Archive for October, 2012

Video Shoot at Little Palm Island Resort and Spa

I'm so excited! I have my very first VISIT FLORIDA video shoot tomorrow at the uber luxurious Little Palm Island Resort & Spa. I've talked to some of the other Insiders and collected some great tips on what to expect and how to present well on camera. The talented production crew from Spark in Tampa will be meeting me in the Keys for the shoot.  

I've done a little video work in the past, especially during my NFL cheerleading days, but this will be my first experience as a travel host. Did I mention I'm excited?

I'll give you the inside scoop on what the video will be about. Think of the most luxurious escape for lovers – from a seaplane ride to a private island, couples spa treatments, fine dining by candlelight and romantic beach walks. 

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is accessible only by yacht or seaplane. Soaring palm trees, powder-soft sand, thatched-roof bungalows – this is truly a secluded and luxurious getaway. No phones. No TVs. No shortage of romance. Hmmmm, can I live without my iPhone? Let’s find out.

I'm excited to work with the staff at Little Palm Island as well as Julie Ann Floyd with Key West Seaplanes. A special shout-out and many thanks to the PR team at The Zimmerman Agency, Alycia Rea and Carter Mallison, for arranging the shoot. 

Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook for behind-the-scenes snapshots. Have any tips for my VISIT FLORIDA video debut? 

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Palm Beach Opera Celebrates National Opera Week

Palm Beach Opera and superstar Aretha Franklin are celebrating National Opera Week Oct. 26 – Nov. 4, 2012. The week of events is coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Palm Beach Opera Week Event Details

Oct. 27, 2012, all day

West Palm Beach Greenmarket: Stop by the Palm Beach Opera booth at the West Palm Beach Greenmarket for fun activities and the chance to win free opera tickets.

Oct. 29, 2012, 6 p.m.

"OPERA: Deconstructed," presented by the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties: Get a behind-the-scenes look at how an opera is created from building the sets to the final product. Also, get in on the action with a dramatic reading of an opera libretto. Wine, graciously donated by Master Sommelier Virginia Philip, and light bites will be served. An RSVP is kindly requested at www.pbopera.org

Nov. 4, 2012, 2 p.m. 

Opera Story Time presented by the West Palm Beach Public Library: Stop by for story hour at the library where they'll be reading The Great Poochini by Gary Clement and The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2013 Palm Beach Opera season go online

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Luxury Fashion Show at the Mondrian in South Beach

Laurent Perrier, one of the world's most esteemed champagne brands, recently hosted a fall fashion show at the Mondrian South Beach hotel.  

I attended the event with my husband and Miami socialites Audra Thomas and Simon Eth. Music producer extraordinaire Tone, of JesTone Productions, debuted an original soundtrack for the show. While Tone set the mood with his fabulous beats, the crowd gathered in anticipation for the runway show. The show began with an enchanting performance by professional flute player Giselle Real-d'Arbelles.

Models featuring the brand Via Uomo Men's Designs hit the catwalk first, wearing men's European-style collared shirts. The Via Uomo label is known for fine men's clothing and attention to detail — very classy and refined. The collection included pieces featuring the latest fall trends and hues. 

The next set of models wore ready-to-wear gowns by the label Rich Girl on Vacation. Think Palm Beach resort wear with fresh and bright colors using lightweight fabric. Priscilla Perales, Miss Mexico 2006, wore a stunning tangerine and hot pink gown with intricate beading. This line is the ultimate in glamour. Check them out to find the perfect dress for an upscale party on a yacht or a South Florida charity gala. 

Varelli Jewelry Designs brought down the house with the big finale, featuring pieces sure to make a statement. There was a necklace and bracelet combo with interlocking gold rings that I'm dying to get my hands on.  

The models were styled from head to toe by Sartori Amici Men's Boutique and Azul Boutique Merrick Park. Blo Blow Dry Bar provided the hairstyling, with makeup by Motives and BJ Look

Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook. What is your favorite luxury fashion brand to wear on vacation?

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Four Seasons Hotel Miami Throws a Yelloween Ball

Four Seasons Hotel Miami is hosting the 2012 Veuve Clicquot Yelloween Ball at EDGE Steak & Bar on Oct. 27. The Yelloween Ball is named for the iconic yellow label on on Veuve Clicquot brut champagne bottles.  

Show off your best Halloween costume and enjoy champagne and vodka specials in a stylish outdoor setting at the Four Seasons. The terrace at EDGE Steak & Bar will transform into an al fresco lounge with comfortable sofas for the party.

DJ Sol Martinez will play lounge house music with a spooky twist, and cocktail servers will pour Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label at the VIP tables throughout the terrace. A custom Veuve Clicquot outdoor bar will be set up for guests to sample speciality $10 cocktails. 

