VIE Magazine June 2022

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In this issue On the Cover

One of the most charming aspects of the New Urbanism town of Seaside, Florida, is its nine unique beach walkovers. A different architect designed each structure to create a momentous occasion for those who step foot on the white sands along the town’s edge. The town’s founders, Robert and Daryl Davis, saw this as a grand opportunity to make a statement and encourage walking and cycling as the preferred modes of transportation in their idyllic community. See more of the pavilions in our feature story with dreamy imagery by Atlanta-based photographer Jeremy Harwell!



Photo by Ollie Alexander, Love Is Rad


87 Petite pause: Life at the Lodge

24 The Iconic Seaside Beach Pavilions

88 An Eye for Color

VOYAGER 23 31 L’intermission: Social Al Fresco 34 Peace and Beauty on Petit St. Vincent 40 The Epitome of Luxury: Royal Mansour Is Quintessential Morocco

44 Unique Mustique: The Sparkling Jewel of

Vie is a French word meaning “life” or “way of living.” VIE magazine sets itself apart as a high-gloss publication that focuses on human-interest stories with heart and soul. From Seattle to NYC with a concentration in the Southeast, VIE is known for its unique editorial approach—a broad spectrum of deep content with rich photography. The award-winning magazine was founded in 2008 by husband-and-wife team Lisa and Gerald Burwell, owners of the specialty publishing and branding house known as The Idea Boutique®. From the finest artistically bound books to paperless digital publication and distribution, The Idea Boutique provides comprehensive publishing services to authors and organizations. Its team of creative professionals delivers a complete publishing experience—all that’s needed is your vision.


94 In the Listening Room: Soak Up the Sound

C’EST LA VIE CURATED COLLECTION 98 L’AMOUR 103 104 Mr. and Mrs. Abuvala: A Wedding for the Ages

Barefoot Island Luxury

115 L’intermission: A Swanky Stay

49 Petite pause: City of Colors


50 Conquering Fear with Autumn Phillips

118 A Real Slice: Getting Lost in Good Pizza

54 Lifetime of Adventures: EYOS Expeditions

124 My ZOE Experience: Eat for Your Body

60 Entertainment on the Sand:

129 Petite pause: Under Spanish Moss

Holiday Inn Resort PCB Brings the Heat

62 The Beach Is Calling: The Number One Trending Destination in America

67 L’intermission: A Boutique Safari




78 Erica Stone and the Roads Less Traveled 82 Adventure Meets Antiquity

















AD MANAGER SALLY NEAL VIE is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright © 2008–2022 Cornerstone Marketing and Advertising, Incorporated (Publisher). All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. VIE is a lifestyle magazine and is published twelve times annually on a monthly schedule. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher. The Publisher and its advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The Publisher is not liable for the accuracy of statements made by its advertisers. Ads that appear in this publication are not intended as offers where prohibited by state law. The Publisher is not responsible for photography or artwork submitted by freelance or outside contributors. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or the Publisher. VIE is a paid publication. Subscription rates: Printed magazine – One-year $29.95; Two-year $49.95. Subscriptions can be purchased online at

14 | JUNE 2 0 2 2 • 504-522-9485 • 521 Conti • 304 • 316 • 318 Royal • French Quarter • New Orleans

Editor’s Note Left: Team VIE: Emme Martin, Jordan Staggs, Tracey Thomas, Lisa Marie Burwell, Hannah Vermillion, Addie Strickland, Sally Neal, and Kelly Curry Below: Jason Weinhart and VIE brand ambassador Marta Rata



Above: Lindsay Tobias (@artybydoman) at The VIE Lawn Party on the Gulf Green

recall receiving a memorable gift from my sister when I relocated from my New England hometown to Seaside, Florida, nearly thirty years ago to take a job there—Dr. Seuss’s book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It wasn’t until I read it for a second time that I understood why she chose to send me this book. Feeling uplifted and inspired are just two of the warm emotions one gets when being gifted this literary treasure. For people reaching milestones in their life, like graduating, taking a new job, or starting a new business—which all require courage and faith—these are simple and wonderful impartations to share with those searching for words of wisdom and hope when taking on new endeavors.

Left: Bottles by Bouj & Co. and macarons by Chef Rob Burgess of Firefly PCB Photos by Hunter Burgtorf

team with whom it’s always a joy to collaborate.

So, you might be wondering how this relates to our travel issue: I feel that this book talks about maintaining a positive attitude on our collective journey through life. One must learn to adapt, try new things, and see new places. More importantly, we need to continue to be curious and ever-learning to achieve our respective destinies. But to get there, we need endless encouragement from our friends, colleagues, and family. Sometimes all we have left to keep our drive to succeed is our own personal and individual dreams and aspirations. Since that fateful decision to relocate to the beach from a career in corporate America, I have never looked back. I had the vision to open a creative branding house (, which led to VIE magazine and countless luxury coffee-table books, fascinating photo shoots around the globe, and opening a second location in Connemara, Ireland, this past decade, where we published our sister lifestyle magazine, Connemara Life—and much more in-between. This was not a solo journey, but one made with team members who joined hands with me to pursue a collective dream. They are my proudest moment throughout it all, and I thank them for being with me during this ride of our life. Kudos to my team, and a special shout-out to our marketing director, Kelly Curry, for producing the VIE Lawn Party on the Gulf Green at Alys Beach for the Digital Graffiti awards presentation this May 13. And a huge “thank you” to our partner Alys Beach and their stellar

So, I will close with a line from the book, as it just cannot be said any better than it was by the master himself, Dr. Seuss: “Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.” And that’s okay, too!

—To Life!

—Lisa Marie CEO/Editor-in-Chief V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 17

The Creatives We collaborate with talented photographers, writers, and other creatives on a regular basis, and we’re continually inspired by how they pour their hearts and souls into their crafts. Follow these creatives on social media and don’t forget to check out our account, @viemagazine.


SAMANTHA ACCOLA Writer, “In the Listening Room” @sammiaccola

Seaside, Florida, is my hometown. The saying goes, “We live where you vacation,” though no local would dare say that aloud. Outside of living at the beach, the mountains are where I feel the most peace. Breckenridge, Colorado, in June and July breathes life into my bones as I escape the humidity of the South. Hiking through lavender fields and canoeing on Lake Dillon at sunrise make me feel alive! Time out West is never wasted—get out and smell those roses!

look. I raced back to the swim platform just as a five-foot-tall dorsal fin crested within arm’s reach. We ran from side to side for twenty minutes as these powerful creatures languidly inspected us. We could see patches of white by their eyes and along their sides under the dark blue water, becoming increasingly luminous as they neared the surface. You could hear them exhaling all around, a breathy staccato breaking the awestruck silence we had all been mesmerized into. Eventually, the animals continued on their way, leaving everyone attempting to fall asleep after such a display—not entirely sure it wasn’t all a dream.

JEREMY HARWELL Photographer, “The Iconic Seaside Beach Pavilions” @harwellphoto

BEN LYONS ERICA WILDMAN CEO, EYOS Expeditions Artist, “An Eye for Color”



One of my best travel stories was traveling to Bangkok and going to this huge open-air market. We got to the art section, and immediately, this abstract painting of a Thai girl’s face grabbed my attention. The image was unique, and her eyes were mesmerizing. But it was expensive, and I was on a budget, so I told myself I couldn’t buy it. However, I found myself walking back to the painting over and over, so my friend convinced me to buy it. The artist didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Thai, but he handed us a shot of whiskey to say thank you and congratulate me. We hung out with him for over two hours, drinking whiskey and talking through Google Translate. He even got me tipsy enough to try a dried cricket! After all these years, it’s still one of my favorite paintings.

It’s often said that the best view on a ship is from the bridge. That’s especially true as an ice pilot in Antarctica in the austral summer when the sun barely sets and days never seem to end. One evening, in particular, aboard the seventy-sevenmeter expedition yacht Legend, we were departing the aptly named Paradise Harbor after a full day of activities in front of an epic glacier face. I was about to head below for a few hours of sleep when I spotted small puffs of vapor lingering above the horizon. A pod of killer whales was on a direct course for us through the ice. We stopped the ship and woke up the guests, who blearily stepped on deck just as the orcas dove under the bow, rolling on their sides to look up through the water at this strange object in their domain. From the stern, we could see they were coming in for a closer

Scotland is a beautiful country to explore by walking. They don’t have private property laws, so one can walk anywhere as long as one closes any gates after passing through. I was in Seamill, on the stunning west coast of Scotland, and climbed a huge hill with views of the Isle of Arran. The late afternoon was beautiful and breezy. I sat down to listen to one of my favorite pieces of music, the Scottish Symphony by Mendelssohn. I could feel the gentle breeze on my neck, but I became alarmed as the ground trembled. I looked over my shoulder and realized the breeze was a massive bull snorting on my neck and the trembling, his angry hooves. As I had no training in bull confrontations, I began to run as fast as possible. The bull, of course, saw it as a challenge and chased me down the hill. Finally, I neared the bottom, where a barbed wire fence lay directly ahead. I knew I didn’t have time to climb it, so I dove over the top, catching my arm in the wire. I have the scar to this day. Unbeknownst to me, my colleagues observed the entire incident over afternoon tea on the terrace of a nearby castle. As embarrassing as this story is, I was happy and relieved I avoided being gored by a Scottish bull! V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 19


Is The Difference EXPERIENCE


PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFF LANDRETH Coastal Dune Lake on 30A as photographed by Jeff Landreth.

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La conversation

Bonjour! We love connecting with the community and developing relationships with our readers. We also love seeing our readers share and post their experiences with VIE! True friendships develop from our presence in the community, and that’s what we love most—connecting and hearing your voices. Thank you, and we appreciate you!

@theideaboutique Please join us in welcoming @jordanharmon_ to The Idea Boutique and @viemagazine team! She will be working alongside our graphic design team this summer, and we can’t wait to share her work with you all. #summerinternship @jordanlstaggs I’m beyond proud of this @viemagazine team and all the incredible and talented vendors who joined us to bring a taste of Bridgerton to the beach for the @dgalysbeach 2022 Awards Party – The VIE Lawn Party on the Gulf Green in @alysbeachfl. We had a stunning setting, a fantastic turnout, and a great time walking through the brilliant art of Digital Graffiti projected throughout the streets, paths, and courtyards of Alys.

@brookekromer Champagne, @viemagazine Lawn Party, and Digital Graffiti—a perfect Alys Beach night!

@tgordo156 Beach Lyfe!

LET’S TALK! Send VIE your comments and photos on our social media channels or by emailing us at We’d love to hear your thoughts. They could end up in the next La conversation!

@evetherussian VIE magazine’s elegant event to launch this year’s Digital Graffiti Festival! #alysbeach #digitalgraffiti #30a #viemagazine

@shopcbgrey Thank you to @viemagazine for the most beautiful event and kickoff to @dgalysbeach. I am beyond grateful to @alysbeachfl for the opportunity to be here!



Photo by Simon Nham



A dream vacation could undoubtedly include taking a stroll on the beach along the Amalfi Coast. Enveloped by the Italian seaside culture, a unique aspect of luxury and adventure awaits visitors here. Charter a boat and explore the island of Capri or go on a guided tour of Pompeii. The possibilities are endless, so let the adventure begin and the dreams come true!




Seaside Beach

By Emme Martin | Photography by Jeremy Harwell 24 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Pavilions The Pensacola Street Beach Pavilion is recognizable by a patient pelican perched atop the rotunda-style walkover. It was designed by the late architect Tony Atkin, praised for his use of simple materials, symmetrical design, and a sense of humor. Atkin was an expert in achieving a precise blend of practicality, beauty, and individuality in his projects. Opposite: The Tupelo Street Gazebo, designed by Tom Christ in 1984, held many of Seaside’s first public meetings and continues to be a spot for neighborhood gatherings today. Some might also recognize the gazebo as the structure Truman frantically circled when his panic struck in The Truman Show.

The salty air thickens at the top of the steps, and the view ahead seizes all attention. As calmness builds, you may wish to stay at the top and gaze into the emerald abyss of the Gulf of Mexico. Or perhaps anticipation wins, and childlike energy rushes you to the bottom. Each sandy wooden step brings you closer to your final destination— soft waves and serenity at last. Upon packing up to go home, your fellow beachgoers shift their view back to the southern steps. A bittersweetness comes over you as you turn away from the sea, weary but satisfied from a day in the sun. That simple wooden structure patiently waits for you above the dunes, offering a clear direction home. The walk up those same sandy steps is slow but invigorating. As you reach the top of the stairs, one last glimpse into the Gulf marks the end of a lovely day spent with family and friends.



The Natchez Street Beach Pavilion exudes romance as the waveshaped platforms lead lovers to the Gulf. Jersey Devil architects, led by Steve Badanes and James Adamson, designed and built it from 1992 to 1993 using all-natural materials crafted by woodworker Jimmy Dulock to resemble a series of waves. Jersey Devil worked with contractor Michael Warner to bring it all to life.

26 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

The captivating trademark structures are conveniently nestled at the end of each main neighborhood street, a nod to Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis’s vision for a New Urbanism walkable community.

New York-based architect Michael McDonough designed the West Ruskin Street Pavilion to reflect notable Southern elements such as quilting, lumberyards, and the American flag. The pavilion holds sophisticated structural components and architectural illusions, which McDonough hopes visitors will ponder as they pass by. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 27



he Seaside pavilions mark the beginning and the end of some of life’s sweetest moments. The captivating trademark structures are conveniently nestled at the end of each main neighborhood street, a nod to Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis’s vision for a New Urbanism walkable community. The easy navigation and unique designs assemble these pavilions as idyllic gathering places and gateways for generations to enjoy. Each of the distinctive structures depicts its respective architect’s style and understanding of complex simplicity—encapsulating the very essence of Seaside, Florida. Photographer Jeremy Harwell turns his lens away from the Gulf as he elegantly captures the nine Seaside pavilions on a clear day.

