East Africa or Southern, for your first safari experience?

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We pretty much covered East African Safari destinations in a previous blog which you can access here, however, before we head to Southern Africa, we should draw your attention to Rwanda and/or Uganda, especially if gorilla trekking is of interest to you! For many this is the ultimate wildlife experience and adventure. These gentle giants can be found in the area known as the Virunga Mountains, and live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mountain gorillas can be reached after a trek of three to eight hours up and through the rain forest, which you should not attempt unless you are not in good health and able to sustain a slow mountain climbing pace. However it is totally worth it! Trackers will let your ranger know where to find them prior to your trek up the mountain, and then lead you to them. Seeing these incredible animals up close is nothing short of magical!

Continue reading East Africa or Southern, for your first safari experience?

Where would you go on your first safari?

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You decided to go on safari but you don’t know where to go and not sure whether the research found online is reliable, much less which country to choose. So many options and so little time! Our first  recommendation would be to make a list of what you would like to experience. Are you a very adventurous kind of person? Will you be alone, with a group or with family? Will you have young kids with you? How much time you have and your budget will also be a deciding factor but Amber, your safari expert will be able to help you make a decision and our posts will also give you some guidance.

Continue reading Where would you go on your first safari?

An African Safari Wedding, Honeymoon Hops and Country Coupling ~ A new Trend in Travel.

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Continue reading An African Safari Wedding, Honeymoon Hops and Country Coupling ~ A new Trend in Travel.

The Cycles of Life

new yearWell it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.

My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively.  One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and Chobe Sunsetneedless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.

Continue reading The Cycles of Life

Backyard weddings never looked this good!

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In the last post I wrote that having a backyard wedding could be one way to save quite a bit of money but received a few comments that the idea of a having a wedding in someone’s backyard didn’t actually conjure up exciting images so I decided to do a blog post showing just how magical a backyard wedding can be.

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Continue reading Backyard weddings never looked this good!

The Wedding Budget!

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For the couple on a tight budget!

Now that you and your fiancé have decided on your vision and the most important aspects of the wedding, the next step is the budget. A realistic budget that will allow you to choose most of the must-haves for your special day. In order to do this well you should know approximately what things cost in your area. You don’t want to spend time creating a budget only to discover that flowers cost twice as much as you had hoped to spend, so do the research. When you have info on most of the costs, you can look at the available funds and figure out what kind of wedding you are going to have. If needed and possible, ask your parents if they are willing to help in some way – whether by paying for some aspect of the wedding or just adding funds to the budget. Have a discussion with them and share your wish-list so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!) With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute. If you want their help financially you’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allowing them to state what they’re comfortable with. Show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process, rather than just telling them what your dream wedding is going to cost or trying to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. Never compare what they are contributing to what the in-laws are! If you initially told your parents that you are paying for the wedding yourself but after a period of time expenses have piled up and you now need help, just be direct and ask whether the offer of financial assistance is still on the table. Just FYI – couples typically spend between $20,000 and $33,000 but, it is possible to spend less than $10,000 and still have a fabulous wedding.

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I said YES!

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So…your partner proposed and you said… YES! and then reality hits you. HELP! Overwhelming details spinning through your mind furiously and you are wondering how you will actually pull this off followed by images of the dream wedding you have imagined maybe since you were a kid. If you and your partner decided on a long engagement you might not be panicking too much or if you are not surprised by the proposal and have secretly been planning under the radar, you have most likely thought about most of the details by now and are ready to jump into action. Continue reading I said YES!

Not your every day backyard wedding.

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Surrounded by the lush mountains of Malibu is the Malibu Canyon Ranch; a stunning estate famous for it’s European castle like tower. With white horses and white oak trees you will never believe that this beautiful gem is only 40 minutes from Beverly Hills and 10 minutes from Paradise Cove Beach.

This venue was also the location for a fabulous wedding that I had the honor of catering and planning. Continue reading Not your every day backyard wedding.

Fun Pairings for Cocktails and Food Stations

Hamburger sliders and friesOne of the biggest challenges for any caterer or wedding/event planner is to find fun and unique ways to wow guests at an event so fish and chips with mini beersI have been looking around for inspiration for the next wedding we are both planning and catering and will share with you some fun beverage and appetizer pairings for cocktail hour and even for the main course that your guests will love! These appetizers are served a little differently than what we are used to seeing at events and this will work well whether you are having a formal black tie or casual backyard event. In fact imagine inviting your guests to a black tie wedding and then giving them fish and chips wrapped in paper with mini beer shots! So far we have had rave reviews.

Continue reading Fun Pairings for Cocktails and Food Stations

A Piece of Italy in Playa Del Rey

Wedding-cantalinis-Pvt ResA small and very delicious “taste” of Italy hides in plain sight on the main street as you drive through Playa Del Rey to the beach. Cantalini’s Salerno Beach is a cute little restaurant with an intimate ambiance and incredibly delicious food!

I am writing about them not just to introduce you to their food, but because we have recently partnered with the catering division to bring fabulous Italian cuisine to your event, home or office! Whether you are having a small intimate dinner at your home, a fundraiser, a wedding, an office meeting or year-end bash, we can provide you with authentic Italian fare that will have your guests raving for weeks!

Continue reading A Piece of Italy in Playa Del Rey