I am writing this as I am watching a winter blizzard swirl around our courtyard, depositing a foot of snow on our deck. While it looks pretty from here, and I am toasty and warm inside, I know that the rest of the week will be centered around avoiding black ice patches, grey slush puddles and – heaven forbid – yellow snow. Yuck. Clearly I'm more of a warm weather person. Remember the polar vortex three years ago? My winter blues got so bad that I booked us a last-minute spring break vacation to Tulum. We left JFK on a frostbitten windswept afternoon, and landed at midnight in Cancun. Locating the car rental place took a while, and then came the two-hour drive south during which I attempted to keep my husband - the designated driver - awake and focused with sugary Mexican sodas. It was pitch black when we arrived at our little hotel cabana on the beach, and we all collapsed on our beds. The next thing I remember was being tickled by a ray of sunlight, filtering through the palm trees. I had awoken in paradise! The powdery soft pink sand, the warm sea water, the soothing breeze... this was exactly what the doctor ordered. For the next 5 days, we practically lived outdoors: we swam in cenotes and underground caves, explored the Mayan ruins, lounged on the beach and had breakfast, lunch and dinner on a bamboo-covered porch with the most spectacular view of the blue ocean. Spending time outdoors decreases stress, boosts your immune system, energizes and increases happiness.
Now is the time to plan what your outdoor living will look like this summer. Fortunately, Calico has a wide assortment of indoor/outdoor fabrics: colors stay strong and vibrant under intense sunlight. Because of their durability and easy-care, these performance fabrics are the perfect choice for high-traffic indoor spaces as well: think family rooms, kid spaces, breakfast nooks, playrooms... Need to make up new pillows and cushions? Calico can do that as well, just ask.
Now that that's been sorted, I will go back to watching Enchanted April, my favorite guilty-pleasure movie, guaranteed to put me in the mood for warmer weather. Here a few more summer movie suggestions, along with some outdoor decorating ideas and matching indoor/outdoor patterns of course!
Moonrise Kingdom: Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, two twelve-year-olds fall in love and run away together. Drenched in nostalgia and vintage appeal, it will make you long for the innocence of childhood, when it seemed the summer would last forever.
Out of Africa: Bring out the kleenex for this romantic saga about real life Danish baroness and writer Karen Blixen's adventures in Africa.
A Room with a View: set during the Edwardian Era, a young girl takes a classic grand tour of Italy and promptly falls in love with the “wrong sort” - funny and romantic, and also starring the formidable Maggie Smith a.k.a. the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey.
To Catch a Thief – Hitchcock's most glamorous crime caper, starring a radiant Grace Kelly, and filmed in 1955 on location at the French Riviera, the chicest of locations for this entertaining comedy/thriller.
A Passage to India: an epic historical drama, set in 1920's India, based on the novel of the same name by E.M. Forster (who also wrote A Room with a View).
Jaws: Steven Spielberg's tale of a man-eating great white shark terrorizing a New England beach resort was one of the first summer blockbusters, and remains a classic to this day.
Death on the Nile: Agatha Christie's murder mystery, which takes place during a luxurious cruise on the Nile river, has had numerous interpretations. I prefer the 1978 version, starring Angela Lansbury and Mia Farrow.
The Endless Summer: the 1966 quintessential surf movie, filmed in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii among other places, is a cult classic and possibly the ultimate summer movie. Enjoy!