See more of the pavilions and the story of Seaside, Florida, in The Idea Boutique’s upcoming coffee-table book created for The Seaside Style®, or learn more at View Jeremy Harwell’s beautiful work at HarwellPhotography. com or on Instagram @harwellphoto. 28 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Perhaps the most recognizable landmark in Seaside is the Coleman Pavilion, designed by David Coleman from 1991 to 1996. The iconic pavilion marks the main entrance to the beach among the town's shops and restaurants. The striking design earned the Seattle-based architect numerous accolades and praise, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Washington Architecture and the AIA Northwest & Pacific Honor Award. Left: The prolific architect and visionary Roger Ferri designed the Odessa Street Pavilion. Ferri is remembered by many for his theories on the integration of nature and architecture. The Odessa Street Pavilion reflects the innovative romanticism Ferri’s works embody.



Social Al Fresco To book your reservation at Baia Beach Club, visit Photo courtesy of Baia Beach Club

Sit back and enjoy a uniquely crafted cocktail in the Mediterranean-inspired open-air dining space of Baia Beach Club. This is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and watch the sunset over Downtown Miami. After a day of sitting poolside watching the yachts pass by, the calming environment continues into the dining areas, complete with a bohemian touch. A gentle breeze and a cool drink await you at the Baia Beach Club!

Love, VIE xo V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 31



petit St. Vincent Story and Photography by RORY DOYLE


34 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

I Palm trees cast shadows on Atlantic Beach on the east side of Petit St. Vincent. Above right: Lush vegetation surrounds the main pavilion restaurant with an elevated view of the harbor beach below.

t’s so secluded, in fact, it takes a little extra determination to navigate your way to this 115-acre private island resort designed for a digital detox, intentionally void of televisions and Wi-Fi in the rooms.

My home base is the remote Mississippi Delta, a harsh contrast to the luxurious Caribbean. For me, the journey to PSV requires a two-hour drive through agricultural flatlands to the Memphis airport, a flight to Miami, a sprint through customs in Barbados, a fifty-minute charter flight to a small island in the Grenadines, another customs checkpoint, and finally, a twenty-minute boat ride. This process is well worth the effort, and it’s a journey I would repeat in a heartbeat. I’ve always believed that hard work pays off, and PSV is perhaps the prime example. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 35



first photographed the island in 2017 for a magazine assignment, and I was immediately enthralled by a place encouraging visitors to disengage from screens and connect with natural beauty. Since it was a work trip, I flew home with quite a bit of guilt as I explained to my wife the level of luxury I experienced without her. Fortunately, I kept in touch with the resort manager and returned in 2018—this time with my wife—to help capture more photography for PSV and produce a promotional video. Returning in 2021 required additional resolve due to COVID-19, but thankfully, everything about PSV’s design makes it a secure and comfortable location to visit during this new era of travel. The resort is boutique in nature, with twenty-two independent, freestanding guest cottages spread far from each other. Because of this layout, PSV, like a handful of resorts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was designated a “Bubble Resort” by the government. (Guests with a negative PCR test weren’t required to quarantine.) “The island is quarantine, and quarantine is the island,” says Matt Semark, general manager of PSV. “We must 36 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

be one of the safest places on the planet to visit for a holiday right now.” My wife and I both felt extremely comfortable at a time when the travel industry was trying to make sense of a new normal. One of PSV’s cornerstones has been a call for top-quality hospitality provided by staff, some of whom have worked there for over forty years. Upon arrival, guests immediately benefit from unlimited service—in their rooms, at the hillside spa, in two outdoor restaurants, or at the palapas spread across the island’s pristine beaches. One of the unique details is that the primary way of communicating is through an old-fashioned flagpole system. A yellow flag up indicates service is needed, while a red flag up means “do not disturb.” It also doesn’t hurt that each cabin is equipped with a cookie jar endlessly replenished with fresh-baked-daily homemade cookies—a constant affront to my attempts

Clockwise from top left: PSV’s main harbor is often decorated with sailboats from around the globe. Made-to-order sushi is an option available from Chef Nengah, originally from Indonesia. Views of the harbor are never in short supply. Fresh Caribbean cocktails are served at the main pavilion restaurant and bar.

REEF REGENERATION IS DONE THROUGH AN EXPANDING CORAL NURSERY MADE OF ELKHORN CORAL FRAGMENTS COLLECTED FROM AROUND THE ISLAND. to keep my sweet tooth in check. While the resort is entirely walkable, visitors can request a ride in the chic turquoise retro Mini Mokes that constantly zip around the island. Something about PSV that’s always been a draw for me is its commitment to sustainability. They have numerous practices underway, including a reverse osmosis desalination plant, a soundproof and energy-efficient diesel generator to power the island, decreased plastic use, increased recycling of glass and metal, and a “farm-to-fork” philosophy with many of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs used in their dishes coming directly from their organic chef ’s garden.

Additionally, they’ve made great efforts in ocean and coral reef preservation thanks to a partnership with the Jean-Michel Cousteau Diving Center, housed right at PSV. Reef regeneration is done through an expanding coral nursery made of Elkhorn coral fragments collected from around the island. As they continue to grow, the outcrops will be used to repopulate reefs near PSV frequently visited by divers.

Clockwise from top left: Mopion Island, a short boat ride from PSV, is a tiny cay that constantly changes shape due to shifting tides. The iconic umbrella serves as a landmark that is never fully submerged. A staff member drives a Mini Moke along the main path. The little cars are the only motorized transportation on the island. Snorkeling off the island provides colorful views of tropical fish—and sea turtles if you’re lucky. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 37



hese collective efforts led to recognition in 2021 by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s new “Considerate Collection,” a list of eco-friendly and sustainable luxury hotels from around the globe. PSV qualified as one of the twenty-six pioneer properties on the list thanks to its high alignment with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s sustainable travel pillars, which address community, culture, and environment. Not a bad addition to the establishment’s previous accolade as a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. With each visit, it feels like my time on the island flies by because there are countless activities to enjoy— snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, hiking, and deep-sea fishing. Relaxing options include the Balinese hillside spa, yoga, or sunbathing on the beaches located on all corners of the island. But if you want to literally do nothing on vacation, PSV might be the best place on the planet for that. You could spend the entire day wading on the beach outside your cabin, have three meals delivered to you, and spend the rest of the time swaying to sleep in the hammock just a few feet from your door. But perhaps my favorite PSV activity is sailing with skipper Jeff Stevens on his forty-nine-foot boat named Beauty. A short sail from the resort is Tobago Cays Marine Park, known as the “Jewel in the Crown,” a

Scuba divers take part in a class through the Jean-Michel Cousteau Diving Center, housed right at PSV. Left: Chef Nengah displays his intricate fruit carving skills. 38 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

A vibrant sunset illuminates the sky behind Goatie’s Bar at the beach restaurant on the resort’s south side.

AS WE SET SAIL BACK TO PSV, STEVENS POINTED OUT A TINY BUT STRIKING BEACH ON ONE OF THE ISLANDS AS THE LOCATION FOR A SCENE IN PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. in the 1990s with the intention of staying six months to help a friend build a boat. But not long after his first visit, he decided he couldn’t bring himself to sail home—and he’s been there ever since. “Sometimes when you arrive, you just need to know you’ve arrived,” he says.

group of five uninhabited islands encircled by an exquisitely clear lagoon full of fish, vibrant coral, and friendly sea turtles. The turtles here are accustomed to visitors, and one of the memories I’ll cherish is swimming and snorkeling close to these beautiful animals as they fed on turtle grass in the shallow waters. The park is truly stunning and one of the most alluring seascapes I’ve experienced. As we set sail back to PSV, Stevens pointed out a tiny but striking beach on one of the islands as the location for a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s difficult to summarize a place like Petit St. Vincent, where every corner you turn, you find another sight just as gorgeous as the last. It’s an island that draws you in and doesn’t leave your mind when you return home. Capt. Stevens arrived

HEAD TO PETITSTVINCENT.COM TO START PLANNING YOUR TRIP! Rory Doyle is a working photographer based in Cleveland, Mississippi, in the rural Mississippi Delta. Born and raised in Maine, Doyle studied journalism at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. In 2009, he moved to Mississippi to pursue a master’s degree at Delta State University. Doyle has remained committed to photographing Mississippi and the South, with a particular focus on sharing stories from the Delta. Visit or follow him @rorydoylephoto. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 39


T he E P I T O M E of Interview by E M M E M A RT I N Photography courtesy of


Royal Mansour is a luxury riad-style hotel located in the heart of Marrakesh, Morocco. 40 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

The ROYAL M AN S O U R is QU I N T E S S E N T I A L M O RO C C O hen thinking of Moroccan culture, the best word that comes to mind is rich. The vibrant colors, intricate architecture, artisan heritage, and hospitable people solidify a visit to the North African country as a bucketlist adventure. Aptly deemed a city of immense luxury, Marrakesh holds the finest Moroccan pleasures. Tucked within the sumptuous town, the Royal Mansour offers visitors a quintessential Moroccan experience. VIE spoke with general manager Jean-Claude Messant, who shared some secrets about the hotel’s magic.

VIE: Tell us a bit about the history of the property. JEAN-CLAUDE MESSANT: The property began as a passion project of King Mohammed VI to showcase the best of the best of the country. Royal Mansour was a labor of love handcrafted by over 1,500 local artisans who combined traditional Moroccan designs with exacting precision. The hard work resulted in the embodiment of Moroccan art, craftsmanship, gastronomy, and culture at one luxury hotel.


Describe the art of Moroccan living and how Royal Mansour embodies this?

JCM: We honor the art of Moroccan living in every design detail and every service at Royal Mansour. Moroccan architectural and artisanal heritage is symbolized through the handcrafted zellige tiles outlined in geometrical shapes in the riads and lobby and hand-carved wood latticework in the spa. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 41

AN OPEN-AIR COURTYARD WELCOMES GUESTS WITH THE CALMING FRAGRANCE OF ORANGE BLOSSOMS AND LEMON TREES AND A MURMURING FOUNTAIN PLAYING A GENTLE SOUNDTRACK. VIE: Can you tell us about the traditional Moroccan design elements in the hotel and their significance to the culture? JCM: The design is a combination of traditional Moroccan and Moorish architecture. No detail was overlooked, from the carefully crafted marquetry to the ironwork and carved ceilings that place guests in Marrakesh. The hotel mimics a traditional medina as there are no corridors, rooms, or suites at Royal Mansour Marrakesh, only riads. VIE:

What is a riad, and can you tell us how it compares to a more traditional hotel experience?

This page: No detail was spared in creating King Mohammed VI’s homage to Moroccan heritage and style at Royal Mansour. Opposite right: The Spa Royal Mansour is the hotel’s crowning jewel with a beautiful birdcage-inspired atrium lobby. Opposite bottom: Royal Mansour’s dining establishments are led by two three-Michelin star chefs and offer a blend of French, Italian, and Moroccan flavors. 42 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


As the rest of Marrakesh continues to buzz outside, Royal Mansour is a monument to tranquility within the medina walls. An open-air courtyard welcomes guests with the calming fragrance of orange blossoms and lemon trees and a murmuring fountain playing a gentle soundtrack. We want guests to feel as if they are in their private oasis without sacrificing quick access to the cultural icons of Marrakesh, including the Majorelle Garden, Jemaa el-Fnaa, and the YSL Museum.

VIE: What can guests expect from a traditional Moroccan spa experience?

JCM: A riad is a traditional Moroccan home. Riads seem to be very simple and insignificant from the outside, with Moucharabieh windows protecting the family’s privacy. The interiors hold a courtyard, a Moroccan lounge downstairs, bedrooms, and a rooftop plunge pool and terrace. At the Royal Mansour, there are no elevators, no carts, no rooms, and no crowds. We have even constructed a network of underground tunnels to allow our staff to move around the property, catering to every guest’s needs.

JCM: Our crown jewel, the Spa Royal Mansour, is a three-story, 27,000-squarefoot respite accessed through a private citrus grove with an elaborate white birdcage atrium lobby. The signature hammam treatment, a traditional Moroccan purification ritual, is not to be missed. It incorporates local products such as clay from the Atlas Mountains for an energizing wrap or roses from the Kalaat M’Gouna used in the regenerating wrap. The spa experience also addresses physical and mental well-being, especially with the new multiday wellness retreats, marking a new era for the property as a global wellness destination.


VIE: Tell us about the cuisine offered at the hotel’s restaurants and how each

How does the Royal Mansour want guests to feel while visiting the property?

restaurant compares.


JCM: Royal Mansour is a culinary destination with four restaurants led by two three-Michelin-starred chefs, Chef Yannick Alléno and Chef Massimiliano Alajmo. The first stop is La Grande Table Marocaine, our fine-dining Moroccan restaurant where Chef Alléno fuses his French culinary expertise with local gastronomy. Another bespoke experience is the recently opened all-day dining destination La Table with Alléno—a French-inspired brasserie. Next, Le Jardin offers a Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired menu for a poolside lunch or evening cocktail. We also offer an Italian dining concept with Chef Alajmo, SESAMO. Chef Alajmo combines his Italian roots with locally sourced Moroccan ingredients. Here, I recommend the garlic and red pepper spaghetti complete with vegetables from our garden.

VIE:What are some noteworthy things to do or places to see in Marrakesh? JCM: Marrakesh is a fashion and shopping destination with a labyrinth of local artisans and purveyors of handcrafted rugs, babouche slippers, and jewelry. Guests of Royal Mansour also enjoy complimentary tickets to the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, and we can arrange for a guided tour of YSL’s home, Villa Oasis. Another exclusive for our guests is access to the private home and laboratory of master French perfumer Serge Lutens. VIE: When is the best time to visit the Royal Mansour? JCM: The best times to visit are in the fall and spring when the desert heat cools. VIE: Merci, Jean-Claude! Visit to book your stay. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 43


Mustique’s tranquil beaches beckon those seeking solitude. Opposite: Villa pools are designed to blend into the island’s beautiful views.


T h e S PA R K L I N G J E W E L o f B A R E FO OT I S L A N D LU X U RY 44 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


he tiny island of Mustique is a magical world away from Caribbean crowds. One of the Windward Islands not too far from St. Lucia, this threemile-long island is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Here you’ll find a bamboo airport building, protected coral reefs, scenic hiking trails, and a community spirit that encourages quiet beachside picnics and lively nights of music under the stars. It’s the kind of place where the phrase “if you know, you know” is aptly applied.

