a municipality of Puerto Rico and is located just 6 miles off the southeast coast. It is often referred to as one of the Spanish Virgin Islands because it's one of the few islands that remains like the Caribbean of the past; tranquil, lush, uncrowded, with natural beauty all around. In fact, the beaches are ranked among the top beaches in the Caribbean because of the amazingly blue water and white sand. For many years, the United States Navy used the island as a bombing range and testing ground, but they left in 2003. I've been meaning to go, and now I have good reason...the W Vieques Retreat and Spa opens today! This is a view looking down at the pool/beach area...The hotel will have 157 "sand-sational" rooms. This is where you can rest your weary head...There will also be a restaurant from Chef Alain Ducasse called miX on the Beach. Other ways to indulge at the resort include relaxing at the Spa Chakra, playing tennis, doing yoga, kayaking, scuba diving and eco-tours through the Bio-luminescent Bay.

Rates start at around $339 a night. Buen Viaje!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Boston has always been one of my favorite cities. I enjoy history, and since Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, I consider it one of the must visit cities in this country. Plus, I love the look and feel of some of the streets and areas in Boston- some spots will remind you of being in Europe. It's also easy to get around on foot (with a good map, of course) because downtown is reasonably compact. In fact, Boston has been nicknamed "The Walking City," so "pahk the caar," put on your comfy shoes and explore. There is so much to see, do and eat, but here's at least a mini guide that I hope is helpful for those of you planning to jet set to Boston!Here are the main areas you'll want to wander around:
Boston Common- sits at the center of the city
Downtown Crossing- main downtown commercial district
Beacon Hill- cobblestone, lamp-lit streets that are just north of the Common
North End- northwest of is Boston's answer to Little Italy.
Chinatown- just south of the Common...can easily rival Chinatown in New York or San Francisco
Back Bay- easy-to-navigate street grid, upscale shops and restaurants, and old-money brownstones. The area begins at the west end of the Public Garden
The Esplanade- along the river, is a lovely spot for a walk
South End- south of Back Bay. This is where you should first go to stretch your post-trip legs by walking around and checking out the striking brownstones. Boston's South End has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as having the largest Victorian brick-row-house district in the U.S.

When to Go: Late Spring and Fall are the most pleasant times to visit. The winters are cold, and the summers are often humid. The best months to go are May, June, September and October.

Where to Stay:
Nine Zero Hotel- A Kimpton Hotel (pet friendly), and also a beautiful boutique hotel located in downtown. It was also recently named as one of Travel & Leisure's "Best 500 Hotels in the World." Rates start at $199 a night, but they do offer better discounts if you are a AAA member.

XV Beacon- Located in Beacon Hill, this boutique hotel is rich on detail and beautifully styled. $$$$ when it comes to price, but well worth it for the incredible service you get!Bulfinch Hotel- A stylish-yet-affordable hotel in a desirable Boston neighborhood.
Where to Eat:
Flour Bakery- (12 Farnsworth St. Boston, MA (617) 338-4333) One of the best bakeries ever! Go for delicious pastries and yummy lunch sandwiches too. There are two locations in Boston.Sonsie- (327 Newbury St Boston, MA 02115(617) 351-2500) Great pizza, clam chowder, paninos and pasta...all around great spot!Cheers Boston- (84 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108-3421(617) 854-7667)Yes, from the t.v. show! A bit cheezy, but it is the spot "where everybody knows your name," so if you've never been, I suggest you check it out. I love their boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings!B&G Oysters, Ltd.- (550 Tremont Street Boston , Massachusetts 02118 Tel: (617) 423-0550) This is the place to go for excellent lobster rolls and bivalves.

Fun Boston Food Facts:
State Muffin- The schoolchildren of Massachusetts petitioned for the CORN MUFFIN, a staple of New England cooking, and the Legislature made it official in 1986.
State Dessert- The BOSTON CREAM PIE, created in the 19th century, was chosen as the official state dessert on December 12, 1996. A civics class from Norton High School sponsored the bill. The pie beat out other candidates, including the toll house cookie and Indian pudding.
State Cookie- The CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE was designated the official cookie of the Commonwealth on July 9, 1997. A third grade class from Somerset proposed the bill to honor the cookie invented in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman.

