Samantha Brown's fun-loving style has endeared her to a large and loyal television audience, and helped earn her travel shows two Emmys.
Bern Region, Switzerland
Many people dream of visiting Switzerland and experiencing the sheer beauty of the Alps, the gushing glacier river waters, and of course, the legendary cheeses and chocolates. Samantha takes this golden opportunity to take in all these wondrous delights, and travels around visiting iconic places throughout this historic country. From visiting an Alpine Garden on an idyllic mountaintop to going deep underground experiencing the Cheese Grotto in Gstaad to biking through the waterfall covered valley of Lauterbrunnen and finally to floating down the icy cold Aare River in Bern: Samantha has a most adventurous Swiss journey.
Brooklyn, New York
What is the difference between a Brooklyn egg cream and a Manhattan egg cream? Samantha finds out when she visits Brooklyn and meets a "jerk" at a local soda fountain. From visiting the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard to sampling whiskey at New York City's oldest distillery to tasting unique foods at the largest weekly open-air food market in the USA, Samantha takes the opportunity to understand Brooklyn through the voice of the people behind such local staples. Exploring further, Samantha visits the historically important Gowanus Canal, learns how to play shuffleboard in a hidden gem, and takes a walk through the brownstone neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, where she discovers incredible architecture and a jazz parlor tucked away in an unmarked bed & breakfast.
There is a certain mystique about the Far East, as Samantha soon discovers when she travels to Shanghai, China. Fitting right into local culture, Samantha samples the unique breakfast street food that the locals thoroughly enjoy, and then she visits the ancient water town of Fengjing and joins in on a group cha-cha dance in a local park. Continuing on, Samantha takes an art deco walking tour along the historic The Bund and visits a knife and scissor shop on Nanjing Road where she learns the art of paper cutting in the Tianzi Fang arts and crafts enclave. Samantha ends her trip to Shanghai by visiting the historic Peace Hotel and listening to the music of the Old Jazz Band in a live performance.
Welcome to Rocket City, home of Space Camp and the U.S Space and Rocket Center. Samantha has the pleasure to travel to one of the most unassuming cities in that of Huntsville, Alabama, where she gets to float in space like an astronaut, see a full-scale Apollo rocket and meets Alex McCool, a national treasure who helped put man on the moon. There aren't only rockets in Huntsville, though, and Samantha ventures out to a soul food restaurant, serving arguably the best fried chicken in the South. From there she heads to a former textile mill that has become a cultural complex of artists and performers, which includes Danny Davis, a former NASA engineer, who designs custom acoustic guitars. One of his clients includes Grammy award-winning Steeldrivers front man Gary Nichols, who stops by and performs in a unique live-music venue.
The cosmopolitan city located on the edge of wilderness, Samantha travels to Vancouver and gets to experience firsthand the true beauty of this bustling Canadian west coast seaport. Samantha starts her trip off trekking beautiful Stanley Park with a local guide of First Nations descent, who discusses the importance of these lands to the survival of her people. Taking flight in a classic floatplane, Samantha enjoys a stunning tour of the city with sky-high views, followed by landing on a mountain lake, where she is joined by conservationist and chef Ned Bell who discusses sustainability as they cruise across a glacial fjord, checking his Dungeness crab traps. Back into the city, Samantha visits the unique shops of Granville Market, and gets a chance to taste the local salmon at a First Nations restaurant.
Hill Country, Texas
There is a big difference between Texas and Texas Hill Country, and Samantha finds this out quickly when she takes to the road exploring these legendary lands in search of her favorite wildflower, the Texas bluebonnet. In her quest, Samantha visits a wildflower seed farm that produces fields of stunning wildflowers, gets to taste fine cuisine at a farm-to-table German bistro and discovers a tucked-away weingarten serving locally produced Hill Country wines. Back on the road, Samantha frequents the oldest bakery in Texas, made famous for its 100-year strudel recipe, and finally Samantha gets to shake a leg -arriving at historic Gruene Hall, Texas' oldest dance hall.
