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Where has your scent transported you?

Father’s Day Gift Guide Posted on 16 Jun 14:41 , 0 comments

Father’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re stumped on what to get dad this year, here are some creative gifts for all types of men; from the outdoors man to the wine connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.

New Orleans...you stole our hearts. Posted on 2 Mar 12:21 , 0 comments

A look inside our recent journey to the Big Easy for New Orlean's Mardis Gras, 2015.

{Interview} Discovering the Planet with Brooke Saward World of Wanderlust Posted on 6 Jan 15:44 , 0 comments

We love learning about other adventurist’s journeys and experiences. People are driven to travel for different reasons; some want to see the world, some want to experience different cultures, and some crave the adventure of the unknown. Every traveler has a unique motivation that makes their travel bug tick. We recently caught up with Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust to learn about what drives her to keep on her quest of discovery, and how she has documented her steps along the way. 1. What inspires you to travel? I think I’m addicted to that feeling of discovery. Whether it’s a new country, city, culture or language, I just love to discover the world and experience it first hand. I’m endlessly inspired by that feeling of discovery – like there’s a whole world out there to discover and despite how frequent I travel or how many countries I have explored, it always feels as if I’m still only scratching the surface. IMG_9947   2. How did you get started with your blog? It actually started really organically and almost as a mistake. I began a travel blog to keep all my information (travel tips, recommendations and dishonorable mentions) in one place to refer all of my family and friends to. The more I traveled, the more questions I would get from family, friends, family friends, extended relatives, etc. etc. for my free travel advice. Finally I decided I would purchase a little piece of the internet to refer them all to. After a while I noticed people were commenting from random corners of the globe. How could this be? The internet is a crazy place! One thing led to another and I knew I was onto a great idea – to travel, write about it, and hopefully one day be paid to do so. The rest is history! 3. When did you decide you wanted to make it your career? When I first started out blogging it was out of pure necessity to prevent repeating myself to my friends and family seeking my travel advice. But when I found that I was building a global readership – albeit small at first – I started to get the inkling that perhaps something was missing on the internet. And alas, World of Wanderlust was created. I wanted to create an internet destination where likeminded travelers could come to source inspiration for their next trip. 4. What are your travel challenges? Living out of a suitcase, losing the concept of home after being on the road for an entire year, keeping a healthy diet, learning new languages (though I do try!), and of course so much time solo can at times be challenging. 5.) What is your best travel memory? I think the best experience I have had to date was going on safari in South Africa. As an animal lover, this had always been something high on my list of travel experiences, so when I was finally there it was just so surreal. I’m sure I annoyed the entire group in our Land Rover as I belted out the soundtrack to The Lion King. 6.) What is your favorite travel scent memory? As someone who possesses a sweet tooth that would rival the sweetness of Tinkerbell, I can’t go past anything sugary. Walking through the Christmas markets in Germany is therefore heaven on earth for me! 7.) Where is your favorite destination you’ve been to so far, and why? This is such a hard and unanswerable question! I can’t pinpoint just one, so I’ll have to say a few highlights recently have been: The Scottish Highlands, Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the South of the USA, St Barthelemy, Chile, and the North Shore of Hawaii. IMG_90398.) Where would you want to return to? I would absolutely love to return to Hawaii to explore the other islands – particularly Maui and Kauai. There’s something so magical and spiritual about Hawaii that I really gravitate towards, yet each time I have visited (now 3 times) it has only been for a few nights on work trips. I’d love to go back, rent a car, load it up with my friends, and explore the islands and greater lengths. 9.) What are your tips to people who want to travel but can’t find the time/funds? You can always make time and you can always prioritize saving for travel over other luxuries, even if it is as simple as spending $50 less at the supermarket each week. I completely understand that not everyone is in the position to travel, but I do believe we are the masters of our own fate! I would rather travel in my younger years than build up an attractive savings account for my retirement, so in some aspects I’m just living my life in reverse! 10.) Best hotel you’ve ever lounged at? Singita Sweni – smack bang in the middle of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. 11.) Best meal you’ve ever had while traveling? A delicious three-course lunch at Le Cinq, the 2-michelin starred restaurant inside the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. 12.) Weirdest travel encounter you've ever had? Walking through the Witches’ market in Bolivia. Oh, if I could un-see some of the things I saw that day!