What to Do:
Boston Common and Public Garden- Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. This is a great place to have a picnic lunch. Nearby cute sandwich shops are Finagle-a-Bagel (129 Tremont St.; 617-426-3300) and Chacarero (426 Washington St.; 617-542-0392)- try one of their Chilean sandwiches of chicken or beef with Muenster cheese, string beans, tomato, avocado spread, and hot sauce.
Boston Duck Tours- (Prudential Center 800 Boylston Street Boston , Massachusetts 02199 Tel: (617) 267 3825) A fun and informative way to see the city both on land and along the Charles River.Fenway Park- (4 Yawkey Way Kenmore Square Boston , Massachusetts 02215 Tel: (617) 226-6000) Even though I was raised as a Yankees fan, I have to say that when in Boston, you must check out Fenway of the smallest stadiums in the major league. Try to catch a game and snack on a Fenway ballpark dog.Faneuil Hall Marketplace- Also known as the Quincy Market, this is the tourist-oriented mall downtown. Go here to shop, eat, and to see the famous Faneuil Hall which has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742. Where to Shop:
Charles Street- Get lost along the cobble-stone streets and wander into all of the antique shops.
Newbury Street- About an eight-block or one mile span where you will find clothing boutiques and high end stores, art galleries, spas and restaurants.
South End- This is a great area if you are in the market for home goods. The main streets where the stores are: Tremont, Shawmut and Washington.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Jet Set Smart (a.k.a. JSS) is ahead of the game! Recently, while I was flipping through the April issue of Food & Wine Magazine, I noticed there are two travel articles (one related to Philly and the other related to Iceland) that suggest different restaurants and places for jet setters to visit. Well, some of their recommendations are the same ones that I gave to you guys back in November of last year and January of this year!!!One article is called "Should You Eat Like an Icelander?" and it talks about how Icelanders are some of the healthiest and happiest people on this planet because of their diet. They talk about their food including their fresh grazing lamb, their puffin, their ammonia-reeking fermented shark and their skyr. If you remember, Jet Set Smart was in Iceland in November and tried all of these foods! Click here to read more about it. The other article from Food & Wine is called "Art in Philly," and talks about what to see, where to eat, and where to stay in Philadelphia. What does Food & Wine recommend? Well, that you see the Philadelphia Museum of Art, that you eat at the Village Whiskey, and that you stay at the new Kimpton Palomar Hotel...all of the things I said you should do too! Click here to read more about what Jet Set Smart says. It's nice when JSS is ahead of the gang, and it feels good to know that I keep my jet setters well informed. Stick with Jet Set Smart so you too can be ahead of the gang when it comes to travel and food!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Los Olivos, California is a quaint little town that's nestled in the heart of the Santa Ynez Wine Country. When you need a break from all of the wine tasting, these are a couple of stores I would suggest that you should check out...I call it the "Must Stop Shopping List for Los Olivos!"

If you are in the market for home goods, make sure to head to the Wine Country Home store. This is the place to find anything that's related to wine for your home like beautiful wine glasses, a wine rack, fancy bottle corks, or wine openers. There's also other great home goods like place mats, furniture, pretty paintings and some antiques. If you have an outdoor space (like a patio or backyard) where you live, then you will probably love some of their planters and Adirondack chairs...don't worry, they do ship!
Next, visit the Tin Roof Boutique. This women's clothing store has been voted "The Best Clothing Store of the Valley" four years in a row. It's the must stop shop for clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.
What I love most about this store is that they carry both well known designer brands like Velvet, C&C California and Ella Moss, but they also have beautiful things made from local designers that you won't find anywhere if you are looking to find a unique necklace, earrings, or a top...this is the spot!
The style of what you will find at the Tin Roof Boutique is very California...easy to wear clothing with lots of basic wardrobe-building pieces, but also lots of fun, colorful and different pieces and tons of fun accessories to complete the look. This store reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorite stores- Anthropologie. I very easily could have done a lot of financial damage in this store...I wanted everything I saw!
Another clothing store in Los Olivos that is worth paying a visit to when you are there is Details Fine Women's Apparel. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical at first if I would find anything that I like in this store, (I thought it catered more to something my mom would be in the market for than me) but I am so glad that I went in because they carry beautiful clothing, jewelry and handbags. If you are looking for some classic pieces like a "go-to" sweater, or a wrap or shawl, you will certainly find it here.

Los Olivos is a charming and historic town, so even if shopping is not your thing, make sure to go if you are in this neck of the woods, because there's also wine tasting shops, art galleries, and great restaurants. Los Olivos has now become one of my most favorite spots that I have jet setted to!

Friday, March 19, 2010


This Fashion Friday post is for the Shoeaholics out there who live in New York!!! For one day ONLY (this Sunday), more than 400 shoes from Louboutin, Gucci, Nicholas Kirkwood, and so many others will be $150 or less. The event will be held at the Kiki De Montparnassee store 79 Greene St., b/t Broome & Spring Sts. (212-965-8150‎) from Noon-5pm. If you are interested, make sure to get there early because, as always, the good stuff goes fast. See you all there!