The Serene and Social Isle

Long the sunny escape chosen by royalty, rock stars, and business leaders searching for paradise without paparazzi, Mustique is now home to over a hundred architecturally jaw-dropping private villas and The Cotton House boutique hotel with its elegant colonial chic decor. Mustique is a private island. You can’t just show up here. Pre-approved travelers arrive via small planes from the larger airports in St. Lucia or Barbados. And you must arrive before dark because there are no lights on the runway in Mustique.

B y C A R O LY N O ’ N E I L P h oto g ra p hy c o u r te sy of


Once here, guests get around the island’s coastal and hilltop roads via beach buggies fondly called “mules,” but they won’t find any street signs, billboards, or golf courses. Instead, touring Mustique is an immersive experience through a lush wildlife sanctuary dotted with the manicured gardens of villas tucked into the landscape. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 45


hile Mustique is open to all who arrange a visit here, privacy remains paramount. The island is owned and operated by the Mustique Company, established over fifty years ago to govern the island and its development. Today protecting the environment on land and sea is an island priority.



Long the sunny escape chosen by royalty, rock stars, and business leaders searching for paradise without paparazzi, Mustique is now home to over a hundred architecturally jaw-dropping private villas and The Cotton House boutique hotel with its elegant colonial chic decor.

Water filtration systems provide clean drinking water to encourage the use of refillable personal containers instead of plastic water bottles. Beyond protecting threatened reefs, a coral nursery restoration project began in 2015 to add more healthy coral to the underwater landscape. Wildlife populations are protected, too, including indigenous seabirds, green sea turtles, and land tortoises. Ocean-safe sunscreens are advised and are the only type sold on the island to safeguard water-born critters further. Hit the hiking trails that wind across the island for incredible views of the biodiverse beauty being protected for generations to come. Free from the throng of beachgoing crowds, there’s still a need to plan some daily outings. Reservations are required to book your rustic table under the palms for a catered beach picnic, one of the most treasured traditions on Mustique. Securing a spot overlooking the deep blue waters and wide white sands of Macaroni Beach is a coup. But not to worry, there are plenty of other picturesque beaches to enjoy a swim and a lazy lunch of grilled fish, colorful salads, and bottles of chilled rose wine. More active pursuits include cycling, horseback riding, fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling, and guided boat trips to neighboring islands. And after all of that, the lovely spa at The Cotton House soothes body, mind, and spirit with a range of treatments.

Above: Villas range in style from laid-back pavilions to palatial estates. Left: The bar in the Great Room of The Cotton House Far left: The Cotton House boutique hotel 46 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


The Social Set

Left: “No visit is complete without a beach picnic.” Below left: You’ll find a tiny museum of the island’s history in the old sugar mill. Below right: Mustique’s Equestrian Centre arranges island treks.

The nightly social scene is subdued but lively on Mustique, with a calendar of events that bring all guests and residents together. There’s backgammon night in the Great Room of The Cotton House, the Beach Café Happy Hour and a Half on Fridays, sunset live music sessions at Basil’s Bar on Sundays, and the weekly not-to-miss Mustique Company cocktail party, which almost the whole island attends. Parties are a way of life on Mustique and have been since Scotsman Colin Tennant (later Lord Glenconner) bought the island in 1958 to develop the ultimate tropical holiday spot for a select group of high-profile friends. Villa building commenced under the architectural direction of Oliver Messel, formerly a London theater set designer. Messel’s villas (including Les Jolies Eaux for Princess Margaret and her husband Anthony Armstrong-Jones) feature an open plan so that from the front door, you look straight through the house to the view beyond. Gardens grow in and around the homes, and latticework trim is often painted in a now-famous color, Messel green.

Your Villa or Mine? With exotic names like Indigo, Frangipani, and “ti Soleil,” the villas on Mustique reflect the owners’ fantasies expressed in a diverse range of architectural designs. Whether contemporary or traditional, most homes are built with a sense of “alone together,” providing guests a tranquil hideaway to read a book and a central hub for social activities and dining. Swimming pools glimmer in the sun, often perched on the edge of hillside properties with a great view looking out to the Atlantic or the Caribbean Sea. Villas are available to rent year-round complete with chefs, butlers, housekeepers, and gardeners who know every corner of the villas and how to care for them.



Make The Cotton House Your Home The Cotton House is more clubhouse than hotel and is the social center of the island. Originally a sugar and cotton warehouse, the main buildings were also designed by Messel. The property occupies three acres alongside the turquoise waters of Endeavor Bay. Accommodations range from charming cottages to two-story suites with private plunge pools. The Veranda Restaurant in the main house offers quiet breakfasts in the company of light breezes and songbirds and elegant candlelit dinners inspired by West Indies cuisine. The Beach Café and Bar overlooking the Caribbean Sea is the place to be seen at lunch—perhaps with an airy caftan over your swimsuit—to enjoy fresh seafood, slow-cooked pork, and everyone’s favorite these days, delicious tacos. Are you craving a deeper dive into tropical flavors? Join the weekly Rum Master Class held in the Great Room to taste from an extensive collection of rums and learn more about the nuances of this historically Caribbean spirit.

Above: Basil’s Bar sparkles as one of the finest beach bars in the world. Left: Basil’s Bar serves up lively local cuisine, music, and dancing.

For any island visit to be complete, there must be at least one visit to Mustique’s most famous watering hole, Basil’s Bar. Founded in 1974 and named for barman and consummate host Basil Charles, this open-air bamboo pavilion was newly crafted in Balinese style by architect Philippe Starck. This is where the music plays and the cocktails flow. The annual Mustique Blues Festival attracts top blues artists. Still, guests celebrate every day and night at Basil’s Bar, enjoying an impressive menu of refined beach cuisine and cold drinks with a view of Britannia Bay.

Visit and to start planning your trip, plus for more on this island oasis. 48 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Petite pause


Bustling bazaars, rich history, delicious street food, and an abundance of colors fill the streets of Jaipur. The vibrant Indian metropolis is also called the Pink City, as it’s home to the famously intricate and impressive Hawa Mahal, composed of pink and orange sandstone. Other colors also abound, such as at the Green Gate in Pitam Niwas Chowk. Assouline takes readers on a tour of the captivating destination in Jaipur Splendor. Visit to purchase or learn more. Photo by Rowena Naylor/ Stocksy, courtesy of Assouline






a s to l d to S U Z A N N E P O L L A K


hen Autumn Phillips asked if I wanted to go with her to Lebanon, I (Suzanne) jumped at the chance. I was born in Beirut, but the reason I said yes was a chance to travel with a real adventurer—to travel in a completely different way than I ever had. There is no time like now to overcome fears and obstacles, something I think we can all learn from this incredible woman as she shares her story here:

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or my first trip out of the country, I bought a three-month ticket to Nairobi. I didn’t know what I was going to do and didn’t have an itinerary. I just went. Back then, I wasn’t afraid. At twenty-two, I didn’t understand there were things to be scared of in life. Fears are something you accumulate over time. For me, fears accumulate by listening to other people telling me to be afraid or because I had a bad experience and couldn’t let go of it. When I look back at all the adventures I had in my twenties, I realize I was fearless. Now that I am in my forties, many of the adventures I go on are all about overcoming the fears I accumulated over the years. This morning I was writing about trying to get over my fears about sailing—which I have done—and how long it took. I was in a sailing accident in my thirties. I learned over the years that if I had immediately gotten back in that boat, shaken it off, and started sailing again, the fear wouldn’t have set in the way it did. The trauma wouldn’t have calcified into something that was hard to get over. When it came to that sailing accident, I didn’t immediately get back into the boat. In fact, I got towed to shore, put the boat away, and walked off without saying anything to anybody. I didn’t get back into a boat for a very long time. When I did, I was shocked at how terrified I was. I got over the fear of sailing by deciding I was going to get over it and then making myself sail. I took a sailing course and started all over from the beginning. I wasn’t afraid to admit to other people that I was scared—I purposely told them my goal was to get over my fear, knowing a little peer pressure would help motivate me. I didn’t succeed right away. It required repetitive motion until I got over it. On my trip to Kyrgyzstan in December, I experienced a moment of deep, deep fear when I was on a horse going over a mountaintop. I desperately wanted to get off that horse, but the snow was too deep, and also, I was on the top of the mountain and had no choice! So, I paused, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that I was supposed to be having fun. I was scared because I did not trust the horse or my own skills. But I pushed through it. When it was over, I had survived. I think it is good to put yourself in situations where you are in over your head to a degree, not in a reckless way, but in a way that lets you overcome your fear because you have no choice. Overcoming such fear is exhilarating. You feel strong; you

feel that you can tackle anything. Riding a horse over a mountaintop translates in regular life to being able, for example, to respond to someone pushing back at you in a corporate meeting with a feeling of confidence like, “I am a badass, don’t push me.” I think that one of the reasons the pandemic was so difficult is that we couldn’t do hard travel. Hard travel is something I have used over and over in my life to wake myself up. After getting a divorce at forty and feeling defeated, I went to Cameroon and climbed Mount Cameroon. Even though the trip didn’t fix everything, it helped me feel strong. Fear snaps you out of it. You can’t indulge in self-pity when you are sucking for oxygen at twelve thousand feet. All you can think about is your feet. So you take another step, and then another step. The challenge is good for you in that way. If you get rigid in life and think there is only one path forward, it’s good to get on a plane and go to your version of Kyrgyzstan. When it comes to travel, conquering fear is about following your imagination—not finding a way of punishing yourself. I don’t think I need to go to Siberia even though I hear Siberia is beautiful. It’s not like I pick the most horrible places to punish myself. I follow my passion and curiosity. For example, I want to go to Sudan because when I was climbing that mountain in Cameroon, I met some really interesting international Red Cross volunteers who showed me a picture on their phone of this beautiful desert with pyramids, completely quiet and alone, in northern Sudan. That image has never left me. I have that on my list. I went to Ethiopia because somebody gave me a photo of the pilgrims dressed in white carrying what they believed was the Ark of the Covenant. That description captured my imagination, and I couldn’t let go of it. I went to Ethiopia for three months, and it was amazing, incredible, inspiring—and hard. On that first trip to Nairobi—three months by myself at age twenty-two—I went as the person I was taught to be by my parents. During my first day there, I met this guy who was a real estate developer from London. He bought a Land Rover and put a refrigerator and golf clubs in the back. His goal was to play golf in every country in Africa. He had been doing it for years. He was capable. He understood the politics of the world. He understood how to behave in just about every situation, from crossing the sketchy checkpoint in the middle of nowhere to walking into the country club perfectly dressed for his golf game. Watching him taught me how I could be. I had never met anyone like him.





met other fascinating people from all over the world who were so good at life. I learned so much; it was like a crash course on how to live. I ventured to the very far west of Uganda and saw the gorillas. I sat on the banks of Lake Victoria for Christmas. When I came back, I felt like everything in the world was an option for me, not just the things I had been told. I got back from Kyrgyzstan on December 20, had a mammogram on December 23, and on December 27, my 48th birthday, I had several biopsies. I learned that I have Stage IV breast cancer. It has made me look back on my life and look forward to what I have left. When I think of how I want to spend the future, one of the core things I want to do is travel more, to experience the exhilaration of overcoming my fears. I have started writing a book about travel. In June, I am going to Lebanon and have plans to go on an adventure after every twelve-week scan. There is a new urgency to say yes to the things on the long list I have always wanted to do. Now I understand it is a gift to know you have a limited amount of time, and you shouldn’t waste it.

Suzanne Pollak, a mentor and lecturer in the fields of home, hearth, and hospitality, is the founder and dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. She is the coauthor of Entertaining for Dummies, The Pat Conroy Cookbook, and The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits: A Handbook of Etiquette with Recipes. Born into a diplomatic family, Pollak was raised in Africa, where her parents hosted multiple parties every week. Her South Carolina homes have been featured in the Wall Street Journal Mansion section and Town & Country magazine. Visit or contact her at to learn more. 52 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Adventurer Autumn Phillips

A New 30-A Family Tradition



8 A.M. TO 11 A.M. 87 Central Square | Seaside, FL 32459



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Expeditions of a lifetime shouldn’t take a lifetime of planning. That’s why EYOS, one of the foremost leaders in private yacht expeditions, has a mission to make passengers feel like the world is truly their oyster. Their tours are carefully crafted and catered to guests’ wishes, from diving in every ocean to exploring Antarctica. With decades of experience, the EYOS team’s expertise, resources, and elevated service make them unique in their field as a luxury adventure charter group, and that’s just the beginning.


ith a world at his fingertips, Ben Lyons expanded his horizons when he joined EYOS as the chief executive officer. Growing up, Lyons was fascinated by and drawn to the water. After graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, he served as the chief officer aboard Cunard line’s Queen Mary 2 for five years. After his time with Cunard, he joined Lindblad Expeditions and sailed on the National Geographic Endeavour and National Geographic Explorer, first as chief officer and later as captain. In addition to his adventures, Lyons is an avid travel writer. His articles and reviews have appeared in magazines, travel guides, and newspapers. After extensive journeys around the world, his words carry much experience. Following years of adventure, Lyons went back to school to get his MBA, as he was ready to take on the business side of luxury travel. He was drawn to EYOS because of its dedication to the client and making each experience personal and unforgettable.

Right: Nansen Explorer guests kayaking during an off-ship excursion Opposite: Ice-classed and built to handle the most challenging waters, EYOS’s Hanse Explorer is a “go-anywhere” yacht.

When asked about his most memorable expeditions, Lyons says, “My favorite destination is Antarctica. The ice, the colors, and the texture of the landscapes bring me back every year. It’s the most impactful place I’ve ever traveled to; it’s hard to put into words. It’s something that has to be experienced.” V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 55



yons adds, “Our clients can book exclusive private trips with itineraries curated to the adventures they want to see and be a part of. Not only is the agenda curated to your wishes, but the vessels themselves offer every amenity of a luxury superyacht with the capabilities and services of a research vessel.”

Above: Built for tropical and polar waters, Hanse Explorer carries two Mark-IV Zodiacs for landing on remote Pacific beaches or pushing through the Antarctic ice.

EYOS works directly with captains and owners who want to refit their luxury vessels to handle the tropical or polar waters better. The company has access to over two thousand boats but works closely with a staple fleet of ten. From sailing in the tropics to cutting ice in the polar regions, EYOS is strategically equipped to take you anywhere in the world. By working hand in hand with private owners and captains, EYOS can choose the best vessel for your specific journey. From Ice Class 1A superyachts to luxury sailboats, its inventory is filled with the finest ships for your next adventure.

