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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Tonight Man Vs Wild gave us some new episodes. I freakin love Bear Grylls. Really love him. But why did he have to give himself an ENEMA (of putrid bird crap water) on TV? Why? Because apparently, this can save your life one day. Your colon will absorb the water and you dont run the risk of poisoning and vomiting.

I really hope someone, somewhere sees this and uses this information to save their life.

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Miami

Every time I come to Miami, there is a new Hotel De jour that is the only place people are talking about… This year its the new W Hotel. We went there for dinner on Saturday night. The hotel houses the Miami outpost of NYC’s Mr. Chow. The lobby is pretty gorgeous… Super high ceilings and 20 ft walls covered in marble. They used a lot of brass, and a mostly neutral palate with  some colorful pieces of furniture thrown in. The scale is the most impressive part of the design.I didnt see the rooms but I snagged these off the website. They look ok…

An outside little seating area that I also didn’t see.

Its pretty freakin cold here (40’s & 50’s), I know thats nothing compared to the 20’s that it is in NYC, but at least there I have my jackets and boots(and internet and life). I dont have any shoes that I can wear with socks with me here and I have been wearing the same clothes (that I wore on the plane) since I got here. My hub wants to stay till Sunday, but its just so boring here when its not hot out.

Should I stay or should I go?

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Remember when I said I was moving to Ibiza for the summer and none of you guys said anything back? WELL, I was serious.

Most of the homes I am looking at are relatively crappy. But there is one jaw dropper – that you can rent for $10,000 Euros a week!!!! (Just a TAD out of my price range!)The pool and lounge area. Those beds are very typical of Ibiza Style.

The living room: White, brown and reclaimed wood.

The outside of the house. Looks like a Mediterranean Dream!

That hammock. Perfect place to read a book.

Now I really want to die. That kitchen counter is the prettiest damn thing I have ever seen. Kill me now.

Its a whole Island!

Your very own massage table. Sigh.

Some of the beautiful Bathrooms….

One of the 5 bedrooms.

Another master bedroom. Who wants to chip in?????

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I know I have not been very forthcoming with the details on the Africa trip. That’s partly because I got really sad when I came home. I went from being in the middle of the wilderness, the real wild, to a life where I am basically as removed from nature as physically possible. But I’m ready now.

Here is the booty I found in Africa. I would have bought even more stuff, BUT I had the annoying presence of my HUSBAND and our friends who teased him every time I bought something. Seriously annoying.

Pillow cases. Don’t know where we are putting those.

A baby Zebra for my baby.

A little mini drum.

Zebra coasters and a bone bottle opener. Should I leave that little bar area set up all the time? Or no?

Two Snowbuck hides. Dont know what they are doing yet. But these are holding the place for a sofa table right now. People are starting to comment on the number of dead animals in my house.

The handmade mohair and ostrich feather throw I almost got divorced over. Worth it.

Some of the amazing animals we saw:This was a breeding herd of elephants that we saw on the drive from the dirt airstrip we landed on to the lodge.

A herd of 300 Cape Buffalo. They were all staring at us. Pretty crazy.

Two young male giraffes posing for us. A group of giraffes is called a JOURNEY. Have you ever seen a giraffe run? It is really gorgeous. They run daintily in what seems like slow motion.

The first night we got there we went on a night ride in our open air jeeps and our ranger, Ranger Ben, scared the crap out of us trying to track this girl! You track animals at night by shining a huge spotlight around the area and looking for their eyes. It was about 100 degrees and I was holding the light and scanning for “an animal,” he didn’t tell us which animal. Thousands of bugs were swarming to the light and all of the sudden we saw her! And then, what really scared the crap out of me, were three hyenas that just appeared behind us to try and steal her kill. I never sat in that front seat again.

This is the Mountain Pride. A famous pride of lionesses that haunt the area around Singita Lebombo. Singita has a huge concession of land in Kruger Park on the border of Mozambique. Its serious lion country up there, and the lodges are NOT FENCED IN! You need to be accompanied by a guide when you walk to your rooms at night! This pride is currently at 7 female members but it often joins with the 3 other prides in the area and forms a pride 28 lions strong. We saw these females walking, stalking, sleeping and eating. We got within 10 feet of them and we could smell them as they strode past us into the sunset. They caught the scent of wildebeest and the promise of water lingered in the distance so they walked in a line, each about 10 paces back, with steadfast determination. I can tell why they call it a pride.

Rhinos are a prehistoric looking animal. Wow. A group of Rhinos is called a CRASH.

A DAZZLE of zebra. Herds of wildebeest, zebra, impala and water buck were everywhere. If you are trying to imagine what an African safari is, imagine this: it is pretty much like the Lion King. Lions and Hyenas are mortal enemies. The rest of the animals exist in a strange harmony. There are eagles, hornbills, warthogs, jackals, african dogs, a variety of antelope, baboons, hippos, alligators all living within feet of each other.

While I was there, and everyone else was sleeping, Ranger Ben took me on a “Dangerous Game Approach” which is basically, an on foot hike through the African Bush. What a different perspective. Loosing the safety of the Jeep makes you feel so small and vulnerable. Do you see how the grasses were strawy and dry? They had yet to receive their summer rains and I kept imagining that Mountain Pride stalking and hunting me!!! I was so scared that I asked the Ranger “If lions attack me, please shoot me so that they dont just eat me while I am alive!”  “Dont worry,” he replied, “If lions attacked you, you would probably have a heart attach and die instantly.” Thanks. Thats comforting.

