It feels a bit selfish to be recounting a vacation as I’m on one. Very selfish, in fact. And for the record – I’m aware of just how lucky and blessed I am to travel so much. But I envy all of you who dug into big Thanksgiving dinners. The grass is always greener, etc.
But I wanted to wrap up the Italy experience before diving into our Asian adventures. The trip was a lovely contrast from our typical see-as-much-as-possible-go-go-go vacations. We did enjoy some tours (prosecco tasting, for one), and the other major plan for this trip was to take a cooking class. The rest of the time – we lazed around and enjoyed our apartment rental.
Our apartment in a villa, that is.
I was firm on wanting to stay in Veneto (instead of Venice, even though it’s only a 45 minute drive away). Through HomeAway (one of my favorite travel rental websites), I discovered the Barchessa Apartment in the Ca’ Marcello. The pictures are fantastic, but staying there was even better.
Your own wing in an Italian villa? It really doesn’t get much better than that. We did a lot of lounging around, and I stood outside gawking at the stunning property that we called home for a few days.
The Marcello family continues to maintain the property, and Count Jacopo (yes, a count!) helped us arrange everything – food waiting for us in our kitchen, two prepared meals for our stay (be warned – the portions are MASSIVE), and the cooking class we took in town.
Oh, the cooking class. I still can’t decide whether that or the prosecco tasting was my favorite. Let’s call it a tie.
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Nihao from China! We spent the first half of this week exploring Shanghai, and are in Beijing for the next few days. This country is truly fascinating – an infrastructure to rival (and best) the United States’, the crowd and sprawl on par with India, and a disproportionately high Chanel boy bag sightings (can you say designer bag FOMO?). The smog and pollution are something else entirely, as evidenced here. Shanghai is so new - beautiful skyscrapers, perfectly maintained streets and public parks. Even the old town Shanghai is completely reconstructed, after a fire burned down the original wooden buildings. It’s a cool city – I’ll definitely be back.
Per the usual, here are my favorite reads this week:
- If The Secret was too woo-woo for you, you must pick up E-Squared. Yes, it talks energy and the universe and all that jazz, but in a more scientific (and easier to read) manner. This book – win.
- Things New Yorkers Do. I’m guilty of…well…all of them.
- I’m purchasing all my nieces’ holiday gifts from Goldie Blox. I so wish these toys were around when I was a child.
- We’re having a cozy Christmas dinner for two this year, and these cranberry margaritas will definitely be on the menu.
- And while we’re on the booze front, be sure to bookmark Victoria’s wine selections for Thanksgiving. I prefer sparkling, and my husband and I both love red. What’s your favorite wine?
- My favorite pick from my holiday Shopbop order are these brilliant texting gloves (in luxe cashmere, no less). A great stocking stuffer, no?
- An older feature, but a good one – the desks and offices of the the world’s most creative people.
Happy Thanksgiving (for my American readers) and a great rest of the week (for the international crowd). If you’d like to keep up with my vacation, follow me on Instagram - lots of photo and video action happening over there.
image – Karlie Kloss, photographed by Mario Testino on the Great Wall (via)
First and foremost, a huge THANK YOU for entering the FLIGHT 001 giveaway. I had a record number of entries, and more importantly your comments were instrumental for helping me prioritize the topics for Travel Tips – and to create more Pack Perfect guides. (P.S. – we have three more giveaways on deck this year. I meant it when I dubbed myself Santa Hitha).
Toiletries seem to be a particularly troublesome problem. Which means I’ve created a new Pack Perfect – Toiletries guide.
As you know, my newsletter subscribers get the exclusive access to these guides (as well as travel tips I don’t share anywhere else). So go ahead and SIGN UP, and you’ll get BOTH guides, completely free. And, in the coming weeks, a sneak peek of what I’m working on for you next
I’m off on holiday TOMORROW! I’ll be publishing 3 posts a week while I’m gone, but you can follow my Asia travels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.