Archive for the ‘Past Trips’ Category

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

It’s exotic Switzerland!

Posted: November 29, 2013 in Travels

Call me crazy but seriously, every time I say I’m headed to Switzerland, immediately the image of John Leguizamo as Toulouse Lautrec in Moulin Rouge saying “it’s set in Switzerland… exotic Switzerland!” comes to mind. I cannot get started on ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ though. 😉

Have just arrived Park Hyatt in Zurich, after a lovely Thanksgiving flight on Swiss, and already had a site and meeting after having slept maybe two hours on the plane. Am sitting at The Lounge now for a glass of red and salad. At this stage I would not describe Switzerland as exotic, but it’s early! Going through customs on arrival was possibly the easiest and speediest country I’ve ever entered. Hiring a taxi was equally as simple but crazy exxy: $59 Swiss-francs for a fifteen minute ride! There were swans in the lake even though it is 0 Celsius outside. The Christmas markets and ‘Lucy’ are in full swing. ‘Lucy’ is an illumination show of 12,000 crystal lights along Bahnhofstrasse during festive season. I will enjoy that tomorrow with friends. For today I think I will just have lunch, work a bit, enjoy that massage the chief concierge arranged for me, and chill the duty-free Vueve in anticipation of my long overdue reunion with Petra. A good friend described Zurich as possibly more dull than Brussels, which I completely disagree with to start, so I am keen on finding an argument to his criticism! Sadly though, given the year I’ve had and the week that lies ahead for me in Cannes… there most likely will be no kissing of any bartenders!

Petra is a woman just two years younger than me, who lived as a foreign exchange student with my parents, during one of my breakups when I moved back home. Petra and I spent many a night outside smoking cigs and drinking white wine, contemplating the unfairness of our very early 20s. I’ve not seen her since. It will be amazing and surreal to see her tomorrow. Then I will have the extreme pleasure of staying with she and her husband the week after my conference in Cannes, in their hometown of Baden. Very exciting! Although we’ve matured from cigs and cheap California wine to exercise and champagne. 🙂

Next week will be rather interesting. All my 2013 worlds will collide. Dubai, the VP, ‘don’t-piss-in-the-pool, Paul’, the Unnicknameable Brit… just to name a few! And scheduled periodic (or is it paranoid) phone calls from NYC for ‘check-ins’. Sigh. Oh wait… I’ll be in Cannes for a conference. I’ll have 15 twenty-minute long meetings each day, most will have the champagne flowing. Plus, I’ve now been ‘hand-selected’ by ILTM for a small focus group. I’m gauging about three invite-only cocktail receptions per night. I promised only to be at Armani’s, of course… because who can resist the Armani Boy!? 😉 I will have to work nights anyway when America wakes up. Will be interesting to see how it all pans out. I left my vitamins at home 😦 all separated out in my new perfect pill sorter.

Note to self: no drunken blogs and no jacuzzis!

Hope everyone in America had a fabulous holiday yesterday. Mine was quite nice exercising and packing at my leisure. I must admit, I could get used to receiving messages like I did: “happy thanksgiving to my favourite american”. Aww. x

As I sit in this popular Lounge… I have to admit, Swiss guys are pretty freaking hot!

London Called

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Travels

“The one thing I know for sure… is that it isn’t easy.” You have to love the misunderstood Marilyn Monroe. Yes, I do realize that I create my own chaotic consequential experiences, but I continue to believe that the man who never takes risks never achieves anything.

I’ve grown to a point where I feel like I have earned the right to choices. Ha… what a big slap in the face that whole theory was! Maybe I want a personal life? I’m sure several people would balk at that statement as though I live nothing but a personal life. Which is so not the case! Misunderstood. There is a whole world that manipulates and operates and pulls puppet strings within the deepest spots of my cranium, but I try. I try so hard. There are so many demands on me with work. Yes, self-inflicted, but I want to be normal, whatever that means. Well… actually, I’m quite content being abnormal. But sure, I would like to date from time to time. But not douche bags, the shallow and selfish men of my world. Given my free spirit, career and impulsiveness, when opportunities presents itself, I am definitely a risk taker. What have I got to lose FFS!!? At 43 this show is over 😉 so I may as well make as much use of it now as I can. I feel like after 4+ years of infallible dedication to Envizage, perhaps it’s time I pay some attention to the outside world a bit. Of course shedding those unwarranted 15 pounds has helped my cause!

