LA Story

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael Normanimg_palmTree_540x360

Lately, more and more of our clients seem to be based in L.A.; Amy and I have been there twice in just the past month to work with two different male VIPs, and we expect to go again in the next few weeks to meet yet another man in the Southland. We also expect to be recruiting in L.A. later this summer on behalf of some of our bachelors, so be sure to let your SoCal friends know that even if they can’t easily come to Linx, Linx might be coming to them.

Amy and I are really fond of all of our bachelors, and the gentleman we met this week was no exception. Amy has taken great care to build a database and membership that is full of “good guys” and this tall, athletic, 49-year-old father of three certainly fits the bill. His easy-going charm and mellow manner change entirely when he excitedly talks about his kids, and his laid back attitude is even more of a surprise when people find out how successful he is.

We would love to find a wonderful woman for our great guy, and are currently looking for Caucasian/European/Mixed women 35-48 (he is 49, Caucasian, lean, 6’4” and has a weakness for women with sexy curves and long hair) who are playful, athletic, mature, and seeking a real romantic connection with someone stable, supportive, and spiritual. Our bachelor is currently splitting time between L.A. and Sun Valley, but he is definitely open to a Bay Area match who would like to add some fun and romance to her routine.

This guy is anything but superficial, but we know he deserves a feminine woman who takes great care of herself, and understands that a real and lasting relationship only happens when two people are willing to take care of each other as well. If you want to connect with this man, it helps to have a love for the outdoors (a fellow skier would be a great bonus- he’s been skiing his whole life), an open heart and warm spirit, and a zest for living. Please contact Amy if you think you fit the bill. This blue-eyed bachelor has put a lot of work into crafting the story of his life, but the happy ending that he deserves is still waiting to be written!

Linx Visits Sweden!

Stockholm is a magical and stunningly beautiful city surrounded by water. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands that are continuous with the Stockholm archipelago. The geographical city centre is situated on the water, in Riddarfjärden bay. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces. i-4QGRM3r-X2i-5CsXwhk-X2
You can see the storm clouds rolling in. i-JvxJSV6-L
The very first day we arrived there was a marathon throughout the city. Such fun to be a spectator.i-WgxQkVq-L Daddy and daughter at the marathon. i-q5t2NxM-X2

We spent three days there and found it to be an interesting constrast from Copenhagen. Three days was sufficient in Stockholm and gave us ample time to explore the city by foot and ferry. The last day was the very first experience of any bad weather while on our entire journey in Denmark and Sweden. We were so fortunate to have the best weather for the entire vacation! Ferry ride with the family….

The most delicious dinner ever…lots of gravlax. i-cLzZfvm-X2
Details on buildingsi-4Vd6P9X-X2i-DBL7Cfr-X2
Love this purple door and purple flowersi-dnHrVkH-X2i-tfnfpMk-X2i-TLjGpRb-X2
More details on buildingsi-whThT62-X2i-tv5MjWz-X3
How could I not snap a pic of a heart on some fence. Shabby chic in Stockholm

There were a few things that stood out in comparing Copenhagen to Stockholm. First, I felt if I had a choice, Copenhagen is a much easier city to live in. There is a lot more to do in Copenhagen, the people are generally “warmer”, and it is a lot easier to get around. Stockholm by contrast is a little more difficult to navigate as a tourist and there is a real formality there. The people are a little more serious, conservative, and unemotional (and they even dress much more formally compared to Copenhagen) and it is just a “colder” city that way. That’s definitely not to say the people are not friendly. Everyone we met was lovely and very nice but just a bit more buttoned up and reserved. i-kTxj9fK-X2

The photos of the town square above is Gamla Stan the “old town” in Stockholm which is incredibly charming. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town’s construction. A stone heart in a very old building in Gamla Stan!i-CdzjfXJ-X2 Dogs of Gamla Stani-LH2wC6P-X2i-TV9H5GQ-X2

Stockholm was also extremely expensive. The cab fares were out of this world. Around $100 to get across town, ok maybe a little less but really spendy…giving us a good reason to walk and get even more exercise.

