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Proud Sister City Puerto Vallarta Showcases 
Santa Barbara Gift

by Bonnie Carroll
Puerta Vallarta, Sister City to Santa BarbaraPuerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico became a Sister City to Santa Barbara in 1972. It is a beachside community, and in many ways is quite similar to Santa Barbara.  Over the years, citizens of both cities have enjoyed active people-to-people contact.  A variety of exchanges have taken place to build strong links between the two citPuerta Vallarta, Sister City to Santa Barbara- Dolphin fountainies.  Yearly activities include a well attended winter sojourn to Puerto Vallarta, and guests from Mexico are hosted in Santa Barbara homes in August during the annual Fiesta celebrating Old Spanish Days.  With the help of various community groups many community humanitarian projects have been undertaken, including a special gift from the people of Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara presented Puerto Vallarta with a copy of the Dolphin fountain that sits inPuerta Vallarta, Sister City to Santa Barbara front of the Pier on Carrillo Boulevard. This beautiful art piece gift is currently the center of a lovely seaside art walk. This area is always filled with tourist, not unlike Santa Barbara's ocean front area.
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican resort city on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahia de Banderas. It is the government seat of the Municipality of Puer Ignacio Villartia - Founder of Puerta Vallartato Vallarta which comprises the city as well as population centers outside the city. The city was named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of the state of Jalisco.
Since1984 this central area of the Mexican city has completely changed, and is very beautiful. The historic cathedral that was once the center of everything is now surrounded by new structures with modern architecture, including a new city hall.
Puerta Vallarta, Sister City to Santa BarbaraShops filled with everything from silver jewelry to fine art line the busy tourist area, and restaurants are too many to count. The quality and style of Puerto Vallarta has changed in every way. This is a wonderful destination for beach and art lovers.
Today, there are also more fine dining restaurants than can be counted here. Not only the elegant hotel dining Puerta Vallarta, Sister City to Santa Barbararooms offer gourmet faire, but some of the small out of the way spots like Le Kliff, which hangs gracefully on the edge of a cliff, and Mestizo represents some of the finest cuisine anywhere in the world. La Palapa, a charming on the sand, beach restaurant offers the best of everything; ocean breeze, outstanding waiters and truly delicious Mexican dishes and beverages.
Enjoying the best of beach pleasures, including artistic food and design, is the link between these two beautiful cities, and it is understandable that there is such a familial feeling for Santa Barbara visitors who stroll the art walk in Puerto Vallarta. It has a feeling of home. For information visit: www.rivieranayrit.com or www.mexicotourism.com.

Stuttgart Twinkels in Germany’s Car Crown,
Porsche Museum to Open

To the delight of fans and drivers of German cars around the world, Porsche will be opening a new museum at the end of 2008. Complementing the enormously successful Mercedes Benz Museum which opened two years ago to great acclaim, the Porsche Museum will be yet another reason to jump off the Autobahn and visit this city dedicated to cars and their creators.

The new Porsche museum currently being built in Stuttgart Zuffenhausen is set to bring the history of the sports car producer to life more vividly than ever before. Ferdinand Porsche, who once worked for Daimler, was the inventor of the legendary compressor sports cars as well as the sporty serial and racing cars such as the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupé and the Porsche 911. Ferdinand Porsche also constructed the Volkswagen, or, "Beetle," in 1936. The new Porsche temple, designed by the Vienna architects Delugan Meissl, will house over 80 legendary cars, some of which have never before been seen in public. The current museum on the Porsche property will remain open until the new museum is ready in 2008. With around 20 vehicles on display, it gives visitors a small preview of the upcoming fascinating exhibition of more than 100 years of Porsche history.


A special part of Stuttgart’s automobile history and lore is the former workshop of Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. It was here where the two famous engineers realized their vision of individual mobility: a transportable universal motor for vehicles on water, on the land and in the air. The reconverted garden house of Villa Canstatt was a refuge for Daimler and Maybach where they worked day and night in strict secrecy to make their dream come true. The workshop ambience, drawings, documents, photographs and models, such as the first motor boat from 1886 and the Wolfertsches air ship from 1888, are on display.


Exciting history from Mercedes Benz can be discovered in its futuristic building with its double helix structure. Two tours - one which follows a chronological development of the legendary marquee, while the second features spectacular vehicle collections - show off the company’s complete automobile collection. Highlights include the first automobiles developed by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler, the first serial diesel car, the ‘silver arrow’ which wrote many glorious chapters of the Mercedes Benz racing history, and the Mercedes Benz 300 SL coupe which became a legend for its wing doors.


Serious car fans seeking a hands-on, close up experience with car production, from the body shop to the final assembly stage, can book tours at the Porsche and Mercedes production centers. Book early as the tours are in high demand and cancellations are rare:

www.porsche.com and www.mercedes-benz.com. For those who have no luck, Porsche at least offers online tours at www.porsche.com

Kim Vo Salon at The MirageConsidered the “King of the TV Makeovers,” Kim Vo is introducing his talents and unique ideas to Las Vegas with the December opening of his salon at The Mirage. Vo worked among an elite team of experts on the television series “Extreme Makeover” and appears regularly on E! Network's The Daily 10 as a guest beauty expert.

“I am excited to be a part of such a dynamic Las Vegas resort,” Kim Vo said. “With this new salon, I have the opportunity to incorporate special services that enable the client to enjoy the best and most innovative beauty concepts ever offered.”

Vo’s ideology, the concept of total beauty, will be expressed through a complete menu of services, his skillfully trained staff and unique salon features. A focal point within the salon will be the Beauty Bar, which will feature wigs, changed monthly, to reflect the latest hair colors and cuts for the season. Hair extensions, in assorted colors and made famous by some of the hottest celebrities, will have its own area within the Beauty Bar. Those who want to go from short to long will have an opportunity to preview the options as well as receive consultation from a salon artistic director, trained by Kim Vo, to offer the expertise necessary when creating a new look. Each client can “play” with these different looks before selecting the one that best expresses his or her style. 

To complete the new look, an expert makeup artist will encourage clients to choose a look for the season and will educate them on the proper method of application.

Salon services, which will reflect the “try it” philosophy of the Beauty Bar, will include treatments to maintain hair health. A retail area will feature a full collection of the newest Kim Vo products for the hair, specialty apparel and unique accessories and gifts.

For male guests, a barbershop will provide men’s grooming products along with traditional barber services.

Vo, whose personal clients include Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, Teri Hatcher, Kirsten Dunst and Jenny McCarthy, will train all stylists and colorists to ensure that his high standards are maintained. 

Designed by Architropolis, the Kim Vo Salon will use a high contrast palette of black, charcoal, taupe, white and silver. Starting with an expansive new glass storefront, the design promises to excite and exhilarate guests as they enter the high-energy salon.

Scott Sibella, president of The Mirage, said, “We continually search out the best of the best for The Mirage, and Kim Vo’s salon will be a perfect complement to all the other offerings we feature. Kim’s expertise in the field and his creative ideas will combine top-quality service with new and unexpected surprises for our guests.”

During the past couple of years, The Mirage has undergone numerous enhancements including The Beatles™LOVE™by Cirque du Soleil, new restaurants, a wine lounge and exciting nightlife venues. The Kim Vo Salon is part of the continuing transformation of this AAA Four Diamond resort.

For more information or to book a service, call (702) 791-7474 or visit www.mirage.com.

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved