Dear Traveler,

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Did you hear that from your parents growing up? Or perhaps a teacher?

Last week my son’s high school tennis team won the NH state championship. On Friday they had a special visitor.

A month earlier the captain of the girls’ tennis team wrote to the manager of the upcoming Dartmouth graduation speaker, asking that if while he was in town he would be willing to meet with the high school tennis teams. (She generously included the boys!). He said yes.

On Friday afternoon at their home courts in the woods where they grew up playing tennis, the players, some holding posters welcoming him, all with smiles on their faces, eagerly waited.

Up drove the commencement speaker…

Roger Federer graciously took photos and signed articles including their state title trophy.

On Sunday we watched his graduation speech (you can read about the main points in this Town & Country article). Yes, he is an incredible tennis player. But also, a wonderful person. His tennis skills defined him to the world for decades, but his family and close friends have always been his #1.

Without the girls captain thinking it doesn’t hurt to ask, they would have not have had this inspirational meeting with one of their heroes. A great lesson for our kids and reminder for us all.

While traveling it’s also a good thought to remember. If you are dining in a Michelin star restaurant and feel inspired to want to meet the chef, if you are at a bar and love the little glass jar they serve nuts in ask if you can buy it (happened to me at Lake Garda), if your flight is departing early and you’ll miss breakfast ask ahead of time if they’ll prepare a breakfast to-go for you, if you are hiking in the jungle in Thailand and learn your guide can make cups from bamboo ask him to make some for you to take home (also happened to me). So many big and small things where it’s applicable.

Where might you apply it on your next trip?

Last week’s most popular article was Inc.’s Airports Have Become a Tremendous Pain. These 5 Tips Will Make Your Travel Life a Lot Easier.

This week’s inspirational articles include family-friendly Paris hotels, the five best countries for retiring abroad, the perfect Greek island, where to go on an expedition cruise and traveling to Saudi Arabia and Botswana.

A few interesting informational articles include a WSJ article on what science tells us about having a great vacation, what to do if you lost your passport, high summer travel prices and the best way to get a refund when your flight’s wifi is terrible (Has this happened to you? It has to me. Now you have a shortcut to follow up in seconds).

This week is packed full for us – prep for high school graduation and the all night graduation party, guests in town, Jason’s 30th Dartmouth reunion, fathers day and Monday I take off for Birmingham, AL (which has an exceptional civil rights institute) for two days of meetings.

I’m looking forward to a quieter summer!

I wish you all a wonderful Father’s Day!




  • This week’s highlight – Andreas Murkudis in Berlin
  • Where to Next? Dromoland Castle
  • Articles to Inspire+Inform


As usual, this summer we have many clients heading to Europe. This year attending professional sports games has been an inspiration for the trip.

One family’s initial idea was to take their young adult sons to see the quarter finals of the Eurocopa soccer championship in Germany. After talking through many options of what to surround the games with, the trip evolved to…

  • hiking and exploring around Interlaken
  • visiting the Swiss town where the dad lived as an exchange student as a teenager
  • seeing quarterfinal Eurocopa soccer matches in Berlin and Hamburg
  • touring the highlights of Berlin
  • and on the way home, a stop in London with center court tickets to Wimbledon

What an adventure! As the mom is not planning on going to the soccer games, I’ve been researching options of fun things she can do to explore while the guys are at the game.

I called up my contacts at their hotels to talk through ideas – museums, markets, shopping, walks around the lake.

Berlin has lots of great shopping, and one place in particular caught my eye…
Andreas Murkudis. (I recommend you click on the link and watch the video giving you a great view of one of his boutiques).

Fashion, leather goods, books, furniture, carpets, porcelain and jewelry objects. “The idea is to give things a space in which they can shine.”

The owner, Andreas, has Greek roots and grew up in a divided Berlin. His unique childhood made him appreciate the quality of things that last. His career started as an intern at a museum and he rose to the managing director. He has a keen eye for design, quality and loves knowing the stories behind objects.

The boutiques’ off the beaten path locations are intentional – “The idea was to find a shop where you are a little bit away from the crowds. Where people explicitly take the time to come and have things explained to them in peace.

The feeling of the store is driven by freedom… This is not only owed to the generous size of the store itself; our employees grant the visitors the time and space they need to take in the experience. It is the allover picture that counts, which comes together through carefully related details, a loving attitude and the customers themselves – important is not the money spent, but that the visitors enjoy where they are and feel invited to linger and blend in.”

He has 3 unique spaces:

Potsdamer Strasse 77
The gallery-like space features either artworks, the finest fashions, or a selection of handcrafted furniture and ceramics.

Potsdamer Strasse 98
Representing a vast selection of high-end furniture brands, it features a fully furnished apartment, with a living-, bed- and dining-room as well as a bathroom.

Potsdamer Strasse 81
Showcases Andreas’ unique edit of products in a gallery-like environment. The product selection is curated according to his fundamental belief in quality, sustainability and above all a personal attachment to each item.

He’s been written about in Architectural Digest and many other style magazines. A visit to one or all of his shops is worth the effort in the hopes of finding a small treasure to bring home in your suitcase or perhaps a bigger piece for your home. A beautiful reminder of your time in Berlin.

Two items that caught my eye…

LOYAL LOOT wooden bowls are made in Canada from forest residues, glazed in water-based acrylic paint.

FELISI – LEATHERBAG (Carried and trusted by Andreas Murkudis personally for years!)⁠
“Italian brand Felisi was established in 1973 to produce leather accessories by skilled artisans. Its collections of bags and belts are made using high-quality leather, with the Felisi crest stamped onto every piece. Until this day, the brand remains deeply rooted in the town of Ferrara.”⁠

📷 Andreas Murkudis

A few other shops in Berlin to add to your list:
Hey Berlin
10119 Design

🌟Our clients, a family of four with young adult sons, just returned from a journey through Ireland and London. They started their trip with a few days at the Dromoland Castle in County Clare.

Why is Dromoland Castle so special?

  • The castle dates back to the 16th century and offers guests the opportunity to experience life in a genuine Irish castle. Set on 500 acres, the grounds include stunning landscapes, beautiful gardens, woodlands and a serene lake.
  • Accommodations are luxurious, with opulent rooms and suites each decorated with antique furnishings while incorporating modern comforts.
  • The dining options.  The Earl of Thomond is a fine dining experience in a regal setting. The Fig Tree in the Golf & Country Club is perfect for a post-golf snack. Don’t miss the extensive whiskey menu at the cocktail bar or afternoon tea next to a log fire with finger sandwiches, scones and homemade jams.

Do as much or as little as you like:

  • The Castle Spa has an array of body treatments and includes a sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool and relaxation areas.
  • Join the falconry school and learn how falconers bond with and care for these native and magnificent birds.
  • Other activities include swimming in the indoor pool, fishing, horseback riding, archery and tennis.

‼️Don’t miss…. a round of golf at Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club. Designed by Ron Kirby and JB Carr, the par 72 championship course offers challenging play and scenic views. The gentle hills, ancient trees and unexpected water hazards create one of the finest courses in Ireland!




📷 Dromoland Castle

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