24 Hours in Quebec City (Part 2) Posted on 6 Nov 15:35 , 0 comments

Last week you read and saw our walking itinerary of what many consider North America's Paris: we journeyed back in time through the Petit Champlain district, Lower Town, and the start of Upper Town in the ever romantic and historic Quebec City. This week we explore the rest of Upper Town, The Citadel (the actual fortification of Quebec City), and we share our recommendations on where to stay and eat. To read last week's itinerary, click here. TAKE A WALK DOWN LA RUE DU TRESOR (AKA LA RUE DES ARTISTES): This tiny cobblestone alley located on the border of Lower and Upper Town instantly transported me back to Montmarte in Paris. It's lined with local artists and photographer selling their works, and is a nice alternative memento to take back home instead of a cheap-y souvenir. [caption id="attachment_2732" align="aligncenter" width="580"]rue du tresor, rue des artistes, paris, photographers, painters, artists, quebec, quebec city, lower town, canada, canada travel, travel Rue du Tresor is lined with local artists and photographers selling their work. Great place to buy a nice memento.[/caption] GAZE AT THE DETAIL IN THE ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATION OF THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas north of Mexico and worth and visit. The holy door, found on the left side of the main Cathedral entrance, is open now, but closes on December 28th, and will be closed for 25 years until the next Holy Year. [caption id="attachment_2746" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Notre dame, cathedral, holy door, old quebec, quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, travel Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.[/caption]   GRAB LUNCH AT CHEZ BOULEY AND STAY FOR AN HOUR: Chez Bouley is located on Rue St. Jean, a main shopping and restaurant street in Old Town. It's very cozy yet modern inside, fitting for a restaurant that is based on Nordic eats and a boreal atmosphere. The food is delicious and nicely portioned, and we were definitely reenrgized and warmed up for the latter part of the day after this filling lunch.

[caption id="attachment_2788" align="aligncenter" width="580"]chez bouley, quebec city, quebec, old town, canada, canada travel, travel, fall, winter, autumn, champagne Chez Bouley (http://chezboulay.com/) is the best spot to grab lunch and to warm up, especially if you're traveling to Quebec in the Fall/Winter. They serve a delicious, 3-course lunch menu and champagne for $30 p/person and everything was very tasty. The menu changes daily.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2763" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Chez Bouley, Quebec, Quebec City, Canada, canada travel, travel, boreal, nordic cuisine, swordfish, creme brulee, champagne, salad I had the butternut squash soup, swordfish salad, champagne, and a shared creme brulee. All were delicious. The menu changes daily.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2764" align="aligncenter" width="580"]van Houtte, canada, canada travel, quebec, quebec city, old town, espresso, gran marnier, coffee, maple syrup, people watching On our walk down St. Jean Street, we came upon a Van Houtte, which had become our go-to coffee shop during our trip in Canada. We ordered two specialty, seasonal espresso drinks that were unbelievably good—4 layers that included Gran Marnier, Organic Maple Syrup, Milk Foam, and Espresso. Since clearly that wasn't sweet enough for us, we also got two maple cream cones. We lounged for about an hour, reveling in the fact that it was Wednesday at 2pm, we didn't HAVE to do anything, and just enjoyed our coffee and a treat, the 'Parisian' way, while people watching and just relaxing. [/caption]

EXPLORE THE LENGTH OF THE CITADEL WALLS FOR THE BEST VIEWS OF QUEBEC CITY AND SAINT LAWRENCE RIVER: You'll get the best landscape and panoramic snapshots here, and really get to see the whole city from all sides. Tourney Fountain is a site to see at night, when it's all lit up in different colors each week depending on the event or celebration.

[caption id="attachment_2750" align="aligncenter" width="580"]the citadel, parliament hill, canada, canada travel, quebec, quebec city, travel, autumn, adventure A walk atop the thick walls of The Citadel with Parliament Hill in the backdrop. Blissful. (http://www.lacitadelle.qc.ca/)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2790" align="aligncenter" width="580"]citadel, quebec, quebec city, old town, canada, canada travel, autumn, fall, parliament Mid-day snapshot of Parliament from atop The Citadel.[/caption]

BEFORE SUNSET, GO TO BAR 1608 AT CHATEAU FRONTENAC FOR A LOCAL WINE AND CHEESE PAIRING: After visiting the Citadel make you're way through the St. Louis Gate toward Old Town, and walk all the way down Rue St. Louis and you'll hit Le Chateau Frontenac on the right. Chateau Frontenac is an iconic hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1894 and it's grand, castle-like stance is impossible to miss. The main arch from Rue de Cameres leads to the main entrance of the hotel, and at the end of the long, gilded hallway will be Bar 1608, named after the exact year of Quebec City's founding in the exact location where you can now find the bar. Grab a seat by the windows and get cozy in the Victorian chairs, as you watch the sun go down over a tasting of local wine and cheese.

