Valerie Tyler Collection Blog — travel
Posted by Valerie Tyler on
For the past 11 years, a burgeoning market held once a year in July has takes place right next to Lake Erie. The Avon Lake Summer Market was started as fundraiser and has grown to be able to give back even more. The event showcases plenty of art, food, and vintage with the highlight for me being some pretty gorgeous furniture and decor! It seems to get bigger and better every year. I've never applied to sell at it as July is always such a hectic month for us, but we almost always make a point to stop by and shop.
The first booth that really caught my eye was Small Town Junk (from Hillsboro, Ohio) Seriously, check out this display! Lots of vintage, rustic style in this booth.
Posted by Valerie Tyler on
We recently celebrated a big anniversary and knew we wanted to do something special. However, we've done so much travel this year that we wanted to stick a little closer to home. After much research we settled on spending an overnight at the Villas at Gervasi Vineyard. One night sans kiddo (as much as we love her) having a rustic retreat and a few glasses of wine sounded just about perfect for an anniversary celebration.
I know some people balk at the idea of paying the going rate for a what they think is a mere hotel room in Canton, but the villas are beautiful and the suites are positively luxurious. Each villa consists of four suites with a common area. The common area had a cute sitting area, a fireplace and a small fridge stocked with yogurt, coffee, tea and other drinks. (I definitely drank my fair share of Pellegrino) There was also an outdoor patio off of the common area that overlooked the lake. Now there is a bit of a luck of the draw what the other guests staying in the villa might be like, but our neighbors were pleasant and no one took over the building. In fact the morning before we left we had a nice chat with a couple slightly older than us who were celebrating an anniversary as well a birthday.
Our jaws dropped when we entered our Suite. While they're described as Tuscan they have a bit of a Renaissance castle feel to them too with high arched ceilings, tudor style beams and plenty of wrought iron. The furnishings were very comfortable and being able to turn on the gas fireplace in the evening lent such lovely ambience. The bathroom included a second flat screen television, a coffee maker, delicious smelling soap and shampoo and wonderful heated towel bars!
We planned to spend most of the weekend enjoying the grounds and sampling the food and drink Gervasi Vineyard has to offer. We got to the villas a little before check-in so we grabbed an appetizer and a drink at the Crush House. The mozzarella cheese sticks were quite different from usual bar food with a wonton style wrapping. Post check in we walked around the grounds a bit before dinner taking pictures of all the lovely gardens. I have to admit, they were lovelier than I expected. Granted, going at the height of Summer things were in full bloom, but I imagine the grounds look beautiful during other seasons as well. Their plants were lush, and I mean LUSH. I was quite envious of the the size of the Hostas (something deer always much around here!). Russian sage, hydrangea and of course vineyards were just a few lovely bits of nature to be found.
We had reservations at the Bistro, and aside from being seated in a corner which we thought was a little strange for an anniversary celebration versus in front of the windows looking over the grounds it was a delightful meal. Our waitress was very pleasant, the food was good, and of course the wine was superb. Outside in view of the water, families played cornhole or bocce ball, a live musician played at the outside bar, and couples lounged in big adirondack chairs at the edge of the pond.
If you are looking for a trip to actually sit back and relax, to unplug, delight your tastebuds and actually talk to your travel companion(s) this is a place for you. I came away refreshed and energized. As an owner of a home decor business I also came away inspired as well by the gorgeous architecture, decor and grounds.
Posted by Valerie Tyler on
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As an artist, travel can be truly inspiring and help artistic growth. Awhile back I was lucky and actually won a trip to Mexico and have been meaning to share some pictures from the trip ever since. I had run a 5k race for Cinco De Mayo and didn't even realize that automatically entered me to win, so I was rather surprised when friends came running to find me to say my name was called and dragged me up on stage to claim my prize. While on that weekend trip my husband I decided to make an excursion to Xcaret which is an eco park with a sample of Mexico's culture, nature, food, music and beauty.
We thought it truly was an incredibly beautiful place and can't wait to go back again and take our daughter. Rather than an amusement park filled with mechanical thrill rides and man-made attractions, this park is full of all the thrills the beauty of nature has to provide. There are archaeological sites to explore such as Mayan ruins, and rich cultural attractions such as the Mexican Folk Art Museum, a traditional Hacienda Henequenera and the Chapel of Guadalupe. Nature lovers will love the underground rivers to swim in, gorgeous hiking paths and stunning flora and fauna at places like the Butterfly Pavilion, Jaguar Island or the Coral Reef Aquarium
The park also provides access to the beach, bays and natural pools so you can dip your feet in a tidepool or grab a spot in a hammock and just soak in all the beauty if relaxing is your thing.
There is plenty of entertainment too such as an equestrian show and a truly amazing show at the end of the night. We really enjoyed the lively musical journey through Mexico's history in Tlachco theater in Xcaret. Over 300 artists on stage, costumes and traditional dances. Honestly, we thought the show was almost worth the price of admission alone.
We booked our trip on which for us was Halloween weekend, and totally didn't even make the connection that we would get to celebrate Día de muertos at Xcaret
The celebration was simply amazing and there were so many striking things to see such as Ofrendas.
It is rare in today's day an age to find a place so dedicated to nature and found that this was a truly unforgettable and special experience.If you want to visit Xcaret and experience Mexico's culture, nature, food, music and beauty. Buy on-line now and get up to 15% off.