With summer fast approaching, I’m feeling the urge to challenge myself with an outdoorsy adventure – and Alaska’s Tsaina Lodge fits the bill. Nestled atop Thompson Pass in the Chugach Mountain Range, this remote escape offers everything from helicopter sightseeing to shark fishing (yes, you read that right). So, I chatted with Tsaina’s CEO, David Hudacsko, to get the inside scoop on a day in the life. Have to mentally prepare, after all.

BLG-1467 Boutique Support Tsaine Lodge

7:30AM: When there are 20.5 hours of daylight to work with, there’s always time for an excursion or two. Best to get up bright and early (but maybe not too early) to prep. Hudacsko says it’s “typically 65 degrees in July and August, but we are in Alaska and near the water. Pack for mountain weather that will change in a moment’s notice, and always have a windbreaker on you.”

9AM: Hudacsko cites helicopter fishing, sightseeing, hiking, and glacier exploration as some of the lodge’s top adventure options. Schedule your time the night before, then lift off from the on-site heli-pad in Tsaina’s helicopter. Sign me up for what Hudacsko calls “the best fishing” in Alaska – or anywhere.

5 – 7PM: Back from your day of adventure? Hudacsko describes the typical routine. “Get changed, relax, come down and grab a drink, and exchange stories from the day. Then table up for dinner.” Hudacsko recommends super-fresh seafood like sushi, Copper River salmon, king crab legs, and the Halibut Plate. Freshly made pasta and top-grade steaks from a private ranch in Missouri also merited a mention.

9PM: After dinner, Tsaina’s historic bar is the place to be. With six rotating microbrews from the Alaskan Brewing Company on tap, there’s plenty of local flavor to enjoy. Also, the potential for free drinks. “This is a really nice setting,” Hudacsko says, “but if you climb up the center post in the room, across the ceiling beam, and down to the mountain climber hand holds to complete ten pull ups, we buy you beers.” I don’t trust my own arm strength, but I’d love to see someone else try.

Is it summer yet?

Our Tsaina Lodge – Valdez, AK Boutique opens Tuesday, May 14, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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May 14, 2013

Come mid-February, I’m in dire need of a vacation – with a to-do list that includes enough time to relax, de-stress, and learn something new. Luckily, Lake Austin Spa Resort has more than enough to get my rejuvenation going without abandoning my New Year’s resolutions. Besides the extensive list of mind-body classes, there are spa treatments, cooking demos (I need to work on my pasta-making), and discovery classes (think astronomy and Tarot card reading) to keep me blissfully unaware of the outside world. Now all I need is more time in a week….

lake austin spa resort

Our Lake Austin Spa Resort – Austin, TX Boutique opens Wednesday, February 6, at 11AM ET.

By Melissa Mann, Staff Writer

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February 6, 2013


You finally booked that dream British vacation – first class flight and everything. Now, all that’s left between you and Great Britain (well, besides an ocean) is that empty suitcase.  Luckily, we’ve taken a look at your itinerary (and even included a few insider tips) and answered all your what-to-wear woes.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Hit the pub scene (try out Bow Bar for the best whiskey) with a cozy-looking clutch and a pair of sleek-but-not-too-dressy leather booties.

Manchester, England
Give a nod to Manchester’s punk-rock roots (it’s home to Piccadilly Records) with an edgy chain-link bag and biker boots.

Cardiff, Wales
When shopping in Cardiff, A.K.A. the city of arcades, look to smart flats and a crossbody bag (you’ll want both hands free for all those to-die-for finds).

St. Albans, England
Take a day trip from London and explore the scenic city of St. Albans. Just remember to pack comfy flats and a large bag you can fill with water, maps, and snacks.

For more British fashion and flights to these locales (and beyond), check our In High-Flying Fashion: British Airways & VisitBritain Boutique, opening Monday, December 17 at 3PM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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Continue reading “Hopping the Pond? Time to Get Packing” »

December 17, 2012


When celebrating the holidays away from home, traveling with toys in tow can be a bit of a struggle. Whether you decide to pack, ship, or carry-on your gifts, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you avoid any unnecessary travel headaches.