All in all, the Singita experience is the ultimate luxury: private chef, sommelier, servants, only 15 lodges in the hotel, your own waiter for the entire trip, everyone knows you by name, plus it is gorgeous! It is, however, pretty grueling. We woke up at 5 am every day to safari for 4 hours. You then return home in the blazing heat at 9 am, have breakfast, take a nap and relax by the pool. By 5 pm you are back in the bush for a night drive. Return home around 8 30 and then shower and have dinner…You cant imagine how tiring it is!

What a trip! I would be happy to tell you guys more. If you are interested let me know!

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So, now that I’m done with a HUGE project that was taking all my time away from my blog and that I will post about when I get the pictures…

I get to be excited about my upcoming trip to Africa!! We are staying at the Singita Game Reserve and the One & Only in Cape Town. Don’t know what I’m more excited about the hotels or the animals!!! I have wanted to do this for years and now I finally get to….

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I get chills just think about all the stuff I’m gonna buy!!!

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After a full week off… I’m back!!!!

With some bad news. I came home to find that my Macbook would not turn on! I have it all backed up, so this shouldn’t be a serious problem, just a pain in the ass.  I have so many things to discuss, I don’t know where to start.

First: This horrible weather. Has anyone else heard that the almanac predicted that THERE WILL BE NO SUMMER? Ugh… but at least then I can justifiably stay in the city instead of moving out to the Jersey Shore. (Dread)

Second: Boston is a beautiful city. Very clean, lots of delicious food and so charming! 1211_15_57---Newbury-Street--Boston--Massachusetts_web

Third: Real housewives of New Jersey. I DIE. I cant even speak about it. (But here, just a little, I mean what the hell was that entire LAST SUPPER about? I feel like the answer to every question about this show is “because they are on TV” Why did Teresa throw this weird party? TV.Why did Teresa invite Danielle to her dinner party, because they are on TV. Why did Danielle go and bring the book to the dinner?    They are on TV. But why does no one scream over the table “YO, Danielle, Why the hell did you go on a reality TV show if you have such a sordid past? What about your poor innocent and beautiful daughters being mortified by you publicly. “) Just read Richard Lawson’s Recap. Picture 1

Why she is mad at Caroline (who is so awesome) or Dina (bitchy but lovely) when they only aired information that was obviously part of the damn plotline!!!! (Answer: TV)

Fourth: NYC Prep preview: That PC kid is gay.

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Some of those kids live alone in NYC? Huh? Am I missing something? Im really horrified by the way these kids conduct themselves like mini adults. Its so sad.

Should I move off the island immediately before my kids turn out like this???!!!???

I think maybe I shouldn’t watch this show anymore, because it is akin to child pornography in some weird way. I mean, I think its OK to watch adults torture and embarrass themselves publicly. But it really makes me feel like a bad person to HATE these children so much. So I think I’m gonna boycott. Any thoughts??

Alright, I’ll be back to my normal posts tomorrow.

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Pack your bag Gansevoort lovers, the oh-so-hip design hotel started in NYC’s Meatpacking District has opened its second location in Miami Beach. Think larger and hipper; the Floridian flagship dwarfs its cozier NYC sibling with a structure that spans an entire city block containing 334 rooms and private residences. More Fontainebleau than Raleigh, the concept returns to the days of ’60s North Miami where larger hotels made their mark with splashy lobby lounges and self-contained resort areas. The two-story lobby features wood-paneled columns and larger-than-life shark tank containing over seventy types of exotic sharks, stingrays and cockle-face fish we hope never to see at the hotel’s beach club. Pretty-face staffers front an illuminated reception area opposite a large lobby lounge with oversize wingback chairs and ’50s inspired loungers. Since opening in early-February the crowd has included local celebrities like the Rubell family and Wilhelmina models strutting to their in-house office with look-books in hand. At times the hotel can feel like a cruise ship you never have to leave between dinner at either Philippe by Philippe Chow or STK by One Group and the morning workout at super-sexy David Barton Gym. But perhaps the most luxurious amenity of all, the infamous Gansevoort pool is a seafront infinity resort area with minimalist loungers and all-day tanning scene of Miami’s fittest and finest. There is little doubt it is the best pool in Miami for now, especially when it morphs into a hip lounge and nightclub scene anytime after sunset.

I found this review at jetsetreport.com and I have very little to disagree with. Except for one thing: I wouldn’t stay here. It was fun to visit for the day, drink by the pool and have an awesome dinner at Phillippe, but just not my style. Too hip for me, too big, too impersonal. I could see most singles or couples having a great weekend here: clubbing by night and lounging poolside by day. It’s a place to party, not relax.

Also, the decor: more fun than The Tides but less luxurious. The lobby boasts these gigantic white club chairs and sadly the leather  or vinyl has already begun to sag and ripple. The rooms were South Beach sleek, but a bit cold.
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Phillippe was delicious and the bar area of the restaurant was chic (I’m a sucker for black & white decor) but the back of the restaurant seemed unfinished. Same menu as Phillippe in NYC, which I love. philippe_4jpg

philippe_3jpgDavid Barton’s Gym is a wonder. How anyone could work out there is beyond me. It is a Moroccan night club/natural history museum with exersize equipment. Homophobes need not apply. The place is seething with men in bikinis sweating. See below:

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We even checked out Louis, the brand new night joint inspired by 18th century Europe with its chic, opulent glamour and intriguing architectural solutions. However, the crowd was so lame it was scarier than the guillotine: totally un-chic crowd. Maybe thats how I got in…loius-left_02jpg

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