Saturday, July 25, 2009

Native American Tribal Jewelry

The Native Americans understood a few profound things about life. Among them, the knowledge that the land itself does not belong to us. We are merely the shepherds of each borrowed flock that happens to inhabit this earth.
As we travel far and wide, Native American culture reminds us that, for as much as we try to own, take, buy, sell, save or destroy the land, it, in fact, owns us. In addition to their wise acknowledgments of all things terrestrial, the Pacific Northwest coast tribes, situated within the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the U.S. states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon, also considered animals akin to human beings, with varying degrees of supernatural powers. Each animal had its own teaching and healing medicine and all of them were capable of taking human form, assuming their other forms when consorting with humans. There were Salmon People, Herring People and Grizzly Bear People. In fact, in ancient Native American lore, frequent references are made to a time when animals were humans, gifted with the power of speech and other human attributes. Native American tribes believed that animals had souls which are immortal and that they were reborn after death.
With this in mind, we stumbled upon this fine website while searching for interesting tribal jewelry that reflected this all too forgotten culture, so rich with art and story. Before European contact, the Northwest coast tribes used wood, stone, and copper as mediums; since European contact, paper, canvas, glass, and precious metals have also been used. The patterns depicted include natural forms such as bears, ravens, eagles, and humans, as well as legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls (a mythological two-headed sea serpent or snake creature with an anthropomorphic head and hands in the middle of the body). These crazy mytho-monsters were common among the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The best part? All three heads of this mythological creature are surmounted by "horns of power".

The artifacts these Native Americans made served also as a means of transmitting stories, history, and wisdom. Later, the art of the native Northwestern tribes were then used to decorate traditional 'First Nations' household items like spoons, baskets, hats, and paddles. Since European contact, the Northwest Coast art style has increasingly been used in gallery-oriented forms such as paintings, prints and sculptures.

Now, they bring us beautiful silver jewelry that will bring out the Tribal Goddess in you.

Retails $65-$200

Monday, July 20, 2009

San Diego: A Quick Weekend Getaway

Rancho Bernardo Hotel

Sometimes it's easier than you think it is to spoil yourself. The only good thing about the economy still being in shambles is that 4 and 5 star properties are cutting deals for those in need of a quick escape from the stresses of the city. From July 31 through September 13, The Rancho Bernardo Inn is inviting guests to head to sunny Southern California to experience an ultimate getaway for one all-inclusive price. The new “Spoil Me” package combines all of the property’s amenities—deluxe accommodations, exquisite dining, fabulous wine, championship golf, and luxurious spa treatments—providing a no surprises getaway in a warm, relaxing setting.
Starting at $289 per person, guests can relax, unwind and be pampered during their stay. With all amenities and resort fees included in the package price, The “Spoil Me” package features:

• Overnight stay in deluxe accommodations
• All meals, including the option of dinner at El Bizcocho
• All honor bar beverages and wine amenity
• Unlimited rounds of golf
• One signature spa treatment per person per day
• Tickets to local area attractions
• All resort and parking fees
• On property recreational facilities

Rancho Bernardo Inn, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, is not only a Mobil Four Star property for 18 years, but it also has a AAA Four Diamond rating. The Inn is conveniently located within 25 minutes of most of San Diego’s main attractions including the Wild Animal Park, Lego Land, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Bernardo Inn is owned by JC Resorts, whose other properties include Surf & Sand Resort, Temecula Creek Inn, and JC Golf.

Tel: 800.770.7329

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bali & Java: The *Virtual* Spa Escape

I want to... oh, where is that exotic escape to Java when you need it? For those thirsting for a last dose of stress-free summer vacation before September, but don’t have the budget to spend on travel, 17th century Bali is at your fingertips. For the month of August,, a premier online spa lifestyle resource, is inviting you to embark on a virtual journey to Central Java and explore its rich spa and beauty traditions, all from the comfort of your own home. Each month, provides virtual journeys, the recommendations of spa lifestyle product advisors who have combed the world for standout products and experiences.

In Bali, they'd say 'experience the royal Balinese wedding ritual of Lulur, beginning with a JAMU massage of Jasmine Frangipani oil and ending with a yogurt splash, shower and flower bath.' The JAMU lulur scrub is infused with antioxidants that leave the skin with a bright, Asian-inspired radiance. Right now, offers a JAMU Frangipaini Spa Traveler so you can enjoy a personal Javanese spa experience no matter where you are.

