Berlin Baby

Berlin!  Where to start?  Berlin, the capital city of Germany is becoming a love of mine.  This city is flat-out cool!  Everyone is young, artistic, stylish, creative, vibrant, and ultra hip. Whatever you are looking for, you will find.  Berlin is full of rich history.  Every step along your journey reminds you of that.  Berlin speaks to me like Amsterdam.  Experiencing this city with local friends makes you feel like a local.  I did no planning and went along for the ride. I wanted the everyday life of a Berliner.  The feeling as if I lived there (Yes! I can live here).  Here is Berlin!

The food scene stretches beyond just food.  The creativity, the environment, and the attention to detail is appreciated.  The awareness of  what you are eating is inspiring .  An absolute stand out for me is Daluma.  I beg for this place to land in my hood.

Urban living at its best! Behind every store front is a garden.  On top of every building is graffiti art.  Every corner has some green.  Look up and you see gems!  Eyes wide open the whole time.

Hotel Oderberger Berlin, a stunning 70 room hotel located in the heart of the city.  I dream of going back and staying here.

Relish in the style of individuals! NO shortage of places to gather, shop, and wander .  Cool hunting all the time! Sammlung Boros, a private art collection of Karen and Christian Boros housed in a renovated bunker is not to be missed.  An absolute must but be sure to book ahead!

Shopping Experiences To Check Out:

Bikini Berlin

The Store Berlin

Always More:

Top 10 Museums from Culture Trip

How About Amsterdam?!

Amsterdam is full of lovely cafes, places to explore, and streets to stroll.  I have chosen a few places to share that I really enjoy.  One can spend hours if not a full day in the Museum Quarter strolling though the well-known museums of Amsterdam.  You have your choice of The Rijks Museum, Van Gogh Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, and The Moco Museum.  Each one offering a peaceful place to sit and take in the magnitude of this area.  My favorite place to meet a friend and sip a drink is at The Rijks Museum.  In the winter one can sit inside the museum or in the warmer months the outdoor garden is stunning!  I always find myself spending a small window of time in this area especially on a sunny day.  FYI, within a short stroll one can walk to fashionable PC Hoofstraat for luxury shopping.

Amsterdam
With a blue sky, This area just becomes electric
Amsterdam
Rijks Museum, pass through by bike, by foot but one must take in the beauty of this 10 year renovation project!
Amsterdam
Time to recharge with some mint tea and apple pie
Amsterdam
Inside the Rijks Museum,  a perfect cafe to meet friends with an exceptional view.
Amsterdam
A lovely garden outside the Rijks Museum. My favorite place to sip a drink and enjoy the peacefulness.  In the summer you will find free art classes for children and adults to join.
Amsterdam
Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam
Moco Museum

Here is a place to linger, chill and rest in between strolling The Jordaan neighborhood and De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets).  Hotel bars are relatively a newish thing for Amsterdam.  I am digging the Amsterdam spin to them.  The Lotti’s at The Hoxton Hotel is a hot spot for locals and tourists located on the Herengracht.  It has a welcoming vibe that offers cozy and comfortable places to sip a drink and nibble on some food.  Honestly a place that you can find yourself hours later departing.  Love a new place to add to my long list of places to enjoy.

Amsterdam
How welcoming is this vibe?! Lotti’s at The Hoxton is a place to hang with the locals. I really love the casual and cozy interior.  Check out the ottomans that one can pull up to any table to join the party.
Amsterdam
Places to lounge and chill, solo or with friends are both optimal.  Soft lighting and moody tones create an inviting space.
Amsterdam
One of the many details that caught my eye.  The brick background with the cluster of hanging lights is striking upon entering.

Next is an alternative posh spot.  I am a huge fan of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders! He has designed the Andaz Amsterdam Hotel with a Alice In Wonderland theme.  There is no detail that he has not thought of or delivered.  Delft Blue is prominent and complimented by the over sized furnishings that creates a playful twist.  The Andaz is hip and modern.  It offers a cool lounge area for all to enjoy.  A perfect place for tea time or cocktail hour!  It is worth just popping in to experience this interior masterpiece and be surrounded by everything Dutch.  If you need a place to stay, I wouldn’t hesitate booking this hotel.

