Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort

Globe trotters unite. Have you heard of the Maldives Island Resort of Gili Lankanfushi? This 5-star resort is set on the private tropical island of Lankanfushi in the Malé Atoll, one of the 19 atolls that stretch over 800 kilometers through the Indian Ocean. It is one of the 1190 islands that make up the Maldives. This particular coral island is in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the gleaming water. Now is as good a time as any to slow down, appreciate the abounding marine life and wholeheartedly embrace their mantra of: “No News, No Shoes.”  Sign me up!

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Images via Maldives Resort: Gili Lankanfushi

St. Helena, California

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I walked along a sunshine trail. That kind of path one falls upon, easily and joyfully, with light wind at your back and warmth all around. St. Helena is an in-the-moment kind of place. One with exquisite weather, abundance of nature and where wine tastings abound.

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I recommend wandering over to Whitehall Lane Winery. This family-owned Napa Valley outpost offers tastings of their finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Reserve wine. Our effervescent host, Chandler, took his time by sharing tidbits of Whitehall’s history, answering our questions and ultimately turning a usual Cab drinker (me) into a bonafide fan of Whitehall Lane’s Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc.

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Throughout our day in a piece of paradise, among barrels of French and American oak, we learned all sorts of new wine facts. One diddy stood out for its fun name, Brix. This measurement of the sugar content of grapes is the degree of the grapes’ ripeness at harvest. Most table-wine grapes are harvested at between 21 and 25 Brix. Wine and science, how can you go wrong? You can’t! A day spent in St. Helena is a day well spent.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham

Seattle Art Museum: “City Dwellers”

Experiencing life in Bali inspired me to discover Hindu mythology. As a result, I’ve gone down a path of knowledge of all things India. Along the way I learned about the Seattle Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India. Sculptures and photography by contemporary Indian artists capture an array of diverse ideas within Bollywood movie culture, politics and religious traditions. The exhibition is a tribute to the influences on Indian society and many works are shaped by popular movie culture and the use of digital technology by the conventions of religious ritual and street processions, traditional theater and dance.

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I have never been to Seattle, so this is yet another reason I am going to get myself there between August 30th and mid-February while the colorful, contradictory and complex India shines a light.

Image via Seattle Art Museum

Snapshots from Sausalito

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I spent part of this past weekend in Sausalito, just a 25 minute ferry ride from San Francisco. It is a place of real energy, where you can feel the high vibes of people living out their destiny. Some day I’ll be back for something more than a simple sojourn…but today I am here to share with you, to suggest you skip on over to Sausalito as soon as possible.

Image Credits: Jenny Graham

Urban Cowboy

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Home on the range…in New York City. Urban Cowboy is a luxury bed and breakfast townhouse and Adirondack style cabin in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg ‘hood. Four bedrooms, a spacious open kitchen, pot belly stoves, and beautifully exposed brick await you.

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In the backyard you’ll spy the cabin, which boasts an eight person hot tub as well as an outdoor sitting area. The Cowboy behind the creation is Lyon Porter. He bought the place and transformed it into the authentic, engaging oasis that it is today. 

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Your options begin with The Dream Catcher at $100 a night to the entire B&B for $2,000 a night. Giddy up!

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Images via Urban Cowboy

 

Santorini, Greece

A few years ago I spent part of the Fall into Winter season in Santorini with three of my most cherished friends. I blogged a bit about it, but fell into a fountain of memories this week after coming across a file of photos, from a real camera, no less! The power of color and nature are captured in these snapshots from a balcony by the sea.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham

The Graham & Co.

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This naturally caught my eye as my last name is Graham. I clicked and looked and now I am hooked. The Graham & Co. is a hip and luxurious hideaway hotel in the Catskills, a two and a half hour drive from New York City. The founders are a group of creatives from Brooklyn who revamped an old motel into a design lover’s oasis.

graham stoolsClean lines and simple, smart details make up the beautiful rooms. Amenities are reminiscent of summer camp with free bikes, campfires, tubes in a pool and 80’s inspired lounge chairs. The Graham & Co. knows the recipe of fun.

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Let’s all wash away our work week with this affordable, hip gateway to playtime. Hey, they even give you a beer upon check-in. Cheers!

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Images via The Graham & Co.

Born To Be Wild

Growing up, my Dad drove my brothers and me on hundreds of family camping and vacation trips. Every single journey began with the tapping of his hands on a wheel of a Ford wagon while belting acapella: Get your motor running / Head out on the highway / Looking for adventure / And whatever comes our way. Then and now he lives by example of always expressing a confident voice…always chatting up the stranger…always letting the freak flag fly…always choosing to live at the edge. It’s in my blood, and I love it. Of all of the countries I’ve traversed thus far in 2014, Iceland and Indonesia are the anchors of the beacons of living on the edge.

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“The Edge. There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” – Hunter S. Thompson

The Bulgari Resort

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The Bulgari Resort stands atop a Balinese cliff like a medieval fortress town, walled and secret. Each villa has its own garden, pool and outdoor living room that looks over the Indian Ocean. The construction of each piece of this luxury resort respects local techniques. Each stone is cut and chiseled on site by hand. This attention to detail is simply the beginning for my friends and I were lucky enough to witness all of the jeweled glory as we sat beside the ocean for a cocktail before strolling the property, eventually dining at the incredible Sangkar Restaurant. A rare gem, the resort is a divine experience.

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 We took an unknown path that paid off in major vacation moments.

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After small bites and cocktails, lounging cliffside by the pool, the only reasonable thing to do was to taste a five star meal under a full moon, of course! Day or night, the power of the stillness of this rock by the Indian Ocean is a feeling I will remember for a long time to come.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham

SEKAA TARI KECAK {ULUWATU, BALI}

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A weeknight adventure in Bali is the Kecak Ramayana and Fire Dance in Uluwatu. My friends and I didn’t plan on attending, but our pal at the jewel of all luxury resorts recommended the ancient ritual dance on the Island of the Gods. Why not? Upon entering Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of Bali’s sacred directional temples protecting the island from evil spirits in the Southwest, we were given special sashes and sarongs to wear and ward off any evil influences.

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There were moments I felt as if I were back in college, sitting within Shakespeare’s Globe, for the performance is an absolute spectator sport.

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Throughout the evening, leading up to Sita’s reunion with her husband, Rama, the energy was palpable. An unforgettable dance of life alongside the Indian Ocean as it broke against an Indonesian cliff at sunset. I’m telling you, kids, you must go to Bali. For more on the Kecak dance story, click here.

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Image Credits: Jenny Graham