ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Miami, Mi Amor

By | Art, Culture, Events, Fashion, Florida Finds, Interior Design, Real Estate, Travel

An ode to our vibrant city’s many charms and its new chapter.

Miami is my home. It’s where I grew up, received my education, discovered my career, built my business, raised my family and invested my time and energy into the community. I’m not alone. People have been seduced by its charms going back to early settlers at the turn of the 20th century. They love to vacation here, too, and attend tony events like Art Basel, but many are just discovering our best-kept secret—that it’s also a great place to live and work. Florida has been one of the fastest-growing states for years, and the pandemic has compounded the trend, especially in South Florida.

Every day I hear about a new company, celebrity or mogul relocating to Miami, or at least strongly considering it. Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about collaborating with big tech and startups to establish headquarters or open satellite offices here. He even exchanged words with Elon Musk, who’s already put down roots in the Sunshine State with his SpaceX program.

Goldman Sachs is also scouting South Florida to potentially relocate its asset management arm. The firm’s openness to leaving Manhattan makes sense with the shift to WFH, which should continue post-pandemic for reasons beyond saving significant costs in leasing office space. Other factors for saying, “Yes,” to Florida are our residents’ tremendous wealth; tax incentives including no state taxes, and gorgeous weather to cater to clients on the golf course. It’s really kind of a dream situation for Goldman Sachs.

As an entrepreneur, I can also vouch that Florida offers a favorable climate for businesses of all kinds. Miami attracts a lot of people who are company founders and work for themselves. I always enjoy hearing my clients’ stories about how they worked hard and would like to enjoy the good life now but still stay in the game. The city was built on this independent spirit from visionary developers to the large population of Cubans who came here to be free and flourish.

Besides Miami’s professional opportunities, people are pleasantly surprised about how family-friendly it has become. There are numerous private schools to nurture every child’s personal needs and interests, and several of our neighborhoods offer coveted, A-rated public schools that parents strive to enroll their children.

Local institutions foster our young minds, too. In addition to the new Frost Museum of Science, our plentiful art museums, botanical gardens and even shopping districts provide regular kids’ programming. Sports and an all-around active lifestyle are very accessible to all ages. Indoor and outdoor soccer fields, skating rinks, private and public clubs for sailing, swimming, rowing, tennis and golf, and abundant parks and nature preserves are available to our kids.

Healing nature is just one key element in our growing wellness scene. New residents soon learn that Miami shed its party stereotype a while ago. They partake in yoga and meditation classes and dine on plant-based cuisine at stunningly beautiful wellness centers like The Sacred Space in Wynwood; run and bike Miami Beach’s lengthy beach path, and grab paddle boards and kayaks for a day on the water. Being outdoors is rejuvenating, especially now, and Miami excels in this advantage.

These are only some of my brief initial thoughts on why we’re a hot spot now. And I didn’t even touch on all of our incredible culture. There’s so much to love.

 

Happy New Year

By | Uncategorized

A note on our fresh start and what I’ve learned.

To let you settle into the new year, I’m just getting around to my first post of 2021. I’ve read many insightful thoughts on this new beginning like no other in our lifetimes from some of the most brilliant minds. There’s a lot to chew on, yet it’s difficult to put into words our unprecedented experience of a pandemic and how we got there in the first place. Let’s just say, we were living on the edge in so many ways. I’m treating it like a priceless lesson, an ultimate wake-up call if you will, in how to balance life, always see the silver lining and make the most of our time here on this beautiful planet. Among many life-changing epiphanies, I’d like to share some themes that have been on my mind.

