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Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California is an over-the-top lodging experience

Experience a different vibe each night at the Madonna Inn. All 110 rooms at the Inn are decorated differently, from an African Safari to the Amazon Jungle. Don't miss the 5,000 square foot Gold Rush Steakhouse on the grounds with its pink tablecloths, pink receipts, pink sugar and pink flowers. You can choose a romantic honeymoon suite with European-style luxury, the novelty of a Western, Old Mill or Merry-Go-Round theme or an unforgettable stay in one of their famous, all-rock grotto rooms with waterfall shower. The Caveman Room features rock walls, floor and ceiling, and a waterfall for a shower. This room boasts a waiting list that's a month long!

For nearly 50 years, the charm of the Madonna Inn has been one of California's landmark attractions. The Madonna Inn offers an unforgettable experience with fine dining and entertainment, unique overnight lodging, banquet rooms, exclusive clothing, gift and wine shops and limo service. Located on the grounds: 110 rooms each with a special theme, a picturesque European-style pool and state of the art exercise room, a celestial Day Spa and the largest convention center on the Central Coast.

Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience and discover what distinguishes the Madonna Inn from every other hotel destination in the world.  

Madonna Inn exterior
Madonna Inn at night
Madonna Inn pool
Anniversary Room
Bridal Falls Room
Cabin Still Room
Carin Room
Caveman Room
Irish Hills Room

Brief history of the Madonna Inn

The first 12 rooms were completed December 24, 1958, and were given complementary for that night's stay, to a very surprised group of travelers. An additional 28 rooms were quickly built, making a total of 40 rooms available to travelers. Demand for public areas to handle the rooms encouraged the Inn in April 1960 to start construction of the main inn, which was to eventually consists of the wine cellar, bakery, coffee shop, dining room, the cocktail lounge, banquet rooms, ladies' boutique, men's gift shop, and the gourmet shop. The 110 unique rooms now exist, each decorated differently to suit many individual tastes: rock rooms, waterfall showers, rock fireplaces, European fixtures, and fine furnishings to name a few. The Madonna Inn sits on approximately 2,200 acres and the large rocks used in the construction came from these surrounding acres. The leaded glass work throughout Madonna Inn and the large etched glass windows in the coffee shop, almost things of the past, were custom made for the Inn. The leaded glass inserts in the windowed area facing the large fireplace are of particular interest, since each insert illustrates one of the various Madonna enterprises: construction, lumber and cattle. The hand-carved marble balustrade in the Gold Rush dining room came from the Hearst Castle. All copper and brass items were etched and/or shaped from original designs and fabricated right on the premises. The 28-foot gold tree fixture in the main dining room was made from electrical conduit left over from building projects as well as from left over remnants of copper. Several wood carvers were brought in for the specialty work of hand carving the doors, beams, railings and the many other carved adornments you see here at the Madonna Inn.

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Posted by Amanda, in Travel.

After an 8 month delay in its release, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finally opens today

Warner Bros. offers the following plot summary of the new movie:  Emboldened by the return of Lord Voldemort, the Death Eaters are wreaking havoc in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that new dangers may lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. He needs Harry to help him uncover a vital key to unlocking Voldemort's defenses, critical information known only to Hogwarts' former Potions Professor, Horace Slughorn. With that in mind, Dumbledore manipulates his old colleague into returning to his previous post with promises of more money, a bigger office, and the chance to teach the famous Harry Potter.

Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry's long friendship with Ginny Weasley is growing into something deeper, but standing in the way is Ginny's boyfriend, Dean Thomas, not to mention her big brother Ron. But Ron's got romantic entanglements of his own to worry about, with Lavender Brown lavishing her affections on him, leaving Hermione simmering with jealousy yet determined not to show her feelings. And then a box of love potion-laced chocolates ends up in the wrong hands and changes everything.

As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof with far more important matters on his mind. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie poster

MPAA rating: PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.

Run time: 153 minutes

Continue reading "After an 8 month delay in its release, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince finally opens today" »

Posted by Amanda, in Television and Movies.

Two by Two Cookies by Artisan Biscuits are an elegant update to traditional animal crackers

Artisan Biscuits' Two by Two is a range of natural biscuits for children, cut-out into charming animal character shapes reflected in each box illustration. The adorable, charming shapes of the cookies and the package illustrations are inspired by classic pairs from children's literature. The soothing and delicate vanilla biscuits take its duo from Edward Lear's The Owl and The Pussy Cat. Other inspirations include The Hare and The Tortoise and The Lion and The Mouse. Made by hand in England from organic ingredients, like Madagascan vanilla, pieces of Yorkshire toffee and real strawberry juice, the biscuits contain no hydrogenated oils, additives or preservatives.

Artisan Biscuits Two by Two Animal Crackers
Artisan Biscuits Two by Two Animal Crackers cat and owl

Sources: Cool Hunting; Amazon; igourmet

Posted by Amanda, in General.

Jewelry designer Jack Vartanian has a celebrity following for his gorgeous creations

Brazilian Armenian jewelry designer Jack Vartanian has cultivated a celebrity following including Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Gisele Bundchen,Taylor Swift, Selma Blair, Ciara and Julia Stiles to name a few. Gisele has described his goods as "cool and sophisticated at the same time." "I am fashion-conscious when it comes to jewelry and am inspired by what I feel a woman needs to finish a look," says Vartanian.

Vartanian comes from a family of jewelers who specialize in precious stones. He grew up recognizing the best stones and diamonds throughout the world, and as a teenager started working in the family business. In 1999, he branched out on his own and currently has four stores in Brazil and a US boutique on Madison Avenue in NYC. His pieces don't come cheap, but they're a feast for the eyes nonetheless.

Jack Vartanian bracelet

Posted by Amanda, in Jewelry.

Miley Cyrus poses for Elle in Rodarte over-the-knee boots and a Prada dress

Miley Cyrus takes the cover of the August 2009 issue of Elle magazine. Inside the magazine, she poses sexily in a Prada dress and Rodarte over-the-knee boots.
Miley Cyrus in Rodarte boots and Prada dress

Posted by Amanda, in Clothing, Shoes.

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