Wednesday

Scarlett loves Carmel!

There is nothing that Scarlett loves more than a weekend in charming and dog friendly Carmel!

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She insists we stay at the Cypress Inn where she enjoys all the “creature comforts” the hotel has to offer…

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she gets to dine with us at the hotel…

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and sleep with us…

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go for fun walks…

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and shop at fabulous boutiques…

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go to the fancy pet store, Diggedy Dog, to get lots of treats (she wanted this bed but I assured her that it didn’t go with our decor)…

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hang out with cool friends…

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and sit outside at her favorite restaurant for lunch, The Bench, at the Pebble Beach Hotel…

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have a drink before dinner at the hotel…

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go to her new favorite restaurant in Carmel, La Balena, on Junipero, a cute little rustic Italian that is getting rave reviews…

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Everything was delicious, but you have to try the fried chicken!!!

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Her favorite thing to do is play on the beach! Our new spot is Ribera Beach. From Carmel, take 1 south and turn right on Ribera Road, right onto Cll la Cruz and park the car. Follow the walking trail down to the beach.

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It’s stunning!!! It’s just 5 minutes by car or you can walk from town south for about 25 minutes.

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And after a long day of shopping and playing on the beach…

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she loves to go wine tasting at the Wrath Tasting Room in the Carmel Plaza and The Cheese Shop next door to get a little something to go with her tastings…

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and then go back to the hotel for a nap!

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So when do we get to go back?!?

 

 

 

Saturday

Marie Antoinette Goes To Antarctica

Where do I start?  This was literally the trip of a lifetime!!!  Over Christmas and New Years, for 25 days to be exact, we traveled with our friend Chris and his family to South America and Antarctica!  It was so wonderful on every level especially the sheer beauty of it all. So here it is… a little taste from the bottom of the world!

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We boarded our beautiful Seabourn cruise ship in Valparaiso, Chile and cruised down the coast thru the spectacular Chilean Fjords… then on to the city at the “End of the World”, Ushuaia, Argentina… then down to the surreal Antarctic continent for 7 days… then we traveled northeast to South Georgia Island… then 4 more days at sea up to Montevideo, Uruguay… and finally to Buenos Aires, Argentina!  What an adventure!!!

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Our handsome group!

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The “Suite Life”… decorating the Christmas tree!   Not having to put up a tree at home was surely a luxury!

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One of the major highlights of the trip was our Marie Antoinette/Louis XVI Costume Party!

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What a fun way to celebrate our friend Chris’ birthday!!!  The costumes were so gorgeous, I didn’t want to take it off…

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but I did… the underpinnings were just as fun as the costume!  Hee hee!!!

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We weren’t sure if Santa would make it all the way down to the South Pole, but room service sent cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer just in case!

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Santa came!

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New Years Eve was another costume party!  Our Aussie friends were always curious as to what we would be “frocking up” in next!!!

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The long sunsets were spectacular!

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New Years Day Evening, the sun set at 11:30 pm, so I ran up to get a picture and made friends… we had a brandy!

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We took over 3,500 photos, no wonder it has taken me months to post these pictures!  But what we saw was amazing… every day was a place like no other!

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One of the most beautiful penguins we saw were the Adele!

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And hundreds of Humpback whales!

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And a Leopard Seal… who eat penguins… humph!!!!

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And Gentoo Penguins

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And their babies!!!

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One year old King Penguins called Oakum Boys. These yearlings are covered in a thick, brown fur!

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… and the two year olds blossom into vibrant King Penguins!