I work really hard and because of that I am fortunate. But last night, as I sit on the marble bathroom floor in tears talking to my #1 client at 3:00am London-time, while the Unnicknameable Brit lay fast asleep in the bedroom (aka: passed out, thankfully), I was deeply affected by the reality I’ve created for myself over the last 4+ years. Don’t get me wrong! I love my life and am genuinely truly proud of myself… but feel a bit arrogant saying that out loud. And I’m just not arrogant! Nor am I one to comply. As in: comply with what ‘society’ deems compliant. I want to live, I want to love (and I do love so, so much… my people you know who you are), but I am physically strapped to being available 24 hours a day, and subjected to intolerable processes that I simply have to suck it up and tolerate. Quite frustrating, to be honest. Especially given my history of self-achievement and awareness. I don’t want to suck it up! I’ve never wanted to suck it up! My favourite teacher of all time can attest to that, and often points out that is one of the things (I think!) he admires in me, even still. I digress to whining. “It’s not all chocolate boxes and roses, it’s dirtier than that”.

On a completely higher note, I decided to utilize my unused ticket to London, scheduled somewhat necessary meetings, live life and be dateable in the UK. All at once. Never mind that I’ve just been to Santa Barbara for the wedding, followed by a full on week of a massively important conference for my business, in Mexico. I will never forget, “Don’t piss in the pool, Paul!” Or ‘El Presidente’. 🙂

I sited fabulous new properties, further explored a city I will continually conduct business in, and visited with several industry clients-turned-friends. I was able to meet with the designer who so articulately, through my particularness, managed to encapsulate the perfect name and logo for my business. And then go on fun dates at night! I like London! Honestly I did not encounter one, not even one, smug Brit while I here. Well… the bartender at W Leicester Square was unnecessarily a prick last night when asked where we ought to go if we wanted to dance. 😉

I feel like my work has suffered because I’ve chosen not to be a robot anymore. It’s all an evolution! But I couldn’t be happier, having come off a self-induced unexpected London week… one soap stone Buddha richer, and feeling the true love of all my Libra peeps (eternal love and thanks!), then to be managing a client’s annual event, with the luxury of Ashlee present. Then to then be seeing my entire family, sans my sister and Eddie. Does it bother me they won’t be there? Yes. Do I get it? Yes. But hey I’m allowed to be selfish too, and boo-hoo what a selfish bitch I be… trying, on top of all else, to have our entire family together. We might have to construct a paper-Eddie so we can add to the indescribably satisfying ‘everybody touch eddie’ photo series.

London was fantastic. I went running in St. James’ and Green Park one night. I adore understanding how the rest of the planet operates… just in ‘normal’ (there’s that word again!) life. I had a decadent lunch today with my dear friend at 45 Park Lane. We had a flight of steaks. Correction: we split a flight of steaks! Wagyu from Oz, American NY strip and some southern English cut. What a fabulous idea that is!!! NY portions overwhelm me! I met up with clients and industry acquaintances: old and new. Oh and I had my first ever in-room massage, I didn’t get any side-boob action this time though. It was really good nonetheless.

I was in a black taxi earlier, to Heathrow. No I did not take Paddington Express. I work too hard and carry too much ‘just in case’ luggage to be huffing it through non-escalator-equipped Tube stations to care about an extra 20 quid. I wanted to find paprika pringles for my AJ, but failed miserably. Don’t fret, I brought Flakes and other UK treats! The entrance to the airport, seemingly amidst full on construction every way I looked, struck me with Turkish Air’s destination exhibition. I WILL travel to all those places! I can check Hong Kong off the list now though. India and Bahrain have been high on the 2014 agenda… and like all my trips, they will prove beneficial in one way or another. Karma.

Love to all, see many of you next week! An NYC event, a pop-over in San Fran for my goddess Kelly… and I can’t wait to see my own drawer on Buffalo Avenue.

London called indeed. Or maybe I called London! But I do hope London’s always calling… what the hell is the point if we’re not having fun? F Tom once told me I suck the fun out. I just laugh now: eat your heart out! I am the fun factory.

(yeah maybe a stretch but it sounds really good!). It reminds me of ‘I’m the Queen Fairy’ from Moulin!

x Happy Birthday Libra nephew, I love you!


It’s Always Sunny in Santa Barbara

Posted: September 28, 2013 in Travels


There is definitely something to this whole being in ‘the house you grew up in’… especially with the luxury of having it all to myself! I feel like I’m 15 years old again when I would wish for just one solitude moment in the house. Fast forward 25 years and here I am, having spent most of my adult life living alone, yet still relishing a bit! Nothing against my mother whom I love dearly but I am happy she’s out and about and will see her in a few weeks time. But… there’s just something about ‘your parents’ house. Immediate reaction: look in the fridge. What is the deal with that!? It’s almost like I’m checking to ensure nothing has changed from when I last lived here in my very early twenties. Knudsen’s pink container cottage cheese: check! Thanks momma, for letting me crash, it’s so cozy! I just made eggs but it’s no egg sandwich. ;). It’s of course a perfect day for a jog to Goleta Beach, about 79 degrees, or 26 to the rest of the world. 🙂 Enough time has passed that it does thrill me to be home. Good old Santa Barbara… apparently the neighbour’s house was ‘tee-peed’ last night, I noticed en route to my little pop-over on Oleander Street.

