Ok, this one is going to sound a bit weird, i probably should have looked things up on the internet before i scared myself at the Desert View Tower & Boulder Park… b/c now that i’ve had the time to sit and search i totally wish it hadn’t been super windy and SUPER creepy when i stopped by… to be fair, we’re cruising along the 8 in the middle of the desert, suddenly from sand dunes it turns to crazy mountains of boulders, and then i see a little castle tower, and we decide to pull off and go see what’s up… pulling off, we head up what we’re warned is a dead end (really early on!) but keep going to see what’s up there, pass a creepy abandonedish feeling rusty trailer park, with an underpass with giant scarecrow like branches (think giant blair witch twigs) with hoodies and clothes on them blocking the way… then we see a very desolate tower with a few pretty old cars in the lot. Really it all looked super spooky! But according to the internet its a fun place where kids run around on boulders…. Anyhow, now that i’ve done my research i kind of want to go back… but with a large group of friends, since the place really gave me the chills! Check out the pics from the place and a few other random roadtripping pictures from Tuscon to San Diego on the 8 yesterday!
While recollecting my thoughts and trying to take a bit of a break ~ i’ve also found myself cleaning up my computer, and while doing so, discovered a lot of posts in the making… that never quite made it! So here’s some more catch up. I spent most of yesterday running around LA (and the outskirts) hunting and researching for the house i’m working on (under construction! i get to move in soon!) ~ and in doing so, finding myself thinking about so many details i hadn’t paid such careful attention to before, and things that reminded me about the Manoir de Verzy ~ the Country House of Madame Veuve Clicquot that we visited, and i’m ashamed that i hadn’t gotten these pictures up for you sooner!
There were so many fascinating details to this house and its gardens and being able to visit the actual vineyards ~ consider this a photo essay of sorts taking you through some of my most memorable images while there. This house is where we learned about vintages (even tasting our birth years! mine was a delicious vintage in ‘82) and Dégorgement à la volée in the Vieux Pressoir with Cyril Brun, the wine communications head and wine maker ~ followed by aperitif and specially crafted, perfectly paired lunch with Stéphane Gerschel - International Communications Director, Andrea Crippa - International Marketing Director, Cyril Brun, Felix Bocquet - Quality and Environment Director, followed by a walk through the vineyards with the Veuve Clicquot Vineyards director, Christian Renard. (All before taking off to our surprise helicopter ride!). It was at this lunch that Andrea gave us that sneak peek of the Ice Cube and i showed you some of the tile i loved. Anyhow, so on house shopping, and all the little details that make a house a home, take a peek at some of the quarters where VIPs stay with Veuve Clicquot, and the beautifully inspiring views across the vineyard on the next page!
On feeling too giddy not to share ~ i just popped down to the Montage Laguna Beach for the night thanks to Toyota (i can’t wait to tour Calty - their design studios in the morning and learn more about the new Toyota crossover car the 2009 Venza!) ~ and the views here were far too breathtaking not to share quickly. Also the bed and bathtub too ~ you know how i can’t resist posting quick hotel pics. Anyhow, if i get a bit quiet tonight/tomorrow you know where i am…
Even just an hour here, i can’t stop staring out at the ocean ~ in contrast to paris, this is definitely confirming i’m far more of a calm, rolling oceans, beach kind of girl than a city girl.
I’ve updated this post four times now ~ so images of bunnies, sunsets, and their insane mosaic pool at night… and 6am shots of moonlight peeking through the clouds… on the next page…
I saw the Veuve Clicquot Globalights designed by Karim Rashid in their true light… honestly, seeing them in press photos and at the launch did not do the design justice… the juxtaposition of the sleek modern pink glow, with the ancient, history filled caves, give them an incredibly surreal context… they were absolutely stunning in the dark depths of the roman limestone caves that double as cellars underneath Reims for the delicious Veuve Clicquot… and as such, i couldn’t help taking photographs of its mesmerizing light, as it provided an incredible glow as our hand held lanterns as we toured the caves and learned about the process in the perfectly cool (same temp all year round!) space… looking at the pictures, i’m amazed how incredible the lighting turned out for what seemed so incredibly dark at the time… now if only we could PLAN some incredible photoshoot down there to make use of the space even more creatively (in addition to making champagne, of course!)… see the photo spread on the next page!
unfortunately the only thing missing in these pictures is having an actual bottle IN the Globalight… ironically we were surrounded by bottles constantly though!
I’ve thought and rethought and dreamt about how to describe this trip, how to break up the posts, how to tell you about all of the incredible things that have happened in the last three days, and somehow it all comes across sounding quite possibly a bit gushy and cheesy. So, you know what? I’m just going to be completely honest with all of you, and even though i have about 1000+ pics of so many insane adventures and stories, here’s the plan: i’m going to work my way through them in images, sharing with you piece by piece, scattered with little stories as i remember them.
The official aspect of this Veuve Clicquot France trip has come to an end, and most of the other bloggers are headed back home, my new Veuve Clicquot family has been kind enough to put me up for 5 more nights so i can cover Paris Design this week at Maison & Objet. So about that family thing, i kid you not that it feels like we were all adopted by the Veuve Clicquot family, everyone from the president, to communications, to brand managers, to sommeliers, and more welcomed us with open arms, and were so kind (and insanely playful, passionate, and full of life) - it felt far more like hanging out with your long lost aunt than meeting with the president of multinational, centuries old, champagne powerhouse. Also, what’s more inspiring than constantly hearing the lore of Madame Clicquot, and in a one liner… a woman who was widows at 27, who manages to revolutionize the champagne industry through a multitude of innovations, and becomes the richest woman in europe in a time where women held few rights? (So, at 25, i guess i have a lot of work to do to catch up someday!)
Ok, but, moving along ~ HELICOPTER RIDE! I’d never been on a helicopter, and the crazy, secret loving itinerary planners of this trip worked in massive surprises for us everyday where even the drivers didn’t know what was up until we arrived. So imagine the looks on our faces when we pulled up to L’aerodrome Reims Prunay? And when we are whisked into “the rolls royce of helicopters” (leather seats, Bose headsets, etc), and soon peering over at the champagne region from bird’s eye view, watching all of the tiny people, vast vineyards, circling the mountain… then suddenly you see it. Madame Clicquot’s historic Boursault Castle. Mind. Blowing. Go see the rest of the images on the next page!
UPDATE!: The bathroom was so gorgeous and huge as well i’ve added pictures of that as well….
Ok, we’re going to jump out of order a bit, but i am far too excited by the gorgeously inspiring chateau Veuve Clicquot moved us to today… imagine waking up from a jetlagged nap and feeling like you fell into a time warp? Welcome to Chateau Les Crayeres in the heart of the Champagne of France… the grounds, decor, rooms, lounge, restaurant…. it’s all breath takingly stunning. Don’t believe me? You have to take a look at the rest of the pictures on the next page… wow. I’m sitting on that bed in the pic right now, and i can’t help staring off every few minutes discovering new details, from the paintings, to the wallpaper patterns, to how ornate the extra high ceilings are!
Basically for the ultimate escape, i can’t imagine a more surreal and beautiful space to relax and catch my breath in… and the whole “room” is probably three time the size of tiny SF apts i’ve ended up in…
The pics on the next page of the circular bar areas with the petticoat like curtains are so sweet!
Wow. I just landed in the absolutely breathtaking Chateau Les Creyeres in Reims… after a helicopter ride (my first!) over the champagne region… which was preceded by visiting the presses and the vineyards… and an incredible lunch at madame cliquot’s country house where the food was created (and inspired) by the champagnes with which they were paired… and learned about the “confusing sex” alternative to pesticides… getting a sneak peek at the latest porsche design collaboration on an “ice cube” to launch next year… tasted champagne vintages including one from my birth year… ok basically, TONS to share with you, and minimal internet connection… so everything is going to be a day or so off…
…but for now, i got some pictures up before i left the hotel this morning so here’s a peek at last nights adventure! Incredible boat ride up and down the seine for dinner last night - on the next page are images of the experience - including the absolutely gorgeous Riva boat collaborations with Veuve Clicquot in person, seeing the eiffel tower lit up blue with the stars of the EU while sparkling to mark france’s term as EU president, meeting Lia Riva and hearing stories of life in Monaco and her childhood of gorgeous boats, and ultimately this was the start of our getting to know the Veuve Clicquot family, and truly understand how rich the history of this brand is, and experience how passionate the individuals involved are in quality products, experiences, and DESIGN! Ultimately it’s becoming very clear that more than just a brand, Veuve Clicquot is a lifestyle, and the lifestyle they have created, is certainly one i’m sure we could all get used to!
So yesterday was a whirlwind day of hopping on air france in LA, finding myself in Paris, whisked from CDG to Le Faubourg Sofitel, and before i even get into meeting everyone - drinks with Christophe Pillet - meeting the veuve team - dining on a yacht up and down the Seine - and more… here’s what i first encountered upon arrival ~ breathtaking clouds, quite possibly the most comfortable bed i’ve ever lay in, gorgeous Veuve Clicquot gifts and notes awaiting on the desk, adorable awesome packaging for the Hermes soaps in the bathroom, and the Buddha Bar outside my window… take a peek at the photo series part one on the next page!
For now… its 7:30 am, and i have to run to meet everyone at 8, so more images as i find time/internet!
