Our newest office mates - The Neighborhood Journal did a fantastic job of SHOWING us their Summer in Laguna! Nothing like home. I love also how different our studio looks after all the work we put in this summer. Cheers to Fall and what the holidays have in store!
"SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER" was Rachiel's anthem for the Summer! She spent it doing what she does best - attending & hosting parties, BBQ's, card nights, and attending loved ones birthdays & weddings! She also was the main lady in charge at the studio overseeing our studio improvements and got as much beach time in as possible.
My summer started off with a bang! Had the opportunity to do some work that lead me down the California Coast spending time in San Francisco, Napa, Carmel, and Santa Barbara. Enough stories packed in 10 days to fill a book. Highlights in San Francisco were definitely Nob Hill Spa at the newly renovated The Scarlet Hotel and taking in the beautiful Dahlia Garden at Conservatory of Flowers. There was the private food tour with Edible Excursions and got to meet Traci Des Jardins. She's rather amazing. Also left completely inspired by the pop up gallery and shipping container movement in Hayes Valley. I'm about that.
My time in wine country was equal parts on the move and taking in incredible cuisine. Lead bike tour through dust roads framed by wild berries, a tour of Bohemian Creamery, farm to table lunch at set for royalty at Dragonfly Florals, a visit to SHED in Healdsburg (MAJOR SHOP ENVY!), and a 3.5 hour meal of a lifetime at French Laundry. Insanity.
Carmel took the cake for me with Carmel Valley Ranch - such a magical place. Horseback riding in the Carmel Valley at sunset - soothe your soul good! Also think I found my calling in beekeeping!
In August, we traveled to New York before a family vacation in Maine. I haven't been to New York in over a decade and has the best time exploring Brooklyn. We stayed at the oh so cool Sixty LES Hotel on the Lower East Side and they must have know I was coming because they had their pop up tiki bar for the summer. Couldn't have been happier! We were introduced to Devocion Café and I almost fell over with excitement. Such a cool vibe. Got to meet some incredible local vendors at Artists & Flea, eat yummy food at Smorgasburg, get something special at Brooklyn Flea, and just play tourist.
Then it was off to Maine - hands down my favorite place visited this summer. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting but I was floored by how much I enjoyed the chance in pace, surrounding, and just surrendering to vacation mode. Waking up to the sound of the ceiling fan & the morning stir in the house, and a full day of whatever seemed fun. One by one we would wake up, reaching for coffee, and take in the sounds of the loons on the lake. My favorite morning was spent in conversation over painting and learning zentangle. Then it's off to explore more of the lake that brought us all here. The time out on the water...where I felt foreign and yet at home. We spent too much money & time gathering the perfect ingredients to make an insane lobster mac - a mission we accomplished and dominated at. I truly felt like I spent the week taking in the sun, the laughter, and the stillness of summer. That blue blue water surrounded by these green green trees. What a magical place.
This summer I decided to stay local and enjoy all that Newport Beach had to offer. Sunset picnic at Inspiration Point, Corona Del Mar - This is where you will find me on most Sunday nights. Gathered with some of my favorite friends enjoying a glass of wine as the sunsets is my idea of a perfect evening.
From Memorial to Labor Day weekend it is a challenge to get a fire pit as crowds are at their peak. Bonfires on a Monday or Tuesday is a bit easier but you still need to get there a bit early to stake your claim. s'mores by a campfire is always a good time.
This was such a fun night! King Kong showing on the beach right after the sunset. Friends, wine, cheese, and KONG!
This fall I have several trips planned. Santa Inez, Joshua Tree, and Ojai are just a few and I look forward to sharing my travel tips and pictures.
WHERE DID YA GO? – Switzerland and Austria
WHO DID YOU SEE//WHAT DID YOU DO? - Loved traveling to Switzerland and Austria with my family, best friend and her parents. My favorite memory was when we went to Lech, Austria and had dinner at an Austrian cottage in the alps. So breathtaking! Just seeing my family and friends in Switzerland is always a highlight too.