I’m so over-the-top excited to be invited to my best and first boss’ (the first one that counts) wedding today. I realize my life is a bit chaotic in comparison to some, but this was an event I just could not miss. I’d have flown to the moon and back to celebrate Richard and Tony’s nuptials. I’m pretty sure Richard has a relatively significant role in making me who I am… today. What a blissful Santa Barbara day!!! The day is sure to be filled with love and chaos every which way I look. What a fantastic day ahead! So honored to be a participant.

I came home from China, with two days to spare until my girlfriend came to stay with me. Poor thing (well… sort of) had a week long of intro into my crazy, but man oh man did she fit into NYC, like a glove! We had the absolute best time: NYC sites, my friends, burgers, exercise and total contentment! I missed her (yes, me, who loves living alone!) after she left. Fortunately I am in Santa Barbara this weekend and had an amazing intro into her fabulous world last night. Honestly… getting to hang with Jimbo, the father of her kids, was like no time had passed but bless us: in a good way. Their kids are amazing and beautiful and completely embody all the best qualities (and good looks!) of both my high school besties! So fun catching up at good old Rudy’s in G-Town and then with her parents as well. So weird when everyone looks the same (or better) than we did 20 years ago. By the way, I can’t wait to see you next month, Kelly! 😉

Things have been so full on the last few weeks, since I was in China. Hong Kong was like a fairy tale at this point. It was fabulous though, and so bizarre how my network tends to unfold. I think I prefer Shanghai, at the end of the day. I failed to update immediately after that portion of the trip, and have lived several lives since, so we’ll just have to call that one a wash! Or a reprieve from my blatherings. 🙂

Awww yeah… Daft Punk! The queue to get my ass shaking and jog back to mamacita’s to get ready for this amazing Santa Barbara wedding and fabulous old school friends. Standing on the pier at Goleta Beach, I must admit to the nostalgia…

No time for reminiscing though: next week is Rosewood Mayakoba, south of Cancun. Hey, it’s a conference, I don’t choose the locations! ;). Twenty meetings per day, each twenty-minutes long. I love my job.

Happy Birthday to one of my favourite Libras. Hope you and your gorgeous girls are celebrating well. x

Big fun in little China… already

Posted: September 8, 2013 in Travels
The Shanghai skyline from Four Seasons Pudong infinity pool

The Shanghai skyline from Four Seasons Pudong infinity pool

I’m quite relieved to report that I had an uneventful Saturday morning trek to Newark. Yes… New Jersey, again! I’m a United mile whore… what can I say? I plan to use my two system-wides after making 1K this year to visit my Jetsetter in the Australian countryside in 2014. I half packed last night, which who-the-hell-knows when that was at this point, considering it’s now dinner time in China on Sunday. I was in bed at 20:00 hours on Friday (I am trying to get fluent with the rest of the worlds’ translations in weather, english, units, etc), and was up at 06:00! The only downfall of my flight was the unbearable breath of the poor sucker next to me, who, apparently likes to talk to himself. His laptop revealed Chinese powerpoint but with words like neutron and m-t atom, makes me believe he’s probably one of those really smart bad-breath people. It IS as bad as the ‘Bad Breath Brothers’ from Cabo. Remember them!!? 🙂 I don’t think they were the sharpest tools in the shed though. :/

The other noticeable observance is the fidgety-ness of the Chinese people. Please let me preface this entire trip with the blatant fact that I am anything but racist. Though, an observer at heart I remain. I remember watching a documentary on the regiment (and success!) of the Chinese culture and one segment in particular, where at certain jobs they have group stretching sessions. That’s what being on the plane was like! Funny. No, not funny ‘ha ha’ I am a beautifully compassionate and respectful soul! I absolutely brushed up on my respects for the country and even brought gifts! Which yes, I will present with both hands and a small head bow. It’s the least I could do for the insistence on being 100% pampered the moment I arrive. How bizarre is this: the General Manager of Asia’s #3 hotel, who I met in Vegas for 3.7 minutes, had me picked up at airport arrival, in their house Rolls Royce, and dropped at a completely unrelated hotel, and I am not even meeting with them until Monday!

Hard to tell from the photo, but I’m currently in a bit of a slumber at the Four Seasons infinity pool, with a glass of wine, which overlooks the Shanghai skyline, particularly Pearl Tower. I thought it would have been more lit up at night. I purposely didn’t sleep much on my flight so I’d be well exhausted tonight. My airport greeting was over-the-top so nice but then when the General Manager of my hotel came to greet me at check in and saw the Peninsula Rolls… he called with a 90-minute massage scheduled shortly after. I know it’s the Four Seasons, and I’m in a cosmopolitan city but still… not everyone speaks perfect english, so communicating preferences is just more challenging. Jena just completely dialed me in and yet the spa wouldn’t give me anything to sign for, and tips are considered offensive. Luckily I stocked up on Francois Payard from next door to JG’s for several ‘just-in-case’ thank you gifts. It’s gone over well so far. I’d say China already is a huge success!

I am not sure what type massage I was given, think it was just the jet lag massage, a mere 90 minutes but she used this hot Chinese herbal medicine cloth thing on every body area at the end, which was to die for. I did a bit of research in the last few days, to be sure I’m up on etiquette, and was under the impression things would be on the more conservative side here. So when they showed me the locker and disposable panties, I opted to wear them, whereas I’m usually pretty comfortable in the buff. Not quite sure why I even needed them as Jena definitely moved her hands around and tucked the silk overlay into them to get down to my um… well, close to that very last spine bone that is just at the top of ‘cheeks’… the coccyx I think. Then she did this whole ‘cover my nipples’ thing and did a full tummy massage plus the sides of my breasts even. I don’t care what anyone says… don’t judge me, it was one of the best I’ve ever had… and I live well beyond modesty in that realm, after my Turkish bath. For my friend who has FOUR naked men crawling up his wall, I think the spa has the same guys!

Oh! Armani Boy: I’ve got dinner in Hong Kong on the 116th floor… what floor is the restaurant (that you never took me to) at Burj Khalifa?! x

I’ve gone through my 4.5 years of testimonial emails to sift through contenders for my new kick ass website. Will be sending some of my lovelies permission requests, or if anyone has anything angelic-like and witty with praise for me and Envizage, now’s the time to send it over! Contract revisions are also ready for edit. Blog is up and will be the next project for a web designer who brought me to tears upon opening her first few concepts. Speaking of published blog, are you all following!? It’s not that complicated and these tedious emails could be a thing of the past! 😉

I’m quite excited for this week. It’s difficult to explain but my brain is always working in the future and there is just so much coming up. I think it will be fascinating. I hope I get some jogger time in. Given NYC doesn’t necessarily expect me up until about 08:00 or 09:00 hours which is flip time for me (12 hours time difference), I plan to self-spin and run daily. If Dubai has self-spinners then Shanghai and Hong Kong must as well! I have no meetings set until lunches so I’ll be up early, I hope. It is inevitable though, I predict I will get a phone call from a particular London client in a panic needing to get from the UK to some random place (like Tokyo), like tomorrow, and back by dinner time with the family. 😉 Or something like that.

No doubt I will manage just fine. Especially considering the day that Peninsula lavishly scheduled for tomorrow, after this amazing, relaxing and gorgeous entry to Four Seasons.

I like it here!!! A lot.


Welcome to the American desert

What an absolute delight, to have an early, prepared-for and drama-free introduction to Virtuoso Travel Week, in my oh-so-favorite Las Vegas.  😉  En route from New York, the crass and rather hefty passenger-mates ensure that yes indeed, it is Vegas I am headed to.  Quite hard to choke on after watching one of the most amazing international films… ever.  Anton, your mind and taste are truly beautiful and brilliant.  I suppose I should have realized that at the ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ moment we shared last year. 😉

This week is going to be chalk full of chaos, contacts and who knows what else!  Tonight alone carries with it several fabulous commitments with people I love and communicate with regularly, but don’t get to see so often.  😆  I’m super excited!  Me excited for Vegas, which I know is quite a stretch… but it’s been a full year.  I’m locked and loaded this time around. Watch out Vegas!

Earlier this week I was helping a client get to Beijing, from London… last minute of course.  Sorting through logistics of the new 72-hour chinese transit visa logistics for travel within 24 hours, quite honestly IS my idea of fun.  My life is typically random and last minute… and I just love it so much.  I never know what the next moment is going to uncover.  With this particular Brit client, as is so often the case, we tend to randomly share film recommendations and he has never steered me wrong.  It’s so strange.  I’ve barely spent much time with him in person, but we clearly share the same artistic taste! I’ve even been told he slams a red bull before pitches, just like I do before my daily exercise… I hope it’s at least a sugar free one! His latest recommendation for me, during our Beijing logistics coordination was a French film called ‘Intouchables’.  I downloaded it last night knowing full well United would not have WiFi on my flight.  And oh how I love the French.  Watch the film and you’ll know what my subject line means.  And your heart should dance with levity and laughter. I’m definitely moved. Can’t wait to watch it again without the subtitles!!! The lead character’s relation to music is so familiar to me, recently. Spinning and it’s relation to music has officially change my life, not to mention: the circumference of my thighs.

