Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Mediterranean photos: People

Beautiful places and amazing food and drink are always fantastic perks of travel, but it's the people you meet who make the experience just that much more special. Here are some of the people I was lucky enough to become friends with.

p1010079I loved meeting Eleani and her adorable daughter Anna from Moscow. She's working on their home with an interior designer and bought our DVD to get more inspiration.

p1010026Vicki was traveling from Hong Kong with her husband and son. This was her first cruise. We met while dancing at Palm Court. Here, she's dancing with the ship's professional dancer... looks like she could be one herself!

p1010082Susan and her sister Shirley are from Scotland. Susan just downsized: She was living in a castle, now she's in a modern townhouse. She came to my workshop to learn how to transition her decorating styles. Wow, I never met anyone who lived in a castle before!

p1010088I ran into Jean and her husband David from New York at the photo gallery. David is the wine director for Tribeca Grill and was the favorite guest lecturer on the ship! Darrell and I hope to see Jean and David when we go to New York in October.

older-coupleRita and Les are from Arizona. They're in their 80s and are the most adorable couple you could ever meet--they're newlyweds! Four months of marital bliss, and they dance together like they've been married for 40 years!

p1000919We met Gina and Tony from Toronto through Nicki, who met their daughter Alexia while both were swimming in the pool. Nicki and Alexia became fast friends. They had a ball together and promised to stay in touch.

dsc_0757Finally, Gary Hunter is the Cruise Director and famous ventriloquist on board the Crystal Serenity. Gary was an absolute doll to work with! He recently built the home of his dreams with his wife in Florida. We had lots to talk about!

NEXT BLOG: Shipboard fun!

Last Mediterranean photos: Places

Sorry it's taking me so long to wrap up this cruise blog! I just finished sorting through countless photos, and I want to share the last of our beautiful ports, let you meet some of the people who made this an unforgettable trip, and show some shipboard fun! First up: The Places.


The beautiful port of Sorrento

p1000799A bakery in Pompeii... can you see the brick oven?

p1000814The body of a slave as he took his last breath. What a terrible way to die.

p1000836Pompeii's justice center. Can you imagine how impressive this was thousands of years ago? It still is!

dsc_1037Art, Suzi and Kara's mom Angela enjoying the tour with the Wagners


p1000926The gang's all here in Pisa. Let's go see if that tower really is leaning...

p10009321Yup, it's leaning this much!

p1000968Perfect way to cap off a warm day in Italy ... coconut gelato! YUM


p1000979Here we are in Cannes, and it's just how I imagined it ... FABULOUS!

p1000981The biggest private yacht I've ever seen with my own two eyes. It's incredible... and I can't imagine what it must look like inside!

p1000989I stumbled upon this home decor store. Totally over the top--looks like Hollywood royalty shops here. I love it!

p1000995Walking back to the ship, we passed these gentlemen playing baci ball


dsc_0233The Coliseum. Do you think there might still be gladiators here?

dsc_0202Yeah, there's one right there!

dsc_0313Trevi Fountain: Scotty makes a wish as he throws in a coin. His wish? To come back to Rome!

dsc_0414St. Peter's Basilica. In a word, awe-inspiring (oops, is that two words?)

p1000855Have to shop on the run--we only have one day in Rome!


p1010057Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece. Still a work in progress

p1010046Gaudi's Undulating Bench--colorful, beautiful and magical

p1010076La Pedrera, Gaudi's last civil job, had intricate ironwork inspired by seaweed

NEXT BLOG: New friendships made from around the world

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ahoy! First workshop on the high seas

One of the highlights of the Mediterranean for me has to be the mini-workshop I gave aboard the Crystal Serenity. It’s the first time I spoke in front of a Crystal audience and my first at-sea workshop ever!


A few days earlier, the cruise director, Gary Hunter, interviewed me for Crystal Cruise TV, which airs the morning of the event to get people excited about wanting to come. Gary also happens to be a pretty famous ventriloquist himself, and the interview was a lot of fun. We’ll post part of it here soon.

Totally impressed with Gary’s setup up on the bridge deck. Can you believe it was a three-camera shoot?


I kept the workshop pretty short—I had to, since I only had an hour! I focused on colors, showing how to layer colors into a space and tie them into Mediterranean mementos people may have bought, such as a work of art or a rug from Turkey.


