Tag Archives: vacation

Scotch in the Snow

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Valentine’s Day always falls in the middle of New York Fashion Week which means for the past 4 years we have been working non-stop and unable to have a proper romantic date.. that is until this year. Kevin surprised me last weekend by clearing my work schedule and whisking me away to Glenmere Mansion, originally built in 1911 as a home for Robert Goelet, for an “early” Valentine’s Day celebration.

We have recently been learning about the world of Scotch. I love the simplicity of a single pour drink if it’s at our studio in New York, or on a weekend getaway, so I don’t have to think about mixers and recipes. I’ll never forget the first time I tried Scotch- it was on our honeymoon on Safari in South Africa. We arose before the sun and had a quick breakfast before hoping in the jeeps- on the breakfast bar, oatmeal with a topping of scotch. What?! I mean.. this blows the “before noon” rule right out of the water. Come to find out, it was a delicious tradition and on those very cold sleepy mornings, just the right thing to warm you up ever so.

Fast forward a few years and we have been slowly learning and enjoying the lessons in scotch. We recently did an amazing flight taste tasting with our friends from The Glenlivet at Highlands, a Scottish experience gastro pub in the West Village. When Kevin was planning this romantic getaway he took inspiration from that evening and bought us a bottle of  The Glenlivet 15 which he knows I’d like because of its sweeter notes of almonds and spice. I love it’s distilled in French oak which makes it creamy and rich which I prefer, as a woman, to the other smokier varieties. The best part about gifting and receiving a beautiful scotch if you’re a man or woman is that you get to share it together, what each person individually smells and tastes and untimely make memories wrapped in the beautiful glow of golden honey.

So here we are, at the historic Glenmere Mansion, a place to cradle us away from the noise of the city and to spend the hours snuggled by the fire with the winter air breaking outside as we sip on scotch to keep us warm.

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“Last year I decided to educate myself about Scotch, something I knew very little about. When I went to the wine shop on our street I asked for some recommendations for where to start, and they suggested The Glenlivet 12 as a starter. Jamie and I both really enjoyed it, and knowing her palate I knew the 15 year would be a great next move.”

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Things I’ve learned about The Glenlivet:

The Glenlivet was the original Scotch, supporting an idea we believe in strongly, to be an original.

Why “The” Glenlivet?: The Glenlivet is known for its smooth and elegant whiskies. It was renowned and other distillers copied and took advantage of this fact including copying their name! George Smith’s (the founder) sons and heir went into a lengthy battle to secure the rights to be known as THE GLENLIVET to differentiate it from the copy cats.

All their spirits are created using a natural spring water from the same spring they founded the company with in 1824

This region of Scotch making is known for producing very smooth, easy and soft spirits.

On the rocks or straight up? It’s a personal preference but how they described it to me was that by drinking it room temperature you have a fuller, robust flavor. They likened it to a walk in the forest- the smell of the forest after a freshly fallen snow is more muted as opposed to its natural state, or after a warm rain (adding water).

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After an afternoon game of scrabble (which he “let” me win) he wrote out a little love scrabble to me…

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The next morning we woke up to a winter wonderland at Glenmere! It was one of those uncontrollable magic moments.

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Sometimes you have to play together, right?

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A perfect sunset for someone who can’t help but photograph every beautiful thing The_Glenlivet_73 The_Glenlivet_74

On our last morning, after spending every last minute at the mansion, we then started the quick drive home to Tribeca with a couple of fun stops along the way.

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We stopped in to the handmade craft town of Sugar Loaf where we bought homemade candles and soaps.

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Then we bounced over to Warwick where I bought a book on women photographers from this charming independent book shop and found the perfect 1900′s antique whiskey decanter and a new painting from here. The_Glenlivet_53 The_Glenlivet_54 The_Glenlivet_55 The_Glenlivet_46

More romantic memories…

Hot Air Ballons || Our Wedding || Our Honeymoon || An Anniversary

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Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

It’s hard to follow up the historic fantasy of La Casona or the romance of the Hiram Bingham train with anything other than the citadel itself, but between here and there we found one such place.

