Austin, Texas has always favored and encouraged local entrepreneurs; it’s how they “Keep Austin Weird.” Although Kendra Scott is a Wisconsin native, she began her jewelry line as a mini-collection in Austin in 2002 with only $500, an extra bedroom and a newborn baby. Today, her collections are in more than 800 stores worldwide including big name retailers such as Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, and Lord & Taylor. Due to Austin’s large part in the success of Kendra’s company, she only felt it was appropriate to anchor her flagship store in this flourishing city.
It's Cinco de Mayo today and you know what that means. Yes, that's right, 2-for-1 margaritas at Benny's Downtown Tap Room. No! Think bigger. It's the anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag Mexican army unexpectedly whipped the better-trained French, guaranteeing the country's independence. Strange to say, the anniversary is more popular in the United States than in Mexico (and not at all popular in France). So for anyone looking for a reason to celebrate, check this deal out.
Still without plans for the upcoming long weekend, now just 23 days away? Head to Vacationist for 11 hotel deals with availability May 27-30th. West coasters will love half-off rates at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, near San Diego’s beaches and Sea World. Further afield, Acapulco’s iconic pink palace Las Brisas, a World’s Best Hotel for Value, has oceanfront, bungalow-style casitas available for the holiday weekend, as does the Landmark London, a World’s Best Business Hotel in London's Marylebone neighborhood, where rates are as spectacular as the property’s Gothic Revival interiors.
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I just returned from an amazing weekend at the fourth-annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine, a four-day festival in one of the most beautiful settings—Monterey, California. I was there on business, but it’s times like these that I realize how fortunate I am to do what I do.
From my arrival at the Monterey airport—complete with an unbelievable aerial view of the Inn at Spanish Bay and Peninsula—I knew I was in for a good time. What’s not to love about great food and drink, and golf at the wildly scenic Pebble Beach Golf Links? (Here I am (on the left) with Cody Plott, president and chief operating officer of Pebble Beach.)
But as I discovered, too much natural beauty can be a distraction. I hate to admit it… it wasn't one of my better performances. When you play this legendary course without a cloud in the sky, it’s not about the golf, it’s all about the setting. And there was an interruption at every hole—whales, Cypress trees, fabulous homes. My golf game wasn’t top of mind. Can you blame me?
Get your tribal on at Urban Zen during its colorful African Bazaar. Carved wooden bowls, beaded bracelets, gorgeous cotton sarongs, woven beach baskets crafted by Samburu nomads. And warriors performing ritual dances!
This month's contest watch is all about accessories: camera, watch, lei, whatever. With two photo contests, a Bulgari watch-giveaway, and a dream trip to Hawaii, there's something for everyone's taste.
During the 2010-11 season, cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba has demonstrated marked achievements. Last fall, musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center and the dancers of American Ballet Theatre performed in front of packed Cuban audiences and offered master classes to gifted, young Cuban performers (the New York Philharmonic is planning a visit). On our shores, the electrifying musicians and dancers Los Muñequitos de Matanzas are winding up a month-long, 16-city American tour that began in Seattle in early April and concludes in New York City (May 5-7) and Purchase, New York (May 8).
Sometimes an airline does things right. Not often, true, but every once in a great while. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I rarely have anything good to say about the airline industry. New regulations announced this month by the Department of Transportation are just the latest evidence that the airlines aren't able to offer good customer service on their own, and have to rely on the government to step in and force them to be good corporate citizens. But here's a quick little story that shows maybe, just maybe, things are improving and that at least one airline is doing things better.
As someone who has lived and worked in three national parks, I know there are some things most tourists will never visit—from hidden hikes and waterfalls to the best happy hours. I turned to ranger Scott Gediman to find insider secrets about California’s Yosemite National Park, an Ansel Adams photograph sprung-to-life.
Q: What’s a surprisingly little-known hike in the park?
A: Yosemite Valley gets a bad rap for being so crowded, but on the 13-mile Valley Floor Loop Trail, you’ll stroll past Yosemite Falls, the base of El Capitan, and Bridal Veil Falls—all with nobody in sight. It’s an old bridle path for horses, so very flat and easy to get to.