Right and opposite top right: Guests aboard any EYOS cruise can personalize their itinerary with activities from whale-watching to kayaking and more.

The newest addition to the impressive fleet is the seventy-two-meter-long Ice Class 1A Nansen Explorer. The Nansen was initially designed to carry sixty passengers as a research ship. However, the recent collaboration with EYOS has brought updates to

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Top left and below: All staterooms and common areas on EYOS vessels have been modeled with state-of-theart amenities and appointed for luxury.

“EYOS, one of the foremost leaders in private yacht expeditions, has a mission to make passengers feel like the world is truly their oyster.” produce a powerful hybrid between a commercial vessel and a luxury yacht. After an extensive refit, The Nansen now carries twelve guests in seven state-of-theart staterooms. In addition, the superyacht is complete with a helicopter pad, onboard refueling capabilities, a large gym, and a superb culinary team. With the resources of EYOS, the Nansen Explorer can sail further and deeper into the polar regions than any other luxury yacht. From heli-skiing on powder previously untouched by man to having their worldview exceedingly expanded, guests on Nansen Explorer should expect an experience like no other. Venture out of your comfort zone to remote areas of the world, where nature and wildlife flourish in their rawest forms. With one life to live, what would you love to experience?

With passion and next-level chartering capabilities, the team at EYOS is excited to help you plan your first adventure or your next one. Visit to learn more or book now. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 57

DEBUTS FALL 2022 VIE magazine’s fifth show home, located in the exclusive Heritage Dunes enclave in Seagrove Beach, Florida

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS! PA RT N E R S P R E S E N T I N G P L AT I N U M S P O N S O R Bella Mare Real Estate Holdings VIE Magazine GOLD SPONSORS Grand Bay Construction, LLC | Burwell Associates, Inc. | La Florida Coastal Properties, LLC | Duce & Company Interiors | Gregory D. Jazayeri Designs | Patrick Hodges Land Studio | Ralph Lauren Home | E. F. San Juan, Inc. – Weather Shield Windows & Doors | Modus Photography SILVER SPONSORS Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights | Brown Jordan | Century Furniture | Hard Rock Stone & Tile, LLC | KOHLER | Linn’s Prestige Kitchens & Baths | Maison30a Home + Garden | Mobile Appliance Co. | Moza & Company Tile + Stone Pavilion Outdoor Furniture | STARK Carpet | Theodore Alexander Furniture Photography by Hunter Burgtorf


ENTERTAINMENT on the SAND Holiday Inn Resort PCB Brings the Heat

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St or y and p ho to g rap hy co u r te sy o f


There has never been a better time to head to a Panama City Beach destination with terrific activities for the whole family.


Holiday Inn Resort is all about entertainment. Guests will find a great lineup of music and more year-round, such as the Polynesian Fire & Dance Show, which feels like it transports them to a far-off island. Meanwhile, the Vegas Style Variety Show brings them back to the days of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison.

hen most think of a Holiday Inn, they might picture an interstate hotel that’s the perfect stop on a road trip or during a business conference. However, the Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach is the furthest thing from that basic hotel experience. This upscale, 340-room destination experience offers a family-friendly all-inone resort with Gulf-front rooms, private balconies, and incredible views. It also features multiple dining options, an expansive beachfront deck, a tiki bar, daily live entertainment, and supervised kids’ activities.

Those staying on property can also see some of the biggest entertainers in country music at the Guest Exclusive Concert Series, which brings famous artists to the Escape Deck stage by the beach. The spectacular Escape Deck has been expanded to over nine thousand square feet and is home to the SeaGlass Beachside Bar and Chip’s Seafood Grille. It features over forty bar seats, comfortable couches and love seats, and plenty of high-top tables to view the beautiful beaches. You don’t need a ticket—all guests need to do is find the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic country concert.

The idea for guests staying here is that they can park their car and never have to leave. The resort is centrally located on Front Beach Road, the perfect place to stay for a relaxing getaway and exploring popular points of interest in Panama City Beach. The staff ’s amazing service and dedication to making each stay memorable bring guests back time and time again.

The Holiday Inn Resort has a little something for everyone. If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the magic show with all the grand illusions by the resort’s magician, Noah Wells. He’ll have your mind reeling as you try to figure out how he does it!

Locally owned and operated, Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach is one of four area properties in the Hilton family’s collection, which also includes the Holiday Inn Panama City, Holiday Inn Express, and Holiday Golf Club (soon to be rebranded as Legacy Golf Club).

With such a wide variety of entertainment options and new ones added to the roster often, there has never been a better time to head to a Panama City Beach destination with terrific activities for the whole family.

Visit to learn more, book your stay, or check out the live beach cam! V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 61






The Number 1 Trending Destination in America

This page and opposite: From beach days to fresh Gulf seafood, there’s no wonder why the gorgeous white sands of South Walton, Florida, attract visitors year-round. 62 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


destination that was just named the top trending spot in America by Airbnb and the number one summer hot spot for 2022 by Travel + Leisure, Walton County, Florida, may seem like an easy sell for vacationers. The county has seen tremendous growth over the past few years as real estate sales have boomed, and many people have sought a life at the beach rather than in more urban areas. Walton County has also been one of the fastest-growing local economies in the U.S. since 2019. Considering the draw of its stunning beaches, unique neighborhoods, and endless activity options, it’s not hard to see why these things are true. While the destination does promote itself with all of those things, there is also an extensive undertaking that goes into attracting visitors and getting them to come back time and again. Perhaps the most significant player in this process is the Walton County Tourism Department, which serves as the county's Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). You may have also heard of this organization referred to as the TDC, but to clarify the difference between these two entities: The DMO serves as a gateway for the destination, providing current information about area attractions, restaurants, activities, and accommodations. The mission of the DMO is to continually strengthen the Walton County brand to support the local tourism economy while managing and maintaining the local beaches as a primary attraction. On the other hand, a TDC is a Tourist Development Council—an advisory group established by county ordinance. This entity is responsible for reviewing expenditures of revenue and making recommendations to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners regarding how to allocate these funds.


The Walton County DMO is wholly funded through a Tourist Development Tax (TDT). Often referred to as bed taxes, these funds are collected from hotels, condos, and any other short-term rentals that involve stays of six months or less. These taxes are almost exclusively paid for by tourists. Residents do not pay any bed taxes unless they take a "staycation" in local rental or hotel accommodations. Last year, the TDT amounted to a 5-percent bed tax in South Walton and a 2-percent bed tax north of the Choctawhatchee Bay. What becomes of the money collected? While the State of Florida has strict rules governing how those funds can be spent, many of the expenditures tend to support or enhance the lives of residents and our community, as well as visitors. Most of these funds are cyclical in nature, as they go toward improving the destination, thus enticing more guests to visit. This includes amenities such as bike trails and public beach accesses. Bed tax dollars are used for beach maintenance, as well as to purchase more beach, bay, and park accesses and facilities. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 63




Among other avenues, the DMO helps support top-notch cultural opportunities, including a diverse slate of artistic, culinary, and sporting events that enliven the social calendar year-round. With many destinations competing for tourist dollars, there’s an endless need to keep Walton County and its brand top of mind.

The Volunteer Beach Ambassador Program is another important local component of outreach and awareness. Stationed at regional beach accesses and around town, ambassadors interact with the public, answering questions about all things local, from rules to restaurants. They even help support the mission of promoting sea turtle conservation, sharing information on Leave No Trace and #CleanDarkFlat, and cleaning up the beaches by filling in holes and picking up trash.

In addition to the impact on leisure, culture, and safety, the DMO's efforts create a substantial boost for the Walton County economy. In 2021 alone, almost 5.4 million visitors spent $4.8 billion— with a total economic impact of $7.1 billion. Visitors typically account for 80 percent of all retail spending and pay more than 75 percent of

he funds also support beach safety, including lifeguards and the beach flag awareness program that helps keep people informed about current conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Research showed that 93 percent of 2021 visitors knew there were flags posted along the beaches to indicate the safety of the surf. Furthermore, four in five of these guests were aware of the meaning of the beach flags—an impressive figure that demonstrates the direct value of such an investment.

Above: South Walton is home to more than two hundred miles of hiking and biking trails, from paved pathways along Scenic Highway 30-A to wooded paths surrounded by natural habitats. 64 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Left: You’re never more than a quick stroll away from the calming waters of the Gulf of Mexico in South Walton.

all taxes here, saving households an average of $1,695. Meanwhile, more than 47,700 jobs were supported by tourism in the county. Through research and technology, the DMO is continuously looking for ways to ensure that funds are being used strategically and diligently. However, every expense is carefully vetted. Authorized uses of TDT revenue are specifically dictated by Florida Statute 125.0104. Expenditures are further reviewed through the Tourist Development Council (TDC), the TDC Advisory Committees, and ultimately, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners. Budgets are prepared closely and with oversight from multiple county departments, and they are heard during public workshops, which allows for resident feedback and discussion before they are adopted. Legal counsel is

also available to offer guidance and interpretation of existing statutes and regulations that might impact how funds are spent. While extensive, these steps ensure a truly diligent examination of how funds are appropriated. This process, in turn, requires the sort of thoughtfulness that provides the best possible showcasing of a destination that deserves its time in the spotlight and the sun. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 65


A Boutique Safari To book your unforgettable experience, visit Photo courtesy of The Safari Collection

Wake up and feed the giraffes! The boutique-style Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, offers a bucket-list-worthy experience. The historic manor dates back to the 1930s, when exploration was at its peak. The sunny terraces and garden courtyards combined with the herd of Rothschild’s giraffes create a dream safari destination. In the mornings and evenings, you can expect to be greeted by giraffes poking their heads through the windows, searching for a treat.

Love, VIE xo V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 67


Fine Art Photography by Julian Lennon for General Public Art Coming Soon to The Heritage – A VIE Legacy Show Home | Debuting Fall 2022 | Interiors by Duce & Company

36132 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541 | | (850) 654-7490 |

Le monde


Visit or to learn more. Photo by Rami Mansour, courtesy of Gallery COLLECTIONAL

Mirage is a part of an exclusive collection by Sabine Marcelis for Gallery COLLECTIONAL, located in Dubai. Marcelis captures the energy of nature as the shapes and colors of the mirrors merge with their surroundings. The mirage references the duality of Dubai during the day and night, with colors inspired by the warm desert sun.


Le monde


The Bridge Written By

Photography courtesy of

Jordan Staggs

The Bridge

How did a longtime Wall Street executive, a branding and events expert, and a Manhattan attorney join together to create one of the world’s most exclusive luxury car shows?

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probably puts it best,” says Jeffrey Einhorn, the lawyer. He is also a member of the Former Glory Racing Team of Connecticut, chief of judges at the Americana Manhasset Concours D’Elegance, and cofounder of CarParkNYC. He teamed up with former racer Robert “Bob” Rubin, whose mechanic father instilled a deep love of automobiles in him from a young age before he entered the world of investments and stock options, and marketing guru Shamin Abas, whose eponymous agency specializes in highly curated, exclusive events that have been lauded worldwide.

at the club back in 2014, and he and I started talking about bringing to life the idea of paying homage to the racing history of the hallowed grounds. Not long after we started exploring the concept, I met Jeff at Pebble Beach and, through our conversation that day, discovered he was the missing link! We quite quickly came together as partners, and the rest is history.”

“We had each been pondering how we could make an event combining the racing history of Bridgehampton and the raw beauty of the area work,” Einhorn continues.

The course was known for being challenging, with a hairpin turn and downhill slopes. The official circuit

Rubin’s private golf club, The Bridge, was the natural choice of venue for such an endeavor. Its tees and greens lay on the “hallowed grounds” of the Bridgehampton Race Circuit, a disused racecourse that saw some of the best vehicles and drivers of the mid-1900s make the rounds.

hosted races from its inception in 1957 until 1999, though the area was also known for unofficial road races from 1949 to 1953. “The iconic bridge is, of course, still there,” Rubin says. “The name derives not only as a shortening of ‘Bridgehampton’ but also because the bridge itself marks the beginning of what was widely considered the hairiest turn in North American racing: the blind, downhill, off-camber combo turns 1 and 2. A section of the original track is still there today.”

“I always intended to establish a concourse at The Bridge, having participated myself several years at Pebble Beach,” Rubin says. Abas adds, “I had come to know Bob after he graciously allowed me to arrange a very special anniversary event for my longtime client Ferrari North America


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inhorn adds, “We always seek to highlight vehicles that raced on track, and while most of the track cannot be utilized now, we have all of our show cars enter in the main straight and drive under the Chevron Bridge, as they would have done in period. I head the curation of the vehicles for the event, focusing on cars that did or could have raced at The Bridge. While we run the gamut with rally sports and sporting vehicles, the bulk is extremely limited-production vehicles—from one-off coachbuilt Ferraris to new McLaren supercars. We have a three-year wait between shows for the return of individual vehicles to keep things fresh.” While he says it’s difficult to choose favorites, Einhorn admits the McLaren F1 and the recently restored Ferrari 250 GTO are at the top of his list. Since its inception in 2016, Rubin says, “The Bridge has quickly grown from a small private event with a few dozen vehicles belonging to friends of ‘the family’ to a high point on the annual vintage car calendar.” Petrolicious called it “the Pebble Beach of the East,” while Vanity Fair lauded it as “America’s most over-the-top classic car exhibition.” 72 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

The event is by invitation only so that we can ensure the environment is charged with the energy that comes from gathering passionate collectors and enthusiasts together to take delight in the extraordinary exhibition of cars we showcase each year.

Above and opposite top: The Bridge car exhibition has become one of the most exclusive and celebrated events of its kind in only six years since its inception. Photos by Jared Siskin/PMC Previous page, left, and opposite bottom: Photos courtesy of Michael Foster, Robin Trajano, and Tony Laiacona V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 73

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Outside of its automotive partners, each category or vertical is owned exclusively, ensuring brands enjoy a relaxed, noncompetitive environment. Each partnership is tailored to meet the brand’s specific desires and objectives.