[caption id="attachment_2734" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Chateau Frontenac  Chateau Frontenac[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2733" align="aligncenter" width="580"]wine, cheese, chateau frontenac, saint laurent, saint lawrence, river, view, fall, autumn, old town, quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, romantic Bar 1608 in Chateau Frontenac glistens due to the beautiful gold decor and ambient lighting yet its modern at the same time. Seat yourself on the other side of the bar by the windows, which overlook the stunning Saint Laurent River. A great place to watch the sun set and enjoying local wine and cheese.[/caption]

 
[caption id="attachment_2791" align="aligncenter" width="580"]cheese, wine, chateau frontenac, old town, bar 1806, quebec city, quebec, canada, travel, canada travel Local goat cheese and wine pairing at Chateau Frontenac Bar 1608 (http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/dining/1608-wine-cheese-bar/).[/caption] SEE THE REST OF THE CITY AT NIGHT: All of the historical and government buildings, fountains, and streets are lit up by twinkling lights at night. [caption id="attachment_2739" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Petit Champlain, quebec, quebec city, old town, canada, canada travel, travel, romantic Rue du Petit Champlain at night.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2756" align="aligncenter" width="580"]montmorency park, light installation, notre dame, cathedral, lower town, old town, quebec, quebec city, old quebec, canada, canada travel Light installation to celebrate 350 years of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica Cathedral in Montmorency Park in Lower Town. This installation will only be up until the end of this year.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2757" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Old town, quebec, old quebec, quebec city, canada, canada travel, travel, romantic, frontenac Backdrop of Old Town with the light installation in the forefront at night. Just stunning.[/caption] I'm already trying to plan my return to Quebec City. I absolutely loved it and can see why it's now been rated #18 on Conde Nast Traveler's Top 25 Cities in the World by readers. I've heard from talking to locals that the holiday time is one of the best times to visit, so if you're looking for a holiday getaway this December or January, and don't mind the cold, I'd highly recommend taking the 2-hour flight or 9 hour road trip up North to this now not-so-secret gem for a romantic getaway. The Winter Carnival is supposed to be one of the largest in the world with snow/ice sculptures, night parades, snow baths, shows, and the famous Ice Canoe Race. And in the winter, just outside Old Town, is the Hotel de Glace, the only ice (igloo) hotel in North America where you can take a day or evening tour, or take the risk and stay the chilly night! Both Part 1 and Part 2 of our Quebec City itinerary were done in 24 hours. We were easily able to see everything without feeling rushed, though next time we'd want to stay for a whole week! Have you been to Quebec City? If so, what are you favorite things about it? What do you love to do and see? Lunch Recommendations:  Chez Bouley (for an all-around great meal with nice ambiance); http://chezboulay.com/?lang=en Chez Ashton (for the best poutine in Quebec City and a quick bite); http://www.chez-ashton.com/   Dinner Recommendations:  Le Lapin Saute (for traditional French dishes and a charming atmosphere); http://www.lapinsaute.com/francais/accueil/ Bistro Sous Le Fort (romantic French bistro with satiating dishes that are constantly being rotated); http://www.bistrosouslefort.com/en/ Restaurant Initiale (for a special occasion multi-course meal that won't dissapoint); http://www.restaurantinitiale.com/en/le-restaurant-2   Where to Stay: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (you'll feel like you're living in a real castle and the luxury rooms and amenities make this 5-star experience unforgettable); http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/ Hotel Le Priori (an excellent option for a more boutique feel, this romantic hotel is set in the heart of Petit Champlain district, and offer a comprehensive delectable breakfast in their adjoining Toast restaurant); http://www.hotellepriori.com/      
 

{Interview} Exploring Exotic Unknowns with Dani of GlobetrotterGirls Posted on 4 Nov 19:21 , 0 comments

unnamed (1) If you are familiar with us at Nomaterra then you know that we are absolutely enthralled with traveling and exploring the unknown. Being immersed into an unfamiliar culture transmits an indescribable experience, one that allows you to step outside your comfort zone and truly discover yourself. In addition, we also enjoy reading and discovering adventurists who share  the same passion and thirst for wanderlust. Which is why we were thrilled when Dani Heinrich of GlobetrotterGirls.com agreed to an interview. Dani Heinrich has traveled to over 50 countries - from Asia to the Middle East to India - just to name a few! Her fabulous blog showcases a variety of topics such as information on specific destinations, food recommendations, travel tips and more. Read on below as Dani shares her globetrotting adventures! 1. What's your favorite, most exotic location you've traveled to? The most exotic location were the Corn Islands in the Caribbean. They consist of two islands, Big Corn and Little Corn Island, and they belong to Nicaragua. They are little known and truly feel like Robinson Crusoe islands, especially Little Corn. You can only reach them via a small propeller plane from Managua or take a 9-hour boat ride from Nicaragua's east coast.   2. Best hotel pool you've lounged at? [caption id="attachment_2784" align="alignleft" width="300"]unnamed (3) Temple Tree Hotel in Langkawi, Malaysia[/caption] I loved the pool at the Temple Tree Hotel on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia. Everything about the boutique hotel was super stylish, including the long-stretched, super narrow pool. It was such an usual pool, and together with the tropical surroundings, it made for a gorgeous experience. The luxury resort has won several design prizes and is one of my favorite boutique hotels in the world, by the way.   3. Best meal you've had? A tasting menu at the Oddfellow Boutique Hotel in Chester, England. It came complete with a wine pairing, absolutely perfect. One of the most memorable evenings of my life.   4. Most important thing you've learned on your travels? Travel has shown me that experiences are worth so much more than material things. An incredible experience means so much more to me than anything I could ever buy for myself, like a painting, piece of furniture or jewelry. An experience like a special meal in an exotic place, a cooking class in the Middle East or a street art tour in a hip neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the welcoming family in Mexico, or a cycle tour through northern Thailand - things like these mean so much more to me. It's all about the memories!   5. Favorite novel to read on a plane? It's not really a novel but my guilty pleasure in the airport news stand: Vanity Fair. I look forward to flying just because of that :)   6. Biggest fear you overcame while traveling? The fear of the unknown. I used to worry about everything before, and now I am the most laid back person on the planet. Okay, maybe not on the planet, but the most laid back person I know :) I used to over plan everything, and now I barely plan anything. Instead I go with the flow. And all works out in the end; there's nothing to worry about.   About Dani Heinrich: [caption id="attachment_2785" align="alignleft" width="300"]Dani of GlobetrotterGirls.com Dani of GlobetrotterGirls.com[/caption] Dani Heinrich is the vagabonding writer and photographer behind GlobetrotterGirls.com. Dani, originally from Germany, left her home country in 2006 and has been nomadic since April 2010. She originally started Globetrottergirls.com with her partner, and when they separated in early 2014, she decided to keep traveling solo and continuing to sharing her travel stories and tips on Globetrottergirls. With the motto ‘One Globe. No Regrets’, Dani has traveled through over 50 countries on four continents and has no plans to stop any time soon. On Globetrottergirls.com, she shares the good, a little bad and sprinklings of the ugly of travel with the readers. If people can plan a better trip or be inspired to visit someplace new by reading Globetrottergirls.com, she feels she has done her job. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

