Celebrity travelers: How I spent my summer vacation [Pictures]
If the falling leaves and shorter days have you pining for those carefree days of summer, we commiserate - especially after we tried to drown our end-of-summer blues in a sunny strawberries-and-creme Frappuccino only to discover it had been replaced with a dead-leaf-colored, pumpkin-spiced concoction. But rather than get your Halloween witch-face on prematurely, perhaps it's better to take the make-lemonade approach and begin planning your travels for next summer. But where to go and what to do? For inspiration, we consulted with some local personalities about where they spent their summer vacations. Bryan Voltaggio (chef and recent finalist on "Top Chef Masters"), Ava Marie (WBAL meteorologist), Ray Mitchener (owner of Baltimore's Ruth Shaw boutique) and Patti Neumann (publisher of CityPeek Inc.) were only too happy to reminisce about their adventures. -Stephanie Citron, For The Baltimore Sun
Image 5 of 11
Ava Marie, WBAL meteorologist( Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP/Getty Images / August 10, 2013 )
Itinerary: "We flew into Paris, and from Paris we rented a car and drove all throughout northern France and then to Germany, Switzerland, through northern Italy to the French Riviera - Nice - and then back up to Paris. I calculated it was about 1,500 miles in those seven days. I come from Colorado and he comes from Kansas, so we're used to driving long distances. We had great conversations on the road. We didn't even listen to the radio - it was just about soaking in the experience. It was even exciting to see road signs in a foreign language."
Where she stayed: "Outside of Paris, we tried to stay [overnight] in smaller places, local villages, seeing small markets where the locals shop. In Nice, we stayed at the Beau Rivage, a small place by the beach. It was really neat to see the French Riviera. I definitely saw a few topless women - that can't be avoided on the coast of France - but it's interesting to see how life is so different in Europe."
What she ate: "I was so surprised when we stopped in a little cafe in France and ordered a sandwich, just how amazing it tasted. Everyone talks about the big, fancy restaurants, but even the little markets are great there. Their bread is so good. Everything tastes so fresh, so hearty, so homemade."
What she packed: "They care about looking presentable at all times. I looked up ahead of time what to wear in Europe because I didn't want to look like an American tourist; I wanted to blend in. I was happy [when] people came up to us speaking French or German - I felt that I had succeeded in blending in."