Wanderlust vs. Homebody
Travel is part of my profession. It was how I built my brand and got to make so many friendships all over the world. It was a big deal for my personal growth, too, such as learning about incredibly talented architects, artists and entrepreneurs whose enriching knowledge I shared with my clients and team members in the spirit of “pay it forward.” It’s one of my main passions, so not being able to travel was disheartening to say the least.
Without much choice, I did a 180 and turned the journey inward instead of outward. Then something magical happened. As is the case with most things in life, we often overlook what’s right in front of us. I started to enjoy my home, which I had worked so hard for and never really had the time to appreciate. I nested with my fiancé Rich and actually looked around for once at our good fortune, our sanctuary in a booming city. We cooked, read and watched movies, and I even started baking again to the delight of my grandkids. After so many years on the road, it feels good to reconnect with my home life and recharge for when travel resumes. I’ll be ready to take on the world again without taking my home for granted.

Loneliness is Real
The modern condition of loneliness has been well-documented. Caused by a number of reasons including our addiction to technology, demanding work schedules, and the breakdown of traditional families, loneliness is only going to keep growing unless we do something about it. Despite Rich’s invaluable companionship, I felt lonely in the first few months of the pandemic when I didn’t see anyone else. It made me realize how we’re naturally wired to be social creatures who need each other. Let’s put an end to loneliness by investing in our relationships from our immediate friends and families to our communities at large.

Leadership in Tough Times
I’ve always believed in leading by example, and covid put me to the test. In the beginning of the shutdown when there were so many unknowns, I had to keep the troops together and motivated with a positive outlook and proactive strategy for the shift in spirit—I never doubted the strength of Florida’s real estate market for a second and knew we’d come out on top. We stayed connected from our in-house team to our clients, and this constant checking in got us through dark days. Because we stayed super focused on work, we were prepared when a flood of new buyers showed up on our doorstep. They came from all over and were relieved to work with helpful experts to find their dream homes in a safe haven.

Everlasting Empathy
Covid humbled all of us. No one could escape the fear, and it truly leveled the playing field. We began to see ourselves in our fellow mankind and that we’re all in this together. It showed me that creating a win-win for all of us was the only way to go. I believe that we all developed more empathy for those around us, and hope that this remains long after we’re vaccinated and move on with our lives. Please remember those in need when this trial passes. Just because we have a vaccine doesn’t make problems go away. Consider making a donation, whether your time or resources, to a charity. Even the simple act of being kind goes a long way.

Turn Distress into Destress

By | Uncategorized, Wellness

We’re already been through enough stress this year. Take a deep breath with these tips.

This time of the year can be a particularly stressful time. I know it’s hard to take your mind off of your endless to-do list —the planning, decorations, special meals, entertaining children home from school and trying to get some work done—but self-care should be a priority. We hear this term a lot these days. Maybe it took the pandemic for us to realize how thinly we were stretched and that we need to take a step back and reassess what living the good life truly means. I’ve put together some methods that I use to destress, and I hope that this talk of self-care continues in 2021.

Tammy Fender

Long before organic this and that, wellness pioneer Tammy Fender launched her namesake, holistic spa in West Palm Beach in 2002. It led to her line of plant-based, skin-care products made with all-natural ingredients. Beyond their fantastic results—beauty editors rave about the Epi-Peel micro-exfoliator and facial mask with kaolin clay, spearmint and rosemary—their aromatherapy element like Bulgarian Rose Water tonic is heavenly.

https://www.tammyfender.com/

Gardens

Nature soothes our nerves, even something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. I also enjoy visiting Miami’s many gorgeous green spaces. World-class gardens like Fairchild, the Kampong and Miami Beach Botanical Garden are perfect for safe outings with fresh air and social distancing. They’re also great for families when you need somewhere to take the kids and let them run around.

https://fairchildgarden.org/

https://ntbg.org/gardens/kampong/

http://mbgarden.org/

Calm App

I’m a huge fan of Calm, a wellness app for meditation and other health benefits. Many of us are having trouble sleeping these days, so its ambient music, breathing exercises and nature sounds like soft rain are very helpful in shutting off the noise in our heads at bedtime. You can also relax by watching tranquil videos of nature scenes and instructions for how to stretch, as well as listen to expert-led masterclass programs. Try its complimentary trial and see for yourself.