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I do not think there is anyway to express the overwhelming joy we experienced when we saw 200,000 King Penguins at the Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island

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It was completely breathtaking to stand there and just listen and watch! When it was time to go back, my Chris could not tear me away!  I felt a staggering and profound depth of emotion here and I realized that this was a incredibly rare and special place for anyone to visit… it brought me to tears!!! Our friend Chris would comment at dinner, “Now Pam, I understand you cried again today!!!”  I kept thinking, who gets to come  and see this? I did all I could do to consciously burn the memories in to my mind right there and then! I never dreamed that I would be so taken by what I saw! Here’s a video I took:

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Going to Antarctica invariably requires crossing Drakes Passage… some of the roughest waters in the world! Waves have been known to crash five stories high! I was frightened and anxious about this part of the trip and I came prepared with my arsenal of sea sickness remedies and anti-anxiety pills.  But much to my (and everyone’s really) relief, our crossing was dubbed “a Drakes Lake”… nice and smooth!!!!!  Here is a little video of what I had the unfortunate pleasure watching before we left on our trip:

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There was nothing like looking out your window and cruising past a spectacular iceberg!

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 And I took this picture for my book club gals, I didn’t quite go Swimming To Antarctica, but I went in to 34 degrees water! It was COLD!!! Here’s Blake, Kyle and their friend Clark… they actually went in!

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By day we toured and at night made some very fun friends… Jody from Australia!

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Friends from Monaco!

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And here’s Hobby who reminded me of my Dad.  My Dad had always wanted to go to Antarctica. I told Hobby that, and it made me start to cry,  it made him tear up too. Before my Dad passed away he and my Mom had a trip booked to Antarctica that had to be cancelled when he got sick.  When I told my Mom I was going to Antarctica for Christmas, she said, go for your Dad!  Hobby made me feel like he was with me and we became fast friends.

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We never missed Trivia on Sea Days! Our team: The Ancient/Not so Ancient Mariners!!!

We even attended the wedding of Deborah and Rod our ship friends that invited us to their wonderful ceremony!

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The spa and salon were fabulous! I was a little nervous since I can’t live without my blow drys, but Bianca coiffed me perfectly!

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Sea Days were Spa Days

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And lots of fun on board the ship!

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I honestly did not want to get off this beautiful ship!  The best time ever!!!!!! I can’t wait for our next adventure!!!!

Scroll through more photos from our trip…

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Monday

Roses and Restaurants are not my style on Valentine’s Day!

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Here’s a romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day right in your own home!

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Throw some newspaper on your table, buy lots of fresh crab, make a salad, arrange some pretty tulips, melt some butter and pop a bottle of champagne!!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Coming up… Photos from Antarctica!!!

Friday

The Famous Frederickson Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich

Here comes Thanksgiving and I’m not sure if I am more excited about the Thursday meal itself or the yummy day after sandwiches!!!  I know the answer at the Frederickson home this year… they are  celebrating Thanksgiving on Friday… so that means SANDWICHES! Not just any sandwich but The Famous Frederickson Turkey Sandwich!!!

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So what is so special about this sandwich??? It is simply the best and I’m looking forward to my invitation again this year…

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So here it is, The Famous Frederickson Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich:

Ingredients:

Sour Dough Bread-Toasted

Best Foods Mayonnaise

Ocean Spray Cranberry Jelly

Thinly Sliced Turkey Breast Meat

Brad’s Egg Salad (recipe to follow)

Crispy Bacon-made that day

Iceberg Lettuce Leaves – thoroughly dried

Sliced Swiss Cheese

“Building the Masterpiece”

Start with one slice of toasted sourdough bread and spread with Mayonnaise, then spread on the cranberry jelly, then layer the turkey breast meat, then the egg salad, the bacon, the lettuce, the Swiss cheese and top with other piece of toasted sourdough that has also been spread with mayo and cranberry jelly.

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Brad’s Egg Salad

12 Hard Boiled Eggs-finely chopped
3/4 – 1 cup Mayonnaise – Best Foods
2-3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Grey Poupon
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Mix… “just enough to stick, it’s the glue”

Brad says the egg salad is the most important part of the sandwich and it must be done right… or someone might get hurt!  Here are a few helpful hints:

1. Make sure the eggs are completely dry before you chop.
2. Do not mush them with a fork, chop with a knife… even “if shit flies everywhere!”
3. Start with less Mayonnaise to get the right consistency. When you start adding the mustard and Worcestershire Sauce it may get too runny… that’s not good!  And the mix consistency cannot be too dry either or then it does not act as the “glue” necessary to hold the everything together. Oh, and it cannot be  too wet either… so basically it has to be perfect. Add more mayo as needed to get the perfect texture to the mix.
4. DO NOT use diet mayo or Whole Foods brand, only Best Foods.
5. You don’t want the egg salad to be hot when you make the sandwich… so place the egg salad in covered dish and refrigerate for an hour before using.

