Yes, a week in Aruba with my husband was a much-appreciated interruption of everyday life. We sunned, we slept, we indulged in good food, ice-cold cocktail concoctions, and recharged our physical and emotional batteries.
Aruba is a very small island in the far southeast Caribbean. It is fine white sand beaches hemmed in by clear turquoise (remember, turquoise is also Color of the Year 2010) waters. It is also scorching, searing, on-the-equator hot. Surviving this heat meant seeking out a much-appreciated thatch-roof beach palapa everyday.
Here in southern California, palapas are a common yard decoration. They are a suitable shade option here where bird of paradise and palm trees grow naturally, however, in other climates they may seem out of place - or perhaps just a bit too casual for your particular outdoor space and design theme.
For those who want a chic outdoor shade option or just a cleaner look, check out these gorgeous shade options by ZGallerie. Whatever fun shade option you choose for your outdoor environment, just remember to keep the style and color scheme cohesive with what's in the indoor rooms where a sight-line goes through both the indoor and outdoor areas. (Oh yes - also, don't forget the SPF and the blender!)