Boot Ranch

More news from Boot Ranch, the luxe private golf club and residential community we’ve been following in the Texas Hill Country: a new toque in the kitchen. Boot Ranch chef (and Abacus alum) chef Aaron J. Staudenmaier left the ranch in October to return to Dallas to join Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing in Lovers Seafood and Market which opens in the next few weeks. Fredericksburg pastry queen Rebecca Rather filled in during the transition while Boot Ranch management sought out their new executive chef – Casey McQueen. McQueen is now at the helm of the Boot Ranch kitchens, overseeing the clubhouse dining room, outdoor bar and grill and catering activities.

Click through to SecondShelters.com for the low down on what this new face brings to the table.

Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Ocean Views from Everywhere. Second floor shows Master Bedroom.

Talk about location, location, location — 202 Kaikuono Place in Honolulu is two doors away from what’s arguably the most famous piece of residential property in Hawaii, Doris Duke’s Shangri-La estate.  Both are located on the ancient lava flow “toe” that juts out into the Pacific called Black Point.  It’s one thing to say you live in Diamond Head, but to call Black Point home raises your cred exponentially. It’s been estimated that were Duke’s five-acre oceanfront estate ever to make it to market, it would be the most expensive piece of residential real estate in the state. And it’s two doors down.

This side of Black Point is at a right angle to the water, so homes face a ribbon of sand-washed coastline resting below the summit of Diamond Head.  When you live here, the best part of waking up isn’t Folgers in your cup. Of course if you needed a little caffeine, you may be able to wrest a cup away from your other neighbor, Jim Nabors.

Head over to SecondShelters.com for more fab house porn.

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That arctic blast made me long for a warm beach with a tropical breeze! Time to head for Seven Mile Island, named by Travel and Leisure as “The Caribbean’s Best Beach.” The destination I am longing for? The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, the first new hotel in the Cayman Islands in a decade. Developer Dart Realty opened the boutique hotel just this past November, and announced the launch of an affiliated residential option: The Residences of Seafire, 62 luxurious modern units in floor plans ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom abodes that share the resort’s landscaped gardens and pools, panoramic views, and open access to gorgeous Seven Mile Beach.

Click here for a peek at pics of this posh paradise, enhanced with famed interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullards’ Carribean-inspired public spaces and the stunning natural beauty of the setting on SecondShelters.com.

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What are the vistas that North Texans crave? The destinations Dallasites flock to? Our columnist Valerie Jarvie shares the top vacation home spots for our region in her year-end roundup.

Where did you go? What did you buy? What’s on your bucket list?

See them all on SecondShelters.com.

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Today, when locals hear “Kahuku” they often think of Kahuku sweet corn or shrimp from this agriculture-heavy area. But for over a century, one stretch of Kahuku was smack in the middle of history.  Now, over 28 acres of beachfront land and historic … proper historic … buildings are up for sale for $18 million by Julia Napua Fetzer of Hawaii Life Real Estate. It is by far the most fascinating piece of property on the market in Hawaii.

After researching the history of the place, friends and I dropped the top on the car and headed up north to see it in person.  What a treat to share with you …

It all began in 1899, when a group of investors at the behest of the Hawaiian King (Texas ain’t the only state that was a country!) brought Marconi wireless telegraph stations to Hawaii and formed the Inter-Island Telegraph Company. At the time it was UK-based Marconi’s first major order.  They’d read of the Marconi demonstration sending wireless Morse code signals across the English Channel. The purpose was to provide real-time communications between the Hawaiian Islands.

Surf over to SecondShelters.com for more of this captivating story.

The Backyard View at 61-753 Papailoa Road

The Backyard View at 61-753 Papailoa Road

Paradises the world over are littered with stories of people who packed up their hum-drum lives and moved to paradise only to discover it was quite different from the post cards.  Certainly a good rule of thumb for any move — “Rent first” — is doubly important when moving to costly locales you’ve not spent enough time in to really understand whether you’d be happy there.

Before I purchased my second home, I’d spent many months over several years renting in the building before the stars aligned and I purchased.  If your second home will ultimately be your post-retirement home, you owe it to yourself to thoroughly investigate.

These cautions bring me to 61-753 Papailoa Road.  Far from a typical rental at $30,000 per month, it’s the most expensive home for lease on the island. But it’s a beachfront single-family home located on the famed North Shore of Oahu … and you pay for that. The home is only available from December through March (when I assume the owners are off elsewhere). It’s also month-to-month, so don’t be pestering the agent (Kimo Smigielski of Sandwich Isles Realty) with your 2-day rental requests.

Pop over to SecondShelters.com for the rest.

Regency Exterior 1

When I say “old Hawaii,” I mean places where locals have lived for decades.  These are not the new flashy high-rises in Kaka’ako, but rather buildings like this one that rose from the ground in 1969.  The Regency at Kahala is a tall, 20-plus-story slice of Hawaii.

There are four units per floor … a one-bedroom, two two-bedrooms, and a three-bedroom unit.  There are minor differences in square footage in the same floor plan due to some units having enclosed their patios (and you know how I feel about that!).

Sunday, I braved sheets of rain to walk over to a quadruple open house that featured two one-bedroom units and one example each of two- and three-bedroom units.  My favorites were the one-bedroom and the three-bedroom units, which mostly came down to view.  These two face the water, though on Sunday they all faced the rain.

Hula over to SecondShelters.com for more …

Boot Ranch

Boot Ranch already has amazing amenities, but they’re upping the ante with new developments.

Lucky me (Lucky I?) was invited to be a guest at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg this past month, to learn details of news from the 2,000-acre luxury residential development and private golf and swim club set in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

We’ve written about Boot Ranch before. On the agenda now: an introduction to the Village Homes at Metzger Park, a condominium-like option added to the array of residential offerings here; and planned Longhorn Lake amenities: a party pavilion, tree houses and jumping rocks off the spring fed lake’s shore. A road trip was in order to check out the new features.

Check out the scoop on SecondShelters.com.