Tag Archives: travel

Baby Let’s Cruise

Royal_Caribbean_02 When Royal Caribbean first approached me with the idea of a cruise I was, to be honest, a bit skeptical. I didn’t know what to expect. But this was something new…. this was something different… and I came to find out, this was something AMAZING.

Part of being a great traveler is opening your heart and mind to new experiences, embracing the experience, and making it fun. The only bad thing about this experience was it was way too short!

This past spring Royal Caribbean introduced a new luxury way of cruising with Royal Suite Class. Newly designed suites, bigger than my New York City apartment, with double floor views of the passing sea and very private terraces perfect for sipping champagne at sunset, sunbathing at leisure, reading a book in solitude, or having in-room dining with the best view of our blue planet. Not only was the suite incredible but it comes with a 24/7 “Royal Genie” or personal assistant who takes care of everything from luggage to restaurant reservations, private ship experiences, and ensures you never have to wait in line for any of the long list of activities on board the ship. The quotes dispersed throughout this post were actually hand written notes our genie would leave us everyday to keep us inspired on our journey. I’ve never in my life been so completely taken care of.

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So what was it like?

At first, overwhelming. The ship is HUGE and there are so many things to see and do! You can surf, you can fly, you can be a bird in the sky! Bumper cars and table tennis, rock climbing, and multiple pools, a casino, tons of shows and live music venues just to name a few. Or, if you’re like me, you can just relax with a good book, do yoga and spin classes, have some quiet spa time and enjoy incredible specialty restaurants each night on the ship. Among my favorite dining experiences were: Wonderland, a gastronomic restaurant that re-imagines food. Jamie’s Italian, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s take on fresh, seasonal Italian cuisine. Chops Grill, a high end and delicious steakhouse with farm-specific dry aged steak. Izumi, from sushi to sashimi! It was all so wonderful, and there were so many more options than we had time to try!

As we set sail with views of the Manhattan skyline slowly disappearing behind the vastness of sea I found myself feeling quite glamorous. It’s incredibly beautiful and completely luxurious to sail to a destination. To take the time. To enjoy the view. To drink and dine and relax all while maintaining a comfortable pace forward toward paradise. It made flying seem unbelievably inhuman. I have recently been saying to myself, the greatest luxury is time. Not in the sense of doing things more quickly, such as flying, but in the sense of taking time and having time. I took my time to Bermuda, it was so much richer an experience because of it.

Although cruising as part of the Star Class is the most VIP experience available on the seas, it wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing as it was if it weren’t for the incredible crew aboard the ship. With people from all around the world, there was always someone interesting to speak to, to learn about where they are from and what talents they possessed that brought them aboard this vessel. Everyone was happy. Everyone worked together in perfect unison, and you could feel their genuine care for each other. They set the energy and vibe on this ship and made it a wonderful place to spend five nights. So thank you Royal Caribbean for taking care of us all.

Since my return, it has been more than once I have whispered to Kevin… baby let’s cruise.

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Above, coming on board with my Steamline Luggage, Ghurka traveler, and Cuyana tote.

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Two deck high stateroom with panoramic views, walk in closet, two bathroom suites, vanity, dining room area, living room and bed facing the beautiful wall of windows looking out to the sea. 

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Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

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There can’t possibly be anything more glamorous than checking in to a chic white hotel perched on the edge of rocky cliffs cascading down into the emerald Mediterranean Sea. The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons hotel, is one of those truly perfect classic icons that keeps the French Riviera sparkling, and for me, a dream destination.

This hotels ranks as one of my personal favorites. It’s so timeless in design from the marble bath and crown moldings to the french windows that over look manicured gardens and sweeping sea views. I loved dining on Niçoise salad in my room with a glass of rosé, windows open playing along in a slow dance with the floor-to-ceiling sheer white curtains. I loved the crisp white palette with elements of French design revealing themselves through a blue linen chair or gilded mirror. From movie stars to royalty, writers to artists, this property has housed some of the most amazing talent and minds in the world who come for peace and solitude in the must luxurious comforts.

When I dream of the Cote d’Azur, I dream of this….

