Thursday, December 27, 2007


One of the jewels of Spain is the lovely town of Marbella, an exclusive summer resort for Southern Europe. It is situated on the 'Costa del Sol', Spain's region of Andalusia, and boasts 17 miles of beachfront, and a total of 24 different beaches. While the beauty of Marbella is its location on the sea, there is a rich history as you stroll through the narrow streets of Casco Antigua (Old Town), to the historic church and bell tower, and view La Trinidad and San Francisco convents, and the crumbling walls of a Moorish castillo. These narrow streets are lined with quaint shops and sidewalk cafés.

Down by the sea, stands the magnificent Puerto Banús harbor, with hundreds of expensive yachts, and luxury cars parked outside Nueva Andalucía's high-class boutiques and art galleries. It is a joy to discover the ruins of Muslim walls, the 16th century Plaza de la Iglesia and Casa Consistorial (Town Hall) that is contrasted by modern Marbella's music bars, discothèques, and fine restaurants. For art lovers the Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo exhibits works by renowned Spanish artists, Picasso, Dalí and Miró. As Costa del Sol's most popular resort, it is famous for its beaches, luxurious resorts, and extravagant boutiques, lively beach bars and restaurants, with more than 40 golf courses.

Marbella is home to a population of 300.000 people during the year and a million during the summer. Sheltered by the mountains of the Sierra Blanca, the average temperature all year long is 66 degrees and the sun shines around 315 days per year with less than 50 rainy days. Marbella feels like a small town with friendly people. There are also great day trips to take such as seeing the British colony, the Rock of Gibraltar, with its wild monkeys. Why not get two stamps in your passport? Marbella will enchant you with its charm and vitality.

Angie McCarl

Monday, December 17, 2007

Breathtaking Kauai!

When I first laid eyes on Kauai I thought I had found Eden. This most perfect island is called the Garden Isle of Hawaii. As the beauty of Kauai reveals itself, you find tall mountains rising from the lush greenery and sparkling blue waters splashing along black sand beaches. Truly you feel the hand of God as the panoramic views startle and amaze you. If your ideal vacation is in the tropics, then Kauai should be first on your list. Over 80% of Kauai's diverse terrain is inaccessible making the helicopter the best way to see its spectacular waterfalls, canyons, mountains, valleys, rain forests and secluded beaches. Waimea Canyon has been named the Pacific Grand Canyon. As the waterfall pours over the edge of the incredible high cliff, I remember skipping across the flowing water thinking, “Gosh, I hope I don’t slip!” Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii here and the fantastic opening to Jurassic Park credits Kauai’s lush canyons and wild seas. Don’t miss this tropical treasure, it will touch your soul!

Monday, August 20, 2007

History Is Alive at Plymouth Colony

In 1620 the Mayflower brought hope-filled Pilgrims to our rocky shores. In seven years they had built the busy village of Plymouth which grew into the current city of today. Fortunately for us Plymouth's history isn't lost forever, there is a wonderful re-creation of this small farming town built by English. It is easy to find yourself immersed in the year 1627, in the village of modest timber-framed houses, fragrant raised-bed gardens, well-tended livestock and fascinating townspeople of Plymouth Colony.

Although Jamestown (1607) was the first settlement, Plymouth remains the first permanent English settlement in New England. The people you will meet are costumed role players who have taken on the names, viewpoints and life histories of the people who actually lived in the colony in 1627. Each one has a unique story to tell. Learn about the colony's difficult beginnings or discover the gossip of the day. Ask about religious beliefs, medical practices or relations with the local Wampanoag Indians.

Your visit to the year 1627 is self-guided, so you are free to wander around the village at your own pace. Take this unique opportunity to explore the 17th-century perspective of the English who traveled across the Atlantic. It is a delightful venture into the past without the rough seas and the perilous journey.

