I have asked Carol Perehudoff of Wandering Carol, a real funny Luxury Travel Blog, my 10 questions:
1) Who Are you?
I’m Carol Perehudoff, aka Wandering Carol, at WanderingCarol.com – a luxury travel blog for those who love to laugh. A former freelance travel columnist with the Toronto Star, I’ve written for many publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Royal Wings and enRoute Magazine, and was voted a Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
2) What do you like about what you do?
Traveling and writing! What could be a better combination? I once read on a postcard: “She was often gripped with a desire to be elsewhere,” and that pretty much sums up my life.
3) What don’t you like about what you do?
Jet lag is the perpetual curse of travel writers. I also have trouble with excruciatingly long dinners on press trips (a press trip is when a group of travel journalists are invited to explore a region, city or hotel and their trip itinerary is organized by their hosts), when all I really want to do is be back in my room processing what I’ve seen, keeping up with social media, blogging, etc. Oh, who am I kidding? After 12 hours with the same group of people I just want to have a bath and read a book. People need down time on trips, at least introverts like me do.
4) Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.
I want it to be fun. Also, I’m obsessed with researching historical details. Often those two things conflict. Over the last year or two I’ve been making my posts more info-filled so I can provide how-to’s as well as write in a narrative style. The primary goal of Wandering Carol is to entertain, to offer travel ideas and tips and to show people that luxury travel is more accessible than they think.
5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
I get asked this a lot and I always say it’s like being asked to name my favourite child (except I don’t have children.) However, some adventures stand out. One memorable trip to Europe was when my husband and I rented an apartment in an old chateau in the wilds of the Cevennes region of France. It was so out of the way and romantic that I’ll never forget it. Hot springs spas in Tuscany are always a favourite of mine and snorkelling with beluga whales up in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, had to be one of the most exciting experience I’ve ever had.
6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
Hm. Let me think. The restored Gritti Palace Hotel in Venice was like living in a doge’s palace – my top moment was having breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. (Mind you, it was my honeymoon so I was obligated to be happy.)
b) Brenners Park, an old world hotel in the spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, has a gracious atmosphere, a lovely park setting and a high-end spa – and has hosted every celebrity from Bill Clinton to Heidi Klum. And since I like to imagine I move in these circles (though I definitely don’t), how could I not love Brenners?
c) The castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada, will always be high on my list. I grew up going to Banff almost every summer and the hotel looked like a fairytale to me.
7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?
Well, eating chicken anus at a Japanese restaurant in Korea was pretty unforgettable. At the other end (pardon the pun) of the spectrum the tasting menu at Cuisinart Resort in Anguilla will be etched in my mind forever (along with their eco-friendly hydroponic garden). However, my absolute favourite restaurant in the entire world is La Colombe d’Or in the tiny town of St Paul de Vence in the South of France, because of the history (Picasso used to hang out there, along with a host of other starving artists), the art-cluttered walls and because it’s where I was introduced to black truffles.
8) Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?
Much as I love Thailand, the $6 room I had in Kanchanaburi Province was slightly terrifying. I was the only guest at the resort, although you couldn’t really call it a resort, and the only staff member at night was a security guard. The problem was that I didn’t realize I could turn off the light outside my room, so every creepy flying insect in the jungle was attracted to the light and buzzing and flapping outside my door – this made going to the bathroom, which was outside and down the hall, a perilous nocturnal adventure. It was much better once I got that light turned off, and strangely enough, after I befriended the local cat and let him sleep in my room, I ended up loving the place and even went back a second time. This restored my faith in myself as a traveler – I’d begun to think nothing but a 5-star hotel would satisfy me.
Another bad experience? I was watching an elderly man’s bags for him while he went to change money in a train station in Paris and the bag with his medications was stolen in front of my eyes. Oh, the guilt.
A third less than wonderful travel experience was when EasyJet cancelled our flight from Paris to Nice. After spending the entire day in the airport, we were finally given tickets for a flight late the next day. The problem was we’d rented an apartment in Nice and were supposed to be there that afternoon, and the owner had driven in from Grasse and was waiting for us. There was no phone in the apartment and he didn’t have a cell phone so there was no way to reach him until he’d given up and driven back to Grasse. To make it worse, EasyJet’s customer service was awful to us afterwards when we tried to get compensation, even though the employees at the time had assured us we’d get it. I’m still annoyed.
9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
Great question! Of course! Who doesn’t want to show off their city? I live in Toronto in the swishy (some would say snobby) area of Yorkville. But in the 60s it was the hippy hangout of choice, and there is so much more to the neighbourhood than high heels and pretentiousness. People can watch my Leopard Chicks Go to Yorkville Video to get an idea of what to see (and to be amazed by how stupid my friend and I look on video).
Toronto’s newest attraction is Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. I recently went and found it a lot more educational than I’d expected to. I also had a love affair with a shark so maybe I’m biased.
Toronto has come a long way in the spa and 5-star hotel department lately, and as I am a wellness fanatic, I’d recommend checking out some of Toronto’s best spas. And if people have any more questions about Toronto they can contact me through my blog.
10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?
Thank you for your contribution Carol. It’s always fun to see that the people I interview in this series, have similar preferences as I have. i love Venice and Tuscany and I love the Còte D’Azure around St Paul de Vence.