Category Archives: Travel

Dec 03, 2018

I just got back from an amazing girls trip to Cartagena Colombia celebrating by 50th birthday. I was overwhelmed by it’s details, colors, design, and food. Liz Banfield was along with me and never stopped capturing amazing photos for us, so here is a little rundown for anyone thinking about going visiting.

I was lucky for several great ladies to join me, including my BFF Nicki Clendening of Beetle/Scout Designs, one of my old college roommate, a former neighbor, and my social media manager… We chose to break the trip up into two separate experiences- several days in the walled city of Cartagena, and then a couple of days out in the Rosario Islands. While in the old walled city, we stayed at an Air BnB that was in a fantastic location near the top of the city.  I loved getting to my runs in the morning around the wall affording me a vantage point of the entire city.

We spent much our time in the actual walled city wandering around, exploring and shopping. There is so much vibrancy, and many of the balconies had lush greenery and bouguonvillea spilling over it’s edges.

Charleston has it’s share of color, but these bright hues and the way they were paired together was so photo perfect.

There was so much fresh fruit everywhere… Where our street food carts in the U.S. are mostly hot dogs, or grilled meats, etc. theirs are all freshly cut fruits… Definitely an intricate piece of local flavor.

We did take a half day tour on our last day in the city which took us through some neighborhoods outside of the walled city, including Getsemani. Loved getting to see how some of the areas outside of the “tourist corridor really are, and where the locals live. Our tour guide, Brian Munoz with Cartagena Concierge was fantastic… Another tour company of note is the Cultural Concierge

While in the walled city, it was almost like every building/boutique hotel we popped into or restaurant was a designer’s dream. So many details from painted murals, to intricate tiles, ironwork, lighting details, and landscaping, I could and did spend all of my time getting inspiration from this!

So much shopping… Colombia’s biggest shopping exports are gold and emeralds… However, the woven good, straw made jewelry, and handmade hats were some of our favorite finds.  There are also a ton of shops with lovely linen pieces. Some of our favorites were Casa Chiqui, St. Dom, and 

Of course my favorite thing to do is eat and drink and there was plenty of amazing opportunities for that… Even this little coffee shop, La Manana (bottom photo) right around the corner from our house was a treasure every morning. Their iced lattes and fruit bowl was a perfect breakfast every day.  Some of our other notable spots were Maria, Alma (which was connected to an amazing boutique hotel, Casa San Augustin), Candelaria in Casa La Factoria (this was so delicious, and our server didn’t speak any English, so we just had him bring us his 5 favorite dishes and they were divine! The scenery and design in this spot was amazing- see the photo above with the mural painted on the wall), and one of the best meals I’ve had anywhere was at Carmen.  If you ever go, this is a MUST.  We also discovered a drink that we couldn’t get enough of in the heat.  Frozen coconut creme, lime juice (their limes are more like lemons or key limes) and vodka or rum… Dreamy!

On our fourth day, we left the city by boat and headed out for the Rosario Islands.

After snorkeling in front of one of Pablo Escobar’s 0ld homes and seeing an underwater plane crash, we snorkeled a few reefs.  Then, we made it to our house, Almond Island. Our house was a structure in the middle of the water, all self contained but with water views from every open air angle.

Directly across from us was a small island, Aqua de Azul.  Every morning we watched the locals putter over on their modest fishing boats to greet people that come to swim and dine on the island every day. It’s a small island with a drink shack and a few people catching and preparing fish for lunch. It was amazing- freshly caught and grilled shrimp small lobsters and fried plantains… Such a little treasure.

 

 

12.03.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Fashion, Food and Drink, Gifts, Photographers, Pop Culture, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>

Drayton Hall House

With Halloween less than a week away, I thought it appropriate to share my top “haunts” here in the historically Haunted city of Charleston, SC. Many if not all of these are open or available to the public for tours or viewing, so see for yourself if you dare.

1. Drayton Hall Plantation– not only is it a landmark under the National Trust for Historic Preservation (built in the mid 1700’s) and the fully executable example of Palladian architecture in the country, it’s rumored to have some permanent residents. I can speak from experience having done many many weddings here with breakdown lasting well into the late morning hours, there are some spooky sights and sounds, my staff can attest to this as well!

