Looking at 40

I turn 40 this year.  It's getting easier to say that, btw.  For some time, I've been dreaming about the ultimate getaway trip to celebrate this milestone.  You know, how you picture yourself somewhere fabulous, doing fabulous things you otherwise never get to to do?  I don't know, like sleeping in late, or lounging near a beautiful pool without wondering if your kids are drowning.  Casually browsing mesmerizing shopfronts, or lingering over dinner with your Significant.  You get the idea.

I've alway dreamed of Morocco as an incredible destination.   Can you imagine?  The sights, the aromas (spice heaven!), the shopping (I might as well book an export crate for the rugs, baskets, etc). Over the past, oh, five years or so, Morocco has blossomed as a legit and luxurious destination for Americans, but, over the past, oh, year or so, there's also been a lot of scary shiznit happening that might make you think twice about your personal security in that locale. 

So, let's just say I've had a rethinking.  Somewhere a little closer, a little less likely to see you captured and beheaded for your beliefs, but by all accounts (and we've done some Intel), incredible.

Panama.  I'm lookin' at you.  Specifically, the American Trade Hotel in Casco Viejo.  It's uh-maze.  A design junkie's end all. 

Check it.

The Lobby bar, and a guest suite.  I'm all about a contrasting black trim; we've done some in our own house, and I love the crisp-ness it adds to a room.  I love it even more the way it's paired with the amazing wood floors.

They have me at hello with that perfect Trad/Colonial facade tricked out with contemporary iron-framed glass on the main floor, and yeah, you might convince me to soak in that tub. #bathdesignporn

Just stop already with the badass tile situations, 'K.  If our newly-finished study had a Central American sister, this space would be it.

Your choice of cocktail-serving spaces. (There's a pool, too.  Case you were wonderin'}

Yeeeah.  I think it might work.  For what we'll save in time and airfare, we could stay an extra day to take in more cool stuff.

Forty's not looking' so bad, ya'll.

ag

*images by

Rue

and

American Trade Hotel

 - An Ace Hotel

Brazilian Road Trips, Birds and Non-Scientific Surveys

We took a little road trip this weekend to Rio Quente. The area (Southern-Central Brazil) is known for its natural, thermal springs, and there are many attractions centered around warm-water activities. Our destination was a water park - aptly named Hot Park - to let the kids scamper in the lazy waters while the Winter air temps are mild-to-cool.

The drive was longish, but amazingly-scenic...
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The park is like an oasis in the middle of the Brazilian cerrado (High Plains)
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...and, the girls had a great time wearing themselves out
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Inside the park, there's also a bird preserve. Now, I have a thing with tropical birds, not a weird thing - I just think they're incredibly beautiful, and amazingly-intelligent. Every time I see one up close, I'm more convinced I want one as a pet.

My favorite - Mr. Toucan (If I had one, I'd name him Mr. T - original, right? ;)
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Incredible Hyacinth Macaw.
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Several of the parrots in the preserve were very friendly - LOOK at his coloring!
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So, I was still in "bird-want mode" when I spied this ginormous painting at a local display. Ben said it belonged right next to the Velvet Elvis, but I think it was pretty amazing - especially given the scale. I picture it in a room with large, white walls (ahem, our casa), but without other tropical references. Balance it out.
So, tell me. Am I off my rocker? Has the taste side of my brain taken a vacation, too, or could this painting steal a room? Set me straight, Peeps!