Last night at home was a bit fun.  Packing carefully, dodging wine invites from the recently resurfaced ‘boy who lives beneath me’, getting the final details on grandma’s 95th nailed, and growing more excited with the various texts from all the Saturday night Vegas arrivals which ensued, from all over the globe.  Plus I’ve got a special bonus from my very own Santa Barbara!  Can’t wait to finally meet E tonight!

In usual Liz-fashion, I’m strumming up a bit of a hurricane… already! But it just comes effortlessly. I love people, especially their differences, and I adore being in such an aware state of mind I gravitate toward those of a similar ilk, yet can still tolerate the others. Will be fun to see Hope! 🙂 I work alone from my apartment… and quite a few of the relationships I’ve focused on this last year make me feel like a whole newly enlightened person. For the girl with enough infectious energy to buzz the room up all night long (until I hit a wall and must be scooted by my armpits), this is quite the statement!

So round two of speed-dating for luxury travel awaits… in one of my least favorite cities in the world.  For those of you with upcoming travel, please know the time spent this week with travel suppliers has proven itself to be ridiculously beneficial for all of you.  Hence, upon the City of Sin I descend once again.  If you’ve got anyone or a place you’re heading to soon, now’s an ideal time to let me know!

If this fat, white haired Sodoku man in seat 1B does not stop hacking and coughing openly, I’m going to scream. Now he’s positioned himself (as he rubs his massive buddha belly) so his phlegm might be directed toward me. Nice. At least he’s not ‘sandel-guy’. There’s nothing I despise more than open toe shoes or flips, on an airplane. And while I’m at it: why do so some men feel like its appropriate to frequently adjust their penises out in the open? Note to men: It does not go unnoticed and is freaking gross. Please stop.

I am feeling in tip-top shape to see the Armani Boy, my beloved SB girl, then polish it off with a one-hour-limit casino sesh with someone I can just be myself with, so easily.  Leave the marketing schtick for tomorrow.  I hope I can collect a little posse!  Don’t worry, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to make a table fun… or how to move on to one that I can!  My Raytheon BFF’s passionate coaching will never be forgotten.  Besides, it’s all about the intuition.  We either got it or we don’t!


PS: I miss ‘my person’ already and hope your entry to Dakota went well.  Still a little ambivalent but I’ll def see you in Fargo.

PPS: I miss you Jetsetter, and thought I’d sealed the deal on your participation!  See you in December, my lovely.

Oh!!! PPPS: Baby-stepping it to the book and would love for you to follow this on A fabulous designer is twirking it soon but the content is now finally up-to-date.  More excitement for Envizage’s Liz (now say that 5 times fast!).

“Envizage’s Liz, Envizage’s Liz, Envizage… oh fuck it…”.

Burj Khalifa from Sheikh Rayed Road (I think)

Burj Khalifa from Sheikh Rayed Road (I think)

Goodbye Dubai!  I’m en route home and I’m not quite certain how I feel about it.  What a week!

I’ve lived through a few shockers and various emotions while in the UAE, in one short week.  People surprise me.  Just when I think I’ve got ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) all figured out, the curve balls start flying… and I still don’t have the reflexes to duck quickly enough!  🙂

Travel.  Perspective.  Friends.  Realism.  Love.  Acceptance.  Maturity.  Generosity.  Risk.

If I weren’t an actionary person, I don’t believe any of the above words would apply to what makes me Liz.  It might have been a few rough months – and took AJ and the ex-boyfriend to bolster my spirits and psychoanalyze me a bit, but I don’t seem to wander too far off the course these days.  I’m never quite sure who to thank properly and how to express myself well.  It’s just this wild and exciting journey, of which I am always open to, that keeps me going.  I’ll never forget ‘keep on keeping on’ from Will’s funeral.