This was a food-and-wine cruise, and my workshop happened to be up against a red wine lecture and a demo by a mixologist! Poor Darrell, I even had to convince him to come, and a lot of the wives in our Hawaii group dragged their husbands to my show! Mahalo, guys!

Believe me, giving a workshop itself on the Mediterranean high seas was a thrill for this Hawaii girl! It doesn’t matter, you can meet people from the opposite end of the world, and they still have the same challenges: how to incorporate color, how to find their style. I have to say, I was thrilled to meet some fascinating people—I’ll tell you about them in my next blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A whirlwind of a cruise: Mediterranean photos

We arrived back at home, sweet home a few days ago with absolutely no time to recover from jetlag. I'm so thankful to have had this amazing vacation with family and friends, because we have all been off and running with school and work! Meanwhile, I quickly sorted through some photos to compile into a Mediterranean roundup.

Our Hawaii group is ready and excited to explore Turkey!

Our group from Hawaii is ready and excited to explore Turkey!

A master weaver at her loom

A master weaver at her loom

Look at the texture! Kara and I can't stop admiring these colors and patterns

Look at the texture! Kara and I can't stop admiring the colors and patterns

I think Dean, Darrell and Scott are making fun of us!

I think Dean, Darrell and Scott are making fun of us!

Ancient terraced houses at Ephesus

Terraced houses at Ephesus

Moving on, a postcard-perfect blue day

A postcard-perfect blue day in Santorini

Hey Suzy, Keri and Kara: Are you having fun?

Hey Suzi, Keri and Kara: Are you having fun?The Wagners make it to the top of a Sicilian volcano!

The Wagners make it to the top of a Sicilian volcano!

Corso Umberto: Can you see our ship?

Corso Umberto: Can you spot our ship?

Mom, Nicki and I can't wait to shop in Sicily!

Mom, Nicki and I can't wait to start shopping in Sicily!

A perfect day of sailing and swimming

We had a beautiful day of sailing and swimming

What a Mediterranean feast! Ayaka can't believe those prawns

Ayaka can't get over the size of those prawns: What a feast!

For Ayaka, Nicki, Keri and all of us, an amazing time with family and friends, with amazing sights and amazing food. Memories to last forever!

Happy girls = happy vacation. An amazing time with family and friends, amazing sights and incredible food. We'll treasure these memories forever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Let's eat--European style!

OK, I’m a little bit behind on my blogging here. We’ve already been to Greece, Turkey and Italy and are cruising toward the final stops of the voyage (everywhere’s been amazing, by the way!) and we have even given our first-ever Learn to Decorate with Style mini-workshop aboard the high seas!

I’m just popping in to quickly post some food photos I took in the early part of the trip.


A big group of us stopped for lunch at Psara's in Plaka. The kids had the best table in the house with a view overlooking the city. Thank goodness they had their own corner... they were noisy!


My lunch: a mixed grill plate with chicken, sausage, pork and lamb with spinach and carrots. It was delicious!


Not to be out done, Kara ordered the pork chop in ouzo sauce. She said it was ooohh so yummy.


Aaahh — good food, great vacation.

grownups-eatingnite-viewStill more eating. Dinner that night was on the rooftop of the Ledra Marriott overlooking the Acropolis, with enough delicious food to feed the Trojan army.

That’s it for now. More later!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Off and running

After traveling about 30 hours and on only five hours of sleep, Darrell, Nicki, my mom and dad and I awoke in Athens with lots of energy and ready for our first adventure. With only a few minutes to spare, we jumped onto the first tour bus of the day to see the sights of Athens.


First stop, the Olympic Stadium, home of the first modern Olympics. Nicki was excited to pass me the baton. This mother-daughter duo won the design team relay race!


At the Temple of Zeus. the God of all Gods (my dad thought that was his title!).


This is the last photo of mom and me smiling before our long hot trek up to the Acropolis. It felt like it was over 120 but it was probably just over 100 degrees.


The Parthenon... aaaaahhhhh-mazing! How did they build this thousands of years ago?


During our tour among the thousands of people on top of the Acropolis, we ran into Keoni, Kara and Keri. The girls were so happy to find each other.


After getting lost in Plaka with Joseph and Carolyn, we discovered this quaint street.


Greek dinner show, a la Paradise Cove luau in Hawaii.


I hope everybody back home has made it through all that rain we've been hearing about! I'll be back later with more photos...