Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

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Was it the constant flow of champagne? Pas du tout! Are only beautiful people allowed on the island? Perhaps. I mean, just take a look at my group. 😎 The immutable-talker we met on the flight was no beauty pageant contender though. Aside from that tinnitus-exacerbating first hour, I’ve concluded everyone else on that island is a total stunner. Even the island itself is stunning! The hunt for a beach better than Cayman has finally been denuded. Literally. 😍 Clearly there’s a reason St Barths is not as easy to get to. All the stunning people want to keep the lazy un-stun-worthy out.

We’ve all flipped through an ‘US Magazine’ at some point in time and deemed St Barths as impervious amidst the world of celebs, yachts and P Diddy’s antics. It’s worth finding a way on to see for yourself. I am fucking stunned and highly recommend this fabulous destination. I truly think it does not get any better than Saint Barthélemy and in the words of my new dear friend: “well I wouldn’t mind dying here”. 😅 And after all the ‘Pound It!’ action, it’s a wonder none of us did.

St Barths is just barely difficult to get to, but worth every effort. For one, it’s French… and we all know that the French do it for me every time. The kraken-less turquoise clear ocean, dramatic verdure terrain, charming downtown, stunning population and gastronomic cuisine simply cannot be beat! These last three days are quite high on my best-ever list. And I’ve got only Jaj and the infamous Hôtel Le Toiny to thank. Oh yeah and #shoutout 😉 to Chris.

For what started out as a week filled with disappointment in myself and a bit of stress, St Barths, along with my posse of ‘all-baby siblings’, managed to get most everything envizagley wrapped up, chill the fuck out and seriously enjoy life like Adam Levine would have, had we not been loving life loudly at the table next to him at Bonito on Friday night. 😇 Rocking curly hair and a backless sweater, after touring what now are known to me as the worlds most beautiful beaches… my v own little posse of stunners hit the streets of Gustavia. Every which way we looked, all our jaws were dropped, with an inability to say much more than ‘heyyyyy’ and smile and giggle our nights (and days) away.

Shell Beach, Gouverneur Beach, Flamands, Colombier and Saline were the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen. Not to forget our Sex-on-the-Nikki-Beach and my v own Beach Boy at Tom’s. That was after our yacht excursion when our Sugar Daddy Stéphane made my ‘dreams come true’ with a roadie of rosé. Sigh… that was just yesterday. Le magnifique Hôtel Le Toiny proved that ‘stunning’ can be relaxed, natural and simply elegant devoid of pomp and circumstance, without giving up one ounce of luxurious perfection. No €35 SPF sunscreen 75 ml bottle for sale there! We were encouraged to explore the island as their globally famous clientele does, and left 100% ensured any one of our clients sent would thank us profusely for the rest of their stunning lives for having done so. Heyyyyy, Le Toiny with your stunning GMs and uncanny gorgeous staff… I could not be more grateful. I will rock my Peruvian St Barths bracelet proudly and forever be reminded of the most stunning place I’ve ever been, with the most ‘amazeballs’ people that I am proud, now, to call friends. I embrace my newest Milieu nickname: Lips Costello, will never mispronounce Shawneen’s name again, long for that hysterically innocent F-bomb and already miss the core-engaging boy who spit in my face: from a noodle. This trip was so full of Heyyyyy it’s not even funny. Yet it was full of stunning hilarity and fun.

Merci beaucoup to everyone on St Barth, but especially to my hosts and amazing colleagues. It kind of doesn’t get any better than that. 😘 I premonition Lacaula, Fiji and a serenade of The Carpenters in our future. x

Méfiez-vous de Las Vegas, ici nous venons tous! In preparation, I will collect plenty of miracle Compeed during my travels, enough for me and Jaj. x

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In a concerted effort to not piss off Kelly, I’ve been sunscreening my face and décolleté for the last three weeks whilst out and about in windy Santa Barbara. Today will be rather heroic as Phase Two of ‘waifdom’ officially begins. I can’t wait. 😁 There’s no day like botox day and I am ready to get this show on the road. It’s been a fabulous stay on so many levels but I really miss my crazy.

