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THIS STORY APPEARED IN VOGUE on 6/15/17 [caption id="attachment_20943" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Hotel Eden Roc, Ascona[/caption] Summer in the balmy Provencal town of St. Tropez seems like a holiday slam dunk. That is, until you arrive and find every sun dappled cafe full and your strolls along the beach more freeway rush hour than seaside getaway. Don’t get me wrong. St. Tropez is lovely.  It’s just that hordes of tourists capturing their rose quaffing via selfie stick can harsh...

Beach getaway. Road trip. Alpine holiday. City vacation. All fun, all kind of predictable. To inject wow factor into your summer vacation, why not tack on something unexpected: a train escapade—wait for it—with a sleeper cabin. You may think of a train as simply a mode of transport. And, dismiss it as less expedient than a plane flight. But to kids, getting from A to B by locomotive fires the imagination on all cylinders. Think about...

While j’adore Paris, a recent trip there felt triste, the militia -like police presence, endless sirens and parfum of fear sucking the romantic spirit from the city. Plus, I couldn’t shake the anxiety that a terrorist attack was very much in the realm of possibility during my visit. It made me think— The City of Light no longer felt like Europe’s ne plus ultra getaway. Could Amsterdam snatch the reins from Paris? [caption id="attachment_20513" align="alignnone" width="768"]...

The most difficult thing about becoming a parent is watching the concept of free time evaporate. In the old days,  “getting ready” was part of the fun of going out. Two luxurious hours could easily be invested in outfit selection and grooming. Your chart-topping responsibility along with your career and social life was looking good and having fun. Then came kids. Just like many other things in life, the simple pleasure of limitless free time...

To me, a trip is very much about where I will lay my head.  Hotels are a major part of the travel experience. Without a comfortable (veering luxurious), recently renovated, de-shag carpetized hotel/inn, the destination won’t work. Translation:  no skanky bedspreads, no lumpy mattresses, no flattened- by -age pillows, no dried flowers, no doilies and no staying in a hotel without photos on the website. Another thing: if the term “historic accommodations” is used, it...

I almost never deviate from carry-on luggage. Black dress, black pants, a few shirts and two pairs of shoes. But, last month, I did. And, boy did I regret it. While packing for a nine day odyssey from the Rhone to Paris, I allowed visions of linen clad afternoons in Provence and swanky evenings at the Ritz Paris cloud my instincts. Though my brain screamed, “non!” to that extra dress, heels and snakeskin clutch, my...

Often dubbed “The Paris of the East” , Budapest’s grand, tree-lined boulevards, landmarks, museums, impressive architecture and artsy café culture holds the allure of the City of Light minus the attitude. WHAT TO DO Hit the Castle District. Take the creaky19th century funicular up the hill to Buda Castle where you can explore the castle, historic squares, museums and catch the dramatic changing of the guard at the Hungarian Presidential Palace. Under the castle is another world,...

Back Pain. It’s my albatross. Every day, without fail, I start the day with ice, then move on to heat to reduce the annoying inflammation. My spine management doc has prescribed meds. But, there is always a trade off. I would rather deal with the pain that I know than walk around like a espresso singed zombie all day. Travel, of couse, exacerbates the pain. But, it is my lifeblood. So, after years of suffering,...

Scent plays a huge role in style. A woman’s fragrance is an extension of her look. Upscale hotels (like the Plaza Athenee in Paris) often boast a signature parfum that symbolizes the property’s luxury status. Even retailers (think Abercrombie and Fitch) use aroma to define their brand. This concept carries over to décor. A home is yet another style platform to personalize with scent. My Chicago apartment embodies my eclectic style; a mix of contemporary and...