https://www.calm.com/

Cashmere Travel Set

Speaking of sleep, sometimes it’s nice to take a cat nap. Some people consider it a must during their day. Even if you’re not the napping type, you can still get good use out of Maison de Papillon NY’s Alana cashmere blanket and eye mask set in a convenient travel pouch. Made from pure Mongolian cashmere, it comes in cafe or pewter. It’s the ideal gift for any occasion and travel accessory to take on the plane.

https://www.maisondepapillon.com/product/alana-cashmere-blanket-pouch-set/

ESPA Candles + dōTERRA Essential Oils & Diffusers

No matter where I am, I can turn any setting into a sanctuary with aromatherapy. ESPA’s hand-poured, natural soy wax candles are so soothing that they named one exactly that; its blissful fragrance blends sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense. If you’re looking for something seasonal, their Winter Spice candle combines classic Christmas scents. Wafting the finest essential oils throughout your home or office is at the heart dōTERRA’s home line. I load up on a variety of their scents to supply their chic room diffusers in onyx and marble.

https://us.espaskincare.com/home/candles.list

https://www.doterra.com/US/en

 

Giving Feels Good

By | Holiday

We have so much to celebrate from our health to a new home. Why limit gift giving to the holidays?

We could all use a little extra holiday cheer to lift our spirits this year. Channel your inner-Oprah to go big with gifts for friends and family, neighbors, colleagues, clients and anyone else who brightens your day. In case you’re stumped for ideas, here are some timeless gifts to make it a year-round habit.

Wine & Champagne

Holiday festivities and major celebrations like home closings require popping a good bottle of wine or champagne. Online shop 305 Wines recently opened a brick-and-mortar store in Miami. Its founders also run Florida Wine Academy, so they’ll know exactly what to select for any occasion. They join other premier sources like Fort Lauderdale’s Wine Watch and Palm Beach’s Virginia Philip.

https://305wines.com/

https://www.winewatch.com/

https://virginiaphilipwineandspirits.com/

Haute Housewares

We’re also blessed with endless options for luxury home items here, and the diverse selection accommodates every look from minimalism to beach chic. Here are a few of my favorite boutiques including Mrs. Mandolin in Buena Vista, Violetas in Coral Gables and Brickell, and Matilda’s Home in Stuart. You can’t go wrong with this classic decanter from Tiffany’s either.

https://mrsmandolin.com/

https://violetashomedesign.com/

http://www.matildaslifestyle.com/

https://www.tiffany.com/accessories/barware/diamond-point-conical-decanter-69328466/

Flower Power

A touch of green goes a long way, especially as the days grow shorter. Modern floral design has moved beyond traditional arrangements, such as House of Lilac mompreneur’s Melanie Fernandez’s penchant for interesting blooms like ranunculus and lavender latte-hued Koko Loko roses as well as fillers from exotic grasses to berries. She also offers dried flowers, wreaths, spa gift baskets and tucked-in treats.

https://www.houseoflilac.com/

Beautiful Books

Like the late Karl Lagerfeld, I can never have enough books. I love to leaf through them for inspiration and am always adding to my shelves or buying them as gifts. Premier publishers release buzzy titles around the holidays, and we’re lucky that many of them like Taschen and Assouline have South Florida stores to browse in-person. Books & Books does an outstanding job too.

https://www.assouline.com/

https://www.taschen.com/

https://booksandbooks.com/

Gift Baskets & Boxes

Discovering what’s inside a gift basket or box makes me feel like a kid again, and I love to share that joy. Among the dizzying choices, I tend to support businesses with local ties like the artisanal-geared Sparrow Box Co. founded by two mompreneurs in Jupiter. Sant Ambroeus’s and Amici Market’s holiday assortments are to die for, and Countryside Citrus highlights Indian River’s famed fruit.

https://sparrowboxco.com/collections/corporate-client

https://www.santambroeus.com/holiday-products/

https://www.countrysidecitrus.com/

https://www.amicimarket.com/

 

Giving Thanks

By | Holiday

In an unusual year, there’s still so much to be thankful for this holiday.