Angie McCarl

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Salem in Summer

One of New England’s most famous ancient towns is Salem, Massachusetts. It is a great walking city and absolutely charming to visit. Begun in 1627 as Naumkeag for the river it sits on, the village was renamed Salem in 1629. It thrived as a quiet farming and fishing community until the January of 1692 when it learned the brutal results of mass hysteria. When old doc Griggs couldn’t find a reason for two women’s illness, he declared “I can’t cure it so it must be the devil” and told the town that the women had been bewitched. His snap diagnosis caused the hanging death of nineteen men and women as well as the subsequent death of at least 5 others from prison and crushings. What a guy… Of course he wasn’t alone. There were judges and trials and false testimonies that make for amazing reading at the Peabody Essex Museum. To commemorate the poor accused villagers the city of Salem has gone all out with a Salem Witch Museum. Just around the corner from this depressing museum is the “House of the Seven Gables” that was made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book was dull but the house is interesting and a great tour. There are so many fascinating streets and shops that spending a day in Salem will keep you in high spirits on a bright blue summer day.

Angie McCarl

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

For a great family vacation, Sarasota, Florida is your perfect getaway. It’s white sandy beaches open to the vastness of the Gulf and amazing, breathtaking sunsets. The beauty of Sarasota will get your attention on your first visit. If you see Sarasota first from the window of an airplane, the colors of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay, contrasting with the brilliant white sand of Longboat, Lido, and Siesta beaches, will make you anxious to see more. One of my favorite places is St. Armand's Key which has a lovely circle of shops and restaurants called St. Armand's Circle. The best in the area is called the COLUMBIA which prides itself on excellent Cuban dishes and delightful atmosphere. This is a laid back city that offers interesting homes such as that of John Ringling (of Ringling Brothers Circus fame) with unique Spanish architecture and lush jungle-like vegetation. European travel gave John Ringling a passion for art collecting. He has important works of Rubens and Titian among his collection which rivals the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the area is the unique lavender seashell-design that makes the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall just incredible. With approximately 1/4 the population of Tampa, Sarasota has 9 colleges along with its dedication to water related sports. Have fun in a beautiful part of our United States by spending your vacation in spectacular Sarasota.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tis Fun at the Globe Theatre in London

If you are longing for history to come alive, don't miss the Globe theatre in London this summer! When it comes to watching theatre, nowhere quite matches the history and intimacy of Shakespeare's Globe. To illustrate the first theme of renaissance, there are three classic Shakespeare plays - Othello, The Merchant of Venice and Love's Labour Lost. They explore the promise and the problems of the Renaissance period. Open all year round, Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition is the world’s largest exhibition devoted to Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and worked.

In addition, housed in the vast UnderGlobe beneath the theatre, is a fascinating exhibition that explores the remarkable story of American Sam Wanamaker struggle to rebuild the Globe and brings Shakespeare’s world to life using a range of interactive displays and live demonstrations.
Find out how special effects were produced in Shakespeare’s time; join the cast and add your voice to a scene played by Globe actors; watch a sword-fighting display; see a working printing press in action or discover how actors are dressed in Elizabethan clothing. It is a fun and fascinating tour.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Virgin Islands-Cool Vacation

Virgin Islands

The magnificent Virgin Islands has a long standing, enviable international reputation as the ultimate place for pristine beaches, warm weather, and crystal-clear waters. You’ll also find it is one of the most culturally diverse, ethnically rich, and artistically vibrant society in the tropics. You’ll also find the residents are island-spiced, friendly and quick to smile. Contemporary Virgin Islanders are literally from everywhere.

Nowhere else in the Caribbean offers such a good vacation value as the US Virgin Islands. With secluded beaches, National Parks and Duty-free shopping it is perfect and quick trip or a long stay. For World-class diving and superb sailing this is the trip for you. What is really nice is that it is all wrapped up in the safety, security, and efficiency of the American flag. The United States Virgin Islands include St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John has the pristine beaches to enjoy sunbathing or touring the island. It is the perfect vacation retreat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rent a Villa in Paradise

