Well 2019 is off to the races. I cannot believe I have not written a blog in over four months! What the heck. I guess it means we are busy – which we most definitely are!
I write today’s blog from the Napa Valley and I want to start off with wishing everyone a very Happy Easter and Passover! It’s time to start fresh, to rejuvenate, and rejoice and I cannot even begin to express the gratitude and joy I have with the news we received this week from my wife, Isabel’s doctors, that all of her tests came back cancer free! We cannot be more filled with humble happiness and we want to thank all of you who have been there for both of us and our family through this journey. Every day, every moment, is an absolute miracle and gift so please remember that as you go through each day and don’t sweat the small stuff in life. Love at every opportunity, give back wherever and whenever you can, and take time to savor life…and we are doing just that here in Napa!
Speaking of Napa, we are here this weekend putting the finishing touches on our first Candelaria Design Tour Napa set for October 3 – 8th, 2019! This will be our 20thCandelaria Design Tour! There are a few spots left but for the most part, this tour is virtually sold out with repeat travelers! Thank you!!!
We depart for our 3rd Candelaria Design Tour Spain on May 29th which is SOLD OUT, and then we have our 16th Candelaria Design Tour Italy set for September 11th and we have room for three or four on that tour. Don’t wait to book your 2020 Tours as they are filling fast.
Our Napa Tour is going to be fantastic. Five days of wine tours, tastings, amazing cuisine experiences, shopping, spa and oh yeah, maybe some architecture! We were going to start the tour in San Francisco, but after our visit there this week we decided to bypass this stop as frankly I was appalled as to what has become of this once beautiful city. I won’t go into the details, but the aromatic blend of urine and marijuana doesn’t inspire me and does not set the tone for the kind of experience we want to create or promote…and we were in the luxury part of the city! I hope San Francisco wakes up and gets their city back!
After our San Francisco experience we were really happy to come to the Napa Valley. We checked into the Las Alcobas Hotel https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sfola-las-alcobas-a-luxury-collection-hotel-napa-valley/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2and right away we were mesmerized and transported to another world! This will likely be our home for the five days we enjoy the Napa Valley.
We have enjoyed several wineries, including Rombauer https://www.rombauer.com, Mending Wall https://www.mendingwall.com, Orin Swift http://www.orinswift.com/index.cfm, Caymus https://www.caymus.com, Cakebread https://www.cakebread.com, and V. Sattui https://www.vsattui.comamongst others….there is only so much time!
After enjoying the wine and cuisine of Napa Valley you need to recharge and rejuvenate and so for Easter Sunday we spent the afternoon at the Atrio Spa at our hotel Las Alcobas. Now I designed the Enchantment Resort and Spa in Sedona and the Atrio Spa is definitely worth the visit. Definitely a recharging and rejuvenating experience and we are looking forward to our Tour travelers enjoying an afternoon of food and wine recovery! https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/fitness-spa-services/details/sfola-las-alcobas-a-luxury-collection-hotel-napa-valley/6040989/
Now people ask me aren’t you worried about giving your tour ideas away and the answer is no because not only is it about the places, but it is about the order we move the group and more than anything it is the group of people we put together for these tours and the lasting friendships that come from these journeys. So Napa 2019 is off to a great start and we look forward to sharing Spain, Italy and then Napa for our 20thTour Anniversary.
So Napa was this week and last week Isabel and I were joined by Project Architect, Lisa Matthews, and her husband Dave in Milan, Italy for Design Week! What a great trip as we joined with DeCesare Design Group and Tom Argue of Argue Custom Homes to meet our client from Munich, Germany for some shopping and design time. Milan was fantastic and the Design Week show was great. Isabel and I even had a little time to escape to our wedding spot at Villa d’ Este on Lake Como https://villadeste.grandluxuryhotels.com/en/h/163/villa-d-este?gclid=CjwKCAjwzPXlBRAjEiwAj_XTEeAZmBf6bZKPlZdjNbOIMbPypuGw7wSONWj5yhQ2RFbkD85mcNo3uBoCLZkQAvD_BwEfor cocktails and dinner at https://www.ristorantegattonero.it/it/Plenty of things to see and experience at Design Week in Milan from the classics to modern and well worth the trip and experience. Milan is great and we truly enjoyed our time there.