Thanksgiving grows more meaningful to me each year. Yes, things are a lot different this time. But no matter our difficult circumstances, I appreciate the holiday’s downtime and being around loved ones—even if it’s just for a day, and even if it’s just an intimate gathering. I’m looking on the bright side of things this holiday season and taking stock of what I’m thankful for.

 

MY FAMILY

I raised my children here, and now they’re raising their children here. Until you live in Miami, you don’t realize what a great place it can be for families. I’m grateful that we’re able to live near each other and not to have to get on a plane or drive for hours to visit. I’m so happy that my children have been able to join me in growing our firm, too. They bring such innovative ideas to the table, and I’m always learning from them. I treasure my time with my grandkids. To watch them grow up is a true luxury. I’m also thankful for my love Rich, who’s my rock and biggest cheerleader.

MY FRIENDS

I’ve made so many friends over the years, and they really keep me going. One of the fascinating things about Miami is that it’s an international crossroads where people come and go for holidays, second homes, stints for work and major annual events like Art Basel and the Wine & Food Festival. Some settle down here for good, too, like my wonderful friends who live in cool areas all over Miami. I also have dear friends across the U.S. and abroad thanks to being part of the Sotheby’s global network. My friends have opened up the world to me, and I look forward to seeing them again in safer times.

MY HEALTH

I’m grateful that we’re living in the grand era of wellness. So much has changed in my lifetime in how we eat, exercise and other self-care routines. We’re living longer and staying active far later into our elderly years. I never take my health for granted and am always striving to push myself from not cheating on my diet to working out regularly with my trainer. We’re so lucky here in Miami to be able to get outside during the winter for a walk, yoga, tennis, paddle boarding and more. It makes fitness fun.

MY CAREER

Setting out as a young woman, I never imagined where I’d be standing today. Whereas some people look at real estate as a job, I’ve worked hard to make it a full-blown career that’s constantly evolving and meeting new challenges. I love its mix of business and people—a balancing act that forces me to see all sides of real estate, whether for a home buyer or seller, developer, architect or colleague. Real estate is incredibly fast-paced and exciting, and Miami is one of the ultimate markets. It’s an honor to be able to contribute.

MY “ONE” TEAM

ONE Sotheby’s couldn’t have achieved year after year of growth and commitment without our team. They’re truly invaluable, and I’m forever grateful for having such dedicated associates, executives and all of the support team members from the marketing department to my right-hand woman, my administrative assistant. As we enter new markets and acquire other firms, we’ve added so many new members over the years. I welcome them to our brand and community and am fascinated by their talents and local insight. They’re an endless source of knowledge and strengthen our network, so we can all be better for our clients.

MY HOMETOWN

Since moving to Miami as a little kid, I have put down roots here. I stayed for college, founded my firm and raised my family here, and have gotten more involved in the community each year through professional and philanthropic engagement. I’ve watched Miami evolve from a small resort city to a major international destination with serious education, architecture and design, arts and culture and innovation from tech to medicine. The city has so much going for it—the blend of nationalities, the gorgeous weather, the natural beauty, the beaches and boating, the sunsets and moonrises. It’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with it and move here.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF YOU!

Home Runs

By | Sports

Women like new Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng are scoring unprecedented positions this year.

Can you hear the roar? From the election to higher education, 2020 is the year of the woman. My heart can’t help but swell up with pride when I hear yet another woman smashing through the glass ceiling. We’ve got U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris heading to the White House, Madeline Pumariega starting her new gig as president of Miami Dade College in January as well, and Daniella Levine Cava being sworn in as the Mayor of Miami-Dade County on November 17. These achievements are all firsts for women, and I have to hand it to Miami for its progress when it comes to inclusion.

