Last month, Heather and I set forth to escape the summer heat in San Diego and head north to Carmel-by-the-Sea, located just south of San Francisco. Our host on this trip was the absolutely beautiful Carmel Country Inn, a bed and breakfast that offered us a 2 bedroom suite.

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Need an excuse to visit South Florida this spring?

No, I didn't think so but here's something to think about ... Jazz in the Gardens starts March 14 and features host D.L. Hughley and a cast of other celebrities including: LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, Trey Songz, Kelly Rowland, Anthony Hamilton, Stanley Clarke, Rachelle Farrell and Boney James.

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Looking for that perfect hotel to make her swoon? The folks over at Expedia's UK office worked with some of the top travel bloggers in the world to compile a list of the best hotels for a romantic getaway.

While I can't provide a roundup of all the hotels they included, here are a few that I think you'll want to check out.

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As a cruise ship junkie I was thrilled for the opportunity to spend even a few hours aboard a ship that normally doesn't operate in the United States. Costa Crociere is an Italian cruise line that while the first to operate in the Caribbean is now working to rise to the attention of the North American travel market. The Costa Deliziosa in particular does an annual around the world tour and that's why she happened to stop in San Diego and give us the opportunity to check her out.

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While Caribbean cruising may be king, the west coast of Mexico also offers some exciting opportunities for fun as well. To explore these, we boarded the Carnival Miracle and set off on a seven-day journey with our review starting in Los Angeles (Long Beach) and included two days in Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta before heading home.

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