Archive for the 'Summer vacation' Category

Portugal’s Best Beaches

In a country known for it’s beaches it’s hard to choose just a few. But in the spirit of summer, my family and I have put together our recommendations for Portugal’s best oceanside retreats.

Guincho Beach

Guincho This gorgeous beach just north of Lisbon is our sentimental family favorite because it’s where both my husband and children grew up. The North Atlantic water is freezing cold and the shore is wild and rocky. But it has the best windsurfing in Europe and is the epitome of raw beauty. Because of the wind, you have to pick your Guincho outings carefully. But if you wait for a calm spell, you will be richly rewarded.

Head to nearby Adraga Beach for lunch at the Restaurante da Adraga. Stay in Sintra

Praia de S. Joao Caparica

Praia de S. Joao  Known in English as St. John’s Beach, this is an area of over ten different beaches just across the Red Bridge that connects Lisbon to Caparica. The beaches stretch on forever and each has a lively bar scene. But because they are so close to Lisbon they are also very crowded on the weekends. So enjoy these gems during the week.  The spectacular beaches of Alfarim are less than 20 kilometers away.


Comporta  One hour south of Lisbon is a hidden paradise that is starting to get attention outside of Portugal, including a glowing article in the New York Times. This is where we shot most of our Spring/Summer 2011 catalogs. In addition to stunning beaches, the area is known for its distinctive thatched cottages.

Quinto do Lago

Quinto do Lago and Ancao These are our two favorite beaches on the Algarve, Portugal’s southern coast. It’s easy to see why the entire area is a holiday destination for Europeans. The beaches on Ria Formosa Nature Park are also a must see. 

I hope you get a chance to enjoy your favorite beaches this summer.  To help get you in the spirit, selected boy’s and girl’s swimsuits are now on sale.

Have a relaxing summer filled with happy family memories.



Stock up on tennis classics

I’m certain I’m not the only person who watched the French Open over the weekend. Now that my children are older, one of the joys of the game is that we can watch–and play–together as a family.

Classic tennis whites are a Papo d’Anjo staple. Since summer is here, it’s time to stock up while supplies last. For girls, we offer a comfortable Sleeveless Pique Tennis Dress. Pair it with our super soft  Tennis Panties and a Tennis Cardigan. Or choose a Wrap Tennis Skirt and a Polo.

For boys, our Short Sleeved Polos work perfectly with the Boy’s Pull-On Tennis Shorts. And our Tennis Pullovers are terrific all year.

Welcome summer!

Safe Fun in the Sun: Protect your family’s skin

Now that summer break is almost here, our children will be spending a lot more time outside.  Here are some safe sun tips from The Environmental Working Group.

The best sun protection, of course, is a Hat and a  Beach Cover-up.  But good sunscreen is essential to safe outdoor activities. The Environmental Working Group recommends 129 products that contain zinc and titanium, which are the right choice for people who want UVA protection without any of the sunscreen chemicals that are considered to be potential hormone disrupters.

You can view the entire list, but here are a few my family and friends recommend.

  • Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50
  • Earth’s Best
  • Mustela Sun Cream for Sensitive Areas, SPF 50
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Lavender Sunscreen, SPF 50

Summer’s Last Gasp: Harbor Springs, MI

Paige, Billy, Libby, and Bo Howenstein enjoying the long summer days in Harbor Point, Michigan.

The places we spend our childhood summers are special to us for our entire lives. For Los Angeles-based Papo d’Anjo trunk show director Angela Howenstein and her family, that place is Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Harbor Springs is a classic midwestern summer retreat. Located only 45 minutes from Mackinac Island (home to the historic Grand Hotel), its a meeting spot for sailors from all over the world who understand the unique challenges and thrills of Lake Michigan regattas.

One of my favorite places in Harbor Springs is an area known as Harbor Point. No cars are allowed–only bikes or horse-drawn carriages. It’s quiet and charming and a safe and easy place for children to explore on their own. Make sure to check out the beaches with their turquoise water and enormous sand dunes. Truly a magical setting.

Harbor Springs is a cottage culture, where families have gathered for generations. But if your family prefers hotels, the place to stay is the Colonial Inn.

I know that this time of year can be hectic and that many moms are busy filling out school forms and buying supplies. I hope you get at least a moment to savor summer’s waning moments.

Family Vacation Insider: Wisconsin Travel Tips

Patrick and Edward enjoy a perfect Wisconsin summer day with their cousins Emma and William.

Every one of us has special places that no matter how old we are evoke the essence of our childhood summers. For me, that place is a remote lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Even though I’ve lived in Europe for almost twenty years, I return there with my family each and every summer.

Wisconsin is a huge state and it’s impossible to capture all of its charms in one blog post. But when I asked my brother Peter for recommendations for wonderful family experiences, he reminded me that part of Wisconsin’s appeal is that it always makes the most of its many lakes–from tiny rural ponds to the sweeping city vistas of Lake Michigan.

My family spends most of our time in Wisconsin waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, listening to the loons, and reading and relaxing on the dock. But when we do venture beyond the confines of our own special place, here are some of our favorite lake activities:

  • Biking on Madeline Island: This tiny dot of  meadows and forest is a true gem. Located just off  the southern shore of Lake Superior, it’s an idyllic throwback to the time when families escaped the heat and diseases of the cities to breath cool crisp air and enjoy summer days that stretch almost to 10 p.m. Swim at Big Bay State Park and immerse yourself in the island’s Native American history with The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich’s enchanting children’s novel.
  • Apple and cherry picking in Door County: Wisconsin is shaped like a mitten–which is appropriate when you consider that the state is covered in snow for months on end. The thumb of the mitten is Door County, a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. The region is covered in fruit orchards, which makes it a perfect place for late summer and early fall visits. Be sure to check out the many historic lighthouses.
  • Outdoor concerts and movies at the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace: Madison is one of America’s most lively and beautiful college towns and this outdoor hotspot overlooking Lake Mendota is the heart and soul of the campus. Don’t forget to sample the ice cream at Babcock Hall Dairy Store, the gourmet ice cream outpost run by the university’s Department of Food Science.
  • The Milwaukee Museum of Art: Set on Lake Michigan, the highlight of the museum is the stunning Quadracci Pavillion. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it perches over the lake like a giant graceful bird opening its wingspan.

What are your family’s summer traditions? Share them on our blog and post photos on our Facebook page.

Summer Holiday Insider: Portugal’s Stunning Algarve Coast

In Portugal, summer means the beach. For years, my family has headed to the country’s incredible Algarve region for our holiday. It’s the perfect place to relax in the sun, eat delicious seafood, and enjoy the slower pace of coastal life together.

The tiny town of Cacela Velha is known for its oysters.

Some of our favorite inside tips:

  • The beautiful coastal town of Tavira, known for it’s pristine beaches, orange and fig groves, and classic whitewashed buildings.
  • Cacela Velha, a rustic jewel box of a fishing village that’s famous for its delicious oysters.
  • Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and surrounding beaches.
  • Golf at Quinta do Lago, a development that’s also home to the superb Hotel Quinta do Lago.
  • Lunch or dinner at Gigi’s, which gets our vote for best beach restaurant in the world. Also in Quinta do Lago.
  • Stay at Monte Velho, a boho chic bed & breakfast that’s perfect for a surfing holiday.
  • Swimsuits and coverups for boys, girls, and dad from Papo d’Anjo, of course.

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