Sunday, November 18, 2012

St. Augustine Shrine

There are so many wonderful places to see in St. Augustine, Fl. This is one of those towns where every little corner hides a gem. And because it's so walkable, you can discover all the rich gifts that the oldest city in America has to offer, on foot! "Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States." The character of this beautiful town is best revealed in the respect given to the Shrine of our Lady of La Leche, a mission that devotees have been flocking to for centuries, in order to gain the blessing of the Mother Mary. Here you can light a candle for a special prayer and place it upon her altar.

After your blessing, the wonders of St. Augustine will start to take shape at your every turn. Follow the beckoning promenades, which inspire you to walk and walk...

On your path, you will dicover incredibly stately, 100 year old historic homes.

Quaint Inns, welcoming you into their comforting abodes...

And a grand ole hotel, called the Casa Monica, fit for a Queen.

The galleries are glorious in this old town. So much exquisite art, jewelry and all manner of boutique shopping..



And if you tire of walking, you can always catch a ride in a horse drawn carriage or take the trolley round.

But best of all, here in St Augustine, you have the beaches! The exquisite ocean gleaming just round the bend.

Boating and surfing are both on offer along these picturesque waterways.

The spirit of the Good Saint is definitely alive in this coastal paradise. You feel her warmth and grace all throughout and a sprinkling of her starlight stays with you even as you venture onto other shores.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Raw Asheville

 Where to eat raw food in Asheville, you ask? It's as easy and effortless as this raw key lime pie.

Amidst the glorious mountains and luminous sky, your first stop will be the Laughing Seed Cafe.

This vegetarian restaurant has an incredible raw food selection and everything I tasted was mouth-watering. Take the the Living Foods Harmony Bowl, for instance.

The house-made sauerkraut is a true stunner, the beet hummous truly legendary and all the veggies are organic, super fresh and of course, local. Everytime I ate here, I felt compelled to order the delicious Harmony Bowl; but the last time, I forced myself to be adventurous and try the raw Spinach Pesto Manicotti.

I was in no way disappointed and in fact, thrilled by the rich texture, abundant flavor and exquisite presentation of this dish. Utilizing the energy gained from all the live food is easy, too, here. There is so much to see in this awesome town. Downtown is quite hilly, so put on those walking shoes!

If you like eclectic shops with all manner of cool stuff to see, touch, smell and taste. You will love the Loft.

This sweet cafe in a double decker bus is a delight for the eye as well as for the tastebuds.

Have a hot Chai! Or for an even greater selection of teas from all over the world, Dobra Tea will hit the spot.

Try the Sunlight Herbal Blend with a little agave. It's heavenly.

If you can catch an Art Fair downtown, you'll be so inspired. So many people making and creating beautiful things.

And there's nothing like an outdoor pottery class taught by a master, right at your fingertips.

A great place to spend the night, or two, is the Waking Dreams Retreat. Did I say great? I meant supreme. This healing retreat can house you in one of its sparkling rooms or suites.

I was lucky enough to get The Retreat Suite which has a view of the wondrous expanse of mountains peppered by lowlands of sheep grazing.

A space of pure bliss it is. The aura of the house is ethereal, artistic and organic. Certainly 5 celestial stars.

Another above and beyond place to lay your head and uplift your soul, is The Mountain Sanctuary.

After you walk humbly past the buddha gracing the front path, a wellspring of life changing books will greet you in a library just inside the door.

Then, the cozy sanctuary will reveal itself to you in wonderful glimpses...the crystal chandelier, the beckoning bedroom, the fiery fireplace,

The alluring jacuzzi bath tub and the tiny but inspiring kitchen. Oh, what bliss. Yet again.

A kitchen where you can prepare your own organic raw food with some of the goodies from the local farmer's market.

 High up in the mountains of Asheville, NC, you really can find La Dolce Vita.

The good life will surely bless you here. It simply spills out from the place - a living, breathing blessing.


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