Category Archives: Travel

Snapshots from Guatemala

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I love that moment in the plane when  you begin your final descent into a new country, that first glance down onto foreign soil. What are the colors? How is the light? What does the landscape look like? I’ll never forget watching the sunrise over the flat dusty plains as I touched down in Africa or seeing the Patagonian glaciers of Chile streaked in time. Looking at Guatemala from that little frame I was enchanted with the layers of volcanoes dancing along the horizon line of a setting sun.

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It was just a weekend getaway, a short stop through Antigua, which was one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have time to wander around but I will come back someday to photograph it and stay at the Meson Panza Verde which is heartbreakingly beautiful. We had a late dinner there on our last night in Guatemala in which I discovered its enchantment. From there we ventured around the lakeside town of Panajachel where the fashion accessory brand Mercado Global‘s design offices are located. The purpose of this trip was to discover the craftsmanship behind these artisanal bags. We spent a little time in Santiago Atitlan and in the hillside town of Santa Catarina Palapo where we slept in a dream villa.

I have many takeaways from Guatemala. The fruit is incredible. The people, so petite, are beautiful in their traditions they hold on to despite globalization. I loved comparing their dress to how the Peruvian women dress each in their specific way. The beautiful colors in their clothing are mimicked in the textiles of the market and lush nature landscape bursting with flowers in sherbet orange and hot fuchsia. As we wandered through the old colonial built towns there is the distinctive sound of women’s hands patting out corn tortillas, and I’ll never forget the way they tasted hot off the griddle. I loved how drivers would honk as a courtesy, a way to say thank you. Perhaps though, my favorite feature of this beautiful country are her volcanoes. It had not been since Bali that I found myself gazing upon such a scene. Every day is a new view, sometimes with smoke billowing out a top, sometimes in silhouette to a setting sun. I found them a constant reminder that the earth is alive beneath our feet and for the mere fact that I am standing in Guatemala, I realize I am alive too.

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Above, visiting a traditional housing community in the country in Rodebjer in Irene fringe dress and Maiyet desert sandal

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Above, visiting the popular and best coffee shop in the lake side town of Panajachel, Cafe Loco. The coffee made with coconut milk is AMAZING.

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Above, ordering a Michelada from a street cart vender in the market. Michelada is a popular Latin American drink which is consists of mostly beer with tomato juice, lime juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. It’s kind of like a fizzy, lighter version of a Bloody Mary and perfect for sipping in the afternoon. 

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Above, Kelly explores the markets of Panajachel in a RIXO constellation dress and WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie backpack

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Above, Kelly explores a town square in KAELEN printed silk cotton bell sleeve shirt dress

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Above, admiring the traditional dress of the Tz’utujil men in Santiago Atitlán.

Below, in C.F. Goldman linen cuffed shirt dress. 

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Travel to Africa || Travel to South America || Travel to Europe || Travel to Southeast Asia || Travel to Mexico

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Algodon Wine Estate

Algodon_Wine_Estate_02 When you live in one of the biggest cities in the world, sometimes the only true escape from that life is heading to the country. As much as I loved the culture of Buenos Aires, I was happy to find myself in Argentina’s wine region at a new and beautiful estate called Algodon. Having just visited the fields of Dom Pérignon during harvest, it was a lovely contrast to see a vineyard in spring, the first buds of the season reaching out of the bark in perfect rows. I spent the first afternoon quietly swinging on my porch hammock, watching the light dance in the trees and feeling the cool spring breeze on my face. The quiet was an escape I had been longing for, and being surrounded by spring made me feel ready for a creative rebirth.

Algodon in Spanish means cotton. The estate was named after the Cotton Club in New York City for its sophistication, elegance, and distinction—and the club lifestyle certainly made its way here. You can play golf, ride bikes, play tennis, go horseback riding, have a massage, or enjoy wine tastings throughout the day. Though the main farm house was built in the 1920s, the property did not become a winery until 2002, with the first bottles of wine ready in 2005.

