Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hotels for Adventure Seekers


Wild Canopy Reserve Hotel 



This Canopy Reserve Hotel, located in south India reminds me of the Swiss Family Robinson tree house! My 8 year old self would kill for this -- monkey butler and all. I even remember writing in my voice activated diary about how I wanted to live in a tree house of my own. Funny thing is...I still would if I could.






(pictures from busyboo)



Mirror Cube



The Treehotel is a new hotel in northern Sweden consisting of multiple tree houses designed by different architects. This Mirror cube allows you to enjoy nature from a bird's eye view. The refection of the forest gives you the perfect camouflage. The interior of the cube is simple and sweet -- you even have a little look-out deck on top.


(Pictures from Gizmodo)



 Ice Hotel

Situated in village JukkasjÀrvi, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, this little gem turns a quaint arctic town into a world-renowned attraction. The whole hotel is carved out of ICE! With rates as high as $800 a night, you can stay in an artist suite complete with an  ice bed, hand carved ice sculptures and sparkling ice chandeliers. They even have their own ice Chapel and Absolute Ice Bar, offering a massive array of flavored vodka in glasses made of, yup you guessed it, ice. Guests sleep in thermal sleeping bag atop reindeer skin and are awaken in the morning with a cup of hot lingonberry juice by their bedside. How fun! Count me in!
(Pictures from Thisisliv)



Yunak Evleri









Yunak Evleri of Cappadocia has been dogeared in my travel file for a long time. This place is definitely on my list! Yunak Evleri has a combination of six cave houses with a total of 30 private cave rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion. I can see myself now...walking through a labyrinth of narrow passageways and lounging on the rooftop terrace with my mint tea in hand. YES PLEASE! 
 



(Pictures from Yunak)

The Giraffe Manor

            Knock  Knock  -- Good morning, may I come in?
 


Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest and is only 20 kilometers from Nairobi city center. Built in the 1930's, this luxury boutique hotel has maintained all the charm of the era and is now famous for its resident herd of Rothschild Giraffe. Giraffe Manor offers you an unparalleled experience of the giraffes, with them vying for your attention at the breakfast table, the front door and even your bedroom window. I love it! I've always wanted to eat breakfast with a giraffe!
P.S. I've been to Kenya -- it's phenomenal (I will post on adventures from Kenya soon)!


(Pictures from Giraffe Manor)


Kakslauttanen


It’s hard enough to pronounce “Kakslauttanen” while sober—don’t even think about attempting it after a drink from their ice bar.  Kakslauttanen is a Finnish resort near the North Pole, popular for its glass igloos. These cute little igloos provide a one of a kind opportunity to admire the northern lights and millions of stars.  Each igloo is built from a special thermal glass so you won't freeze your toosh off.  Every igloo is equipped with a bathroom and luxury beds. Kakslauttanen has a variety of  log cabins, snow igloos, glass igloos and large log cabins to choose from. Too cute to boot! I want to cozy-up in that rocking chair with some hot cocoa and enjoy that stone fire place. Mmmm Heaven.


(Pictures from kakslauttanen)

 

Palacio de Sal




If you’re one of those people who believes you can never have too much salt, then this is the place for you. From floor to ceiling, including the walls, beds, and chairs, it’s all salt! This 16-room Salt Palace is located on Bolivia’s vast salt flats.

(Pictures from Tripadvisor)




Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, Canada





These Free Spirit Spheres are set among the tall trees of the west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada. The five-acre property is an old-growth forest with three pods (made of cedar, spruce, or fiberglass, respectively) suspended 10 to 15 feet in the air and accessed by staircases that wind around the trees. In addition to overnight stays, Free Spirits will also sell you your own premade sphere! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Ewok village!
(Pictures from Freespiritsphere)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Best Martini EVER! Key Lime Pie Martini

These are a huge hit whenever I make them for our parties! It's creamy and tangy -- definitely a dangerously tasty drink. It tastes exactly like key lime pie, no joke!



Key Lime Pie Martini

1.5 ounces Licor 43
1 ounce Key West Lime Juice
1 ounce half and half
½ cup whipped cream (from a canister)


½ ounce of Simple Syrup

crushed graham crackers

(Optional: Lime wedge for looks)

-Rim your martini glasses with fine graham cracker crumbs, and then put your glasses into the freezer for 30 min or more before drinks are made
-load a martini shaker ½ full of ice
-Add licor 43, key lime west juice, half and half and simple syrup into the shaker
- Add 3 rings of whipped cream from a canister into the shaker
-Shake well
-Pour into chilled martini glasses rimmed with Graham crackers

Licor 43, simple syrup and Key West Lime Juice can be found at BevMo. 
You'll LOVE it!




Picture: 1

Vanilla Bean Toffee Popcorn

 My neighbor made this the other day and I'm crazy for it! I asked for the recipe and added my own twist (vanilla bean). Right after I took these photos, I brought the popcorn to a friend's party. Someone said it was like "being kissed by heaven." This is SERIOUSLY good stuff. Here is a step-by-step guide. Super easy. I'm loving how you can see the cute little specks of vanilla (but, if you don't have a vanilla bean handy, extract will do just fine)!

Ingredients:
8 cups of popped popcorn (2 microwave bags of popcorn are perfect)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean scraped if you've got it)
*****
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300F
Place 8 cups of popcorn in a large deep bowl. (I used Orville Redenbacher's Buttered Popcorn) Make sure that no unpopped kernels fall into the bowl!


Split one vanilla bean (lengthwise) and scrap out the vanilla caviar with your knife. Add the vanilla caviar to the brown sugar and mix it in with your fingers, to break-up the clumps of vanilla.


now...
Cook over a medium heat while stirring:
1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of light corn syrup in a pot over medium heat.
* Hold the baking soda until later...
Bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Keep stirring!


Now, let it sit for 5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. It will begin to look like this...


Remove from the heat and add your 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. This is when the magic happens!
Stir until you get this creamy looking color.


Now pour that heavenly stuff onto your popcorn. Stir until the popcorn is evenly coated.


Place the popcorn on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or wax paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F.
After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and place it on a windowsill or someplace where it can cool off.
The toffee should harden in 5-10 minutes.
Once it has cooled off, break the popcorn into bite-size pieces and enjoy!





Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Quote to Live By


For what its worth it is never to late to be whoever you want to be. Theres no time limit, you can stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing; you can make the best of worst of it. And I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you – I hope you feel things youve never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life youre [humbly] proud of, and if you find that youre not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Amen to that

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome Friends

Cheers to LIFE and cheers to YOU! Welcome to my life and to the people and things I love. Grab a cup of tea and join me.
Enjoy.
-B