The invite-only exhibition takes place each September in Bridgehampton, New York. Opposite right, left, and below: Photos courtesy of Michael Foster, Robin Trajano, and Tony Laiacona Opposite left and below left: Photos by Jared Siskin/PMC


’m proud to have seen the event grow from a twinkle in the eyes of three dreamers to one of the mainstays on the world stage,” Einhorn shares. “It’s something new and different— instead of a focus on judging, we are primarily concerned with the experiences of our guests and exhibitors.”

The invitation-only fête takes place each September for members of The Bridge and their guests, brand partners’ guests, exhibition car owners, and specially invited collectors from around the world. “The event is by invitation only so that we can ensure the environment is charged with the energy that comes from gathering passionate collectors and enthusiasts together to take delight in the extraordinary exhibition of cars we showcase each year,” Abas explains. The Bridge’s impressive lineup of sponsors for 2022 includes Richard Mille, Ferrari North America, Bentley, Lamborghini, NetJets, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Zegna, Sherry-Lehmann, Giorgio Armani, Technogym,

Compass, Bonhams, Czinger, Lucid, McLaren, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Pagani, De Tomaso, Glickenhaus, Polestar, Canoo, United Sodas of America, and Nicholas Brawer. Outside of its automotive partners, each category or vertical is owned exclusively, ensuring brands enjoy a relaxed, non-competitive environment. Each partnership is tailored to meet the brand’s specific desires and objectives. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the annual event benefit the Bridge Golf Foundation (BGF), based in Harlem, New York, which operates an intensive, year-round, multi-year golf and education program for young men of color. The foundation helps participants close gaps in achievement, learning, and opportunity to prepare them for college and the workforce. “Each year, young men in the BGF get to interact with the exhibition’s invited guests, promote the program, and enjoy themselves,” Rubin shares. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 75

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One hundred percent of the proceeds from the annual event benefit the Bridge Golf Foundation (BGF), based in Harlem, New York, which operates an intensive, year-round, multi-year golf and education program for young men of color.

Left and far left: Photos by Jared Siskin/PMC Below left: Photo courtesy of Michael Foster, Robin Trajano, and Tony Laiacona


n only six years, the event has become a world-renowned celebration of postwar performance automobiles. Although the main exhibition is invite-only, the team has widened The Bridge’s offerings so the public can experience a piece of it this September near Bridgehampton, New York. Bridgehampton Cars and Coffee, a complimentary, familyfriendly public car show at the Bridgehampton Museum, will take place Sunday, September 18, 2022. “We typically see fifty or so cars from Saturday’s exhibition here, driven down by owners, together with hundreds of other cars,” Einhorn says. Jazz music and food from local purveyors will round out the experience.

“This year, we also plan to launch an additional event on Sunday of exhibition weekend to take place at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton,” Abas reveals. “The Bridge at Topping Rose House will be a ticketed event featuring some incredible cars and brunch designed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. More to come on this soon!”

Autophiles can visit to learn more or follow @thebridge.hamptons on Instagram to see more photos and videos from past events. 76 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

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ERICA STONE and the Roads Less Traveled

Jason and Erica Stone with their children Jordan, his wife Rachel, Capri, Maddox, Willa, Nash, and Jayda

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By Felicia Ferguson Photography courtesy of Erica Stone

Jason and Erica launched The Raining Season in 2007. Since then, they have adopted five of their six children from Sierra Leone. Their family now serves, travels, and speaks on behalf of the orphaned, raising awareness and pursuing God's heart through the gift of family.

What does it look like to set aside your talents and hopes to travel down a dusty dirt road and find a new dream you never knew lived in your heart? Ask Erica Stone, who put a burgeoning career in country music on hold to adopt an orphaned child from Sierra Leone, Africa—a move that would change her life forever. This hidden dream was planted in her heart when Stone was only fourteen years old. She explains, “I went on a mission trip to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and, at the time, I thought I was going to be a doctor when I grew up. I was in junior high school, and I remember seeing kids my age so sick and struggling, which wrecked me. And I think the switch flipped for me then. I thought, wow, there are a lot of areas of the world that live a lot differently than I do, who don’t get this kind of care, and I’ve got to figure out a way to impact that.” Still, it wasn’t until Stone read a newspaper article as an adult that her new path began to unfold. Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was coming to the area of Missouri where she and her husband, Jason, lived at the time. Chapman was interviewed by the local paper and mentioned adopting his daughter from China. Erica had never heard of international adoption. Intrigued, she searched online and found a website with thousands of links to children in various countries looking for forever homes. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 79

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t the time, in my very limited understanding of adoption and experience in the world, I thought, ‘I just had my son, so let’s adopt a little boy.’” As she clicked through the links, she found a profile for a boy the same age as her son. But when the link opened, the picture was of a little girl, Jayda, who eventually—after four years of searching and trials—became their oldest adopted child. Over time that one adoption led to five more successful additions to her family and the devastating loss of a sixth. Jayda’s adoption also led Erica and Jason to open an orphanage in Sierra Leone called The Raining Season. But the road they’ve traveled has not been without its potholes. When the orphanage first opened, it housed forty children. An organization called Kids Against Hunger donated a large container of rice to help the orphanage get started and cover their food needs for months, giving the Stones time to arrange for sponsorships. Then the unimaginable happened.

I felt like God was saying... ‘You did what I called you to do. I’m always going to provide.’ And He has. Over and over again. Two hundred farmers drowned when their ferry boat sank, leaving fifty-five children fatherless and their families unable to care for them. The orphanage director in Sierra Leone called Erica, who was back in Nashville consulting with other nonprofits, and asked if they could take the children. Erica agreed, knowing their supply of rice would now only last a month, but at least the amount would be enough to feed all ninety-five kids. Then the director said the extra rice was no longer available. He had coordinated a community food event and given this staple away to others in the area. Erica was devastated. She pushed the anger and worry aside and consulted with the nonprofit group she was scheduled to meet that day. As she was leaving, the nonprofit’s owner said she wanted to donate to The Raining Season. Her group was just getting started, however, so Erica tried to deny the donation, but the owner was adamant. Later, when Erica opened the check, she found it was for the exact amount they needed to provide for the additional children. “I felt like God was saying, ‘You know what, don’t be mad at your people for doing a community food day. You did what I called you to do. I'm always going to provide.’ And He has. Over and over again.”

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od’s care during the Stones’ journey has been more than financial. It has also included a place of respite for them and their children—the beaches along Scenic Highway 30-A in Northwest Florida. Erica said, “Every time we could, with what little money we had left, we would come to 30-A, and we would sit and watch our kids love on each other in the sand. It’s like 30-A was a place to breathe and be restored.” As the family grew together and the children healed from their traumas, the beach became a haven, a respite from stress and the anxiety of school, life, and adoption transitions. Erica, Jason, and the younger children now live full-time on 30-A, and Erica has an apartment in Nashville where she writes music. But moving to the coast full-time doesn’t mean relinquishing the journey in Sierra Leone. In fact, new paths are forming. “We have been looking to expand. We’ve been maxed out since day one, and we have a lot of special-needs kids. With special-needs children, you can’t just make room. The staffing and rooms are different. And we have a school we want to expand and be able to offer it to the community for kids to come for free.” Erica, Jason, and their Raining Season partners have recently met with a paramount chief in rural Sierra Leone, who is gifting the urban-based orphanage three hundred acres. The land will allow them to build a larger facility, teach life skills, produce food from farming, and decrease their dependence on sponsorships.

Above: Erica Stone with her daughters in Alys Beach, Florida Right and opposite: The Raining Season has a center in the capital city of Freetown. It provides round-the-clock care to over one hundred children and employs over seventy Sierra Leonean families.

Eighteen years have passed since they started on this road together. “I think if there is any lesson I’ve learned in this whole journey, it’s that we don’t have time to waste. Most of us respond to God’s call or our bigger purposes in life with ‘someday.’ We think we have time, and, in reality, we don’t.” When asked what she hoped to be able to say at the end of her life, tears filled Erica’s voice as she answered. “I want to be able to say I showed up… and that I paid attention.” The roads less traveled can lead to the most unexpected places, but, as Erica Stone can attest, they could be the most perfect and meaningful life destinations.

To learn more about Erica and her many ongoing projects, visit and V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 81

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Sunrise over the island of Santorini, Greece, also known as the ancient isle of Thera Photo by Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock 82 | JUNE 2 0 2 2




When mortals throw lumps of earth around, they make a mess. When the child of a god does it, he creates an island that will be known for all time for its utmost beauty. According to Greek mythology, Santorini—that island of red and black sands, of purple and orange skies, of white cave houses and blue-domed churches— came into being when Euphemus, an Argonaut and a son of Poseidon, god of the sea, threw a clump of soil into the Aegean Sea. Many versions of the story exist, but the one that seems to crop up most often revolves around a dream that Euphemus had, in which he conceived a baby with the nymph Kalliste. When she realized she was pregnant, Kalliste urged her lover to help her escape the wrath of her father, Triton, by finding a safe haven for her and their child. Euphemus picked up a clod of earth, flung it into the ocean, and watched in amazement as a new land rose from the waves. He first named this miraculous island Kalliste (meaning “most beautiful”) and then Thera (after his son, Theras), a name by which Santorini is still known. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 83

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or those who eschew flights of fancy for hard facts, the reality of present-day Santorini’s creation is no less fantastical—its prawn-shaped mass was formed in about 1650 BCE by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in history. Before then, it had been a round volcanic isle sitting in the Aegean, but the explosion—estimated to have been one hundred times more powerful than Vesuvius—blasted most of it away, leaving behind little more than a semi-circular rim of cliffs framing a spectacular caldera. So much debris was detonated into the atmosphere that much of the Mediterranean didn’t see sunlight for a year. Neighbors near and far felt the force, but for Thera, it meant annihilation. Over the years, tantalizing speculation has arisen as to what exactly might have been drowned or buried in the aftermath of that explosion, the most wishful of which suggest that it could be the lost city of Atlantis.

as well as Santorini. I started as far back as I could go at Akrotiri, one of the most important prehistoric settlements in the Aegean. First inhabited six thousand years ago, this Minoan city had become Santorini’s principal port and one of the most important urban and trade centers in the region by 2000 BCE.

Santorini remains the most active volcano in the South Aegean, and it is still a place of mythical mystique, though its more recent rebirth—as a star of Instagram and top 10 lists of places to be seen—sometimes eclipses that. Its incomparable beauty, rather than its history, has become the key attraction. It is, admittedly, difficult to break the spell of those bewitching views long enough to go in search of something more, but the rewards for those who do are immeasurable.

The lava and ash that buried the city and its treasures for thousands of years also, mercifully, preserved them. In 1967, archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos’s excavations unearthed streets lined with three- and four-story houses decorated with frescoes that surpassed even those found at Knossos, the ancient Minoan capital in Crete. The wall paintings, some of which are now in Santorini’s excellent Museum of Prehistoric Thera, show life in all its vibrancy: young boys boxing, monkeys swinging through the trees, sinewy fishermen displaying their catch of the day, swallows flitting and floating above a landscape of lilies. They reveal a remarkable civilization going about its business.

On a four-day trip to the island last fall, I chose to chase fables instead of photo opportunities and to find Thera

Akrotiri took me back to that civilization. I peeped into the houses and saw accommodation not so different from our own. In one I saw a bath, in another a bed. I

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Top: The Cyclades is a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. It centers on uninhabited Delos, considered the birthplace of Apollo, and is home to some of Greece’s most important archaeological ruins. Above: Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera) Photo by Rebeca Ker Hoshen/Shutterstock

Left: Nobu Hotel Santorini is one of the isle’s most desirable and beautiful resorts to make your home base in the Cyclades. Photo courtesy of Nobu Hotels Below: Visitors wishing to get a close-up look at ancient Thera can take an excursion over the island’s volcanic hills and trails.

SANTORINI remains the most active VOLCANO in the South Aegean, and it is still a place of MYTHICAL MYSTIQUE, though its more recent rebirth—as a STAR of Instagram and TOP 10 lists of PLACES to be SEEN—sometimes eclipses that.

saw ancient pithoi (ceramic pots) used for storing and preserving food. I saw life as it was and, in many ways, as it still is. The excavations also showed that even then, the locals were making wine, which is no surprise given that Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing cultures in the world. Yannis Valambous, who owns the exemplary Vassaltis Vineyards, a few kilometers to the north of Akrotiri, explained: “The Ancient Greeks were making wine sixty-five hundred years ago, and their skills, as well as their produce, were highly valued. They pioneered methods of

viticulture that were then adopted by Italy and France, for example. Here in Santorini, the terroir produces grapes with high minerality and acidity. Our most famous varieties are Assyrtiko, Aidani, Athiri, Mandelaria, and Mavrotragano, but many others are equally complex.” Again Santorini has the volcano to thank, not only for its soil but for the survival of its vines, which are some of the oldest in all of Greece. The volcanic earth provided the vines with an unassailable defense against phylloxera, the louse that devastated so many great vineyards during the nineteenth century.

During my visit, both Vassaltis and Akrotiri were quiet, the pandemic having hit them hard. I wondered if the crowds had also stayed away from Santorini’s superstar attraction, Oia, the perfectly beautiful settlement on the island’s northern tip that has launched a bazillion Instagram posts. Known for its dazzling white cave houses (yposkafa) and for providing the best vantage points for watching some of the most magnificent sunsets that nature can produce, Oia is normally besieged by visitors until the start of winter. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 85

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n early October, Oia’s narrow streets were still busy with visitors who seemingly wanted to photograph their every step. The yposkafa, once humble dwellings for mariners and laborers, have been transformed into elegant—and expensive—hotels for the well-heeled. The local shops have also reinvented themselves to cater to those wishing to splash out on jewelry and designer clothing. Thera was undoubtedly present in Oia, but less conspicuously so, and at times I lost sight of her. It wasn’t difficult to imagine I was on a film set rather than a living, breathing town with a rich story to tell.

This page: Back at the Nobu Hotel Santorini, relaxation and fine dining await— all with incredible caldera views. Photos courtesy of Nobu Hotels 86 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

I didn’t stay for sunset but instead returned to my hotel, the Nobu Hotel Santorini, to watch that evening’s performance without the intrusion of others. Located on a rocky headland in charming Imerovigli, the luxury property gazes into the infinite expanse of water and sky ahead of it, providing intoxicating views of the sunsets and the tranquility I needed to surrender my senses to it. I sat by the pool with a perfectly chilled Assyrtiko while the rays of the sinking sun shot like flame throwers across the sky, scorching it to a thousand shades of pink and purple, of honey

and bourbon. Soon it disappeared into the sea, and dusk gave way to night. Deep darkness enveloped ancient Thera and modern-day Santorini, making it impossible to split sky from sea and fact from fable. It was easy to believe that, out there, the city of Atlantis was waiting quietly to be discovered.

