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After a hundred Hawaiian vacations, my husband put his foot down and said we were Caribbean-bound!  Having spent 13 years in Florida, I had spent some time in the Bahamas and Virgin Islands, but had never visited the Caribbean Islands.

Dan had visited Nevis before a hurricane nearly devastated the island a few years back and he had fond memories of the people and the place.  So when the Four Seasons reopened their Nevis property last winter, we were first in line.  A super “reopening” package sweetened the deal and we booked an eight day trip arriving on opening day.

We arrived at the resort via a thirty minute private boat ride from neighboring island St. Kitts, and were offered drinks and their special ‘punch.’ A super delish non alcoholic fruit punch.  I had two.

Upon arriving, my family was met at the dock by a staff member who took us directly to our room, our luggage magically arriving shortly thereafter.  No lobby check-in, no credit card swiping.  I was already starting to relax!


Employing 700 people on the island, THE FOUR SEASONS  has an enormous beachfront property lined with chaises.  The two-story buildings are spread out on the property and share three resort pools.  Our room was sublime!  On the second floor at the end, we had a beautiful terrace with a chaise and chair overlooking the ocean.  We were the first to occupy the room after an extensive renovation and everything was pristine.  In general I like Four Seasons because they have large rooms and big beautiful bathrooms.  This bathroom was so huge we rolled our daughters crib in it and said goodnight!

Owned by the artist Brice Marden and his wife, THE GOLDEN ROCK INN sits high in the hills on the property of a former sugar mill.  The rooms are simple chic without air conditioning or TV.  The pool is old school fabulous with incredible views.   The property is spectacular with koi ponds and hanging vines, bougainvillea and monkeys running up the long drive.  I love the red canvas chairs that pop against the natural landscape.


The spectacular natural wonders of the island can’t be understated.  The beaches are breathtaking and of course, water sports are a must!  We took our daughter out on a paddle boat (she loved) and my husband went waterskiing.  One day we took kayaks down the coast and had lunch at THE YACHTSMAN GRILL, a sweet place with a nautical theme and surprisingly delicious food. The water is blue (but not quite clear blue) and was pretty calm when we were there.  We spent everyday in the ocean and watched the sunset from the Jacuzzi.  Heaven.

In addition to water sports, Nevis offers a variety of other recreational activities including hiking (the Golden Rock Trail boasts great views and exotic foliage), mountain biking, golf and tennis.  Our Four Seasons package included tennis, and I took a few clinics.  I’m not a golfer, but Dan and I did get out on the golf course one afternoon to look for monkeys.  The monkeys are in the trees lining the course and sometimes in the afternoon you can see a bunch roaming the course.  Too cute!


MANGO’s is on the water and a better location cannot be found.  Open air with the gentle sound of waves and stars shining in the sky, and interiors so beautiful they prompted me to ask who their designer was.

On the sand, SUNSHINE’s is a short walk on the beach from the Four Seasons, although I’d recommend a flashlight at night.  We had the local lobster grilled with green and red peppers, and a ‘killer bee’ (a rum cocktail) of course!  My husband has been talking about Sunshine’s and the famous killer bee for 6 years and although completely rebuilt since the hurricane, the place didn’t disappoint.  Expect loud reggae, relaxed service, big smiles, and good food.

Ok so we never made it to GALLIPOT as they are only open Thursday-Sunday and reservations are a must.  I did do a drive by however and even got out to stick my head in a closed shutter!  If the food is as good as the island atmosphere this is a good bet.

Nestled in the mountainside, BANANAS is an open-air restaurant that serves up gourmet cuisine with a Caribbean flair. 


The great thing about an island vacation is that you can pack light!  I practically live in a Calypso sundress.  It’s a beach cover-up by day, and accessorized with a statement necklace and a pair of strappy sandals, becomes my dinner ensemble.  I am always careful to wear lots of sunscreen, and I never hit the beach without a wide-brimmed hat!

For more must-pack items, check out my Destination Nevis collection on!


The TACO TRUCK parked on Rose Avenue between Hampton and Fourth has the freshest ceviche tostadas you will ever have. Topped with a wedge of lime and fresh cut avocado, this may be the only reason my NYC-loving husband stays in LA.

I’ve been eating breakfast at the ROSE CAFE several days a week for twelve years. The staff has remained the same and it’s a true neighborhood spot. I can’t imagine not starting my day outside on their back patio with an iced tea (arguably the best I’ve ever had) and huevos rancheros. Pretty sure no one does them better.  Make sure to ask for Patti.

