Archive for December, 2013

From my cozy in NYC to yours

Posted: December 27, 2013 in When in NYC
I love my cozy upper east side 70s

I love my cozy upper east side 70s

No unpacked suitcase on the living room floor.  No stacked up brochures, magazines and promotional items all over the place.  Gloria just came and the house is so clean!!!  In preparation for my friend’s arrival, I threw a bunch of shit out, yet somehow that damn EXPLORE book still sits on the coffee table!  I can envision it now: me with an ink pen, silently jotting down (WTF do people jot?) on the blank serene glossy page with quotes like ‘Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures’.  Thanks Lovelle Drachman.  You too.  😉   It moves on to the wisdom of Zachary Scott, ‘as you grow older you’ll learn to find that the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do’.  Hmmm.  As I grow older there so many things I do already, in fact I wish I did less of, that maybe I regret now. 😉  Then we’ve got good old Ralph Waldo ‘don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions….,’ clearly this book is not for me, and he’s a bit weird anyway. 😁  But I’ll be interested in hearing how it’s going for Tina, after her late-night Amazon purchase of EXPLORE from chez Liz a couple days ago. 😘  So funny… and for the record, I have no regrets!  I don’t think…

I’ve spent ‘christmas’ in my cozy NYC space and am so happy.

Coming home from the crazy of Cannes and the cosiest ever Rütihof trip, I was somehow expecting chill time… until I am meant to go get me some new year auntie pampering.  I don’t know why I thought this as my calendar was completely full.  Then Monday, the day after I got off the plane and had my chocolate fun with the upper east side family: I had nothing but client events, days and nights, all leading up to when Tina arrived!  Which was about one hour before I (figuratively) was hit by a bus that was being struck by lightening as it hit me. 😳  But there is no time to sweep off the leaves or to check the blood pressure in my world!  Drinks with a client in one hour and a shower was a must at that point!  😉

How do you like that melodramatic visual!!?  😄  At least I’m getting it out of my system by way of public written nonsense.  It’s better than new year eve in-person nonsense.  😘  Translation is that I had some unexpected news from a close friend that is neither good nor bad, with no time to process. I chose to internalize it and was doing the best I can the last couple weeks.

Rather than ponder how weird it was that a bus being struck by lightening could possibly hit ME, at random, I am back to exercise, cooking in with my swiss ingredients and bizarrely entertaining nights out with Moët on ice just for me, and meeting actual rock stars… who call the next day!  Just another day on the upper east side.  I actually got so mentally cleansed that I signed paperwork, wrote new contracts and am doing five new fabulous trips for people I thought had maybe moved on.  Giving my Four Seasons penthouse cohorts some really lucrative business!  And sending ‘folks’ (not my parents!) 😄 to my beloved Park Hyatt in Zürich.

Days like the last two, after the crazy piles on top of the crazy piles on freaking top of that, it makes me realize that the integrity I carry ultimately brings good back to me.  In so many intertwined ways that I honestly can’t even pinpoint. After chaos and reflection I always come out feeling proud of myself… in the ultimate sense.

All of these trips I do, this lifestyle that seems so extravagant… it does matter.  The money I spend and how I choose to embrace my life, for right now, is amazing and it does somehow all come together when envizage is suddenly ‘selling’ again, to clients that were just otherwise distracted.  And selling well, based on all the experiences and travel (and crazy that has ensued as a result) in 20-m’er f’er-13.

Oh yeah and just because it’s now funny to me at least: as I was being hit by the lightening bus on second avenue… the VP randomly text me about my birthday. What the hell.

Where’s that damn EXPLORE book.  Let’s close out with a good one, let’s embrace 2014 with a positive attitude and winning state of mind!

Henry Miller: ‘All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.’

I quite like that actually.  But what the F am I supposed to write on that blank page in this book?  “I like you”?  “xoxo”?  “Awww that’s a good one Henry!” with a smiley face?  😆  Tina?

I’m so happy to be laughing, looking forward to jammies with my aunties… and planning for Milan with the most hilarious ‘band of gypsies’ to date.  Oh yes, please listen to Peter Shaw… he’s really quite talented.