There was one other big announcement this year that really hits home for me. As some of you know, my father was an umpire in Cuba. His passion for baseball was very much a part of my childhood, so I’m beyond thrilled that the Miami Marlins just tapped Kim Ng to be the team’s general manager. This is a huge leap for Major League Baseball, as she’s the first woman to hold the position in its history.

Ng, who turned 52 on Tuesday, has spent much of her life involved with the sport. She began her baseball career as an intern with the Chicago White Sox, close to her alma mater, the University of Chicago. Over the next three decades, she’d also work for the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and make it all the way to the role of assistant general manager twice. She spent some time in-house, too, as M.L.B.’s senior vice president of baseball operations.

Passed over time and again for the main managerial position, she never gave up. Her unwavering tenacity, especially in the face of sexism and racism, is what really impresses me and so many others. Michelle Obama to famous female athletes have sent congratulatory messages, among the overwhelming response pouring in from around the world. I love Ng’s statement about achieving this milestone, not only for herself, but for all women with big dreams:

“You can’t be it if you can’t see it. Now you can see it. And so I look forward to hearing all of their stories and just how inspired they are to now pursue a job in sports, a job in baseball and to reach for the stars.”

I also commend Miami Marlins chief executive and part owner Derek Jeter for making team diversity part of his mission. He and Ng already know they work well together during their concurrent time with the Yankees. She’ll also be reunited with other previous colleagues from the Yankees and Dodgers, which will make the transition all the smoother. I look forward to the Marlins home opener on April 1, 2021. Welcome to Miami Kim!

 

Here Comes CasaCuba

By | Culture, Education

An inside look at Florida International University’s new Cuban cultural center and think tank.

I recently sent out an announcement about my joining the board of advisors at CasaCuba, a Cuban cultural institution, community center and think tank at my alma mater Florida International University. There’s so much more to its story that I thought I’d share all the good news.

The concept and space are the first of its kind in the U.S., and I’m so proud that our city is going forward to make this dream happen. When CasaCuba’s new home is completed in 2024, it will be a global destination for Cuban heritage through multiple galleries for exhibitions and a state-of-the-art venue for diverse programming from performances to dances. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in interactive, digital experiences with the latest technology like listening to Cubans’ oral histories. Scholars, business leaders and policymakers will have access to its Cuban Research Institute, a think tank that promotes valuable discussions on where we’ve been and where we’re going, how do we preserve our heritage while addressing our current status and needs. But you don’t have to be Cuban or Cuban-American to benefit from this incredible resource for the whole community. Everyone is invited to learn about Cuban culture and to join in the fun like sipping a cafecito on the front porch.

The dream started five years ago. If you haven’t already participated in one of its interesting programs, I urge you to check out the calendar listing in the link below. Previous happenings include the Orígenes dinner series partnership with FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Contemporary Cuban Literature Circle collaboration with Books & Books, for which Richard Blanco inaugurated by reading an excerpt from his book “The Prince of Los Cocuyos.”

Upcoming virtual events are conversations with Bacardi USA former president and ceo Eduardo Sardiña for the Chaplin lecture series on November 12; and with Juana Valdes for the Contemporary Cuban art series on November 17. Dr. Rafael Rojas, a professor at the College of Mexico who has written extensively about the intellectual and political history of Latin America, speaks for the Briefings on Cuba lecture series on November 19. Tune in for pianist Enrique Chía’s “An Hour Remembering Our Music from My Living Room,” a virtual concert of classic Cuban dance habaneras, criollas and guajiras, on December 6.

I’d also like to congratulate local architect René González whose firm was awarded the commission to design CasaCuba’s brand-new, multimillion-dollar, 57,000-square-foot building. Having taught architecture at FIU decades ago, he called the honor “the most meaningful commission of my architectural career.” The commission is even more impressive considering the level of talent from his competition including the late Zaha Hadid’s London firm and Arquitectonica International based here. González’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest and The New York Times. Among many attributes, he was selected for previous projects that address cultural and environmental factors.

