Thursday, December 31, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!!!!!

Chicks That Trip wishes you a happy, healthy and safe New Year!!!!!
May all of your dreams, aspirations and goals come to fruition in 2010!

All The Best,

That Chick Té & That Chick Dawni

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ohhhh The Terror!!! Well, Terror Creek Vineyard That Is!

Terror Creek Vineyards - Paoina, Colorado

So, this chick will be tooling around Colorado come early Spring to visit the vineyards located in what some would call an unlikely wine country, but nonetheless, beautiful. I've been working on several concepts for marketing campaigns for 2010, and during a conversation with my mother (who doesn't drink by the way), I've decided to embark on visiting every vineyard located in Colorado - which is about 100 or so (give or take). I've decided to begin this adventure during the Spring, when it's less...oh, frosty outside! That means NO SNOW! Now, anybody who lives in Colorado is likely laughing at my assertion that there will be no snow in Spring. Yes, yes, I know there will likely be snow, but it won't be as plentiful as it is now (at least I hope not).

Wine and food have a natural affinity towards one another. When reading or watching movies, you will see/ or read about a bottle or two (or three) being served and savored. Our countrymen in Europe, and other countries, have long held that a swirling glass of liquid joy is the ideal compliment to enhance a superb meal. Whether that meal is a petite filet mignon, a bowl of pasta al fresco, or a French pot-au-feu; the absence of a well appointed wine can make the difference between a simply good meal versus an outstanding one!

As I plan to embark on this endeavor, I look forward to partaking (responsibly) of a glass or two of what will likely be some good wine, and invariably some "not so good" wine too! I will be honest and forthright in any descriptions and depictions I may have of these vineyards; while being as respectful as possible. I don't pretend to be a wine aficionado, nor a sommelier; however, I do have tastebuds, and I know what is downright insulting, and what is palatable.

During this (not so small feat) I intend on eventually amassing a fair amount of knowledge on vineyards not only in Colorado, but also in several other States, as well as a couple of other countries abroad, like France and Italy. I don't look at this as work, but more of an education and opportunity to provide my intimate knowledge to those who may not have the time, patience or inclination to visit hundreds of vineyards.

In the following months, I look forward to providing some interesting factoids and information on the wonderful wines of Colorado. Pour votre santé! (translation: For your health).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Lovely Villagio Inn & Spa....Do You Mean Bellagio?

When talking about the beautiful Villagio Inn & Spa located in Yountville Napa Valley, CA, it's like that old Abbott & Costello skit of "Who's on First?" Well, at least that's how I feel.

Me: I had the most relaxing weekend in Napa.
Them: Where did you go?
Me: A sumptuous Inn & Spa called Villagio.
Them: The Bellagio is in Vegas????
Me: Not "B"ellagio, "V"illagio; which is located in Napa Valley.
Them: I didn't know they had a Bellagio in Napa Valley! Can you gamble there too?
Me: sigh......

Yes, those conversations go nowhere fast! They are simply annoying and a lot of explaining occurs.

As I am sitting here listening to Christmas music and reading through my "Wine Spectator" magazine, it called to mind my Girls' Weekend in Napa Valley, CA, a few years ago. Three of us decided that we would go to Napa since one of our girlfriends had a gift certificate to the spa. Now mind you, this isn't some low budget establishment. The backdrop for this Tuscan style Inn are beautiful rolling vineyards, with some of the best restaurants (see: French Laundry), and shopping you can find in the Northern California regions; but, it comes at a nice price tag. Let me just say this, it's worth every single penny you will spend to go there.

Upon arrival we had our spa treatments in the late morning through early afternoon. We dropped our bags off in our room. The room had two immaculately dressed beds; a grandiose bathroom of cream, gold and tan tiles that made me want to weep; a complimentary bottle of wine, and a view from our mini patio looking upon the gorgeous courtyard that is pictured above.

