Tulip Season in Holland

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.44.41 PMMy garden is 4-6 weeks away from blooming tulips. And, I am a little anxious. Actually, nothing is blooming here yet. It’s a little depressing….but Spring will arrive eventually!

In the meantime, I’m dreaming of someday making a trip to Keukenhof in Holland, where 800 varieties of tulips and 7 million bulbs bloom each Spring. The garden is open from March 23-May 21st, but there is little predictability as to when peak bloom will be. The weather varys year to year, but it seems the last 2 weeks of April are the target. Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.58.44 PM Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.59.08 PM
photos-and-videos Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.43.52 PM Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.44.02 PM Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.44.11 PM Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.44.24 PMbest-time-to-visit-keukenhofHave you been to Keukenhof or dream of going? I’m thinking April in Holland has a nice ring to it!


Winter in Aspen

gal_hotel_lr1I’m just back from a winter ski trip to Aspen, Colorado and though I don’t write a lot about travel, occassionally I make a trip worth sharing. This was one of those trips! We were with a small handful of friends to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It was a milestone birthday, so it called for something special. He likes to ski. He had been to Aspen, but not with me. His birthday was last week. The matter was settled. It had to be Aspen! Though we could have taken the trip on our own, we agreed that having our friends there made it SO much more fun.

First impressions matter and so my first impression of our hotel, Hotel Jerome, was intense. I LOVED it. I felt like I had walked into Ralph Lauren’s home. The Hotel Jerome is the oldest hotel in Aspen, yet it had a massive makeover in 2012, which made it into rustic-meets-chic-meets-alpine. Warm and inviting, layered with details, it was the perfect hub for our stay.

There are a lot of fantastic hotels in Aspen: Little Nell, St. Regis, The Limelight…so there are a number of options, but the decor alone sold me on the Jerome. It is not a ski in/ski out hotel, which might put off some of you, but I can assure you that the trove of Stetson-wearing drivers will whisk you away quickly and drop you right at the lifts. I would call it a no-schlep experience. There is even a Gorsuch outpost inside the hotel, where they will warm your boots and have anything you might have left at home for sale.gal_hotel2 gal_hotel_lobby2 gal_hotel_spa gal_hotel_lr2gal_hotel_elevator gal_hotel_jb2 gal_hotel_jb1We were there to ski, but you can snowshoe, cross country ski, shop, spa, heli ski, dog sled…the options are endless. If you do want to shop, here are my favorites:

  • Gorsuch for luxury clothing, accessories, gifts
  • Performance  Ski for luxury/performance European ski brands
  • Kemo Sabe for Western wear, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, turquoise jewelry
  • Chequers for chic home accessories

IMG_1366 IMG_1359Shipping or checking skis can be such a hassle.

Ski Butlers, a suggestion from my friend and travel advisor, Sandy Grodsky, was an invaluable service for our trip. Ahead of the trip, I reserved a time for them to meet me at the hotel. I filled out a form about height/weight/ski ability and was given different ski options. You can also rent helmets and boots. They arrived at the pre-arranged time at our room and had me set up in 10 minutes. Since we were there for a long weekend, it was nice not to have to go to the ski rental, wait in line and then carry everything back to the hotel.  My husband had taken his skis, but after a day in the powder, he realized that he needed a different type of ski. Ski Butler fixed him up, too!

From now on…this is how I get my skis!IMG_1425 IMG_1427 IMG_1429 IMG_1431 IMG_1434There are numerous amazing restaurants (we chose Justice Snow’s, The Monarch and Ajax Tavern)  and spots to apres ski (Chair 9 at the Little Nell)…but one late lunch proved to be the most fun. Cloud 9, which is located in an old ski patrol hut on the mountain at Aspen Highlands, can only be reached by sking or snowboarding in. That’s half the fun. They have two seatings. One at noon and one at 2pm. If you want a delicious lunch and a festive atmosphere, choose the noon. If you want an “experience”…book the 2pm. We went at 2pm and let’s just say that there was as much champagne on the ceiling and the floor as was consumed the normal way. The restaurant, open only 4 months a year, is Veuve Clicquot’s largest customer in the US. That should tell you something.

This article, which appeared in Vogue, describes the experience better than I can.IMG_1436 IMG_1479 IMG_1480Cheers to having fun wherever you are! If you have specific questions about Aspen, feel free to send me an email!


London Calling

Have you had London on your mind? I have! First it was Will & Kate, then the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee...this week it’s the 2012 Summer Olympics. London, London, London!

So with a little cajoling….I convinced my other half to book us a trip there next summer. Let the planning begin!

Gwyneth came through with perfect timing….she just released her goop app for London. Thanks, GP!

Then, I’m cross referencing her info with the 3-Day Itinerary for Families from Indagare, voted best travel website by Vanity Fair U.K. I used their guides 2 years ago when we took our boys to Paris and I completely trust their recommendations. 

Finally, I’ll be reviewing all the recommendations from my younger, hipper blog friend, Lauren, of Aspiring Kennedy. A native of Dallas, like me, she is traveling the world, based out of London.

Have you been recently? Do you live there? Know an off-the-beaten-path place we just shouldn’t miss? I would love to know. 

Planning the trip is half the fun!

images: london pinterest, indagare, goop