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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Loving the Flowers in Paris

At moments may have been an April as cold as December but the markets are full of spring blooms and I'm mesmerized by them. They all seem to be crying out "bring me home..." I love to have flowers in the house so there has been a weekly rotation of narcissus, tulips, hydrangeas and more, now I just have to get D. in on the act!
The flowers at the markets are gorgeous,  generally grouped into  ranges of similar hues that are designed to attract you. But it's the flower shops that are irresistible with gorgeous bouquets and exquisite nosegays that look like something a flower girls would carry down the aisle. In particular I can't resist Christian  Collin's shop near the St. Paul metro here in the Marais. You can get an idea of what it's like in this youtube clip. This is one of his arrangements below.
It's these small mounding arrangements that attract me. You can see a photo of the  flower shop from my visit last week. Each small bouquet is slightly different and they combine interesting textures or scents like winter wheat or mint (above). Who wouldn't want to bring one of these home? Particularly when they wrap them in their plain brown paper with a raffia bow and a purple tissue paper lining, gorgeous! The vases which you can see towering above the small posies hold enormous orchid blooms that hang down dramatically.

Here's another arrangement close up. I love the way the pink and white amaryllis picks up the colors of the tulips and roses. The winter wheat has such a modern feel to it here, as if it's interrupting all the beauty.

Here are some birthday flowers sent by N. & S. They were gorgeous filled with calla lilies, roses, parrot tulips and camellias among others. The bouquet was so large it was very heavy! This was the first time I'd received amaryllis as a cut flower, how extravagant, thank you.
Here's what we're looking at home this week along with some more of what you can see in the market. The only question is can I learn to copy the stye by the time I get home?