Creative Retreat: Journey to Discover

Surfers Journey at Jade Retreat

I don’t surf. I play tennis and run religiously. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the ocean. I dream dream of endless summer days full of waves and sunsets.

Two years ago my life changed forever after a trip to Jade Retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica. Created by architect Donald Loria Prendas, the five free standing master suites are arranged around the covered Yoga pavilion and large swimming pool which also serves as a soothing water feature.

I have not started surfing (yet…). This past week we designed a creative retreat at Jade with Dr. Don Kennedy author of the Surfers Journey. What an incredible week of discovery.

The Surfer’s Journey is a personalized symbolic book melding the sport of surfing, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and Bass and Burn’s principles of transformational leadership into a mythological story that teaches readers, students, educators, and leaders how to become and develop others into transformational heroes; individuals who are cause-driven, who inspire followers to achieve beyond their present capacity, and whose life purpose is to improve the human condition.

We were lucky enough to wake up and play tennis every morning on the red clay courts, just a few minutes down the jungle path from Jade.

One of the highlights for me was the art therapy session with Belle. The principle of the Surfers Journey addresses the need for mentors, those that see who we are before we do.

Working out while I am away from home is always a priority. Our custom itinerary was complete with daily workouts and wellness in mind. Long walks at sunset, foundational training, tennis and pilates, fresh coconuts courtside, tumeric tea, plus private chefs.

As they say in meditation, when the thoughts & distractions come in, begin again. “Changing places, changing time, changing thoughts, changing future.” -Peggy Guggenheim

Here is to a new beginning…

For more information on how to design a creative retreat email info@jaderetreat.com

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36 Hours In San Diego

Travel: San Diego

The West Coast is the best coast. With constant sunshine, beautiful beaches, outstanding restaurants and bars, endless hiking, water sports and sight seeing, it’s no wonder people instantly fall in love with the state of California. I was fortunate to stay in San Diego for an entire summer, but that was 8 years ago. After revisiting, I can easily say I will definitely be going back and highly recommend to everyone else to make the trip as well. If I only had 36 hours to do it all, these are the places I’d go…

Stay
Check in to the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa right in Mission Bay. Soak up the sun at the poolside bar with refreshing cocktails. You can also head to the Acqua California Bistro for a blissful evening with a savory dinner overlooking the bay.

Visit
Liberty Public Market – Your go-to place to find hand-crafted trinkets, amazing food, craft beers, and the friendliest locals.
La Jolla Cove – Housing endless restaurants, the lounging seals, and beach front for miles, La Jolla is a quaint town with attractions for everyone.

Travel: San Diego Point Loma Tide Pools – At low tide, the Point Loma tidepools display tiny marine life and beautiful cliff views of the ocean.

San Diego, California

Eat
Harbor Breakfast – Savor a delicious brunch in this breezy semi-outdoor restaurant right in the heart of Little Italy in Downtown San Diego.
Las Olas – In Southern California, Taco Tuesday is no joke. Tucked away next to Cardiff-By-The-Sea, enjoy their authentic Mexican food, local craft beers, and margaritas you’ll forever daydream about.
The Baked Bear – Choose from a variety fresh baked cookies and your choice of ice cream flavor inside for the most delectable ice cream sandwich you’ll ever have.

Travel: San Diego

Drink
Vin de Syrah – The Gaslamp district is full of eclectic places to go. My favorite was this underground wine parlor with extravagant details as far as the eye can see.
Altitude Sky Lounge – What better way to enjoy the beautiful city of San Diego than with a rooftop bar!
Crushed – If you love a mimosa as much as I do, you have to take a trip to Crushed for their mimosa flights! Or hang out at night for some mouthwatering tapas and unique drinks in this cozy cafe.

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Passion for Coffee: Cafe MonteAgua

Cafe MontéAgua is grown in the Antigua coffee region of Guatemala, a secluded valley between three volcanoes is continuing a story that began thousands of years ago. From the times when ancient Mayans celebrated Chaak, the god of rain, thunder, and the harvest, the precious crop has been coffee. We sat down to chat with founder Alejandro Castañeda to learn more about the inside story of this luxury coffee brand.