ONE SPOT THAT'S ONE YOUR RADAR FOR NEXT SUMMER? - Don't know yet. I'm always up to travel anywhere I can!
WHERE DID YA GO & WHAT DID YA SEE? - Goleta & Santa Barbara with the family! We stayed at The Goodland Hotel...laid back retro beach scene, macrame, woodie, cocktails in the "Rita" Airstream, in-room vinyl, amazing s-shaped couch in the lobby, cruiser bikes, and the rad indigo and rope chair in the corner of my room would have come home with me if I could have fit it in my suitcase
STAND OUT MOMENTS - Pool shark cocktail and the kimchi fries at the Outpost. Shopping for vintage curio at the thrift stores and antique malls on Hollister. Pan dulce and tamales served with a dose of telenovelas at the Goleta Bakery.
NEXT SUMMER...road tripping the California coast with a 1960's vintage trailer
SUM UP THE SUMMER IN 5 - GO!
WHERE TO GO | Marrakesh, also known as the “Jewel of the South” emanates an endless buzz that can be felt from all corners of the city, day and night. The food. The shopping. The entertainment! Not a moment goes by without stumbling upon an artisan demonstrating his craft or calling after you to make a sale. Take a leisurely mint tea break at a street side café in the medina to give your feet (and mind) a rest from the confusing passages that all look the same to newcomers. If you’re in the market for leather goods or textiles, you’ve found the spot. But watch those wallets... not for the pickpockets, but for the endless array of magnificent wares you just can’t imagine living without. “How ever can I walk to from my living room to kitchen without this Berber carpet underfoot?” you start thinking to yourself. Before long, you’ve rationalized a new set of ceramic bowls, a few carpets, ten leather bags (for gifts of course), a dozen tea glasses, and a new suitcase to get it all back home. This is the spell of Marrakesh.
Not in the mood for the beguiling souks? Spend a day at a local hammam where you will be scrubbed down until you have the skin of an infant and soak until your fingers get to the level beyond pruney. Perhaps you’re feeling even more adventurous? Check out some trips to the Sahara where you can ride a camel into the sunset donning a cheche (headscarf). The options are endless. Just be sure you have enough time to sample it all!
WHERE TO STAY | Behind an unassuming door near the Bab El Ksour gate you will find the picturesque Riad El Fenn. Although this Riad is not the most budget-conscious, it’s a piece of art in the form of a guesthouse worth experiencing.
WHAT TO WEAR | Be respectful of the local traditions and bring modest frocks for your trip to Marrakesh. You will save yourself from judgmental stares if you try to keep most of your legs and arms covered.
WHAT TO EAT | Well tajins of course! It’s hard to visit this country without experiencing the flavors and spices of this local fare. While not the most vegetarian friendly, tajins are found in all local restaurants and served with the pride of any home cooked meal.
WHERE TO EAT | Head straight for the food stalls at Jemaa El-Fna square to get a true sampling of what Marrakesh has to offer. Here you can get an assortment of cuisine from sausages to fresh-squeezed orange juice. Want something more relaxing? Try a café that overlooks a busy square in the souks. One of my favorites is Nomad (across from Café El Spices). Want a chill dinner spot where you can unwind and listen to beats while you eat, then Terrase des epices is the place.
MUSN’T MISS | The hustle and bustle of the souks, the performers in Jemaa El-Fna square (but you must give them tips if you plan to take photos), and the beauty of the mosques that are sprinkled around the city.
MUST SEE | Visit Ben Youssef Madrasa to soak in the beauty of Moroccan architecture and ornate detail. Take a trip to the Sahara to experience the contrast of the desert or to Essaouira to be seaside. And don’t be afraid to explore all parts of Marrakesh. Hire a guide if you feel uneasy…the city has so much to share!
All photos taken by Rebecca Judy on her last journey through Marrakech in preparation for her new book.