The original La Casona, or villa, has three petite rooms with original wood floors, fireplaces, and French doors opening to a wraparound porch. So charming and romantic! I loved the simplicity of the room, which quieted my mind and complimented the natural beauty waiting just outside. More recently, a second villa was built in a similar style with larger suites, stove-pipe fireplaces and a stunning main room wrapped in window light.

One of the highlights from Algodon was of course the winemaker’s Mauro Nosenzo’s tour through the vineyard and winery. They produce everything from Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and my favorite, “Pima”, which is the star wine of the property, aged 24 months in French oak barrels. This special blend is named after the finest cotton in the world, produced in Peru and known world-wide as the smoothest variety. I loved it so much I bought a case and I look forward to the warm memories of the winemaker filling my glass straight from the barrel on this peaceful spring day.

After our tours, a tasting, and a beautiful lunch at the property’s restaurant in front of a roaring fire, we set out for the rest of the afternoon to explore the Argentinean countryside on horseback. I love horseback riding in South America, it compliments my romantic sensibilities and gives you a greater connection to the land, to the power of nature that defines it. For a few hours I galloped through the rows of vineyards, around the apricot orchard and through the olive trees, over the streams until I was out in the wild countryside gazing upon an endless horizon of wildflowers dancing below a purple mountain sky. It was heaven on earth….

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FAENA

I was excited to experience FAENA Buenos Aires after first experiencing their Miami property under construction last December. Faena is genius, always transforming locations into hip new areas with their interesting design, surprising flourishes, and their impressive arts programs. The Faena areas turn into cultural districts, going above and beyond simply contemporary accommodations. But… accommodations they do have. There is a modern grandness to Faena you instantly feel as you walk through the red carpet entrance of this turn-of-the-20th-century grain warehouse turned stylish Buenos Aires hot spot. I loved the contrast of the old industrial brick building to the sleek glamour of Faena. Accented in red and white, I couldn’t help but think of the creator of this “universe” as they call it, Alan Faena. One of the most stylish men in the world, he is always in white and surrounded in red roses. I can see so much of him personally in this space and I like the intimacy of his specific identity and vision showing through.

Walking into the guest room, I was charmed by how they positioned the bed: floating in the center at a diagonal angle, covered in fantastic crisp white bedding that was a dream to sleep on. The best part for me though was the extra-large soaking bathtub. It was the perfect medicine to ease the pain of my last night out in Buenos Aires (if you saw my snap story you know what I mean…).

Knowing Alan and his style, it was to no surprise to find a completely white formal dining room adorned with white unicorns and an exquisite tasting menu. The wine cellar, directly below the restaurant underground, is another example of the balance between old industrial and new design. It was here we had a romantic tasting of all Argentinean wines, my favorite being the organic biodynamic option from Patagonia.

They say you can’t go to Buenos Aires and not see a tango show—so here we were, at Faena, with what has been declared the best and least touristy show in the city and I have to say, it was fabulous… but now I’m slightly obsessed with tango, too. The club was a perfect little cabaret size, with a live band and gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous dancers. Afterwards, outside the bustling Library Lounge, we sat on red cushions around the pool adorned in a golden crown fountain and reflected on this amazing city, so rich in culture and life and felt grateful to dance into other people’s worlds so far away from our own.

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Guide to Buenos Aires, Argentina

I’ve dreamed of experiencing Buenos Aires all my life. I heard it was beautiful and romantic. I heard that the food was incredible, the wine as rich as the culture. I had heard it was the Paris of South America, and you all know how I feel about mon amour Paris. All these things had been whispered to me, and they filled my mind with wanderlust. When I finally visited, I knew everything I had heard was right. I would love to share with you the discoveries that led me to fall in love with this magnificent city…

This list is made possible because of my amazing guides from Mai 10. Mai 10 is a travel agency focused on privileged access and inspiring destinations. Because of Mai 10, the city sparkled like a glass of champagne.

A tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fueguia Perfume

This beautiful boutique perfumery has a few locations around Buenos Aires, featuring a collection both chic and minimalist. I fell in love with a new perfume called Juan Manuel: named after a man they used to call “de Rosas”, which means “for the roses”, it has a smoky scent like you were sitting in a room full of roses by a roaring fire.

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