Sweet Vacation

It’s time to start planning another vacation for early summer.

I just had a mini-big vacation in January, so I feel a bit guilty already thinking of planning another one, but January’s indulgence just wasn’t long enough for my satisfaction. Although I went to Aspen to ski and hangout for five glorious days, I stayed in a mediocre hotel (Hotel Aspen) because most were sold out. Although it lacked the plush amenities, I have to admit it did have the most awesome bed. So to indulge further, I decided to head over to The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek for a three night getaway.

To justify the splurge, I figured that at my age I was long past due for the Ritz experience since I’d never had one (historically, I’m a “Westin”-er). Trust me, it didn’t disappoint. Between the ski concierge who actually put on ~ and buckled ~ my ski boots to the most incredible spa in North America (the Vitamin C Rescue Facial is to die for) to the roaring fireplace in front of my bed, I’m afraid there’s no turning back for me now.

If there was ever a doubt, I now know where I belong.

My last really big vacation splurge was following the Tour de France for my 4oth birthday for a few weeks. When I was invited by friends to go on this bike excursion through the south of France, I was psyched.

My enthusiasm quickly dissipated, however, when I realized that my idea of a biking vacation didn’t quite align with theirs. My relaxing vision consisted of renting a bicycle…with a bell…and a basket…and a picnic for two in Province. They, with gear in hand, had their racing bikes shipped over from America. How in the world I got invited to go with this group, I’ll never know. But one thing’s for sure, I’m glad I said “yes!”

Not to be deterred, I made the best of it (which, I should note, required no effort) and had an absolute blast! How these guys and gal (Linda, you rocked) managed to actually bike up the Alpe d’Huez still amazes me. Driving up it made me sick.

One of the many highlights during this trip was a three-day respite at Mas de Cornud, a beautiful chateau one mile outside of St. Remy in Provence. Envision petit-dejeuner of fresh figs and granola on the terrace…a brisk walk to check out the farmer’s market in town…a leisurely afternoon swim in the private pool…learning how to cook a delicious lamb dish in an open firepit…and then dining al fresco style, sipping the best wine ever, while witnessing good friends get engaged at the candlelit table (pics to come). That was my experience, and it’s one place that should not be missed by anyone visiting the area.

Be sure to tell David and Nito hello.

So where to next? Hmmmmm. I’m open for suggestions. Something wild and crazy and international. African Safari? Ireland? Russia?

Stay tuned…

About Constance Hammond

A fun-loving, hard-working bootstrapper...with guts.
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