I was reminded today (and for some reason it makes me tear up to write) about humanity in its most vulnerable form… here in Dubai amidst so much fake.  Bezu, the lifeguard at Vida Downtown really did bless me.  I had a crazily-insightful village of people help me through an intense week on several levels.  I definitely used the late mornings to my advantage while NY still slept.  And I swam a lot.  Practically every day.  It is Ramadan… no one is at the hotel pools.  And, it’s 109 degrees outside.  I don’t know… this Pisces fish needed to be in the water, and reflect.  Anyway, Bezu was so genuinely kind.  Like a kindness I hadn’t seen or felt in a really, really long time.  He’s in Dubai, on a ‘work plan’ from Ethiopia.  He sends most of his earnings to his mum and sisters back home.  He asked about my religion and I told him that I don’t believe.  I’ll admit that his infectious smile as he said “really!?” and “I’m going to pray for you” without even an ounce of judgment, question or further persecution why… it struck me.  He knew I was leaving the next night late, and said he’d be back to work (from his work-related bus from apartment or dorm-like suburb) at noon the next day.  Today I swam on and off for hours, but was thankfully still there when Bezu came back to work.  He had that lit up smile instantly when he saw me- the only blonde out at the pool in a bikini during Ramadan, but it wasn’t like that.  He had a gift for me!  He gave me a wristband, with the original flag of Ethiopia, which, apparently is controversial.  But it’s where his family’s loyalty stands.  For once, I have no words to describe how having that connection felt.  x

Much like the gang from ‘It’s Always Sunny’ would, I had a ‘plan’ for this trip.  And boy oh boy, it did not go as expected.  But that’s the bit I love about my life most.  It’s certainly not the easiest path, and to quote my heart and soul: “It takes a village”.  And to quote myself earlier tonight during my second unexpected call with the VP: “I am who I am [literal and exacting], you can either accept it, or just stop calling me.”  Sounds harsh maybe, but I don’t think he ‘gets’ me so easily.  And obviously I am sometimes not so easy.  😀  That’s why I need people who ‘get me’.  In our defense: constant time zone craziness x2 doesn’t help.

What an amazing feeling.  It took a village, but I finally got myself back.  And sure, maybe people cringe when they see my call come through during these times.  But if we don’t take risks, don’t love our friends and value their perspectives, isn’t that just a bit robotic?

Clearly, I’m emotional on-a-plane Liz right now.  And no I’m not drunk!  I had one vodka in the lounge and then was asleep on the tarmac.  I slept seven hours straight on a plane.  It was a long and enlightening week!  In so many ways.  I completely respect the differences in people, and what works for me may not be the right recipe for anyone else… but if I’ve learned anything at all these past few years, it’s the following:

1. Those who never make mistakes, typically don’t achieve much.  Taking risks is imperative.

2. The best way out is always through.

3. Karma and the bigger picture are ever-present.

4. I genuinely love my friends.

5. Life is too short to be too hard on oneself.

My week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi closed in a way I would have never imagined.  But it is so fabulous.  I’m so proud of myself and so grateful for everything the incredible people in my life have contributed to my goal.  I’ve been pushing the date out, but on Monday, I launch the new kick-ass rebrand of my company!!!  I am not perfect.  I am not as organized as I’d like to be.  But I am definitely driven.  Trust that the book dedications will likely be longer than the book itself.  x… wait a minute: ooo.  I am still always confused the x is a kiss and the o- a hug?  I had it the other way around for about 31 years, as F Tom pointed out.

On my way to the airport, something magical-like happened, after my spiritual emotionally-charged days.  Clarity at last!

Traveling these distances can be trying, as I have to manage meetings locally and then run the business at night, not to mention my clients are all over the globe anyway.  One called me at 4:00am Dubai time last night, he was en route from Seattle to Delhi and had some stupid United issues.  All I really did was take the call and empathize.  Then tonight at dinner (about 11:00am NYC time), I got a random call from someone that client was sitting next to on the plane today, he was told that I am the absolute best in the biz (in several ways) and he’d like for me to consider taking on his boutique firm’s travel!

As for me and the VP… I think I’ve just collected another ‘friend-for-life’.  Who saw that coming!!?  He sealed the deal on Wednesday, when he texted me “xxxx”.  I texted him back: “the number four, or anything in fours means death in China”.  To which he replied: “xxx”.  Acceptance, there you have it.  I think he we ‘get’ each other finally!  Happy girl.

So… here’s to my village: you guys are freaking amazing and I couldn’t succeed or survive without your truly awesome perspectives and support.

Next stop: Virtuoso in Vegas, which is far more exciting now that I’ve decided to (hopefully) pass some of this experience and exposure on to Ashlee.  No one deserves it more, having to put up with my chaotic style.  The girl has a mind of her own though and takes smart risks.  Watch out Vegas… here comes Envizage!

Love to all.