he people in Stockholm (especially in the nightclubs that my sister and I checked out) are extremely good looking. The men and women are very tall (average appeared to be 6’1″ plus for both sexes) and very attractive. More blonds compared to Copenhagen which by way of contrast is generally more diverse (still largely Nordic). One nightclub we went to called Cafe Opera had the best DJs ever and a crowd of hands down THE MOST gorgeous people I have ever seen. Some guys we literally bumped into were easily over 6’6″ and all models. It was a really fun night and the best eye candy ever. 😉
i-hfvrj7b-X3 i-JqdNhNv-X2 Random I know. This girl had a backless top that looked super sexy on her. Yes I was the freaky American stalker tourist in the chic club snapping pics of her, the Abercrombie male model above, and the scene. Everyone at Cafe Opera was super young…think 20, maybe 22.i-dgcTcwL-X2
We HAD to visit the offices of Fredrik Eklund from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York. If you watch it, you will appreciate our “high kicks” in Stockholm. Fredrik even retweeted my Twitter post about high kicking through Stockholm! i-JKqGR4Z-X2i-8x8bmqB-X3
This is the famous Vasa ship (most frequented museum in Scandinavia). Vasa is a Swedish warship built 1626-1628. The ship sank after sailing into her maiden voyage on August 10th 1628. i-CP24Crk-X2i-KJjbkvr-X2i-hMqmWvV-X2 Random details in Stockholm. Love the wine barrel with candles. i-PgzncZm-X2 I think a lot of guys would agree!i-QW569VS-X2i-XLnSR2q-X2

After enjoying this stunning city, we headed back to Denmark for one more night and then flew back to the USA. Both countries inspired us and were so gracious. I very much look forward to visiting Scandinavia again in the near future- perhaps for my cousin Mie’s wedding?!

Linx travels to Denmark

I just got back from a glorious trip with my family and husband to Denmark. The trip was about coming together as a family and celebrating my Dad’s 70th birthday (which is technically in October.) My Dad is 100% Danish and so off we went (zillions of suitcases later) to see lots of relatives and embrace the Danish culture for ten days. As a family we collectively took over 1700 photos and as much as I would love to post all, I have selected some favorites to enjoy. I learned so much about the culture and will share little snippits of information along this entry…as we step back in time a bit.
We landed and were surprised at the Copenhagen airport by my cousin Mie (doctor, mother of two, and all around amazing young woman!) and her two precious children, Maise and Storm. Little Storm was so excited to see our family and waived the Danish flag proudly. It was an emotional moment for all.i-tCHD9jN-XL
We stayed in the heart of Copenhagen at a wonderful hotel right on the harbor. The breakfasts were incredibly indulgent (countless fruits, excellent fresh breads, yogurts, dried fruits, wienerbrød , eggs of all sorts, cold and hot meats, fiske (fish), creamy cheeses of all varieties, salads, and pipping hot coffee in nice thermoses at each table in the restaurant). I am a herring (marinated fiske) addict so I actually enjoyed this at breakfast (amongst everything else of course). i-VvLFqhM-XL
Part of the breakfast selection each morning…
Walking around town with cousin Mie, Storm, and my little sister Ashleyi-9xKWL9S-XL
Biking is a huge part of Copenhagen life. Hundreds of commuters line the streets in Copenhagen each day cycling through town to get to their respective destinations. The streets are marked very well and cyclists have designated lanes that are very clear and make biking seamless, easy, and a functional part of life. Notice the gorgeous church behind us (right near the royal families home.)i-KfDM5nP-XLi-QVjvQRM-X2 i-Cd2Rk2z-XL
My Dad channeling his days having worked at a famous Danish beer factory “Tuborg” when he was very young (legal drinking age in DK is 18!)
This is what happens when you drink too much Tuborg…I snapped this pic of these Danish guys near our hotel…sun was out…nice way to ease the pain I suppose.i-4H5bnnJ-XLi-wC9MDdq-XLi-5Rz6kMp-X2i-xTF7xw9-X2
Or I suppose this is what happens…hazing witnessed from my sister who snapped these pics of “Vikings” in the center part of the city. Not to worry, it was red paint on his face. i-BBBXNV7-XL
Gorgeous boats everywhere along the harbor in Copenhagen
Selling fresh fruits along the infamous Nyhavn (a 17th century waterfront and canal district in Copenhagen)

