You can't stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.Winnie the Pooh

20 November 2011

The Art of the Stroll-Pausing in st. Paul de Vence

Enter by the walls

 Follow the walkways

 Take the stairs

Peek through doors, windows and around each corner...

Have an Artful day and leave your heart in St Paul de Vence!

Come for a Ride-Venice Awaits!

First, find yourself a ride...

Now simply sit back...

...and fall in love

Today you ride The Grand Canal in the most magical of cities-Venezia!

24 October 2010

West Coast Swing

This fall was supposed to be all about Italy...Venice, Sicily, Sorrento...mmmm! Sometimes,however,you can plan... and plan... and plan some more... and find yourself in a totally different direction-not a bad thing!

Instead of strolling the Boboli Gardens, taking in Taormina or poking through Positano I found myself in the Pacific Northwest!

visiting Vancouver and loving Victoria BC, snacking in Seattle, sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge, leaving my heart in San Francisco all over again, winery hopping in Sonoma, shopping the galleries of Sausalito and Carmel by the Sea, lunching in Catalina and even visiting the Baby Panda in San Diego---
 See what I mean...planning is fun but the unplanned is often filled with the best surprises!! 

Pack Your Bags and Don't Miss...

 STAY at the perfect Wedgewood Hotel, service and style oozes from this charming and gracious Relais et Chateaux jewel.  Don't Miss!!!---a great City Tour with Vancouver Tours, Granville Island, Stanley Park-you can spend a week in this park and the views of English Bay.

*Victoria, BC-

A Perfect Jewel of a city--Take a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride along the Inner Harbor, have a traditional tea at The Fairmount Empress-be sure to explore this Grand dame of a hotel  Don't Miss!!!--- Munro Books,you will speak in hushed tones as your roam through the shelves, Rogers Chocolates, a 125 year old tradition-just inhale!! and The Butchart Gardens--

 Plan extra time to just sit and take in the wonders of the many gardens of Mrs. Butchart's dream come true...have lunch in The Dining Room and ride the carousel!!


With just a short day to take in Seattle walk your feet off and visit the Pioneer Square District, be sure to take in the views of Puget Sound and munch your way through Pike Place Market -

Don't Miss!!!---the flower stalls at Pike's Market, for $5 you can scoop armloads of bouquets.

*San Francisco,CA-

Yes Tony, each time I visit the City By the Bay I leave my heart there.  This trip---an extraordinary opportunity to sail into the city right under The Golden Gate Bridge and a visit with family at a memorable dinner at the sublime Murray Circle at Cavallo Point-just over the bridge with stunning views.
Don't Miss!!!---Golden Gate Park and an afternoon strolling Sausalito.

*Sonoma, CA-

A day in wine country is a funny thing for someone who does not drink wine but you don't have to sip your way through to fall in love with Golden beauty of the landscape of Sonoma.
Don't Miss!!!---An amazing day with a Private Tour from Terrific Tours-D.J. gave us a day to remember as we hopped from winery to winery.  Each winery has its own personality much like they wines they produce...Go Visit---Viansa Winery, Buena Vista, one of the oldest and most traditional wineries in California,

Artesa-go for the dramatic views stay for the art and architecture,

Imagery Winery-not just a winery but a gallery of Label Art designed exclusively for the Imagery brand and  Chateau St. Jean--my favorite with its glorious gardens...

You'll need LUNCH!! at The Girl and The Fig---simply wonderful-of course don't miss the grilled figs and take home a bottle of Fig and Orange Blossom Body Lotion--as yummy as lunch was!!

*Carmel by the Sea -
 This stop needs no suggestions as there is not an inch that you can go wrong visiting---I love it here and did not want to leave. Stay!!! at L'Auberge Carmel ,the quintessential Carmel spot..or if you have a puppy with you, Carmel is known for its Pet friendly lifestyle, head for Doris Day's Cypress Inn, gracious,nostalgic and great fun Don't Miss!!!---A walking Tour Gail Wrausmann and Carmel Walks showcasing an insider visit to Fairytale Cottages, history and secret spots...Jan de Luz Antiques and Linen shops---exquisite French Style, antiques, linens and scents-their soaps are even Oprah's choice...Rittmaster, for lovely California casual clothing and accessories, A Great Place for fun, funky and interesting Home and Garden ideas, Twigery, Michael Merrit's floral art gallery is alive with color and beauty.  Hungry yet??  Casanova--for romantic French Country and Italian plates.

