I’m going to Florence!


Villa Imperiale: the villa that is Florence’s treasure

You know you have an incredible set of family, friends and supporters when they all join together to send you to a luxurious dream trip to Florence!

Yes, indeed! My fambam, peeps, posse, tweeps, twiends, fans, followers — whatever you want to call them — have pulled through for me and voted by sharing my story,  Mea Culpa! What NOT to do When Dining Overseas, which was shortlisted and eventually won LaCure’s Tell A Great Story contest.

Read about how it all happened here: LACURE’S TELL A GREAT STORY WINNER IS GOING TO FLORENCE!

And if you must, check out the luxury villa where I will be spending my days enjoying the Tuscan sun: The Villa That is Florence’s Treasure. Yes, you really must check it out! Fabulously stylish, isn’t it? I am really excited! Travel dates are yet to be set, so stay tuned for more info.

Check out my guest post in LaCure Villas Magazine!

Jennifer eating stinky tofu in Taipei's Shilin Night Market.

Jennifer eating stinky tofu in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market.

Picture this: you are in a foreign land far far away, with a totally different culture, with people speaking a language that sounds very Greek (or Japanese, or Chinese, whatever) to you, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even with food you don’t recognize at all.

Not to worry, my friends, for I am here to guide you on what NOT to do to avoid committing some gaffes when it’s chow time.

Read the rest of this story here, which was entered in LaCure’s Tell A Great Story contest and won me a trip to Florence!

New York City makes me sing!

Ironically, songs have referred to New York as the city that never sleeps, but it is also where dreams are made of, apparently. So when in NYC, it’s up to you whether to dream or not sleep at all. 

Text & Photos by Jennifer Ellson


Alicia Keys also claims that this concrete jungle’s streets will make you feel brand new, and that there’s nothing you can’t do — to which Jay-Z agrees.


Long before them, though, Frank Sinatra already started spreading the news that he wanted to be a part of it.

All three of them said that if you can make it here,you can make it anywhere.

Meanwhile, when Sting is in town, he’s an alien, he’s a legal alien because he’s an Englishman in New York.

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Vancouver: Japan of North America

Between the peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, Vancouver often reminds me of Japan not only because their climates are almost the same, but also because the sights, sounds, smell, tastes and feel are very similar.

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson

Vancouver has an abundance of sushi bars

Vancouver has an abundance of sushi bars

Vancouver: a Canadian coastal city right by the Pacific Ocean, which means an abundance of fresh seafood for the taking. Now, combine this with a large Japanese population and what do you get?

Between its peaceful Zen gardens and blossoming cherry trees, you get a spate of sushi bars which, together with Starbucks, are popping at every street corner in this city.

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Holy Week – It’s more fun in the Philippines

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines, which only means it is a great time to visit.

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional Photos by Tourism Philippines

Crucifixion in Pampanga, Philippines, during the Holy Week

Crucifixion in Pampanga, Philippines, during the Holy Week (Photo courtesy of http://www.tourism-philippines.com)

Lent has several names in the PhilippinesSemana Santa, Mahal na Araw, Holy Week – however you call it, one thing is certain: it is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines (but self-flagellation & crucifixion are not!)

For meat lovers, however, a word of warning: it is probably the only time when the Philippines turns vegetarian, or fishetarian for the not-too-religious.

Being a predominantly Catholic country, Lent is a significant religious festival in most parts of the nation’s 7,107 islands. It is elaborately celebrated with gruesome re-enactments of the final hours of Jesus’ life, where real penitents wear makeshift crowns of thorns, whipping themselves in silent processions and ending with crucifixion, for real!

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Is Vienna sausage the same as a Wiener, or a Frankfurter?

The sausage was invented by a butcher from Frankfurt, who had moved to Vienna, which is why in Vienna it’s called a frankfurter, but in Frankfurt it’s called a wiener (Viennese).

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson

Frankfurter? Wiener? Vienna sausage? No, they're Bavarian sausages, Münchner Weißwurst!

Frankfurter? Wiener? Vienna sausage? No, they're Bavarian sausages, Münchner Weißwurst!

Try to order a frankfurter in Frankfurt, and you’d most likely get a blank stare. But ask for a wiener or a Vienna sausage, and the Frankfurters — the residents, not the sausages — would know what you’re talking about.

Meanwhile, do the same in Vienna — ask for a Vienna sausage, instead of a frankfurter and you’d probably hear “was is das?” (what is that?). Yes, it happened to me.

Confused yet? Bear with me, as I confuse you even more.

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