One of my favorite things about traveling is finding cool little places with unique trinkets that I can bring back home. I absolutely fell in love with The Little Apple, a boutique of new, vintage and repurposed pieces, such as a gorgeous Hollywood film set room divider. There were vintage postcards, artsy wine bags, great jewelry, coffee table books, etc. Molly, the delightful shopkeeper and owner stocks the shelves with such fantastic things that I wished I could bring the whole store back with me in a shopping bag. I even wanted to take the dog, LoL!
A quick day trip to Manyaunk, a small neighborhood in Philadelphia, lands you smack dab in the middle of some really cool street art. Besides already having art covering some buildings and walls, the Mural Arts Project is an additional effort to infuse this chill Philly outpost with new and innovative public art.
Happy Monday guys! Isn't this the most romantic little boutique ever? I found it while traveling through Carmel, California but unfortunately it was closed. I would've loved to come out with a shopping bag or two of fine soaps and vanity pieces. I found some interesting history on the store and its name, with possible plans to add an intimate retreat with spa services and tea room. The vintage style and pretty little details are so sweet, don't you think?... Wish it were in New York!
How cute is this European map from English Muffin Shop? I've always had a fascination with geography and globes, etc. Love how pretty and colorful these are.
After a good, long day we settled in at Glen Oaks, the next best thing if you don't want to spend on luxury accommodations but still want comfort. It's eco-friendly, beautifully designed, modern, uber- clean (very important!) and didn't cost $500 p/nt for such amenities. I loved the hints of retro and traditional outdoorsy decor and overall, was a fully modern hotel housed in cute lodge-like rooms. The best part? The fireplace and heated stone floor! And the delicious inexpensive brunch next door at Ripplewood's.
The best views in Big Sur are served with food, particularly the one above that comes with Nepenthe Restaurant. No trip is complete without stopping in to see what might as well be a painting. It was such a dramatic landscape that I had to stop eating to go outside and take pics of the spectacular display of sunset colors, shadows and fog. You can actually see the clouds roll in low over the ocean and across the mountains while the shades go from blue to pink to purple. Bea-u-ti-ful!!
The Big Sur. If you've ever seen photos of it, McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer State Park was probably it. Gorgeous! I thought I was in Hawaii. The water is too cold and wild for swimming but the view makes it all worthwhile. Like I said before, put this place on your list of must see's! There's hiking, picnic & bbq areas, wildlife, & all sorts of activities. But of course, the vistas and panoramas take top honors over everything else.
The California saga continues! A roadtrip down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to the Big Sur is a must before you die. Mark it down people. We were oohing and aahhing at every curvy turn, it is literally one of the most beautiful landscapes ever. The clouds and fog hang low and then clears out before your eyes to reveal the open feral Pacific – the waves crash hard, the cliffs drop steeply, and the wind is relentless. Raw nature at it's finest, the grand prize being Big Sur...stay tuned for more :-)
Sometimes you're just a big kid in a big playland :-).. (and thank you to the ugly ambulances making my shot look like a nursing home.)
I'd never heard of Czech-born Swedish artist Klara Kristalova before visiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in August. I found the strangely dark yet fun and mythical work super interesting. It's like she takes the naiveté of childhood and the subconscious to create a weird balance between nightmare and delight. She engages a set of questions as to what it is you're really looking at and I can't wait to see her new exhibition when it opens here in New York next month.
What do you think of her ceramic sculptures? Too odd, intriguing, fun?
I looove sugar.. chocolate, caramel, cupcakes, peanut clusters – you name it and I probably like it. Sooo to my delight I found this old fashioned candy shop, Carousel Fine Candies in Old Fisherman's Wharf to satiate my sweet tooth. How fun are these swirl lollipops! After getting our sugar fix we headed to Cannery Row which used to be 'sardine canning' central therefore the name Cannery. Chilly morning but luckily it warmed up a bit and I peeled off some layers. Cool beach art right?
