Friday, January 21, 2011

"Meet the Local Expert" debuts on Downtown Traveler

Aruba expert Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi
During my round the world trip, I often found myself in cities where I didn't know a soul. I was eager to get out and explore but I wasn't sure where to go. Guide books pinpointed the tourist boutiques and theme restaurants, but didn't include the hottest bars or latest attractions. 

I discovered that the best advice comes from locals who know their hometowns inside and out. As a result, we're launching a new feature on Downtown Traveler called Meet the Local Expert.

We'll interview travelers and members of the tourism industry to uncover their insider tips.

The first "local expert" is Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi of the Aruba Marriott resort. She shares her knowledge of Aruba's food, music and attractions-- and reveals that she will be dancing in the 2011 carnival parade!

Click here to read the first installment of Meet the Local Expert:

>> Meet the Local Expert: Interview with Aruba Marriott’s social media specialist


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm a featured blogger on

Yesterday marked my first day as a featured blogger for, a travel website offering flights, hotels, and packages to top destinations throughout the world.

Check out my first post, "How to Get the Most Value from NYC Restaurant Week."

I will be contributing travel stories on a regular basis, including news reports, top 5 lists and service pieces.

Are there any topics you would like to see featured in my column?  Feel free to contact me with suggestions!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lifetime Digital publishes my quiz, "Which Celeb Dad Is Like Your Man?"

It's official: I can now add "quiz writer" to my list of accomplishments! Lifetime Digital just published my first celebrity quiz, one of several I wrote on assignment for the website.

If you've ever wondered "which celeb dad is like my man?" this is the perfect time to find out!

I enjoy writing quizzes because they unleash my creativity.  I've always been a pop culture junkie; I grew up watching TV from the moment I got home from school until I went to bed.  I'd tune in to Thundercats, Inspector Gadget and Heathcliff, followed by Oprah, Three's Company, Diff'rent Strokes and Cheers.

Now I watch several movies and TV shows each week on Netflix. I recently rewatched a season of ALF on DVD and can report that most of the jokes hold up over time. (My recent picks also include heavier fare like Bad Lieutenant and Mean Streets).

I call upon my years of TV and movie experience when writing a quiz. Once I develop a topic, I research the characters or actors and brainstorm potential questions. I try to make the choices as juicy as possible.

But you be the judge. What do you think of my latest assignment?

>> Take the quiz: "Which Celeb Dad Is Like Your Man?"


Thursday, January 13, 2011

My first video post: Free activities in Salt Lake City

I spent the first week of 2011 skiing and sledding in Salt Lake City. While I missed New York's epic "Snowmageddon" storm, I saw plenty of snow in Utah.

Check out my first video post to see what free winter activities are available in the Beehive State.  This video appeared on Downtown Traveler and was filmed with Kodak PlaySport and Canon PowerShot Elph cameras.

>> For more photos of Utah's famous powder, check out my latest post: "A perfect ski day at The Canyons Resort in Park City"

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