Big Sur and Monterey, California
From Monterey to Big Sur, Samantha travels through the central coast of California. Along her journey, Samantha learns about underwater sea life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, visits the "Artichoke Center of the World," dines at a Mexican restaurant serving up sustainable seafood and local organic produce, and enjoys wine tasting at a boutique vineyard. In Carmel, Samantha learns about the importance of bees from a 14-year old entrepreneur who supplies honey to multiple prominent restaurants. Taking a tour on an electric bike, Samantha rides along historic California State Route 1 high atop the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, where she visits Nepenthe Restaurant, plays ping-pong with the locals, and takes in the breathtaking views.
Samantha travels to the ancient city of Xi'an, China, that once served as China's capital and dates back over 3,000 years. Feeling a little jet-lagged, Samantha stops off a local health clinic that has been practicing for more than 500 years using traditional Chinese medicine. Along her journey, Samantha rides a bike atop the ancient City Wall that still fortifies Xi'an, visits the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Terracotta Warriors and attends a spectacular outdoor performance of "The Song of the Everlasting Sorrow." Exploring further, Samantha is guided to the Yuan Ji Village and is told a fable by the legendary Storyteller, flies an extraordinary kite that measures almost 30 meters, and takes in the unusual sights of Muslim Street.
Ireland's Northwest Coast
Samantha goes green and marks off the Northwest coast of Ireland from her bucket list as she starts an epic adventure in County Donegal. Samantha is inspired by a poetry reading of William Butler Yates by a local historian, as her exploration continues, Samantha hikes up the sea cliffs of Slieve League, herds sheep on a local farm, learns about the dying craft of wool-weaving and takes an exhilarating horseback ride along the beach. Samantha frequents a local Gastropub and meets its owners, who are transforming Irish cuisine and serving up regional Irish craft beer. Topping off her County Donegal experience, Samantha visits famous Leo's Tavern, where she meets Irish celebrity, Moya Brennan of the band Clannad. Brennan is joined by her sisters and family to perform Celtic music in a rousing live performance. Finally, Samantha visits County Sligo, where she forages seaweed from the Atlantic Ocean and learns of its nutritional importance.
Orange County, California
Samantha travels to Orange County in Southern California and meets legendary surfer PT Townend, who discusses the origins of surfing. Along her journey, Samantha takes a ride to Balboa Island on the oldest privately owned ferry in the USA, learns about the vibrant Vietnamese community in Westminster, and visits the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, where she assists in the release of a sea lion back to the wild.
From immersive to interactive, Montreal is a city that puts on a show of sheer artistry in practically everything that this city is involved with. From hidden-alleyway bicycle tours to the French-Canadian version of Little Italy to its world famous Cirques Festivals to a distiller making gin out of locally sourced botanicals, Montreal both surprised and inspired Samantha in her travels visiting the "City of Saints." Only to be further awed, Samantha takes an evening walking tour of Old Montreal, where short films are digitally projected on the sides of historic buildings with the corresponding soundtrack being played through one's smartphone, which all celebrate Montreal's 375 year history.
Oregon Rv Trip
Samantha ends this season with an all-American family RV road trip throughout the state of Oregon. From Hood River to Fossil to Bend, Samantha and her family take in the magnificent scenery and explore some of the most intriguing stops along the way. She also learns how to drive an authentic Model T car, and visits a real-working ranch, where she gets to herd Black Angus cattle.
Hong Kong, China
Traveling to a city with so much to see is often a challenge, but not for Samantha! She starts her journey through Hong Kong by first visiting PMQ, a venue for local arts and design. After visiting various shops, Samantha meets designer Douglas Young at his popular Goods of Desire shop and learns how to play the generational tile-based game, Mahjong. Taking a stroll through the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, Samantha takes in the unusual sights of this unique street, seeing all the exotic birds and ornate cages. Continuing on, Samantha visits the Kung Wo Beancurd Factory in the Sham Shui Po neighborhood, where she samples cold soy milk and other soy-based dishes, while learning about the process of making tofu. When visiting a foreign city there is something about frequenting a familiar place, and so, Samantha choses an East meets West tea shop to continue this ritual, where the customary breakfast often includes eggs, ramen noodles and a hot lemon cola. Venturing outside the busy city, Samantha takes a tranquil hike in the Sha Lo Tung area with a local hiking group and takes in the beauty of the lush woodlands. Samantha finishes her trip off when she takes an architecture tour with a Feng Shui Advisor, who discusses energy, the importance of its flow, and how it is the primary design focus for many prominent buildings in the financial district.
