A group of school aged children performing at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort
One of the things I liked most about my recent glamping trip to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji was that it felt authentically Fijian. There was no chain hotel vibe and Fijian culture was front and center.
A group of dancers from Nukubalavu Village
Two nights a week the property has groups of Fijian dancers perform. One dance troupe is from Nukubalavu village, which is the village where most of the hotel’s staff reside. Many of the dancers are related to the hotel workers which made the performance extra special.
Fijian dancers twirling GIF
Busting a move, Fijian style
The dancers perform a meke– a traditional Fijian dance performance– that is usually done at celebrations and festivals.
Fiji’s answer to Twerking GIF
I liked that the dancers were various age groups and performed in a variety of styles.
I adored this dancer’s traditional outfit and sweet smile
Hips Don’t Lie: Fiji Edition
There are no televisions at the Jean-Michel Resort, but with entertainment like this you definitely do not miss them.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
Lesiaceva Point, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji
+679 885 0188
You can read more about my stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji on the Glamping.com blog.
Krug Champagne + fab treehouses = perfect summer evening (Photo by France Freeman)
My friends at Krug recently invited me to work with them to photograph the Seattle Krug Treehouse Event. This week, Krug and I are teaming up to share my photos via Twitter and Instagram. Follow Krug Champagne’s Instagram to see more photos from this fantastic event.
Exploring TreeHouse Point with Krug Grande Cuvée
Krug events are memorable experiences meant to be shared with friends. The Krug Treehouse Event was no different. The venue, TreeHouse Point, feels like an enchanted forest filled with treehouses made for adults.
Goat Cheese Brulee watermelon and Krug Grande Cuvée tasted like summer
Left: Trillium Treehouse and the Pond Room Right: Bonbibi Treehouse
It was a gorgeous summer night, and it was fun to explore the property with a glass of Champagne. There is a stream that runs in front of the treehouses. It was almost magical.
Enjoying a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée inside the Hermitage Treehouse
At the event I learned about the new Krug app for iPhone and iPad, where you can learn the story of your bottle of Krug. There are even notes from Eric Lebel, Krug’s cellar master. The app also suggests food and music pairings for your specific bottle.
Screencaps from the new Krug app for iPhone
Hamachi Crudo contrasted fabulously with Krug Vintage 2000
I was blown away by tasting the bold and rich Krug Vintage 2000 (nicknamed “Indulgence”) with delicate hamachi crudo served with Japanese citrus, Persian cucumber, daikon, petit greens, and pickled ginger dressing.
Exploring the Hermitage treehouse with a glass of Krug Rosé and a bottle of Grande Cuvée
The crowd favorite of the evening was the sublime paring of Krug Rosé served with herb roasted Muscovy duck breast served with orange fennel salad, herbed barley, and orange glace. Yum!
Krug Grande Cuvée tasted as good as it looked on a moss covered rock near the stream
You might recognize TreeHouse Point from the show Treehouse Masters. It’s a special glamping spot and a perfect venue for a memorable dinner.
This post would not be possible without my friends at Krug. Images of me included in this post were shot by France Freeman, who was an excellent wing woman for the event.
A honeymooner going coconuts in St. Lucia
The summer 2014 #HOT issue of Snap Magazine is live and available for free in iTunes here. It’s filled with stunning images, recipes (chorizo breakfast tacos, anyone?), a hot summer playlist and my HipStop: St. Lucia piece.
The cover of the Summer 2014 #HOT issue of Snap Magazine
Left: Sugar Beach does umbrellas right Right: squirtguns on the table at Dasheene
I love shooting assignments for Snap. The hard part is picking which images to send in the final edit. In this post I’ve included a few of my favorite images that did not wind up in Snap.
I met this fruit and vegetable vendor at the market in Soufriere.
Left: Diamond Falls Right: The Rain Forest Walk at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
All the images in Snap are shot using the apps created by Hipstamatic. I shot all of my St. Lucia images for Snap using Hipstamatic’s Oggl app, which allows you to changes the film and lens after you’ve captured the image.