Furry new friends along the streets of Copenhagen. I was amazed at how incredibly accommodating all the Danes were allowing me to not only take pics of their precious pooches but more so wait till I captured the perfect photo. The Danes are notoriously kind, gentle, and even-keeled people..friendly and very happy people. i-C7p2Lmz-X2
One furry older pooch carrying its owners tissues down the street. I couldn’t resist…
I love this photo of a stately older man and his dog in a basket. In fact many Danes push their large and small dogs around in baby prams.
Lunch always consisted of traditional smørrebrød (utterly perfect open face sandwiches on rye breads) i-7ngcs4m-XLi-PLWtntZ-XL
Garden lunch at my Dad’s cousin Henrik’s home
Lunch was served on slate plates. Very chic and minimalist

Henrik serving lunch al frescoi-XdXbtcW-XL

We spent an afternoon and evening at Tivoli Gardens (the park opened on August 15, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world)i-2CLRcMH-XL
My Mom and I on a ride having too much fun!
Ashley and Storm on a children’s ridei-3WTnZs7-XLi-rTf7b7k-XL
Baby Maise and her papa Rune at Tivolii-PmSDW66-XL
Baby Maise and I at Tivoli….she is the best little girl ever. So happy and with the appetite of a lion!i-8dnP56m-X2
Many go to Tivoli at night as the lights are so spectacular. i-mCbhqqg-XLi-7nKHj2j-XLThis is a hotel at Tivoli…will run you 1K a night. Sleep tight!
i-v6LzgwS-XLOn Rutschebanen, or as some people call it, Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster), built in 1914. It is one of world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won’t gain too much speed.
This ride lasted 2 minutes and 12 seconds flipping around. I absolutely hated it and called it the “ride from hell”. My eyes were closed the entire time as I screamed non-stop. And us upside down. Yuck. Never again! Can you spot the cousins in a row together with “thumbs up?” i-f4dKzjq-XLi-z56qCkH-X2
Happy Birthday Dad (Dad is “Far” in Danish)i-wXGdZRw-X2 Lights at Tivoli…so pretty! i-5tWg2w8-X2 The towns outside of Copenhagen are so very charming. Buildings date back to the 1600s in many cases and streets are all lined with cobblestones. This is the town my Dad grew up in called Helsingør. It was so special taking my husband to see this little town where I have many fond memories as a child visiting my Farmor (English for Father’s Mother…grandma as we would call it). i-B7BpWwD-X2i-ksp9mBN-XLi-vrvxJ2w-XL Look at how crooked this building is. It is hundreds of years old…my Dad’s tutor lived here I believe.i-7sd9tFR-X2
Many of the homes in Denmark are simply spectacular! This one was along the sea. If you can afford a home along the sea you are “penalized” with an extra tax which is essentially a water tax for the wealthy. i-GrMQbch-XL
Some grand building in Copenhagen that was next to our hotel. i-KFzGmT2-XL
Windmills on a coast drive
Changing of the guards at the main Royal Palace in Copenhagen (Amalienborg). i-M9tczDr-XL
Kronborg castle in the town of Helsingør. Immortalized as Elsinore in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe. The castle’s story dates back to a stronghold, Krogen, built by King Eric VII in the 1420s. Walking through it is a must-see experience. You can only begin to imagine how freezing it was for the prisoners (yes it was used as a prison from 1739 to the 1900s, soliders, and the royals. No boat could pass the strait near the castle without paying massive fees (the captain of every ship sailing through had to state the value of ship’s cargo.) Money that had to be paid to the King of Denmark was then calculated depending on the value of the cargo. Denmark became very wealthy as a result!i-Bc4Smh2-X2i-W5dLtQ2-X2
My grandma’s old apartment looked straight out to Kronborg…pretty amazing view! i-2nbFm7h-X2
Couldn’t resist this shot of a woman taking a brief moment of pause from her job at a restaurant. Red on red.i-Cktqwv9-XL
Have you ever seen a smaller car? I believe these were very popular some time ago in Europei-n2nR4Fr-XL
Antiques market in Copenhagen….we bought a few small items from him…i-nXj9v32-X2
I am a Viking!
Early one morning we biked throughout Copenhagen and witnessed this little girl in her PJs getting wienerbrød (pastries) with her friend. The bakeries smell so divine- even from down the street!i-dkpfdhR-X2