Santa Barbara is something else, that’s for sure. I exceeded my self-induced expectations. I was able to manage time for old-school friends and family, rocked Envizage’s busiest month-to-date for 2014, exercised daily, kept up Boo’s 30-fucking-day squat challenge and am en route to San Francisco with the comfort of having had a proper catch up with my love-bus… finally.

La vie est belle! Before heading back to the Palace, I have an amazing San Fran day ahead of me. It’s not often I say that. I found a non-flake San Franciscan (granted he’s actually German) to have lunch with, a few free hours to work, and meds in my pocket to assist with the sheer terror of my impending, albeit voluntary, tasering. My UBER issues are resolved and dinner with the cutest, most fun and hip family I know is scheduled! I’m telling you… botox day is even better than my birthday. 💫 it’s almost magical!

I did 50 squats while blow drying, 30 while putting on make-up and have just 50 more to go. The schedule is tight (as is my bum!) but I will find a way to squeeze them in. I wonder if Don’t-Piss-In-the-Pool-Paul would mind if I do them at Chez Papa Mint? Or should we go to Anchor & Hope… mmm or Barbacco is always nice. Already thinking about food even after my mother steamed me the perfect soft-boiled egg this morning… I’m at that bottomless-pit point of the month.

I feel well-prepared and ready for the madness that is my near future. Being in PDT, working for clients close and also really far away, I was still able to maintain a bit of random.com throughout. 😆 My Swiss friends in Texas (talk about random) gave me an educational lesson on the myth of the Phoenix and something having to do with ashes. The VP texted a photo of himself with a bit of facial hair (yes, still pretty freaking hot) and the big fish he caught. I had the most fun daytime surprise pop-in on my favourite boss, Biff. Mrs Jetsetter is keeping me grounded with our stars and exciting Mars transition. 🌟🌍🌙 I solved my fancy UAE client’s final leg of his ‘spend-Ramadan-elsewhere’ holiday. And people think I’ve got it great. Aside from his near-weekly corporate travel to fabulous places like Melbourne, Paris and Russia… the whole family will begin this year’s holiday at Hello Kitty and Disneyland Tokyo, followed by a couple weeks at Four Seasons Maldives and thanks to my random suggestion: a seaside villa in Dubrovnik. I really do love my job.

I am so appreciative of the time I was able to spend not only with with my family, but with so many people I’ve not seen in a hundred years. It’s impossible to hit everyone, but I sure as hell try. The other night a woman I went all through school with, who I hadn’t seen since our high school graduation, surprise-text me as she was in town from LA, just visiting like me, preparing for her own international adventure. We were never all that close and my memory is absolute shite. But she told me a story I had forgotten from when we were in eighth grade and I’ve not been able to get it out of my mind. No details are necessary but I was reminded that even then: I had the honest, ballsy, gritty kindness and genuine integrity I still carry with me today. I’m deeply flattered to have made an impression on her life, so simply and unknowingly, by just doing the right thing despite bullshit popularity and mean-spirited girls. 😊

Here I come Kelly… properly sunscreened and ready for your magic now! Phase Two has officially begun. Only 19 more sleeps, three countries and five flights before I leave for Phase Three!!! 😁 x

Am so happy to be in a real city again… even if it is San Fran! And by real I mean: no ‘burbs and no car required! 👸

The late night text I sent to the VP, random, in his weekday morning!

The late night text I sent to the VP, random, on his weekday morning!

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The Chocolate Gallery, 33 years and counting!

I believe you can. I feel justified declaring myself a full-blown New Yorker. The pace in sunny SoCal and me… well maybe we just don’t quite mesh. I feel abrupt just walking into the bank or a shop by the reactions that my mere contiguity seems to entice from the folks around here. It is interesting, to say the least. I’m unknowingly staring in a Cohen Brother movie. 😏 I have to admit that it’s difficult not to walk fast, get impatient at a cross walk when there are barely any cars on a massive suburban intersection, and ask sharp, precise and direct questions. I think my real problem is that no one else reacts with much swiftness. I’m not complaining, Santa Barbara is a very nice place. I walk these streets now with confidence… amazed how much nothing has changed. In fact, I’ve realised Country Meat Market is just across the road… how funny! And then Bob Seger comes on with “Still The Same” and I can’t help but reflect, with a huge sense of accomplishment and a giggle. I so completely respect all of my lovelies who simply love living in our hometown. I just cannot relate. I imagine many wouldn’t relate to my three mile walk to spin for two hours, as I must maintain the business, of course, but also my figure in anticipation of my upcoming ‘pool day’ with the VP. 😝 Eat-your-heart-out moments are secretly my most favourite.

In the land of the perpetual cul-de-sac, having just jumped the Overpass fence to the bike path, I passed the San Simeon house where I swindled that deal for a limo ride to my eighth grade ‘school dance’, and found the perfect avocado just fallen off someone’s tree. 😃 I watched Calle Real slowly go by, (and Jimbo as well!) 😊 and am genuinely moved by every song that proceeds the next, upon reflection of my last decade away. I’d never have known the words to that legendary Stone Roses ballad by heart, without the VP. I’d never have the relationship to music that I do, had my dear client not outfaced me to actually spin for charity rather than just donate money. I’d never have been introduced to Bob Dylan by my immeasurably loved special friend. Can’t imagine Gangnam Style would sound the same had Ashlee and I not smashed it at our London event. Would Ed Sheeran even be on my radar had that gorgeous tall Brit not downloaded it to my iTunes 😚 whilst in Mexico? And let’s face it… what would I even do without Pulp!? What I do know, is that more than anything, my head is lost on some bus with Edward Sharpe’s “Home”, and I simply must distract myself in the form of general mischief. 😇

“… and so it depends”… sigh 😕

I don’t count San Fran as real trips so therefore I’ve oddly not been on one since New Year. I must admit, I’m growing increasingly excited as St. Barth’s, Puerto Rico, Oman, Dubai, Bangkok and California hover in my v near future. As much as I’m trying to initiate change and market my incredible business, I think the ever-present debates about arranging Italian versus French hotel sites, or offers to pop across the pond 😉 helps to ground, legitimise and motivate me. With all the dead-weight now in storage, I must incorporate meeting my second grand-niece, Brooklyn 😍 in Washington State with a Vegas conference impending that I’m still not quite sure attending, for the third year in a row, is worthwhile. (and I’m completely full of shite, as it is not likely I’ll miss that reunion, I mean… conference)

I say this with respect, but if my internal debates were centred more around “what should I pick up at Country Meat Market for dinner”, I don’t think I’d be a v happy person. And on that note I’ll head over to the Chocolate Factory to collect a real down home special surprise for my Bistro family on the upper east side. 😁 Maybe I’ll turn on “Withnail & I” or “Amelie” for a bit of mental stabilisation. My six miles today, coupled with a two-hour self-spin sesh helped as well.

Turns out you can take the girl out of Santa Barbara and you can also take Santa Barbara out of the girl. I’ve officially defected. I’m hungry for New York, Capri and Seoul. However, as often or little I visit ‘home’, I can always count on this crow. This is the only fucking crow I’ve ever seen in my life… and it lives outside my parent’s house where I grew up. Not quite as scary as the kraken, but what is with this silly old bird? Speaking of kraken, to formally answer my dear friend’s question: I think I am really beginning to enjoy my liberation. x and here’s a tip: being at mum’s is not v gluten-friendly! Love you, mom! 😘

But “give me champagne when I’m thirsty, and… ” 😝

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My parent’s pet crow 🙂

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San Fran is bullshit. It leaves me with no other choice than to be hilarious and cynical like George: “these pretzels are making me thirsty”. I love this line because the interpretation is so subjective… if you remember the Seinfeld episode, each character had their own rendition of “these pretzels are making me thirsty”. 😄 Earnest. Angry. Jolly. Melodramatic.

