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!