Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Visit To Ventana Inn

 Ventana Inn & Spa is a place of such beauty and serenity, located on the Central Coast of California and sitting high on a mountain top to enjoy the ocean view.

 In fact, Ventana means window in Spanish.
Sitting on this deck in the morning, I sipped my coffee and enjoyed the sea vista, peaking through the redwoods, almost like through a window.

Inside, the room is luxuriously appointed in lovely leather, denim and wood.
I almost felt like I was back in the 70's, but for the updated fabrics and decor.

The inn was indeed built in 1975 by writer Lawrence A. Spector with his earnings from the film Easy Rider.

I wanted to take these leather chairs home.  
Loved the soft chenille denim cushion, and they were oh, so comfy!

The spa bathroom with raw edge granite opens to the deck.

One of two pools.  
The other one is "clothing optional."
Uh, I don't think so!

The Japanese bath.
I regret that I didn't bring my bathing suit!

This is not the best resort for someone on crutches as it almost felt like we were in a tree house.
Luckily, we were brought here in a cart!
Kathleen wasn't complaining though.

And neither was Ashley!  
My traveling companions were happy to tag along with me and enjoy Ventana, if just for one night to recharge, renew and relax.
We all agreed that we need to come back to Big Sur and take advantage of the hiking trails when Kathleen is off crutches.

For more information about Ventana Inn & Spa, visit their website here.
For a young take on Ventana, visit Kathleen's fashion blog Katwalk here.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Road Trip To Big Sur

How have I lived in California for 31 years and never been to Big Sur?
That is what I asked myself as we headed down Highway 1 on a crystal clear day in February.

I don't recall seeing the Pacific Ocean so blue before.

We stopped at every wide spot in the road to admire the view and try to capture it with our cameras and iPhones.

The cliffs, green pastures and gorgeous blue ocean made me think of Ireland, or how I imagine it to be.

Our destination:  The legendary Ventana Inn and Spa, nestled in the redwoods, overlooking the ocean in Big Sur.
More to follow.....

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

The "Best House In A Movie" Nominees Are...

The Academy Awards are on tonight, and I can't wait!
I love the red carpet, the gowns, the speeches, and am looking forward to the new host, Seth MacFarlane.

I only wish there was a category for "Best House in a Movie!"
There are so many beautiful iconic movie homes.
Here are a few of the nominees I've chosen....

 The Godfather
Located in Staten Island.

American Beauty
Located in Los Angeles, CA

 Father Of The Bride
Located in Pasadena, CA

Marley and Me
Located in Chadds Ford, PA

Almost Famous
Located in Santa Monica, CA

The Money Pit
Located in Locust Valley, NY

A Christmas Story
Located in Cleveland, OH

 Catch Me If You Can
Located in Pasadena, CA

 A Nightmare On Elm Street
Located in Hollywood, CA

It's Complicated
Located in Hidden Valley, CA

Something's Gotta Give
Located in Southhampton, NY

Steel Magnolias
Located in Natchitoches, LA

Mrs. Doubtfire
Located in San Francisco, CA

Home Alone
Located in Winnetka, IL

Practical Magic
Built on San Juan Island, WA and torn down after filming.

Which home would you give the Oscar to?

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Collected Tabletop, Inspirations for Creative Entertaining

 Just when I thought I had no more tablescapes in me, a signed copy of "The Collected Tabletop" arrived from Kathryn Greeley.

Did I fail to mention that I won Tartanscot's Christmas Table contest?
I did, and this was my prize!

 Talk about inspiration!
This book has my name written all over it!
For instance, I'm working on a tablescape at the moment using these dishes, and of course the plaid is a must!

There are so many wonderful tablescapes featured in this book, but my favorite is the Scottish Gamekeeper's Dinner.

 The table is set with her game china collection, Bernadotte, Spode and Johnson Brothers, which all coordinate and compliment one another.

 I'm in love with these dishes from Czechoslovakia.

 Kathryn has a lovely collection of treenware which she also used for this table setting...

 ...and majolica, which she used for the Fall Football table.

I die!

 I thought her Grandmother's Book Shower table and menu adorable.
What a great idea for a first time grandmother!

She set the table with Mason's Strathmore Blue china.

Even the salad compliments the pattern!

The Wine Tasting table also inspires me.
I especially like the menu cards.

 There are so many creative ideas for entertaining in this book, and I know I will be referring to it for inspiration for years to come.

Thank you Kathryn Greeley for inspiring me to entertain, and to collect.
I think we are kindred spirits!

Thanks also to Scot Meacham Wood for hosting his annual Christmas Decorating Contest at Tartanscot.
It's always fun to see all the fabulous entries, and I'm truly honored to be the chosen winner of the table top contest.
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