Bournemouth and Poole, England

Bournemouth and Poole are located on the South of England, and are popular holiday destinations in the Summer months as holiday makers flock to the warm South Coast to enjoy the sunshine and relax on the beach.

Bournemouth Beach is one of the best beaches in England - it is several miles of golden sand, the waves can also reach a decent height (for England) and is therefore popular with surfers. THe beach can get crowded in the height of Summer so I would recommend getting there early to get a good spot!


Bournemouth Beach

Sandbanks is a coastal region located between Poole and Bournemouth. It is currently the 4th most expensive area in the world to buy land on - many of the houses are well in excess of £5 million. The main housing street in the peninsula is aptly named "milionnaires row" due to the sky-high prices in the region. Recently a bungalow that was pretty much in a derelict state went on sale for £4 million, indicating the demand for land in Sandbanks. Sandbanks Beach is another highly popular beach, about 3 miles long and boasting extremely high quality for an English beach. There are also a range of activities on the beach such as canoeing. A crazy golf course is another popular destination - a good bit of fun for the whole family.


Sandbanks

Poole is a good place to go as well when the weather is nice - it offers a wealth of boat trips, as well as many restaurants with good food. Brownsea Island, just opposite Poole Quay, is a little National Trust Island and is worth a look around, you can walk round the whole island in a couple of hours. It is also one of the few places left in the UK where red squirrels still live in the wild.

Due to the fine weather and long hours of sunshine, homeowners in Poole have one of the largest ranges of solar water features in England. Perfect for the garden, solar water features and solar fountains can be successfully erected due to the sun and add an extra something to your outdoor lifestyle.

The Dorset coastline is one of the best holiday destinations in the UK, due to its fine beaches and range of other activities aside from the obvious sunbathing. It is definitely worth a visit.

Bournemouth and Poole, England

Bournemouth and Poole are located on the South of England, and are popular holiday destinations in the Summer months as holiday makers flock to the warm South Coast to enjoy the sunshine and relax on the beach.

Bournemouth Beach is one of the best beaches in England - it is several miles of golden sand, the waves can also reach a decent height (for England) and is therefore popular with surfers. THe beach can get crowded in the height of Summer so I would recommend getting there early to get a good spot!


Bournemouth Beach

Sandbanks is a coastal region located between Poole and Bournemouth. It is currently the 4th most expensive area in the world to buy land on - many of the houses are well in excess of £5 million. The main housing street in the peninsula is aptly named "milionnaires row" due to the sky-high prices in the region. Recently a bungalow that was pretty much in a derelict state went on sale for £4 million, indicating the demand for land in Sandbanks. Sandbanks Beach is another highly popular beach, about 3 miles long and boasting extremely high quality for an English beach. There are also a range of activities on the beach such as canoeing. A crazy golf course is another popular destination - a good bit of fun for the whole family.


Sandbanks

Poole is a good place to go as well when the weather is nice - it offers a wealth of boat trips, as well as many restaurants with good food. Brownsea Island, just opposite Poole Quay, is a little National Trust Island and is worth a look around, you can walk round the whole island in a couple of hours. It is also one of the few places left in the UK where red squirrels still live in the wild.

Due to the fine weather and long hours of sunshine, homeowners in Poole have one of the largest ranges of solar water features in England. Perfect for the garden, solar water features and solar fountains can be successfully erected due to the sun and add an extra something to your outdoor lifestyle.

The Dorset coastline is one of the best holiday destinations in the UK, due to its fine beaches and range of other activities aside from the obvious sunbathing. It is definitely worth a visit.

Happy New Year!

Thank you bloggers, customers and friends for all of your support these past years. I am overwhelmed by your continuous interest and enthusiasm, and truly humbled by each and every one of you that take time out of your busy lives to leave comments on this blog.

May 2010 bring you peace, health, happiness, and all good things.

Happy New Year!

Regal United Kingdom - London Travel World

travel world
london travel world

New Year's Eve Supper~ 1913


Oh how I wish that I could go back in time and attend this New Year's Eve supper at the Hotel Oakland. Can you imagine how grand it was in 1913? I have this elegant menu in my collection and just had to share.

The Hotel Oakland was a grand hotel that opened in the early 1900's and only survived a few decades.

"Monsier, I would like an extra helping of the Nineteen-Thirteen Fancy Ice Cream, please."

Happy New Year!