Oh yeah and the picture is of Burj Khalifa, the ‘world’s tallest building’, just outside the ‘world’s biggest mall’ and ‘world’s largest fountain’.  Whatever.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque


Karma.  Karma?  O karma, where art thou!?  I’m banking on tonight’s full moon to reset the crazy.  We all know I’m a bit OCD, a weird ‘numbers’ person, and have a massive belief that doing good will bring good.  I delivered generous good deeds to several last week.  Things have been fabulous ever since I pulled my head out of dreamland.  I’ve been busier than ever the last few + weeks (months) yet somehow Wednesday evening, things started to go awry.  My IT went down the night I was meant to pack and then trying to get to Dubai the next day was hugely intense and expensive.  Stupid United.  Rock star that I am though, I heroically got myself to the UAE.  Truly heroic.


Mrs Jetsetter picked me up from the airport Friday.  Leading up to our long-anticipated trip, she was very sweet and had a full on list of activities for us to indulge in!  Nails, restaurants, spa, and Louboutin shopping, oh my!  Was so nice to relax a bit and just be.  So grateful to feel so pampered!  We had ourselves a bit of a well-deserved girlfriends’ weekend, Ramadan or not!  Two blondies jetsetting about in her convertible ‘hottie car’.  😉  We did hammam yesterday, far later than originally scheduled due to a bit of Vueve poisoning from the night before.  Which actually worked out well, as I had a little space to have a drastically needed heart-to-heart call with the VP.  Clearly I felt achingly hurt, but it turns out he’s def not a prick!  In fact, quite the opposite… we were just severely misconstrued.  x


Ramadan is a holy month in which Muslims believe brings many blessings.  I am thinking often of my sisters-in-law, even though I’m not religious.  🙂  The country fasts from sunset to sundown daily and it is 100% disrespectful to drink, eat, chew gum or smoke in public during this time.  Quite interesting really.  Dress is meant to be more conservative, plus public affection of any kind is banned.  At dinner last night, I learned that playfully giving my friend ‘the bird’ in public was also a jail-able offense!  Not just during Ramadan.  Oops.  Fortunately nobody else saw me.  And knowing me, I likely followed it up with an f-bomb or two.  :/


As fascinating and mystic as Dubai may sound, I’ve come to realize there is no way I would ever live here.  I’m fortunate to have made several close friends and do cherish those relationships.  But this 109 Fahrenheit weather must do something bizarre to the brains of all the expats that live here.  Let’s just say there’s a lot of ‘drama’ in Dubai.  It’s very incestuous and I think the expats live sort of in a fantasy world (no personal offense mates!), people here seem to be very involved in everyone else’s business!  Gossip, politics, secrets, live-in maids and cheating.  I know… it sounds like B&B (haha), but I didn’t fully grasp it before.  Anyone who knows me knows I don’t operate well in that type of environment.  Someone call Ryan Seacrest to get on it with ‘The Real Expats of Dubai’.


Now I am in Abu Dhabi.  Just for the night at the amazing new Ritz.  It’s just gorgeous and I wish I could go swimming in the fabulous pool but I’ll have to leave that for tomorrow.  They’ve put me in a fantastic club room but now America is waking up, so to work I will go for the night.  Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest Emirate of seven, and maybe the most conservative, but I’m not sure on that fact.  I hope to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque tomorrow with the big camera.  It’s truly beautiful but I’ve not gotten close yet!  I need to brush up on their Ramadan rules first.  There aren’t any impressive mosques, that I’ve seen, in Dubai.


This really is a bizarre country.  You’ll go to jail for embracing someone on the street, yet can have multiple wives.  We had to sneak sips of water laying down in the car, inside a car park, before going into the mall.  I shouldn’t say it’s bizarre, I wholeheartedly respect their values and culture.  I imagine they look at me flipping the bird in a tank dress and red soles at an influential non-royal ‘figure’ in the emirate, and think perhaps I’m a bit bizarre.  🙂


No worries..... I've been to duty free!

No worries….. I’ve been to duty free!


The Painted Ladies, behind AJ and Renea's old house

The Painted Ladies, behind AJ and Renea’s old house

Well, if you’re not counting my move 3,000 miles across the country… which was less the end of era and more the creation of a monster?  Perhaps!

What an incredible San Fran trip this has been!  And we all know that statement does not cross these big ass lips lightly!  I am currently on my way home (or possibly to my friend’s hotel bar), but to NYC nonetheless!  I had an action-packed, dog-spit-and-hair extended weekend.  The timing just worked and I am a big bundle of love and excitement, despite my Prick VP phone call two nights ago.  Thankfully I had my aunties nearby, and apparently a “thank you for flying united, bye bye” voice on.  Dreamy turned Prick.  He’s quite self-absorbed although aren’t we all ‘all about me’ to some degree?  But add egotistical and Pisces (!!!) he is clueless his nickname has been altered, but I don’t even think he’s noticed.  So that’s the name of that tune!

I love the photos below.  We were taking a series.  The ‘sad face’, crying.  The ‘happy we’re all together’ one.  And of course the ‘everybody touch eddie’, which is my personal favorite.  I feel slightly responsible for the fact that at Eddie’s wedding or 40th birthday, we will have an entire ‘everybody touch eddie’ deluxe collector’s item bootleg album of photos: inception date 2009, I am thinking.  Thanks for the reminder AR.  😉   Look at AJ.  She is so O-V-E-R all our sorry asses in her house being the pack-a-holic that she is!  And a damn good one she is!!  Packed up my house in a couple days!!!  Hmmm.  Wait a minute.  :/

Am oh so sad to not be able to combine botox with aunties in the future but am so very excited for their next phase (see you and MY own drawer in October!) and we’ve been fortunate enough to spend some time together prior to their move down to SoCal.  AJ and I were together a LOT after I moved up to SF and got (thankfully) unengaged.  Again, I feint sadness but am over-the-super-moon for those two and to to be honest, ‘I am like gum on your shoe!’  (love that quote).  So I’ll be seeing you.  Somewhere in the Med I think, I’ve got the dates in my calendar, not to worry.

I’m headed back to Dubai next month.  BUT I do have a legitimate excuse to go.  And by legitimate I mean a small window of non-travel time, a new worldwide travel/biz venture, more UA miles and an ‘awesome night out’ being planned by Mrs Jetsetter with her other entire Dubai posse.  Tickets are bought and I am super excited.  The Armani Boy has a brand new hotel he’s putting me up in for two nights, called Vida, I think?  I’ll stay two nights at my Jetsetter’s house on the beach with her pool and a live-in maid.  It’s just the standard of living there, as is the lingo.  I mean, my ‘house-cleaner’ isn’t coming until Thursday!!!  🙂  I’m genuinely excited, and I need this trip, given I am admittedly a little jacked up over the VP.

What a whirlwind life.  I had the best time with my Kelly and finally met her husband, who completely reminds me of someone a lot of us know (or know of, at least).  Was hilarious.  We met for drinks which turned into several, before we headed to their friends’ Colombian house-party in the mission, complete with a bonafide taco truck and salsa band!  What a blast!  Most hilarious and also familiar to some, we bellied up AFTER the taco truck party to probably the only place open in SF at the wee hour of 1:00am… and the bartender wouldn’t serve us.  (hey why didn’t I just offer to kiss him!?  duh)  So we put our tri-marketing hats on and ordered food, so they would serve us.  I feel like meatballs might have been involved.  Red wine and absinthe most certainly was.  What fun though!!!  Thank you, to my new SF peeps, and for not ‘pulling a Francl’ which has no real validity other than it means being flaky SF, but purely for comedic reasons.  Nothing really to do with the real Francl.  But I think it’s funny.

Not sure what the broader point of this email really is other than to update my beloved as I am ‘fast and furious’ to NYC, early enough to meet friends.  And early enough to be well for spin class at 12:15pm tomorrow!  I self-spun whilst in SF this time.  I set up a 3-day pass at AJ’s gym, and with my own music and was able to burn 796 calories one day and 937 yesterday to my own moves!  Amazing.  Who knew the charity I was talked into participating in (rather than merely donating) would change my life… and how my jeans fit.  Seriously.  Forever grateful.

I’ve got a two-pound box of See’s for Ivo and the restaurant on my corner.  Two whole pounds!!!  I can’t wait to bring it to them.  I love my neighborhood.  And for those of you who’ve been a bit concerned, I am back!!!  I was vortexed into a surreal place for a couple months… what can I say.  It happens.  But I’m back with fervor and Envizage is launching soon!!!  (don’t worry Ash, it will be really fun, like excel is!)  So long LMC.  I will forever love the story of me, Kath and Lor on Nikki Beach in Cabo poling passers-by on catchy company names for my unemployed 35th birthday.  With Chelsea freaking Handler’s empty cabanas.  Hilarious.  Who knew then we’d ALL be where we are now.  Sigh…

It’s going to be a busy last seven months leading up to my 40th  🙂  and spare time will be, um… sparse!  That just means there are several funny adventures to report along the way!  I wonder if I could 1) get bob dylan to have dinner with me, and 2) be mistaken on a plane for Claire Danes one more time, and 3) get Pulp to play at my 40th.

Love to all.  x or ooo: you decide!  🙂

Crying Face Family Happy Family Faces!

Everybody Touch Eddie