Monday, July 18, 2016

Italy - Design & Romance

It seems like every blog starts with sending prayers for someone, or something, or as with this week, for a nation. I send my prayers to all of the victims of the heinous attacks in Nice, France. As an avid traveler who loves having lunch on the street, enjoying farmer’s markets, and all of the wonderful sights and sounds of any place, whether here in Scottsdale or in France, this event really upsets me as it is an attack on our way of life.

Friday night we kicked off our 14th Candelaria Design Tour Italy with our Pre-Trip dinner at Marcellino’s  Yes – our trip and tour will continue. Will we always be keeping an eye around the corner, and aware of our surroundings….most definitely! Unfortunately, it is a fact of life in this unpredictable world….whether in Italy or in Scottsdale. So we won’t give in and my travelers are not either as we had a full house and have 18 travelers joining us on our September 2016 trip which will depart on September 7th.

What is exciting about this trip is that we are bringing our SKETCH film crew and we will be filming a 14 episode series, Italy – Design and Romance, featuring our entire Tour. The crew of Wedgie Creative  will follow the trip with 5k footage including drone footage of our travels. The series will not only be about the tour and its picturesque beauty, but will include the thoughts and experiences of our travelers, and the romance and love this trip has brought Isabel and I and many of our travelers.

So we kicked things off Friday night and I have a wonderful group of travelers joining us. This time all of my travelers are coming from the Phoenix metro area, although their backgrounds are from a broad spectrum including clients who are originally from Croatia and Poland and now summer in Calgary and winter in their Candelaria Design home in Litchfield Park. We have several repeat travelers – seven this time, a couple builders and their wives, a stone fabricator and his wife along with two of their friends, a lighting designer and his girlfriend, a couple clients who love our trip and are joining us on their third trip, and finally my associate, Rob Banach and his wife, Kimberly!

Follow our journey right here on our blog and then later on The Design Network with our new Series Italy – Design and Romance!!!

Ok summer is half over and we have an exciting second half of the summer coming so follow our blog as I depart for Alaska this Wednesday, followed by filming another one of our Candelaria Design homes in LaJolla, CA, followed by a Candelaria Design management retreat in Newport Beach. Then it’s off to New York, Santa Fe and then our Tour Italy! So yes we will be busy and I’ll be sharing some great sights, and dining spots along the way. Have a great summer everyone and thanks for the shares and VOTES!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy 4th Of July - From San Diego!

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July Holiday and week. Its definitely one of my favorite holidays for sure. The events of the week in this country definitely are troubling and I pray for our country especially with the upcoming political campaigns – it seems like everyone in this country is on edge and we all need to chill and keep the dialogue open and ease up on the hatred.

With that said, I am very honored and happy to have been selected and appointed to the board of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona I firmly believe that a lot of the problems out there are due to poor housing and the lack of opportunity that many face. As a community of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc. we can come together on projects that are productive and bring families and people together – building versus destroying!

I am so excited to be a part of this group and hopefully can bring more of the design and building community to this amazing forum.

I know I live a wonderful life and I am so blessed with a nice home, and beautiful family, supporting wife, fantastic career and business, and work with a talented staff and have the dearest clients. During this 4th of July week I had some time to reflect on all of this. First – thanks for the time to spend with my family and get away! The 4th of July is always great because nearly all of my clients take the week off too so it was definitely quiet and calm. Very appreciated!!!

So this 4th of July I packed up the troops and we rented a beach condo in Ocean Beach in San Diego! Just like the last few 4ths I had all of my girls. My oldest Tiffany flew down from Denver, my wife Isabel flew over from Phoenix, and my two youngest daughters, Sophia and Bella, and I all piled into the Highlander along with a friend each and we were off on our 4th of July adventure.

What a great week! Of course you cannot go to San Diego over the 4th without running into clients and friends from Arizona. In fact, I think half of Arizona including Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, were all enjoying some down time and cool air in San Diego.

My clients are so wonderful and treat me and my family so graciously. From a fantastic beach party with our clients and good friends, Don and Sharon Ulrich along with Dave and Melissa Mullard and their family and friends, to an evening on the Charles Keller yacht, Just Sit Right Back in Coronado who made the trip down from Marina del Rey with my associate, Tim Mathewson and his fiancé Amber, to running into more Italy travelers, Gicella Dulcich and Julie Horne at the Marine Room in La Jolla, to finally a relaxing evening at the La Jolla courtyard casa of Erika and Russell Dickey – we were treated like royalty!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Such a wonderful week, from time on the beach, eating fish tacos and my share of oysters on the half shell, enjoying some margaritas and vino, the Coronado parade, some one-on-one time with the girls including a fund day at Balboa Park with Tiffany, and even squeezing in some time to make homemade pasta with our new and soon coming to market Candelaria Collection Pasta Maker. Nothing better than homemade raviolis!

We made it home last night in time for my good friend and amazing lighting designer , Walter Spitz’s 60th Birthday. 60 – seriously!!!! Well, all I can say is what a joy it was to be back in time for a wonderful evening at Avanti’s!

What fun and good times – now its back to it – second half of the year here we go!!! Let’s all do our best to share love, tolerance and generosity and let’s all try and make a positive difference.