Goodbye Tavern on the Green.


Tavern on the Green will have its last seating tomorrow night. The legendary restaurant located at New York City's Central Park and West 67th Street, has been in operation since 1934 and is closing due to bankruptcy. So sad.

Many memories for so many of us. My first trip to New York in 1981 included a dinner there. I'll always remember the massive twinkling lights outside with topiary plants. Breathtaking Baccarat and Waterford chandeliers in all colors filled the ceiling of the Crystal Room. Very over-the-top!


My last visit was with Janet and Larry in 2002. We had tea and chatted. The room was kind of empty, but ethereal nonetheless. It was a great memory.

Guernsey's Auction House will be auctioning off the restaurant's interiors, which include decorative items from the 25,000-square-foot restaurant. Previews take place Wednesday, Jan. 6 through Tuesday, Jan. 12, noon to 8 p.m. each day. The public auction is Jan. 13-14 with 1 p.m. afternoon sessions and 6 p.m. evening sessions each day. The auction will take place in the Tavern's Crystal Room at 67th Street and Central Park West.

Some of the items being auctioned include:
  • Antique Tiffany stained-glass lamp shades
  • large, art nouveau mirrors, etched glass and Venetian glass
  • Baccarat crystal chandeliers
  • Japanese lanterns
  • china place settings, silverware, glassware and linens
  • canvas murals from the walls
  • outdoor topiaries
So, Goodbye Tavern on the Green. We'll miss you!

Painting the Town PINK!


I've been dreaming of pink champagne & pink cupcakes for New Year's Eve. I don't even have any party plans -- the usual -- stay home and watch movies. But, ended up on Flickr for hours, pulling up all of these pink images...bubbling pink champagne, frosted cupcakes, ladies in pink flowing dresses and gents in black tuxedos...




Last but not least are these yummy cake pops from Bakerella. Pink candy coating over chocolate cake. Yum! You can find the recipe here.

What kind of plans to you have for New Year's Eve? Are you staying in, or painting the town pink?

photo credit: cake pops, Bakerella

Your Holiday Gifts...

Therese's lovely ironstone set

Thank you bloggers and Facebook friends for sharing your vintage holiday gifts with us! I asked and you delivered. This was great fun and I was thrilled to receive your photos.

Everyone ready for a little show and tell?

The first photo (above) is from Therese at La Dolfina. She received this lovely ironstone coffee pot and sugar bowl from her Mom for Christmas. Therese believes the pattern is called "wedding band." She is thrilled with them, and I quite like them too! Very elegant indeed.

Next we have the, "IboughtthisformyselfforChristmas" gift. Love that! I think we can all relate. Ruth at The Beautiful Life had been eye-balling this antique industrial steel cart for over a year. She finally broke down and treated herself. It helped that the shop owner had marked the price down 50%!

Ruth was so elated to finally own her "dream cart," but puzzled as to where to put it. So, it sat on the porch for awhile. And then, walla! The kitchen was the perfect spot to use it as a sideboard/island. Look at all the cute things she put on it. Good job Ruth!

The kitty enjoyed the "dream cart" before its kitchen destination

Don at Civility Design was absolutely in love with this Art Nouveau 'Seau a Glace' (ice bucket) from the early 1900's. He purchased it from a dealer in France and gave it to his partner Jaymes for the holidays. What an exquisite piece!

"Breathtakingly beautiful, elegant and artistic in person, that is as much a piece of art as it is functional! Objet d'art to the highest degree!!" --Don (I couldn't agree more. I would love to have one grace my sideboard!)

Thanks again to all of you for sharing your lovely gifts. It was fun being a part of your excitement!

Photo credits: Ironstone pieces; La Dolfina, Industrial dream cart; The Beautiful Life, Art Nouveau ice buckket; Civility Design

Holiday Wrap-Up ~ Whaddya get?

Well, the holidays are almost over. Hope you had a wonderful one, filled with joy, laughter and memories to cherish.

I'm sure many of you are still putting your goodies away, admiring them...discarding wrapping paper and boxes...taking a breather...

I was just wondering... did any of you receive any vintage gifts that you'd like to share? Well, they don't have to be vintage... AND...please email me photos of the vintage gifts you've received...I'll be blogging about them this week!!

photo from Mary Ruffle

New Year's Giveaway at Fanciful!