Xenia Taliotis was a guest of the Nobu Hotel, a five-star hotel in Imerovigli. Nightly rates start from $1,200. To book, visit Xenia Taliotis is a UK-based editor and writer who covers lifestyle, travel, wellbeing, property, and finance for a number of publications, including The Telegraph, Christie’s International Real Estate, Women’s Health, and VIE.

Petite pause


Lodge at


Explore over eight thousand acres of marshland surrounding Little St. Simons during your stay on this resort island, where nature meets luxury. This secluded isle located off Georgia’s southeastern coast lies halfway between Jacksonville, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, and is accessible only by ferry. It’s an ideal retreat for outdoor lovers, as the breathtaking surroundings offer endless opportunities for reconnecting with the environment and oneself. Visit to book your stay or learn more. Photo by Cassie Wright, courtesy of Little St. Simons Island V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 87

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hile living in San Francisco and building a lucrative career in real estate finance, Erica Wildman enjoyed helping friends with their design projects. She was visiting one of them when Wildman asked about a painting she admired. Learning her friend was the artist, Wildman announced, “I want to paint something!” Having an eye for color and composition, Wildman had entered college with the intention of earning a degree in interior architecture. She’d also observed her talented father, who wasn’t an artist by profession, “dabble here and there.” Even so, she informs, “I’d never taken an art class.”

Above: Artist Erica Wildman Full Bloom Ink, acrylic, pigment, and gloss varnish 60 × 60 inches

Suddenly inspired to create something for a plain wall in her office, Wildman purchased a canvas and a lot of different paint colors. Instead of picking up a brush, the novice experimented with the rectangular blade of a hand chopper from the kitchen. “I changed it several times, just trying to get a grip,” Wildman recalls. Before long, the knife “smeared and blended the paint nicely.” Pleased with her two paintings (one four-by-four feet and the other three-byfour feet), Wildman had them hanging in her office for just over a week when a visitor—who happened to be a gallery owner—inquired about them. When he questioned the medium, she replied, “I don’t even know what you’re asking me.” In the beginning, Wildman discloses, “I literally knew nothing. I found out I was using acrylics.” That was in 2006. After about four years of painting exclusively with acrylics, Wildman picked up other media, including alcohol resins, modeling paste, glass paste, watercolors, and dry pigments. Considering the significance of adding texture, she says, “I have been asked several times about making prints of my work, but you cannot appreciate the depth and layers in 2D.” As for her process, Wildman says, “I tell people I paint as the wind blows. Every day I take a different approach to my work. When I have a burning desire to paint, I’ll start, and the painting will guide me. I’m a happy emotional painter.” V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 89

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he usually has several works in progress—six as of this writing. “You have to go into abstract art loosely,” Wildman explains, “or it’s going to stop you. I will work on a painting, and if it’s not coming together, I’ll tell it, ‘We are clearly not friends, so I’ll put you aside.’ I’ll then lean it up against the wall until I get reinspired. Sometimes, I put it back in my canvas rack so I can’t see it.” Getting “a feeling” when a work is complete, she says, “I’ll flip it in different directions to make sure it’s balanced.” Viewing her paintings that way makes Wildman fully receptive to moving her signature if she’s painted horizontally, for instance, and her client deems it should hang vertically. “My approach is 100 percent about my customer,” she states. That’s also true with commissions, which may entail color and size preferences. Certain paintings can take weeks to complete, yet Wildman agrees she’s a prolific artist. “I’ve probably sold one thousand or so pieces over the years.”

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Jiving to the Beat Acrylic, ink, and resin 24 × 48 inches Left: Celestial Bang Acrylic, ink, pigment, and resin 60 × 60 inches

When I have a burning desire to paint, I’ll start, and the painting will guide me. I’m a happy emotional painter.

And it all began with that first gallery owner who recognized an amateur’s promise and offered to show Wildman’s work. Encouraged to paint anything, she produced fifteen pieces. “Some were smaller,” she remembers, “because I was doing it part-time out on my balcony. I didn’t have a studio.” As the news of her work circulated through the real estate world, designers requested her paintings for use in staging homes. When seen on display, the paintings almost always sold. In 2010, Wildman decided to leave the mortgage business, return to her hometown of Austin, Texas, and focus on art. Still, she relays, “When I moved from San Francisco to Austin, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I opened a boutique with art. I was too shy to sell my own items.” The artist within finally spoke out during a quiet evening with her mother. Wildman says, “I got an email from someone who had heard about me and asked, ‘Can we use your work?’ I looked at my mother and said, ‘I’m going to do this full-time. I hate running the boutique.’ She said, ‘You might want a backup plan,’ and I replied, ‘No.’”

Rather than wishing she’d pursued her passion sooner, Wildman appreciates how her prior business experience taught her to stay organized and “be tough.” Armed with great contacts, she further says, “I started through networking—the slow burn of meeting people and collecting emails.” When she mainly was displaying her paintings at a weekly street fair, Wildman points out, “I sold seven or eight to a lady who had been on my email list for years.” Moving forward, instead of bringing people into her messy studio, she hosted art shows in private homes and local venues. One attendee led her to a designer who worked with HGTV’s Property Brothers, and they used her art for a televised renovation. When the movie Song to Song (released in 2017) was filmed in Austin, a production company contacted her. Wildman explains, “The set designer loved my art. They rented eighteen pieces, and I got to go on set.” (The latter may have been the best part for Wildman, who is a big fan of Ryan Gosling, one of the stars.) Her work has also appeared in the miniseries From Dusk Till Dawn and some commercials.

Above: Dancing Tide

Ink, acrylic, pigment, and resin 60 × 60 inches

Above left: Craving Temptation Acrylic, ink, and plaster 72 × 72 inches


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The fact that someone chooses me over all the art available is exciting, That feeling doesn’t get old.


Above: “I was challenged by a client to use a painting they loved as my inspiration for this one,” Wildman says. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous because it’s so different than my typical style. However, I’m thrilled by the result! By being challenged to create something out of my wheelhouse, I found a new medium, oil pastels, that I’m now obsessed with.” Right: Searching Deep Within Acrylic, pigment, and plaster 92 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

he fact that someone chooses me over all the art available is exciting,” says Wildman. “That feeling doesn’t get old.”

Expressing that her art is still so brand-new, Wildman continues to “create and figure out different styles and techniques. I would love to start doing women’s faces,” she says. Encouraging individuals to view her originals in person, Wildman welcomes visitors by appointment to her gallery, E. Wildman Gallery, which she opened in 2019. She also presents paintings and her line of velveteen pillows online.

Keep up with Erica or see available works at, Instagram @ewildmangallery, and Guests may visit E. Wildman Gallery by appointment only at 2311 Thornton Road, Suite J, Austin, Texas 78704. Call or text (512) 588-2787 or email

Keeping It Simple & Spectacular!


K I S - D E S I G N S . C O M • 8 5 0 . 6 0 8 . 5 8 0 0 • 1 1 6 M . C . D AV I S B O U L E VA R D , S U I T E 1 0 2 CALL FOR APPOINTMENT

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oors open. Locals and friends hold hands, squeezing into trimmed doorways, lifting wristbands and lukewarm beers over their heads to make it in.

“Oh, James, grab that spot!” “Thank God I’m not behind that pillar.” “I can’t believe I’m sitting directly in front of…” They’ve done this before. The room settles. Four songwriters step onto the carpeted platform, tuning their acoustic guitars and sharing a brief laugh with their musical neighbors as they roll their shoulders back and take in the scene. The room is as quiet as a cathedral, the audience watching the stage and waiting with reverence. There’s no velvet curtain. No fog machine. No neon sign. The night’s MC confidently walks up, waving the microphone before the wide-eyed crowd: “Welcome, everyone! Remember, this is a listening room.” This is the 30A Songwriters Festival. Flashback to 2019: I bought a last-minute ticket from a friend. Meeting me in the decadent lobby of the waterfront restaurant Fish Out of Water (day pass in hand), he sent me off smiling widely with an intentional “Good luck and have fun!”

Opposite: Jenny Lewis on the 30A Songwriters Festival main stage at Grand Boulevard in 2022 Photo by Shelly Swanger Photography V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 95

Le monde gave me the pre-college confidence I needed before packing up my Taylor guitar and driving north to Tennessee. Fast-forward to 2022: Holding the “Artist Pass” lanyard in my guitar-calloused fingers felt like a medal of honor I didn’t deserve. Refuting the doubt, I placed the silky cord over my head as though I was graduating summa cum laude. Sammi Accola. There it was on the check-in sheet for Friday night’s lineup. Wait a minute—that is my name. I am performing at the 30A Songwriters Festival. Playing the festival opened a doorway to meeting my musical heroes and sharing the songs I had been writing for the past three years with the community I loved most. It was my homecoming. I’m from here. I know the sound of the waves, the color of the sunset, and the heartbeat of the people.

The Festival—32 Venues, 288 Shows, and Four Days with People I Know Sprawling across thirty miles of sugar-white sand and quaint Florida communities, Scenic Highway 30-A sets a utopian scene for music lovers, beachgoers, and creatives to connect with nature and with one another.

Setting the Scene— The WaterColor Lake House

Above: Sammi Accola performs at Moon Crush festival in Miramar Beach, Florida, a few months after playing 30A Fest 2022. Photo by Ainsley Barousse Right: David Ryan Harris at 30A Songwriters Festival 2022

Just minutes after receiving the golden ticket, I locked arms with my best friend as we stood in the winding line anticipating the songwriting round. I can still feel the goosebumps, like braille on my neck, from when I first heard the humble voice of Allen Shamblin, Nashville Hall of Fame Songwriter, sing, “I know they say you can’t go home again / I just had to come back one last time,” from “The House That Built Me.” His words understood me. Not only was I three months from graduating high school and heading to Nashville to pursue songwriting at Belmont University, but I was grieving leaving home.

Photo by Kelly Curry Opposite: John Driskell Hopkins performs at Old Florida Fish House for 30A Fest 2022. Photo by Shelly Swanger Photography 96 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Before that night, I hadn’t met many professional songwriters. To be in such an intimate setting and have a conversation with Shamblin, sharing the unabridged story of his journey in Nashville, changed everything for me. His encouragement to keep writing and listening

Dreamt up by Jennifer Steele, executive director of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), 30A Songwriters Festival is a creative collaboration between the CAA and Atlanta-based artist manager Russell Carter. He manages many who play at the festival. “We were thinking it would be a small kind of neighborhood event, and it really—thanks to Russell’s involvement and bringing his artists in—grew more quickly than we could have expected,” Steele recalls. The motivated duo brought the community together from Sandestin to Rosemary Beach to produce the first 30A Songwriters Festival in 2010.

30A Songwriters Festival breathes life into the arts on the Emerald Coast during the winter months. In a lane of its own on a two-lane highway, the cherished weekend experience celebrates songwriters and their unheard stories. From Rickie Lee Jones’s mesmerizing set in the overflowing La Cocina restaurant singing “Chuck E’s in Love” to the crowd belting out The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels” on the main stage, the festival is genre-bending. “Music is a universal language,” Steele says. “No matter your political beliefs, financial background, or upbringing, music speaks to everyone. It brings us all together.” The festival is a penned-in calendar staple for many performers and fans alike. “We’ve been playing 30A Fest since it started, and it has become a tradition for us now,” says SESAC Country Song of the Year-winner Brian White. “Due to the pandemic, 2021 was the first year we missed, and it just set us off on a weird note. It is good to be back.” Invited back year after year, songwriting couple Brian White and Karyn Williams lead the gospel brunch on Sunday morning at the mainstream festival. “As a songwriter, you’re always looking to find those places where you can inject hope,” Williams shares. “When you bring 250 artists who write music to the same community, it creates a culture of creativity,” Russell Carter says. “These songwriters represent the social consciousness of our society—the poets of our generation.”

Voices—Singers, Songwriters, Floridians, and Fans “We’ve been here since year two and haven’t stopped coming,” shares songwriter and producer Scott Parker. “The people here know what to expect from a listening room and pay attention to the words we sing.” “When we go to 30A Fest, it feels like I just took all my favorite singer-songwriters from Nashville and transported them to the beach,” recording artist Liz Longley adds. “It’s a great way to connect with my music community and meet incredible new artists.”

“The festival is all about the writers, not necessarily the hits,” says vocalist and songwriter Caryl Parker. “As a rule, it’s not an intimidating place because it is about the songs.” 30A Songwriters Festival is for the young, the old, the musical, the nonmusical, the listeners, the performers, the songs, and the songwriters. But, most of all, it invites friends and strangers to laugh and cry together like a family. This is my home. Come and stay a while!

For more resources on 30A Fest and updates on the 2023 lineup, visit





C’est la vie


It’s finally time to break out the swimsuits and catch flights to tropical destinations. We’ve curated this C’est la VIE collection for the stylish beach babe. You can find her curled up on the lanai with a good book when she’s not catching a wave on her Cynthia Rowley surfboard. Her Balenciaga sunglasses always match her bikini, and she wouldn’t dare to leave the house without putting on SPF. She’s effortlessly chic, and her passport is ready for a new stamp this summer!