Frederiksborg Palace or Frederiksborg Castle is a palace in Hillerød. It was built as a royal residence for King Christian IV and is now a museum of national history.i-467pgd2-X2
The most impressive champagne “boat” on display in the palace made of solid gold and large enough to hold 10 plus bottles. i-GMhBZf5-XL
A bed in display in the palace. A heart shield in front of the bed (beds were much smaller and shorter back then)i-HPDKxwj-XL
500 years of Danish history, illustrated by portraits, history paintings, furniture and decorative art are in the palace. Here you encounter people and events that have shaped Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.i-j8k3JzS-XL
Christian V was the first king to be anointed, and he established the Chapel of the Orders, where shields depicting the coats-of-arms of knights were hung. I cannot even express how many hundreds of gorgeous shields were everywhere in the Chapel of the Orders and the spiral stairwell going up to the chapel. i-nk8hVdV-XL
Hot or Not? Ladies…comes on…he is tall and manly…no? I don’t want to hear you complain about height again if I match you to him!i-PGB4F2t-XL
Amazing gold ballroom. Imagine the grand parties that were once thrown here at the palace. Now visitors can walk through and enjoy the incredible art on display.
Exquisite piano with the finest painted scenes i-QQ4MWrr-X2
There was something about this portrait. If I lived back then, I would have wanted him as my match. i-MrXbCwL-X2
My match in front of the palace!i-vtrcc2v-XL
Plaster-like casts of animals of all kinds adorn the walls in one room at the palace. Real animal horns add a three-dimensional element.
We visited my Dad’s cousin one evening for a lovely meal. She made the most perfect hazelnut meringue with fresh whipped cream and perfectly ripe berries on top. i-H8wDgfq-XL
Per, Kirsten, and Dadi-MWTB4tB-XL
This is a photo taken outside of a very popular new chocolate shop that is sprouting up all over Copenhagen called Summerbird. They feature
miniflødeboller and flødebollen (these are chocolate dome-like creations filled with passion fruit, whipped cream, marshmallow, marzipan, etc). Divine!
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the kartoffel- Danish for potato. Looks like a chocolate potato but filled with fresh whipped cream and covered in thin marzipan and chocolate dust. It ended up being my husbands favorite dessert in Denmark. All bakeries carry these naughty desserts.i-q27Cw9q-XL
We had a wonderful evening at cousin Mie’s home for dinner. Spiderman made a guest appearance!i-NLL4WkF-XLi-qB2pdWx-X2
Mie and rune brought in sushi for our dinner. Sushi has become very popular in Denmark.
We enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal and visit at our relatives home. Christian and his wife Trine were the most gracious hosts ever. i-3CzJjxL-X2
If you like shrimp, you would have been very happy at this dinner at Christian and Trine’s home. These fresh shrimp are only available in Denmark. Christian shows us how to remove the head of the shrimp. Christian prepared potatoes in their bed…an ancient method of cooking. They were delicious! Kids do not attempt this at home without supervision.i-WG52Jmx-X2
Generations of cousins….Christoffer and Sebastian- both incredible soccer players! i-r7sSWCw-X2
Mie was so sweet to take us to a very hip and low key bar one night completely off the beaten path. Interestingly, the locals knew my sister, husband, and myself were Americans. I asked the bartender and a few locals why? They said were were “extra happy” and “had an aura” about us. I thought with the blond hair we would have fit in…guess not. 😉 We met some locals from a startup that is like the Yelp of Scandinavia. We had lots of laughs and a great evening!i-v7VQczp-XL The guy on the right of my sister commutes daily from Sweden to Denmark for work. He is the “big boss” of the company who was taking out his colleagues for a fun night of dinner and drinks.i-Jk3VRDP-XL
A tree with private messages of all kinds at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Louisiana art museum is located directly on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk and is the most visited art museum in Denmark with an extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.i-Dzdq7cP-XLi-RPBWzFW-XL
More to come….Linx visits Sweden!