Delfina Villa in St. John Island

As you enter the magnificent villa of Delfina, you’ll know you have arrived in paradise! Stepping through the pillars and into the sweeping courtyard of this superb estate, you will find a mansion fit for royalty! Overlooking the radiance of Peter Bay on the leeward side of St. John Island, Delfina is picture perfect in every way. With 5600 square feet of interior living space coupled with the additional balconies, verandas, covered drive and patios, you’ll have a total of 13,000 square feet under roof.
Enjoy a cocktail on the stone patio by the pool as you gaze upon the radiant green mountains and blue Caribbean Sea. This new and exclusive luxury residence is located in the gated community of Peter Bay. Every detail is faultless from the gourmet kitchen to the five large ensuite bedrooms and an entire level devoted to family entertainment. The media room has comfortable seating and a 50 inch flat screen TV with DVD and extensive movie and CD collection. In the entertainment alcove you’ll enjoy pinball machine, Xbox, and a beautiful pool table. For those interested in a little cardio, the villa offers an excellent treadmill.
But you are here for the view! Why not dine under the stars on fish cooked on your stainless gas grill with rotisserie? Every possible attention to opulence is yours at the Defina villa. All will love the abundant amenities offered. For snorkeling or sun bathing on the beach, you are just a few minutes by car to the private beaches of Peter Bay or those wanting a short hike, you can take the back roads down to shore in about ten minutes.
While the villa sleeps 12, you won’t have to worry about getting away for some private time with the luxurious accommodations at Delfina. Listening to the calming sounds of the sea, you’ll watch the vibrant colors of the Virgin Islands sunset from your private balcony set with table and chairs for two. Rich and refreshing, the bedroom suites are perfect for savoring the restful nights including bathrobes and alfresco showers with mini-fridge and coffeemaker to begin another day in Paradise. There is also a quiet sitting area with TV and DVD player, DSL line for your laptop along with fax/printer/copier for those who want to be connected.
Stylish furnishings, beautiful landscaping, air-conditioning, and top of the line details will make your stay at the Delfina a cherished memory. Perfect for families, or a getaway with friends, the villa offers you the supreme vacation home. With Breathtaking views and stylish elegance, Delfina will have you returning again and again to your own private paradise in the Caribbean.
Angie McCarl

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cotton House By The Sea in St Croix


Imagine sitting with friends and family on your dazzling veranda watching the sailboats dance in the blue waters below.  Your stay at Cotton House by the Sea will take you to a new level of elegance, in this sleek, immaculate, and tastefully furnished villa.   Located steps away from the ocean on St. Croix's northeastern coast, this very exclusive, private West Indian colonial home offers a luxurious Great Room along with three bedroom suites, and outdoor covered gallery overlooking your colossal sunny pool and fabulous cabana. Tall palms and colorful bougainvillea screen both sides of the pool area completely, offering exclusive privacy from neighboring homes.  Cotton House By The Sea's great room opens to a beautiful outside gallery overlooking the pool and Caribbean Sea providing an enticing area for cocktails and relaxing.  You'll love this well-designed, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, with crystal, china, flatware, and Caphalon cookware, set one-step up on a dramatic dais.  At sunrise, walk hand and hand down your lush green terraced lawn to the shore and bask in the fabulous snorkeling and swimming of the azure waters.  Enjoy evenings in the manor house surrounded by lush flora and fauna that give a special hideaway feel.  This air-conditioned beauty offers so much more than other villas with its elegant furnishings of mahogany, original artwork, and cathedral ceilings.

You'll know you're in the islands as you enter your master suite with its carved four-poster king bed draped luxuriously with netting and white curtains.  With its rich tiled shower for two, you'll love your spacious bath and especially its private garden patio where tradewind breezes cool the afternoon sun.  The second king suite glories in a draped mahogany four-poster bed with a unique alfresco shower, tiled in immaculate white, with a private window looking out to the sea. Not to be outdone, Cotton House's third bedroom suite offers two twin beds with French doors opening out to its own tropical garden sun deck.

Come to Cotton House By The Sea to take pleasure in her stylish colonial atmosphere with tasteful blendings of beautiful antiques and tranquil privacy inside and out.  In seaside splendor, Cotton House By The Sea is your perfect retreat for comfort and serenity amidst the unforgettable alluring views of the magnificent Caribbean.

Angie McCarl