There is no better spot than GJELINA for hopping into a social swirl and snacking on thin crust pizza and incredible salads. I’m particularly fond of the spinach salad and you can’t beat sitting outside near the fire pit. |

Quaint but not quiet, with tight seating on a small patio, you’ll make friends quickly at VENICE BEACH WINES. Wine and cheese. Cheers!


In keeping with the eclectic nature of Venice, Abbot Kinney is a one-stop destination for everything from bicycles to flowers to medical marijuana to surf paraphernalia.

I love FIORE FLORAL DESIGN for the quaint space and their fresh blooms. They also offer a few select gift items, all of which I love. Rose chocolate bars, votives, and I got my daughter the best book ever there, “Everyone Bonjours” :

ALEXIS BITTAR, known for incredible resin bangles and jewels, it’s a must for gift giving! |

This married couple from New York moved to Venice and brought a little NYC glam with them in GUILD.  Think high style, LD Tuttle boots, Ann Demuelemeester and Rick Owens.

I am currently bike-less (not enough storage space!) so until I am able to move, I daydream by browsing all of the simply elegant styles at LINUS; a superb bike shop.  |


COOL FACT: Lauren Hutton is a Venice beach resident and happens to live across the street from me. Her Venice style always includes a fab floppy hat and that must be why she still has flawless skin. Love her!

Many thanks to friend and fellow Venetian, Steve Reiss, for use of some of his favorite neighborhood photos.


For my inaugural blog, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my favorite things from the town I live and work in: Venice Beach, CA. An East Coast girl, I came to Venice 12 years ago and rented a townhouse near the beach. Before I signed the lease, the owner asked me to come check out the neighborhood at night to make sure I felt comfortable, a rather odd and ominous request! That night, I drove around a mostly desolate neighborhood with some homeless roaming the streets pushing old shopping carts. I signed the lease and my new landlord advised, “Never take a right turn out of the front gate. Only go left.” I took him at his word.


During the first week in my new digs, a relaxing bath was interrupted by the sound of gunshots. I ran to the roof to see what was happening, and my boyfriend quickly pulled me inside. I’m sure he must have been wondering what this twinset-clad girl from Palm Beach was doing residing in the same neighborhood as Crips gang members.

Twelve years have passed, and I love the Venice that was and the Venice that is today. The gunshots are now few and far between, and Abbot Kinney has gone from a two restaurant street to the hottest address in Los Angeles. Venice is still home to the homeless, artists, and now to multiple Marmol Radziner-designed homes. There is a woman that still pushes a stroller through our streets selling homemade tortillas and tamales, and the boardwalk is home to plenty of folks offering fresh cut mango, cucumber, and watermelon in a clear wrap. Yummy.


A once-a -year holiday treat that I almost never miss!  Venice Canals and BOAT PARADE, Venicians make their own homemade rafts and float them down the canals. I’ve seen everything from Santa in a rowboat, to a band dressed as superheroes playing electric guitars, to a sinking and re-surfacing Titanic reenactment.

The VENICE ART WALK has become a bit of a destination event over the past few years.  For one weekend in May, local artists open their homes and studios to the public. With proceeds going to the Venice Family Clinic, you can take a walking tour of Venice’s best art and scope out some seriously cool Venice real estate in the process.

Don’t miss FIRST FRIDAYS on Abbot Kinney on the first Friday of the month. Shops stay open late and offer hors d’oeuvres and play music. My favorite draw are the 25+ food trucks that line the street offering every food and sweet treat imaginable. I still haven’t had a gourmet grilled cheese from the grilled cheese truck because lines wrap the block. Try Cool Haus for pistachio-truffle ice cream instead. | Twitter: @coolhaus)

Stroll along VENICE BEACH! and enjoy the newly-erected skate park, or dance on roller skates. Local vendors line the boardwalk with art, jewelry, and henna tattoos. Bike rentals are another fun option. I walk the beach all the way to Santa Monica and back each morning before the action starts.

Venice is a casual beach town so no sky high heels needed! Havaianas, jeans, a cute top, and either a colorful cardi or hoodie will just about do it. It’s cooler here than most expect so don’t forget your sweater.  I tend toward slim cargos and a tank top paired with a cashmere hoodie.

For more must-pack items, check out my Destination Venice Beach collection on!



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