Just confirmed, dan, linhchi, and i will be running around and “covering” (having some fun, and sending pics to that new crowdfire page via mobile) all three days of Outside Lands in SF this coming weekend. Things that sound interesting about it so far… first time anyone gets to play at night in Golden Gate Park, and it is going to be Radiohead friday night! There is an “Ecolands” section - green pavilion sponsored by PGE, with solar powered stage, farmers market, tech recycling station, solar and wind cell charging stations, etc… a taste of the bay area with food from places like askew grill, bombay station, sambazon, the chieftain and more… the Winehaven, a tent of artistan wines… and FM will have a tent filled computers and wifi to share the experience digitally… and lots of art as well? I suppose i’m most excited to get a mini trip in and see some of our SF folks! Anyone else going? See the full lineup on the next page…
NOTCOT Note: This is the sixth in my series of Ultimate Accessories posts which have been sponsored by the new Infiniti G Sedan! As with any sponsored content ~ these posts are done - my way - my product choices, my content, and they help me keep doing what i love!
I was impressed to see Globe-Trotter partner with J. Crew for an exclusive line of vintage inspired luggage, the Centenary Collection… and the black collection had me swooning… and now they even have a Centenary Ivory color option that is nice and fresh and expected to ship Aug 20th!
I think i’ve waited 25 years for GLOW to happen - i love my beach towns, and Santa Monica is where i grew up, and the first ocean and beach i ever touched… and FINALLY, the City of Santa Monica let go of all their many rules for 12 precious hours (and we went, from 7pm to about 6:30am) - with an incredible first GLOW festival - the pier, with its new crazy uberbright-LED ferris wheel, the whole park overlooking PCH, the neighboring restaurants and shops, the beach, the work out rings and ropes - all packed with people of all sorts and all ages all night long… enjoying various music, techno/eco-art installations, and ultimately just each others company, and how nice it was to have all of this come together so beautifully and so playfully in Santa Monica. So before i get into the specific installations i have to show you video of… here’s an overview post to give you a feel of what an incredibly nice 12 hours it was… highlights are definitely lying on the beach listening to pirate lullabies at 3am, the interactive projection on a HUGE water spray, the computer fan driven upcycled electronic organisms under the pier, and watching people from such varying walks of life coming together for this Santa Monica first. (Oh and for really odd things, in the midst of all of this, we even ended up at Google for drinks, since the bars were just maddness - which led to a finger rocket war through the cubicles.)
Just noticed over at Acquire that Tumi has given in and joined the polycarbonate suitcase trend ~ which i’ve definitely been quite obsessed with the last few years - there’s just something about that sleek lightweight glossy polycarbonate i can’t resist in black and silver - so far i’ve indulged in a carry-on Hideo Wakamatsu and Zero Halliburton check in… and i’ve lusted after Rimowa and also even checked out the Samsonite Black Label X-Lite Collection… And now to add to the list is the Tumi T-Tech Polycarbonate collection - noteworthy details (see close ups on next page) are the twisted zipper locks and the foot brake.
When Urban Daddy ~ mentioned that these “luxury teepees in the Yukon” has Solar-Powered DVD Players, i had to look twice. And any location with wifi is immediately flagged for me as somewhere i can work from! But aren’t solar dvd players a bit much? So i had to research more to see what life in a luxury teepee suite are like… (pictures on the next page!). And its looking pretty sweet! They even have outhouses that compost…
These luxury teepees are one of the few options available from Perfect Earth Tours - other options including their spa and log cabins. As for the specifics on the Teepees: “Each of our guest Teepees are furnished with two queen sized luxury beds and bedding. We exclusively use mattresses, bedding’s, linen and accessories from the worlds most luxurious organic suppliers. The rooms also include an individual sitting and reading area, a fireplace center piece, personal dresser, original art, complimentary stocked bar, a variety of non - alcoholic drinks, a vanity table, two DVD players with wireless headsets, satellite radio and wireless internet access. First of all, each teepee has their very own personal “outhouse”. They are state of the art organic composting toilets with absolutely no similarity to the old fashioned “outhouse”. They are odorless and extremely easy to use, just like your your toilet at home.” I’m so intrigued! See more pics on the next page…
Before i talk about the subject of this post… how fun is that pic above? I think it’s one of my favorites from ICFF this year ~ a kids perspective - laughing/clapping at bright red styrofoam feeling “expanded polypropelene” butts/crotches of ramon ubeda and otto canalda on a tord boontje/nani marquina rug with the jamie hayon showtime chair in the background… ahhhh, icff.
From the Conran Shop’s ROJO party, so far i’ve shown you - Foosball Tables - TAST.ES Catering pieces - Luis Eslava’s velcro pieces… well, since this was one of my favorite events while in NY, just wanted to give you a peek at some of the rest of the pics! So take a look on the next page to see what other red themed spanish designs were present!
How could anyone say no to that? And what do you have to do in return? Simply DO something ~ with your life, with your abilities, with yourself… all they want is to bring together some brilliant minds, great speakers, musicians, and more for 4 days of pure inspiration while taking in some gorgeous wilderness. I want to go!
We change nothing by just talking and moaning. words need actions. They need Do. Dick Dastardly was right, ‘don’t just stand the, DO something’.
So how do you get into this seemingly life changing experience? Read all the info on the next page, and sent a letter to apply!