Cabo vacation | Family in Paradise

I just returned from a glorious week in Cabo, Mexico with my family. We stayed at a private residence in a spectacular enclave called Pamilla.  It was a time to catch up with family, play tons of board games, rest, soak in the sun, and explore the locale. My husband’s and my bags didn’t make it from SFO to Mexico for the first 24 hours of being in Cabo. SFO’s baggage tracking system that generates labels and tracks all baggage digitally was broken when we checked in. We had hoped there would be a miracle but sadly there wasn’t. i-4KCJQLB-X2In-home chef prepared guacamole and ceviche upon arrival on night one….lost bags….who cares! i-XFNCwHN-XLGrand driveway to the home….

Entrance to the home we stayed in Cabo….i-rSk6h8F-X2Beautiful stone and iron grace the entrance….i-zS9jf5z-X2Courtyard in the hacienda style home….bedrooms surrounding the fountain…

On the holiday, my mom came up with the idea for each family member to teach everyone something new.  My mom did a watercolor painting instruction where we all painted the same fruit basket “still life.”  She had packed watercolors, her good brushes, and set the stage for a fun morning activity in the dining room. My mom is an incredible artist on all levels. The creativity that stems from her is beyond words.  i-ch4hknJ-XLStill life fruit for our day of watercolors…..

My dad taught us some Danish phrases, and my husband shared with us some Economics 101 basics. That is why vacations are so great is that you have all of this time to do completely random things that you normally would never think to do as you navigate your hectic daily life. i-PRJshrg-X2Stunning view from the backyard….past the sailboat is the One & Only….i-frnLVKn-X2Perfect blue skies, bright pink bougainvillea by the pool, palm trees…..

Hightlights for me were my daily beach runs from the home throughout Pamilla, up the steep hills, and down the beach heading back home. The runs were so peaceful and the beach along the Sea of Cortez is really different from our Pacific ocean beaches. Rocky shores, sandy beaches, and an incredibly rich ecosystem of sea life living in small estuaries along the way. Along the way, I would stop and do planks in the sand, tricep dips, and pushups. I also managed to sneak through a double-gated community to admire Michael Dell’s incredible mansion at the very top of a massive hill.  One perk of having founded Dell, Inc.!!!i-B7GJwRf-XLFantastic dilapidated walls and wood door in a town nearby… the colors and old world charm…

Running on the sand is such a great way to build important supporting muscles and to work big muscles in new ways, increasing your coordination, and forcing your body to work differently as compared to running on a hard surface.  For ladies, of course, another benefit are the hunks ala Matthew McConaughey running towards you. It is always advised to keep to the wet, firmly-packed flatter sand near the water versus the slopes where a lot of injuries can take place on the dryer and looser sand. i-qb3WBx3-X2Make suns out of limes to make your margarita pretty and festive…..

With all of the running during the day, a girl needs to have some real fun too, right? Enter Amy’s Cabo margarita. We consumed our fair share of incredible fresh fruit margaritas blended in the convenience of our kitchen and had fun mixing and matching a wide range of varieties.i-Vbnh2DS-XLEmails in paradise are easy…..rumor is Kate Spade was staying next door to us

My top choice recommendation for a twist on the typical margarita would be my Cabo invention. It is a very potent concoction not made for the faint of heart. Amy’s margaritas are meant to be consumed with conviction, thirst, and a dash of mischief thrown in. Throw a few of these down the hatch and your clothes will be flying off you (hopefully not in public)…. and yes a good recipe for romance!i-STJxh5C-X2Inside One & Only Agua Mexiterranean restaurant and bar….

Place Don Julio brand tequila, Cointreau orange triple sec, and tons of fresh limes squeezed into a blender. I never use recipes for things and instead invent as I go. I go with what tastes the best. In this case, I poured a ton of top shelf tequila into the blender, followed by a smaller pour of the cointreau, and tons of fresh limes squeezed into the blender. I added some fresh pineapple, ice, frozen blackberries, and frozen strawberries at the suggestion of my husband. The outcome was a gorgeous, perfectly blended, smooth margarita that even non-drinker types would love.

Other highlights included spending some time at the One & Only Pamilla Los Cabos resort down the street from our home which was perfectly decorated for the holidays. The One & Only is one of the most romantic spots I have ever seen…. a place where you make love for hours, where babies are created….you catch my drift! i-7hhmzLZ-X2Holiday decorations appoint a table at guest reception at One & Only Pamilla

Picture queen size floating beach beds suspended above the sand created for two lazy lovers who want to blissfully swing back and forth while dozing off to the crashing sound of waves nearby, cement crescent shape lovers tables for two overlooking the ocean lit with magical candles, private rock caves to hide in and kiss, a spa that is beyond words, and an environment that feels that you are literally the only one there.i-sZk7xM7-XLA lovers table…..candles….cushy pillows…..views of the ocean….set for two

Although we were told the resort was at full capacity, it really felt like each time we strolled through whether for a drink or light bite, we were the only ones there. That is what makes for a spectacular resort experience. I know of a few Linx couples who have stayed at The One & Only Pamilla. i-84DJLXw-XLHubbie and I in front of a tree decorated with miniature pinatas…..

One night, my hubbie, sister, and I went there for a drink and dessert. I told both of them that THIS is the place for a Linx proposal and/or wedding to take place. In fact, the resort has the most charming chapel on the premise. My sister subsequently told me a friend of hers just got married there.i-S8jrSv8-XLFirepits at one of the restaurants….see the lovers table in the back? i-QMgXN2W-XLSanta Cabo style…..i-X4hh6pJ-X2

Ceiling in Cabo…..

The only downside to spending Christmas away from home was being away from our puppy. Luckily he is back from doggie camp and enjoy his own Christmas prior to our departure. photoMarshall enjoying one of his many toys Santa brought him….

Now I am back and catching up on hundreds of emails from many prospects wanting to join Linx for matchmaking. 2012 has been an incredible year. Stay tuned for an entry with a year in perspective.

Enjoy the legendary Gypsy Kings live song of Un Amor….

Linx visits Hong Kong

I just flew back home from Hong Kong. I was there for a week and this time was my third visit to this spectacular city. Hong Kong is a place like no other that I have seen. It is a place of many contrasts old world (where buildings crumble and ancient dialect is only spoken) juxtaposed with modernity (sleek, incredibly high-end, sophisticated, and an international set speaking English).

Our music selection to enjoy while reading this entry. No Promises by Hott 22 featuring Bonnie Bailey, Thomas Gold remix. A modern club music with a retro disco feel. 

always feels extremely safe in HK- more so compared to when I walk around San Francisco. The public transportation systems are meticulously clean (no one drinks or eats on trains…it is very frowned upon), the streets are generally clean, and there are no homeless wandering around.

The views of the skyline atop Victoria Peak are some of the most awe-inspiring, the food and choice of dining experiences (from total hole-in-the wall to 5 star) is simply mouth-watering, the people friendly (granted a certain distance that I attribute to their culture), and variety to do while staying keeps one very busy (if you want).