We headed across the perfectly manicured property on a glorious October day to get our spa treatments, and for me, it was one of the best spa experiences of my life. I had one of the tiniest massage therapists I've ever seen, but she worked the kinks out of my neck, shoulders and back like a pro! I treated myself to a swedish massage, body scrub, body wrap, and oil rub down. They provide you with a wide selection of aromatherapy oils that they use to lube you up and rub you down. I selected grapefruit and almond because they are two of my favorites, and grapefruit would greatly come into play later in the evening with my selection of white wine that I would be consuming.

While the wrap treatment was a bit disconcerting at first (I'm claustrophobic), I have to admit, after I calmed myself down and she gave me several sips of cucumber water - I was in heaven. My mind drifted to far off places, and when she returned about twenty minutes later to unwrap me and apply warm towels to my über relaxed body, I was saddened that it was over.

As party girls must do - we ate, drank and became very merry throughout our short stay at the Villagio Inn & Spa. The service was stellar from check-in; spa treatments; recommendations for vineyards, and their delicious Champagne Brunch. The food was a wide assortment of the continental breakfast variety as well as an exceptional omelet bar, and of course, the Champagne.

This year is almost over and there are still those last minute Christmas packages to procure, wrap and shove under the tree, as well as thoughts for the New Year celebrations that will surely take place. Let me just say that a relaxing, quick vacation can make a world of difference in your health and well being. We at Chicks That Trip, ( are here to provide your Optimal Travel Experience! Think of us as you start thinking about your own little private place away from the hustle and bustle. Whether it's a long weekend trip to Napa Valley, or somewhere a little farther for a lot longer like the South of France, let us do the planning, so you can enjoy and be stress free for 2010!

*photo provided by That Chick Té on her visit to Napa Valley's Villagio Spa & Inn

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ummmmm....Seasonal Beverages!

While everyone is excitedly running amok and trying to finish their last minute holiday shopping; there are those who are able to sit back, relax, and enjoy a lovely beverage.
Whether you are traveling or staying home for the holidays, there are a plethora of resorts and hotels that specialize in seasonal beverages (even virgin ones to be consumed by the designated driver). My recommendation is to take time out of your busy schedule and enjoy an evening out, and for you travelers out there, make sure you stop through your hotel Lobby Bar and enjoy a drink that is a speciality of that particular hotel. Loews' Luxury Hotels & Resorts have specialized drinks for each of their locations, and so do a host of other high- end resorts and hotels.

One of my most favorite drinks of choice was from the Elements Bar, inside of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa located in Paradise Valley, Arizona. It is called a Jade Tea, and it was created by one of the bartender's that used to work there. It is a bright green concoction that is so easily sippable, just sweet enough, and potent enough to likely get you into plenty of trouble. Thank goodness you can stay there overnight in one of their mountainside rooms or casitas and enjoy as many of these lovely concoctions as your heart desires ... or can handle!

During this time of year when temperatures are dropping fast, enjoy an Irish Coffee to warm your body and tantalize your tastebuds:

1 oz. Baileys Original Irish Cream (25 oz. per bottle)
.5 oz. Rumple Minze (25 oz. per bottle)
1 cup(s) coffee
1 dollop(s) whipped cream

Enjoy these festive times with your family and friends and have a wonderful and beautiful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pack, Pack & Away!

What is it about packing that seems to strike fear in so many people? Packing has apparently become the same as writing a resume; it's necessary, and will likely have a positive outcome (at some point and time), but doing it just seems to cause a great bit of angst among a lot of travelers.

I don't mean to be sexist (but it will come out that way), a large majority of women seem to be struck by this affliction of packingitis (yes, a made up word, but I think it's fitting...don't you?)

Packingitis is an affliction that apparently strikes one out of every three women travelers. These are some of the signs:

  • Must pack everything in their closet because, "You never know if you may want to change your mind!" Ok, saying everything is a stretch, but I've seen a lot of my friends and women in general pack way too much stuff that they couldn't possibly wear in 3, 5, 7 day trips!