What a fun way to start off the New Year! Noel at Fanciful Designs is having a giveaway with some very special treats...


The lucky winner receives this amazing decorative tea block made of real compressed black tea. I've never seen anything like it before. An ornate scene on a tea block--and it's edible. Amazing!

The winner also receives a 2010 calendar -- an exclusive poster from one of my favorite shops, 'Tail of the Yak' in Berkeley, California. So beautiful!

So take a trip over to Fanciful Designs here and leave a comment to enter this generous and fun giveaway. The winner will be announced on New Years Day.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Good luck with the giveaway and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

May your day be Merry and Bright...


photo from Such Pretty Things

Should I Quit my Day Job?


Perhaps I should stop selling antiques and sell these. Seriously, these natural hot & cold herbal packs are the best stress relievers ever! Manufactured by Nature Creation and made in the U.S.A., these packs contain amazing selling natural herbs including chamomile, cinnamon, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, etc. etc.

Sitting at the computer so much, my back, neck and shoulders are constantly hurting. Well, stumbled upon these goodies in the mall. Yes, one of those kiosks in the mall, and I was sold. Heat these babies up for two minutes in the microwave, rest on your aching body, and walla! It loosens all of those muscles.

There are packs for every muscle on your body; neck, shoulders, feet. And, they smell divine!

Do yourself a favor and get one now! It will be the best holiday gift to yourself. Here is a link to their site.

Holiday Show & Tell

2004 Holiday Card - Toasting in the New Year with Frank Sinatra

This year we're not sending out holiday cards. Since my grandma died recently, I'm just not in the spirit. But, as I was going through her things recently, I found all of the cards she saved from us. So sweet. I thought I'd share some of them with you.

1994 Holiday Card - Us as kids

It's been a tradition in our home the past 15 years to do wacky holiday cards. The card above was the first of what became an annual tradition. My husband Leif and I as little ones, lighting the Chanukah menorah and holding Santa. One in Sweden and one in the USA.
2000 Holiday Card - Vito celebrates Chanukah & Christmas

The card above was when Vito was a puppy. My friend photoshopped the antlers. The inside read, "May this holiday bring you much joy and no humiliation." Poor Vito, always humiliated!

2002 Holiday Card - Cable Car ride in San Francisco to do some holiday shopping

The card above was one of my favorites. I found an old photo of San Francisco in the 1930's/40's. My friend took a photo of Leif and I dressed in 40's attire and photoshopped us into the photo. Vito too. Seriously, we dressed up for this one. Even had the old City of Paris hatboxes, which was a famous department store in downtown San Francisco, now Neiman Marcus. The card read, "For Auld Lang Syne...Happy Holidays!" Hats off to David for doing a great job on this card!

2005 Holiday card- Hanging out in the Haight

In 2005 it was time for a 1960's theme, so I found this photo of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood with people just hanging out. Once again, a talented friend had us come into his studio, photograph us, and photoshopped us in with those 60's people. Leif is the guy on the right with the afro wig. I'm in the brown tunic. Do you see little Vito? The card read, "Peace, Love & Happy Holidays..." Some people that received the card thought that we were really there. Come on...do we dress like that?

So there you have it. A few of our quirky past holiday cards. They may not look like traditional holiday greeting cards, but it's always fun to be a little different.

Hopefully next year we'll come up with some new theme to share. Until then... Happy Holidays from our house to yours!

**Oh, and the first photo, our heads are photoshopped on Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly's bodies. I actually went to a hair salon and had my hair teased for two hours for that card. Lots of bobby pins!

What are the Best European Tour Travel Dates?

If you live in North America and are interested in going through European travel tour companies so that you can check out a concert by your favorite singer or band, then you are first going to want to learn a few details, including on what the best European tour travel dates are. By learning about what the best European tour travel dates are, you are going to be able to work around this and make sure that you are going to be heading to a concert on the best day.

What is the Best Time?

First and foremost you have to realize that the climate and seasons in Europe are much different than they are here in North America. So if you are trying to figure out the best European tour travel dates, then you need to keep this in mind.

If you live in North America then you are really going to want to find tickets for the best European tour travel dates which would be some time in the summer, so basically between the months of June and September. These are the months that most bands go on tour any way, but not only that, the outdoor concerts are going to be more comfortable and you won’t have to worry so much about rain and other bad weather.

