Christmastime in Dusseldorf

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Christmas is less than two months away!  Admittedly, I panicked a bit when I first realized this—there is always so much to do to prepare!  But, then I remembered how wonderful Dusseldorf is at Christmas time and all my stress melted away.  From the charming Christmas markets to the beautiful candlelight and delicious mulled wine, there truly is an amazing romantic mood during Christmastime in Dusseldorf.

Previously I shared a bit about our fantastic Christmas markets, but there are many other beautiful seasonal attractions around town.  The “Wheel Of Vision” is a giant Ferris wheel that provides a birds eye view of Dusseldorf.  This is a particularly romantic spot once all of the Christmas markets are open and the holiday lights are strung throughout the city.  Add in Christmas music playing in the streets and there is truly something special about sitting back and enjoying this ride.

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If you prefer more action – no problem, there is another great attraction around Christmas:  The ice rink!  Located in the middle of the Christmas market at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, a 450 square meter ice rink is erected for the public to enjoy.  It never feels more like Christmas than when I take in a few laps while relishing in the aromas of roasted almonds, cinnamon and chocolate being sold by the holiday vendors.

I am looking forward to welcoming you the Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel this Christmas season.  Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about what other holiday activities the city has to offer—I promise there are lots!

Weihnachtszeit In Düsseldorf

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In weniger als zwei Monaten ist Weihnachten! Zugegeben, als ich das realisierte, geriet ich ein wenig in Panik – es gibt doch noch so viel zu tun! Aber dann fiel mir ein, wie schön es in Düsseldorf zur Weihnachtszeit immer ist und mein Stress verschwand. Die reizvollen Weihnachtsmärkte, der schöne Kerzenschein und der leckere Glühwein, in Düsseldorf herrscht eine wunderbar romantische Stimmung zur Weihnachtszeit.

Letztes Jahr habe ich Euch schon mehr über unsere fantastischen Weihnachtsmärkte verraten, aber es gibt noch mehr weihnachtliche Attraktionen in der Stadt. „Das „Wheel Of Vision“ zum Beispiel ist ein Riesenrad, welches nur zur Winterzeit einen spannenden Blick aus der Vogelperspektive auf Düsseldorf verspricht. Besonders romantisch ist es, die Fahrt zu genießen, wenn die Weihnachtsmärkte bereits geöffnet sind und die Stadt in ihrer Festtagsbeleuchtung strahlt. Aus den Straßen schallt Weihnachtsmusik herauf und es ist wirklich etwas besonderes, sich oben zurückzulehnen und die Fahrt mit ihren Eindrücken zu genießen.

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Wenn ihr mehr Spannung bevorzugt – kein Problem. Es gibt eine weitere Attraktion in der Weihnachtszeit: Die Eislaufbahn! Platziert in der Mitte des Weihnachtsmarktes auf dem Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, erwartet Euch eine 450 Quadratmeter große Eislaufbahn, die frei zur Verfügung gestellt wird. Dort ein paar Runden zu drehen und dabei genüsslich die Aromen von gebrannten Mandeln, Zimt und Schokolade und was die Händler an ihren Ständen anbieten wahrzunehmen, das ist für mich Weihnachten.

Ich freue mich schon, Euch im Breidenbacher Hof zur Weihnachtszeit zu begrüßen. Fragt auf jeden Fall unsere Persönlichen Assistenten nach weiteren Weihnachtsaktivitäten in der Stadt – ich verspreche Euch, es gibt noch so einige!

Creating Holiday Traditions at Capella Pedregal

Capella Pedregal

December is around the corner and as every year, I am in anticipation of everything beautiful that this festive month will bring.  My holiday traditions used to include making a snowman with my friends, spending the Christmas with my family and enjoying my mom’s delicious cuisine, and then celebrating New Year’s eve with friends in a snow cabin, skiing and enjoying the white winter.

After moving to Cabo San Lucas 6 years ago, I have created my own holiday traditions.  White Christmas became a sunny holiday with the beach, pleasant weather and snowmen in the sand.  I love holidays here at Capella Pedregal resort as well.  We welcome the entire December with beautiful festive decorations and ornaments, and – perhaps this is just my impression – there is something solemn and joyous in the air.  I love the special food and beverages our culinary team prepares for the season.  Some of my favorites are traditional rompope, our home made eggnog, Mexican hot chocolate with a spicy touch, Christmas punch, buñuelos (crispy fried treat is like a sweet tostada sprinkled with sugar) and of course turkey, which here in Mexico we eat traditionally for Christmas.  During the holidays special events take place and festive menus are served in all of our restaurants.  Many of our residence owners enjoy their Christmas feast in their unit, prepared by one of Capella Pedregal’s chefs.

