Julie L. Kessler
lawyer traveler writer


Hard-sided luggage with zipper-less expansion is first of its kind

Sep. 3, 2016

My review of the new Briggs & Riley Sympatico CX line of luggage that appeared in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It's the first engineered hard-sided luggage that has zipperless expansion. A traveler's dream suitcase with a lifetime warranty.

tagged: Briggs & Riley, Sympatico CX,

Seduced by Sydney

Sep. 1, 2016

Back from sensational Sydney. While the UH Rainbow Warriors lost to the UC Berkeley Golden Bears at the 2016 NCAA Championship Football opening game at Sydney's Anzac stadium in front of over 61,000 attendees, a good time was still had by all. Watch for my upcoming feature article in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sydney's incredible dining and art scene as well as the great appellations of the Hunter Valley. Fair dinkum as Sydneysiders say. 

tagged: Sydney, UH Rainbow Warriors, 2016 NCAA Football, Hunter Valley NSW,

Hello to Hangzhou

Aug. 21, 2016

My article "Hello to Hangzhou" appeared on the front page of today's editon of The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Sunday Travel Section. Despite time and modernization, many of Marco Polo's descritpions of 13th century Hangzhou ring true today, and reflect that Polo may have indeed been more of a poet than any of us realized.

tagged: Hangzhou, 2016 G-2 Summit, Marco Polo, Shangri-La Hangzhou, West Lake, Xixi National Wetlands

13.5% Wine Bar in Baltimore

Aug. 14, 2016

If your business or travels take you to Baltimore, make sure and stop by the 13.5% Wine Bar in the hipster section of Hampden. Not only are there great cocktails, and of course wonderful wines - all very reasonably priced, but the food, oh my!


The kale salad was delicious and perfectly dressed, but the talented and innovative Chef Eddie West caught my attention with the grilled cauliflower wraps with Bibb lettuce and pistachio aillade and a dash of Grappa. Hearty, intensely flavorful and filling; and I don't even like cauliflower! But I would certainly go back just to have this dish again. However, Chef West brought tears to my eyes with his utterly dreamy chocolate Pot de Créme. Chocoholics anonymous unite because honestly, it simply does not get better than this.


And if you need more - which you don't - the food is that good, have a glass of vino and listen to live music on select evenings. Check the restaurant site at 135Winebar.com for the performance calendar.  Open seven days a week with happy hour Mondays to Saturdays from 5-6pm.


Do not pass go and do not collect $200, but you MUST try Chef West's Pot de Créme at 13.5% Wine Bar following a great evening at a very cool little restaurant and bar.

tagged: 13.5% Wine Bar, Chef Eddie West, Hampden Baltimore,

Ancient Blend - Travel in Israel

Jul. 17, 2016

My article "Ancient Blend" on travel in Israel appeared on the front page of today's edition of The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sunday Travel section. You can read the full article here:



tagged: Israel, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Degania, Sea of Galilee, Judean Desert, Tel-Aviv, Jaffa,

Israeli Chef Ruth Rousso

Jul. 11, 2016

Great press lunch today at Crossroads on Melrose in Los Angeles, the renowned plant-based Mediterranean restaurant of Israeli-born chef Tal Ronnen where I and several other food and travel journalists had the great pleasure of meeting Ruth Rousso (center). Chef Rousso is a well-known food expert in Israel, where she hosts a food TV show, owns her own trendy cold-pressed juice company (called “Jusso”), writes a regular food column, and is a former guest judge on Iron Chef Israel and Game of Chefs (a popular culinary reality TV show).  Chef Rousso is also one of the stars of a new documentary on Israeli food produced by Roger Sherman called "In Search of Israeli Cuisine," which will air on PBS nationwide next year (and is currently touring the film festival circuit, to great acclaim).

tagged: Ruth Rousso, Tal Ronnen, Jusso, Crossroads Restaurant

Sumptuous Singapore

Jun. 28, 2016

My article "Singapore: Where culture meets cuisine" appears on the front page of today's Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Sunday Travel section.


UH fans can see Warriors in Sydney

Jun. 16, 2016

College fans will get the rare chance to attend an action-packed game in Australia's sporting and events capital when the College Football Sydney Cup is played for the first time Down Under on August 27, 2016. The University of Hawaii Warriors and the University of California Golden Bears will play in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division One College Football Championships in Sydney. 



Jun. 14, 2016

Off next week to Banff National Park, Lake Louise and Lake Moraine for some hiking, biking and kayaking. Newspaper article to follow.

Israel's Kibbutz Degania is a chocolate lover's dream

Jun. 13, 2016

My article in The L.A. Times on Israel’s chocolate-making Kibbutz Degania appeared in print in the Sunday Travel Section on June 12, 2016. Read the digital version below; you can practically taste it! Though calorie free!


Montana, dudes!

Jun. 8, 2016

Off to a luxe dude ranch in Montana on assignment, where, among other things, I will going on a cattle drive! Since I'm more used to having concrete and metal under my feet than horse and bovine manure, it should be a quite interesting adventure. Giddy up and yee-haw! Newspaper article to follow.

Just back from China!

Jun. 6, 2016

Back after a great week Hangzhou, China. A lovely, historical city just 110 miles from Shanghai. Newspaper stories to follow.

From Bangkok to Beijing

May 2, 2016

My Asian cruise story on Oceania’s Nautica “From Bangkok to Beijing” appeared on the front page of yesterday’s edition of The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Sunday Travel Section. 


Below is the 2.5 minute video clip of the experience produced by CDB Productions and hosted by yours truly.


Swiss Tourism luncheon

Apr. 16, 2016

I was delighted to attend the April 15, 2016, Press Luncheon for Swiss Tourism at the home of Swiss Consul General Jean-François Lichtenstern (at microphone).


Ecuador and The Galapagos

Apr. 7, 2016

My feature front page article “Ecuador and Galapagos Islands are genuine treasures” appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Travel Section.

Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner

Apr. 7, 2016

My article discussing my interview last week in Jerusalem with former presidential candidate and indefatigable Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner appears in today’s edition of The L.A. Daily Journal and The S.F. Daily Journal.


Justice Dorner is a remarkable woman, a champion of free speech and equal rights and a fierce advocate for women. It’s a shame that the Israel Supreme Court has mandatory retirement at age 70.

Off to Jerusalem

Mar. 29, 2016

Off shortly to Jerusalem and onward, where, among other assignments, I will be interviewing the former Israeli presidential candidate and Supreme Court justice, the Honorable Dalia Dorner.

The new and improved Marcia Brady

Mar. 15, 2016

My article The New and Improved Marcia Brady, Esquire appeared in today’s edition of The L.A. Daily Journal and The S.F Daily Journal. This article was the result of my lengthy interview with Helen Su last week in Beijing. Ms. Su was an extremely popular child actress – her most famous and long running role was that of Pei-Pei in “The Star Knows My Heart,” shown throughout Chinese speaking countries in Asia.


In “The Star,” little Pei-Pei was the second to last of five children given to foster care, one-at-a-time, as their widowed mother was dying of cancer. During 60 heartbreaking episodes, little Pei-Pei, her TV mom and siblings had Chinese speaking viewers throughout Asia simultaneously mesmerized and weeping.


Following law school in Taiwan, an LLM from UCLA and an MBA from the University of Peking, today Ms. Su is the resident partner of a major American law firm’s Beijing office.


Marcia Brady could only have dreamed.

Savannah, GA

Mar. 13, 2016

My article on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day holiday in Savannah, GA appears in today’s edition of The L.A. Times, Sunday Travel Section. Click here to read the article:


Travel off the beaten path in Papua New Guinea

Mar. 10, 2016

Papua New Guinea is an amazing place with many indigineous people living as they have for hundreds of years without change. Click here to read my article on PNG which appeared in Travel & Leisure: