Hawaiian Holiday

I’ve sung praises of The Modern Hotel before here, and so needless to say, did not hesitate to return again last month for a quick getaway.  Its whitewashed minimalist decor is an ideal backdrop for the otherwise color-saturated lush tropical isle of O’ahu.  A few of my favorite design touches are below as well as some gloriously indulgent breakfasts after the jump.The Modern HotelThe Modern HotelThe ModernThe Modern HotelThe Modern Hotel

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Out & About in Paris

Around holiday time, the shop windows were festively adorned, tempting even the most weary-eyed traveller to enter and behold all the exquisite treasurers within.  We peered into the Hermès flagship, marveled at an all white carousal at Place de Vendome, savored every sweet bite at Laduree, and strolled by the most perfect little floral shop.

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Paris in December

Paris again? Mais oui.  It appears we can never stay away from Paris for too long and if we’re ever in the vicinity {or even when we’re not}, we’ll find an excuse to spend a few days there … though always wishing we could linger awhile longer.  Here are just a few scenes from our latest wanderings.

Arc de Triomphe Louvre (more…)

Magnolias & Loulay

We will return to our European sojourn shortly as we have Paris yet to cover, but hitting pause for the moment to welcome the arrival of spring where dull backyards and greenery become instantly refreshed by these oversized fuchsia blooms weighing heavily on the branches of magnolia trees everywhere.  And since one can often be besieged by beauty without the optimal tools of documentation, these images were captured using the iPhone 5S and the VSCO camera app.  As for Loulay, was most impressed with the gorgeous space … Definitely recommend trying the tasty small and medium plates on the dinner menu.  Do order a few to share.Seattle, Chef in the Hat (more…)

A Taste of Belgium

While exploring Belgium, we stayed at Hotel Amigo which is conveniently around the corner from the Grand Place, the beautiful central square of Brussels that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  With its looming grand-scale structures (which I could not fully capture with a 50 mm lens, sadly), gilded ornate spires and intricate architectural details, the square was truly a sight to behold. BrusselsBrusselsNightly, a light show commenced that illuminated each towering spire set to a surreal instrumental melody that echoed around the square, much to all the revelers’ delight. BrusselsBrusselsAs soon as we arrived, we started sampling the world renowned Belgian chocolates. Asking locals about their favorite chocolate was akin to asking whether they had a favorite child for each chocolatier has his own specialty, working with distinct flavors, textures, and styles.  Competition is quite fierce even among top chocolatiers. Popular shops had lines out the door and at Pierre Marcolini‘s bustling shop, Pierre himself was on the floor greeting customers.Pierre Marcolini, BrusselsFrom Brussels, we took the train over to Bruges, which happened to be the most charming place I have been in recent memory.Bruges
Bruges (more…)

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