CasaCuba is fortunate to benefit from the involvement of many local organizations and businesses. It received major grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A portion of Bacardi USA’s recent gift of $5 million to FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management expands CasaCuba’s programming. I’m doing my part, too, in offering a $5,000 challenge grant in honor of Give Miami Day on November 19. Please consider lending your support as well to create a home away from home for all Cubans and the community at large.

https://casacuba.fiu.edu/

 

Safe Sanctuary

By | Interior Design

Designing your dream home setting to fit the times.

Even before the pandemic forced most of us to WFH and think twice about leaving the house, I have enjoyed the simple art of nesting. Don’t get me wrong—I love to be out and about meeting clients and colleagues, supporting charities, dining at incredible restaurants and catching an art exhibit or performance—you name it. But I can also be quite the homebody and have always viewed my home as a sanctuary to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones. Our personal spaces have become more important than ever during these challenging circumstances. I’d like to share some design ideas to turn your home into a true oasis too.

Hammock Chair

Perfect for the balcony or backyard, the statement-making Hammock chair is a new collaboration by Miami architect Rene Gonzalez and Italian furniture line Paola Lenti. Its exclusive rope corda comes in several color options and is woven onto a contemporary tubular frame of lacquered stainless steel. Find it at Luminaire’s showrooms in Coral Gables and the Miami Design District.

https://www.luminaire.com/

 

Dale Chihuly for The Rug Company

American artist Dale Chihuly is reimagining his iconic glass sculptures for The Rug Company. The partnership marks the latter’s first time working with a glass artist. The limited-edition, handmade collection features several of his key motifs such as the Rosette (pictured here), Pheasant and Poplar, among others. A large selection of sizes is available, too, a bonus for his many fans and collectors.

https://www.therugcompany.com/us/designers/chihuly/?utm_source=Surface+Magazine&utm_campaign=60fd8bfcf3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_22_09_49&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_21320f497d-60fd8bfcf3-395803985

B&B Italia

For its Florida foray, a stunning, 10,000-square-foot flagship in the Miami Design District, B&B Italia decided to do something different. It’s the company’s first showroom that combines shopping in person with digital enhancements. It dubbed this “physical meets digital experience” as “phygital.” Customers are greeted by a massive videowall that displays collections before customizing pieces through smaller screens and swatch books.

https://www.bebitalia.com/en

Design Dose

You just never know what you’re going to find on Design Dose, Surface magazine’s new e-commerce platform for one-off pieces and other limited-edition items from fashion to home décor to artworks. One day it might be Peg Woodworking’s Satet Bench in ash wood and woven cotton cord by a woman-founded firm in Brooklyn or Issey Miyake’s origami-inspired Bao Bao Prism Frost tote.

https://www.surfacemag.com/design-dose/

 

Frette

I’m obsessed with Frette linens. Understanding that we could all use some extra tranquility this year, its fall collection favors calming colors like celadon green and powder pink. New items also include Luxury Lozenge throw pillows with a tone-on-tone argyle pattern in a cotton silk blend and Lotus Flower embroidered sheet sets in cotton sateen. Build your dream bed via the web site’s new virtual styling studio and sleep well.

https://www.frette.com/en_US/homepage

Latin Love

By | Culture

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates a growing part of America.

With everything going on this year, I’d like to take a moment to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month. As a Cuban immigrant who’s spent most of my life in a city full of other Latin-American immigrants, this relatively new celebration of my people means a lot to me. I say relatively new because despite Hispanics having lived in America for centuries, it wasn’t until 1968 that Hispanic Heritage Week was initiated, and another 20 years until its current, month-long iteration was signed into law. The celebration’s unusual mid-month dates of September 15 to October 15 were chosen to honor the time frame when many Latin American countries earned their independence in the 1800s.