Sunny Days

Balenciaga Cat-Eye Acetate Sunglasses (Bottom) $380 – 98 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


Italian Luxury

Milan Chic by Massimo Nava $95 –



Mod Moves

Louis Vuitton Silver Monogram Mirror Keepall 50 Bandouliere $9,000 –

Hats Off

The Soprano Black Hatbox Large $475 –

Citrus Glow


Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric Face Oil $80 –


Checked Out

Tokio 2-Tone Sunglasses $550 –


Slim Shady

Janessa Leone Keaton Hat $330 –

Silver Linings


Spinelli Kilcollin Libra Petite Set of Three 18-Karat Gold and Sterling Silver Diamond Rings $4,400 – V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 99

C’est la vie

Pura Vida


Matrix Cutout Surfsuit $245 – 100 | JUNE 2 0 2 2


Shimmering Sea

Oséree Lumière Knotted Stretch-Lurex Bandeau Bikini $318 –

Pop Off


Mara Hoffman Chrishell Printed Recycled Swimsuit $295 –

Stay Young


Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 $50 – 13

Rich Reading

Jaipur Splendor by Mozez Singh $95 –


Endless Summer

Cynthia Rowley Custom Short Surfboard $1,200 –

Beach Blossom


Mara Hoffman Carla Top and Jay Bottoms Top $175, Bottoms $170 – V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 101


Visit to purchase or learn more. Photo by Oberto Gili, courtesy of Assouline


The striking ceiling of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, home to some of Milan’s oldest shops and restaurants, graces the pages of publishing company Assouline’s love letter to the city titled Milan Chic. Chic. The luxury coffee-table book beautifully details the cultural destination’s historical aesthetic with the innovations of modernity. Grab your copy and revel in the pages demonstrating its undeniable Italian allure.


Ph otography by O L L I E A L E X A N D E R , L O V E I S R A D


9 / 2 2 / 2 0 2 1

Mr. & Mrs.


A Wedding for the Ages

hen Nikhil Alexander Abuvala and Hannah Grace Alford met in 2018, it was not love at first sight. Hannah had moved temporarily from New Orleans to the coastal area of Scenic Highway 30-A in Northwest Florida to help open a new boutique in Alys Beach, just a few miles from where Nikhil, a chef, owns two successful restaurants in Grayton Beach. “During that time, Hannah met my sister through mutual friends, and they became close,” Nikhil recalls. “My sister told me about her, that she was really cool and had amazing style, but then Hannah went back to New Orleans before I got to meet her.” However, fate would intervene, making sure the pair crossed paths again—enough times that they finally realized they were meant to be. Their beautiful wedding in Italy last year is a testament to this couple’s individuality and style, and the groom shares the whole story with VIE here so we may get a glimpse of the magic.



Our Love Story

bout a year after Hannah had left to go back to New Orleans, I was invited to a Korean barbecue with a couple of chefs and a Korean man showing us how his culture traditionally cooked food. Lo and behold, Hannah was there. I wasn’t quite smart enough yet to figure out that when my sister informed me that Hannah was going to be there and that I needed to meet her, she meant a little more than just saying, “Hi, nice to meet you, bye,” which is what I ended up doing. As a chef, I was just super excited about the food! Hannah was super not excited about the way I had introduced myself. So she moved on, and I stayed clueless. Finally, another year rolled around, and Hannah and I had run into each other at a couple of other events and were at least a little friendly by that point. However, an awful accident pulled us together, with a little help. Hannah had gone to the springs north of here with friends and used a rope swing to jump off a tree into the water. To her misfortune, the rope wrapped around her arm and hung her just above the water, tearing some tendons in her arm! She needed to go to the hospital, and no one was sober enough to drive, so my sister called me. One bouquet of flowers, two Reese’s cups, her entire medical history, and a few homemade dumplings later, we started to fall in love. 106 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

I proposed pretty casually during the first week after Hannah and I moved in together. She had a rule that she would never move in with someone until she was engaged. And then COVID-19 came, and that craziness really put the pedal to the metal because Hannah was still living in New Orleans. In March of 2020, New Orleans was becoming an epicenter for COVID, and Florida was closing its borders to Louisiana. So when that announcement was made, Hannah dropped everything, packed only one bag, and crossed the state line just before the police barricades went up. It was hectic and almost like the Wild West, but she made it. The next day was the total opposite, with the most beautiful weather I felt like we had ever had on 30-A. We went for a beach walk and had rosé with the sunset, and then I cooked the first dinner in our home. I asked Hannah if she thought it was a perfect day. She said yes, and I said, “Let me make it even better,” and I proposed. Her reply was, “F***ing finally!”

“ I asked Hannah if she thought it was a perfect day. She said yes, and I said, “Let me make it even better,“ and proposed.

Our Venue Ceremony: Chiesa di Santa Caterina – Santa Caterina Church, Pienza SI, Italy Reception: Locanda – Bagno Vignoni SI, Tuscany, Italy We spent quite a while looking for a wedding destination. Hannah loves the mountains, and I want to be by water, so we started looking for places that met both criteria. We ended up choosing Lake Como, Italy, and went ahead and hired wedding planners based there that we found on the Green Wedding Shoes website. Then COVID pushed everything back. The venues were no longer available, so our wedding planners went on a road trip through the rest of Italy to find us a place. It was crazy, as they were sending us all of these great options, but ultimately, a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in the middle of Tuscany stood out to us. We

decided to book Locanda and put down a deposit. The next night we went to a dinner party and ran into some old family friends who, when we were telling them about deciding on Italy for our wedding, interrupted us to tell us we had to stay at a bed-and-breakfast in Tuscany called Locanda! It felt like it was meant to be. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 107


Our Wedding Plans

Honestly, putting on an international destination wedding in the middle of COVID was pretty stressful. It felt like every decision we were making was just a possibility and not finite. With the constantly changing rules and regulations for travel, we weren’t sure if the wedding would happen until just a few weeks before! Some of our family members were being rerouted on their way to Italy, and we weren’t even sure they were going to make it. We had to rely heavily on our wedding planners because we couldn’t travel there before the wedding at all, so they mediated every decision. For the decor, we knew we wanted to keep it simple, with lots of neutrals and colors in the flowers and grasses that would complement the landscape while staying true to the colors we surround ourselves with back home—terra-cotta, ivory, and blue. My suit was a vibrant green with soft whites and gold, while Hannah’s dress was ivory, and she carried a dried-and-fresh flower bouquet, which matched the massive arrangement at the front door of the church. 108 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Our Wedding Day September 22, 2021 Sticking to tradition, we were in separate rooms leading up to the wedding day, so when we woke up in the morning, we met in a private room and had a quiet espresso together. With all the craziness of the wedding and the challenges of juggling family and vendors, this was the first time alone we had together since we had arrived in Italy the week prior. This peaceful moment before the beginning of the big day was really special, and the sunrise over the Tuscan hills and the serenity of the farmland made it perfect. We gave each other a small kiss and then separated. We had decided that instead of doing a first look, we would write letters to each other and exchange little gifts right before we walked down the aisle.

“ Dinner was followed by dancing under the stars and the cutting of a traditional Italian cake, millefoglie, which was prepared by the chef before our eyes.

We had a few snafus getting to the church. A family of fifteen baby piglets and three mother pigs blocked the road as the wedding guests and I ventured to the church. It took almost fifteen minutes to gently persuade them to move along—it was truly the Italian countryside! Meanwhile, the bride, maid of honor, and photographer, following us in an Excalibur, took a wrong turn in town and got a little lost navigating without phones with a non-English-speaking driver. Finally, we all arrived and rushed into the church. After that, it felt like everything moved in slow motion, with just the two of us. Bride and groom. “I do, I do.” After the ceremony, our dozen family members headed back to Locanda while we finished taking photos. We arrived later in the Excalibur and were greeted by our guests with champagne and shots of Don Julio. Dinner was prepared by a Michelin-trained chef from the heart of Tuscany, and a string duet played traditional Italian music, with an “Uptown Funk” harp remix and other contemporary songs thrown in. We ate outside under a pergola with custom-made chandeliers, Italian linen that matched our tablecloth, porcelain dinnerware, matching floral arrangements, and a perfect view of the Tuscan hills on all sides. As we reminisced with our siblings and family about the magical day, we were delighted to have a full moon rise over the hills, as dramatic as sunrise, to brighten our evening. It was such a beautiful sight to experience. Dinner was followed by dancing under the stars and cutting a traditional Italian cake, millefoglie, which the chef prepared before our eyes.


annah and the ladies grazed on the most beautiful Italian aperitifs and sipped on rosé while getting ready. One of the highlights of Hannah’s time getting ready with the girls was when her mom gave her a butterfly brooch and pearl hairpin to add to her bouquet (from her grandmother, who passed away the year before) along with a childhood drawing that she had sent to her grandmother of her future self in a wedding gown. It was very on point, emotional, and so sweet. My brother and I took a short trip to a nearby winery and purchased a few bottles to commemorate the day, including a few twelve-liter bottles to save for a later anniversary. We then met up with the other men and had a few beers. I got to FaceTime with my ninety-five-year-old grandmother, who was in India, and was able to get her blessing just before we walked down the aisle. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 109


Our Honeymoon

“ Still wanting what we had initially hoped for in Lake Como— Como—surrounding ourselves with water and mountains— mountains—we drove south to spend the rest of our honeymoon in Positano at Le Sirenuse.


ur first night was spent at Borgo Santo Pietro in Tuscany. It is a five-star resort set in a beautiful garden estate where we filled the day with couples massages, painting lessons, and a six-course dinner paired with local wine. It was the perfect setting, in the most perfect place, and by far, the only regret we had the whole trip was not staying longer. We even found an in-ground trampoline hidden between an old cypress and a sunflower garden, where Hannah relived her childhood, if only for a moment. Still wanting what we had initially hoped for in Lake Como—surrounding ourselves with water and mountains—we drove south to spend the rest of our honeymoon in Positano at Le Sirenuse. Set in a ceremony of stairs, Le Sirenuse was charming, with beautiful views from its perch grasping at the side of a cliff to the water several stories below, with the most adorable streets in between. We set up home base there and traveled to all the fantastic nooks and crannies along the Amalfi coast, climbing the Path of Gods trail through the mountains, cruising in old wooden boats, zipping between rock islands, and sipping on Aperol spritz.

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Special Thanks Locanda in Tuscany Elvis from Tuscany Drivers Borgo Santo Pietro Le Sirenuse Wedding planners: Benevent Planner Catering: Il Silene Florals: Evelina Florence Videography: Gilda Fontana Photography: Ollie Alexander of Love Is Rad A huge thanks to our families who came across the globe to celebrate with us: sisters Ahna, Gabrielle, and Ivey; brother Ravi; parents Jairaj, Bill, Jim, and Becki. And thank you to Nikhil’s assistant, Sash, who was the glue holding everything together back home.

Steak | Seafood | Sushi | Pizza | Dessert | Cocktails Private Rooms and Full-Service Catering Available.

Firefly Restaurant & Lounge at the Shoppes of Edgewater Panama City Beach, Florida

850.249.3359 •

PROJECT: VIE Magazine Headquarters, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida ARCHITECT: Gerald Burwell


114 Logan Lane, Suite 4, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 | (850) 231-6377 Florida LIC AA0003613

MODERN COASTAL CHIC Furniture, Art, Decor, Pots, Planters, and Fountains 16810 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32413 | (850) 775-1227 Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10 AM–6 PM



A Swanky Stay The Langham on Fifth Avenue offers special deals to make your next stay unforgettable. Visit for more details. Photo courtesy of The Langham

Hit new heights in New York! The Langham on Fifth Avenue is a luxury hotel that offers a unique perspective of NYC. In addition, the sophisticated hotel offers special deals to make your stay even more memorable, such as a one-night stay with VIP tickets to tour the Empire State Building for two. Yes, please! Enjoy an exclusive view of Fifth Avenue and Midtown Manhattan from the comforts of a luxury suite.

Love, VIE xo V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 115



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Visit THIRTYAVENUE.COM details 12805 US Highway 98 East • Inlet Beach,for Florida 32461

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Bon appétit!

The Noce di Cocco cocktail at LAVO Ristorante is made with Bacardi Superior Rum, fresh pineapple, hibiscus, lime, and Red Bull Coconut Edition. Photo by Ashley Randall


Is anyone in need of a picture-perfect, refreshing drink? That’s always a yes from us! Unwind, dine, and be of good cheer at LAVO Ristorante in LA. The new hot spot is located along the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. From signature cocktails to dramatic iterations of the classics, the drink menu superbly complements the restaurant’s Italian inspiration. A fruity cocktail topped with a spicy hint of habanero is the right way to start the weekend.


Bon appétit!

Lost Pizza Co. is a Mississippiborn franchise with twenty-four restaurant locations around the Southeast.

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A Real


Getting Lost in Good Pizza

Interview by ADDIE STRICKLAND | Photography by ROMONA ROBBINS


izza is one of the few foods almost everyone loves—it’s cheesy, delicious, and a weekly staple for many. But for Lost Pizza Co. owner Brooks Roberts, pizza is more than just a beloved dish; it is a way to bring families and communities together. Roberts is bringing a fun and vintage environment where everyone is welcome. Lost Pizza Co. boasts a menu with variety and character unique to each restaurant location. What started as a childhood dream became a franchise reality, and Lost Pizza Co. now provides delicious signature pizzas and dishes across the Southeast. Roberts and his business partner, Preston Lott, grew up in Indianola, Mississippi, in the kitchen of Pea-Soup Lott-A-Freeze. They always dreamed of owning a restaurant of their own and could often be found cooking up a mess in the kitchen for friends. After graduating college, the friends parted ways, and after a few years, they found themselves seated in a local bar and pizza joint, digging up their old dream of owning a restaurant. Shortly after revisiting the goal, a building next door to Pea-Soup became available. The vision for Lost Pizza Co. took off from there! V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 119

Bon appétit! ROBERTS: We definitely have a few oddball offerings like Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales. Folks from the Delta and blues travelers alike will be familiar with this Delta delicacy. Tamales are a prominent menu item in the hometown of our original restaurant, so we thought we would share them with the rest of the South! In addition, we run fun seasonal specials like a fried green tomato pizza in the summer, hot tamale cheese dip in the winter, and some crazy wing sauces. Sometimes those specials will eventually make it onto the regular menu. VIE: Are your ingredients locally sourced? ROBERTS: For the most part, no. We have some local products in each location, but having restaurants across the South has its issues. We try to use the same products at all locations to keep brand consistency and ensure top quality. VIE: How has your dream for the company changed and grown over time? BROOKS ROBERTS: When we started, we were young. We didn’t have kids, didn’t have a lot of bills, and just wanted a place in our community where you could enjoy the cool vibes and good music, get a delicious pizza, and have a couple of beers with friends—while we somehow made a living off of it! After opening our two original locations, we wanted to continue expanding. So we shifted gears and started looking into franchising. We “lost” the dog in Lost Dog Pizza Co. and became Lost Pizza Co. (to avoid trademark issues). Within a few years, we had Lost Pizza Co. locations across Mississippi. We are super proud to have twenty-four locations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, and Florida. We have four more scheduled to open this year, including one in Texas, as well as the LPC Rolling Kitchen that feeds the masses at music festivals and events across the South. We were excited to have it at the recent Moon Crush Music Festival in Miramar Beach, Florida, where Lost Pizza Co. was a sponsor this year! These days, we spend most of our time traveling between LPC stores and looking at potential new locations or working from the office instead of the restaurant kitchen. Preston and I moved our families and our franchise business offices to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, in 2016. VIE: What makes your company unique from other pizza restaurants? ROBERTS: Atmosphere and quality. We make nearly everything fresh every day, from our dough and sauces to many of the salad dressings. We use only the best produce, sliced fresh every morning. Our house cheese blend is from one of the top-rated companies in the world. VIE: Your menu offers an array of food, from pizza to tamales. Can you elaborate on the evolution of the menu from the beginning to now? 120 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

VIE: The restaurants all have a fun, vintage vibe to them. What was the idea behind that theme in particular? ROBERTS: Our original Lost Pizza Co. restaurants are in the Mississippi Delta, the home of blues music. The Delta is covered with row crop fields dotted with small blues bars we all call juke joints. They have a very cool,

Left: In addition to specialty pizzas, salads, and more, Lost Pizza Co. boasts a great selection of craft beer. Below: Each restaurant is uniquely decorated with found items and artwork by the founders. Photo courtesy of Lost Pizza Co. Opposite bottom right: Tamales are also a specialty at Lost Pizza Co., inspired by the Mississippi Delta. Opposite bottom left: Lost Pizza Co. founders Preston Lott and Brooks Roberts Photo courtesy of Lost Pizza Co.