  • Varying assortments of hair and makeup products must be stuffed into multiple mini cartons, tubes and cases because, yes, all women aspire to be super models, so they just must have every item from multiple make up counters and hair salons to ensure they look like super models.

  • Random items that are infrequently used at home are packed (especially when traveling abroad) because, "What if they don't have this in - Paris, London, Prague, Budapest..."

  • Magazines - they aren't read any other time, so it's a perfect time to pack various unread magazines while being held captive on a plane.

These are the top comments that seem to be prevalent from most female travelers that I know. My friends that have traveled with me can attest to this - I don't believe in checking in bags. Actually, the very thought of it makes my skin crawl and I get an uncontrollable eye twitch. Not really, but honestly, that's how I feel about checking in bags. I know it's necessary on some trips, but I can say that over the past ten years of me traveling, I've checked luggage approximately three times. I've been on trips in various destinations such as, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Caribbean islands, and many more places in excess of five days, and guess what? I didn't check anything! I have my major piece of carry-on (LV Rollie bag that I love), and a back pack or briefcase. That's it. Nothing else, and I'm not nude for several days, and believe it or not, I have more than enough of everything - sometimes even I have had more than necessary.

Here is my short list of ways to make packing easier and NOT have check-in luggage:

  • Mini toiletry products - you'd be surprised, but those little tubes of lotions, toothpaste, hair spray and the likes is more than enough for a long weekend, or even up to five days. Hair products seem to be a big culprit since there are restrictions on the size of bottles, but I say, if you can go a long weekend without doing your hair every day, then go for it! If not, I'd hasten to guess there are drug stores wherever you are going. Do a little research to make sure they have your hair products available, and just buy a bottle when you get there. It's an added expense, but trust me, it will be lessened by the fact that you don't have to wait in a long line of people at a carousel to retrieve your ...shampoo.

  • Shoes - a comfortable pair for walking, a nice pair for going out, and if it's nice weather, a pair or two of flip flops to traipse around in - that's it, nothing else.

  • Clothes - this is one where people get extremely freaked out, but there is nothing wrong with wearing those black slacks, black/tan/brown skirt, or jeans more than once on your trip. Most hotels have dry cleaning services, so if you are going to be on a trip longer than five days, you can always pay to have one or two pair laundered while you're there. Tops typically take up less space, so you can usually have a different shirt for everyday without taking up too much space.

  • Make-up - unless you are a model, you probably don't need a train case of beauty products. A tinted moisturizer, mascara, lip gloss, a couple of eye pencils, and blush go a long way and take up minimal space.

Prior to some tragic events that occurred in the early 2000's, traveling was not as much of a hassle as it can oftentimes be today; yet, I still love to travel, I just do it the easy and smart way. Again, not all trips can be done without checking luggage, but it saves time for you on both ends of your trip - leaving and returning, if you don't need to check luggage.

As always, we at Chicks That Trip ( wish you only wonderful and safe travels throughout the remainder of 2009 and in to 2010!

*photo used from:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hotels Are Like Shoes...

Hotels are like shoes. Some are practical, yet still attractive. Some are impractical, but very attractive. Others are unattractive, impractical , and just plain ugly. I've been in my fair share of hotels and I've owned a lot of shoes, and I have a confession - I love both hotels and shoes. With that being said, I'm more along the lines of either practical, yet still attractive or impractical but very attractive. Call me shallow, vain or the likes, but I know what I like.

When you are going on a trip do you think about what your hotel needs are from a practical standpoint, or from an impractical standpoint? Are you merely looking at cost, or are there other needs that you have to have in order for your stay to be enjoyable? I know there are a myriad of reasons why people travel, but using leisure travel as an example, I'm curious to know what others are looking for when they are selecting a hotel. When I work with a client, I have a lot of questions that I ask, but that's because I want them to get exactly what they want and are expecting.