I flew to San Fran (yes… I do refer to it as San Fran out of pure disrespect) just a day and a half ago. I’m not sure why I’m even here. Well… Four Seasons asked me to be. I do live, sell and stay at Four Seasons as often as possible… and apparently it’s been noticed. Plus I met a double Scorpio! And how else would my gorgeous HKG Catherine realise she’s got herself a fabulous rep! He did well. Who would have known otherwise?! (I’m sure they knew, but what-ev)

Coming to SF is like not coming to SF. What the hell does that even mean? I lived here for five years and outside of actual firm meetings… it’s like I don’t know anyone! Obviously my Kelly is exempt and truly loved. But I have never in my life experienced such aloofness as I have from the characters who pride themselves on being SFers. I have another word for you people! It begins with an F, and it’s not ‘fabulous’. I will exempt my dear Janice from the f-word as well… for nearly teaching me the difference between effect and affect, if nothing else. 😉 x

Had I not had the amazing, albeit last minute stay with my gorgeous Aussies, I’d have thrown in the towel a day ago. Thankfully chez Mill Valley had (literally) one vacancy on Tuesday! That entire family is so genuinely beautiful and quite grounding. But apparently, as my worldwide friendships expand, I’ve now got to clarify Sydney people versus Melbourne people… as they are two v different beasts. Mrs Jetsetter will have to show me firsthand! ☺️ The brilliant friend, at the heels of my business concept (several years ago), he’s struck again and unexpectedly boosted my entire focus to where it obliviously needed to be! I’ve always promulgated, as a karmic business woman of integrity, that every one of my trips proves invaluable in some form. So with Mill Valley, Kelly and Janice exempt of my SF abomination… today is a new day to enjoy margaritas in random 70 degree (or 21 to the rest of the world) weather and appreciate that yes, this trip did indeed serve a purpose or two. Despite the rest of you F’ers here in SF. Perhaps I’m a little cranky, but come on SF… let’s face it: you’re dirty, smelly, unfriendly and typically have the worst-ever weather. Let’s not try to fake beauty, cleanliness and pleasantries. Just because you have loads of organic foods and the Golden Gate does not make you beautiful.

Even though the polar vortex still lingers over my NYC, I miss it… and the water towers. I miss my lightening bus too.

I turned 40, and have had the most random client (degrading!) frustrations, suffered the second-time only illness and was only able to get 4 days of exercise banked in the last 29 days 😞 I think I’ve gone mental. Touch wood that I am officially on the mend and will be running in Central Park in no time! I’ve just read Chelsea Handler’s latest book… and though it’s a bit odd to read someone else talk randomly about vodka, lemons, men, xanax and travel, I’ve definitely concluded that I am a far better writer! With a bit less raunch…

This city leaves me with no other words than “these pretzels are making me thirsty”. But given my impending margarita lunch, I’ll go with the ‘earnest’ depiction of that classic line.

And… thank you Four Seasons. I love you! 😘

The joke’s on me!

Posted: February 14, 2014 in Travels

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What the F just happened? I feel like Sweet Dee looks in the attached photo, from my favourite show: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She went on to do unshowered (love her) standup comedy in this episode and coined the phrase: ‘The joke’s on Dee’. And it is so appropriately on demand in seat 1A, which is a miracle I’m even sitting in. 😳

