Posts tagged with "flowers"

Wine and Wildflowers

Wine and Wildflowers Make Gatlinburg The Perfect Spring Destination

By Patrick T Cooper

What is on your travel list for spring? Here is your specific guide to EAT, STAY, and PLAY in the  Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg, Tennessee may have fallen under your radar. However, I have two reasons you should answer the call to action by The Great Smoky Mountains. I will humbly admit Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a sleeper for me. Beyond the fanfare and huge presence of the legendary Dolly Parton I was unsure what to expect from my visit. Fortunately, I was enamored with brilliant southern hospitality and a warm embrace during my visit for the Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend and the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. There is gallons of the good stuff (wine) in Gatlinburg and tons of activities that will have you returning seasonally to build a lifetime of memories.

Eat

When all is said and done wine tasting and hiking, then walk a half block from the hotel to the Log Cabin House. The food and service are unparalleled. Seriously, there a tons of dining experiences in walking distance from the hotel, I decided to patronize this establishment three times over my weekend stay. From my first dining experience, it was as if I met an old friend from the moment my server greeted me. Did I mention, the joint has the absolute best hash browns known to man. Take my advice and sprinkle your belly with this delightful southern dish you will not be disappointed.

Stay

Whether you are a solo traveler or with family and friends the convenience of being downtown Gatlinburg is a definite advantage. While the Swiss themed chalets and cottages in the mountains quite tempting, it is best to opt for the convenience of the Courtyard Marriott so that you may drink responsibly. Literally, steps away from the city center you can nestle down and perhaps stumble back to your hotel after dinner and enjoying local attractions. By the way, the indoor and outdoor oversized fireplaces make this hotel cozy, chic, and comfortable for fireside chats with friends to recap the fun of the day.

Play

Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Who is ready to sip wine? We will not twist your arm but the local wineries make it easy to indulge. Wine is about what you love and by far my favorite wine find during this travel excursion was Tennessee Homemade Wines Proper Peach. Considering I’m a Georgia native it is only fitting that I gravitated to the acidic bliss of  this beverage. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts serves as a cool backdrop for this friendly event paired with delicious local fare. Grab your tickets and get to Smoky Mountains. Click here for more details about Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Don’t forget to wear your most comfortable shoes or footwear suitable for hiking in the great outdoors. Porters Creek Trail is phenomenal. While the hike is not arduous the rocks and  slippery paths require support to keep your feet firmly planted. The multitude and medley of exotic colors are will have you in heaven. The tour guides are passionate about educating you on the different species of wildflowers which will have you engaged the entire experience. Be sure to fully charge your camera as the flowers make for the most brilliant natural photography. Click here for more details about the Wildflower Pilgrimage

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Diamond Valley Lake Super Bloom

Biggest Super Bloom in Over a Decade Expected at Diamond Valley Lake Wildflower Trail Opens March 2

On the heels of record rains, officials at Diamond Valley Lake anticipate the biggest super bloom in over a decade in the coming weeks. The most jaw-dropping views will be from the Wildflower Trail, which opens March 2 and is accessible from the Diamond Valley Lake Marina.

“This is the payoff from all that rain,” said Kelly Lam, director of marketing for Basecamp Hospitality, which operates concessions at Diamond Valley Marina, Lake Hemet and 20+ parks across the western U.S. “We’re already starting to see flowers, and by mid to late March we anticipate this super boom to be way better than it has been in over 10 years. The lake is higher than I’ve ever seen it, too, and the fish are thriving, so it’s a great time to plan a trip out here.”

The seasonal Wildflower Trail, located in the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve protected area, and open Wednesdays through Sundays, will soon burst with color, from red Indian Paintbrush flowers and yellow Tidy Tips sunflowers to deep pink Red Maids, orange California poppies, blue arroyo lupines, purple Canterbury bells and white Forget-Me-Nots. The flowers should last through April along the hillsides of the lake trail, a 1.3-mile loop that is considered easy to moderate.

Basecamp recently made improvements to the lake for visitors to enjoy, including new, permanent marina restrooms and may soon include longer hours for approved activities in early mornings and evenings. Entry fees into the marina are $10 per car, and trail access costs $3 per person—and includes a map of the wildflowers and wildflower guide. You can also view the flowers by renting one of the bass or pontoon boats, for fishing or relaxing, at the marina. Get started at the Diamond Valley Lake Visitor Center, home to the bones of Max, the largest and most complete adult mastodon to be uncovered in the western United States. So many mastodons were found here that the area is known as “the valley of the mastodons.”

