Lifestyle

Destination: High Atlas Mountains, Morocco – part one

TRAVEL: Casablanca, Tangier, Fez, or Rabat; a hard decision but we decided Marrakech would be our first visit to Morocco, beginning at the High Atlas Mountains, then to Essaouira, ending our trip at Marrakech. And, there is nothing more exhilarating than planning a last-minute vacation to a bucket list destination. Two weeks before departure, I curated a well-planned itinerary for a seven-day trip, which was also my first trip to the continent of Africa.

As everyone in America celebrated Thanksgiving with family, my husband and I soared across the Atlantic with a quick overnight stop in London connecting onto a British Airways flight where we flew three and a half hours to Marrakech. Easy!

Kasbah Tamadot in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Kasbah Tamadot in the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Just less than an hour from the city, the drive to the High Atlas Mountains is breathtaking in a nomadic sense as the dusty road winds through Berber villages. The only inclination that this is a modern-day — villagers still have a smartphone attached to their heads.

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Just Cos Beauty Comes From a Bar

BEAUTY. Last December, a coterie of beauty devotees gathered at Grange Hall for a pretty little lunch hosted by Tina Craig, in honour of Lily Garfield founder of Cos Bar, a speciality cosmetics retailer.

On our introduction by Ms Craig, we chatted, and of course Lily was charming, demure and appropriately fervent about an industry she’s spent the last 40-years conquering. I shared with Lily that I frequented the Cos Bar every visit to Aspen; her original boutique offers a much-needed concept, situated so far away in the Rocky Mountains. Lily shared that she had wanted to break into the Dallas market for many years, but finally found a great location. Amidst a fine feast with friends, our beautiful chatter continued—Tina introduced Lily to Dallas, and Dallas to Lily, and we all bonded over creams, potions, lotions, fragrances and lipsticks and waited for the new store opening.

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Project Athena Foundation: I am a Goddess

HEALTH. Technically speaking I am a Goddess, and who doesn’t want to be a goddess! But the title of Goddess is the term used for fundraisers of Project Athena Foundation. A non-profit organization that helps women survivors of a medical setback achieve their inner Athena—recovery through training to participate in an endurance adventure.

Renee Rouleau, Gail Davis, Max Trowbridge

Renee Rouleau, Gail Davis, Max Trowbridge at Riverplace Nature Trail, Austin

At the end of August, I will check-off my bucket list a hike across the Grand Canyon, thanks to the 16-week training schedule and the supportive coaches at Project Athena. On August 28 I will hike from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon—a 24-mile hike in one day starting at 1 am until we finish.

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Viva Arte Viva at Venice Biennale, an unbelievable visit

TRAVEL: Viva Arte Viva, the theme for Venice Biennale 2017, and the reason for my first trip to Venice. The lagoon city, a maze of waterways and narrow cobbled paths is enchanting, to say the least—but this visit was extra special, coinciding with an art tour curated by Dallas Contemporary.

Damien Hirst, Venice Biennale 2017

Damien Hirst, Grecian Nude, 2017

The water taxi docked at Palazzo Venart just after midnight, and beneath the moonlight, the Grand Canal and garden entrance to the hotel looked hauntingly spectacular. The once Venetian palace, Palazzo Bacchini della Palme, recently renovated into a five-star hotel would be home for the next five nights. I arrived in Venice ready for a Monday morning kick-off, along with an art posse from Dallas for pre-opening activities of the Biennale.

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Beach Hopping in St. Barth

TRAVEL: Eleven years later I finally return to the très chic French island of Saint-Barthélemy—St. Barth. The first trip, a sailing celebration for New Year’s Eve introduced me to the fact that I was not destined to become a worldly sailor. In 2004, my husband and I sailed from St. Martin to St. Barth in 10ft swells (I gripped any protruding handle that I could find on the 55ft sloop and held on dearly at a 45-degree angle), and I arrived at Gustavia dock a perfect shade of green, our captain, however, looked like a happy present-day pirate. I decided that the next trip to St. Barth I would keep my feet firmly on the ground. So this January started with a winter getaway to the Caribbean sans a sailing yacht.

View from our WinAir plane arriving at St. Barth

View from our WinAir plane arriving at St Barth.

The fifteen-minute flight from St. Martin’s Princess Juliana Airport to St Barth, via Windward Island Airways, (WinAir) provides an exhilarating landing, not for the faint-hearted. Once I recovered from the Twin Otter’s dramatic descent, I remembered that the less than 10-mile square island is super-small, and small cars make the best transportation—the Mini Cooper convertible we rented was a perfect island shade of pale blue.

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Homes and Tomes with Tadao Ando, Jan Showers and Aerin Lauder

Architectural design, glamorous interiors and beauty from within—three very different people, three very different books, yet each one shares the same desire—to create the perfect home.

Since I am currently obsessed with anything to do with architecture, interiors and creating a beautiful home (my husband and I are currently renovating a mid-century modern ranch, so more to come on that later), this home selection of coffee table hardcovers is apt in every way.  I’ve met two of the authors, the lovely Jan Showers is every inch as elegant as you would imagine, and Aerin Lauder is sweet, sassy and supremely sophisticated. Alas, I’ve never met Mr Ando who is the subject of admiration for author Philip Jodidio.

Modern, glamorous and beautiful, these three books will certainly inspire your domicile desires.

Tadao Ando Houses by Philip Jodidio

Tadao Ando Houses by Philip Jodidio

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