Ok besides travel we have been working like crazy and we have amazing projects on the boards and being built and completed.
We were proud to have a number of our homes featured on ABC 15 Sonoran Living a couple weeks ago and we used the spot to kick off our Leukemia and Lymphoma Arizona Society Man of the Year fund raiser. Isabel and I look forward to working with this organization in raising funds and awareness for something that obviously means a great deal to us. Our fundraising campaign is underway and we ask you help us make a difference by making a donation to our campaign. https://pages.mwoy.org/az/az19/mcandelari
We are also always happy to have several features in local magazines. First, thank you Southwest LifestyleMagazine for featuring our Paradise Valley Hillside Contemporary home built by Schultz Development In fact, we have 29 pages of our content throughout the magazine so thank you!
We thank Scottsdale Modern Luxury InteriorsMagazine for featuring our October 2018 Client Appreciation Party, Ranking Arizonafor ranking Candelaria Design Number 1, Paradise Valley Magazinefor featuring one of our Arcadia homes built by Santorini Homes, and Troon Livingfor a beautiful feature showcasing all the styles of homes we do!
We thank Modern Luxury Magazine for featuring our three Principals, Vivian Ayala, Meredith Thomson and Evelyn Jung in their Dynamic Woman feature!
I also had the amazing experience of singing the National Anthem at this year’s Celebrity Fight Night on March 23rdat the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge https://celebrityfightnight.org. Thank you, Jimmy Walker, for this opportunity – no pressure singing with Quincy Jones sitting right in front of you and hanging out with actress Rita Wilson and Mrs. Muhammad Ali backstage. I guess I did ok but Quincy didn’t sign me so I guess I’ll keep drawing!
We are also proud to announce that we have two new licensed architects on staff, Lisa Mallas Matthews and Peter Ekama, both longtime members of our Candelaria Design team passed their exams and now are officially “Architects”! This is no easy process and we are so proud of their efforts and commitment to themselves and the profession.
Moving on, we have a lot of amazing projects underway both on the boards and under construction. We are starting several projects throughout the Valley, the state of Arizona, and have several going across the country and several new projects brewing that are over the top.
Of course, we are always looking to give back and the Candelaria Team just recently donated our time and services for a new expansion at The Ryan House and our team volunteered several weekends to paint a fantastic mural on the side of the addition! Special kudos to Architect, Peter Ekama who spearheaded the project and Candelaria Design artist, Hector Medina for orchestrating the mural. https://www.ryanhouse.org
We also were proud to work with Santorini Homes on the design of a Designer PlayHouse for Panda and their event last month! Thanks again to our on-staff artist, Hector Medina, for his work on this creation! https://www.azpanda.org
On May 20th, I will be speaking to the homeless at St. Vincent De Paul. This will be my second time speaking and I have had a lot of time to think about my message this time especially in light of my recent trip to San Francisco. So much needs to be done but everyone, including the homeless, need to make an effort and contribution no matter how small and that will be the essence of my message. https://www.stvincentdepaul.net
Vivian Ayala and Samar Kattan kindly attended the Central Arizona Habitat for Humanity Blueprints and Bluejeans fund raiser of which I am proudly a Board Member. We were blessed to have our client and good friend, Jerry Colangelo and his lovely wife Joan be the keynote speaker and we heard the evening was a smashing success!
Ok - stay tuned to our Sketch Daily’s as we post new videos each week featuring the activities, tours, and projects of the Candelaria Design Team spreading the Candelaria Style! Subscribe and catch them all!
I hope everyone is having a great spring and let’s get ready for summer! Follow our travels to Spain here starting on May 29th. I’ll do my best to do some blogging along the way!