Category Archives: Vacation Finds

disneys golden oak montage

Disney’s Golden Oak

Who wouldn’t want to live at the happiest place on earth? Living amongst Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Goofy on the property at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida may seem like a dream. But, it can be your reality! Golden Oak is a new community that will consist of 450 luxury homes in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.Silverbrook

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All of the homes are built with resort living in mind. According to the website: “Architectural styles include Tuscan, Spanish Revival, Venetian, Italianate, Dutch Colonial, Island Colonial and French Country. Features such as courtyards, balconies, terraces and loggias provide shared architectural themes while merging indoor and outdoor living spaces.”


disney great room

There are four neighborhoods within the community and several home plans to choose from. The homes start at approximately $1.7 million and can go as high as $7 million. With that price homeowners also get access to the Four Seasons Resort which will be a part of Golden Oak, Summerhouse their private clubhouse, and of course Walt Disney World.

disney bedroom

GO_Home_Lot-40-Living-Room-4028-06-©2011-Dan-Forer_optimizedThere are floor plans, lot maps, and virtual tours on their website for interested buyers, and the curious (like me). Many of the homes have traditional design. But, a few are more contemporary. I am in love with this bathroom with the skylights and gorgeous wood beams.

disney bathroom

This was another one of my favorite rooms I found while looking through some of the interior images. I like the dark wood beams with the lighter walls and furnishings, feels very British Colonial.

Golden Oak dining room

Outdoor spaces are a big part of this design and some of the pools, porches, and courtyards are amazing!goldenoak outdoor

There will be no chance homeowners and visitors will think they’re just at any other luxury neighborhood since bronze character sculptures will remind them. “Placed throughout our community are bronze statues of Ariel and friends as well as Bambi, Thumper and Flower. Future plans for the series include sculptures of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

bronze statues

To see more images including virtual tours of existing homes click here.

richard branson collage 2

Richard Branson’s Private Island

Sir Richard Branson is super rich. Like so rich that he has his own 74-acre island named Necker Island. The main home, called the Great House, burned down two-years ago. You may remember that actress Kate Winslet saved Branson’s mother from the fire! Well he had it rebuilt and he’s back in business.Necker Island overheadThe exciting news is that us regular folks can stay there. Turns out the main house rents for $60,000 a day. Oh, never mind. But, we can dream can’t we?Great-House-Sea-View-82The island accommodates up to 30 guests. The great house has a huge master suite and a bunk room that sleeps six children. Other guests can stay in the six Bali houses that each have one bedroom and an en suite bathroom.Great-House-Main-Room-29_001Every view is amazing on Necker Island. This is called the Breakfast Room and it would be a perfect place to start your day! Great-House-Breakfast-15_001 Only a few times a year couples can rent a room instead of the whole island. During Celebration Weeks in September and October, you can rent just one room for a week. For $26,000 a week, a couple gets an all inclusive experience on Necker Island! Still way out of my budget. Darn it. Necker 10The bedrooms boast a traditional British Virgin Island vibe. Dark heavy wood paired with white linens looks cool and comfortable.Necker 3


neckerisland-gallery-beach_pavillion-largeOne thing that looks to be consistent on Necker Island is there are lots of places to lounge. This image is my favorite! It is absolutely gorgeous.1000x420Necker_beachside_1To see even more images of this island retreat go here.


Discovering Martha’s Vineyard

It’s where the Obama family vacations. Since I’ve never had the opportunity to visit, to me it’s always been a mysterious place. So, when we were vacationing in Cape Cod we decided to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard for one day. It actually reminded me somewhat of some of the lake communities in Northern Michigan. One big difference is the ocean of course. Another is it seems like every store and restaurant is in an adorable home. This one is Edgartown Books.

edgartown books exterior

I just loved their staircase that led to the youth section of the bookstore!bookstore stairs

You don’t have to go far on the island to find The Black Dog merchandise. You know how there is a Starbucks every few blocks in major cities? That is what it is like with The Black Dog on Martha’s Vineyard. Everywhere you look there is an opportunity to purchase a sweatshirt with the iconic black dog. But, I wanted to see the original tavern. Located in Vineyard Harbor, it became the island’s first year round restaurant when it opened in 1971.The Black Dog signOf course there are even more opportunities to buy Black Dog stuff when you walk to the tavern. Two quintessential East Coast buildings house The Black Dog retail stores. The Black Dog buildingsThe tavern was built by Captain Robert Douglas who decided it was time the islanders had a place to eat throughout the year. You can read more about the history here. It’s located right on the beach and has a great view of the harbor.The Black Dog water sideI loved all the cedar shingled buildings on Martha’s Vineyard. But, my favorite part? The clam chowder in a mug. I rarely eat clam chowder. I love it. But, the calories! I ate clam chowder four separate times on vacation and it was awesome!The Black Dog soupOkay back to the architecture and design! Even the run down buildings had character on Martha’s Vineyard. This one was right next door to the tavern and I thought it was charming.The Black Dog adjacent buildingIn the marina at Vineyard Haven, right outside the tavern, there was a massive yacht, named Vango. There were rumors around town that it’s Oprah Winfrey’s yacht and she parks it there for the summer. Another tourist asked the guard at the marina and he confirmed that it’s hers. yacht at martha's vineyard

I can’t say for sure that this is Oprah’s ride. But, whoever owns this yacht has lots of money! It even has a helicopter landing pad. You can see a little of the red helicopter in this picture. Unfortunately we couldn’t get too close. I found a link that shows the layout and interior of this super yacht. You can see it here. I also found a video of the helicopter landing on the yacht a few years back.

To learn more about Martha’s Vineyard go here. To read my blog post about Cape Cod go here.

our beach rental

Charming Cape Cod

The last week of summer vacation, I was fortunate enough to spend a week on Cape Cod with my family. The place we called home is called The Red Door Cottage in Truro, which is the last town before Provincetown, in the Outer Cape. It was just the right size for two adults and two children, with a small kitchen, living area, two bedrooms, and one bath.

red door collage

But, the best part is that it was right on the ocean. We were on the bayside, just a short path to the water.

path to ocean

Since we had never been to Cape Cod, we visited many of the small towns up and down the cape. Just glancing through the car window, I fell in love with so many homes. Cedar shingles make any home look charming! Here are some of the cottages that surrounded our rental.

beach houses Truro Cape Cod

Many of the restaurants were also covered in cedar shingles. I loved how so many of the restaurants and retails stores were in homes. Provincetown has the feel of a remote fishing village, even though it’s a popular town for tourists.

squealing pig provincetown restaurant

We also visited the Provincetown Public Library. It’s in a beautiful building that was built in 1860 as the Center Methodist Episcopal Church. In addition to being a church it was also the Chrysler Art Museum.

provincetown public library

Inside the library is a half-scale model of a fishing schooner, Rose Dorothea. It spans 66’6″ in length and has a 12’6″ beam. The picture doesn’t do this justice, it’s so large! It’s beautiful to see this vessel surrounded by books.

provincetown schooner in provincetown library

“They Also Faced the Sea” is an art installation at Fisherman’s Wharf in Provincetown. Large black and white images celebrate the Portuguese women who, “kept the culture alive, sang the songs, danced the dances, buried the dead, gave birth, cooked and kept the church at the center of their lives. Above all, they were resilient through good times and bad, their strength and courage easily matching and supporting that of their male seafaring counterparts.”

Provincetown art projectTo find a rental in Cape Cod go here. To learn more about Cape Cod go here. Look for an upcoming post about Martha’s Vineyard!