Once you have figured out what the best time is going to be for you to go to a concert now it is just a matter of you finding the tickets. Bear in mind that especially with the popular singers and bands, tickets are going to sell fast and so you really can’t waste time here. As soon as you hear that the band is going on tour, you are then going to want to coordinate the best European tour travel dates with the available concert dates, and choose the right one for you.

There are a lot of people out there who have not gone to a concert before, and this is something that everyone should experience at least once. Even if you listen all the time to your favorite music on the radio, it just does not even remotely compare to how you would feel if you got to go see your favorite band in concert.

That combined with the fact that as long as you shop at the right places you can get tickets for cheap, and this is something that you should definitely do.

Author by linkroll

What are the Best European Tour Travel Dates?

If you live in North America and are interested in going through European travel tour companies so that you can check out a concert by your favorite singer or band, then you are first going to want to learn a few details, including on what the best European tour travel dates are. By learning about what the best European tour travel dates are, you are going to be able to work around this and make sure that you are going to be heading to a concert on the best day.

What is the Best Time?

First and foremost you have to realize that the climate and seasons in Europe are much different than they are here in North America. So if you are trying to figure out the best European tour travel dates, then you need to keep this in mind.

If you live in North America then you are really going to want to find tickets for the best European tour travel dates which would be some time in the summer, so basically between the months of June and September. These are the months that most bands go on tour any way, but not only that, the outdoor concerts are going to be more comfortable and you won’t have to worry so much about rain and other bad weather.

Once you have figured out what the best time is going to be for you to go to a concert now it is just a matter of you finding the tickets. Bear in mind that especially with the popular singers and bands, tickets are going to sell fast and so you really can’t waste time here. As soon as you hear that the band is going on tour, you are then going to want to coordinate the best European tour travel dates with the available concert dates, and choose the right one for you.

There are a lot of people out there who have not gone to a concert before, and this is something that everyone should experience at least once. Even if you listen all the time to your favorite music on the radio, it just does not even remotely compare to how you would feel if you got to go see your favorite band in concert.

That combined with the fact that as long as you shop at the right places you can get tickets for cheap, and this is something that you should definitely do.

Author by linkroll

How to Find a European Tour Guide

Travelling through Europe can be a wonderful experience; it can also be a little overwhelming to take behind everything in. that’s why it’s important to find a European tour guide that will help you to see the history the beautiful sights in digestible amounts.

There are plenty of ways to book a European tour, this can be done in advance or while you are actually in a specific place. It all depends on what kind of traveler you are and how flexible you would like your schedule to be.

Flexibility

If you would like to have leisurely holiday then you need to find a European tour guide that will cater to your needs. A big group tour will likely be stressful at points and you may not have time to enjoy all the sights as you are running on the schedule of a group rather than your own time.

The downside of choosing a private tour for a small group is that the expense will be a lot more than if you went along with a group. A good compromise is to find a European tour guide that will operate in manageable groups so that things are not too rushed.

On The Spot Tours

If you don’t like the idea of booking things advance and are not sure of where to find a European tour guide then wait till you get to your destination. There are often many tour companies who are ready to take on people at popular tourist sites. You might also be able to find a European tour guide through your hotel. Be friendly with the staff and see if they have any sites or tours that they recommend.

The local tourist information center is also a good place to find a European tour guide. You will also be able to hear about interesting sites that may be left off your guide book or that you may not have considered visiting. The advantage of not booking a tour in advance is that you will be able to change your schedule at the last minute.

However if you have a limited amount of time then find a European tour guide before you step on the plane. Online travel forums can be helpful in recommending good tours. This will help take some of the stress that comes with traveling. So decide based on the amount of time you have and what type of holiday you would like.

How to Find a European Tour Guide

Travelling through Europe can be a wonderful experience; it can also be a little overwhelming to take behind everything in. that’s why it’s important to find a European tour guide that will help you to see the history the beautiful sights in digestible amounts.

There are plenty of ways to book a European tour, this can be done in advance or while you are actually in a specific place. It all depends on what kind of traveler you are and how flexible you would like your schedule to be.

Flexibility

If you would like to have leisurely holiday then you need to find a European tour guide that will cater to your needs. A big group tour will likely be stressful at points and you may not have time to enjoy all the sights as you are running on the schedule of a group rather than your own time.