As of last year, more than 60 million Hispanics live in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s nearly 20 percent of the total population, and we’re the fastest-growing demographic too. Like many of them, my family came here with nothing. One of my most vivid memories is accompanying my mother as she cleaned offices when we started out fresh. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work hard and achieve the American dream. I think of all the Hispanics who paved the way, incredible people like the civil rights activist Cesar Chavez who fought for Latino farmworkers’ rights, so we’d one day have Sonia Sotomayor, a daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, serve as the first Hispanic and Latina on the Supreme Court. The Mexican writer, advocate and former Goldman Sachs vp Julissa Arce really captures this journey in her bestselling autobiography, “My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive.” I’m also proud of my hometown’s Hispanics done good from husband-and-wife music makers Gloria and Emilio Estefan to Danielle Corona, who just made fashion bible Women’s Wear Daily’s “7 Latinx designers to watch this season” for her Hunting Season designer accessories collection. This month is about celebrating their achievements along with the history of everyone before them.

To hear about more fascinating figures, the National Park Service created a portal (link below) for “Telling All Americans’ Stories,” including those of Hispanics and Latinos. As part of the celebration, Smithsonian American Art Museum premieres “¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now.” Comprised of 120 works, it’s the first exhibit that pairs contemporary printmakers and historic civil rights-era prints. Another key event is the 2020 Américas Award Ceremony for Hispanic and Latinx creators of children’s and YA literature on October 12. I just couldn’t be more pleased with all these positive happenings.

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tellingallamericansstories/index.htm

Emilio and Gloria Estefan
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court of the United States
Cesar Chavez 

 

Golden Door Resort & Spa

By | Wellness

California’s Golden Door Resort & Spa is a wellness wonderland.

Sometimes we all need to reboot and tune out the world, and Golden Door has become my go-to wellness resort. Though it’s located on the opposite side of the country—in Southern California between San Diego and Laguna Beach—I don’t mind the travel time. One visit and you’ll see why it’s enchanted not only me but famous faces from Liz Taylor to Oprah since opening in 1958. They, too, entered through its iconic copper and brass doors etched with a Tree of Life symbol. What lies beyond is much different from decades past, however.

A longtime patron bought the 600-acre property in 2012 and commissioned New York interior designer Victoria Hagan and a touted ecological designer to refurbish and enhance its signature Zen look with mature Japanese gardens. They transplanted an olive grove and installed an heirloom produce-filled greenhouse for executive chef Greg Frey’s health-conscious cuisine that also satisfies. (I’ve included links to recipes for his eggplant meatballs and fig jam dot cookies below.)

The tradition of packing light also continues. Whereas guests used to receive pink sweatsuits, affectionately referred to as “pinkies,” upon arrival, they’re now given a full set of workout attire, plus tees, terry-cloth robes and cotton kimonos that are laundered daily.You truly just have to show up, since the package extends to Golden Door skin-care products, a water bottle, journal, tote and yoga mat. Not having to stress about what to pack is my idea of heaven.

These perks along with impeccable service are designed so guests have more time to work on themselves, whether that means digital detoxing or hiking the substantial trail system. I also take Pilates and spin classes; fencing and archery are available for the more adventurous. The fitness menu is a far cry from the days when guests would hula hoop and subject themselves to vibrating weight-loss belts—a vision that reminds me of the exercise class scenes in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Men shouldn’t let the notion of “pink ladies” deter them from enjoying this serene retreat and its abundant activities either. In fact, the annual men’s week has been taking place since 1960.

In addition to the popular, week-long Classic package, they introduced two new programs this fall. For those who overindulged during the shutdown, the Trainer package is the way to go. Guests are paired with their own personal trainers who customize workouts including private boot camp. Because people are connected with nature and mindfulness more now too, the Land and Water package was developed to hike, swim and picnic.

Another really cool thing about this place is that they donate 100% of net profits to charity. Some of the charities that have been benefited are The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Palomar Health Foundation, Safe & Sound, Rady Children’s Hospital and others to help stop child abuse and bring awareness to the cause. What’s not to love?

 

https://goldendoor.com/eggplant-meatball-recipe/

https://goldendoor.com/fig-jam-dot-cookies/