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I know it seems like there’s is a lot going on, but trust me… it’s perfection!!! I can’t wait and now you can’t either!

Thanks Brad for the recipe!

Wednesday

It’s Getting Chilly…. So Here’s My Chili

Every year about this time when it starts to get a little nippy outside I get the urge to make a fire and whip up a batch of my delicious chili with rice.  I learned this recipe at a cooking class years ago and it’s one of those wonderful dishes that everyone asks me to make!  So here’s the recipe… you’re going to love it!!!

                    Top Sirloin and Black Bean Chili on Corona Rice

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3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
3 pounds coulotte steak (top sirloin), 1/2 inch thick, have butcher cut in to cubes
2 large onions chopped
2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons  Gephardts chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups beef broth
2 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans of black beans (rinsed thoroughly)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Corona Rice (recipe follows)

Makes 8-10 Servings

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1. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat (I use a wok because you get more surface space and it’s large enough to fit all the ingredients into)  In batches, adding more oil as needed, cook the steak, turning occasionally, until seared, about 3 minutes per batch.  Transfer to plate and set aside.

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2.  Add the remaining 2 tablespo0ns of olive oil  to skillet and heat.  Stir in onion, bell pepper, garlic and cover.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.

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3.  Return the steak to the skillet.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in broth and tomato sauce, bring to a simmer and cover.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the black beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and sugar.  Can be made up to 2 days ahead.

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4.  Serve over Corona Rice: In a medium saucepan, bring a 12-ounce bottle of beer (preferably Corona or a Mexican style beer),  1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil.  Add 1 1/2 cups of long grain rice (I use Mahatma) and return to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cover tightly.  Simmer until the rice is tender and absorbs the liquid, about 18 minutes  Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.

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Serve with condiments: red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped jalapenos, sour cream or Fage-2%, cilantro and ketchup.

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I’s sooo wonderful!!!  You are going to love the rich flavors of the chili on the rice!

 

Thursday

In a New York Minute

It seems like in a blink of an eye… in a whirlwind tour we experienced some of the BEST New York restaurants!  I have to say that cross referencing every review, having a planning party to pick our restaurants, to hearing suggestions from a a restaurant aficionado in Greece… and then getting up at 6:00 am to secure our reservations really paid off!!!  So… if you are planning a trip to NYC in the near future, here are three AMAZING restaurants that are not to be missed!

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Carbone in the village has nailed classic American/Italian with an elegance like no other supper club.  The Godfather vibe with waiters speaking in thick Italian accents and wearing perfect notched lapelled tuxes made me feel like I was in a movie.  We even had a sommelier that was called Handsome Jack… yep, he was handsome (not the photo below, but he was fun too!)!!!  But enough of the atmosphere…. the food… oh my!!!  For starters, they bring you an assortment of antipasti that is heavenly… the Caesar Salad  with these warm garlic croutons were amazing and the pastas and meatballs were incredible!!!  Prices were a bit high, but worth it!!!!

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I felt like I stepped in to a sepia toned photo!  It has definitely earned its Michelin Star!!!

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When Bon Apetit named Estela the second best new restaurant in the United States, I knew I had to get a reservation!  Luckily we got in… and thank goodness!!! Oh the flavors, the sauces, the mopping of those sauces with bread!!!

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Finally, my very favorite restaurant of all… the one where the man in the the swimming pool in Greece told Bob and Lisa they HAD to go, was Marea. One word to describe this restaurant is beautiful… beautiful atmosphere, beautiful decor and a beautiful dining experience!!! And not stuffy, our waiter was game to take our picture five times… you know how happy that makes me!!!

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Lisa and I ordered the whole Branzino!!!!

