Summer of Love

IMG_2971I’m a true seasonal person. More than anything, I love the changing of the seasons.  Probably because I was born and raised in Florida without seasons.  I love the fact that there’s a certainty, a progress to the year that you can count on like nothing else in the world because the seasons will change no matter what happens in our small lives or the planet we live on. It’s puts things in perspective.  And the Summer for me has always been about the culmination of all the seasons up until this point.  In order to have an outrageously successful summer, you must make sure you were present in preceding seasons.  And only then can you luxuriate in the glory of the ‘coming out’ season of Summer. For this I am grateful that I did my work because this summer was a sweet one.

IMG_0102Nothing better than Kicking off my summer of love in Africa on safari with friends. It  was dreamy.  And the best was hiking with those gorgeous gorillas in Rwanda thanks to Mark Homann’s extraordinary efforts everywhere and who made sure we got those coveted permits.

When I first saw them, it made me teary eyed as they were so human and the recognition they had was just beyond words. The gorillas are evidently a symbol of hope, the face with which Rwanda can look at the world again, and return to normal life after the genocide.  They have been held back by their painful history but not anymore.

Everyone we met had a story to tell.   With compassion and love, They spoke with true forgiveness in their heart and with pride for their country.   The most impressive thing I learned as we drove through the capital city of Kigali and elsewhere across this hilly densely populated country is that citizens are required once a month to partake in a giant neighborhood cleaning effort.. including the president!  And they have a zero tolerance policy towards plastic bags.  We should be taking a page out of their playbook.

And then it was family time.

IMG_0003 A first for us taking our sons and their significant others on a trip … just the six of us.  Corsica, a mountainous mediterranean island off the coast of France was the winner.  We stayed at the most unique concept of a “spread out hotel” with 20 shepherds houses located dirt road miles apart on 6000 acres.  Domaine De Murtoli was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.  Mother Nature everywhere on this agricultural farm where everything we ate and drank was local and delicious.  We had our own private beach. We had a choice of 3 michelin star restaurants. We played night golf on their 12 hole golf course which by the way … every golf course should be 12 holes!! IMG_3002 We went to a huge disco beach party on our first night and a magnificent opera concert on the same beach our last “full moon” night.   I get chills just thinking about it. But our best night on the property turned out to be when I ordered a catered dinner in our sweet little house’s outside kitchen.  Evidently, there was a communication/language gap as I waited for our chef who never arrived.  A catered dinner meant a drop off of food we were to cook ourselves.

This was curious because after all,  we were on vacation.  But as we got busy drinking and chopping, singing and dancing, the food tasted oh so good.   The only day we ventured off property was to hike part of the famous  GR 20 trail.  A long day but completely worth it. IMG_2982

And then it was off to magical Venice, the romance capital of the world in the Adriatic sea surrounded by ancient waterways and canals with its gorgeous architecture. IMG_0018The last time we were there together was for Sheldon’s Bar Mitzvah in the old Jewish section…not so romantic.  This time, We hit the water running from country represented artist pavilions courtesy of the Biennale to private art installations to the Prada and LVMH foundations and the not to missed Peggy Guggenheim collection.   Together we travelled the streets easily getting lost but finding our way back to San Marco square where we would re-group. IMG_0024 Lunches on the go but Dinners were the celebration of the love in the most romantic city of all.

Cheers and toasts all around.

IMG_3100Summer days are long but not long enough for my Camp Aspen community of friendships.  Like the one root system of an Aspen tree, this could define my friendships here.  My happy place remains true to my soul with friends so dear to my heart.

IMG_2780Between July 4th with my extended family, Wine Crush, Art Crush, JazzAspen, Friday golf games with the girls, hiking, biking,

yoga, dinner parties, birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs and my newest sport…pickle ball, it was truly a summer of love.  And it’s with tremendous joy that I share my love for all the people that made this summer a most memorable one.  As the cycle continues, I can feel the air getting a little crisper here in NYC with the changing of the leaves not far away pressuring life and its basic necessities.  Here’s to Fall and your perfect harvest.IMG_3209

 

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