24 Hours in Quebec City (Part 1) Posted on 30 Oct 17:45 , 0 comments

A One Day Itinerary in Quebec City

6 Things to Do in Boston This Fall Posted on 12 Oct 21:49 , 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_2720" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Photo Credit: m anima, flickr Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption] Fall is arguably one of the best times of the year – especially in Boston. With so many great activities, beautiful fall foliage, crisp, cool temperatures and delicious craft beers, Boston, MA should be your go-to getaway destination for its quintessential autumn charm. Read on to find out our Top 6 Things to do in Boston this Fall!   [caption id="attachment_2716" align="alignright" width="300"]3930553492_fb624eebd2_b (2) Photo Credit: Ben Schmitz, flickr[/caption] 1. Apple / Pumpkin Picking Fall just wouldn't be fall without participating in the obligatory apple and/or pumpkin picking. Of course, the rewards are without say: apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread…need we say more? There a variety of great local farms to choose from, such as Honey Pot Hill in Stow, MA, a farm boasting a wide selection of picking apples such as Macintosh, Gala, Cortland, Honey Crisp, and more; or venture to Lookout Farm in South Natick which offers pears, pumpkins, and 11 varieties of apples, as well as Brooksby Farms in Peabody where visitors can delight in the farm store, barnyard animals and apples. Whichever farm you choose, just make sure they serve the customary apple cider donuts!   [caption id="attachment_2718" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo Credit: mararie, flickr Photo Credit: mararie, flickr[/caption] 2. Visit Salem, MA A fall trip to New England isn’t complete without visiting one of the spookiest towns in the country – Salem, MA. Salem celebrates Halloween for the entire month of October with a festival appropriately named Haunted Happenings! Exciting events include a “Boo’s Cruise”, an Edgar Allen Poe Inspired Art Show, a 3D film which tells the true story of the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and more!   3. Boston Ghost Tours If traveling to Salem isn't an option, and you are like us and relish in the creepy, terrifying, and supernatural, then one only needs to step outside their front door. Boston offers a plethora of ghost tours such as the Haunted Boston Ghost Tours, a walking tour that includes history and tales of famous ghosts that are said to haunt the city. Uncover Boston’s dark and seedy past with Boston by Foot: Dark Side of Boston Tour; or explore some of Boston’s most haunted sites with Ghosts and Gravestones Frightseeing Tour.   [caption id="attachment_2719" align="alignright" width="300"]4021966397_b94bc50ee5_b (2) Photo Credit: Richard Howe, flickr[/caption] 4. Head of the Charles Regatta The Head of the Charles Regatta, held October 18th-19th, is often synonymous with the fall season and is a long-standing tradition in Boston. Now in its 5oth year, this two-day regatta is one of the largest in the world, bringing in more than 9,000 rowers and 300,000 spectators from all over the world to the Charles River. With a 3.2-mile course along the river, this is a great event to people-watch and to soak in Boston’s autumn scenery.   5. Explore the Harold Arboretum Part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the Arnold Arboretum is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit and see spectacular displays of fall foliage. This 250-acre National Historic Landmark - and part of Harvard of University - is the oldest public arboretum in North America. Sightseers are able to freely explore the grounds or take a special guided tour on topics ranging from flowers and fragrance to fruits and textures.   [caption id="attachment_2720" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo Credit: m anima, flickr Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption] 6. Tour the Sam Adams Brewery You know it is fall when the pumpkin-flavored ale start to roll out (we love the Sam Adams Octoberfest). Which is why taking a trip to the Samuel Adams Brewery is the perfect way to quench your thirst after all of that exploring. With a $2 donation, where proceeds go to benefit local charities, you can take a one hour tour and catch the brewers in action as you learn the process of how their beers are made. Best of all, you get to sample some of Sam Adam’s world class craft beers!   Travelers Tip: Check out one of Boston’s most sought-after bed and breakfasts, the Clarendon Square. Built in the 1860s, this six-story historical townhouse offers spacious, modern guest rooms and luxury suites that are exquisitely comfortable and sophisticated.  The Clarendon Square bed and breakfast is just minutes away from Copley Square, Boston Public Garden & Common, Freedom Trail, Restaurant Row, the Red Sox & Fenway Park, and more!

An Interview w/ Meg Biram of MegBiram.com Posted on 3 Sep 10:21 , 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_2692" align="alignleft" width="580"]Meg Biram in Shanghai Meg Biram in Shanghai[/caption] We recently did an interview with the amazing lifestyle blogger, Meg Biram of MegBiram.com. We asked her about her favorite travel experiences and on-the-go beauty rituals...here's what she had to say!
1. What's your most favorite location you've ever traveled to and why? 
I like different places for different reasons, so I don't know that there's a favorite necessarily. For beaches, the best I've been to so far is the Bahamas. I loved Colombia, South America, and Ireland was gorgeous.
2. What was the scariest location you've ever traveled to and why? 
Definitely when I was in Colombia. I stood out like a sore thumb being blonde and blue/green eyed and unfortunately with some of the drugs and crime that happens there, I was a tiny bit scared of being kidnapped. Luckily it was totally fine.
3. Best hotel pool you've lounged at?
El Dorado on the Mayan Riviera
4. Best meal you've had and where? 
Too many to choose!
5. Most important thing you've learned on your travels?
Planning is important, but also to leave time for wandering.
6. Favorite novel to read on a plane?
Magazines or whatever book I've got downloaded on my iPad. I read constantly.
7. Favorite/funny encounter (either with other fellow travelers or with a local)?
I saw the Bushman in SF. That was pretty funny.
8. Any advice on on-the-go/on-the-move beauty? (What are some tips you may have for taking care of your skin, body, nails, hair while traveling)
Depending on where I'm going and for how long, it's totally worth it to get a gel mani. Then you don't have to worry about your nails at all.
9. Any beauty/health rituals for a long flight?
Neck pillow. A good one.
10. What's your favorite Nomaterra travel product and why? 
Boston Roll-on Perfume. It's enough for an entire trip but small for travel.
*Originally published by Nomaterra Fragrances | @nomaterra

