Friday, April 27, 2012

Badia di Pomaio

Last summer's Italian vacation was planned mainly to see Pompeii (which I started reading about and had been dreaming of seeing since 3rd grade) and to take the kids to see Rome... so Rome and south were the agenda.

Then I heard about the Prada outlet.

It's located in Montevarchi, in Tuscany, so I orchestrated a little side trip a bit north.  Arezzo looked to be a good base in the area and I found many hotel options, settling on Badia di Pomaio.  I am so glad we made this excursion out of Rome.  What we saw of Tuscany was amazing, and Badia di Pomaio is an absolute gem.  This former abbey (1645) is located up a hill off of a very (possibly slightly scary to some) windy road.  The views of the landscape and the grounds were gorgeous, our rooms (Rosa and Narcisco) were lovely, and the staff was absolutely delightful and truly made our stay an amazing experience.  We had supper outside in the courtyard twice and it was wonderful.  Our children really enjoyed the pool.  It was not a bad drive to the Prada outlet, either (up next).

Here are some pics:

Happy Friday!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wrapping up Italy {Castellammare di Stabia}

I've been thinking about travel lately, with our recents trips to Vancouver and Whistler, and especially with planning NYC and DC this summer - and realized I never did wrap up with pics from our Italian vacation last summer. Here are some pictures from our stay in Castellammare di Stabia. (I'll also share some pictures from Arezzo - and Prada outlet shopping still gets its own post - those are next.)

We stayed at La Medusa Grand Hotel in Castellammare di Stabia because of its proximity to Pompeii and the Amalfi coast. It truly was like a little oasis in the area - beautifully decorated inside, with lush gardens and a nice pool. Their website shows great photos of their gorgeous garden/park. The staff was also absolutely lovely, kind, and helpful - and wonderful with our children. We had two rooms that adjoined from a small private foyer and stayed here for four nights while we explored the coast, Positano and Amalfi, and Pompeii, Paestum and Oplontis. I booked through and found it very easy to use the online reservations process to find accommodations for five. The pricing was exactly as quoted, and did not require a deposit - we paid at the hotel as usual.

our view of Mt. Vesuvius


really fresh orange juice

heading to the pool

hallway on our floor

staircase to lobby

dining al fresco at the hotel

On our first night we arrived rather late and the kitchen at the hotel was closed, so we drove up the street and found a place down a narrow drive behind the "Sava Gas" sign. The food was fantastic.

They gave us an English menu but I don't think I heard anything but Italian from other customers. Definitely didn't feel like a tourist spot.

Here's a little video I shot of one of our drives in the area. Sorry, I don't know exactly where we were (that happened a lot). We didn't get physically stuck like we did here, but our tomtom gps sure did guide us through some narrow streets while we were south:


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Whistler Ski Weekend {in iPhone snaps}

view from our deck

Whistler, BC has been getting quite a bit of snow lately and we had a wonderful short ski getaway in this charming village last weekend. It was the first time on skis for both my six-year-old and eight-year-old (ten-year-old has been skiing all season and is getting pretty good). They all had such a great time. After unhappily getting fitted for ski boots and putting on all his gear (he'd have much rather been in flip flops), it was a joy to see my son give it a go and really take to it... "The skis are doing all the work!" he proclaimed after his first try. We got some great videos.

Here are a few iPhone snaps from the weekend:

deck + view the other direction

the pool area at The Four Seasons
There was snow on the lounge chairs but it was nice in the hot tubs.

First time on skis!

an OOTN: Moth Sweater (Anthropologie), Hermes Nuees Imaginaires, Target ponte leggings, J Crew boots
for dinner at Araxi

Moscow Mule at Araxi
"(Circa 1941) Stoli vodka, fresh lime, ginger beer, bitters"

Alaskan Scallops

Okanagan Poached Pears
"creme fraiche ice cream and ginger crumbles
white wine and pear espuma"
+ a Sauternes

an OOTD: Lands' End sweater, ON tank, Target leggings, J Crew boots, Burberry scarf

part of the breakfast buffet at Sidecut at The Four Seasons

the children's breakfast buffet

Happy Thursday!