Don’t Miss the Beauty in Your Own Backyard!

California Dreaming.

Miles of stunning beaches uninterrupted by humans, waves crashing on rocks and into tidal pools filled with little critters, misty mountains and mesmerizing sunsets, saved my sanity during the lock down. California certainly has it’s share of stunningly beautiful destinations! Now that travel has resumed and summer is approaching, let me inspire you to book your vacation or adventure to one of these captivating small towns that move at a deliciously slow pace. Then sip and explore your way through the boutique wine region of San Luis Obispo Coast. Fun Fact… San Luis Obispo County is known as SLO County, suggesting that we should “SLO” down and enjoy the 80 plus miles of stunning beaches, beautiful hotels, delicious farm to table food, and world class wine! (Road trip anyone?) Summer is almost here and it is a beautiful time of year in SLO County. Think barn dance, outdoor movies, free concerts and beach bonfires during sunset. Contact me here to book your summer vacay before everywhere is booked up!

COVID & The Lockdown.

When we went on lockdown in 2020, I could feel the beginnings of a panic attack start in my stomach and with every month that went by, it became more and more pronounced.

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Southern Africa – Safaris, Sun Soaked Beaches and Wine.

If an African Safari is not on your bucket list, it should be! Not only are there nine Countries in Africa that have amazing Safari adventures, but within those Countries there are several types of accommodations and adventures to choose from. Each one breathtaking and exciting in it’s own way.  Whether you want to participate in a lot of activities or spend your days relaxing on the deck of your lodge and watch the wildlife from your pool, (or both), there is something for everyone. There are lodges where kids of all ages are welcome, others don’t allow kids under 6yo. Some lodges are for adults only and those who specialize in romance travel.  

This post, as well as others that I have linked to below, will give you a general outline and information about the destination and what to expect. As you read the articles, consider your vision for the trip you are planning, your priorities, your travel companions and your travel dates and make notes. These will help you with the planning process. This particular article is about safaris in Southern Africa. If you are also considering East Africa, you can take a look at that post HERE and the post with a quick comparison of all areas, is located HERE.

Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, comprises of amongst others, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Each magnificent in its own right and quite different.

Zambia.

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The Cycles of Life

new yearWell it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.

My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively.  One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and Chobe Sunsetneedless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.

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Booking Your Destination Wedding or Honeymoon…

JJ pic sizes travel bali

If you recently got engaged and started the very exciting and challenging process of planning your wedding; the most important item on the “to do” list will be to decide where you will have your wedding and honeymoon! There are couples who know exactly what they want and then there are those who have no idea and are feverishly discussing all their options. Will you get married locally or travel? You could have your wedding in Italy and honeymoon in France! So many options and if you follow us, I will be posting about some dreamy and exciting destinations for any occasion.

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How to Choose a Stylist for Your Wedding

SalonNuuvo-4

Choosing a hair and make-up stylist for your wedding can be a daunting task, so I did quite a bit of research to help brides with this process and asked my colleagues in the wedding industry whether they had any recommendations. That was when I found Salon Nuuvo and the delightful owner, Raychel Harrison, the founder and artistic director. As she came highly recommended as one of the best in the industry, I decided to interview her to ask especially, how to avoid last minute disasters, which has been the concern of most of the brides I have worked with.

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Croatia: A Trending Wedding Destination

Croatia weddings venues

Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!

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Ideas for Hosting a Wine Tasting!

wine table setting

If you enjoy wine, then anytime of year is a good time to have a wine tasting and hanging out with good friends. If you also enjoy entertaining, then this will be nothing but fun for you! However, if throwing a wine tasting party seems a little intimidating and/or expensive, don’t worry! This is about having fun not breaking the bank! I have some ideas to throw an easy and inexpensive wine tasting at home.

The Wine
It doesn’t have to be expensive. You could host a party with a collection of inexpensive wines just to see which ones taste the best and you might even find a wine that could end up a favorite. You can choose from red (Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Red Zinfandel,) or white (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvingon Blanc, Riesling.) You could have different varieties such as comparing Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Central Otago, California’s Russian River Valley, Oregon’s Dundee Hills, Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits, or California’s Sonoma Coast or stick to a specific region. Taste through a series of similarly styled wines for example, select an array of “crisp, dry white wines” or “rich, bold reds” or “dessert wines.”

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Destination Weddings; why or why not?

wedding marrakechAs this is engagement season, as well as the time that many people travel  for the holidays, I thought this would be the perfect time to write about weddings at faraway destinations. As a travel addict myself and destination wedding planner, this is one of my favorite topics!

So here you are: she, or he said YES and now you are discussing where to have the wedding! How exciting and congrats! I am sure many emotions will be bubbling up right about now as you may have dreamed of this day for many years and you want it to be perfect! If getting married somewhere NOT in your area or even country came up in the discussion, or if you were born in different countries and would like guests from both sides to attend, a destination wedding somewhere in the middle wedding on the beachmay be the way to go, making it easy for both sides of the family and friends to attend. You may be considering a destination wedding due to the love you share for travel and discovering new countries or cultures and decided to combine the happiest day of your life with what you both love to do. Continue reading “Destination Weddings; why or why not?”