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Above, traveling in an outfit by St. John, which I love, along with this brand because they do not wrinkle. Shoes by Stuart Weitzman, luggage by SteamLine (OBSESSED), bag by CHANEL.  

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Dom Pérignon P2 1998

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From the fields of France to the tables in Barcelona, we have been on some amazing journeys with Dom Pérignon. The latest adventure has us standing over the Californian desert horizon of Joshua Tree, drawing parallels between a 100 million year old natural park with its rich history of change and Dom Pérignon’s 1998 vintage which is now, according to Chef de Cave Richard Geoffroy, entering its Second Pléntitude on its own journey through time and change.

The Second Pléntitude, or P2 as they call it, happens around year fifteen in the champagne aging process. According to Geoffroy, champagne has three peak stages: The first at around seven years, the second at fifteen and the final stage around thirty. For the sake of comparison, a typical champagne is aged around three years. When you contrast the aging of Joshua Tree and how it has had many stages created and affected by nature you see how the stages of champagne are a small mirror to a vast landscape, both displaying their beautiful triumphs as a result of mother nature.

I love champagne, of course, it is greatly heightened by the master craft and artisanship of a wine like Dom, but I don’t drink it because of the name on the label. I love champagne because I’ve never had a bad time with it. It evokes memories of celebration, joy, friendship, laughter, perfect sunsets and even perfect sunrises. When we toast with champagne it is that sparkle in our eyes that effortlessly compliments the golden movements of the silent symphony inside that golden glass leaving your memories to float up into the night-sky and dance among the stars.

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Guide to Dallas, Texas

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There are two things I love dearly: Champagne & Texas. So it was a joy when Veuve Clicquot asked me to do an Instagram takeover guide to Dallas this past weekend! As if going back home could get any sweeter…

Below are the images in the series they edited down to their 5 favorites but here are a few of my other must see, eat, play places!:

Shopping

Forty Five Ten– A new luxury boutique offering designer clothes and home decor in a historic building surrounded with Texas live oaks with its own cafe.

Neiman Marcus– The historic flagship luxury retailer store opened originally in downtown Dallas in 1907 and still stands to this day with the chic Zodiac restaurant.

Grange Hall– A new and lavish shop that boasts and exquisite collection of home décor, jewelry, handbags, apothecary and other opulent oddities with a floral shop and gorgeous restaurant.

Cocktails

Five Sixty Reunion Tower– See in the above image. This chic and glamorous restaurant and bar by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck sits high atop Dallas in the Reunion Tower, a famous spherical piece of architecture iconic to the Dallas skyline.

Midnight Rambler– An underground craft cocktail salon located in the hip Joule Hotel in the heart of downtown Dallas.

Bowen House– Set in a historic house in Dallas’s cosmopolitan Uptown neighborhood, this charming and cozy watering hole serves craft cocktails and Texas bites.

Activities 

Nasher Sculpture Center– Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the Nasher is one of my favorite art museums to take in modern and contemporary sculptures, especially in their curated gardens.

Dallas Arboretum Botanical Garden– I grew up visiting this tranquil and beautiful 66-acre botanical garden with historic structures and sweeping views of White Rock Lake.

Dallas Farmer Market- A Texas-sized sprawling daily market with a focus on seasonal produce, local farms, speciality foods, honey and beds of flowers all for purchase.

The Rustic– Kick up your boots and listen to live Texas music on the patio under string lights at The Rustic in the heart of Dallas, featuring a bar stocked full of Texas made beers and liquors and farm to table eats.

EAT

Bolsa– A cool Bishop Arts District spot in a historic building known as Settles Garage with local seasonal food and amazing flatbreads.

Pecan Lodge– Texas BBQ joint located in Deep Ellum serves up classic comfort with a variety of smoked meats, sides and desserts served on no-frills metal trays, a true southern experience.

El Come Taco– Don’t let the location in a strip mall fool you- this small, loval and hip counter-service taqueria offers the best Mexican fare famous for their street tacos and breakfast tortas.


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Above~ Have champagne, will travel. The perfect backpack for both, by Buscemi

Below~ Attending Veuve Clicquot’s kick-off dinner at the Hotel Zaza starting a nationwide journey for the Champagne house in a silk satin dress by Kaelen & Schutz heels.

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