The downside of choosing a private tour for a small group is that the expense will be a lot more than if you went along with a group. A good compromise is to find a European tour guide that will operate in manageable groups so that things are not too rushed.

On The Spot Tours

If you don’t like the idea of booking things advance and are not sure of where to find a European tour guide then wait till you get to your destination. There are often many tour companies who are ready to take on people at popular tourist sites. You might also be able to find a European tour guide through your hotel. Be friendly with the staff and see if they have any sites or tours that they recommend.

The local tourist information center is also a good place to find a European tour guide. You will also be able to hear about interesting sites that may be left off your guide book or that you may not have considered visiting. The advantage of not booking a tour in advance is that you will be able to change your schedule at the last minute.

However if you have a limited amount of time then find a European tour guide before you step on the plane. Online travel forums can be helpful in recommending good tours. This will help take some of the stress that comes with traveling. So decide based on the amount of time you have and what type of holiday you would like.

Best Southern California Surf Spots

California is chock full of great surf spots from San Diego to Orange County. Here are a few of the best spots in San Diego and North County. Make sure you check out one of these awesome surfing beaches next time you’re in Southern California, you won’t regret it. Blacks Beach: This beach located in the northern part of La Jolla is actually known far and wide as one of the best surf breaks in the entire country. People flock from various corners of America to get a piece of the action all year round, but this is not for the faint at heart. The water is rough, the hike down is a bit of a challenge, and the cliffs have falling rocks on a regular basis. Windansea: This is another of the famous San Diego surf spots. People don’t surf here as much as they once did though. This beach became popular in the sixties for its historical significance in the progressive surf movement. Many of the most famous surfers got their beginnings at Windansea. Beacon’s: Though it might be a bit of a challenge to get here because of the steep cliffs guarding the coast, this beach in Leucadia makes for a great day of surfing. Anyway, the steep steps do not stop the surfers from getting their daily fix. The beach itself is pretty rocky and it doesn’t make much of a case for sunbathers, but the surf is awesome. Grandview: This is one of the more popular surf spots located in Leucadia. If you plan on sunbathing a bit, you might find yourself squashed between the cliffs and the seaweed during high tide, but the majority of the beachgoers spend their time in the water so this doesn’t pose much of a problem. San Elijo State Beach: Located in Encinitas, this state beach and campground is beautiful, easily accessible and has a great surf break. This isn’t the best place for novices because of the reef, but it can pose an interesting challenge for the adventurous.

If you head to the heart of San Diego, there are many other intermediate surf spots in Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach, CA, as well as plenty of places to stay along the coast. Be sure to stop by one of these great beaches on your next trip out to the west coast. And be warned, many people who come for a vacation never look back.

About the Author: Ryan Frank

Best Southern California Surf Spots

California is chock full of great surf spots from San Diego to Orange County. Here are a few of the best spots in San Diego and North County. Make sure you check out one of these awesome surfing beaches next time you’re in Southern California, you won’t regret it. Blacks Beach: This beach located in the northern part of La Jolla is actually known far and wide as one of the best surf breaks in the entire country. People flock from various corners of America to get a piece of the action all year round, but this is not for the faint at heart. The water is rough, the hike down is a bit of a challenge, and the cliffs have falling rocks on a regular basis. Windansea: This is another of the famous San Diego surf spots. People don’t surf here as much as they once did though. This beach became popular in the sixties for its historical significance in the progressive surf movement. Many of the most famous surfers got their beginnings at Windansea. Beacon’s: Though it might be a bit of a challenge to get here because of the steep cliffs guarding the coast, this beach in Leucadia makes for a great day of surfing. Anyway, the steep steps do not stop the surfers from getting their daily fix. The beach itself is pretty rocky and it doesn’t make much of a case for sunbathers, but the surf is awesome. Grandview: This is one of the more popular surf spots located in Leucadia. If you plan on sunbathing a bit, you might find yourself squashed between the cliffs and the seaweed during high tide, but the majority of the beachgoers spend their time in the water so this doesn’t pose much of a problem. San Elijo State Beach: Located in Encinitas, this state beach and campground is beautiful, easily accessible and has a great surf break. This isn’t the best place for novices because of the reef, but it can pose an interesting challenge for the adventurous.

If you head to the heart of San Diego, there are many other intermediate surf spots in Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and Pacific Beach, CA, as well as plenty of places to stay along the coast. Be sure to stop by one of these great beaches on your next trip out to the west coast. And be warned, many people who come for a vacation never look back.