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Delicious!!!  The Prix Fixe menu really showed off the skills of the chef… if you indulge, be sure to try one of the house made pastas!

So that’s the three restaurants that you need to try… but since I have your attention… here are a few more fun things we did on this trip……

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The Empire State Building at night… no lines and spectacular views!!!

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Fred’s in Barneys on the 9th floor for lunch, the chicken noodle soup is a must!  And when your done, walk straight across to the home decor department for a look at gorgeous books, tableware and fabulous accessories..

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The Morgan Library & Museum on Madison Avenue is a treasure that if you haven’t had a chance to visit, put it on your list!

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Sooooo much fun to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and explore DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights!

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And no trip to NY is complete without a show, Kinky Boots was big and showy  with a sweet message!!!

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Another fun lunch was the fashionable Standard Grill at the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, we walked the High Line after lunch to burn off our Penny Drops!!

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And as ever, a walk through Central Park any time of year is magical!!!!

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Good bye for now my beautiful New York, I’ll be back!!!!

 

Wednesday

These are a few of my favorite things-Florence, Italy

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One of the public rooms at JK Place

There is sooo much to love about Florence…here are a few of my favorite things that I love and want to share… things that go beyond what you will find in your Michelin Guide!  Of course you must see The Uffizi Museum, The Duomo and the Galleria dell “Academia…

First of all, you have to stay at JK Place, the most amazing boutique hotel ever.

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Enjoying a Prosecco!

The public rooms are chic and cool and they offer complimentary snacks and Prosecco at all times of the day!  That’s lovely!!!  Luxurious rooms, great service and wonderful decor are just a few of the reasons you will fall in love with this hotel.

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The Reading Room at JK Place

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A beautiful guest room!

Just around the corner from the hotel, which is located just off the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella is the Farmacia di Santa Maria Novella, this beautiful building and perfumery have been here for 400 years.  You may be familiar with some of these products which are sold in exclusive shops…  here is where they are made.

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Ask your concierge to set up a private tour of the shop and museum, it is free but a reservation is required.  The tour is so worth it, it’s very short and filled with a rich history of the city and the first herbalists that started this historic pharmacy.  If you love apothecary jars and gorgeous antique vessels, you will love it here!

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Vintage Gucci evening bags

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The original Gucci Store in Florence

Another favorite is The Gucci Museum in the Piazza della Signoria which is probably my favorite square in the city.  The museum features an amazing book store, a chic, casual cafe and restaurant, a boutique and several museum floors which showcase the history of the Florentine House of Gucci.

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A floor featuring original Gucci gowns with holograms showing the stars that wore them.

Another Florentine who started his business in this rich city is a man who designed shoes for just about every famous foot during the 1920’s through the 1960’s, Salvatore Ferragamo.  The basement of his beautiful flagship store houses the wonderful Ferragamo Museum.   If you don’t have an opportunity to go into the museum, at least visit the store.  Within the larger store there is a small wonderful boutique that features current shoes that are copies worn by famous movie stars from Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe.

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In the heart of the city is the cutest little fancy Italian deli called Procacci, on the prestigious shopping street, the Via de Tornabuoni.  The “truffled” sandwiches are an institution in Florence.  You stand at a bar and order an array of little finger sandwiches, a few sides and a glass of wine, you will be sure to get a table if you wait patiently.  The little truffle sandwiches are just incredible!!!

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Just across the Ponte Vecchio is The Pitti Palace and The Boboli Gardens

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The Boboli Gardens is an elaborate park  adorned with a range of stunning sixteenth- through eighteenth-century sculptures and garden temples.  If times permits, visit the Pitti Palace, but the highlight to me were the gardens.

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Also on the south side of the Arno is some wonderful artsy shopping to be had along the Borgo San Jacopo…

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Off the Borgo San Jacopo is a great street with wonderful interior design and antique shops, the street is called Via dei Serragli.  One of my favorite shops is Albrici.

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One of our most memorable dining experiences was at the Restaurant  San Jacopo in the Lungarno Hotel… beautiful views, gorgeous interiors and spectacular food.  We all ordered the Seafood Quartetto which was unbelievably delicious!!!

