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by Mayi de la Vega

In Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

By | Art, Culture, Dining, Events, Food for thought, Interior Design, Music, Philanthropy, Real Estate, Travel, Uncategorized

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, we’re taking a look at celebrations up and down Florida’s east coast. Enacted into law in 1988, the monthlong observance’s dates were chosen since several Latin American countries’ independence days fall during the same time. There are many ways to explore and appreciate Latinx heritage, so read on for more details.

Arturo Sandoval Live

Multi-Grammy-winning, Cuban American trumpeter and composer Arturo Sandoval performs his biopic “For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story” live in concert with the Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra at the Arsht Center on October 1 with a VIP after party. HBO’s freedom tale has been digitally remastered for the big screen.
arshtcenter.org

Known as the gateway to Latin America, the dynamic city of Miami is constantly evolving with the influx of new residents, visitors, businesses and brands from all over the world. There’s always something new and exciting to try, whether a starchitect-designed space, museum exhibit or hot restaurant. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Morningside | Wynwood – Midtown

Pompano Beach Cultural Center

Pompano Beach Cultural Center is going all out. Its Montage virtual film series screens Miami-based, Ecuadorian director Cinthya Franco’s “Los Colores de Marcia” on September 29. Cuban American opera soprano Eglise Gutiérrez and pianist Luis Urbina perform “An Evening of Spanish Romances, Zarzuelas, and Grand Opera Arias” on October 15.
pompanobeacharts.org

Located along the Atlantic Ocean in Broward County’s northeast corner, Pompano Beach is in the midst of a revival. Its newly renovated amphitheater joins treasured destinations like a namesake fishing pier. Pending additions include the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Pompano Beach and the Bite Eatery food hall. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Pompano Beach

Jacksonville Taco & Tequila Festival

The 2nd annual Jacksonville Taco & Tequila Festival takes over Riverside Park from September 24-25. The benefit for Make-A-Wish, Boys & Girl Club and the Wagoner Foundation features live music on three stages, Mexican fare from dozens of vendors and a curated selection of tequilas to sample. Enjoy a local makers’ market, games and art installations, too.
904happyhour.com

Jacksonville, the largest city geographically in the contiguous U.S., boasts an incredible variety of green spaces and beaches, as well as prime waterfront from the Atlantic Ocean to St. Johns River with its iconic bridges. The city’s vast network of neighborhoods and islands further invites nonstop adventure. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following link.
Jacksonville

Hispanic Heritage Exhibition

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s Johnson History Museum exhibits “Going Places,” a broad look at Hispanic local heroes who have greatly contributed to the region’s various industries such as hospitality, architecture and media, through December 30. It also hosts the Hispanic Heritage Panel Discussion & Reception on September 28.
pbchistory.org

West Palm Beach sits on the mainland directly across from the island of Palm Beach. The growing city has become a destination in its own right for convention and performing art centers, hip restaurants and shopping of all kinds from major brands to vintage wares. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
West Palm Beach | Palm Beach

Viva Brevard Gala & Festival

The Brevard Hispanic Center’s twofold fundraiser features the Viva Brevard Gala at a fine restaurant on October 8, followed by the Viva Brevard Festival at Fred Poppe Regional Park in Palm Bay on October 15. Both offer lots of Latin flair, entertainment, cuisine, a spotlight on local Latinx-owned businesses and, most of all, pride.
aldiatoday.com

 

Though most associated with the Kennedy Space Center, hence its Space Coast nickname, Brevard County offers so much more. Its world-class Brevard Zoo supports animal conservation, while its largest city Palm Bay is known for innovation and growth. Fancy living here? Discover more local details and property listings with the following links.
Indialantic | Melbourne Beach

Salsa & Flamenco

Recently renamed and added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Miami Beach Bandshell hosts a slew of themed performances starting with the Miami Beach Hispanic Heritage Celebration from September 24-25. Take salsa lessons with Melina Almodóvar’s Salsa Orchestra and Salsa Central Dance Studios, and watch Miami-based Ballet Flamenco La Rosa’s “Cielo Y Arena.”
northbeachbandshell.com

Summer Sojourn

By | Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

A RESORT ROUND-UP FOR IMPROMPTU GETAWAYS THIS SEASON

With the incredible number of new luxury resorts popping up around the globe, it’s a great excuse to take a last-minute summer vacation. Here are some gorgeous properties to inspire your travel plans. The hardest part is figuring out which one to visit first. Happy trails.