The visitor center is open weekends from 10 am to 4 pm and also features information on what it took to build three dams the size of those at Diamond Valley Lake, including videos and photos of the astoundingly large equipment used on the project.

New Release by Gabi Demartino

From recently making headlines by appearing in Ariana Grande’s viral “Thank U, Next” video to being a bonafide influencer with over 13.2M combined followers, Gabi Demartino will release her most personal song yet in time for Valentine’s Day. Her new single  Cold Room releasing February 14th, 2019, will allow her massive fan base to see her in a completely different light.

Gabi Speaking About the Meaning of “Cold Room”

“Cold Room” is a song I wrote 3 years ago while I was forming unfamiliar feelings for a friend. I knew it was more than a friend but never wanted to confront the situation because I was afraid the feelings weren’t mutual. I  never wanted to cross the line and ruin the friendship. I decided to release this song now, because it came on shuffle in my car while driving through a blizzard on the east coast. It is the most relatable, confident, upbeat love ballad that I have ever written and thought maybe it could help a few relationships blossom this Valentine’s Day. I want this track to help people in similar situations. Hopefully this song can send shivers down some spines and chill some veins. Pun- intended!

FUN FACTS

  • Gabi played a cheerleader who punches herself in the face because Arianna told her to, a spoof of the beloved teen comedy “Mean Girls,” in the “Thank U, Next” video that broke YouTube’s 24 hour record
  • Gabi has often been called an Arianna Grande look alike, something she embraces in several of her vlogs.
  • Gabi boasts 3.4 million followers on her Instagram and 2.5 million on her personal YouTube channel
  • Gabi and her twin sister Niki also have an extremely successful YouTube channel with over 7.3 million subscribers and over 900 million views
  • Each week the sister duo shares a video in the realm of fashion, beauty, comedy and singing.

More on Gabi-

On top of her successful YouTube channels, Gabi also has a music career. Her and twin sister Niki released an EP Titled “Individual” in 2018. Their song “Sleep it Off” garnered 2.1 million views in only 2 weeks. Gabi also has several solo tracks on the album. The video for her song“Flowers” garnered 2.3 million views and featured her good friend Paris Hilton, the song is a fun female anthem that showcased her powerful vocals.

When the Gabi isn’t busy promoting her music and working on her massive Youtube channels, she somehow manages to find time to star in break out roles acting roles. In 2017, Gabi starred in season 2 of Hulu’s “Freakish” while she also wrote, produced and starred in “Blood Queens,”now in season two, for her vlog channel. Niki & Gabi can also be seen on AwesomenessTV series “Spring Break” and “Dear DeMartino”.

Over the years, Niki & Gabi have worked with many esteemed publications such as TeenVogue, Seventeen and PopSugar. In 2016, they were named one of the year’s top beauty influencers by Women’s Wear Daily. The twins won the Best Fashion Award at the 2018 Streamy Awards! The girls are staples at top tier events such as the Teen Choice Awards, Kids Choice Awards and sat front row at the Michael Costello, Son Jung Wan and Sherri Hill shows at this year’s NYFW. Gabi hope’s to continue empowering their young fans to find their voice and to follow their dreams!

Rose Box NYC

By Bob Cal

The most posh and lux crowd of Manhattan gathered at the palatial former residence of pop icon Lady Gaga for ‘Rose Box House.’ Presented by Rose Box NYC, ‘Rose Box House’ was a chic mixer bringing together socialites, fashion influencers and VIP’s for a luxurious night of cocktails and a meeting of the best dressed. On this icy winter night in New York City, the upscale guests were dressed to kill with gorgeous winter coats and sharp head to toe outfits.

The five story urban penthouse located in Chelsea was stunningly decorated with Rose Box NYC’s signature roses, draping tables, sofas and shelves across the residence. The event space looked so rich and full of life with the arrangements of freshly cut, vibrantly colored roses in d’oeuvres. Social media blew up with the hashtag #roseboxhouse as the party guests posted selfies and mini-photo ops with the flower arrangements.

Royal Wedding Bouquet

Prince Harry played a huge role in preparing for Meghan Markle’s bouquet as he had picked some of the flowers himself from their private garden at Kensington Palace. The bouquet was designed by florist Philippa Craddock. What’s really sweet is that Prince Harry had included some of Princess Diana’s favorite flowers. Forget-Me-Nots were chosen by the couple to be included as a part of their wedding in the loving memory of Princess Diana. Other flowers that were seen in the bouquet were sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia, and myrtle (a royal tradition). The flowers were delicately bound together by a raw silk ribbon.