Greater Palm Springs, Ca
What Art Deco is to Miami is what Mid-Century Modern is to Palm Springs. Samantha finds this out first-hand by taking a tour of several iconic homes built in this style, then visits Gypsyland, a local furniture shop that specializes in period furniture. Golf is hugely popular in Palm Springs, but FootGolf? Samantha learns all about this new international sport and gets a chance to put her foot into it. At The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Samantha volunteers to help assemble some of the unique enrichment meals with an Animal Care Curator. From there, Samantha gets a tutorial in stunt driving, and takes it to the course, doing a reverse J-turn, and "drifting" in watery conditions. Slowing down the pace, Samantha visits Shields Date Garden, talks to a "Palmero" about intricacies of pollenating date trees and finishes off with a world famous date shake. Finally, Samantha ventures out to the historic Joshua Tree National Park, where she meets with a charismatic Park Ranger and gets a chance to soak in the beauty of this treasured Park.
Lake Geneva and the Valais, Switzerland
Of all the magnificent regions in Switzerland, the Valais Region is home to Barryland, where Samantha visits this living museum that serves as a breeder for the famed St. Bernard dogs. Off to Geneva, Samantha visits the historic Beau Rivage Geneva hotel and talks about its legacy with the great grandson of its founder. Samantha then takes a stroll through Old Town, walking past the world's longest bench while making her way to Initium, where she learns about the watchmaking tradition and assists in designing an authentic Swiss watch. Cruising on, Samantha boards a steamship and takes in the stunning views along Lake Geneva. At Chaplin's World, Samantha meets Eugene Chaplin, son of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, who shares personal stories as she tours the estate turned museum-studio. Traveling onto the Lavaux wine growing region, Samantha samples some of the fabulous Swiss wines at Dance Vineyards. From film to music, Samantha enjoys sounds of Mellisa Kassab at a popular music festival in Lausanne with a local blogger. Once in Nendaz, Samantha takes a gondola ride to the top of the Alps, where she gets a lesson in playing the iconic alphorn instrument.
Santa Fe, Nm
When ordering a breakfast burrito in Santa Fe, you must specify red, green or Christmas, which is a combination of these two spicy chile pepper sauces. Samantha finds this out quickly at the popular Tia Sophia's, as she meets the renowned cartoonist, Ricardo Cate, whose Native American inspired cartoons combine politics with humor. From there, Samantha visits the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection, where the works of New Mexico artists are on display at the State Capitol Legislature building for all to experience. Hiking is a hugely popular activity, as Samantha often likes to do when returning to Santa Fe and does so as she climbs to the peak of Dale Ball Trail number 9 and enjoys the glorious views overlooking the entire city. From hiking to navigating the Margarita Trail, Samantha gets her book stamped at the legendary Cowgirl BBQ, where she enjoys their signature margarita while listening to some live western-folk music. A new day always rises and what not a better place than Ten Thousand Waves, where Samantha enjoys a therapeutic massage at this highly touted relaxation institution. Feeling quite rested, Samantha gets suddenly thrown in the immersive surreal world of Meow Wolf, where audiences are transported from creative art experiences into fantastic realms. Escaping through a refrigerator, Samantha arrives at a local favorite, Tomasita's, where she learns about the restaurant's 40-year history and how to make a Santa Fe style enchilada. Concluding her trip, Samantha makes a visit to the historic La Fonda On The Plaza and meets two of the original Harvey Girls, who are twin sisters in their 80's that worked prestigious positions at La Fonda during the 50's for the entrepreneur, Fred Harvey.