Summer is about to jump into full swing! Are you ready? Before you know it Sally will be selling her seashells by the seashore. Although these days Sally is most likely selling them in a charming little seaside shop in a tony little area known as Seaside Florida. The panhandle of Florida hasn't really been on the jet set radar for the last 100 years with the exception of those living within a five hour radius. But that all started to change with the development of Seaside in Santa Rosa Beach back in 1981. But things really took off in 1988 when it reached international acclaim as the perfect town in the Truman Show. It's still that charmingly perfect little seaside town but instead of actors it is filled with real people living the perfect seaside life. When you are not napping under your umbrella on the beach you'll be trying to figure out when you are going for more of that delicious smoked tuna dip, or at least some good ol' southern BBQ, or perhaps you'll be good and wait for another cup of that delicious gelato. Since they are all just a stone's throw from the pristine beach, you can decide while watching this:
Now that you are ready to go, remember that on Saturdays they have a farmers market. And on May 11-13 there is a nice art fair known as Arts Quest featuring local and international artists. If you can't make it down this weekend perhaps you should go in June and stop by Seaside's chic neighbor Aly's Beach on June 8-9 to see the Digital Graffiti Festival. It's definitely helping place the panhandle of Florida on the international jet-set map. Of course you already knew that...
Ah Paris, the city of lights. Actually, that is a well-earned title because it is absurdly well-lit and every turn seems to showcase some impossibly perfect picture just waiting to be captured by your camera (no matter what device it's attached to). It's no wonder Woody Allen decided to make Midnight in Paris. Even Owen Wilson seems more likeable in Paris. After all this time it is still remarkably romantic with amazing architecture, fantastic food, and the fashion elite always causing a frenzy. And yet with all its history it still feels new and just waiting for you to discover something. In fact the city seems to be undergoing a bit of a resurgence, at least in the design world. From classic fashion houses like Hermes and Louis Vuitton to the revitalization of Moynat and new brands waiting to be snapped up at Colette. And it isn't only fashion that is moving forward.
France and Food are two things that have always been associated with each other and while that is still true today there is a growing trend of moving away from the heavy rich sauces to lighter fresh ingredients. Of course that could simply be the result of allowing more room in your dietary budget for all the marvelous macarons and chocolates that seem to be eating away at the Parisian pocket. No matter how you slice it Paris is still perfectly passionate and worth a visit no matter how many times you've been. What? You don't think so? I'll bet you two macarons this video will change your mind.
Yeah, I thought so. Go ahead - go for a weekend. Or a week. OK fine - let's take the entire summer so we can really soak up the Joie de Vivre!
During the Spring I had the opportunity to go to Madrid and Barcelona. To me these two cities are like sisters, similar yet completely different. Madrid is like the big sister with rules and secrets. Of course she's elegant and charming but reserved in demeanor so she can keep control over her hidden plans. Well, let's be honest -- what capital city doesn't do its best to hide its secrets?
Sure you can flirt with her on your own and learn all about her history. You'll even be able to wine and dine her. But to really get to know her you'll need an introduction and a plan. Not to worry! I've got just the person. They are extremely close friends. Your contact knows Madrid's history, the gossip, and where all her gems are hiding. Here is where the adventure begins:
Barcelona on the other hand is the adorable little sister who is beautiful and brash and wants you to join in on her dramatic escapades. She's the first one to get everyone on the dance floor. Don't worry, she knows how to play with the paparazzi and also to avoid them. After all she learned from her sister and has a few secrets of her own. See for yourself:
Don't blame them or yourself when you fall in love with both of them. It's bound to happen and chances are they will continue to string you along and play with your heart. Don't worry it's just love -- you can handle it. And if you run away (or run back) nobody will blame you.