Below, I've listed criteria for what I am looking for when selecting a hotel, and it's pretty much in order of importance to me:
  1. Rooms - this one would seem self explanatory, but all things are not created equal. I am into cleanliness above and beyond ANYTHING else. Bedding's should be clean and crisp; bathrooms spotless, and being able to move about is important too (although, that is a caveat if traveling abroad, as they are efficient in a lot of their hotels, even the luxury brands).

  2. Location, location, location - now, the location venue may change based on what my needs are at the time. For example, if I want to go to Paris, then I want to stay where all the action is; however, if I am going to Vermont or Maine, I'm looking for an eclectic location with privacy, nature, and serenity.

  3. Sexiness - ok, this one is extremely subjective, and will be covered in another Post later in 2010, but part of my criteria is the Sexy factor. It's a look, vibe and first impression when I go into a hotel lobby; enter a room, or eat at the hotel restaurant. Not only do I want the place to look and be sexy, I also want to feel sexy when I am there.

  4. Restaurants - now this is one that is near and dear to my heart. I love food. I think it's suffice to say that any hotel that has a highly acclaimed restaurant that is good, will be forever imprinted in my heart and soul. The chef doesn't have to be a James Beard award recipient, but I like to see creativity and some thoughtfulness behind their selections. Also, any chefs who are into "green" cooking are aces in my book.

  5. Spahhhhh - do I really need to add anything to this? Well, in respect to the spa treatments, I look at it the same way I look at the rooms - cleanliness is always a number one factor. I like to have a lot of services available, but I don't want to be overwhelmed with too many selections either. A man/woman who knows how to use their hands...a massage, a body exfoliating scrub, a facial -whatever they are doing should be done with the highest degree of professionalism. Although, a little humour goes a long way. There is a story behind that, but that is definitely of the "confessional" type.

  6. Price - who isn't looking for a competitive price for a 5 star hotel? Again, personal preference plays a huge factor in this category. I know travelers who have a lot of money, but don't care about staying in a five star hotel. They are 2-3 star people, and that's quite alright. Then there are the travelers who only travel a couple of times a year, and they want their experience to be as decadent as possible, so they have no qualms in staying in a 5 star hotel, and paying for's a choice, but if it's important to you, then it should be on your list of the top criteria you are looking for in a hotel.

When you are working with a travel professional, these are some of the questions they should be asking you in respect to what your needs and wants are. I may have specifications for myself, but I don't expect my clients to be of my same mind; however, they are expecting a service from me, and they are wanting my professional opinion regarding their selections, so I provide it.

Always have a list of what you are looking for and what you want. That is the only way you will be assured that you will get exactly what you are paying for, and in some cases, you may get much more than you expected, and will be pleasantly surprised.

In 2010, I will be writing a lot more on hotels, but some of the top hotels I've had the privilege of staying at are amongst the luxury brands of Starwood, as well as Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Some of my favorites are: Four Seasons - Westlake Village, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ; The "W" - Seattle, WA, San Diego, CA, and Los Angeles, CA; and, Sanctuary Camelback Valley Resort & Spa, Paradise Valley, AZ.

Pick your shoes and your hotels wisely.

*shoe photo taken from:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The End Of The Year...What Are Your Plans For Next Year?

We are winding down to the end of the year, and I, like most people, find it's easier to look back and see the failures and unfinished business versus the great successes and achievements. I think everyone should take stock and look at all they have achieved this year and be proud for it. When I was in Paris on a Davinci Code Tour, I remember our guide saying to us, “When you are walking through Paris, always stop, turn around and look behind you. You will be amazed at what you will see that you would otherwise be unaware of if you hadn’t taken the time to stop and look.” I loved that, and I like to do that in my personal life too.

It may seem like this year is already over, but there is still time to do a lot -including traveling! Take a look at the places you've traveled and loved to visit. Think about where you want to go next. Picture the most exotic place imaginable...if that's too much, then think about a place maybe less exotic, but still fascinates and intrigues you. Now, put a plan of action together so you can get there. If you need some help along the way, then call on us to help you plan your Optimal Travel Experience!

Chicks That Trip wishes everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season with many grand and intriguing trips planned for the New Year!