Speaking of the uber-fabulous Four Seasons brand, did you know Rachelle Lucas, our VISIT FLORIDA Dining Insider is flying around the world this month on a private jet for Four Seasons Magazine? Talk about serious luxury! Rachelle will be jet-setting to eight countries in 22 days. Of course, Florida is and always will be her favorite destination in the world. 

My Insider Tip: The Four Seasons Hotel Miami is offering a special room rate of $260 per night for Yelloween Ball guests. For room reservations, please call (305) 381-3381. 

Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

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A Weekend in Clearwater for a Jazzy Experience

Clearwater Beach is one of those Florida beach towns you dream about visiting – perfect white sandy beaches, great seaside restaurants and so much fun stuff to do. 

My husband and I loaded up the car this past weekend and headed up I-75 from South Florida to Pinellas County for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Clearwater Beach is one of my all-time favorite places to hang out, but I'm not the only one who loves it. Rachelle Lucas, our VISIT FLORIDA Dining Insider was there this month, too, so be on the lookout for her video featuring the famous Frenchy's Seafood Company

Speaking of great seafood, we ate dinner one night at Clearsky Beach Cafe where they have nightly live music and fabulously fresh food. You can't go wrong with the menu. The calamari and grouper lettuce wraps were especially tasty. Geraldine Lopez with the City of Clearwater raved about their brunch, so I'm excited to go back soon and give it a try.  

Each year, the City of Clearwater hosts the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. It started more than 30 years ago as a 10-day series of jazz concerts held on the back of a flatbed truck at venues all around the city, and has evolved into an international event that draws tens of thousands of visitors. The waterfront, outdoor venue at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater was picture perfect. 

We enjoyed a performance by the talented Esperanza Spalding, a young musician who won a 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, and the Radio Music Society. Spalding's music was uplifting and her vocals refreshing and sincere, drawing in the audience with every note. It was truly a treat to experience her music live. The evening ended with a beautiful fireworks display over the water. 

My Insider Tip: We stayed at the Hilton Clearwater Beach, in the heart of everything including Pier 60. You can walk to restaurants, shops and, of course, miles and miles of gorgeous Florida beaches. We enjoyed lounging in the wooden adirondack chairs on the beach by the tiki bar. To book your vacation at the Hilton Clearwater Beach visit them online.    

Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook. What Clearwater vacation tip do you have to share?

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My Weekend at Jazz Fest in Clearwater

Clearwater Beach is one of those Florida beach towns that you dream about visiting – perfect white sandy beaches, great seaside restaurants and so much fun stuff to do. 

My husband and I loaded up the car this past weekend and headed up I-75 from South Florida to Pinellas County for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Clearwater Beach is one of my all time favorite places to hang out, but I'm not the only one who loves it. Rachelle Lucas, our VISIT FLORIDA Dining Insider was there this month too, so be on the look out for her video featuring the infamous Frenchy's Seafood Company

Speaking of great seafood, we ate dinner one night at Clearsky Beach Cafe where they have nightly live music and fabulously fresh food. You can't go wrong with the menu. The calamari and grouper lettuce wraps were especially tasty. Geraldine Lopez with the City of Clearwater raved about their brunch, so I'm excited to go back soon and give it a try.  

Each year the City of Clearwater hosts the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. It started more than 30 years ago as a 10-day series of jazz concerts held on the back of a flatbed truck at venues all around the city and has evolved into an international event that draws tens of thousands of visitors. The waterfront, outdoor venue at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater was picture perfect. 

We enjoyed a performance by the talented Esperanza Spalding and the Radio Music Society. The young musician won a 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist. I found her music to be uplifting and her vocals refreshing and sincere, drawing in the audience with every note. Did you know that she is also a composer and a bassist? It was truly a treat to experience her music live. The evening ended with a beautiful fireworks display over the water. 

My Insider Tip: We stayed at the Hilton Clearwater Beach and it is in the heart of everything including Pier 60. You can walk to restaurants, shops and of course miles and miles of gorgeous Florida beaches. We enjoyed lounging in the wooden adirondack chairs on the beach by the tiki bar. To book your vacation at the Hilton Clearwater Beach visit them online.    

Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter and Facebook? What Clearwater vacation tip do you have to share?

Continue reading My Weekend at Jazz Fest in Clearwater »

Celeb Sightings: Lauren Conrad, the Kardashians, Reggie Bush and more

Former Hills and Laguna Beach star Lauren Conrad made an appearance at Books & Books at the Bal Harbour Shops to promote not one, but two new HarperCollins books: Beauty: Lauren Conrad and Starstruck, a novel about a reality star in Hollywood.

The Kardashians moved to North Miami Beach about two weeks ago and have been causing a stir in the neighborhood.

Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush dined at SLS Hotel South Beach’s Katsuya with a group of friends and his Kim Kardashian look-alike girlfriend. 

Red Cafe, Flo Rida and Brisco partied the night away to the music of deejays Bulletproof, Rob Dinero and Entice at Bamboo, a nightclub on Miami Beach located at the Paris Theater space.

Miami Socialites Suzy Buckley, Jennifer Heegaard and Kelly Saks, along with Ocean Drive Magazine and Dress for Success, celebrated the grand opening of Carlo Pazolini Fine Shoes and Accessories at Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables. 

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Burgers on the Beach at Four Seasons Palm Beach

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is the official host hotel for the sixth anniversary of the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, taking place Dec. 7-11, 2012. The festival features award-winning chefs, amazing wine and an expanded lineup of events including a star chef golf tournament. 

Head to the Four Seasons oceanfront terrace on Saturday, Dec. 8 to enjoy "Burgers by the Beach." Food Network's Robert Irvine and Jeff Mauro, Bravo's Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga and Four Seasons’ executive chef Darryl Moiles will serve their signature burgers while you sit back and enjoy the luxury resort in true Palm Beach style. 

It's all for a good cause. From speciality cocktail receptions to sit-down dinners, proceeds from the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival will support Chefs Dish Back. The program is designed to support the participating chefs’ charities of choice. The festival will distribute 100 percent of the net proceeds evenly on their behalf to the individual charities. For the full schedule of events for the festival and to purchase tickets go online.  

My Insider Tip: Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is offering exclusive room rates for the event starting at $265 per night. Call the resort directly at 561-582-2800 to book your reservation.

Check out my recent blog post featuring the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Let's continue the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. What do you love about the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach? 

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Tips for a Fabulous Miami Wedding

There's nothing more magical than a Florida destination wedding. Here are seven tips for those of you planning to say "I do" in Miami.  

1. Get informed and inspired. Stay up to date on the latest trends with your copy of Weddings Illustrated, the premier luxury wedding magazine for the Florida bride. The writers at Weddings Illustrated cover everything from must-have gowns to invitation etiquette to colorful cake ideas. 

2. Beautiful beach or tropical garden? The fabulous thing about the Sunshine State is that you can have your pick. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne provides the perfect ocean backdrop for an intimate ceremony in the sand. Key Biscayne is a tropical island just seven miles from downtown Miami. Or imagine walking down a charming bridge and through a romantic coconut tree grove lit by the Miami moonlight. For an enchanting garden wedding, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens will sweep you and your guests off your feet. 

3. Make an impression. One way to turn heads is to arrive to the big event in a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. Florian's Classics can arrange a number of luxury transportation options, including a stretch limo. 

4. Delicious dining. Whether you're dreaming of an exotic island curry or a traditional filet mignon, Le Basque the Caterer will custom-design a menu that will awe your guests with mouth-watering creations. 

5. Stunning photography. While you make memories that will last a lifetime, Gloria Ruth Photography will capture every moment, from the first kiss to the last dance. 

6. Set the mood. GE Audio Visual event production will provide dynamic music and lighting for your wedding. They provide professional DJ services, sound system, ambient lighting and video packages. Tell Carmen that I sent you. 

7. Island honeymoon. Get married in Miami, but escape for your honeymoon to your own private island in the Keys. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is accessible only by seaplane or boat. The honeymoon package includes:

  • Six nights in an oceanfront private suite
  • Welcome bottle of champagne
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Water sport amenities
  • “You Had Me at Hello” turndown
  • $300 SpaTerre credit per person
  • Couples snorkel trip 
  • ½ day backcountry fishing trip
  • A romantic sunset sail

My Insider Tip: Book Key West Seaplanes for a private seaplane charter service to take you from your magical Miami wedding to your Little Palm Island honeymoon escape. 

Join me on Twitter and Facebook and let's keep the conversation going. What wedding tips do you have for Florida brides? 

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Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco Soars into Pensacola

Have you had the opportunity to experience a Cirque du Soleil show? 

Here's your chance, for a truly incredible experience: Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco comes to the Pensacola Civic Center for two shows Nov. 7 and 8, 2012.

Multi-colored beings slip onto the stage and climb Chinese poles seven meters tall. The poles symbolize the skyscrapers of Saltimbanco. Of course the first thing I wondered to myself — what in the world is Saltimbanco?

It is from the Italian “saltare in banco,” which literally means “to jump on a bench." Leaping from pole to pole, the acrobats soar through the air in a breathtaking display of agility, power and speed.

The idea is that Saltimbanco explores the urban experience in all its forms — the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street and the towering heights of skyscrapers. 

Saltimbanco is Cirque du Soleil’s longest-running touring show and has performed since 1992 for more than 11.5 million fans. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see the show in Pensacola

If you go: Tickets are available online or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

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