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a huge metropolis and the capital of South Korea, where high-tech and pop culture meet palaces and street markets. Samantha starts her journey off by taking a tour in Yeonnam-Dong, with Charlie, an ex-pat living in Seoul for the past 10 years. This neighborhood has been re-purposed into a green space filled with a resurgence of diverse restaurants, and most importantly, coffee shops, where Samantha and Charlie try some of the area's best coffee. Going for the local cuisine, Samantha joins Charlie and his wife to sample some of the popular banchan (side dishes) at an authentic restaurant, where Samantha also learns about the proper etiquette of eating and drinking. History and tradition are very important to Seoul, as Samantha experiences this celebration firsthand with the changing of the guard at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which dates back to 1395. Venturing further, Samantha tours Bukchon Hanok Village on her way to learn about the artistry of Jogakbo, a style of patchwork, from a master artist. At the Korean Stone Art Stone Museum, Samantha explores the tranquil indoor/outdoor facility filled with over 1,250 life-like beautifully sculpted stone statues and learns about the purpose of their design. Samantha has a big night ahead of her, but first she takes a stroll through the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival and takes in the gorgeous sights of the flowering cherry trees. Meeting up with some locals at a Chicken & Beer restaurant, Samantha learns about the five stages of drinking, which includes eating throughout the entire process. From there, Samantha and her newfound friends go to Hongdae, a busy nightlife area thronging with students and K-Pop performers, and continue on to sign karaoke, closing the night out with a live performance by an indie rock band. Finishing off her trip, Samantha visits a local food market with Janet Harn, a local Chef, and picks out fresh ingredients to cook some local favorites in Janet's cooking studio.
Lafayette and Cajun Country, La
Arriving at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival is certainly entertaining for Samantha, who is instantly engulfed in dance and music (Cajun and Zydeco), and gets to watch band favorites jam before packed crowds. Piquing her musical interest, Samantha ventures off to Martin Accordions, who have been crafting custom accordions for major Cajun and Zydeco stars for decades. With a full understanding of the local music, Samantha gets her step on by visiting Glide Studios and learns how the locals dance, Cajun-style. In this neck of the woods, if you are going to eat it better have a spicy kick to do it, as Samantha finds out first-hand after visiting Tabasco and talking John Simmons, a 6th generation family member, about harvesting peppers, the 5 year process it takes to actually bottle the sauce and its global stamp. Hot sauce in check, Samantha takes to the water and farms crawfish with a local farmer, who invites her afterward to a family crawfish boil. Another important component in understanding Lafayette is its deep French history, which includes the derivation of Cajun and how the local culture came to evolve. Samantha learns all about this while visiting the historic village of Vermilionville. What's visiting Louisiana without taking ride into the Bayou? Samantha does just that, as she takes a kayak tour through the swamps and learns about its natural habitats and geological importance. To cap off her trip, Samantha attends a performance by the legendary Magnolia Sisters, an all-female Cajun band, and dances Cajun-style with the locals at the popular Blue Moon Saloon.
Rhine River Cruise
Samantha takes an epic trip along the Rhine River, first stopping at Freiburg, Germany, where she learns about the unique bachle water system and how this city is the gateway to the Black Forest. Next stop, Samantha visits a workshop, whose craftspeople work on restoration pieces for the famed Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France, and then takes a stroll through the picturesque Petite France neighborhood. In Heidelberg, Germany, Samantha learns of its rich history while touring the iconic Heidelberg Castle. Venturing further to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Samantha gets a lesson with Johannes Gutenberg's original printing press and assists in printing a page just as Gutenberg did in the 1400's. Samantha then takes a gondola ride to a vista atop Rudesheim, Germany, where she tours a vineyard and tastes some of the unique wines of this wine-making region. Finally arriving in Cologne, Samantha takes in the sights of the magnificent Dom Cathedral with a local and visits a Kolsch brewery, where learning Kolsch beer can only be called as such if, and only if, it is brewed in Cologne under certain brewing parameters.
Naples and Paradise Coast of Florida
Samantha starts her Paradise Coast adventure off with a kayak tour in the salt-waters of Everglades National Park, while learning about the local eco system and remote mangroves. Back on land, Samantha visits the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and meets Uno, a rescued blind Florida Panther. The Bayshore Arts District is certainly up-and-coming, and Samantha learns this after meeting a local designer, who specializes in re-imaging jewelry in a fresh way. At Bar Tulia, Samantha talks to Chef Betulia about the growing enthusiasm for local craft cocktails and how Naples has the best elements of Miami without it being a huge city. After enjoying a gorgeous Florida sunset, Samantha starts her day off back on the water aboard a dolphin tracking boat, where he helps find and tracks dolphins across the bay. Local spots and the fresh catch usually go hand in hand, especially at Grouper and Chips, where Samantha gets to visit this popular restaurant. Along with great food, there is a big contingent of the live music, which Samantha finds very quickly while visiting Marco Island. Finishing off her trip, Samantha meets Clyde Butcher, the Ansel Adams-esque photographer of the Everglades, who talk about the beauty of the Big Cypress swamp that has been focal point of Clyde's lens and entire career.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Samantha experiences the revival of the once earthquake devastated city of Christchurch, New Zealand by starting her journey off at the Gap Filler initiatives. These innovative installations temporarily fill the gaps of the city rebuild with fun distractions like the Dance O Mat, where you can plug in your digital device into an old washing machine, blast your music and dance to your favorite tunes with your friends on a dance floor. Moving on, Samantha visits the whimsical C1 Espresso shop, where her lunch is delivered via pneumatic tube. Keeping on track, Samantha visits with Jade, who runs a Gap Filler garden and cafe where Samantha learns about the Maori tradition and the different indigenous vegetables and flowers grown in Jade's garden. Leaving Christchurch, Samantha explores Akaroa Harbor stopping off at the Giants House, a mosaic art collection utilizing porcelain. Penguins in New Zealand? Samantha visits a local farm that has been concentrating its conservation efforts on protecting the endangered Pohatu Penguins. From one farm to the next, Samantha joins Angela and Chef Giulio for a picnic, that consists of wild elderflower and artichokes that they collectively just foraged. North Canterbury wineries are quite the hit, as Samantha tries some local wine and chats with the local winemakers about the unique New Zealand tradition of wine. Heading back to the city, Samantha checks out the newly reopened City Library and all its wonderful technological resources. Finishing off her trip, Samantha heads back to the Dance O Mat to dance Bollywood style with the locals.
Samantha starts her visit in Charm City at the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) and meets its founder, who together tour this truly inspiring and original facility that is filled unique and visual works of art. Hitting the Sunday farmers' market, Samantha meets Chef Thomas, who picks up some local ingredients for his soul food restaurant, Ida B's Table. Joining Chef Thomas and his wife for a bite, Samantha is invited to taste some of their brunch inspirations, as they discuss the importance of community and how their restaurant serves as a conduit for it. In the Hampden neighborhood, one Baltimore's wildest yearly traditions is HonFest. Playing along, Samantha gets a "Full Hon" make-over that includes a red beehive wig, winged glasses and a vintage dress and then sashays through the festival with 2015 Hon of the Year, Nikki Bass. On the MICA campus at the Nancy cafe, Samantha visits with art enthusiast, "Downtown" Kevin Brown and renowned artist, Joyce Scott, who discuss the cruciality of art and Joyce's famed career. From local artists to local "makers", the Treason Toting Company is building a huge name for its brand in the backpack and toting industry. Samantha meets its young founders in their workspace and learns about the exciting canvas and leather products they are developing. Baltimore is a city of deep American roots that Samantha tours and discusses with guide, Lou Fields, who talks about the revitalization of the Fells Point docks along with historical significance of this powerful neighborhood which includes the likes of Frederick Douglass and Billie Holiday. In a wonderful finish, Samantha joins a local dance "step" team, the Lethal Ladies, where she learns the choreographed precision moves from Coach G and her highly talented high school girls team.