Happy holidays!  xxx

I think my Swiss friends ‘rufied’ me

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Travels
Traditional homemade Swiss fondue, with BREAD only, white wine and kirsch

Traditional homemade Swiss fondue, with just bread, white wine and kirsch

Coming off a full-on week filled with hard work, parties and relationship-building in Cannes, I had no real idea what staying with my Swiss friends in a suburb of Zürich would entail.  But I knew it sounded cozy, immediately.  After having had an amazing catch up with my special Swiss friend from 15 years ago just one week prior, I anticipated a weekend in her world would be a bit magic.  We had such a lovely tour of Zürich together, enjoyed a little glühwein in the Christmas market, after sharing coffee, desserts and our ‘stories’ along beautiful Lake Zürich.  It was like no time had passed and I was so pleased they were available to stay and have dinner at the infamous old armory building that is a restaurant serving amazing traditional Swiss fare.  Thankfully my friend’s husband ordered for me, and it was delicious!  The rösti (Swiss hash browns) are to die for.  And gluten-free!  But that was the end of my gluten-free Swiss experience.  It was really fun, we had so many laughs so quickly, an education on Wilhelm Tell and wow who knew the Swiss are so freakish about Christmas!!?  I say that with absolute love and I miss you dearly CH, I really do!  It was absolutely fascinating and delightful.  Then we said our auf widersehen and sie nächste woche.

Last Friday in Cannes, up until, through and after the moment I departed for l’aéroport, was not without its share of loops to close up.  I don’t really think that is an actual phrase, but I know you know what I mean.  😉  I honestly was so comfortable and happy to be headed out to Rütihof and be in a completely different environment than I had just come from.  Now I think I might have turned Swiss.  I’m not kidding!!!  I’ve used Aromat (yes, mostly the gluten-free, NOT original) every single day on everything I eat.  I have Kaltbach Gruyére and Appenzeller cheese in the fridge.  I bought milk (me!?) and had Ovomaltine instead of my Red Bull.  I know how to make the two little dots over letters on my iPhone and I got a Swiss tattoo by someone I think is very brilliant.  He is well-known and books out a year+ in advance, but he walked my dear friend down the aisle when she married a few years ago.  I suspect he really did me a kind honor by making the time.  xxx  Three kisses for Switzerland, as well as Holland!  I love living this life.

I realized from the weekend before that the Swiss are all very kind, attractive and proud.  It’s intoxicating, to be honest.  I arrived in the evening and took a taxi out to Rütihof, West Baden, to the beautiful home of a friend that once lived with me for five or so months.  There is something about the Swiss, at least the ones I met, that just draw you in.  The experience I had, with their friends and in their home is overwhelming to reflect on.  I genuinely feel honored, sufficiently rufied and ready for my next trip!  We laughed and laughed and shared such a small but powerful sliver of time together.  After my long hard week, I was so excited in the taxi, I What’s App’d that “I just passed Ausfahrt!!!”  My friend replied “it will be less than 10 minutes” but asked where was I?  I wrote back: “I just said: Ausfahrt!”  We laughed so much, as ‘ausfahrt’ is the word for ‘exit’ on the highway.  🙂  I know more about Switzerland groceries now than I do NYC’s!  😀  My Swiss friends were all so kind, everyone.  Every single person I met, except the poor guy who was having his entire skull tattooed whilst we were at the amazing Rock N Roll Tattoo in Lucerne.  He didn’t talk much.  But when his toes would flinch or tighten up, you couldn’t help but feel empathy.  The whole experience throughout the weekend, was so much fun, and it is such a special memory I will never forget.  I just now look forward to more of them.  Uh-oh… the husband and Lucerne friends will start to worry “she’s not going to keep us up until 1:00am” or “make me keep my shop open late” AGAIN, is she?  I will behave, but I did fall in love with your culture, pride and love of life.  Yes, I will insist we try broccoli with the fondue, go for jogs in the forest and ‘break bread’ with more of your people.  I miss it!  😮

Back home in Manhattan, where it feels like 13 degrees outside and the city braces itself for snow and ice tomorrow, well… it’s pretty cozy to be home.  My ten days abroad were full of surprises and chaos – and nothing but the good kind.  It just gets so full on, it’s nice to have a bit of down time.  Yet there is so much to catch up on and check off the 2013 list.  Work is ramped up pre-holiday, yet I cannot wait for my girlfriend, kind of a natural New Yorker, to be kicking it (not curbing it!) at my house all next weekend!  I might turn her Swiss too!  🙂  It will be so fabulous to have a close friend here, to experience my NYC at Christmas time.  I hosted a few of the ‘locals’ in my house on Christmas Day the first year I lived here.  Seems like ten years ago.  Everyone is in good spirits, my locals are all so jolly and supportive.  We will have a really nice low-key time and I feel so honored anyone would even want to fly from sunny Santa Barbara to 13 degrees just to hang out and watch David Letterman.  Let’s make our own glühwein!!!  Sur La Table is across the street, they can guide us.  Hurry up and get here!!!  xxoo (yeah I know that’s your thing, girl)

The world really is not that big.  I made 1K the other day.  It might sound like the goofiest, most selfish thing, but I earned it and it is kind of an amazing accomplishment.  Whether or not its maintainable will remain to be seen, but to have done it feels kind of awesome.  American high five! 😉  I have worked with 1K people my whole life and it’s nothing you can buy.  It must be earned.  Here comes the end of 2013, entering into my 5th year of business and 40th year of age as a 1K, well… in my world, that’s sayin’ something!  And it said it loud and clear: ‘6 GLOBAL UPGRADES DEPOSITED’.  Oz, Oman and we’ll just have to see where else.  Perhaps Mumbai.

Happy holidays!  Hope everyone is somewhere as cozy as me right now.  xxx


The International Luxury Travel Market. Sigh. How can anyone look at this photo, taken this morning during my run along La Croisette in Cannes, and not wish to stay here for the rest of their life!?

I am currently listening to Bob, chilling out in the Swiss Lounge at the Cote D’Azur aéroporté, and having an early-ish white wine. What a week!!! I’m an emotional basket case. Well… not really, but wow what a week it’s been! I don’t even know where to start. But I ran three times this week along La Croisette and it was such a luxury. 61 degrees (16C) and if you remember… last year I was struggling with a severely twisted ankle. 😳

Let’s start with next year’s challenge: the arms. My most radiant Four Seasons friend has the arms that Angelina Jolie would envy. My equally beautiful new Four Seasons friend has sent around a traveling exercise regime so we will compare next year, our bicep/tricep improvements in hopes that we can live up. Stay tuned: December 2014! The Four Seasons rented a flat just above Chanel and across from the Palais des Festivals and were so unbelievably kind to welcome me (and friends) ALL week. The brilliant Four Seasons masterminds behind this concept, with their Milano DJs and chefs were so warm and so ridiculously fun, no words really can describe. Thank you. I love you FS. Love. Unconditional love.

Ah and just like that the gorgeous (as I’ve found all the Swiss to be!) Park Hyatt rep just sat beside to join me with a wine! I love life more than I can describe. x

Mrs Jetsetter was so sorely missed in Cannes. But the eccentric connections I’ve relished in, due to our friendship, truly is global. I spent the week with my own internal ‘gorgeous tall Brit’ matters, but was so fortunate to have a full load of meetings, friends and connections that simply put… will forever be! So much fun, so much work too… such an amazing conference.

My new-ish friend, soon to live in Muscat, was also in Cannes and thanks to Mrs Jetsetter, we were fully connected come ILTM. I ‘glommed on’ to her COO last night. I already knew I’d be celebrating her 36th birthday with her, but her COO didn’t know that. He was hilarious all week… shooing me off his booth not realising I’m a buyer and have my share of ILTM insider connections! The COO Hugh Grant (smug Brit) look-a-like and I bumped into one another at the end of the show. That’s when I glommed. 😁 What a lucky man! Even more interestingly, as I glommed and scouted new booth locations for his gorgeous Omani hotel … we collected even more glommers. 😉 En recherche for champagne, I was offered a sip of $600-a-bottle vodka… well, duh. Um yes please! I looked at her badge and seriously, can life not get any more insane… standing before me is a woman I’ve known (of) for a couple years but had never met in person despite our efforts to. Yeah. Lives in Jersey. What the hell. We were all shocked and the little posse we had collected was so interconnected and random. This particular rep was equally shocked as she was one week shy of sending me an exclusive invite to St. Barthélemy based on the suggestion of my host travel agency owner, as being THE right person to be hosted. I repeat: what the hell!!!? Needless to say, my first trip of 2014 has now been officially confirmed!

Long story short… we had the most amazing last night in Cannes. The Four Seasons penthouse, to the cobblestone streets of old Cannes where ‘Mushroom Soup’ insisted this lovely couple keep their café overt pour juste us, and then to a teensy joint where this gorgeous black expat was singing the blues (not really) and we were able to finally have a proper ‘happy birthday’ sung to Demi and mais oui, en plus bottle of vin rouge! Avec le chef aussi!

This morning during my jog… I was just in awe of the past week. Zurich with Petra, as though no time (uh-hem… 15 years!) had passed, then ILTM and the loads of incredible friends I’ve collected. I’m amazed! I awoke to texts from my lovely Roma hotel GM, breakfast with the gorgeous tall Brit and a looming car service at noon. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it!?

However, back to Zurich I go with my new hotelier friend on the same plane and headed straight to Baden. I cannot describe (it brings tears to my eyes) how fortunate I feel to be welcomed into Petra’s home this weekend. Tonight we will meet their friends at a local Baden (Switzerland not Germany!) restaurant and then spend tomorrow experiencing her home, just as she did mine in 1998!!! Apparently her husband has an authentic fondue recipe to die for and we will have the most amazing time. White wine and fondue. C’est magnifique!

Life is so full. It overwhelms me with happiness. ‘You’all call it a moment, I call it life’ and ‘I just wanna feel this moment’. Love to all. As chaotic as my life has been this week, both personally and professionally, I am feeling massively blessed. x