It’s hard to distill down to a simple blog entry about HK as you really need to go there to best understand the complexities of such a grand metropolis. Perhaps it is easiest to share through select photos and captions here…. One thing that I always am struck by is how the city continues to do its thing while major construction occurs in the middle of it all. Cranes, cement trucks, bulldozers, you name it….are all motoring through getting the job done. There is always a sign “greatly apologizing for any inconvenience” that the construction site might have caused. Always proper, so HK. 

There is always a photo shoot going on. At any time of day, on any random street, you will often see a young woman in bridal wear modeling Asia’s latest fashions.
Cafe Grey is one of the most beautifully appointed restaurants in HK with the finest service HK offers; impeccable 5 star food, gorgeous views, and every little detail (even down to perfectly press linen napkins). We had breakfast there every morning. I’m not used to regular breakfasts like pancakes, eggs, and pastries. When on vacation, I do splurge and splurge I did! On our last day, we ate their famous Dutch pancake (photo above). Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to do other than finish the first massive one (see how fluffy and huge it is? Primary ingredient corn with a hint of sour cream) and order one more. Let’s just say my trainer is very happy I have hired her for extra hours post vacay. 😉  

Views from the UpperHouse, our home away from home in HK. The rooms are modeled after apartments- so they are very large, spacious, and makes guests feel like they are living in a home versus a tiny hotel room.  Bathroom at Cafe Grey at Upper House. HK is the most vertical city I have ever seen. A million uber tall and skinny buildings.
Look at the simplicity of this gorgeous arrangement at the hotel. A sleek container potted with a plant and flower can make a room. Two great examples at our hotel where simple and modern can make a bold, high impact statement. HK definitely offers its fair share of oddities and curiosities. Not for the faint of heart. I stumbled upon this medicinal shop when I did a solo walk for 5 hours around the city one day when my husband was in meetings. I couldn’t believe how weird this was but at that same time didn’t want to judge. They seem to use all aspects of animals for various illnesses. There are medicinal herbal shops everywhere with roots of all kinds- mostly ginseng varieties. A tourist can walk in and ‘oh and awe’ at how serious they are about their herbs but generally you can’t buy any without a doctors written prescription.  The photo at the bottom are little deer fetuses. Eeek. Which way to go?  

Hong Kongers love their department store windows. These are some of the most ornate I have ever seen. Shopping in HK trumps pretty much any city. Gucci, LV, Prada, Valentino multiply after one another on the streets. Imagine how diverse seeing modern and expensive like Louis Vuitton juxtaposed next to a local merchant like the photo above of a very cluttered “Mr Fix It” sort of shop. 1-800 You Got Junk would be in heaven! Hong Kongers also adore their holidays. Any holiday! I had no idea how HUGE Halloween was in HK. Here are two photos of vending machines to purchase Halloween items in an express thoroughfare from one mall to another mall. HK is also a city of countless malls. Mall after upscale (and I mean really, really upscale) mall connected together by countless protected walkways. Professionals commute home often by walking these intricate indoor thoroughfares and stopping along the way to eat with friends and shop. They are filled with take-away restaurants, sit down restaurants, shops, and newspaper stands. A must have while visiting is Peking Duck. Here we are one duck later at Peking Garden. With some delicate negotiation and a little James Bond-esque Andersen techniques, I somehow managed to get us into a private club called “China Club” which is a very chi-chi bar and restaurant in the old Bank of China Building in Central, HK. The decor is in the style of the traditional Chinese teahouse and the floors, lighting and fans are reminiscent of 1930’s Shanghai. They are known for their incredible Chinese modern art collection. Giant shoes to fill! Spiral staircase at China Club filled with a grand modern art collection. More art work at China ClubOde to David Hockney?  Mark Stock perhaps? 