Amsterdam
Andaz Amsterdam, perfect place to relax anytime of day!
Amsterdam
The stunning work of Marcel Wanders
Amsterdam
The little details of decor
Amsterdam
Swivel in this over sized chair and embrace the playfulness of Marcel Wanders.
Amsterdam
Flower Power
Amsterdam
Court yard view of Alice In Amsterdam

Here are two lovely additions that I enjoyed and are in close proximity to each other.  The Secret Church, Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Soder located in the Red Light Distract of Amsterdam is a must see.  I never knew that Amsterdam at one time was filled with secret churches that were hidden in private homes and canal houses.  This occurred during a period of political and religious changes in the early 17th century.  This particular church I visited was housed in a wealthy merchant canal house.  One gets to tour the canal house and the church.  It is so amazing to travel back in time and experience how people lived back then.  The museum does a lovely job explaining the history of this canal house through an audio guide.  So many gems to explore and delighted I had the opportunity to learn more about the rich history that makes this city so special.

Amsterdam
The Sacred Church
AMsterdam
One of the many windows through out the canal house.  The old tile still in tact.
Amsterdam
A typical steep staircase know throughout Amsterdam. The curve of the staircase is such craftsmanship that the Dutch are know and admired.
Amsterdam
Interior Details
Amsterdam
The tiles tell a story
Amsterdam
Natural light given the opportunity to grace the space
Amsterdam
Beautiful view from the top floor

Nacarat, a city oasis located in the hustle and bustle of Dam Square.  A roof top restaurant in the new Hudson’s Bay offering a fresh take on Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine. The views of the city are stunning along with the impressive and creative use of glass.  A very Missoni feel through the play of patterns, color tones of pink, orange, and green while walking on the mosaic flooring makes the restaurant feel posh with a casual twist through the street food inspired menu.  One feels miles away from the tourist packed center but by the end of your meal you are ready to rejoin the fast-moving city.

Amsterdam
Natural light at the Nacarat
Amsterdam
Every corner has an elegant place to take in the city views
Amsterdam
Stunning roof top dining offering an oasis in the city. Take in the interior details of this space ( the textures, colors, patterns and use Of natural light).
Amsterdam
Middle Eastern street food enjoyed at Nacarat. The food is as colorful as the interior with a non fussy feel.

Amsterdam is an easy city to move around.  Walking is my preferred way to move around the city with riding a bike a close second. Walking allows you to feel the city and embrace its charm.  Biking gets you places quickly with a sense of freedom peddling from one place to another. As you quickly appreciate how Amsterdamers move along in their everyday life.  The tram is efficient and dry when it is raining.  You decide what is best for you!

Nacarat 

Lotti’s 

Andaz Amsterdam

Copenhagen Is One Stylish City! Part 2

I am a huge fan of the Danes and all the Nordic countries.  For years I have admired their sense of style.  I could easily move to almost any part of Europe especially one of the Nordic countries and not think twice.  Life is too short to think anything has to be permanent.  Maybe it is my wishful thinking.  The Danish aesthetic is one the main reasons I wanted to explore Copenhagen.  I did just that with one of my best gal pals, Donna (the one that makes me laugh like no other:)  We hit the streets blazing!

Copenhagen
Dreaming And Drooling!
Copenhagen
Best Department Store In Copenhagen, Illums Bolighus
Copenhagen
All Under One Roof, Paradise
Copenhagen
One After Another Of Well Crafted Pieces
Copenhagen
Time To Redecorate
Copenhagen
Everything!

Illums Bolighus is the first stop!   Every Danish designer and more under one roof will sweep you off your feet.  It is a place to escape and find inspiration.  Give yourself ample time to wander the floors.  There is so much to grab your attention.  Illums Bolighus is located in the heart of Copenhagen, delivering you a shopping experience that you will not forget!

Copenhagen
One Needs To Refuel
Copenhagen
There Is No Doubt That This Dapper Fellow Will Pour An Outstanding Coffee!
Copenhagen
Perfection!

