Nov. 7, 2016

The Adventure Begins, Part 6 of 13

Ever since I can remember we’ve been going somewhere.

My mother is fearless. She taught me that nothing is impossible, including traveling any and everywhere. Always part work, part fun.

What sparked my love for travel was our trip to Italy.

After naming the venue “Tuscan Hill” visiting the region became a “must do”.

As we studied hotels in the different cities we planned to visit, the sheer number in Rome alone made me do a double-take. How to choose? There were so many factors to consider: price, amenities, location, nearby restaurants. It was fascinating to me. From that trip forward, I wanted to be involved in the travel planning process--the logistics, the hotel bookings, the excursions. And now I make all travel plans.

Although I love planning, I call our style “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.” I’ve mapped out entire trips we never took. I course-correct OFTEN while we’re on the road, sometimes changing our flights around mid-trip. I’ve even booked a friend’s ticket two hours before our plane took off (granted, she’s crazy too).  

My mom and I are excellent traveling companions. It’s essential that the people you travel with want to do the same things as you. No one wants to be dragged through a myriad of activities with no means of escape because there’s only one rental car.

Luckily we both believe the most enjoyable part of the journey is to immerse in the culture, which for us are the beautiful spaces and tastes.

Dining is so much more than eating. Dining is noticing the fine details.

Thankfully, dining is universal. Dining is so much more than eating. Dining is noticing the fine details; the brightness of lemon peel in a potato gratin, the sharpness of goat cheese in a salad, or the boost of cabernet to grilled meats.

Enjoying restaurants that have a strong desire for patrons to pause between courses and relish in the beauty of their culinary creations, taught me what makes food “good” long before I ever brandished my own spatula.

And as we traveled, I began to realize that I actually loved space as much as my mom. Beautiful spaces are enhanced only by something you can actually experience. The most beautiful space always has the most beautiful food.

They go hand in hand.

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Posted in: Our Adventures

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Nov. 10, 2016, 2:58 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 5 of 13

Our kitchen is the kind you dream about; the kind you see on HGTV. At first it was just really pretty to be in, but hardly used. I’d helped cook dinner many times, but otherwise never ventured past the microwave or toaster. As we settled in, my mom began to work like mad. Though she loves cooking, to this day the most time she spends in the kitchen surrounds the holidays.

Nov. 10, 2016, 3:33 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 7 of 13

Travel taught me what good food was; the garden taught me I could make it. As the two came together, I began to cook relentlessly, so much so, that it became part of Tuscan Hill. My mom wanted to provide dinner to our evening shift employees so I convinced her that it would probably be cheaper (and definitely more fun) for me to cook. And the era of “staff dinners” began.

Nov. 10, 2016, 4:02 a.m.

The Adventure Begins, Part 8 of 13

The sun rises and the grass glistens with dew. The rays dip into the valley below and just miss the front porch, creating a quiet nook of shade. I leave my room with my purse and computer, and lock my door. As I slip under the rope that blocks our hallway, the first two staff members ring the doorbell.