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The art at the restaurant is spectacular!

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For a true Italian experience, be sure to eat at Trattoria Del 13 Gobbi or Trattoria Quattro Leoni

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and Cestello for incredible seafood.

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Nove is an ultra cool restaurant/bar also along the south side of the river that we loved.  I tried my first Negroni here and was hooked!  It’s a great late night spot.

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Florence is just amazing… a beautiful little jewel in Tuscany that is heaven to explore!!!

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The Boboli Gardens

There is so much more that you will discover on your own, but these are just a few of my favorite things!

Sunday

Summer Highlights

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No, not hair highlights…all the fun things to add to your “Pamela Says” list!  I haven’t written many blog posts this summer because I’ve been off having fun….

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Small Vines Winerey set on a beautiful old apple farm was a highlight of my summer when we took a trip up to Sebastopol.  Make an appointment for a private tour if you’re up in the area.  We learned that small vines and an ultra high density  planting style make their wines delicious… they make a beautiful rose, chardonnay and pinot!

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That same weekend we also did a tour and a private dinner at Kosta Browne Winery.

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This dinner was definitely a highlight of the summer. Fork Catering prepared an incredible meal with beautiful wine parings.  Look for an upcoming blog post with recipes of some of the amazing dishes she prepared!

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Watching my baby graduate from college was such a proud moment…

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…and a perfect opportunity to sit on the terrace at Nikita in Malibu overlooking the Pacific ocean!  Malibu is such fun, and now that Chelsea has spent the last four years there I have an upcoming fun packed blog that will give you insights in to where to stay and what to do!!!

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Another high point of my summer and a big accomplishment is the Flume Trail in Lake Tahoe.

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Starting at Spooner Lake State Park, the trail takes you up 8,000 feet and along 14 miles of spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

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All summer long we have had the good fortune to share with friends and family the bounty of our garden, “Bunny Acres”!  I had a bumper crop of tomatoes… my favorites of the season were a beautiful red and gold marbled beef steak called Marvel Striped, an early girl called Fourth of July that was deep red and very sweet and a little cherry tomato jewel that is called Sweet 100 (I also grew Sweet Million but it wasn’t as sweet as Sweet 100).

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I loved helping my friend Carla of Camille K Jewelry with an informal fashion show at The Four Seasons in Palo Alto this summer.  I’m obsessed with the “Lucky” cuff that I’m wearing (above).  The clothes were provided by a shop that I wasn’t familiar with, Jarbo, but I am now… they are luxurious and comfortable! I wanted everything I modeled!

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Here Shari and I are rocking out at The Cats in Los Gatos!  So many fun times when Fossil plays there most every month.  They play again on November 14th and December 12th!!!

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The Bruno Mars concert was a blast, I was especially pleased with my new peep toe bootie… be sure to pick a pair up to update your fall wardrobe!  More wardrobe updates to come!!!

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One of my favorite days of the summer was a long al fresco lunch in honor of my birthday, I’m sharing this with you because I hope to get the recipe for my favorite cheesecake in the whole world!  I’m not sure if it’s a secret, I’ll see what I can do!

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This apple pie was also a birthday dessert and this I will definitely feature. It’s so delicious and will be the perfect dessert to make for the fall!

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Goodbye wonderful summer!!!  Next up….New York City and Antarctica!  I can’t wait to share!!!!

 

 

 

Monday

Soooo good!!!!

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A new summer drink.. Kathy’s Pomegranate Margarita!!!  It’s such a  refreshing tart cocktail and not too sweet!!!  We made them again over the weekend and really perfected the recipe, a labor of love!!!!

Kathy’s Pomegranate Margarita

6 shots tequila (9 oz.)
1 cup  fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup agave syrup (add more if you want it sweeter)
kosher salt
Turbinato sugar
Pomegranate juice ice cubes (use 100% juice, like POM)-2 cubes per drink
Ice cubes
Lime slices

Mix tequila, juices and agave syrup, make ahead and keep refrigerated.  Mix salt and sugar and place on a small plate, rim glass with lime juice and roll into mixture.  Pour tequila and juice mixture over ice with 2 pomegranate cubes and garnish with lime slices.  Makes 6 cocktails.