Food Around The World
While visiting the Swiss city of Interlaken, Samantha learns the art of chocolate making in a "funky" way. In Orange County, California Samantha learns about the Vietnamese community in the city of Westminster while making spring rolls. On a road trip through Texas Hill Country she stops in and tries her hand at making duck schnitzel in keeping with the historical roots of the region. In New Zealand, Samantha engages with the local Maori community in the city of Whakatane and learns how the traditional feast "Hangi" is made. What's food, without a drink? In Montreal, Samantha learns about how gin is made from local ingredients and then has a classic cocktail. On a fascinating trip to Seoul, South Korea Samantha learns how to make bulgogi, the classic Korean beef dish. Finally, in Santa Fe she learns how to make an enchilada "Christmas" style.
Charleston, South Carolina
The Holy City certainly has quite the history, as Samantha takes a walking tour through its hidden alleyways and the French Quarter. From blacksmithing to woodworking, Samantha learns about the mission and importance of the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) along with its founding inspiration, blacksmith Philip Simmons. It is rice harvesting time, and Samantha learns about this old tradition on one of the few local farms that has kept the tradition alive and well. Leaving the rice fields, Samantha joins Executive Chef Forest Parker to have a traditional gourmet dinner at Revival, where the focus is on rice and other low country traditional recipes. What a better way to finish off dinner, Samantha checks out some local bluegrass music at the rooftop bar of The Vendue. With so much history in Charleston, Samantha cannot resist taking a tour of the haunted Old City Jail with the possibility of meeting some of its ghostly inhabitants. Continuing on, Samantha visits the City Market where she learns about the Gullah tradition of sweetgrass basket weaving and gets a lesson from a 5th generation basket weaver. The Gullah culture certainly has deep roots in these parts, as Samantha discovers at Boone Hall Plantation, where she joins Gloria learning more about the Gullah tradition during the time of slavery. Finishing off her visit, Samantha joins James Beard award-winning Pitmaster Rodney Scott at his restaurant to sample some of his legendary BBQ.
Central North Island, New Zealand
Samantha explores the natural beauty of Lake Taupo by kayak and stops off for a soak in the hot springs before hiking upstream to the magnificent Huka Falls. At Te Puia, Samantha experiences Pohutu, the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere and learns how to cook in boiling hot geo-thermal pools. She also meets Katz, who heads the woodworking school of the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, and talks about the Maori culture and the struggle to keep the culture alive. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is filled with vast thermal activity and an active volcano, which is the next stop for Samantha, who tours the valley by boat and hikes to the Inferno Crater. Traveling by helicopter, Samantha gets a firsthand view of White Island, an active volcano, to further understand the thermal activity of this area. Hiking into the bush, Samantha joins a couple of rangers to learn about the national Kiwi bird and helps with their conservation efforts. At "The House That Came Home", Samantha takes part of a customary ritual and is welcomed into the Marae as part of the family, where she talks to Will about the history and community of the Marae. Concluding the ritual, Samantha is invited to a Hangi and joins the community for this traditional feast.
Samantha takes in the stunning views overlooking the entire city atop Fisherman's Bastion on the Buda side of the Danube. At the opulent New York Cafe, Samantha experiences the local coffee culture and samples some tasty treats. Off to the Szechenyi Thermal Bath, Samantha takes the time to soak and swim in these popular relaxing mineral pools. At the Hungarian Parliament, Samantha enjoys the grand beauty of this historic building. Meeting up again with her friend she visits the Michelin-rated Stand restaurant and tries their elegant spin on traditional Hungarian Goulash. Budapest is all about classical music particularly at the Franz Liszt Music Academy, where she chats with world-class violinist Joshua Bell about his music and Budapest's influence upon him. Following the theme of music, Samantha enjoys skyline views atop the Aria Hotel Budapest, a hotel dedicated to music and musicians. The Dohany Street Synagogue is the world's second oldest synagogue and is Samantha's next stop, where she takes in its history with Chief Rabbi Robert Frolich. Closing out her night, Samantha rejoins Joshua Bell and fellow violinist Barnabas Kelemen at a local spot as they enjoy a live performance of gypsy violinists.
The Florida Keys & Key West
Samantha takes a local food tour in Key West starting off with authentic Cuban food at El Siboney, then heads to the historic Speakeasy Inn & Rum Bar for a rum runner, the house specialty. From there, Samantha visits the Truman Little White House, the summer home of President Harry S. Truman while in office. Continuing on, Samantha takes a literary tour past the home of Tennessee Williams, strolls down Duval St. and finds herself seaside listening to the easygoing music of Howard Livingston at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Arriving in Marathon, Samantha learns about the amazing rescue work done at the Turtle Hospital and assists in the release a rehabilitated turtle back into the wild. Samantha then meets a Lionfish huntress, Rachel Bowman, who makes a living by catching this invasive species and supplying them to local restaurants. At Sparky's, Samantha joins Rachel for Lionfish tacos prepared with the very Lionfish Rachel just caught.
Top of the South Island, NZ
Samantha bicycles through the sprawling Brancott Estate vineyards, which was the first to grow and bottle Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, and then visits the te Pa Family Vineyards, where she learns of its 800-year old Maori roots. From land to sea, Samantha explores the Marlborough Sounds aboard the Pelorus Mail Boat, where she helps deliver mail to the locals who live off the beaten path. Havelock is the mussel capital of the world, here Samantha indulges at Mills Bay Mussels, which serves up tasty variations of green shell mussels. In Nelson, Samantha meets Dame Suzie Moncrieff at the World of Wearable Art (WOW), where experienced designers, students and novices from around the globe compete at their hugely prestigious event. Samantha then strolls through town with Grant Smithies, New Zealand's premier music writer, and learns about the happening Nelson scene. Taking to the sky, Samantha helicopters to a Lord of the Rings filming location at the peak of Mount Olympus, where Pilot Bill Reid shares stories of scouting with Director Peter Jackson. In Abel Tasman National Park, Samantha walks along Awaroa Beach and talks with Adam Gardner, who co-led a crowdfunding campaign raising $2+ million NZ dollars to purchase the beach and gifted it back the New Zealanders.
Sonoma County, California
Samantha takes to the Sonoma coastline on a road trip stopping off at various beaches and talks to a local guide about sustainability in Sonoma, the Pacific coast and what to look for off the beaten path. Turning to mainland Sonoma County, at California Carnivores, Samantha learns plants are also meat eaters, as she is marveled by the beauty and appetite of pitcher plants and Venus flytraps. Samantha then has a cider tasting in wine country at Devoto Gardens & Orchards that makes their ciders from heirloom apples. In an unexpected twist on a zoo, Samantha goes on an African Safari at Safari West and gets a chance to go face-to-face with a rhinoceros. A personal favorite, Samantha is delighted when she visits the Charles M. Schulz Museum and talks "Peanuts" with Charles' widow, Jeannie. Making cheese is quite the process which Samantha learns firsthand at the Achadinha Cheese Company, then has the pleasure to meet legendary wine-producer Reynaldo Robledo at his Robledo Family Winery, taste some of his flawless vintages and talk about his Mexican family heritage and the winery's roots.
Sailing The British Virgin Islands
Samantha goes sailing around the historic British Virgin Islands with Capt. Lisa Roland and learns sailing essentials while at sea. For her first stop in Virgin Gorda, Samantha plants coconut trees in Spring Bay as part of the Seeds of Love initiative, then hikes through the Baths, a Caribbean natural wonder. Arriving at Anegada Island, a local guide takes Samantha for a cruise and makes her conch ceviche with freshly harvested conch and she has the honor of depositing the conch on "Conch Island". Samantha next meets Chef Sam at Potters by the Sea, who preps Caribbean lobsters in the most unusual way at this local favorite. In Cane Garden Bay, Samantha chats with famed musician Quito Rymer and watches him perform live with his band. Back at sea, Capt. Lisa brings Samantha to Josh Van Dyke to the world-famous Soggy Dollar Bar to try its legendary Painkiller drink. Finishing off her trip, Samantha and Capt. Lisa snorkel at one of BVI's top snorkel sites, the Indians.