Monterey Bay is one of those places that still feels pure. The water is crystal clear and freezing, yes, freezing, lol. This part of Cali never really warms up and is often foggy and chilly but still beautiful nonetheless. It's a must-do if you love the open ocean and wildlife and a great stop if cruising along the Pacific Coast highway as I did. Maybe you'll have more luck than me if you go whale-watching, and you'll actually get to see a tail.. or something..
If you have in interest in culinary travel or food, definitely check out The Wanderfull Traveler. Canadian resident Murissa Shalapata shares her tasty experiences around the globe through her delightful blog and also authors the Bon Appetit section of Vécu magazine. The food shots make me instantly hungry :-)
I've gone every year since it began in NYC in 2009 and it just gets crazier every time so I made sure to stay in one place this time – Bergdorf Goodman for the ridiculously cute dog fashion show. Tough to get a good shot but you get the idea. Designers Badgley Mischka, Lela Rose and Altuzarra (among many others) were on hand to show off their pooches, with Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa as judges. We also caught Dominican royalty, Oscar de le Renta downstairs and as I turned to leave everyone was going nuts. Why? Anna Wintour with all her security guards, lol.. should have picked up a copy of Vogue.
Summer, you say hello and goodbye too quickly. You know how much I love to eat out and enjoy your warm weather, just as I did during my last meals in Napa when I had lunch at the Culinary Institute at Greystone and then dinner at Tra Vigne. Could your al fresco dining and refreshing, fruity drinks really be over so soon? Sigh.. Yes, I know, you've already said your farewells, so I raise my mocktail (no alcohol cocktail) to you and bid a final adieu for now. We have a dinner date next year, don't be late!
The Beringer mansion has the most splendid gardens and stained glass windows so try to make at least a quick stop here. Though I wasn't supposed to be shopping, I picked up a great coffee table book from the gift shop called Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People... I couldn't resist the breathtaking photos and white hardcover. After strolling Beringer we continued on to the French-inspired Domaine Carneros chateau. Pull up a seat, relax with a glass of premium sparkly brut and revel in one of the most stunning panoramas Napa Valley has to offer.
(P.S. You must absolutely visit the Castle of Love before leaving Napa. You can thank me later. ;-)
Castello di Amorosa or Castle of Love is a definite must-do in Napa Valley. We planned only 1 hour there but I tell ya', we time warped to medieval Tuscany and stumbled out in a (sober) stupor 4.5 hours later. What a dreamy place! It may be California wine country but depending on which winery you're in, you could very well be in a chateau in France or a vineyard in Italy. I actually purchased my first wine (don't like liquor remember? so much for that.) – Fantasia, a delicious & sweet partially fermented rosé that I happily packaged in a new vintage-style leather wine case from the winery boutique.
The most beautiful issue yet of Vécu is out, featuring tons of international talent and gorgeous artwork. My piece on San Francisco Street Art (which I posted about on the blog last week) begins on page 113. Make sure to check out all the great artists in the September issue here. The cover alone, by Parisian artist Amylee, is absolutely gorgeous.
I was invited to attend the US Open yesterday, I had never been before and had such a great time! Maria Sharapova got wooped on the court and then I watched Spanish hottie / Armani underwear model / tennis star Rafael Nadal take his shirt off between the match and eventually shake his little butt to a win. I just wanna bite his delicious calves, LoL. Great game! (Sorry for the fuzzy photos but all I had was my friend's blackberry.. Thanks Diana! :-) Happy Weekend everyone!
I've mentioned before that I don't drink but boy do I love me some wine-tasting and vineyard trips! Strange, I know, but there's so much more to 'wine country' than just drinking. There's the amazing food, the chateaus, the ambience, the art of wine-making... I mean the list goes on and on and Napa Valley is no exception. Our first stop was Chateau Montelena followed by Castello di Amorosa, which was so grand, it deserved a blog post all its own. I'm obsessed with how yummy those grapevines look so I tried to coerce my friend to drive up next to a row lining the driveway which would allow me to snatch a few and speed off with my prize, but nooo. She refused. So Napa, I'm coming back for you and your grapes.