jenna intersimone

Enlist these East Brunswick experts to plan your cruise vacation

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 5/9/17

EAST BRUNSWICK – With summer almost here, those who love to hop on to their “instant vacation” — a cruise — are already scouring the internet for the best deals, newest ships and coolest amenities.

However, with the new Expedia CruiseShipCenter that is set to open at 285-291 Route 18 South, East Brunswick, in about two to three months, vacationers who love to set sail will be able to enlist a local expert to help them plan their trip.

“You don’t get individualized service when you try booking a cruise on your own, and booking one isn’t like booking a hotel room,” said Brook Smith, founder of the new location, East Brunswick resident and travel agent for the past 17 years. “There are a lot of questions you need to answer pertaining to dining times, types of rooms, dietary needs and more, so having an expert to speak with beforehand is very beneficial.”

~File photo

(more…)

Designers deck out historic estate with modern twist for Mansion in May

Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 4/30/17

Just a few months ago, Alnwick Hall, known today as The Abbey, was an empty, yet notable, 20,000-square-foot home, a rare survivor from the early 20th century’s ‘Millionaire’s Row’ of estates, on a portion of Madison Avenue between Morristown and Madison.

Since its elegant heyday as a palatial home, The Abbey at 355 Madison Ave. has served as a bank, medical offices and church administration offices.

Now, thanks to 64 top designers from around the region, The Abbey has been restored to a grand estate setting for this year’s Mansion in May, a fundraiser for Morristown Medical Center. The designers have enhanced and beautified its 41 spaces and gardens with their personal twists and modern spins, while retaining the mansion’s original charm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(more…)

My 5 top international eateries in Central Jersey

When people ask me what I do for a living, I’m always pretty psyched to tell them that I write about local travel and food in my Tuesday column and our Wednesday Table section.

Immediately, they usually have quite a few questions.

“How do you find restaurants to review?”

“What if a restaurant turns out to be bad?”

Every time, I launch into my usual speech — I don’t review anything. I only write about restaurants that I like in the first place, but as a journalist, I was trained that no one cares about your opinion. So in my food/restaurant stories, which often sneak into my travel column as well as my Table stories, I never critique the restaurant.

Pork barbeque combo by chef Homer Reyes at La Parilla de Manila, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Colonia, NJ. (Photo: Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer)

Pork barbeque combo by chef Homer Reyes at La Parilla de Manila, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Colonia, NJ.
(Photo: Jason Towlen/Staff Photographer)

(more…)