Author: Laura Whitfield

Jamaica, the Enchantress

When my husband and I decided to take a belated honeymoon last December we wanted an easy-to-reach tropical destination. So we chose Montego Bay, Jamaica. I’ve found you can’t be on an island for long without taking on its unhurried rhythm. On an island, days seem to last forever—lazy mornings segue into rainy afternoons into dreamy twilight. Lush vegetation teems with the melodic chirping of tree frogs. Water and sky meet in an endless blue broken only by an occasional cloud. But most surprising—and spectacular—are the sunsets that hold you captive until the last flash of light slips into...

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Reynolda Gardens, North Carolina: A Legacy Lives On

Here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I have discovered a “secret garden” in the heart a city once known for its thriving tobacco industry. Reynolda Gardens, a 129-acre Classical Revival garden, is quiet, serene, and beautiful. It also has a fascinating history. In the early 1900s, tobacco magnate Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds and his wife Katherine Smith Reynolds created a grand 1607-acre estate, made up of farms, formal gardens, greenhouses, woodlands, a dairy operation, and a working village. Katherine built and oversaw one of the most innovative working farms of her time—a place where local farmers learned the latest agricultural advances. But...

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Santorini: A Study in Blue

Blue is my favorite color. So imagine my joy at stepping off the boat in Santorini and discovering a palette of blues dotting the whitewashed landscape. Some juxtaposed against an azure sky. Others discretely tucked away. I couldn’t resist capturing these gems with my camera. A blue lover’s...

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Majestic Mendocino

Mendocino, California, located 155 miles north of San Francisco, is a windswept, coastal beauty. This once bustling logging town—thanks to neighboring redwood forests—is now a thriving arts community with a rugged coastline and stunning views. The bluffs that run along the edge of town are part of the Mendocino Headlands State Park, consisting of almost 350 acres of meandering footpaths, pristine beaches, and quiet coves. Just north of Mendocino you’ll find the Mendocino County Botanical Gardens. This “Garden by the Sea,” is the only public garden in the Continental United States with an ocean view. Known for its tender...

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