Stanly Ranch

Rich and I love stealing away to California wine country, so I’m thrilled Auberge Resorts opened another property there just south of downtown Napa. Sprawling across 712 acres, Stanly Ranch is a modernist’s vision of a vineyard and farm. Guests stay in 78 luxury cottages, all of which feature patios with fire pits, and some of which add outdoor showers. Laze about the Lavender Pool ringed with its namesake fragrant plant, spend the day at Halehouse spa (heaven!), and dine on bison tartare, cedar-roasted trout and apricot sorbet at Bear. Upcoming wellness events include the Harvest Sound Bath Workshop on September 10, and locally based Bare Health & Fitness’s retreat from September 24-25.

Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth

Stunning visitors since the Eighties, Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth relaunched after a major renovation designed by David M. Schwarz Architects and Miami’s own Luis Pons Design Lab. The location—an 18-acre, private peninsula straddling Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac beach and lagoon, can’t be beat. The quiet oasis features nearly 70 suites and rooms, where guests have everything out their door from dual swimming pools to Sense spa to an impeccable championship tennis court with a pro on call. After a day of exploring the island, snorkeling, sailing and shopping at resort boutique PomPom Paris, relax at Beach House St. Barth restaurant. Dishes focus on surf ’n’ turf, as well as Italian and French classics including a massive chocolate mousse to share.

I appreciate how each Aman property is breathtakingly unique, yet the brand’s distinct voice links them all together. Patrons have been flocking to Wyoming’s Amangani and Utah’s Amangiri for years, and naturally, I can’t wait for Aman Miami Beach to open in 2024. In the meantime, check in to the recently opened Aman New York, especially during September’s many art and fashion events. Located in the historic Crown Building, Aman carved out 83 suites, a trilevel spa and multiple dining choices including Arva for Italian; Nama, an intimate omakase bar, and the 14th floor’s wraparound terrace with year-round service and dazzling views. Aman fans are also excited about a couple “firsts” for the brand here: private residences and members-only Aman Club.

Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hospitality just announced its 30th hotel worldwide and sixth hotel partnership with RCD Hotels, the first of their collaborations being Nobu Hotel Miami Beach in 2016. Set to open in Tulum, Mexico, the 200-room/suite/villa will also boast 50 beachside residences, Nobu restaurant and a wellness center. Until then, visit Nobu’s inaugural hotel and restaurant in Greece. Perched atop Santorini for maximum views, its 25-rooms/suites/villas feature chic minimalist décor that bridges the brand’s Japanese aesthetic and the region’s traditional design. Hit the nearby Oia to Fira trail to get a good look at a volcano, and book a massage, among in-room spa services, for sore muscles. In addition to Tulum, other pending destinations are Orlando, Fla., Punta Cana in the D.R., Vietnam and Spain (Madrid and San Sebastian). One can now arrange private jet transportation between Nobu Ryokan Malibu and Nobu Hotel Palo Alto, a perk to delight devotees.

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe

Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains’ foothills, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe’s 65-casita retreat celebrates its serene natural setting. Along with deliciously decadent treatments like the Chocolate Truffle Body Wrap, its spa offers interesting wellness outings such as the Equus Experience’s healing power of horses and Journey to Abiquiu’s combination of a smudging ceremony, meditation and hike to Plaza Blanca, whose dramatic hoodoos are forever captured in the paintings of the state’s most famous artist-in-residence Georgia O’Keeffe. The Adventure Center also arranges outdoor activities including fly fishing, hot air balloon rides and whitewater rafting. E-bike tours are available to visit Pacheco Canyon, a supervolcano and other natural attractions. A new complimentary art concierge customizes cultural itineraries to attend the Santa Fe Opera and explore the city’s signature gallery scene. At Terra, guests can try regional cuisine, cowboy steak dinners and the Spanish chef’s native cuisine including  paella at his cooking classes on Wednesdays.