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2. Old City Jail (photo from nps.gov)

Built in 1802, the old Charleston County jail housed pirates, bank robbers, and the famed female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher until it closed in 1939. Now a part of the American College of Building Arts, it hosts tons of art events, fundraising parties, and ghost tours. We did a big bash here years ago, and it was super creep! You can hear all sorts of sounds and definitely get that hair on the back of your neck standing up feeling when you end up in some of the old rooms.

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3. St. Philip’s Church (painting by Patsy Tidwell)

This is my home church, so the haunted story here is one you’l have to decide for yourself.  But every ghost tour in town stops at the gates of our cemetery to recount the story of Sue Howard Hardy and the photo that an amateur photographer took…

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4. Blind Tiger Pub

Legend has it that the former speakeasy during Prohibition, hosts a few ghosts. One bar regular reported her hair being pulled from behind, and a bar manager recounted hearing footsteps crunching leaves in the rear patio area. One former general manager was closing up for the night, and had two of his friends sitting at a nearby table as he did so. All three saw the appearance of a woman wearing black walk through the area, only to disappear. More from ghostwriter James Caskey here.

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5. Dock Street Theater (photo by the Keadle Group)

Home to Charleston Stage, and many Spoleto performances now, the original Dock Street Theater building was once the Planter’s Hotel, the home of gambling and prostitution for Charleston’s one time elite gentlemen and those visiting our port of call.  One of the ghosts rumored to haunt this spot is a former “worker” Nettie Dickerson. You can read lots about Nettie and other rumored ghost Junius Booth all over the internet.

Happy Halloween from Charleston!

10.15.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Pop Culture, Spotted!, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>

We have been waiting and waiting to get this sweet intimate wedding we did at Palmetto Bluff out to you.  Liz Banfield shot this punchy fall affair featuring lots of texture and color, and of course we loved the sweet French Bulldog fur baby that the couple had to include in their big day, so adorable.

I love when brides want to carry a colorful bouquet…Pale pinks and apricots in blooms like tulips, ranunculus, scabiaosa, roses, stock, and gerber daisies were mixed with natural elements like succulents to make for gardeny gathering for our laid back bride. 

Bridesmaids and groomsmen were swathed in graphite grey… The warmer tone of this grey was a nice compliment to the peachier palette. I’m liking this look for the ring bearers, a classic navy blazer, crisp white dress shirt, and blue dress pants. Appropriate for this age group.

Lettered Olive designed all of the classicaly designed printed pieces. The save the dates featured die cut edging, and an image of the Palmetto Bluff oak trees draped in spanish moss. The pale pink envelopes with the black calligraphy was just a small twist on tradition that paid off. The letterpress invitations featured our custom wedding monogram.  Guests were welcomed with custom printed map totes of of the resort filled with all branded goodies, of course.  Ceremony programs were die cut in fashion of Southern fans- due to the size of the quaint chapel some guests would be seated outside and October is still quite warm here in the South.  Heel Savers were also offered to protect ladies’ shoes from sinking into the lawn. And leading the way down the aisle were the handsome little guys carrying our custom Here Comes the Bride flags.

As a treat to the guests seated on the lawn of the chapel, a local gospel choir serenaded the couple as they exited the church as husband and wife. Aren’t the pink agate slates so stunning with hand written calligraphy as our wedding signage???? Baskets of flip flops were placed around the dance floor for guests wanting some relief before dancing…


Because of the sail cloth tent which is different than some of the frame tents we typically use, swaths of gold, pinks, and peach add some dimension and color to the ceiling and brighten up the more neutral design throughout the lounge tent. A large round bar with a copper top, displayed glassware, and live greenery made a fun focal point in the tent.  Love a round, accessible from all sides, means no lines! And, you are able to hide all of the bottles for a decluttered design.

The ruins on the grounds make for one of our favorite backdrops- glowing with candle lanterns, guests danced in the lounge as the sun went down.

Cake was passed on lovely plates with printed napkins to guests in the dancing tent along with mini Kahlua milkshakes… Sparklers were passed out with custom printed matchbooks by Lettered Olive for the send off… The happy couple drove off into the night after the “Best Day Ever”…  You can see more of this wedding on Inside Weddings.

 

10.10.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Press, Reception, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>