Capella Pedregal

My absolute favorite Capella Pedregal tradition is the arrival of Santa Claus, who doesn’t have a sled, but rides in on a Harley Davidson!  This has been part of our resort traditions since our opening, and is beloved among our guests, especially the youngest ones.  Santa or Papa Noel, drives through the Dos Mares tunnel flanked by his helpers, who also ride on shiny Harley Davidson motor bikes.  Along with him, Santa brings a big bag of presents- something for each of young guests.  Once all of the kids have received their presents and taken photographs with the Santa, I look forward for my turn.  You’re never too old to get excited about Santa’s visit, right?

I love the new traditions I have made for myself, and I hope you can join us at the resort and create your own holiday traditions at Capella Pedregal in sunny Cabo San Lucas.

Creando Tradiciones De Navidad En Capella Pedregal

Capella Pedregal

Diciembre está a la vuelta de la esquina y como cada año, estoy ansiosa de todo la belleza que este festivo mes acarrea.  Mis tradiciones navideñas solían ser cosas como hacer muñecos de nieve con mis amigos, o pasar Navidad en familia disfrutando la exquisita cocina de mi madre, y después celebrar la Noche Vieja con los amigos en alguna cabaña en medio de la nieve, esquiando y disfrutando el clima invernal.

Después de mudarme a Cabo San Lucas hace ya 6 años, he tenido que crear mis propias tradiciones navideñas.  La “blanca Navidad” se volvió una soleada fiesta en la playa, con un agradable clima cálido y “muñecos de nieve” pero de arena.  Así también me encantan los festejos en Capella Pedregal.  Damos la bienvenida a Diciembre con hermosas decoraciones y ornamentos, y tal vez sea esta sólo mi impresión –hay un aire de solemnidad y felicidad en el aire. Me encanta todos los alimentos y bebidas característicos de la temporada que nuestro equipo culinario prepara durante estos días.  Algunos de mis favoritos son el tradicional rompope, el chocolate caliente mexicano, con una pizca de picante, el ponche navideño, los buñuelos, y por supuesto el pavo, el cual se acostumbra en México cenar en Navidad. Durante las fiestas, hay lugar para varios eventos especiales y menus festivos que se sirven en todos los restaurantes.  Muchos de nuestros dueños de residencias disfrutan de un banquete de Navidad en sus residencias, preparado por alguno de nuestros chefs en Capella Pedregal.

Capella Pedregal

Pero mi tradición favorita en Capella Pedregal es la llegada de Santa Claus, el cual en Cabo no tiene el típico trineo, sino que llega montando su motocicleta Harley Davidson! Esto ha sido parte de nuestras tradiciones.  Desde que abrimos las puertas del resort esta ha sido una tradición que año con año se ha ganado el corazón de nuestros huéspedes, especialmente de los más pequeños.  Santa o Papá Noel, conduce através del túnel Dos Mares al lado de sus ayudantes, los cuales también montan sus motos Harley.  Junto con el, Santa trae una gran bolsa de regalos –algo para cada uno de nuestros pequeños huéspedes. Una vez que cada pequeño ha recibido su regalo y tomado fotos junto a Santa, espero mi turno.  Nunca se es demasiado adulto para emocionarse por la visita de Santa, ¿verdad?

Sin duda amo las nuevas tradiciones navideñas que tengo, y espero que nos puedan acompañar en el resort para crear sus propias tradiciones navideñas en Capella Pedregal en nuestro hermoso y soleado Cabo San Lucas.

 

Halloween In Washington DC

United States Capitol Historic

With Halloween just around the corner, Washington, D.C. has a great deal of festivities and celebrations planned for all ages!   Before you ask Google what’s happening for Halloween during your stay, I highly suggest asking your Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant.  After all, that is what they are here for!  Your Personal Assistant will happily curate every imaginable aspect of your stay, even arranging spooky ghost excursions tickets and transportation!   I sat down to speak with one of our Personal Assistants who gave me some incredible ideas for what to do for Halloween in DC.  And some of this is insider information that you won’t find anywhere else!

Boo at the Zoo- National Zoo

Boo at the Zoo
October 25th-27th: To commemorate the National Zoo’s “Boo at the Zoo” 15th anniversary, designers have created a special coloring book that will be handed out at the event.  Children ages 2-12 and of course their parents are invited for a trick-or-treat animal tour extravaganza complete with entertainment, animal demos, traditional chocolate candies, and healthier options for parents, including wholesome honey sticks, apples, and granola bars.  Your kids can also look forward to receiving fun activity books and glow in the dark tattoos.  These unique treats and items won’t be found anywhere else in the city and neither will South African Cheetahs!