I am almost at a loss for words (shocker!) how to articulate my last 48 hours. My left leg, which is well-known, worldwide, as being hollow. Well it’s now gone dead. But I have a rockstar to blame for that. And Tom, we all know JG Tom… thinks I had a stroke. 🚷 I paraded, for random analysis, up and down the restaurant, whilst the late night crew gauged the seriousness of why my left leg keeps just folding. This was after the first 3 of 13 inches of snow fell last night, when I walked the deaf and speechless v kind neighbour into his apartment safely. Earlier in the afternoon, I had a bit of a bet with the rockstar to uphold. Later on, I fell up some stairs after the most unbelievably odd (yeah even for me!) evening, fell out the taxi home (sober !!!), walked my deaf friend home, got cash while a new perky afghani friend waited, and then fell twice in the sludge. Sadly my falls were not even sludge related as I had the Hunter boots on. At least JG had a laugh! It’s so weird though it’s actually funny… I cannot feel my left hollow leg. There’s no issue though, no pain. Just numbness. The cute afghani tried to randomly massage life back into it, but after I catwalked to Paul Simon’s ‘slip out the back Jack’ and my v own Bobby D’s: ‘you’re gonna make me lonesome’, at JG, our conclusion was: you’ve had a stroke. 😯

I thought that maybe once I slept a bit and some of those pinched nerves relaxed that today it would be better. See… I am currently en route to San Fran just for the day. For Kelly I’d go to the moon and back 😆 yes every 4 months. Anyway, the afghani and stroke analysation kept me out far later than anticipated and I slept through my alarm. 😣

I awoke in an absolute frenzy at 7:39am, after 13 inches of overnight NYC snow, without car service on call… for an 8:55am flight to SF. Yeah the fucking ‘joke was on me’ alright! I brushed my teeth, threw on clean jeans and panties… and just hauled ass downstairs. I thankfully had an amazing taxi driver. I’ve got no clue how I made this flight as ‘they’ say JFK is at least 30 minutes from the upper east side in zero traffic. Good luck during rush hour valentine day, which is bullshit (valentine not rush hour traffic!), Friday after 13 inches snow and in prep for another 6 tonight… I f’ing made it. Granted, my left leg ‘gave out’ as I stepped out of taxi into airport and yeah another (the 6th or 7th time now) knee plant into the snowy sludge. So just take a sec for the visual: Liz after three hours sleep, dead left leg, pony tail, all my shit thrown into purse (except my vitamins I took the time to get the 7 pills out! still laying on my kitchen counter), trying to get myself sorted as it got closer and closer to my 8:55am flight. The Van Wyck was surprisingly quick, nothing but a jacket and stupid briefcase in tow, falling out the taxi (literally) onto the ground 😝 then being immediately shuffled away in my sweet frantic charming panic, to the front of all TSA and boarding lines… and onto my flight. In time for a pre flight champagne. What the hell. Silver lining: I wore no mascara last night so I’ve got no dark circles or make up running down my pretty little soon-to-be-freshly-botoxed face. Botox day is even better than my birthday and it comes 4 times a year. With someone like Kelly… it’s just indescribable. But for me it’s ALL about my Kelly, NOT the botox! She’s just genius.

I’m not in the lulu but venture to guess Kelly will take one look at me today and just shake her head. We’ll all have a big laugh at dinner tonight (before my red eye home) and then next weekend as everyone will be present in NYC. That is, if my left leg ever decides to work again. I half-folded after my TSA security check-in. I’m learning to control it I think! Or at least how to land softly. BART ought to be interesting! I miss Nilmar.

Things are a bit surreal and likely will be until my big 4-0 passes. Then what will we all do? 😢

And I love my favourite client: “so exactly how many ex-boyfriends will be there?” Haha… v funny. (though it does still remain a mystery!)

x

He couldn’t get it up at LAX

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Travels
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Best text ever… brought to real emoticon life!

You just know it’s going to be a fantastic trip when your flight attendant shouts across the cabin to you: “he couldn’t get it up?” 😁 So hilarious. I have lots of quirks… actually I think they’re multiplying as I age, but one of them is having the window seat on a plane. One of my windows, at seat 5F home to JFK (finally!) was broken. As I sipped on champagne while the rest of the flight boarded… I mouthed and motioned to the gorgeous young blonde (a refreshing reprieve from United’s norm) that my second window shade would not raise. She could tell by my facial and hand gestures that I wasn’t fussed about it, just relaying information. Next thing you know the sole male flight attendant came over and attempted to get my window shade up. Failure. I was totally cry-laughing when the sweet curly-haired crew asked rather loudly and innocently (as heaps of families were still boarding) from quite a few rows away: “oh, he couldn’t get it up?” And dumb ass me, I answered just as naive, “nooo but it’s not a big deal”. We both erupted with uncontrollable laughter once it set in.😂 Perfect way to start my first journey home for 2014, just three hours later than scheduled… today. Technically it’s 29 hours and three solutions later than my original plan.

