• The Extra Ordinary!

    Sitges…Spain. My last day in this great beach town and the skies once again don’t disappoint in the perfect shade of clear azure blue. I have totally gotten into my groove of lazy days seaside just in time for it to end!

    Strolling to the beach this morning, I was struck by the everyday beauty I was amongst and in a way I was totally taking it all for granted. I stopped and slowed down and decided to REALLY LOOK!

    As a tourist, we become fixated on the big sights, the bucket list moments, and the postcard perfect pictures to bring home. But wait, I am forgetting the beauty of the ordinary…the unique yet mundane elements that make up every locale…inspiration many times comes from obscure places and things. Suddenly, you can look at something you have seen a thousand times and it strikes you as totally new, seeing something you never did before. As a fashion designer, I am constantly making the everyday into the fabulous; re-looking at vintage finds, re-discovering classic movies, and re-imagining iconic eras in a new and modern way!

    I was struck by the beauty of Spanish tiles…on floors, walls, and doorways…these beautiful works of art that are so prevalent throughout Spain! Graphic & artisan geometrics in sun-washed colors look utterly chic! I can see re-adapting these into an accent ottoman, a throw pillow, a chiffon blouse, or cool printed short. Let your imagination run wild!

    Muchas Gracias to Spain for the sights, tastes, and inspiration!






  • My own Poseidon adventure!

    Sitges, Spain…I am thoroughly enjoying my chill time at the beach! But I love to eat and I am finding some YUMMY treats seaside in Spain…

    This tiny town was a former sleepy fishing village and it definitely stays true to that DNA with amazing fresh seafood. Of course, this is Spain, so cured meats, tapas, olives, and potatoes (patatas bravas) are in abundance. To accompany your meal, Spanish wines, white or red Sangria, and every version of Mojitos (strawberry Mojito seem to be a local favorite) are on the drink list.

    I have experienced some amazing seafood while here and I especially like how creatively Spanish staples are mixed with fresh caught fish!

    Fresh calamari rings, large langoustines (large shrimp), sardines prepared in a myriad of ways seem on every menu straight from the morning catch. Paella made with an array of seafood is an easy shareable plate that is super satisfying, black squid ink paella with shrimp (arroz Negro) is definitely an interesting looking choice if you want to try something new and a bit more rich… But, I love finding more creative fish preparations that I would rarely see back home…

    Yesterday, I had a delicious lunch beachside that I am still thinking about! Local fresh Turbot sautéed with Iberian Ham in a light garlic vinaigrette (Rodaballo con vinagreta tibia de jambon iberico y ago). Unusual, yet delicious! Lucious fillet of white meat turbot with crunchy bits of ham, sautéed like bacon…sooo good! You know I never met a pork product I didn’t like..

    Today is fresh caught Tuna (Atun) that I am swooning over! Now this is definitely NOT “chicken of the sea”!




  • Going Au Naturale!

    I am still getting on Spanish time..dinner is late, cocktails even later, and dancing until silly o’clock!
    They even serve breakfast in the hotel until 12 noon…today I ate breakfast just in time at almost noon, still a bit groggy.

    After dancing under the stars at an outdoor beach party, I made my exit at almost 5 am and it seemed the party was just starting to get going! Phew…I must be showing my age, this is hard… I guess there isn’t any need for “after-hours” clubs here as that would just mean brunch!

    Well continuing on my comfort zone destruction, today I am off to Balmins beach…called Sitges prettiest beach and also it’s Nude beach! What’s the point? At other beaches women are topless and men wear the tiniest, leave nothing to the imagination, barely speedos!

    The walk is lovely along the water past the main church and San Sebastian beach, then you will see the Melia hotel in distance and eureka! A 10 minute walk in all from town…

    Its a lovely beach set amongst craggy rocks, calm water and no vendors pushing drinks, massages, etc…Unfortunately, there were few loungers & umbrellas available which limited my stay! These bits have never seen the sun, so I had to say “been there, done that” and move on…I didn’t really unleash some inner naturalist or exhibitionist, but I did as the locals and added to my growing list of “experiences”!



  • A new obsession!

    I love finding that one thing, that new accessory, that cool piece that becomes like a new toy on Christmas morning…

    I am totally surprised by how much fashion shopping there is in Sitges…mostly beach oriented, but definitely cool watches, amazing glasses/sunglasses, and shoes. What has surprised me is the designer beach towels…who knew you could get a Moncler or Dior beach towel, I guess everybody likes to get their designer fix in a different way!

    Well, I am totally obsessing over my new flip-flops,of all things! I know everybody is still coveting their Havaianas, not me…I found these all rubber sandals here in a cool little store that I want in every color!

    These made in Italy matte rubber “Henry & Henry” flips have a grooved sole and are as light as air…you don’t even feel you have anything on! I think the bright range of colors are great way to “pop” your wardrobe…best of all they were 24 euros or just under US $30.

    I love that I can discover new destinations as well as new fashion finds! Luckily I am practicing some self control and not buying every color cause I have already reached max capacity in my luggage…20120710-113104.jpg20120710-113140.jpg

  • Going for the Bronze!

    Sitges, Spain…An easy 30 minute train ride from Barcelona, I have reached an oasis! This sleepy town by day turns into a party spot by night. The afternoon is spent either lounging at a cafe or catching some rays along the long beach, as the siesta is a long 1:30-4:30 and no stores are open!

    I am enjoying a lazy day seaside trying to work on my tan and get some relaxing in. The beach has a plethora of loungers and umbrellas for rent, thankfully…I am feeling a bit self conscious as the men are all bronze, fit, and swarthy in their speedos. Well, a guy can only dream…and I guess I better cut down on those tasty croquettes and fried artichokes! Luckily, the beach has a beautiful wide boardwalk for me to get alot of walking in, if I can’t have the six-pack, at least I can have the calves!


  • Holy bat cave, Robin!

    Montserrat, Spain…today I embarked on a quick day trip out of Barcelona! After a late night hitting the local clubs and bars in Eixample district of Barcelona, I thought a different view of Catalonia was in order.

    Perched high in the cavernous mountain side, the Monastery housing the scuplture of the black Madonna behind its altar seems detached from the rest of the world, set in an absolutely rugged yet breathtaking spot!

    Getting here isn’t as simple as it seems…again I had to navigate the train system, this time in the pickpocket heaven of Espanya station! Clutching my man-purse like an old lady, I set out! No one was messing with me…after the hourlong train ride, it’s time for the 5 minute cable car ride to the top…Geez, adventures never cease on this trip, I guess I am determined to ignore all my comfort zones…

    Standing the whole ride in what is essentially a yellow basket, the view is fantastic but the ride is not for the faint of heart! Again I seem to have landed in another ancient world…how did this place get here in the middle of stalactite looking terrain?

    One more ride up, this time on the funicular to Sant Joan in order to view it all from an even higher vantage point…what other means of transport shall I employ today?

    Anyway, this isn’t a religious outing…it’s a marvel of both nature and the will of man to build amongst it! Who even knew this existed, obscure places like this reaffirm my love of travel. Remember, much of any journey lies in discovery of places you never knew you wanted to visit!






  • Doing my best Hemingway!

    The Encierro (running of the bulls) in Pamplona…

    Every once in awhile you have a “moment”, today I had one of those “moments”! I didn’t love waking up at 5 am and I definitely didn’t look cute in my white outfit with red scarf & sash (maybe I needed to channel Ernest Hemingway with his signature Panama hat!) but it was totally worth it.

    Arriving in the center of town at 6 am to find it already mobbed with bull-run eager participants, I needed to hurry before they starting closing the path to my balcony. I arrived and was greeted by the apartment owner and shown to my viewing spot only to discover I scored this balcony all to myself, maybe this was turning out to be a VIP trip afterall!

    I was one floor above the Calle Estefeta right where the action happens and the location was directly after the first treacherous curve of the route in which the bulls head towards the red doors of the stadium for tonight’s bull fight. I stood there in awe, watching the runners stretch and get ready to outrun the bulls while shopkeepers board up their storefronts.

    The crowd chants and sings, the street is swept for trash, and the formalities begin; Runners are pushed back by police, men in green polos arrive carrying sticks they use to direct the bulls if needed, local politicians walk and inspect the route, and this collective community in white & red is ready and anxious!

    At 8 am, you hear the gunshot and they are off! In a flash, the bulls appear and you see men tumbling, runners literally loosing their espadrilles, and even a few unlucky souls getting run over!
    I see one poor guy ‘s t shirt is literally speared by the bulls horn and he is being pulled the entire way into the stadium!

    What a rush! What a thrill! What a total “moment” I will never forget!







  • Baby, you’re a Firework!

    I made it…Pamplona!
    Well after quite an adventure, the bus pulled in to Pamplona and I admit I got a little sappy…I cried
    a bit! I just couldn’t believe I got here and I never thought I would ever be in Pamplona. A rush full of all the emotions that this trip holds came over me. Travel is so special to me and the world has so much to experience and this is one of those infamous ones!

    Well, this town is over run with people EVERYWHERE…this is not just a running of the bulls but a 9 day festival named the San Fermin Festival. The streets are flooded with people dressed in white with red scarves cleverly tied at their necks and soaked in red wine that they pour on each other! I mean this is an over-the-top party, the likes of which I have never seen! A crazy mix of drunk & drenched revelers and a riot of free spirited fun.

    People are camping in parks, using outdoor bathrooms, and passed out in the streets just in order to be part of it all. I saw people from every corner of the world as well as every generation. The Spanish are so captivated by this age old fiesta that it’s telecast 24 hours a day on National TV.

    I strolled around to get acquainted and got off pretty unscathed…I got hit with a few slices of Sangria fruit and had sticky shoes, but not a drop of wine spilled on me, even though I was offered my fair share!

    I bought my mandatory white and red gear and headed out for a spectacular late night fireworks display…what a show!!!

    I will say it again, the Spanish do know how to PARTY! Tomorrow is the big day…The Running of the Bulls.





  • Running to the Bulls!

    I arrived back in Barcelona and I must admit I am officially out of my element! No concierge, No guidebook, Nada! Today I am heading to Pamplona to watch the infamous running of the bulls (I don’t plan to get chased by them).

    I couldn’t be more excited, but I am gonna need a huge dose of positive travel karma in order to get me there! No chauffeur or red carpet treatment on this trip…this journey to see an event I have dreamed of experiencing is becoming daunting, even for an experienced traveller like myself. The trains are all full, the hotels are all full, and most of the viewing spots along the run are taken!

    I have learned that staying strong and not giving up is key when traveling…ask, do not be shy, try every angle, and most importantly forge on!

    I am not nearly as calm as sound, I was swearing up and down that confusing Barcelona Sants train station going from window to window until I figured out a way to get to Pamplona. The Catalan language is so hard to understand and finding an English speaker is very elusive! So here I go; I believe I found a 1 star hostel (yikes!), I am taking a train to Zaragoza and hopefully a bus onwards from there, and I think I even secured a tiny spot on a miniature balcony overlooking the running of the bulls.

    Pamplona here I come…I think I already stared down a few bulls in my effort to get there and not sure what the rest of the route will hold! I may just be fool hardy enough to put on all white, tie on a red neck scarf, and run with those damn bulls if I am lucky enough to ever get there!

    Here I go…20120706-150235.jpg20120706-150317.jpg