About the Author: Ryan Frank

How a Vacation Rental Can Make Your Travel Worthwhile and Affordable

Even with the tough economic crunch, nothing is stopping people from packing their bags and enjoying some little sunshine in the tropics or skiing their woes away in Aspen. While the cost is a primary concern among many, they find that opting for a vacation rental alleviates a wide-range of travel dramas. So just what makes this travel accommodation special? Here are a few simple benefits that might hook you into choosing one for your next getaway.

Abundance

There is no shortage of vacation rental. If you're planning to travel anywhere in the country, it will be impossible not to find a property owner that offers a rental in an area you choose. This makes holiday rentals quite easy to access. Their fortunate ubiquity is the product of the increasing popularity of the rental industry fueled by another factor: affordable real estate.

Location

And because vacation rentals are prevalent in any part of the country, the world eve, this makes it easier to find a specific property in a travel hotspot. Rental investors typically pick locations that get significant rate of visits from travelers; and since you're their demographic, you’ll find it easy to spot a holiday rental in your planned destination.

These properties are also too often strategically located to provide renters easy access to some of the most exciting tourist spots in their destination. This in turn will cut transportation expenses that usually run the bill during vacations.

Features

These properties are home themselves. What you find in your home will most likely be present in them. From the sofa to the bed to the kitchen appliances, almost everything will be included in these properties. Not only that. Many property owners who cater to upscale travelers equip their properties with top-notch amenities the set it apart from the rest.

You’ll luxury options quite alluring with their home theater system, lavish pools and state-of-the-art kitchen. And speaking of kitchens, you don’t have to worry about expensive restaurant dining because most, if not all, rental properties have a well-equipped kitchen.

Privacy

Hotels and other travel accommodations also offer a level of privacy for their customers. In a vacation property, however, there is no staff to bother you, no children running around the hallways, or busy lobbies. You can enjoy full temporary ownership of the home without the bothersome aspect of hotel accommodation.

Yet while a vacation rental may seem perfect, it isn’t without flaws. Its lack of staff means you have to pay for after-care or clean the property yourself before you leave, depending on your arrangement with the owner. But that is a small price to pay with a travel accommodation that is a vacation unto itself.

by Mark Michael Ferrer

How a Vacation Rental Can Make Your Travel Worthwhile and Affordable

Even with the tough economic crunch, nothing is stopping people from packing their bags and enjoying some little sunshine in the tropics or skiing their woes away in Aspen. While the cost is a primary concern among many, they find that opting for a vacation rental alleviates a wide-range of travel dramas. So just what makes this travel accommodation special? Here are a few simple benefits that might hook you into choosing one for your next getaway.

Abundance

There is no shortage of vacation rental. If you're planning to travel anywhere in the country, it will be impossible not to find a property owner that offers a rental in an area you choose. This makes holiday rentals quite easy to access. Their fortunate ubiquity is the product of the increasing popularity of the rental industry fueled by another factor: affordable real estate.

Location

And because vacation rentals are prevalent in any part of the country, the world eve, this makes it easier to find a specific property in a travel hotspot. Rental investors typically pick locations that get significant rate of visits from travelers; and since you're their demographic, you’ll find it easy to spot a holiday rental in your planned destination.

These properties are also too often strategically located to provide renters easy access to some of the most exciting tourist spots in their destination. This in turn will cut transportation expenses that usually run the bill during vacations.

Features

These properties are home themselves. What you find in your home will most likely be present in them. From the sofa to the bed to the kitchen appliances, almost everything will be included in these properties. Not only that. Many property owners who cater to upscale travelers equip their properties with top-notch amenities the set it apart from the rest.

You’ll luxury options quite alluring with their home theater system, lavish pools and state-of-the-art kitchen. And speaking of kitchens, you don’t have to worry about expensive restaurant dining because most, if not all, rental properties have a well-equipped kitchen.

Privacy

Hotels and other travel accommodations also offer a level of privacy for their customers. In a vacation property, however, there is no staff to bother you, no children running around the hallways, or busy lobbies. You can enjoy full temporary ownership of the home without the bothersome aspect of hotel accommodation.

