Thursday, June 2, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend And Here Comes Italy!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! It's nice to have the three days - especially right before our 13th Candelaria Design Tour Italy and the busy week we just had.  

First, given it is Memorial Day Weekend I want to personally thank those who have given literally “everything” including their lives for our freedom and way of life here in America! There is no measure of the gratitude or understanding we can give those and their surviving families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

Ok – we have been busy and getting busier that is for sure! Last Sunday, Isabel and I cooked our paella dinner along with Isabel’s special New Mexico Red Chile Butternut Squash Chicken Enchiladas at the Gage Residence we just completed in Arcadia Silverleaf. I wrote in our blog last weekend of why this client and project is so special and Sunday night’s evening only further confirmed that! With Editors Michael Hiatt from Scottsdale Modern Luxury Magazine and Adrienne Honing from LUXE Magazine in attendance in addition to stylist and fashionista extraordinaire, Oscar De LaSalas, Isabel and I had to be on our A game! Let’s just throw in the SKETCH production crew who filmed the entire evening…..No pressure! Great help from our sous chefs and Project Managers Damon Wake and Kim Schroeder, the dinner was a wonderful success and such a fun evening!!

Then add a quick trip to Beverly Hills on Monday to view a project with a client, we moved through the week to Thursday where our second episode of SKETCH was released – Chateau du Scottsdale . Watch for Episode three coming out this Thursday, June 2nd as we feature The Artist’s Villa! Thanks to Jason Harris and his team at The Design Network for all the love on their network. Check out our blog from earlier this year which gives even more detail behind the story of this fabulous home.

This weekend Isabel and I are spending time with family and working away before we depart on our 13th Candelaria Design Tour Italy this coming Wednesday morning!!! We have a wonderful group of 14 travelers joining us with travelers from coast to coast – Philadelphia to Santa Monica, with travelers from Minneapolis, Spokane, Long Beach and of course Scottsdale and Paradise Valley! We have five repeat travelers and a couple first time to Europe travelers which I love. What a great way to break into traveling than our trip!!!

This year we will travel from all of our starting cities and we will all descend on Firenze arriving Thursday June 2nd. We will spend two fabulous days and evenings in Florence whereupon next Saturday June 4th we will grab our cars and form our convoy to our farmhouse compound in Umbria where our host, Elizabeth Wholey, will be waiting for us with a welcome Umbrian farmer’s dinner.

Our Umbrian farmhouse will be our home for a week where we will go on day trips to Arezzo for the antique fair, Cortona, Assisi, Sienna, San Gimignano, not to mention the Banfi Winery with a private tour and lunch at the winery by our personal guide Pino Terisi. Throw in a cooking class from Elizabeth and our time in the country should be fabulous.

After our week in the countryside we will pack up the convoy and make our way across Italy to the foot of the Alps and the Villa d’Este on the picturesque Lake Como. How can you finish a trip any better than this?  Of course this is the spot where Isabel and I had our surprise wedding for our travelers on our 10th Anniversary Tour the day after singer/songwriter John Legend had his wedding to model Chrissy Teigen in the very spot Isabel and I tied the knot the next day! So it’s very special place for us.

Follow our journey right here on our Candelaria Design Blog as I will do my best to post a blog each day and of course we will add plenty on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Basically, you can go on a two week virtual trip through Italy with us!

Now if you really want to go for it, I suggest you join us on our September 2017 Candelaria Design Tour Italy as we will follow the same itinerary only with a finish in Venice!!!! Half of the spots for this trip are already filled so don’t wait long as I always seem to fill it up once our current trip starts! We have an amazing trip planned and how can you beat Venice in mid September.

Our first Candelaria Design Tour Spain trip set for June 2017 is already filled and SOLD OUT. So follow along on that trip as I will be co-hosting the trip with famed local chef, Eddie Matney, of Eddie’s House This should be a fantastic tour starting in Barcelona, a week in the Rioja region of Spain, and then finishing in style in San Sebastian with Eddie cooking his way through Spain and me doing my best to keep up!

Have a great weekend and week everyone and we will see you in Italy! Ciao.

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