United States Capitol Historic

Capitol Hill Haunted Tours
Capitol Hill is considered one of the most haunted sites in Washington, D.C.  This brand new 1 ½ hour walking tour features authentic documented ghost stories of places like the Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, Supreme Court Building, and concludes at the U.S. State Capitol Building.  The stories involve famous historic figures and connect to trials like the Lincoln conspiracy, public executions at the Supreme Court Building, and ghost stories at the Press Gallery stairs. This tour is open nightly through mid-November to children and adults!  It is truly a perfect way to experience Washington, D.C.  hands-on and immerse yourself  with non-fabricated researched ghost stories, accompanied by tour guides in Victorian costumes.

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Giselle Ballet Performance at The Washington Ballet
Capella Washington, D.C. has an exclusive partnership with The Washington Ballet.  Experience a more personal understanding of this dramatic, romantic, and ghostly spirits ballet by requesting access to private weekday studio rehearsals, backstage passes or personal interactions with Artistic Director, Septime Webre.  Choose from five performance dates beginning Wednesday, October 30th-Sunday, November 3rd.  This is the perfect date night or family activity to celebrate Halloween.

 

Aren’t you ready to celebrate Halloween?!  Be sure to request further details from your Capella Personal Assistant.  And remember, they are also happy to offer assistance with ticket purchasing, transportation and reservations for each of these events!

How to Make A Day of the Dead Altar

Day of The Dead

This year I have decided to follow the Mexican tradition and create my own altar for Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead.  In Mexico, Day of the Dead is a holiday where we celebrate life, and honor the loved ones that have passed away.  If you haven’t visited Mexico during this holiday, you might be surprised to see how festive the celebrations are!  There is lots of food, bright colors, and special decorations, but my favorite part of the celebrations are the altars we create for our deceased loved ones.  This year I will be creating an altar for the first time, and I wanted to share with you some things I learned about them, and tips how to create your own Day of the Dead altar.

Day Of The Dead

Day of the Dead altars are very personal and are typically devoted to family members or other loved ones.  However you can also find altars erected in memory of celebrities.  While certain elements are found in most altars, the most important thing is to make it create something personal and meaningful for yourself.

What you will need:
- Table or a tall surface
-  Tissue paper (papel picado) – Traditionally we use purple, white and pink, which symbolize pain, hope and celebration
-  2 boxes
- Black cloth – To cover the table and boxes
- Photograph of the honoree
- Pictures of saints
- Candles from beeswax or paraffin – You need at least 4
- Candy skulls and skeletons – You need at least 3
- Incense – In particular White Copel
- Food – Including Day Of The Dead Sweet Bread, Fruits, Tamales and other deceased favorites
- Water and/or other beverages
- Yellow Marigold flowers
- Salt in a small bowl/dish
- Other personal objects and belongings that represent the honoree

Creating Day of The Dead Altar:

  1. Cover the table or surface with tissue paper or black cloth.  Use papel picado to decorate the area behind the altar.
  2. Place 2 boxes, covered in tissue paper on the table. The important thing to note is that the altar needs to have 3 levels (that’s why we use 2 boxes).
  3. Place the photograph of the honoree on the altar’s highest tier  and also include the images of the chosen saints.
  4. Place objects that the person liked and/or their personal belongings on each tier of the altar.
  5. Decorate the altar with candles in different shapes and sizes, to light the way for the spirits.  4 candles should be placed on the top tier, to represent the 4 points of the compass.
  6. Add candy skulls and skeletons (Las Catrinas) to your decoration.  3 skulls on the second tier represent the holy trinity.
  7. Include traditional Day of The Dead sweet bread (Pan de Muertos).  Legend says this bread is eaten by the deceased when they come to visit their loved ones.   You can also add tamales and mole.  For children leave sweets and fruit.  The fruit, along with the deceased’s favorite food, symbolize the earth’s bounty.
  8. Include a glass of water, in case your loved ones are thirsty.  Besides water you can add any other beverage that your loved one liked.
  9. In a little dish or bowl add salt to season the food and for purification.
  10. Burn incense, especially white copel, to guide the dead to the altar.
  11. Adorn the altar with yellow marigolds (we call them cempasuchitl, flower of the dead) to represent life’s brevity.

 

At Capella Pedregal we will celebrate Día de Los Muertos with Pan de Muerto and Chan Luu’s Trunk Show.  Employees will also compete to create the most impressive altar.  I am excited to create my first altar this year!  Will you be creating yours?  Don’t hesitate to share it with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

If you need inspiration, visit my  Day of the Dead Pinterest board.