Coffee Break:

The Coffee Collective has a vibe that will keep you hanging out.  The coffee is creamy, smooth, and served with a smile!  I love the warm moody tones of the space created through the use the dark wood, soft lighting, Nordic blue walls, and lit candles.  A perfect place to take a break!

 Copenhagen

Night At The Museum

Copenhagen
The Background, The Flooring, and The Sculpture Are All Works Of Art And Design
Copenhagen
A Well Curated And Displayed Gift Shop
Copenhagen
Statue Of Beauty And Inspiration
Copenhagen
When There Is An Opportunity To See A Designer In A Different Form, You Must See!
Copenhagen
Human Installation
Copenhagen
Performance by Henrik Vibskov

Evening Activity:

The Ny Carlesberg Glyptotek is a highlight.  An absolute stunning art museum housing an impressive collection of ancient and modern art in a beautiful architectural building.  In the middle of the four winged museum is a Winter Garden that creates an oasis with overflowing tropical plants.  It is an unexpected gem.  On this particular evening was a special one night performance by Danish Designer, Henrik Vibskov.  “Please analyze, volumize, moisturize me” was a human installation that was part of Copenhagen’s Light Festival.  A spectacular performance that gave us the opportunity to wonder the museum.  It was a night at the museum indeed!

Drinks:

Vinbodegaen is a charming wine bar offering an extensive selection of wines by the glass listed on a chalk board.  It is a locals place to linger and sip in a traditional cafe setting.

Dinner:

Tight serves up local Danish cuisine in a wonderful old charming space with exposed stone walls, wooden beams, and candle lit tables. One might walk by this restaurant do to its casual entrance.  Lovely meal, lovely service, and word of advice, always carry a bit of the local currency so you can tip!

The Run Down On A Quick Spring Ski Weekend @ Sugarbush!

How about planning your next Easter weekend skiing in Vermont at Sugarbush?   In fact just go now and embrace spring’s slow awakening.  Sugarbush is a fun low key mountain for the whole family.  At the moment it’s offering great spring conditions.   Think lighter gear and sunglasses for your picnic table lunch.  March historically delivers the New England mountains with fresh powder and this year it absolutely stands true.  Mother Nature extended the spring skiing for all to enjoy.  The days are longer, weather is warmer, the snow is spring corn, crowds are light, and restaurant reservations are easy to score.  Perfect!  Squeezing in one more weekend on the mountain must be done.  The weekend couldn’t be easier to plan!

We kicked off the weekend at Tracks.  A pre planned reward after a three-hour mini road trip from Boston.  Tracks offers casual dining with top-notch food made from locally sourced ingredients.  The cocktails are delicious and the food strikes a fine balance between fine dining and pub favorites.  You can enjoy a game of pool, play shuffle board, or pick a family board game while you wait for your meal.  Tracks is located in The Pitcher Inn.  The Pitcher Inn is a beautiful and quentessional New England Inn located in the center of Warren.

Spring skiing at Sugarbush on a holiday weekend is all about the fun!  The vibe is soaking up a bluebird day (fingers crossed this is a constant) and deciding when you should take some turns.  Start your morning off at the base with with a fresh creamy pour of coffee from Nomad’s.  When you are ready for breakfast then stroll over to Skinny Pancake for a sweet or savory crepe.  For lunch take your pick from Rumbles Kitchen, Castlerock Pub or the Wunder Bar.  End the day with your friends sipping apre drinks and listening to live music on the outdoor terrace at Rumble’s Kitchen with a panoramic view of the moutains.

A weekend would not be complete without dining at Flatbread Pizza.  They only take reservations in person on that day starting at 4:00 with no exception.  Head to the restaurant around 3:30 to line up with other Flatbread lovers to secure yourselves a table for the evening.  Enjoy a glass of wine or a local brew to help pass the time.  It is worth it!  The flatbread pizza is one of best that you will experience.  They have perfected a simple salad that you will crave for days.  The flatbread pizzas are baked in a wood fired, stone hearth oven and will win over your taste buds.  If you have any room left for the tempting desserts like Grandma’s chocolate chip brownie sundae or the homemade warm apple pie are worth exploring.   You should arrive a bit early before your seating so you can enjoy the outdoor fire and take in the beauty of the valley!  The atmosphere is part of the charm.

