Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm sad to say it, but we are back home from Italy now.  Ya, real life is setting back in and we just want to go back to Italy...

So I'll go back in my mind while I blog about it.  :)

So last I left off, we were at Day 3 of the Creative Retreat and even though I blogged about dinner at Al Veluu, I don't think I posted pictures.  It was very hard to post pictures while we were there because the internet is a bit behind the times in Italy.  So here are some photos from that night:

Here we are by the ferry, ready to go over to Tremezzo for dinner

Some of the ladies admiring the gorgeous view from Al Vellu

I quick took the beautiful Jeanne Oliver down a little path by Al Vellu for a few minutes.  Doesn't she look totally in her element?

We were such a big group that they had to sit us in the outdoor portico 

My cute helpers...

On of our favorite meals...ever!  Al Veluu is amazing.

It was a perfect night dining al fresco at Al Veluu

Tuesday was an Excursion Day.  This is one of my FAV days of the whole week and I know the ladies loved it too!  I took the ladies on a boat tour of the lake, then we went to one of the most famous villas on the lake, Villa Balbianello, where many movies have been filmed. Maybe you will recognize it:

This is where Star Wars, James Bond, A Month by the Lake and other movies have been filmed.

The architecture is just stunning with all the gardens and beautiful vines...

It was a windy day and we tried to get some of the ladies up to the top to take this photo.

Then we were back on the boat to lunch... and a look around the lake.  here's Jeanne with her adorable hubby.

Sir Richard Branson's villa on the lake.  Maybe I can host an event here?  It will only cost me 140,000Euros for the week... lol

Lunch was at one of my favorite spots again... have a few of those now :)

Just imagine enjoying a gourmet lunch while in such a peaceful setting...

After such a great day, it was hard to go back.  But Tuesday night was my "Night of Artists" and I was beyond excited for this event!  I had asked a friend from the local area months before to help me with this.  My idea was to have local artists come to the GHVS and share their crafts with my ladies and the local people of Bellagio.  I want my events to be more then just me bringing people to Lake Como.  I really want the people I bring to get to know the people IN Italy.  That is why I opened up the classes to local people (more on that another day...) and why I wanted to have this event open to the public as well.  So the event room where my classes take place was transformed into a kind of "craft faire"  where 8 of local artists came and set up their booths and then at night we opened it up to the public to come, enjoy some wine and light snacks, a musician came and played music, and we enjoyed a night together and did a little shopping as well!  It was so much fun and I really want to make this a part of my event each year as it grows and more local people come out and meet with the people I bring...  

The musician played the piano in the salon first for a bit, then moved into the event room for the night.

Here's some of the first shoppers looking at all the handcrafted items.

Here I am with some of the artists later that evening.

This is Evelyn who helped me organize the event.  I know she did a lot of work to help this come together and I really appreciate it!

My lovely ladies... these are two of the NICEST people you will EVER MEET.  Love them and this week was so wonderful due to how AWESOME they are!  I will be having them back for sure...

I have SO many pictures to share and more thoughts from this amazing week, but they will have to wait for another time.  I miss all these ladies already and I can tell you that if you come some day, you will see first hand how wonderful Italy is and how fast you become lifelong friends with the people you experience this with.  We will all have memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.

If YOU want to share in that, I really do encourage you to think about joining us one of these years.  Next year is almost FULL so if you're interested in coming next year, just send me an email and I will see how many more I can fit in next May.  If that doesn't work out and I have enough people to do a 2nd one next year, you won't have to twist my arm to far!  hahaha  

I am thinking about the possibility of doing this next September as well.  So let me know and I'll start an interest list for next September.  I would LOVE to take you to this gorgeous part of Italy.  It's like stepping back in time to an Italy you dream about.  I was kind of talking about this with some of the ladies...  We all envision "Italy" a certain way and it is beautiful and there are unbelievable places all over Italy.  But the reality is that some of the places we DREAM about in Italy like Venice or Rome, etc... have a bit of "real world" in them as well with the traffic, the pick pockets, the people selling trinkets everywhere.  Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE those places.  But coming to Lake Como to me is like stepping back to a place that is what you "think" Italy should be.  You don't worry about a car, there's no traffic or barely any cars, no sidewalk trinket stands and it's just you and Italy and enjoying the beauty that is there around every corner.   I could probably talk about it all day long... so just think about it.  

Email me if you want to come and I will do my best to always bring you here.  

Even if you wanted me to organize a small group of your own friends or organize an event for you here.  I am organizing my husbands Sales Reward meeting here in September!  So I know the places that aren't talked about it the travel books and I love this place like my 2nd home.  

Have a GREAT day and I hope to MEET you some day in the beautiful place.



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