Check it out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Caribbean Escapes: Discounted Flights, Over-Water Spas, & Chic Yoga Retreats

This hot off the press from an independent island hopper who reps some hidden gems in the Caribbean.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas - Outer Islands

In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Kamalame Cay, a 96-acre private island resort in the Bahamas, invites guests to FLY FOR FREE* THROUGH DECEMBER 14 and is also offering 20% OFF ALL SPA TREATMENTS for any Girls World* bookings. With the addition of new General Manager Peter Bauer, a new Spa Director, an onsite wedding planner, a new solar power system – and a new sister property in Jamaica – there are so many reasons this year is better than ever to seek out sunny serenity at two of the most authentic hideaways in the Caribbean. Perched on the edge of the ‘Tongue of the Ocean’ in The Bahamas, Kamalame Cay is a private island hideaway unlike any other. The secluded beachfront cottages combined with the three miles of white sand shores that run the length of the island are just what the body and soul need to re-center, relax and rejuvenate.
Kamalame Cay Private Island Resort Room

The new 'Best of Both Worlds' package encourages guests to extend their barefoot Bahamian getaway to Jamaica’s lesser known northeast coast – and the Hew family’s (who own Kamalame) – personal getaway. Using either Air Jamaica’s direct Nassau to Kingston service or flying private to maximize precious holiday minutes, the package includes three nights at Kamalame with choice of full day fishing or equivalent spa credit, 3 nights at Kanopi House, a VIP river rafting trip with quintessential Jamaican barbecue and another full or half-day excursion to one of the countless nearby waterfall wonderlands. Kamalame is also bringing back its ‘New Year, New You’ workshops in January at no extra charge. With (optional) daily yoga and motivational life coaching sessions with renowned Handel Group Life Coach Jo Sawalha to inspire and reinforce the “to thine own self be true” philosophy and encourage participants to exercise the power of body and mind to achieve the life of their dreams. The Kamalame Spa is also located over the turquoise waters of the lagoon and its five treatment rooms face out onto the surrounding sea with floor-to-ceiling windows that fully collapse. Hello?!?

Diving, snorkelling, tennis, sea kayaking into mangroves, as well as deep sea and bone fishing are all available right on property. So dine on the conch fritters at Hank's Place (242/368-2447; on the water at Fresh Creek and tell Kamalame we sent you.

Kanopi House, in Jamaica, is a low-impact resort featuring a relaxed club house and four individual eco-chic tree houses in a luscious rainforest with commanding views over Port Antonio, often referred to as the Jamaican Riviera. A stone’s throw from the world famous Blue Lagoon, all meals and activities are catered to individual tastes.

Rates for six nights as above including inter-island air start at $2500pp based on double occupancy.

Visit: for complete details.

Reservations for both properties (and the Best of Both Worlds) can be made by calling +1.800.790.7971 and mentioning this deal and where you heard about it. Meanwhile, Jet Blue launches service from JFK to Saint Lucia (UVF) October 26 and to Kingston, Jamaica on October 30th making this offer even more tempting.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lonely Planet's Travel with Children

They say that people have more children during a Depression. Hmmm... Well, judging from the amount of snappy strollers and bouncing Bugaboo's on the streets, I'd have to say that things must be looking up! Or down. Babies, I dare say, are simply everywhere that we turn. And, although some of them are damn cute, things start to go south when they're on the airplane getting colicky or in the back seat of the car asking (incessantly), "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" So, to better help our friends with family, here's a new Lonely Planet guide just for you. Lonely Planet, assembling a team of parent-authors, are offering their best ideas and advice about every aspect of traveling with kids - from planning to packing to getting along on the road (and what to do when things go wrong) in the fifth edition of Travel with Children published July 2009. Fully revised and redesigned, this new edition of Travel with Children features:

Tips on choosing the right kind of trip for your family
Details on all kinds of vacations, from Activity & Adventure Holidays to Package Holidays & Resorts

How to keep them happy
Games to make long trips easier, how to create a child-friendly itinerary, and dealing with your child’s ‘culture shock’

Info on living abroad and long-term travel for young families

How to stay healthy and keep safe by a medical expert
A run-down of common immunizations, what you should bring with you in a first-aid kit, and travel related health issues.

Special advice for solo parents and parents with teenagers
Each situation has its own set of challenges and their authors give practical advice on how to stay sane and create boundaries.

Traveler’s Tales
Authors describe their most memorable family trips – and tell you what worked and what didn’t.

So if you're knocked up, know someone who is, or you already have a growing brood of your own, this could be the perfect reference guide or gift for them (or you)!

Just don't say I told you to go out and get pregnant...