Travel Spotlight: A Guide to Southwest Florida Posted on 13 Aug 11:02 , 0 comments

IMG_0243 (3) Most people will concur, it’s nice to get away from the ruckus of every-day life from time to time. Sometimes it is a necessity to tune out and take a digital detox. Recently, part of the Nomaterra team had a chance to visit Southwest Florida and the pristine white sandy beaches of North Captiva Island, which provided a wonderful experience of true seclusion. Of course, to perfectly complement our seaside journey, we brought along a couple of our favorite Nomaterra scents: Malibu Honeysuckle and Miami Orange Blossom. IMG_0032 (1) IMG_0030 (2) IMG_0017 (1) IMG_0009 (1) IMG_0002 The tropical paradise, known as North Captiva Island, is located on the Gulf of Mexico off Southwest Florida. Being that this remote and undiscovered private island community is only accessible by ferry, private boat or a small plane, it provided a nostalgic outlook of old Florida as it once was during a simpler time. Part of the Lee Island Coast barrier island chain, the island is dispersed across an extensive state land preserve and is filled with million dollar homes that border seven miles of immaculate beaches. The stunning island was filled with gorgeous tropical Frangipani (Plumeria) trees, giving the island an amazing aroma of citrus, pineapple, and coconut. Interestingly, you will find no cars, crowds, or paved roads as you travel by golf cart or bicycle on sandy trails. IMG_0090 (1) IMG_0088 (1) IMG_0081 IMG_0080 IMG_0078 IMG_0007 (1) If isolation stirs up fears of boredom – do not fear. North Captiva Island offers some of the best shelling around, as visitors can find many rare and colorful shells. Additionally, the island provides a vast array of recreational activities such as tennis, swimming, golfing, biking, kayaking, boating, parasailing, scuba diving and fishing. Needless to say, boredom is not an issue. Guests can also bask in the grandeur of watching sunrise and sunset on striking beaches, or in viewing a pod of dolphins as they catch an early lunch of tarpon. IMG_0094 (1) IMG_0097 (1) IMG_0045 In addition to North Captiva Island, we took a half-day visit to the small community of Matlacha, which is located on Pine Island and part of the Cape Coral – Fort Myers metropolitan area. Matlacha is an “Old Florida” fishing village and is home to many brightly colored art galleries, island boutiques, seafood restaurants, and traditional Floridian cottages. We stopped in for lunch at Mulletville Waterside Seafood Restaurant where we shared a small plate of stone crab legs, a wedge salad with blue cheese crumbles and smoked bacon (to die for!), and a side of rice and bean. All dishes were delicious! We also browsed Matlacha’s charming boutiques and art galleries, such as Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens which features an array of eccentric pieces from paintings to painted furniture. Wildchild Art Gallery featured whimsical scenes of wildlife and sea life motifs, sculptures, garden furnishings, and other unique novelty items. Frills, a small gift boutique, was filled with cute casual skirts, dresses, swimsuit cover-ups, and handmade jewelry. The town of Matlacha most definitely proved to be an art-connoisseur’s utopia. Even the telephone poles were painted with murals! IMG_0236 IMG_0235 IMG_0234 IMG_0233 IMG_0232 (1) The last journey on our trip was to historical downtown of Punta Gorda, which is situated along beautiful Charlotte Harbor and just 30 minutes north of Matlacha. Punta Gorda is an architecturally rich “True Florida” boating town that offers an old Florida atmosphere. Cobbled streets are lined with huge royal palms, historical period homes, and vintage street lights, as well as trendy restaurants, bistros, spas, and eclectic shopping. One could also partake in Punta Gorda’s art walk, which circuits the city’s ten outdoor murals, each depicting the city’s natural and cultural histories, or engage in a number of environmental and wildlife centers such as Peace River Wildlife Center. Visitors can also tour the town’s varied museums such as the Museum of African-American History and Culture, or go for a jog along winding trails and pathways in Laishley Park on Peace River or Gilchrist Park along the harbor. Short on time, we decided to skip out on the art walk and focus on taking Punta Gorda’s historical walking excursion, which takes a lovely stroll along the town’s History District. Many of the homes were built in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, 2004’s Hurricane Charley extensively damaged many of the homes, structures, and historical landmarks. However, a revitalization of the City took place in the immediate years after the storm and resulted in the restoration of buildings. Along our tour, we saw the most amazing and beautiful Banyan tree, which was located on a Historical Landmark, where the first home built in Punta Gorda once resided. IMG_0106 (1) IMG_0104 (2) After our leisurely promenade and sightseeing the beautiful historic homes, we took a quick visit to Fisherman’s Village. The waterfront village is a brightly colored complex that comprises of several boutiques, candy and coffee shops, gift shops, restaurants, and a resort and marina, all under one roof. To finalize the evening, we decided to have dinner alongside a gorgeous sunset. Our chosen restaurant (mostly for the view) was Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill. This dockside bar, part of PG’s Waterfront Hotel and Suites, provided an amazing front-side view to one of nature’s most incredible shows – sunset. Not to mention, the restaurant featured great live music and our dishes were equally amazing and tasty. We shared the Blue Crab Tower which consisted of jumbo lump and back fin crab meat mixed with avocado, mango and arugula topped with a champagne vinaigrette (yum!), and the Shrimp Grits – gulf shrimp sautéed in Cajun spices and Tasso ham atop home style cheese grits and topped with sauce creole (double yum!). The meal was impressive and best of all, we got to watch an incredible sun down. Needless to say, the meal and sunset was a delightful cap off to the evening. IMG_0239 IMG_0111 (2)    