Yet while a vacation rental may seem perfect, it isn’t without flaws. Its lack of staff means you have to pay for after-care or clean the property yourself before you leave, depending on your arrangement with the owner. But that is a small price to pay with a travel accommodation that is a vacation unto itself.

by Mark Michael Ferrer

Luxury Family Vacation in India

It will not be hyperbolic to say that India -the land of hospitality is the haven for tourism. The range of tourism opportunities is as varied as the culture of the land. From adventure tourism to heritage and culture tourism, monsoon tourism to medical tourism, wild life tourism to beach tourism, to add more monument tourism and hill station tourism, India has every thing in it’s platter for everyone and as the proverb runs the beauty lies in variety.

Travelers from all around the world visit India and their taste and preferences vary. Some look for adventure tours while others are fond of the serene beaches. Wildlife is thing of interest for some while others enjoy mountaineering and there ate large number of tourists who are here for an exotic luxury vacation. The luxury tourist spots are aplenty across the length and breadth of the country. While there are places like Jaipur and Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, down the south Kovalam do the needful. Goa is one of the favorite tourist spots famous for its beaches.

Whenever one speaks of royal luxury Rajasthan tops the list. The Pink city as it called is a hot favorite among tourists looking for luxury vacations. The city boasts of many palace hotels, Raj Mahal Palace, Sawai Man Singh Palace, Alsisar Haveli, Samode Palace & Haveli, Ram Bagh Palace, Umaid Mahal, etc are some of famous heritage hotels of Jaipur city. These hotels offer world-class living experience and the royal touch only adds to the charm. While there are other wonderful locations such as City Palace, Jantar Mantra, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal.

Udaipur claims to be a strong rival in the genre of luxury tourism because it is too one of the most visited places. This city of lakes has royal romance in it’s airs and the beautiful City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Fateh Prakash Palace, Pichola Lake, Udai Sagar Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand Lake, etc are there only to augment its attraction. One heritage hotel that deserves special mention is the heritage palace hotel named the Lake Palace. Udaipur reveals it’s essentially Indian beauty in the most graceful avatar.

Fun, frolic and fenny breathtakingly beautiful beaches, elegant churches, resort hotels all are accumulated in a small state called Goa. Goa has its own place in Indian luxury tourism map for it has defined luxury in its own terms. While world-class accommodation leaves no room for discomfort exciting nightlife at beaches only add to the popularity. Goa has always been favorite among the honeymooning couples.

Here down the south there is a rival for Goa and it is Kovalam whose renown is world spread mainly because for it’s Ayurvedic resorts, Spa resorts and luxurious hotels amidst unspoilt nature .The place offers an wonderful retreat for the honeymooners .The romanticism rules the land and the air. The picturesque beauty is only too perfect to pen down.

Apart from the above-described places India has many other tourist destinations. Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kashmir, Agra, is all unique places, which offer a diverse flavour of luxury tourism.

by Jenny Franklin

Luxury Family Vacation in India

It will not be hyperbolic to say that India -the land of hospitality is the haven for tourism. The range of tourism opportunities is as varied as the culture of the land. From adventure tourism to heritage and culture tourism, monsoon tourism to medical tourism, wild life tourism to beach tourism, to add more monument tourism and hill station tourism, India has every thing in it’s platter for everyone and as the proverb runs the beauty lies in variety.

Travelers from all around the world visit India and their taste and preferences vary. Some look for adventure tours while others are fond of the serene beaches. Wildlife is thing of interest for some while others enjoy mountaineering and there ate large number of tourists who are here for an exotic luxury vacation. The luxury tourist spots are aplenty across the length and breadth of the country. While there are places like Jaipur and Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, down the south Kovalam do the needful. Goa is one of the favorite tourist spots famous for its beaches.

Whenever one speaks of royal luxury Rajasthan tops the list. The Pink city as it called is a hot favorite among tourists looking for luxury vacations. The city boasts of many palace hotels, Raj Mahal Palace, Sawai Man Singh Palace, Alsisar Haveli, Samode Palace & Haveli, Ram Bagh Palace, Umaid Mahal, etc are some of famous heritage hotels of Jaipur city. These hotels offer world-class living experience and the royal touch only adds to the charm. While there are other wonderful locations such as City Palace, Jantar Mantra, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal.

Udaipur claims to be a strong rival in the genre of luxury tourism because it is too one of the most visited places. This city of lakes has royal romance in it’s airs and the beautiful City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Fateh Prakash Palace, Pichola Lake, Udai Sagar Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand Lake, etc are there only to augment its attraction. One heritage hotel that deserves special mention is the heritage palace hotel named the Lake Palace. Udaipur reveals it’s essentially Indian beauty in the most graceful avatar.