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Wednesday

A Girls’ Day Out in Beverly Hills

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I’m always trying to create the perfect experience and I think Chelsea and I got this Beverly Hills shopping day down… without breaking the bank!  Start by parking your car behind Saks Fifth Avenue on Wilshire Boulevard…

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Walk through the store to the front, eyeing all the beautiful bags and shoes and go out the door and cross the street to  Juan Juan Salon for a blow dry… be sure you plan your shopping day on a Friday so you’re all ready for the weekend!

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This was Chelsea’s college graduation weekend so we spoiled ourselves!  Even though you’re in a fancy salon in Beverly Hills, blow outs are $35, the same price as a blow dry bar!

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I’m obsessed with Raphael, he’s my go to guy!

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Then it’s off to lunch. One of our favorite spots is Il Postaio on Canon Drive… Giocamino Drago’s first restaurant. It’s not terribly expensive and the food and service are The best!  Also try Porta Via Bistro, also on Canon, it’s a little more chichi!

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At Il Pastaio, we like to get the Capricciosa, their signature chopped salad and Aragosta, the lobster salad, but trust me everything is delicious!

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Another restaurant we love is Villa Blanca on Brighton Way with its wonderful people watching and stylishly white interior.  It’s owned by Lisa Vanderpump who stars on “The Housewives of Beverly Hills”.  I know her from my favorite show, “Dancing With The Stars”!!!

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Try the Chicken Lettuce Cups!  Oh and of course, a glass of Rose!!!

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Chris even got to come along to another of our favorites spots… Bedford and Burns, on North Bedford Drive right around the corner from the Juan Juan Salon. They have the best tortilla soup and Bloody Marys!

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Olive and June nearby on Canon Drive is a great place for a mani/pedi!

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Edelweiss Chocolate Factory is an institution. Stop in for a piece of chocolate… I’m partial to the dark chocolate covered honeycomb!

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It will always be remembered as the inspiration for the famous chocolate factory conveyer belt scene in “I Love Lucy” (watch)

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All of the chocolates are made by hand. Ask to go in the back to watch them being made… chocolate covered pears! Yum!!

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And don’t forget all the spectacular shopping to be had! You can find all these same shops at any mall anywhere but in downtown Beverly Hills its so much more fun and glamorous! Right?

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Our favorite store on Rodeo Drive is Christian Dior.  It features very cool contemporary art such as this coffee table which has ceramic shoes and purses inside with a foil like tapestry in the background!  Also, there just happens to be the cutest pink bag I fell in love with… but I refrained… for now!!!

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Chelsea is sitting on a couch made of nickels… very fun!

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On the way back, stop into the make-up department at Saks to get a make-over, pick up a few things and have your parking validated for the day!

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Our favorite make-up artist is Bita from Dior. She spoils us with bottles of water and lots of deluxe samples!  What a special day and now we are ready for the weekend!!!

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Wednesday

Mini Gourmet Cupcakes

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I’m so excited about my latest discovery: the most beautiful and delicious mini cupcakes from Polka Dotz Mini Gourmet Cupcakes!!! The other day I ran in to my friend Ellen in Los Gatos on her way to Icing on the Cake trying to find some mini cupcakes, but they don’t make mini cupcakes… not even by special order… where could she go?  Days later, I was attending an event and these special cupcakes were being served! I found out where they came from and best of all found out they deliver…no driving required!!! So now Ellen can have a great mini cupcake shop and one that delivers!

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Each one is its own little work of art and everything is hand made… even the little chocolate hearts on top!!!

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My favorite is the Burnt Almond!

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They were so accommodating… I called that morning  and she whipped up my gorgeous little cakes that same day and delivered them right to my hair salon… now that’s service!!!  I’m excited to share this with all my girls!!!!

POLKA DOTZ
Contact: order@polkadotzcupcakes.com
or Call: 1.408.221.4540

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