Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Romantic Places

One of our favorite editors contacted us for brainstorming a story on "make-you-fall-in-love-locations" that we've shot (Romance on a shoot? Who has time for that? :) or just found on vacation. James and I reminisced long and hard about it, so I figure I might as well share our personal "top romantic places" with you.

I think Budapest wins hands down for gorgeousness and romance: the cafes, the steam baths, the cheap restaurants, the nightlife, the young designers, the opera. We rented a beautiful apartment with three close friends and all ate too much strawberry soup and had daily massages. We'd love to go back, just the two of us and our Mamiyas.

Boulder Utah, a tiny town in the middle of Escalante NP. Lots of hiking and off-roading, which I think is devastatingly romantic. Just dusty me and James, and no one around for 60 miles. A little scary too, but risk and romance go hand in hand.

For the New England Bed & Breakfast set, I'd go with Castle Hill in Cape Cod. Just what it sounds like. Shot that one for T+L.

For the Bed & Beer set I'd go with the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The delta town is probably too down on its luck for most, but you get to stay in a barely renovated tenet farmer's shack and sit on the porch all night playing the piano for the mosquitoes and cotton and go to sleep under homemade quilts. We like to stop there, eat catfish at Morgan Freeman's restaurant, dance at a jukejoint, buy some blues cds, before heading on to my family's place in Louisiana. A great place to acclimate to a slower pace. A little ways south of the Memphis airport. $50/night!

For the 18th century mansion set, I'd go with the Bellinter House in County Meath, Ireland we shot for Sherman's Travel. The redesign is sumptuous, with great huge wooden carved beds, a spa, a lovely, just slightly avant garde (think Oscar Wilde meets Bloomsbury meets Moss) bar in the drawing room, a Michelin chef's restaurant in the basement. Not a lot to do in the area, but fish and ride horses, but then, it's only 45 minutes drive to Dublin.

Amansala Tulum, and Tulum generally, are my favorite sit-around and relax white sand beaches. It's gorgeous, eco friendly, and cheap, if you like fish tacos. Who doesn't like fish tacos? Amasala's very yoga girl centric (i.e. not romantic). Most of the other women there were from NYC for "bikini boot camp." The downside is the long drive out there from Cancun.

I hear El Salvador's beaches are cheap cheap cheap, and we want to visit my family there asap. The South American Surf Championships are there at La Libertad this month. Dad and Kathy's new place is only a few hours from Belize, Honduras, daily flights to Costa Rica and Cancun. It would be a great place to base camp for shooting the area, so I'm researching the surf reports, working on my espanol.

Happy traveling!

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