Fun, frolic and fenny breathtakingly beautiful beaches, elegant churches, resort hotels all are accumulated in a small state called Goa. Goa has its own place in Indian luxury tourism map for it has defined luxury in its own terms. While world-class accommodation leaves no room for discomfort exciting nightlife at beaches only add to the popularity. Goa has always been favorite among the honeymooning couples.

Here down the south there is a rival for Goa and it is Kovalam whose renown is world spread mainly because for it’s Ayurvedic resorts, Spa resorts and luxurious hotels amidst unspoilt nature .The place offers an wonderful retreat for the honeymooners .The romanticism rules the land and the air. The picturesque beauty is only too perfect to pen down.

Apart from the above-described places India has many other tourist destinations. Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Mumbai, Kashmir, Agra, is all unique places, which offer a diverse flavour of luxury tourism.

by Jenny Franklin

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?


Nothing.


The San Francisco SPCA & Macy's join together every holiday season to give homeless dogs and cats a warm and loving home. Holiday shoppers come from all over the world to see the amazing window displays that Macy's creates for these precious animals.

I used to get really sad watching hundreds of people glaring at these little animals and taking photos. Then I spoke with my neighbor who has been volunteering this year. She said that over 200 animals have already been adopted.

All cats and dogs up for adoption have been medically screened, vaccinated, micro-chipped and spayed or neutered. SPCA representatives are at Macy’s while the pets are on display to answer questions from anyone interested in pet adoption.



Here is a link to view the adoptable cats and dogs from three live webcams. Sooo cute!

Holiday shoppers can catch a glimpse of some of San Francisco's cutest animals in the Macy's windows at Stockton and O'Farrell Street through January 3, 2010.

And, if you can't make it, give the best holiday gift by donating to the SPCA here, or the local San Francisco shelter that puts the Macy's window together here.

Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale

This weekend San Francisco hosts the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale at Fort Mason. I've never attended one before, so I thought I'd check it out! Great to support small businesses during this holiday season.

There were over 150 vendors selling everything from jewelry and clothing, to ceramics and stationery.

I love the beautiful paper products by Diva Pyari at Linea Carta. Diva grew up in the fashion industry in California, later living in the north of Italy, and all along practicing new forms of craft; painting, printing, jewelry-making, clothing design, graphic design and calligraphy.

Love these cards. Original illustration and hand-lettering, individually screenprinted by the artist.

Beautiful linen "Under the Sea" calendar...

There were a ton of folks flocked around this booth. Ex Libris Anonymous creates one-of-a-kind journals that are all made from recycled book covers.

Since I love typography, the Ork Posters line intrigued me. Their neighborhood posters have wonderful graphics.

Each poster features a map of the area, with each neighborhood listed in beautifully twisted typography.

But, of course, San Francisco...

Recession Clothing. What an apropos name. Recession Clothing started in 2007, in the midst of the economic downturn, with the belief that it’s time to go "small."

Each piece of clothing is meticulously made in small studio in West Oakland, California. I'm kind of loving their Heather Snap Neck Dress. What a great layering piece.


What's a day at a craft fair without some sweet treats? P.O.P. Candy's booth was brimming with shoppers. Their yummy handmade brittle is delivered fresh from Santa Monica, California.

But of course, I purchased 3 bags; the traditional mixed nut P.O.P. mix, Rosemary Almond, and Pecan Butter Crunch. Yummy. One bag eaten so far...(no...not just by me...)


And finally, San Francisco-based 3 Fish Studios. Husband and wife team Annie Galvin and Eric Rewitzer are gifted painters and printmakers. They carry an amazing array of original paintings, digital prints and postcards.

Their 49 Mile Drive Series caught my eye. Each of these 8×10 paintings is individually painted on canvas by Annie Galvin.

The 49 Mile Scenic Drive signs are recognized by San Franciscans, and highlight many of the city's major attractions and historic structures. I see the signs every day, but I've never done the full "tour" drive.

Well, I couldn't resist purchasing one for my office. This is the lovely Annie holding my newest addition!

If you can't make it to the craft fair, all of the vendors I've mentioned have online shops. The links are below.

Thanks for joining me at my first craft fair!