Wild Zone Bed & Surfing

Wednesday November 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 0 Comments

The adorable bungalow at Wild Zone Bed & Surfing in Bracciano, Italy.

The adorable bungalow at Wild Zone Bed & Surfing in Bracciano, Italy.

For anyone who thinks surfing in Italy is an oxymoron, think again.

On my visit to Italy last summer, my family and I were invited to spend our last night in the amazing city of Bracciano at Wild Zone Bed & Surfing, a tidy, little bungalow that seemed much more likely to be found in Santa Cruz than 30 minutes north of Rome.

A hidden waterfall in Lazio, Italy.

A hidden waterfall in Lazio, Italy.

Barbara Minotti and Sacha Marziali, who own Wild Zone, an adventure company and surf school, recently made the bungalow on their stunning property available to travelers.

They also took us on an amazing off-road excursion in the “Surfari” to romp beneath hidden waterfalls deep in the backroads of Lazio, inaccessible by most vehicles.

Wild Zone offers surf lessons, surf school and camps, stand-up paddleboard instruction, kite surfing, and yoga in an airy,  bright, new  studio. The studio has great vibes and made me want to organize a yoga retreat!

The bungalow is nestled among lush gardens, with stone sculptures, privat nooks for quiet reflection, and welcoming patios to enjoy a meal or kick back with a cool drink.

Barbara and Sacha are consummate hosts — picking up our crew from the beach, hoisting our luggage in and out of the jeep, bringing us freshly baked pastries in the morning, and even driving us to the train.

When you’re weary from the museums, churches and sites of Rome, head to Wild Zone Bed & Surfing in Bracciano for a completely different type of Italian adventure. This place is a true gem.



The yoga studio has great feng shui.

The yoga studio has great feng shui.

Lisa Crovo Dion was a guest of Wild Zone Bed & Surfing. Photos by Dan Dion.

Wild Zone Bed & Surfing

For info and reservations: +39 392880522, +39 3491032684


Private nooks dot the gardens at Wild Zone Bed & Surfing.

Private nooks dot the gardens at Wild Zone Bed & Surfing.


Review: Wavecrest Resort, Molokai, Hawaii

Friday October 31, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 1 Comment

If you are planning a visit to Molokai, Hawaii, there are plenty of things to see and do on the island, but not so many hotel choices. There is the Hotel Molokai and several condominium rental options.

"Wavecrest Resort"

Beach views at Wavecrest Resort. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown



I stayed two nights at the Wavecrest Resort by way of Molokai Vacation Properties. You’ll need to check the website for each individual rental, as condominiums range from clean and basic to recently remodeled. My one bedroom, #107, located in the “C” building did not offer air conditioning, but the full-size refrigerator kept my bottled water and healthy snacks cold during my stay. As an added bonus, there was a washer and dryer inside the condo, as well as beach towels to use at the beach and swimming pool on site.

"Wavecrest Resort", Molokai, Hawaii

Kitchen, living room combination. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

"Wavecrest" condominium

One bedroom condominium. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

"Wavecrest Resort" condominium

Wavecrest Building C. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


As I typically stay in luxury hotels, I forgot to pack shampoo and conditioner on this trip – a gentle reminder that condominium stays are different than hotel stays offering those types of amenities. Fortunately, Molokai has several grocery stores on island with plenty of shampoo, fresh fruit and coffees grown on island – try the Muleskinner dark roast, locally grown and produced on Molokai.
My condominium required a three night minimum stay and rented for $105 per night. Check the website for current rates.

Insider Tip
If you are a light sleeper, bring ear plugs. I slept with the windows open in my bedroom and awoke to the sound of crowing roosters at 3:30 in the morning both nights of my stay. Good thing you are beautiful Molokai, as I do like a good nights sleep. For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Molokai on Twitter @seeMolokai.

If You Go:
Wavecrest Resort
Molokai, Hawaii

Condominium review, video and photos courtesy of Lodging Editor Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Molokai Visitors Bureau while researching an article for another publication.

Kamikaze Fireflies: A Laugh-Out-Loud Must-See

Wednesday October 29, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 0 Comments

Kamikaze Fireflies: A Delightful Duo of a Must-See Fun

Kamikaze Fireflies: A Delightful Duo of a Must-See Fun

Ever since my son had a hankering to pick up a sword for some playtime swashbuckling, we’ve headed to Ohio’s Renaissance Festival for a perfect fall outing. The Kamikaze Fireflies are what bring me back over and over, and are a laugh-out-loud must-see. Fortunately, this dynamic duo–Rob Williams and Casey Martin, take their unique brand of high energy comedy and daredevil antics everywhere and anywhere.

This year, one of the Kamikaze Fireflies’ anywheres was the stage of America’s Got Talent. Alas, they didn’t win but they did get a standing ovation and a rockin’ TV appearance.  Nick Cannon shimmying up Rob to stand on Rob’s shoulders was part of the routine.

In between calling out for people at the Ohio Renaissance Festival to come take a seat at their performance space, promising a grand finale, Rob told me what a boost the America’s Got Talent gig has been for them.

The stacked chairs and juggling routine.

The stacked chairs and juggling routine.

Walking on stilts, building a tower of chairs and balancing on top, making a bologna sandwich complete with mayonnaise and a pickle using nothing but Rob’s bare feet, and getting audience members to do things like help Rob and Casey balance on top of 20-foot poles so they can juggle flaming torches as if its child’s play are part of their act that combines circus with vaudeville.

The child’s play feel is part of the routine that Rob and Casey flavor with impish glee as they work through their routines that don’t seem like work at all. No matter what they are doing, the banter between them and with the audience is a seamless flow of jokes and joshes.  This was the 5th time we’ve seen them, and I found myself as charmed and delighted as ever.

With the Ohio Renaissance Festival over, the Kamikaze Fireflies are flitting elsewhere. This couple who hails from California never seems to be at home. Their next stops are:

Texas Renaissance Festival
11/1/14 – 11/2/14 

 -A perfect fall day with Casey calling out for an audience in the background

-A perfect fall day with Casey calling out for an audience in the background

Louisiana Renaissance Festival
11/11/12 – 11/13/14 ; 11/15/14 -11/15/14; 11/22/14 – 11/23/14

In 2015, look for them at the Renaissance festivals in Colorado, Florida, and Pennsylvania. The KamikazeFireflies’ website will have an updated list of locations and dates of their appearances.

As for me, I’ll see them again next October, an autumn pleasure I’ve come to count on.

Post and last two photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein. First photo courtesy of Kamikaze Fireflies.