Cooling off for Vacation Friday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

We are going to cool off and head to ALASKA today for vacation Friday! We went to dinner with my in-laws last night and heard more about their Alaskan adventure and it sounds amazing! B has written the post today because it was a fishing trip and he knows more fishing lingo than I do:). Enjoy today's beautiful journey!

From B:
My parents and a group of their good friends recently returned from a fishing trip in Alaska with Baranof Wilderness Lodge. Their adventure started with a night in Seattle and some exploring of the city. 
Pike Place Market in Seattle...YUM!     
The next day, they hopped a flight to Juneau where they caught a float plane to Baranoff Island. They said the float plane was an adventure in itself and that the beauty of flying over wild Alaska was incredible. 
Their home for the next five days consisted of very nice tents, cots and campfires along side Baranof Bay. 
Home for the week
The first few days of fishing in and around the inlets of the Bay was lights out. They limited out on silver salmon and halibut each day, all while seeing whales swimming by and bald eagles flying overhead. The last couple of days were spent fly fishing the rivers inland from the bay. I can only imagine how fun this was as the pink salmon run was on, and they were loving their streamer imitations. 
Their fishing companions in the rivers came in the form of giant coastal brown bears. The guides were constantly armed and ready for anything but the bears were only there for the same reason my parents were, the fishing! 
Bear and it's cub
Nights in camp consisted of good wine and incredible food cooked by Dutch, the in camp cook. Meals consisted of smoked prime rib, crab, steak and as you can imagine, the most fresh salmon and halibut imaginable. Each day would wind down with good friends telling stories of the day that had passed, all while taking in the last great frontier around them. 
Sounds like a pretty incredible trip, I can't wait until we one day make it ourselves. 

Thanks, B and thank you John and Keni for sharing your wonderful pictures with us! So now you see what we have been eating all week...delicious, fresh salmon and halibut! I would give about anything right now to be sitting on Baranof bay, looking at the sunset over the beautiful water and mountains, with a glass of wine in hand.

Cheers to coastal dreams! 

Home Exchange

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Would you like to stay here, on the beach, in Santa Barbara...for a month or longer?
Or, how about here, in Maui?
I know I would and I can! Have you ever seen the movie "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet? In the movie, they did a home exchange. I remember watching the movie and thinking to myself, "what a great idea! I wish I had come up with that." Well, it appears that someone has really been successful at making home exchanges happen around the world! At you can view listings of houses all over the world. You can choose any amenities you would like in the home, any size home, homes that allow pets, etc, etc. Now, I understand this can be a bit scary, but the site says there are over 250,000 successful home exchanges every year and there are a ton of very positive testimonials on the website. The more I check things out, the more I like it! Unlike the movie, "The Holiday," there is no promise that you will meet a Jude Law wherever you stay, but it is certain that you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and try out a new way of life for a much less expensive rate than if you stayed at a hotel.

So, now when I tell B that I'm moving to Kiawah Island, he will know that it's really possible and might see me packing my bags soon! Well, as long as I can convince the people that own this house to move to Austin for a while. Hopefully, they LOVE music and I can convince them with a few passes to the Austin City Limits Festival or SXSW tickets:).
Pretty amazing concept. What do you think??

Yummy Fish Tacos

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A big THANK YOU to my in-laws for taking an amazing trip to Alaska and bringing home the best gift ever...tons of fresh Salmon and Halibut! I'll write more about their trip on another post. I have seen pictures and I can't wait to share them with you! It was a once in a lifetime experience.

B and I are both fish lovers, so we have already eaten the fresh fish 2 out of the last 3 nights:). B looked at me last night and said, "we shouldn't eat fish every night...we should save some and not have it so often, so we appreciate it more." This is one of many reasons why I married him...he's thoughtful about everything he does. As for me, if fresh fish is in my fridge, I'm going to eat it every night and not even think twice about it.

We decided to make fish tacos with our fresh halibut last night and they were delicious! We used Rachael Ray's recipe and it was so easy. It has to be easy...I'm not what you would call a "cook." The guacamole sauce was amazing and can be used on so many different foods!
 Try it out and let me know what you think! Yum yum!!

One Kings Lane

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Kings Lane is a site, created by home designers Susan Felman and Alison Gelb Pincus, that has sales everyday on items from top brands and designers. The site has great furniture, accessories, gifts, and much more. The membership is free and I love something in every new sale (which is not always a good thing). Also, they have some great inspiration pages that help you get ideas for any space you want to update.

There have been some great summer sales lately. Check out these amazing coastal finds I have seen...

Cute, Summer platters and plates that you can monogram!

Isn't this beautiful stationary?!
Linnea's Citrus Yuzu votive trio

Burlap starfish pillow
I love me some fun little coastal finds. Of course, you can go much bigger than this and purchase a couch or dining table on One Kings Lane, if you prefer.

Things do go quickly, so act fast if you like something!

Goldens at the beach...

Monday, July 25, 2011

I have yet to talk about this family member and I don't know how that's happened! Our golden retriever, Penny Lane, is one of the loves of my life! I truly had NO idea that I had it in me to love a dog so much:). Nothing makes my golden happier than the water. We learned quickly that her most favorite place in the world is the lake house. She runs and jumps off the dock and will swim for hours upon hours. She never seems tired until we come home from the lake and then she's drained for at least 2 days.

Meet Penny Lane...
At the dog park
On her first boat ride!
Enjoying the sunset with B
We hope to bring Penny Lane to the beach with us very soon. We know she would love it! I thought it would be a good idea to keep things light on this boring Monday and post some pictures of goldens having a blast on the coast. Hopefully these will bring a smile to your face:).
Golden surfing...Penny would LOVE this!
Just chillin'
I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Vacation Friday - A trip that has it all!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm dreaming BIG today. I'm not sure if the 104 degree weather in Texas has gotten to my head or what, but get ready to read about a journey of a lifetime. If I can somehow make this trip happen in my lifetime, I will die a very happy and blessed woman:).

Come with me to the 49,000-acre Shamwari Game Reserve in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. When I tell you that this trip has it all, I mean it! The Reserve is beautiful with many luxurious places to stay...

Eagles Crag Lodge:
Bayethe Lodge:

or the Riverdene Lodge:
...and others. The luxury lodges alone make a great trip, but what about the delicious meals by the fire?
More importantly, what about the Game Drives? These are sites I can only dream of seeing one day...sites that if I ever do see, will be life changing because they are so amazing.

You are almost guaranteed to see the breathtaking wildlife in action because 2 safaris per day are included in the rate of your stay. One safari is before sunrise and one is at sunset because these are the best time to spot animals. I'm dreaming of jumping in an open-air jeep, with a cup of coffee, ready to watch the sunrise and wildlife play like I have never seen before!

To top off the excellence of this magical place, it is known as one of South Africa's most successful private conservation initiatives. Everything they do represents luxury eco-tourism.

So you might be asking yourself....yes, Liz, great place, but what does this have to do with the coast? of the major draws to this particular reserve in South Africa for us coastal lovers is it's proximity to Jeffreys Bay (J-Bay). J-Bay is famous for it's incredible surf, white sand beaches and abundance of sea shells. You might even hear it called the "Surf mecca of the world." Here is Kelly Slater surfing J-Bay...
Shamwari Game Reserve is recommended on as one of the top luxury surf destinations. Just take in the beauty of this beach...

I just drool when I think of all the amazing things this trip includes. I hope you have enjoyed this journey for Vacation's a long journey, but one I imagine is VERY worthwhile!

Happy Weekend!!

Cinnamon Shores R&R Cafe is open!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's here and I can't wait to go!!
R&R Cafe-Cinnamon Shores-Port Aransas, TX

I warned you that I would talk about Cinnamon Shores a lot. I just love the area and it just keeps getting better! The R&R Cafe is walking distance from all houses and condos in Cinnamon Shores and has coffee, snacks, and, as you can see from the pictures....delicious gelato!

It looks great and I'm looking forward to my first of many, many, many visits to the cafe when I head to Port A in August! Check out more pictures at

See you tomorrow for Vacation Friday!