*Catalina Island, CA---

an island treat, reminiscent of the harbors of Italy yet very California.  Don't Miss!!!---Strolling around the harbor to the historic Casino , pop into Ciao-Baci for lovely gifts and accessories and head up to The Inn on Mt. Ada for an afternoon in the Wrigley family home, lunch and views fit for a millionaire.

*San Diego/La Jolla, CA-

 Hit the heat wave in San Diego but that didn't stop us from a memorable day thanks to the wonderful!!! trip planned by San Diego's Insider Tours' Jeannette de Wyze who knows how to do it right!! I cannot rave enough about Jeannette's attention to every detail...she was a joy to spend the day with and made sure we did not miss a highlight--   The Zoo,it was so hot at The Zoo that everyone was asleep

Renewed with a fabulous lunch on The Ocean View Terrace at  The Val, La Valencia, I adore this hotel...there are views even from the Ladies room!!, Some quick shopping in La Jolla, drives along the coast and in the neighborhoods and a great stop to see the Grand Dame-The Hotel del Coronado...Jeannette--we will be back to spend the day with you again!!!

11 July 2010

In a Child's Garden

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.  Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!  Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!  Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

In so many ways all gardens are a miracle and a gift...but the gardens of Maine never cease to astonish me.  To survive the crazy often cruel New England coastal winters only to slowly burst forth a lot later than most gardens do, the gardens of the Maine Coast in Summer are a wonder!  Wherever you look the colors pour from beds and boxes and planters, happy as I am to spend a summer's day in Maine.

This week on a sweltering morning (it was over 100 even in Maine!) I wandered through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in hopes of catching a sneak peek of the Gardens' newest and very anticipated addition -The Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden.  The Children's Garden was set for its Grand Opening on Thursday but I was able to catch some glimpses as the many final touches were being painted,planted and primped.  The two acre garden is breathtaking, a joy for every age! For someone who adores both magical gardens and storybooks I quickly found myself climbing over the construction tape to get a closer look!

The Children's  Fardens are a celebration of discovery and every inch reveals a new adventure, places to play,explore and learn about the wonders of nature. There is a Tree House to climb, a 28ft tall Windmill complete with weather instruments,a spouting whale fountain, a crooked house, a boat to board and lobster traps to toss on the Blueberry Ponds, an archway made of garden tools and giant watering cans that lead to the Learning Garden where veggies grow, a Maze to conquer,and a Storybook Keeper's Cottage and Story Barn complete with a Giant Storyteller's Chair where imagination lives and reads!!

 In fact, the themes for the garden center on the story telling of Maine's famous children's authors. There is the Lupine Meadow where a topiary version of Barbara Cooney's Miss Rumphius and her cat can be found.

 The Blueberry Pond and  Islands bring memories of Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal and Sal's Bear friend lives there welcoming visitors to climb on his back

Sal's Bear has become the "mascot" for the gardens and the docks on the Blueberry Ponds feature Burt Dow, Deep Water Man's boat to jump into. In celebration of the opening of the Children's Gardens the Visitor's Center of the CMBG has a  special exhibit of Robert McCloskey's drawings, storyboards and notes from a number of his books. Not to be missed!!

I cannot wait to return and watch these very special gardens grow!  For more information on the Maine Botanical Gardens and the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden along with the special events and programs available  visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and for a great Behind the Scenes look at the planning and construction of this enchanting spot be sure to read Dig It! The Garden's Blog.

...If you have never read some of the stories that are celebrated in the Children's Garden, or if you are like me and love to revisit are some to treasure...

Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man : A Tale of the Sea in Classic TraditionBlueberries for Sal (Viking Kestrel picture books)Miss RumphiusOne Morning in Maine (Picture Puffin)

Fairy Houses of the Maine Coast

She started a little garden among the rocks that surrounded her house, and she planted a few flower seeds in the stony ground. Miss Rumphius was ‘almost’ perfectly happy. “But there is still one more thing I have to do,” she said. “I have to make the world more beautiful...“All that summer Miss Rumphius, her pockets full of seeds, wandered over fields and headlands, sowing lupine seeds. She scattered seeds along the highways and down the country lanes. She flung handfuls of them around the schoolhouse and the back of the church. She tossed them into hollows and along stone walls…The next spring there were lupines everywhere. Fields and hillsides were covered with blue and purple and rose-colored flowers. They bloomed along the highways and down the lanes. Bright patches lay around the schoolhouse and back of the church. Down in the hollows and along the stone walls grew beautiful flowers. Miss Rumphius had done the third most difficult thing of all![She had made the world the world more beautiful.]