Happy New Year! Year of the horse. The entry into my fourth decade. 😏 I honestly couldn’t be happier. Last year was a bit of a shocker on several levels… I’ll spare you the details. But the attached photo pretty much sums it up. My ridiculously kind, albeit, stoic AJ had the text that yanked me out of a massive spinning hysteria made into a big painting!!! Instant tears. I love it so much. I was all freaky deek over the VP back in March in Paris. I was a little emotionally paralyzed still after an hour-long Skype… until I received this text: 👸🔫🍷xxx. It was the thing that broke the camel’s back. (pun intended) for that night at least! 😆 and so it goes…

New Years was really good. Much needed down time at my aunties was just what the doctor ordered. Thank you… I love our sock monkey trio. The downtime is oh so precious. As was the jammie run ‘to the border’. I’m always nostalgic and excited for the new year. This one was exceptionally odd… equal parts odd-fabulous and odd-shit-show. 😳 I love living this life and am proud by my abilities to manage the shit-show aspects of it a bit more constructively. Reflection on 2013 has been kind of overwhelming, and still a work in progress. I’m exhausted by the memories let alone having just lived it! I think too, that I exited with a new brand for my business (which will be five years in March) and have the fabulous new F-word approaching, causing me to reflect a little more intensely. I am in awe to be honest. Looking back on 2013, I feel pretty heroic! I rebranded, traveled more than ever, hired Ash, maintained the business, have a new kick-ass tat, was active in three industry shows worldwide, we won’t mention men, I threw my grandmother a birthday party, witnessed another incredible nuptial, and made or reconnected with more incredible friends than I could have ever imagined having. Yet, still I am jilted. But that’s okay… sufficed to say, I am a functioning jiltee. Special thanks to my 2013 ‘connections’ for all the strength you’ve unknowingly provided. 😘 I’m serious! I am secretly fascinated to discover what insanity.com will deliver along with the super new moon. Oz and Oman for sure. Oh yes… let’s not forget Reykjavik!? Who the hell goes to Iceland in February? Um… the girl who goes to the UAE during Ramadan. That would be me!

I’m a bit bummed to have missed Snowpocalypse Hercules in NYC. I am ready to take 2014 full on and anxious to get home. But stupid San Fran f’ed me over once again. I love, more than anything, living with real seasons. Me and my new UNIQLO puffy jacket. We are definitely bad ass. This new horse year implies it’s going to be a hectic one already with events this week, loads of travel, and given I’m now Swiss I must celebrate Three Kings Day tomorrow! Thanks to this random 167 mph tailwind I am getting there rather quickly. Polar vortexes rock! 😃 Some people worry about me on the holidays, but there’s no need. I kind of have to disappear and recharge during this time, and realize I cannot deprive myself of it. I work hard, and it’s all me… which can be a lot of pressure. Now I am legitimately looking forward to getting jiggy with it on our first Monday morning of 2014. I am ready to roll! I’ve got to figure out how to ship booze to Washington State. My most adorable first nibling won our Philadelphia Eagles vs New Orleans Saints bet last night. Distance makes no difference in my world. My first shot as a 40-year old will be with the boy… though it will NOT be a jaeger bomb like the night he told me he was off to buy an engagement ring like 100 years ago. Ouch. Us Costellos can be rather persuasive… and are loads of fun. 😉

Hope everyone had as nice an entry to 2014 as I did. For the record, I’ve only had ONE non-showered-slept-in-my-clothes night this year. x and ooo

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Renea, Lizzie and Jeanne (why is everyone touching me?)

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

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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

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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!

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