We definitely have a few oddball offerings like Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales. Folks from the Delta and blues travelers alike will be familiar with this Delta delicacy.

dive bar-esque feel, usually decorated with a combination of local folk art and found items. We wanted our place to have a strong Mississippi Delta juke joint vibe. Preston and I are both self-taught artists (I use that word loosely!); I mostly paint in a music-influenced folk-pop style, often using old barn wood or other found items instead of canvas. Preston has a gift for turning random junk into found-art masterpieces, from entire vehicles hanging from the ceiling to giant chandeliers made from reclaimed neon lights. We provide the decorations for each LPC franchise store. In addition, we have a warehouse and workshop here in Santa Rosa Beach where we collect folk art and music memorabilia and create all of our pieces to use in the next LPC.


Bon appétit!


We make nearly everything fresh every day, from our dough and sauces to many of the salad dressings. We use only the best produce, sliced fresh every morning.

VIE: What’s the most significant achievement the company has had? Can you describe the impact that your company has had on the community? ROBERTS: Hmm, that’s a tough one. We are happy to offer communities a cool place to grab a pizza and an excellent place to work. We have a huge family of LPC employees across twenty-four locations, and we try to make sure they enjoy working at LPC as much as we do. We also strive to be a major part of every community with an LPC location, from hosting fundraisers for local schools and charities to sponsoring local youth groups and teams. For example, after Hurricane Michael, we gathered donations from Lost Pizza Co. locations in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas to provide relief for hundreds of families affected by the storm. VIE: Thank you, Brooks! We look forward to grabbing a slice very soon.


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W AT C H O R L I S T E N T O V I E S P E A K S | C O N V E R S AT I O N S W I T H H E A R T & S O U L L i s t e n o n S p o t i f y | Wa t c h o n Yo u Tu b e | S u b s c r i b e o n i Tu n e s | v i e m a g a z i n e . c o m

Bon appétit!


ZOE Experience

E a t fo r Yo u r B o d y w i t h ZO E By EMME MARTIN


ntroduced to you in VIE’s April 2022 issue, ZOE is a program that analyzes your gut bacteria, blood fat, and blood sugar responses to determine the right meal plan for you. Through its PREDICT studies, ZOE found that everyone reacts differently to the same foods—even identical twins. As a result, ZOE combines artificial intelligence with expertise from the world’s best scientists to help users discover how to eat for their individual bodies. Intrigued by the cutting-edge nature of the program, VIE’s assistant editor, Emme Martin, decided to give ZOE a try. Here’s what she learned. Emme Martin

The Testing Experience

Photo by Lauren Athalia

It began when I received the aesthetic packaging that met the prerequisites of an Instagram story post. The box included a continuous glucose monitor, a

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blood fat test, a gut health test, and the special muffins, which I was excited to try. I applied the continuous glucose monitor the next day. I would be wearing it on my arm for the next two weeks, and it would tell me what my blood sugar levels were at any time I scanned via an app on my phone. The prick was less intense than I expected, as I genuinely did not feel anything when my coworker Kelly applied it. From there, downloading the accompanying app was equally as straightforward. Over the next two weeks, I became used to scanning my monitor after every meal and analyzing how specific foods affected my blood sugar levels. It was insightful, as I realized a lethargic mood often correlated with consuming sugars or processed foods. Notably, consuming alcohol causes my blood sugar levels to drop very low— understandable but surprising. On the other hand, my

Through its PREDICT studies, ZOE found that everyone reacts differently to the same foods—even identical twins. As a result, ZOE combines artificial intelligence with expertise from the world’s best scientists to help users discover how to eat for their individual bodies.

blood sugar and energy levels were more stable when I ate healthy proteins and vegetables. I felt motivated to eat fewer processed foods because I saw the proof of their adverse effects via my blood sugar monitor. Swapping processed foods for healthy proteins and vegetables not only stabilized my blood sugar, but I was also noticing an increase in productivity and a general sense of well-being. This stability was a feeling that no fad diet had offered me in the past. The gut health test involved taking a stool sample and sending it back to the lab—very glamorous. The stool would reveal the prevalence of thirty specific bacteria in my gut that ZOE’s science uses to present a list of foods to support the good bacteria and reduce the bad. It’s like a personality test for your gut! The final test involved the special muffins, which would help determine my blood fat and sugar levels. I ate the muffins, fasted for a few hours, then pricked

my finger—giving quite the rush— and sent my blood sample back to the lab. Then I just had to wait for the results. In the meantime, I continued to complete the lessons on the ZOE app, which taught me a lot about nutrition in general.

The Results I got my results back six weeks later, and here’s what I learned. First, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that my gut diversity was low, indicating I could use more “good bugs.” I was a little concerned about the seriousness of this, as I think about myself as a relatively healthy person, but my ZOE coach assured me that the scores are highly variable based on long- and short-term eating habits, so I shouldn’t worry about it. I did have a few of these good bugs, such as Felicia, Rumi, and Violet— these are code names ZOE gives for simplicity’s sake.

According to the report, Felicia is found in 97 percent of the population and is associated with higher polyunsaturated fat and lower insulin levels. I had more “bad bugs” present in my gut than desirable, but I was confident I could make some adjustments to improve by following my plan. I also noticed that the bad bugs I had present were prevalent in a large majority of the population—making me think this might be a more significant issue in our collective food sources. My blood sugar response was based on my levels after eating the muffins. Again, it was not ideal, but this is just good information to have. A good blood sugar response links to low inflammation, sustainable energy, controlled hunger levels, and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. The ZOE app tells me which foods my blood sugar is likely to respond well to—such as sunflower seeds and cashews. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 125

Bon appétit!

I love ZOE’s solutionand education-based approach. The insights into my gut bacteria, blood fat response, and blood sugar responses were fascinating and inspiring.

The blood fat control response suggests how well my body clears fats from my blood after consumption. Good levels are linked to low dietary inflammation and good long-term health. Unfortunately, my blood fat control score was just below good. My ego is aching at this point, but I have hope for improvement! The report explained how maintaining good blood fat levels is about the quality of food choices rather than calories. In addition, ZOE emphasizes the “no food is off-limits” mentality, outlining that mixing in high-scoring foods with lower ones can help maintain a balanced diet. ZOE also encourages food diversity to promote good gut health, meaning switching it up is good.

This page and opposite: ZOE is a personalized program that runs the largest nutrition science study in the world. ZOE helps you understand how food affects your body so you can eat for your best health and weight. Photography courtesy of ZOE 126 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

Also included in the app is a list of gut-boosting foods. These are mainly intuitive, with foods such as lentils, avocados, pecans, and broccoli considered beneficial for promoting good bugs in my gut. Unfortunately, I learned that bacon is less than ideal for my gut health, and cola was a hard pass. However, one of my favorite parts of the ZOE app is that it provides alternatives for me to make better choices. I can also see entire meal suggestions based on my biology. For example, my gut must love avocados because the app highly recommended guacamole and avocado toast. I now log my meals in the ZOE app to see how my levels will respond and utilize the meal suggestions. I can also talk with one of the ZOE coaches on the app to discuss any questions or concerns I have.

Overall Thoughts I love ZOE’s solution- and education-based approach. The insights into my gut bacteria, blood fat response, and blood sugar responses were fascinating and inspiring. While the testing process can be cumbersome at times, it’s worth the result of learning about your health. ZOE is excellent for individuals who like to see the complete picture of weight loss and want to learn how to maintain good health long-term, and I cannot recommend it enough for them. ZOE is not recommended for individuals who are underweight, pregnant, or have chronic gastrointestinal conditions. In addition, ZOE recently launched a weekly podcast hosted by CEO Jonathan Wolf called ZOE Science & Nutrition, available on all podcast platforms. The podcast has already reached the top of the health and wellness category charts thanks to its inspiring conversations with top scientists to discuss health, nutrition, and gut research—check it out!

Visit to get started or learn more about the program and the cutting-edge research behind it.





Petite pause Moss-laden trees lead travelers toward a classic Southern escape in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Montage Palmetto Bluff offers guests endless opportunities for adventure with an extensive nature preserve, two picturesque villages featuring an array of inspired dining options, a riverfront marina, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. An idyllic Southern experience awaits at Montage Palmetto Bluff.


Visit to book your stay or learn more. Photo Courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff




V I E X D I G I TA L G R A F F I T I 2 0 2 2 AWA R DS PA RT Y We rolled out the pink carpet and had a beautiful evening in Alys Beach, Florida, on Friday, May 13, for Digital Graffiti 2022! A taste of Europe came to the Panhandle as our team hosted the VIE Lawn Party on the Gulf Green to celebrate the festival and announce this year’s winning artists. Congratulations, Michael Betancourt (Best in Show), Tracey Miller-Robbins (Curator’s Choice), Chris Cameron, Irene Mamiye, Keaton Fox, and Renee Silva. Thank you to everyone who came out and to our wonderful vendors who made this party spectacular: Metamorph Blooms, Bouj & Co., Reshelled Jewelry, HoneyMed, Lindsay Tobias, Nathan Alan Yoakum, Adaro Art, The Pink Rose Market, Spark Collection, Coastal Coffee Bar, Bowtied Music, Top Hat Live Sound, CC.Boone Rentals, 850 Event Rentals, Firefly & On The Fly PCB, Driftwood Wine & Spirits, and Alys Beach!

Photography by Hunter Burgtorf 130 | JUNE 2 0 2 2

La scène

Custom champagne bottles by Bouj & Co. and macarons by Firefly & On The Fly PCB

Nathan and Polly Yoakum

Art by Francisco Adaro


Lindsay Tobias

Emily Kirby of The Pink Rose Market

Digital Graffiti curator John Colette announcing the 2022 winners

Capri Monet showing off handmade leather fans from Adaro Art

Lisa Marie Burwell, Zoe Mathews, Alexis Miller, Kelly Curry, and Tracey Thomas

Conner Morrison, Suzanne Simpson, Hilary Farnum-Fasth, Katie Bast, Abigail Davis, and Rob Augustine V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 131

The Last Word

Solution on next page





Renowned cruise ship line



Indonesia’s “Isle of the Gods”

South Florida resort town which boasts Rosemary Square, a Mediterranean themed retail and entertainment center (2 words)


Largest of the Florida Keys


Wailing Wall locale


Safari-goer’s starting point


Frog sound


Beachgoers’ goals


River made famous by Shakespeare


Bird associated with the Nile River


Mountain ride


Large snake


Big name in hotels


Caribbean island


It's spotted in the jungle


Medical group, for short


Pacific island greetings


Deviled ____ (side dish)


Pipe bend


Site of the Pearl Mosque


Police radio report, for short


Enter the Dragon star Bruce


Votes against


It protects the beach against erosion


Morning time


Glacier Bay’s state


Neighbor of Fla.


French for sea


Global hotel chain


Croatian capital


__ monster (southwestern lizard)


BBQ residue


The world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall in Venezuela, ____ Falls






Have breakfast, say


Tour transport option


Mallard male


NFL scores, abbr. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 133

The Last Word Puzzle on previous page

“ ”

To travel is to live. —Hans Christian Anderson

Au revoir!

Au revoir! BEFORE YOU GO . . .

Secret Soirée by Alicia Keys, Therme Art, Superblue, and MindMaze took place in December 2021. Visit to purchase tickets or learn more about future events. Photo by World Red Eye

Superblue is a premier experiential art center in Miami with immersive works by Es Devlin, teamLAB, James Turrell, and more. During Miami Art Week in December 2021, Superblue, leading global wellness provider Therme Art, and neurotechnology pioneer MindMaze hosted Alicia Keys as she led over six hundred guests through an immersive, guided meditation and musical performance. “This one-night-only show was a beautiful display of how the arts and wellness can come together to foster deeper consciousness and explosive fun all at the same time,” shares Keys. Superblue plans to open experiential centers across the US and internationally as augmented and virtual reality platforms continue to infiltrate the art world.


P r i v at e r e s id e nc e i n A l y s B eac h , Flor id a , feat u r i n g L o e we n w i n d o w s a n d c u s t o m a r c h i t e c t u r a l m i l l w o r k b y E . F. S a n J u a n A r c h i t e c t : M c A l p i n e Ta n k e r s l e y A r c h i t e c t u r e | B u i l d e r : A l y s B e a c h C o n s t r u c t i o n | P h o t o : J a c k G a r d n e r

The PR I DE of a M A ST ER CR A F T SM A N




it’s all about the experience

850.234.1800 | | 100 Fairway Blvd. | Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Articles from VIE Magazine June 2022

1 min read

VIE Magazine June 2022