The Ritz-Carlton, Maui, Kapalua

From the moment guests enter The Ritz-Carlton, Maui, Kapalua’s new lobby lanai adorned with Hawaiian heritage and overlooking Honokahua Bay, they understand the level of detail that went into the property’s $100-million makeover. Among 466 rooms and suites, the Fire Lanai Collection’s indoor/outdoor accommodations with extended lanais, hammocks and fire pits to roast a tropical twist on s’mores debut in November. The 10,000-square-foot pool area has been broken up into three zero-edge pools with waterfalls. The concept hails from Maui’s Makaluapuna Point, whose lava rock formations are said to resemble dragon teeth. New luxury cabanas for up to eight guests come with personal attendants, high-tech touches and treats. Numerous restaurants keep foodies busy, while golfers will want to tee off at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course, home of the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions from January 4-8, 2023. (The Ritz-Carlton occupies 54 acres within the 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort.) Take advantage of its Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of Environment program, too; it’s one of only six Ritz-Carltons worldwide to offer these all-ages, eco excursions from snorkeling to coastal walks.

Fresh Beginnings

By | Art, Family, Florida Finds, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

My big and small goals for the brand-new year.

Happy new year, and hope it’s off to a good (and healthy!) start. At the beginning of every year, I like to reflect on the road ahead. Building my business, raising my family and supporting my circle from colleagues to community dominated my life for so long. When we give and give, it takes its toll on us. Self-care has received a lot of attention in the media during the pandemic. It forced people to take a break from the rat race and focus on how they were really living. Many of us weren’t happy with what we saw. I’m reassessing what makes me happy and how to grow as a person. It can be challenging, even scary, but I know from my previous accomplishments that there’s no easy way to create change. I’d like to share my to-do list for 2022 from simple, everyday fixes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve always dreamt of doing.

 

Move More
It’s all about movement for me this year. That may mean a brisk walk outdoors with the bonuses of vitamin D and fresh air, or more rigorous workouts that keep me on my toes so I don’t get bored. Consistency is key if you really want results. I hope to discover some new fun ways to keep my weight in check, strengthen my bones and core and glow from within. Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve mental health, so I definitely would like to incorporate more dancing into my exercise routine. Though you can certainly dance solo anytime, anyway, it’s also a great way to connect with your partner and friends. I just may get my grandkids to join me in a dance-off, too.

The Great Outdoors
I’d like to spend more time outdoors regardless of the activity. I’m going to listen to our ancient ancestors and benefit from nature’s healing powers, a practice that the Japanese refer to as forest bathing. Simply by living in Florida, we’re lucky to have close contact with the ocean and healing salt air, as well as its towering trees, wildflower-filled meadows and freshwater rivers and springs. I also hope to visit more places that offer outdoor activities with a wellness component like hiking and biking. It can be somewhere in my backyard or a faraway destination.

Bucket List Trips
I would love to take my family on an unforgettable vacation this year, such as Florence and its surrounding Tuscan wine country with stops along the Italian seaside too. Exploring this rich region’s nature, culture and history with loved ones has always been a dream of mine. After a long hiatus from my initial visit to St. Barth, I’m excited to vacation again in this piece of paradise. The Bahamas are one of my greatest loves, and their waters in surreal shades of blue are a continual source of rejuvenation and wonder for me. I take this image everywhere with me.

Creative Spark & the Pursuit of Knowledge

For many people, a bright spot in the pandemic has been picking up new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. I’d like to get back to my photography. I find the whole process very calming and rewarding. It makes you see the world differently, and there’s always room for improvement and the next amazing shot. It’s something I can do as I age too. It’s important to have a mix of activities that include those you can do more long term. I’d like to make time to read and review my books about art and photography for inspiration, and listen to podcasts especially on the subjects of wellness and self-improvement.

Setting Boundaries & Me Time

I won’t feel guilty about taking time for myself and focusing on my inward journey. When I’m at my best, I benefit those around me most. It’s also important to se boundaries for myself with people who zap my energy or don’t bring me joy. It’s okay to let go and live my best life!

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