Palm Frond Sunset at Sugar Beach in St. Lucia
Blue skies and medieval architecture
If you’re looking for things to do in Florence, Italy, consider a day trip to the town of San Gimignano, which is known as Tuscany’s “Medieval Manhattan.” Perched on the top of hill in the province of Siena, San Gimignano’s historic center has an impressive skyline of ancient stone towers that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Doors and windows in San Gimignano
The city has a quaint feel, and quite a bit of charm. Get there on a summer day when the streets are packed with tourists, and there is a strange EPCOT-y feel that is hard to escape.
Blue skies over “the Town of Fine Towers”
San Gimignano also has a Museo della Tortura (a medieval torture museum) and several Gelaterias claiming to serve the “World’s Best Gelato.” I can definitely recommend a scoop or three from Gelateria Dondoli.
Gelato hits the spot on a hot summer day
Left: strolling through San Gimignano Right: Great clouds in Tuscany
The town has plenty of shops offering local specialties like the locally made wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and olive oil.
Olive Oil in a Boot
Tuscany is known for all things porcine– so you can also purchase pork products like prosciutto, salami, and head cheese.
There was quite bit of boar taxidermy in San Gmignano
Located 59 kilometers from Florence, San Gimignano is an easy drive if you have access to a car. It is also easily reached by bus. You can find directions on the San Gimignano’s informational website. Many tour companies offer tours of this scenic and charming town.
The gates to San Gimignano’s historic center
Rosemary Baby Gelato under the Tuscan sun
During my recent trip to Florence, I took a day trip to Chianti to go wine tasting. My tour guide recommended a stop in the quaint medieval town of San Gimignano, near Siena, to try some of “The World’s Best Gelato” at Gelateria Dondoli.
Gelateria Dondoli is hard to miss with it’s merits and awards on the doors
San Gimignano is sometimes called the “Medieval Manhattan” because of its towering stone skyline. I would have liked to explore the town more, but I was on a mission to find Gelateria Dondoli. It’s located on the town’s main square of Piazza della Cisterna– just look for the line out the door.
A few scoops of gelato in a cone for a few euros
While waiting in line it became clear that the Gelato Dondoli hasn’t won the Gelato World Cup in several years (Hello… there’s a World Cup of Gelato?). Gelato Master Sergio Dondoli last took the title in 2009 as part of the Italian team. Rumor has it you have to sit out after back to back wins.
According to Coppa del Mondo della Gelateria website, France won the top prize in 2014. It also appears that ice cream makers win the awards as team (much like the FIFA World Cup), which might explain why a few other other Gelaterias had similar title claims on their doors.
The fruit gelatos are gluten free at Gelateria Dondoli
I wasn’t going to back out of line now because of the technicalities of a title win. Selecting a flavor was the toughest part. The fruit gelatos at Gelateria Dondoli come in a variety of flavors including fig and watermelon and are gluten free. Some flavors have fun names– The Rosemary Baby gelato (made with raspberries and rosemary) was my favorite.
Left: Passion fruit gelato Right: Rosemay Baby gelato
The cream gelatos also range from standard to unusual varieties. There is one called “Michelle”– named in honor of FLOTUS. Michelle is made from almonds, orange zest, honey and saffron and was a real crowd pleaser. Other outside the box flavors included gorgonzola and walnuts, and several including Nutella.
Traveler’s Tip: Real gelato isn’t aerated, so the geniune stuff doesn’t tower over the container in puffy heaps
The chocolate gelati are also anything but basic. The Amedi Chua won an award. Other chocolate varieties include edgy combos and ingredients like pink and sichuan peppers. I ordered the Cioccolata Bianco because when overwhelmed with choice, I default to ordering my namesake gelato.
Scooping away at Gelateria Dondoli
The gelato was indeed delicious and hit the spot on a hot summer day in Tuscany. Was it the best in the world… probably not. But the story is good and it’s worth a stopping by and dropping a few euros on this delicious local Tuscan treat.
Gelato under the Tuscan sun = Summer
Address: Piazza Cisterna, 4,
53037 San Gimignano Siena, Italy
Phone:+39 0577 942244