Delicately beautiful, jewel-like flower bouquets are displayed like artworks under glass in Portugal's Azores islands in the Atlantic. But these artworks have a slippery secret: They're actually made from fish scales. Scales are washed thoroughly, sorted by size, dyed white, pink, yellow or peach with natural materials - using, say, hibiscus flowers or coffee - and then trimmed and polished. Sewn with metallic thread and studded with pearls, the scales are glued and meticulously arranged into bouquets or "paintings" by skilled artisans. The origin of flores em escamas de peixe (flowers in fish scales) is hazy: It is believed to have originated as a hobby of fishermen's wives in the mid-19th century. Today you can buy the fragile creations at Sol Mar gift shop in Ponta Delgada on the biggest Azores island, São Miguel, at the airport and in small jewelry shops. Contact the local tourist office to arrange a visit to a regional craft school, where you can watch the artisans in action. visit-azores.com
We’re not close followers of ABC’s The Bachelor, but we can’t help but notice when the show visits an island we know well. If you want to give your honey the full Bachelor experience (or get to know your top three better), here’s a quick guide to all of the episodes' spectacular backdrops. — Zach Stovall
Confession: we can't get enough of the monkeys in this video. (Just watch.) Even cooler: This one-day road trip film is part of a project for videos that are going into Indonesia's taxis. Worth the ride? We think yes.
Grand Cayman is one nonstop flight from 14 U.S. cities (think about boarding a plane in Detroit or Philly or Dallas at 7 a.m. and landing here before lunch). All the major cruise lines also stop in Grand Cayman. Pass the tourist kiosks and follow us. This is how we do Cayman.