WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

The sun is shining, the temperatures are warming and in the altered words of a Black Eyed Peas song… Today’s gonna be a good, good day!

I hope you are feeling similarly about spring. My mood is affected by weather – particularly sunshine. And as we emerge from a long New England winter, the sun has me smiling on both the inside and outside.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with clients in person for our Deep Dive conversation where I ask lots of questions to learn more about their family and the type of trip they’d like to plan. Their destination? A catamaran charter in the BVIs this Christmas with their adult kids and partners.

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while you know that yacht charters are one of my absolute favorite ways to travel! My teens/college kids love them too.

As a special surprise I showed up at their house with freshly made Painkillers (the drink of the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke – read about it in a previous newsletter here) playing Yacht Rock music. We sat on their backyard terrace in the sunshine talking about travel.

It was perfect! I’m excited to find some amazing catamaran options with experienced (and fun!) crews for their family.

Next week we pick up our daughter from college (how is the college year over already?!) and head straight to the Kentucky Derby. I am over the moon excited for this big sporting event that I’ve always thought about attending but haven’t yet. In high school I had a horse, whose show name was Shoot the Green. She was a former race horse and I loved riding her after school each day. Although riding is not currently a part of my life, being around horses makes me happy.

I look forward to sharing the details with you. I have no idea which horse I’ll be betting on yet, but I will placing some bets, with at least one long shot just in case.

Have you always wanted to go to the Derby? The Masters? The Olympics? The Stanley Cup? (the Stanley Cup playoffs are on a lot in our house these days). Another sporting event? There is no time like now to plan ahead and make it happen!

As I was writing up this week’s Highlight below, I was inspired to take a deeper dive to learn more about this tiny, upscale gem of a place in Kyoto. I think you are going to love it!


Last week’s most popular article was The 11 Best Road Trips in the World. For me roadtrip is a nostalgia-producing word. I remember the cross country trips I did with my dad to go to and from college and the one I took with my daughter last year to get her to college in Colorado. Renting an RV to drive up Highway 1 in California has been on my bucket list since I lived out there in college. Read this article for some ideas all over the globe.

This week’s inspirational articles include a fun one by the WSJ – hippies, hikers and luxury travelers all agree Sedona is the place to be. Also the best after-dark adventures for your next vacation, the very best hotels in Mexico, AFAR’s favorite US family destinations, Vogue’s best vintage stores in Paris (there are some great ones that I’ve forwarded to a client taking her college daughter to Paris next month) and a newly made-over African safari lodge.

The informational articles include the best gifts for frequent travelers, Italy’s new Nomad Visa and an answer to the question – are micro-sabbaticals the answer to our work crisis?

“Every now and then, go away, have a little relaxation,
for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer,
since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment.”
– Leonardo da Vinci 

Have a beautiful week!

Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – monk
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – The Ranch Hudson Valley
  • Inspiration + Information

MONK

📷 monk

I walk along a quiet road known as the Philosopher’s Path, following a little river. I have a final destination in mind, but there is no rush.

The extra moments give me time for some quiet contemplation. It is part of my experience dining at monk tonight.

Upon entering, I see the open kitchen and clay-domed wood-fired oven at the center of the dark, cozy dining room. With only 14 seats, the intimate space allows me to watch the chef, Yoshihiro Imai, prepare dishes in a Zen-like way that was inspired by monks.

Imai sources fresh produce daily from local farmers and forages himself for herbs, wild mushrooms and peas to complete his seasonal, daily-changing five- and seven-course omakase menus.

What dish is he most known for? Pizza.

(very special, very delicious pizza)

I was taken by his story so when I learned he had been profiled on an episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix, I had to watch. I loved learning more about his path…

On a phone call when he first told his parents he wanted to open a restaurant they were fiercely opposed and sad. He hung upon on them.

In spite of the opposition, in 2015 he opened monk.

In the beginning it was hard to lure customers and it took a lot of work and time to earn a reputation. Which then went global, as international guests returned home and told friends about it.

Finally his mom came for a visit. She said with tears in her eyes “You did a good job.”

His emotional reaction… “It is a moment I will never forget.”

As a mom of three 18-22 year old kids all in the midst of figuring out their path in life, it was a good reminder that their path is their choice. I’m here to support and encourage the directions they choose.

You can watch the episode here.

Fun fact:

Imai is now married and his wife teaches yoga on 2nd floor above the restaurant during the day.

Logistics:

You are requested to not take a taxi or Uber to the front door. Imai says “I am thinking that the before and after walk at philosopher’s path are all part your experience of monk.”

Because Imai is the central figure, the restaurant occasionally closes when he travels to international food festivals or takes a vacation.

With such a small restaurant and such acclaim, naturally it’s extremely hard to get a reservation. Key information on that is below. When booking a trip to Japan, it is absolutely essential to plan your dining well in advance.

Reservation process:

* We start to take reservations 2 months in advance, at 12:00 through our online reservation system. We do not answer about reservations through email or Instagram DM. If seats are fully booked online, sorry but it is fully booked. It is quite rare for cancellations to happen, but feel free to check the website in the chance space does become available. Kindly appreciate your understanding in advance. 

📷 monk

Reach out to plan your trip to

🌟  The Ranch Hudson Valley opened this month in New York. After 14 years operating The Ranch Malibu, owners Sue and Alex Glasscock brought their luxury wellness resort to Italy and now the East Coast.

We’ve had many clients experience the Malibu property and they end their week feeling both exhausted and energized! It’s an ideal way to kickstart a healthier routine at home.

Why visit the Ranch Hudson Valley ?

  • Historic Elegance: Situated just an hour from NYC, the Ranch Hudson Valley is housed in a 40,000 square foot mansion built in 1902 by J.P. Morgan as a wedding present for his daughter and Alexander Hamilton’s great-grandson!
  • Nature’s Haven: Set on 200 acres of forests and trails, the property offers stunning views and ample space for exploration.
  • Transformative Wellness: Choose from 3-, 4-, or 5-night fitness and wellness programs featuring guided hikes, fitness classes, yoga, daily massages and nutrient-dense, plant-based meals.
  • Luxurious Amenities: Enjoy the great room, game room, treatment rooms, indoor/outdoor heated pools and cold plunge.
  • Adventure Awaits: Take part in stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking on the lake or winter sledding in the backyard hills.
  • Communal Experience: Hikes and classes are shared experiences and meals are served at communal tables, fostering connections among guests.

Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.

📷 The Ranch Hudson Valley

Reach out to plan your trip to

INSPIRATION

Hippies, Hikers and Luxury Travelers All Agree Sedona Is the Place to Be, WSJ

From Night Safaris to Ghost Tours, the Best After-Dark Adventures for Your Next Vacation, WSJ

The Very Best Hotels in Mexico, From Cabo to Cancún (2024), Condé Nast

Our Favorite Family Destinations Across the U.S. for 2024, AFAR

The Room Behind the Iconic Buckingham Palace Balcony is Opening to The Public for the First Time, Town & Country

The Best Vintage Stores in Paris, Vogue

Treehouses for Grown-Ups? Yes, Please. A Review of Vermont’s Elevated New Lodgings, AFAR

A family night at the museum — sleepovers and culture after dark for tots to teens, National Geographic

SAFARI

This African Safari Lodge Just Got a Luxe Makeover. Here’s a Look Inside., Robb Report

Wilderness Dumatau Wins Prestigious Honeymoon Award, Botswana Unplugged

INFORMATION

What to Know Before Booking a National Park Trip This Summer, NYT

How to Fly Your Kid Solo, Free of Stress, NYT

The 31 Best Gifts for Frequent Travelers, NYT

Most Gift Baskets Are Terrible. These Are Great., NYT

Italy Just Launched a Digital Nomad Visa—Here’s How to Apply, Condé Nast

Want to Know Where You’re Sitting on Your Next Flight? It’ll Cost You, WSJ

How a ‘Russian James Bond’ Conquered the World of Luxury Hotels, WSJ

Are micro-sabbaticals the answer to our work crisis?, Fast Company

Amsterdam blocks construction of new hotels to fight overtourism
The Washington Post
“Amsterdam says ‘no’ to new hotels. 
We want to make and keep the city livable for residents and visitors.”

America’s most loathed airport is cool now, The Washington Post

How Climate Change Could Disrupt the Future of Travel, According to a New Study, Robb Report

Where to Buy High-Quality Used Travel Gear, AFAR

(If you aren’t able to access an NYT or Washington Post article, send me a note and I’ll send it to you in a PDF.)

Do you enjoy these newsletters?

If so, please share with a friend who also might like them and

encourage them to sign up.

Thank you!

Extraordinary Experiences for
Adventurous Families

Join our mailing list to be in the know about our favorite new travel finds and the latest travel updates. 

Thanks for signing up! You should receive an email from us shortly (if you don't see it, check your spam).