Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 2 ~

Some times things change... for the BETTER.   I had originally planned for Sunday of the Creative Retreat to be a day of rest.  I know traveling so far to Italy can be exhausting and I wanted to the ladies to have the next day to relax by the pool, sleep in or just walk the town.

BUT... when something "reveals" itself to you, you have to make changes.  Now I know how I am when I find out some special event is going on when I'm on vacation.  I get EXCITED!  And that's just what happened when I started looking into the Antique Markets in Italy!  These don't happen everywhere and they don't happen very often.  Sure, there are LOTS of markets all over Italy, but Antique Markets are quite rare.  So when I found out that there happened to be one on the ONE Sunday of the month that WE happened to be on our Retreat I just KNEW I had to see about taking the ladies!

It was in Bergamo, an ancient walled city on a hill about 1 1/2 hours away from Bellagio.

Well, once I mentioned this Antique Market to the ladies on our Yahoo Group, there was NO napping going to happen on Sunday!  lol...  EVERY lady wanted to go shopping instead!

So we got on a private bus for 20 people and headed to Bergamo on Sunday morning!  And, as with any trip to Italy, unexpected things come up...  Like a BIG parade of local musicians in their authentic dress from days gone past!

So instead of driving down this street, we had to stop the bus for about 20 minutes and wait.  Which just made it a fun adventure getting to Bergamo...and a GREAT photo op!  :)

So, after the parade cleared, we headed to the "city on the hill" of Bergamo.  You can just barely make it out in the far back of the photo above.

Once we finally arrived, the ladies were LOVING Bergamo and the unique little streets and piazzas!  

The Piazza the Antique Market was in had been totally transformed into a garden for some weekend garden expo.  But the Antique Market was still there and my nightmare the night before was unfounded... (I dreamt we got here and NO Antique Market)

The market is small, but FILLED with goodies.  Here's just a few things that were fun to look at:

Some of the ladies found a treasure box of little "finds" at this booth.  It's where I had found quite a few treasures this past summer when I scoped this market out with Rebecca.  They decided to use some of these "finds" on their shadow box class with Lisa Pace!  But take a look at some of the antique shadow boxes AT the market:

The architecture of this city and this square was beautiful enough to not even need the Antique Market for a reason to explore this city.  I know the ladies LOVED looking around this square, seeing the beautiful churches and buildings here, the people and the lovely shops.

We even had a bit of the parade follow us up to the ancient part of the city and serenade us!  :)

We finished the day with a wonderful lunch at Il Fornaio and a few photos on the city wall.

It was a wonderful day and I know the ladies would go back in a heartbeat to this beautiful city!

We still got back in time to enjoy the rest of the day in Bellagio and take in the sights and sounds of Lake Como.  Dinner that night was at Princess Bellagio, a little restaurant tucked away on one of the cobblestone streets of Bellagio.  It has beautiful decor in white and black with Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe AND has the most amazing "pink angel" that you'll have to order if you come with me next summer!  

Speaking of which...

I will be REVEALING the details of next years event THIS NEXT MONDAY!!

So come back here Monday to get more information on this AMAZING retreat and how to sign up for next years Creative Retreat!!



Friday, September 28, 2012

When you have a DREAM and it takes root and starts materializing... and then it becomes a REALITY, it is SO hard to describe it!   I don't even know where to begin.

But I'm going to try...

In 2009 when I first came to Lake Como, Italy for my 20th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband, I cried when I took it all in.  Bellagio, the lake, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, the architecture, the flowers, and being in Italy!   Every single element that is "BEAUTY" to me is somehow made perfect here.  It to me is my idea of perfection, or "heaven on earth."

So right then in 2009 an idea took shape.

I have been back to Lake Como every year since and in 2011 I finally decided that I would DREAM BIG and begin to organize this "idea" into a Women's Retreat at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni!

I can not express how fulfilling it was to see this dream come true and it was with the most WONDERFUL group of ladies I could have hoped for!

We had 19 ladies all together and the first night we had a great time getting to know each other on the beautiful pergola by the lake.

The sun was setting, we had a nice light dinner, we got to meet everyone and just enjoy the beauty that we were all taking in together!  It was a great beginning to the week ahead of us in beautiful Bellagio!

We then went into the meeting room and had a quick class with Stayce DeWid and her new line of products, Art Anthology.

It was the perfect beginning and it got us excited for the week ahead!  But it was off to bed for everyone soon afterward so we could be ready for a wonderful day the next morning as we headed to Bergamo for an Antique Market in this ancient city on a hill.  

More to come in the next post...

Monday, September 24, 2012

You may have been waiting patiently for me to post on here as we enjoy our time in Italy.

Unfortunately, I have tried to upload some beautiful pictures from our journey here and Italy is a bit behind on technology so it hasn't been possible to show you all of them...

We leave tomorrow for Milan (we are in Venice right now) and once I get back home, I will be posting like a CRAZY woman about the MOST AMAZING week in Bellagio that us ladies had together!!

Ciao for now...