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3 Hamptons Events You Won’t Want to Miss Posted on 13 Jul 21:27 , 0 comments

July is peak season in the Hamptons, as the area has a surfeit amount of activities to immerse oneself in. Full of charitable events, luxurious boho-chic establishments, and lavish celebrations, summer in the Hamptons is where every socialite should flee. Take a look as Nomaterra explores some exciting events happening these next upcoming weeks.   Hamptons Wellness Week Hamptons Wellness Week is a week-long celebration of health and wellness happening in the East Hampton community July 13, 2014 through July 20th. The event will feature boutique fitness, holistic healing, acupuncture, meditation, spa services, pampering, prevention, and water sports as well as other events and activities. Proceeds from the event will go to the Wind It Project to fund educational opportunities across the globe. This is the premiere event to awaken your mind, body, and soul.   Opening Weekend of Bridgehampton Polo Opening day of the 18th season of high-goal polo is set to kick off July 19th. Featuring the world’s top ranked players, Bridgehampton Polo Club will feature Polo icon Nacho Figueras playing for Bash Kazi’s KIG team against Peter Brant’s Birch team. Town and Country Magazine will host the event, along with top brand sponsors including Lancôme Paris, Jet Edge, Eascada, Joie, Casablanca Pol and Sunbrella. Nowhere else will you find the top polo players, high-end brands, and charities all under one “tent.” Invited guests can indulge in the Hamptons VIP experience, which consists of a reception featuring luxury brands, hors d’oeuvres, French desserts and exclusive wines from Spire Collection.   Art Southampton Art Southampton, presented by Art Miami, is an international contemporary and modern art fair that takes place July 24th through the 28th, which is at the peak of Hamptons season. The fair will feature a select group of more than 75 international art galleries which focus on works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The event will be hosted on an 18-acre estate property located behind the Southampton Elks lodge and near the Southampton Golf Club. The fair will commence with a Platinum VIP Preview to benefit the Parrish Art Museum and South Hampton Hospital with sponsorships from Maserati, GRAFF Diamonds, Ruinart Champagne and Saunders & Associates. This event has attracted over 4,200 collectors, curators, art advisors and museum professionals over the years.   Whether you are attending an exciting polo match, browsing the latest artworks, or tending to your health and well-being, the Hamptons is the place to be this summer. Don’t forget to pair your outings with our East Hampton fragrance, which will leave you feeling classic, sophisticated and fresh – perfect for the Hamptons!
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