Cafe MonteAgua 1. Why did you choose to start the Café MonteAgua brand?
“I decided to start the MonteAgua Brand because ever since I have been traveling to the US, I have felt that the coffee is pretty mediocre at best.  And coming from Guatemala, where some of the best coffees in the world are produced, that didn’t cut it.  So since I have been traveling to Wilmington for the last 25 yrs of my life, I started bringing coffee as gifts and so that I could drink this great coffee as well.  Shooting two birds with one stone if you will.  I started learning about the way coffee is commercialized in the US, statistics and processes.  Who the players are, and how the tendencies go as generations change.  So it became pretty obvious to me, that the time has come in which the US is now ready to enjoy the best coffees.  I am not competing against anybody, I just let my coffees do the talking themselves.  When people try them, invariably they notice the difference.  It is like a pleasant surprise to discover that coffee doesn’t have to be bitter.  That coffee doesn’t have to be cold brewed to take the bitterness away,  That MonteAgua coffees can be brewed, and if you like them cold, cool it and never come close to even wanting to use sugar on them, because they lack the bitterness.”

“You see coffee has a little bitterness to it, but is has to be a hint, not the predominant factor in it.  So I implemented the processes that reassure this.  Some of them are mentioned in an article written in the Delaware Today, Main Line Today, The Hunt and Westchester magazines.  But it is more of an art to me, then it is just a “get it out of the way” mentality. Most of the coffee out there doesn’t go thru such scrutiny.  And it is understandable because it makes it more expensive.  Pricier coffee, pricier processes and longer time to gently roast makes it a pricier option.  However, this is what a luxury item brings to the table. Also, the limited productions that are very carefully chosen gives you a wonderful raw material that exceeds all other.”

2. Can you briefly explain the steps involved in creating a single bag of Café MonteAgua Coffee?
The steps are simple, but flawless;
1. Very controlled and supervised milling process
2. Sun dried to perfection
3. Patient and vigilant rest of the raw beans
4. Careful transportation
5. Delicate roasting
6. Extreme tasting and development
7. Careful rest before packaging for immediate delivery

Cafe MonteAgua

3. What makes this brand more exclusive than other coffee brands out there?
The exclusivity of the brand I guess I explain in the no.1 bullet point.
-Limited production
-Super selected beans, more expensive
-Signature Premier Roasting
-Perfect timing in the fulfillment stage
Cafe MonteAgua
Café MonteAgua comes in three different varieties. No. 12 Premium Roast, No. 14 Premium Roast, and No. 23 Preminum Roast, all three with their own unique smooth and balanced taste for $24.99 a bag. These bags are available in single bag purchases or as a subscription plan where these fresh beans are delivered right to your doorstep. Cafe MonteAgua is available locally in Delaware at Janssens Market.
More on Café MonteAgua:
Website| Instagram | Facebook
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What’s In Her Bag: Carroll Ivy Laurence

Carroll is an on-the-go working mom. She’s always seen running, working or on the sidelines watching her boys play sports and recently added a new puppy into her already busy life. Its important that she’s always prepared for a long, busy day. Here’s a peak insider her bag:

What's in Carroll's bag

The Lunch Essentials: I always have water (team fox of course), coffee, and energy bars stashed in my bag for a quick on-the-go lunch.

The Keychain: I love my India Hick tassel keychain from Shop No.109, it helps me find my keys easily in my cluttered bag.

The Lipstick: I’m never caught without my Laura Merceir Lip Colour from Houppette.

The Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a year round staple and I never go anywhere without them. That’s why I like to splurge a little and treat myself to a nice pair of Oakley’s.

My Biggest Obsessions: flea market shopping (you never what kind of unique treasures you can find) and planning my next escape. Jade Retreat in Costa Rica is next on my agenda.

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