To Wrap, or Not to Wrap?
Wrapped gifts are allowed in carry-ons and checked luggage, but keep in mind that TSA officials reserve the right to undo all your handiwork during security inspections. Gifts in your checked luggage are less likely to be unwrapped, but your best bet is to save the wrapping for your arrival – unless you’re flying on Virgin Atlantic, who (for just $2 per package) will wrap presents for departing passengers who have gone through security.

The Outlaws.
Wrapped or unwrapped, toys that resemble weapons are a no-no. And the same goes for sports equipment like baseball bats, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. Liquids are also prohibited – and yes, that even includes snow globes. For a full list of restricted items, go here.

Ship, Ship, Hooray!
Unlike your airline, FedEx Ground® includes insurance and tracking – so in most cases, you’re probably better off if FedEx loses your gift than if your airline does (plus, you can wrap them). Another smart idea is to order gifts online (Rue La La, anyone?) and have them shipped directly to your destination.

Home Sweet Home.
Remember, getting there is just half the battle. To bring the gifts you received back home, pack an extra duffle in your suitcase and surround fragile items with clothing.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

Have a tip for traveling with gifts? Share it in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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December 12, 2012


A Value Card for Travel through AuthentEscapes. Mom and Dad said that all they want this year is a card, right? Then give them that card – with one of these travel vouchers hidden inside. (Sneaky!)

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.


December 10, 2012

1. This “Around the World” pinboard has us itching for a vacation. (Preferably someplace warm.)

2. Of course Condé Nast Traveler has plenty to stare at, but we’re positively speechless about these New Zealand photos.

3. A glimpse into glamping? Bring on the wanderlust.

4. Ancient ruins really make us feel young at heart.

5. We’re gonna need a few extra vacation days to visit these incredible locales.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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December 4, 2012
Bliss Travels

For most of us, vacation time is sacred. So when we treat ourselves to a trip abroad, we want a personalized getaway – not some cookie-cutter trip. That’s why we turned to the experts at Bliss Travels to get insider tips on how to make the most of a tour.

Ask for a walking map
If you like to walk, stroll right past those crammed bus tours and opt for an intimate pedestrian view of the city. Ask your guide to cater a walking map to your interests. And the best part? You can do it on your own time. “Getting crammed onto a bus and shuttled from place to place with different guides with varying degrees of English comprehension gets frustrating,” explains J. F., who honeymooned in the south of France with Bliss Travels. “Your guide can lead you to some of the most breathtaking sights in the region without the regimented style of a tour group.”
Continue reading “Rue How-To: 5 Tips for Traveling Like a Local” »

March 24, 2011


Nothing says adventure like exploring the distant shores of the world-famous Galapagos Islands. So to tell us why the storybook islands are unlike any place in the world, we turned to the founder of the renowned Lindblad Expeditions.


Our Lindblad Expeditions – Galapagos Boutiques opens Thursday, February 24 at 11AM ET.

February 24, 2011


Authentic Foods of Italy

A culinary tour through Italy is all about the senses – the tastes (first and foremost), the smells, the scenery. And of course, the people who make it all so delicious. Chef Tony Mantuano (maybe you recall him as one of the most revered and beloved contestants of Top Chef Masters) hosts the tour with his wife and culinary partner, Cathy. The expedition departs Rome and journeys through Molise, giving guests “insight into a little-known region’s food, wine, and history.” We sat down with Chef Mantuano for his take on all things Italian.

Rue La La: The itinerary takes Members through several villages and home-style restaurants. What’s your one favorite meal?
Chef Mantuano: The specialty of the region is called Pampanella – delicious and unforgettable. [Editor’s note: Pampanella is a pork dish, marinated overnight with garlic and ground sweet pepper.]
Continue reading “Five-Minute Pow-Wow: Chef Tony Mantuano Talks Tastes, Tours, and Italian Soul” »

January 26, 2011


The Lodge at Woodloch

The Lodge at Woodloch – Hawley, PA Boutique opens Monday, January 24 at 11AM ET.

January 23, 2011