Tucked away in a a jungle of amazing flora and fauna in the heart of the Andean cloud forest was the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a mountainside refuge for the body and soul. It’s exactly how you want to stay in a forest: with hummingbirds outside your door, orchids in bloom everywhere, fireplaces always aglow, and the view of a roaring river below captivating you. Trains arriving in and around the mountain through the Vilcanota Valley take you back to a time when travel was truly an adventure. The afternoon rain showers make relaxing in the tub or having a pisco sour on the porch seem like the perfect thing to do.

First built in the 1970s for backpackers, the owner had a vision for an ecological boutique luxury resort complete its own gardens, a tea farm where all production is made by hand, bear rehabilitation center and an impressive orchid garden. Our suite was built from local stone, adobe, stucco and eucalyptus beams and had not one but three showers, two located outside. A deep soaking tub (OBSESSED) and an outdoor private hot tub.

I loved the attention to detail and exclusivity felt here, so much so that when it was time to check out I totally forgot I had to do that, I was just right at home.

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Snapshots from Savannah

A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall.

Looking back on a few days off where I looked forward to what is in store for 2015. We are already planning shoots in Palm Springs, Paris, and Argentina so this year, though just born a week ago, is already full of dreamy promises. Doing what you love most for a living means you’re willing to commit more time to it than a typical job so it’s not often I take a day off or have a moment to reflect on all we’ve done and the amazing people we’ve met.

After spending Christmas in Texas with my family, I found myself in Savannah, a place I call home – my adopted home. Like New York and Paris, I am at my best self here, but unlike the two metropolitan cities, in Savannah I come to relax. To walk her beautiful parks at dusk, to feel the damp southern air kiss my skin under an umbrella of enchanting moss hanging from live oak trees. We eat, we drink, we spend afternoons whittling away the hours on big southern porches while we outline our dreams for another year but always leaving much open to new directions we could never anticipate.

*PS- An update on my Savannah recommendations - I love walking Whitaker street from Gaston to Broughton and popping into little hidden boutiques and amazing home decor shops. One Fish Two Fish led me to score two amazing new bedside lamps.

Of course the food scene in the south is one of the biggest draws. Now added to my “MUST EAT” list is The Florence for dinner and for lunch Green Truck Pub has the best burgers IN THE WORLD. I called it.

The only thing that could make Savannah even more dreamy is having the utmost pleasure of staying at SCAD’s Magnolia Hall. The southern mansion of my dreams that sits atop Forsyth Park (see the view from the front porch on a foggy night above). In 2014 I had the great honor of working with SCAD, covering their Savannah campus that makes the word “impressive” a tremendous understatement. Remember when we went to Lacoste after that?… it only gets better. Thank you SCAD for the southern hospitality and adopting me into your family, it’s an inspiring group of people.

A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall. A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall. A trip down to savannah, georgia and a stay at SCAD's Magnolia Hall.

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Oscar de la Renta Boutique

Staying in the paradise imagined by fashion design legend can only mean there are going to be some glamorous fashion moments which we found at the resort’s Oscar de la Renta boutique and opened a whole new world of destination luxury shopping. Here it’s resort wear 365 days a year from darling garden dresses to a floating sea of chiffon caftans, perfect beaded mules that are effortless and comfortable for a resort but still put together and chic. They carried every color earring you need to make a true entrance for dinner, which we would call our “Elizabeth Taylor moments”. It’s funny, I’m typically very minimal with my jewelry but here  in this explosion of Caribbean color it felt right to wear a big bold colored jewels, obviously, Oscar knows how to dress a woman for resort life. At dinner Kelly was wearing a beautiful pair of coral ODLR earrings so glamorous when sparkling off the evening night light and when she took them off I had a horrible reaction at how sad she looked just “normal”. From that moment on we were dripped in Oscar’s crystals and jewels. Usually when I think of the brand I think strictly about fashion, about the iconic women he dressed, our version of American Royalty, that I forget about the home wares! Candles and picture frames,  beautiful ocean fish dishes he created from his inspiration of Punta Cana and all the beautiful objects that make a home feel truly special that ladylike way only Oscar de la Renta can do.

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