There are two real reasons that people of all religions are excited for Easter:
1. Ridiculous amounts of candy in just about every store.
2. You can finally pull out those white pants and avoid the "When To Wear White" debate.
Of course it also means you can parade down 5th Avenue in your favorite hat, fascinator, sculpture, or whatever it is you have decided to call that crazy thing that you have all but supper glued to your head. No matter what, you are guaranteed to see something inspiring (or bewildering) in NYC's Easter Parade. It is by far the most free form "parade" in the city and everyone is welcome even the pets (dogs, rabbits, cats, and parrots were all in attendance this year).
When it comes to Easter people often think of bunnies, eggs, flowers, and little chicks, but this year the biggest trend - Butterflies...tons of them. Of course the hats ranged from a very small basket of eggs to enormous arrangements that guarantees the wearer lots of attention and probably a few pain pills by the end of the day.
No matter what your style or preference it is nice to see that Mother Nature continues to inspire all of us. Here are some of my favorites parade goers from this year:
As you can see it was another great year. Did you have a favorite? I hope you'll be inspired to join in next year!
February is my favorite time to visit Palm Beach. Perfect weather, great seafood, and the sunshine caressing your SPF'd skin. The stereotype of Palm Beach is the moneyed matriarchs meandering around in madras while marinating in martinis (not easily said after a martini) and while that is occasionally on display in Palm Beach there is more to the tony town.
During my recent visit I had the pleasure of seeing where some of that money goes...charity. You remember that wonderful thing that people do to help others and not simply because it lands you in the society pages. One that should get your attention is Quantum House. This organization helps families whose children are receiving medical treatment in Palm Beach. The place feels more like a boutique hotel so families can relax and recharge. It is a wonderful program that you'll want to make a donation to as soon as you finish that martini. What? All your money is tied up in cash? Well don't worry they will gladly accept your time (Kenny G stops by to sing to kids and well-known chefs stop by to make dinner). However, if you're too busy jet setting around to donate your time at least have someone on your team figure out how to untie some of that cash you've been wondering what to do with lately. You'll hardly notice it's gone but the families that are benefiting from your renewed generosity will be eternally grateful.
After my visit to Quantum House I managed to get in a little shopping on Worth Avenue, eat in a few of the little restaurants that are as classic as the dayFlagler last stepped foot in them, and then stop by the interesting "Cocktail Culture" exhibit at the Norton. After all that I was ready for the main event of the season - W.E.F. The Winter Equestrian Festival draws the international horse set out to Wellington to compete over twelve weeks. A regular Who's Who of the equine world all out to show off their talent. And it is more than horses running around with chic riders. Retailers from Hermes to the always charming couple at E. Vogle have been attending the show for years. Although the vendor that seems to be on the top of many exhibitors' list is Josey's thanks to the helmet cleaning service. After a long day of showing, that helmet is going to smell and Josey's can fix it. It's enough to make you want to have the farm polish up your Hermes saddle and get back into riding full time. Or maybe you are trying to make your life simpler and get back to basics. If so you could still do the horse thing but go out to one of the state parks where you'll see wild deer, all kinds of bird life, and the occasional 15ft alligator. Just remember this is NOT where you pick out the leather for your new boots. So many options to choose. While you are trying to decide, sit back and enjoy the show along with the last of your martini:
Sometimes one finds oneself at the end of the week with no plans and looking for something to do...but this isn't one of those stories. This is the story about ending up in Santiago for the weekend with more to do than I was expecting. Santiago is a relatively small city that is growing rather rapidly lately. Don't worry -- there is still plenty of history for your new PhD thesis. But there are also plenty of great places to eat, shop, and explore. Oh...and they happen to have some great wine in Chile that you'll want to add to your growing wine collection.
Santiago is also right by the Andes Mountains and since I'm not really a big hiker I thought it would be more fun to explore the mountains on horse back. So I called Rose to see if she'd be willing to show me the Andes....and show me she did! This was truly an amazing experience. We rode for a few hours and then pulled over to a good rock to have a lovely lunch with the most amazing views. There is nothing around but mountains, wild flowers, horses, glaciers, and serenity. There are some places that are so enchanting you cannot believe your eyes...this is one of them. I think once we crossed the pink river with its cool glacier water I was convinced that the world was going to be just fine as long as places like this exist. By the end of the ride you can almost picture yourself sitting on the veranda of your hacienda opening another bottle of beautiful Chilean wine and then wrapping yourself in your alpaca wool blanket that was made by the Aymara women from Arica as you sit by the fire and watch the sunset. Yeah...that sounds like you, doesn't it? Let me know when your hacienda is available, as I want to go back. Until then enjoy this inspirational clip: