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Maldives

Our last trip of 2016 was to the Maldives. Last year was one full of excursions, We traveled to Cameroon, Paris, Bali, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Napa, San Francisco, Dubai, and I must say Read more

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Maldives

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Maldives

Our last trip of 2016 was to the Maldives. Last year was one full of excursions, We traveled to Cameroon, Paris, Bali, Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Napa, San Francisco, Dubai, and I must say beyond a doubt the Maldives was truly the highlight. I had never experienced anything quite like it and I have been a few places.

 

Mr. & Mrs. S

It was not a trip we had really planned, it was a spontaneous last minute decision that came about when our good friends invited us to join them, and instead of listening to  all the reasons we should not go, we went! Prior to our trip, I must admit I did not even know where the Maldives was located. I knew that is was a chain of islands but that is all I knew.

seaplanes take you to the various islands

Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation positioned in the Indian Ocean. There is no counterpart in the entire world in terms of its unique geography and topography. Turquoise blue waters, pearlescent sand beaches, and decadent overwater villas are just a few of the attractions that attract travelers from all over the world.

The path to to our over water villa

Welcome message when we arrived

Mr. S chilling on the side of our private pool

Our home for the week was Per Aquum Niyama a stunning resort that was a true paradise. My pictures don’t begin to showcase the beauty of this place, I was so in the moment I used my phone most of the the time, I just wanted to be present and take it all in…It was a place where we really relaxed and just enjoyed our time together with no distractions.

Here is a video though, so check it out, and be blown away as I was…

In additional to this resort being breath taking, it is the staff that really made our stay special. Everyone was so accommodating, always going beyond the call of duty to make us happy. After the first day everyone knew our name, and at breakfast my artisan latte was ready with a special message each day. Our mode of transportation around the island were cute bikes with little wooden nameplates.

 

 

my bike-

love bike riding

Mr & Mrs S

Anything you thought about, you could do here. Some of the highlights, I went scuba diving for the first time ever. What an experience. Of course I was nervous, but I did it and it was incredible. We also went snorkeling as well, colorful sea life was everywhere you looked.

of course I had to bring my gear…

Mr. S

turtle

our guide

my friend in her pink snorkeling mask…

Of course the food was delicious and they accommodated our veggie diet with no problem. Most of the time I felt as if I was on my own private island. Of course other guests were there, but most of the time it was just us…

the beach

The view

just beautiful-

This post  could go on and on…between the New Year’s Eve party which was world class, private movie on the beach with champagne and popcorn with our friends, gourmet dinners, private boat ride to another island, the spa, scuba lessons, and our butler that was there to accommodate whatever we thought about, this was truly a dream vacation- I defiantly want to go back again.

US

 

Us

The Maldives should defiantly be on your bucket list. Although we went at the last moment, it is probably a destination that you should plan for and save for. I don’t think there is a “bad” time to go, like any tropical area they get their share of rain, we had rain the day before New Year’s Eve, but other than that the weather was perfect. The flight is long, we flew LA to Dubai, Dubai to Male and then a seaplane to the island. So it is a 24 hour journey to get there, but well worth it.

I felt like a kid again…

my “young” husband

gigi

My last Latte

What places are on your bucket list? What is your favorite travel destination?

XOXO,

Gigi


Recalibrate- Post Bali

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Recalibrate- Post Bali
gigi

gigi

While I love traveling, coming back home and getting back to “the routine” can be difficult. We were in Bali for 10 days. Our trip was a dream! For 20 plus years I had been wanting to go there and finally the time came, just Reggie and I- sans the kids.

Funny thing is that this trip started off as a underwater photography workshop that I was going to attend with an accomplished underwater photographer that I admire, Jenna Martin, unfortunately Jenna is pregnant and had to cancel the trip, and we decided to go anyway.

Our days were filled with sunshine and sandy beaches, delectable delights and lots of exploring, sprinkled with a little shopping. Here are a few of my favorite pics from our trip.

Amandari

Amandari- This is the resort we stayed at in Ubud- All the rooms are villas and some of them have private pools- This is the main pool and I just loved the reflections.

visiting the temples

visiting the temples- everyone had to wear a sarong to enter the temples- Bali is a small island and 98% Hindu, there are 1000’s of temples and we visited quite a few.

LocaVore

LocaVore– This was a passion fruit based drink that I had a Locavore, a restaurant in Ubud that I was lucky enough to secure a reservation prior to arriving- everything they serve is from local farmers- our lunch was beautiful and delicious.

Our villa in Ubud

Our villa in Ubud- The resort is designed like a traditional Bali village in the middle of the jungle-There are about 40 rooms all gorgeous.

Reggie Bond-

Reggie “Bond”- On the way to Bali we had a day layover in Dubai, so of course we took advantage and went into the city for dinner at Atmosphere which is in the tallest building in the world-Burj Khalifa.

beach at Nusa Dua

beach at Nusa Dua- southern part of Bali-

I am looking forward to a weekend at home taking time to recalibrate and move forward on numerous projects and lists that I created on my 24 hour flight. It is amazing how being away from all normal distractions can really clear your mind. Bali is a magical place and the Balinese people are so happy and content with a very simple life, it was humbling and a reminder of what is really important at the end of the day…

Have a wonderful weekend- I will be “working” but I really looove doing what I do- so it really isn’t work.

Xoxo,

Gigi

 


Weekend Getaway

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Weekend Getaway

What are you doing this weekend? We are going to Las Vegas to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend away with Reggie.

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

Tonight we will be having dinner at Twist and then going to J Lo’s show at Planet Hollywood Resort.

The rest of the weekend we have no agenda and I’m looking forward to that. The Mandarin Oriental will be our abode for the weekend. We are not gamblers, but there is plenty of stuff to keep us busy on the strip.

A few meanderings on the web-

Why do I want this? Even more than I want this?

So many places to go so little time…

I love short stories

I love this product.

This shoe is so so comfortable …even though it is not my typical style- but I like these.

Take time to do a little exploring this weekend…

Xoxo,

Gigi

Mr. & Mrs.

Mr. & Mrs.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gigi’s Travel Tips

Posted on by Gigi in Travel Comments Off on Gigi’s Travel Tips
gigi skiing

gigi skiing

Yesterday I returned from a whirlwind trip to Atlanta, to attend the PPA Imaging photography conference and then I went to Mammoth on a girls ski trip. Sufficed to say, I love to travel, but sometimes traveling can be stressful, especially getting through the airport process. Here are a few of my tips for making your travel experience effortless.

  1. A day before- check on your flight, print or download your boarding pass, hotel reservation, car rental or transportation and have your passport/ID handy.
  2. Make and use a packing list, I have a few that I created that really help so that I don’t forget anything. I have a photography gear list, gadget list, ski trip list, warm weather vacation list etc. that I print out prior to packing.
  3. Keep your toiletries bag packed and ready.
  4. Have a nice travel outfit that is comfortable and looks nice, I like to dress in layers-
  5. Invest in a good carry on tote that can carry your electronics, snacks, magazines, scarf, etc. pack it the day before with all your plane essentials.
    LV Tote

    LV Tote

    gucci tote

    gucci tote

    madwell tote

    madwell tote

  6. Download movies, videos, etc. on your phone or iPad .
  7. Headphones
  8. Backup Charger
  9. Bring magazines- I find cross country flights are a perfect time to get caught up.
  10. A large scarf is a must- I use mine like a small blanket- I’m glad I did not throw away all those pashminas that were so popular a few years ago. A travel pillow if you like that sort of thing-  the few times I brought one of those, there was no place to put it, and I always loose them anyway.
  11. Bring snacks/lite lunch- airport food is almost non-existent. I like to bring a couple pieces of fruit, protein bar, and tea bags.
  12. Skip 6, 7, 10 and 11 if you are flying business or first class.
  13. If you are not flying Business or first class- upgrade your flight so you can board early- I have to have my gear with me and I cannot have my bag taken due to all the overhead space being full.
    work

    work

  14. Perfume sample of your favorite scent.
  15. anti-bacterial wipes
  16. TSA Pre-check- I’m not officially signed up for this but 90% of the time this is printed on my boarding pass- really makes a difference if you a running late.
  17. Cute shoe that is easy to remove if you are not TSA Pre-check
  18. Socks or little slippers for long plane rides.
  19. Oh, and get to the airport- and allow plenty of time for the process…
  20. And lastly-be nice to the flight attendants and your fellow passengers .
    Photographer Gigi

    Photographer Gigi

    What are some of your travel tips? Do you have any trips planned for 2016? I have a few planned, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Bali, Chicago and maybe Kauai or some other tropical destination.

    XOXO Gigi


My Bucket List…

Posted on by Gigi in Aging, Inspiration, Life Style 4 Comments

In my recent observations of life, in particular some that have ended way to soon unfortunately- I started thinking about my bucket list. At 55 I’m on the other side, I feel fine, not sure what “middle age” is supposed to feel like, but I’m embracing every day. I for the most part do the right “things”,  but I am learning there is no rhyme or reason to these horrific diseases, there are no guarantees.

Here is what I came up with, in no particular order:

1. Travel to Brazil, Cuba, Bali, Turkey, Mauritius, New Zealand, Montreux jazz just to name a few destinations on my list.

Kauai

Kauai

2. Become a really really good photographer.

Gigi

Gigi

3. Write a book. (does not have to be a bestseller or anything)

4. Have a grandchild or two.

5. Get in incredible shape. (For me it is more difficult at this age-body parts want to relocate and shift…)

Gigi @ the beach

Gigi @ the beach

6. Start a non-profit. I want to make a difference, for women and/or animals- cats in particular.

What’s on your bucket list?

Happy Tuesday,

Xoxo,

Gigi


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