Posts Tagged With: paris

Down with the Derby

Growing up I had a fleeting but full-fledged obsession with horses and competitive show jumping. Nothing made me happier than being at the stables and my greatest wish was to have a horse of my own. After several years (and quite a few blue ribbons – toot, toot!) my equestrian career came to a screeching halt when I entered junior high and my social life was WAY more important.


Recently our family celebrated my mother’s 60th birthday at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase races and I have to say it was one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. The beauty, strength and majesty of those beautiful animals brought back very fond childhood memories. But it really was everything else about the entire experience (AND we’re back to that “social” thing) that made the day so magical.  Fantastic food, festive fashion (outrageous hats and seersucker suits, of course), super-friendly people, bottomless mimosas (yeah!!) and the exciting racing atmosphere made for an absolutely impeccable day!!

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That experience made me even more anxious to cross yet another destination of my “bucket list” – The Kentucky Derby!! And watching the real-deal Derby over the weekend may have pushed me over the line to full-blown obsession.  So I’ve gotten my name added the list to be notified when 2015 tickets go on sale, fingers are crossed!  Better start shopping now for my big Derby hat, learn the words to “My Old Kentucky Home”  and somehow acquire a taste for mint juleps before then.  I’m not horsing (hehe!) around!


In doing my Derby research I also discovered the wonderful world of horse racing around the globe (sometimes it really pays to Google things on the internet). There’s The Preakness in Maryland, The Belmont Stakes in New York, The Royal Ascot in England, The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Dubai World Cup, just for starters. So, my “bucket list” just got a bit longer and I better be adding some more pages to my passport! Any activity that includes sports, friends, family, cocktails and fun (and dressing to impress!) is my idea of a GREAT time and hopefully next year I’ll be at Churchill Downs with over 164,000 of my closest friends! Big hats, big fun, race for the roses!


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Veux-tu m’epouser?

One of the hottest new trends in the romance travel industry is a destination proposal, or otherwise known as, an “engagementcation”. The latest statistics show that about 1 in 3 marriage proposals take place while on vacation or a weekend getaway. I, of course, am a huge fan of the idea and love to see pictures and read stories about unique, romantic, creative and over-the-top schemes.

Pulling off a memorable destination proposal requires quite a bit of thought and planning but the most important detail is “location, location, location.” An exotic resort in the Caribbean, a winery in Napa Valley, a mountaintop lodge in Colorado or an iconic landmark in New York City are some popular choices. Even better would be the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Trevi fountain in Rome, a gondola ride in Venice or overlooking the Pitons in St. Lucia. As much as I am a beach girl, any and all of those destinations would elicit a big YES from me!

Eiffel TowerTrevi fountiainPitons

The “engagementcation” genre is becoming so popular that many wedding planners, high-end resorts AND travel agents (wink wink) are expanding their businesses to reach the destination proposal market. They have staff and resources to assist with the where/when/how details of pulling off a fairytale proposal. Details like flowers, a champagne picnic, private table at a romantic restaurant, a secluded beach, hot air balloon ride, a horse-drawn carriage, sunset sail or helicopter charter, etc. The possibilities for a one-of-a-kind proposal are truly endless!

Sandcastle proposal Scuba proposal Beach proposal

The marriage proposal, after all, is really all about the story. The telling and re-telling of the feelings, emotions and memories that make up that magical moment. It may be a bit of a stretch to match Prince William’s super -romantic proposal to Kate on an African safari in Kenya, but a little thought, planning and effort can go a long way!

Disney Proposal Engagement ring NY Proposal

Unbeknownst to his “hipness”, I’m sure, my husband also planned a destination proposal. It coincided with my birthday, which was how he was able to pull off the surprise and disguised it as a planned trip to Charleston, SC.  Perfectly timed, on a rooftop bar overlooking historic downtown as the sun was setting, he got down on one knee and said those magic four words (I think… I’m not really 100% what he said… It really was all a blur!!).  It was a night I will never forget and I am forever thankful for the “proposal story” we get to tell!

Rooftop proposal Ring proposal Peninsula proposal

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