Sugarbush on Easter is one of our favorite places to spend the holiday.  There is a lovely Easter morning service on the mountain.  All are welcome including tired children with bead head and dressed in ski gear ready for the Easter egg hunt that follows the service.  You can enjoy a brunch at Rumble’s Kitchen or swing by the Warren Store for breakfast sandwiches and tasty bake goods.  The rest of the afternoon is skiing with a half time waffle break.  Wrap up the day at Castlerock Pub for some nachos.

The Warren Store is a country store offering something for everyone.  It is one stop shopping in the picturesque village of Warren.  You can load up on all your apre provisions and souvenirs at the same time.  The deli offers tasty breakfast items, yummy sandwiches, and healthy side salads.  No need to cook if you visit the Warren Store.  Grab your newspaper, coffee, croissant, and sit outside to listen to the brook that runs below the store.  A great place on a Sunday morning to hang with the locals.  A must visit on your way out-of-town!

Experience Copenhagen

Copenhagen is seriously a cool city!  I am envious of those that have it easily accessible.  We hit the streets running and I can share with you that design in every sense just lives and breathes in this city!

Stay:

SKT. PETRI Hotel is centrally located and a five-minute walk from the metro.  It has a lovely lobby filled with natural light, green plants, and plenty of large lounge areas to sip a drink.  The restaurant looked nice but we didn’t try it due to all the options outside the hotel. Limited time means hit the streets and explore.  Walk out the revolving door and the city is awaiting.

SKT. PETRI
Green this season, I am digging it!
SKT. PETRI
Natural light fills the space
SKT. PETRI
Bedroom view
SKT. PETRI
City wheels

Caffeine:

Coffee is my thing.  You could say an addiction.  Democratic Coffee is a lovely spot to pop into anytime of day.  It is conveniently located next to SKT. PETRI.  Democratic Coffee serves one of the best almond croissants (damn good) in Copenhagen and pours a delicious, smooth roasted coffee.  It is located in the newly renovated Hovedbibliotek.

Democratic Coffee
One of many
Democratic Coffee, Copenhagen
Best library cafe that I have been to
Democratic Coffee
Flat white + almond croissant = winning combination

Life:

Copenhagen is a playful city that draws you in immediately.  It has stunning architecture, cobbled streets, canals, colorful buildings, a royal castle, green space, and museums. Really what else could you ask for?!  The city is filled with the Scandinavian aesthetic that I love (and the reason Copenhagen has been on my list). So much to offer with culture, shops, restaurants, and city activities.  I did not even scratch the surface!

Copenhagen
Early day before the crowds, lovely! (check out the brick work )
Copenhagen
The Palace
Copenhagen
Candy colored background and bikes (I love peddling as being the main mode Of transportation)
Copenhagen
Color, Color, Color!
Copenhagen
Life in motion
Copenhagen
City Life
Copenhagen
This gentleman is picture perfect!
Copenhagen
Everything looks so natural
Copenhagen
If there is something blue, I will spot it

Lunch:

Paludan Bog & Cafe is a vibrant bookstore/cafe that has set the bar high for delivering a vibrant and cozy eatery serving from morning till late evening.  One will be hard press to walk right in and sit down but it is worth the short wait.  The restaurant offers tasty food and a lengthy beverage list.  The environment is welcoming and the prices are reasonable.  It is the perfect marriage of academia and a neighborhood hot spot in the heart of the city.

Drinks and Dinner:

Illum is one of Copenhagen’s best rooftop hot spots offering multiple restaurants, bars, and stunning views of the city.  Live music, a bottle of red wine and large basket of fries was how we girls enjoyed it!

Put This On Your Bucket List, Montana

A week in Montana just makes you desire more time and more exploring. Winter time is the only time that I have experienced this beautiful state but summer is now on my bucket list while driving an airstream.  Big Sky has a blue sky that is indescribable.  It has an ever-changing light that draws your attention back to the natural landscape that is truly majestic.  Mother Nature has been very kind to Montana.  Experiencing the magic from an elevation of 7,500 feet at the base to over 11,000 feet at the top of the mountain you are quickly made aware that one can not tackle this mountain at Big Sky in one week.  You feel small in comparison to the grandeur of the mountains and the wildlife that make it their home.  We did are best with the spring like temperatures and fresh pow pow that delivered.  Here are some highlights from a week of skiing in Big Sky!

We rented a home for the week through Big Sky Vacation Rentals.  A perfect solution for two families.  The house was fully equipped with all the amenities including an outdoor fireplace for s’mores, hot tub, and a foosball table for some tournaments.  Every morning started with a fresh coffee sipped over the first rays of sunlight awakening Lone Peak.

Skiing was the goal! 6 days straight of rising and taking hold of the day was achieved.  Bluebird days and some fresh powder to keep it fresh.  A week filled with fresh air, beautiful landscape, and family fun.

Big Sky has a fun and growing downtown center.  Everything one needs is a short drive from the ski area.  One can grocery shop at Hungry Moose, sip a coffee at Compass Cafe or Caliber Coffee, pizza at Ousel & Spur Pizza Co. or take in a movie at Lone Peak Cinema.  All your skiing requirements including rentals and gear can be taken care of at Grizzly Outfitters.  My favorite shop to buy souvenirs and other Montana inspired merchandise can be found at Montana Supply.  They have expanded into a new larger space shared with Compass Cafe.  What a nice concept (shopping and sipping coffee, perfect!).  Montana Supply is offering even more crafted accessories and clothing from local artists.  The space is industrial and rugged.  It complements the outdoor nature of the store.  It is one stop shopping offering stylish garments and accessories for men and woman.  The shop is so well curated that you want to make a lifestyle change and move to Montana!

One of the most surprising events that was happening in Big Sky’s town center on way out-of-town was the National Skijoring Event.  Skijoring is a winter sport that combines skiing and horseback riding.  A horse and rider pair up to pull a skier or snowboarder at a fast speed around a track with obstacles and jumps along their path.  A team can take home a purse of up to $2,000 and the champion takes home a belt buckle as a trophy.  This is a highly respected sport and professional athletes come from all over the country.   It is a spectacular event that draws crowds from all over Montana.  There was a special guest supporting the event, Miss Kayla Seaman, Northwest Montana Miss Rodeo Queen.  While I was snapping pictures of the event, my isostilo partner met Kayla.  Kayla is your all American sweetheart with a big smile and proudly wearing her NWMT Miss Rodeo hat.  She is equally sweet, smart, engaging and in a brief interaction a young woman who is a role model.  You can find Kayla on instagram or Facebook.  This event was the icing on the cake.

I can’t end the post without mentioning two other eating establishments to check out. The Horn & Cantle delivers an authentic inspired Montana menu in a beautiful ranch setting.  They also offer a saloon with live music and an outdoor wood burning fireplace for the full ranch effect. The other restaurant is the Gallatin River House Grill.  It is your down and dirty barbecue filled with large tables, a bar, arcade games, a stage for live music, and incredible view of the mountains.  The best in Montana!

Vacationing in Jupiter, FL

I’m a fan of Jupiter.  Not just because it is convenient as heck with a three-hour direct flight from Boston to West Palm on Jet Blue.  Jupiter is a small beachy town with bike paths, nesting turtles, and lovely beaches.  It is active and vibrant with an easy-going mind-set.  The vibe is low-key with a slow tempo.  This is something I am appreciating more and more these days.  My parents are snow birds and have been making the migration to Jupiter for the past seven years or so.  My son and I are the fortunate ones to visit a warm sunny place each winter with the absolute gift of grandparent time.  Jupiter is becoming more familiar to me with each visit which has me returning to my favorite spots and discovering new ones as well.  Life is simple with the motto of taking each day as it comes.  Waking up to blue skies and warmer temperatures than what New England tends to deliver this time of year is not a bad way to start your day.  It always feels like a Friday!

Jupiter Inlet
Shades of green and old banyan trees
Jupiter Inlet
Boat show ready
Jupiter Inlet
Homes of the Inlet
Jupiter Inlet
Layers of beauty
Jupiter Inlet
Boat house, dock, or yacht, not sure which is more impressive
Jupiter Inlet
A view that is in my memory bank to draw from the next New England snow storm
Jupiter Inlet
Happiness is priceless

A cocktail sunset cruise along the Jupiter Inlet is a perfect end to a day.  It is like a Sunday drive with no where to be and no schedule.  One marvels at the rich and famous homes tucked along the waters edge as you cruise at cocktail speed.  At times you just get a sneak peek to the homes through the beautiful banyan trees and colorful tropical landscapes.   Each home is different with its own stamp of style.  I love the low crawling style homes that blend into the environment but they are far from subtle.  The sun setting makes everything glisten and a calmness is present.  I enjoy every opportunity to take this cruise! Jupiter offers many options for taking cruises and tours of the Inlet if you do not have access to a boat.

Sailfish Marina
Sailfish Marina
Sailfish Marina
Fishing haven
Sailfish Marina
Sit and take in the sunset
Sailfish Marina
Waterfront dining with no complaints
Sailfish Marina
Tables of creativity
Sailfish
I love this hat! I wish I would have bought it! Regrets!
Sailfish Marina
Fish and Pelicans

Sailfish Marina, a tropical setting located in Palm Beach Shores is a lovely spot to enjoy waterfront dining.  It is a fisherman’s destination but it is also certainly a place for families to enjoy the coastal scenery.  Kids can feed the fish off the docks and parents can stroll the eclectic mix of craft tables set up by local artists selling their wares.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Sea Turtles have a safe place here
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Learning about Guy Harvey

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center strictly focuses on ocean and turtle conservation.  It is a wonderful place educating, researching, and rehabilitating sea turtles eventually returning them back to their habitat in good health.  The center has an annual celebration called the Turtlefest.  A festival we don’t miss if our timing is right.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for children and adults to learn about marine life, conservation, and everything about turtles.  We enjoy at least one if not two trips to the center when we are visiting Jupiter.  The center is about to undergo a large renovation.  I can’t wait to see the changes!

Fishing
One for the memory bank!
Fishing
A bent rod means one thing
Fishing
Damn they got me!
Fishing
Learning from the master

Fishing is an art.  One must know the rules and the subtleties in fishing to play the game.  My father is a true salty man of the sea.  I have had plenty of childhood memories filled with fishing, scrubbing boats, and wondering when we will head home.  We would wake before sunrise and return after sunset.  Fishing teaches you patience, appreciation, and respect for the ocean.  This week my son fished and had the taste of the chase.  He had time learning from one of the best.  Life lessons from your grandpa are worth the weight of gold!

Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Explore
Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Warning! Gulp
Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Paddlers
Jonathon Dickinson State Park
Choose your water vessel and head out for an adventure

Something new and a day to remember.  We headed to Jonathon Dickinson State Park for an outdoor activity.  Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a 11,000 acre park offering land and water activities.  We decided on canoeing by default since the kayaks were all taken by the time we arrived.  $26 for a three person canoe for two hours of water exploring seems reasonable.  We set off for our adventure but not before noticing the crocodile warning sign.  This set a tone of nervousness but we were assured by the trusting staff that the crocodiles were well fed (really?!) and are accustomed to the activity.  We canoed for 45 minutes in a small circle just beyond the loading dock.  We saw two crocodiles and rowed to safety!  We canoed, we conquered and can tell the story.  Next time we may opt for a land activity.

Leftovers Cafe
Here’s The Vibe
Leftovers Cafe
Cold Draft
Leftovers Cafe
Belly Up (Sriracha ready)
Leftovers Cafe
First impressions and I’m digging it
Leftovers Cafe
Vibe of the week

I have a list of great places to eat here in Jupiter and I tend to want to return to those favorites.  Not this time.  Leftovers Cafe is the sister restaurant to the Food Shack (awesome!).  They had me at the front door with the sticker covered entry way creating a skate/surf kind of vibe.  The interior wall space is wrapped with street art graffiti.  The food is fresh, creative, and generously portioned which allows for sharing.  I highly recommend the sweet potato encrusted tilefish.  I’m on the hunt for the recipe!