Words cannot describe what an incredible guide Mike is. From the moment I messaged him, he was accommodating, insightful professional and had a really great attitude and open mind. He showed us the most incredible, hidden vineyards and wineries around---we would have NEVER discovered these from a guidebook or on our own. I even grew up in the area and didn't know these existed. The owners of all the wineries lived right there on the property --they welcomed us with incredible glasses of wine (I had the best chardonay of my life), a beautiful cheese plate (fresh dill from the garden!) and tons of knowledge about the wine, vineyards and life by the Russian River. We got VIP treatment everywhere we went, including the opportunity to go barrel tasting in the back of a few different wineries with the winemakers themselves, tasting in a beautiful private room upstairs at one winery, and the privilege of taking home some bottles one winery doesn't even sell to the public. Mike took so much time and care in making sure we had an incredible, memorable day. From the wines we tasted, the beautiful vineyards we visited, the stunning views, amazing drive, and great company (Mike fit right in with us--and we were a tough crowd of ladies)-- this wine tour was the highlight of the weekend. And Mike's a great driver to boot! I couldn't recommend him more. I can't wait for the next one.
With the help of Avital and her insider knowledge of food, art and wine in The Mission District, I fell back in love with my own city. Avital organized an incredible day full of exclusive access to local kitchens, private coffee tutorials from the best in the industry and a one encounter after the next with the most knowledgeable, passionate people in food in San Francisco. Avital herself seems to have boundless knowledge of the neighborhood, the restaurants and the stories. Her tour itself is a thoughtful narrative weaving all the characters, sights, sounds and flavors together. I highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone with eyes and a stomach. It won't disappoint.
I had a great time learning about the culture, history and architecture of the wooden boat community. It's really a magical hidden place that I never knew existed despite spending most of my life in the Bay Area. We met great people, discovered incredible, colorful and unique homes, and learned so much during our time. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.
Spending the afternoon with Andreas completely changed my perspective on Athens. Andreas was a wonderful guide. He gave us perfectly clear directions for where to meet him in a very convenient and safe location in the center of the city, near the Acropolis. He then took us to two of his favorite secret gardens where we enjoyed delicious beverages, talked about Athenian culture, history and life. Andreas has his finger to the pulse of local culture, art, and tech and I would highly recommend his tour to anyone going to Athens.
First off, Sheila is awesome and she turned what some people might consider a chore (shopping and cooking) into a memorable, fun and amazing day. We chatted with several of the farmers (Sheila seemed to know most of them!) at SF's famous Ferry Building saturday market and learned tons--from how to eat and cook a peach to the avocado conundrum (why farmers can't sell them by the pound). We then walked to Sheila's incredible apartment in SOMA cooked it up and enjoyed amazing food and company on her beautiful outdoor patio. A day to remember!
Milton guided us through the key landmarks of the tenderloin that inform his and many others' experience living without in San Francisco: from soup kitchens to shelters, the police station and learning centers, children centers, and more. Milton's stories and the sites of this tour were sometimes devastating, to be sure, but the experience of learning about his life from the inside, rather than passing through on a double-decker bus, was inspiring for everybody that knowledge can lead to empowerment and change.
Up for having the best day of your life? Done. We left San Francisco at the aggressive hour of 8:30am on a Saturday and headed to Santa Rosa. We found Frieda with her flashy pink t-shirt and three cute bikes with fancy leather wine holders in the back. After passing beautiful vineyards, architecture ruins, and creeks and finally arrived at a gorgeous hidden Vineyard where Frieda seemed to know everyone. Three vineyards, one cheese plate and countless glasses of pinots, chardoneys, and malbecs later we did some yoga in the winery garden, hopped back on the horse (or what appeared like a horse after all the wine) and biked another 9 miles back to town. Frieda was hilarious, knowledgeable and a total joy. She is a rockstar guide and makes me never want to bike anywhere without her!
There is no experience like that of Bocas del Toro. It's a true hidden gem in Central America. While tourists are starting to catch on, there is still a very raw, organic feel down there, and there is no better way to experience the authentic Bocas life than to stay at the casa Bocas and let these guys make all your activity arrangements for you. They have the in with all the locals and are adored down there. There's really no other way to "do" Panama, in my mind.