Street art work I discovered while wandering around Sheung Wan.
Seriously good chicken soup on a work day while cooped up in the hotel room. Zero salt. All fresh ingredients (the dark things are mushrooms). On a hike one day around the city, I couldn’t help but notice how intelligent this system is for moms on the go with tyke. It is the recommended safe route a mother should take the little one on. A mother’s choice. I also found this on a hike one day. So random….two precious little buddhas with burning incense. A trip to HK isn’t complete without a visit to Sevva. Sevva is an incredibly sophisticated bar and restaurant in Prince’s building in Central where glamour intersects with world-class views and famous cakes- all of which are housed in a jewel-box like setting. Think ambient lighting, warm colors, flickering candles, and Venini chandeliers. Owner, designer, and founder Bonnie Gokson is famous for her very pricey and delicious Marie Antoinette cake topped with cotton candy (perfect for a birthday princess, tete-a-tete with old friend, or romantic date night). We enjoyed a fantastic lemon crunch meringue cake and wine to pair on that perfect balmy evening. 
At Sevva…I always pack lots of dressy clothing for HK. Flats for day without question and heels for evening with lots of sparkles as well. I even bought the Sevva CD…all romantic songs.

Lady Gaga makes a statement every time! This cake is no exception. 

Bonnie’s Million Dollar Truffle Cake. Perfect for a Silicon Valley IPO soiree. 😉
On a glorious run one day (I tried to work out each day given the amount of meals out) to the Peak, I saw this building under some sort of construction and couldn’t help but immediately think it resembled Christo.

Your glutes will love you for this…..typical HK stairs

Busy HK street in the afternoon

The kitty sleeps while his owner mixes unusual herbal concoctions and remedies.   Afternoon street games played by local merchants. A great way to pass time and get a little workout too.   Cheap and easy street food in Tsuen Wan, HK. My hubbie had a few bites, I passed on the glorious opportunity that day. We traveled from HK island to Tsuen Wan to visit a semiconductor factory to understand international logistics and chip testing behind the scenes. Our friend, Chris, toured us, showing us how detailed their business is. No cameras allowed inside. This particular company occupies multiple floors in a large industrial building. 12 hour shifts for the factory workers, 6 days a week. No one passes time on FB or runs out for Blue Bottle lattes here. You work, keep working, and then work some more. You are efficient and perfect is expected each time. Weddings are a big business in HK. There are gorgeous spots for photographs. One in particular I found was the Hong Kong Park. Here is a sign for the actual place to register with your loved one. Wan Chai streets filled with trolleys and folks wandering all around, at any given time of the day or night. We enjoyed a Cantonese meal in Wan Chai at a private kitchen of sorts. Nondescript building, no English name, not one tourist, and very authentic food. Most unique and delicious was the chicken and fish stew. After a fabulous trip, we returned home to receive this email from our hotel. They are so attention to detail focused and so proper. What American hotel would ever alert you that you left carrots in the room?! 

Dear Mr. & Mrs.,

Thank you for staying with us at The Upper House, we hope you enjoyed your visit!
Upon your departure, we found a box of dragon beard candies, an apple and a small bag of baby carrots in your room. The lost and found reference number is 07888.
I am afraid the apple and carrots cannot keep long, but could you let us know if you would like us to keep the box of candies for your next visit?
If we may be of further assistance in this or any other matter, please contact us at your convenience.
In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you back at The Upper House!

Best regards,

Housekeeping Secretary


Girls Pack Your Bags for Sun Valley!

This past weekend my husband and I headed to Central Idaho for a nice long weekend of horseback riding, sunbathing and …..

After a few days of r&r in the incredibly scenic and magnificent weather of Sun Valley, my natural matchmaking instincts surfaced and I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of really good looking older men. (Think Ralph Lauren look alikes- tan skin, active, healthy, avid skiers, and silver hair). If I were a single woman in my 30, 40, or 50’s…I would buy a one way ticket to Sun Valley, Idaho! It is loaded with affluent, good looking, sporty men who are ALL SINGLE and searching. Real cowboys! Men on horses! Men wearing wranglers!

Curious about the local dating scene, I began chatting it up with a few locals at the Pioneer saloon and one eligible gentleman shared that women “should not commit to any man till they are last least 39 1/2 years because men are by nature  still trying to find themselves. Men don’t know their shit till after 40. Men in their 30s are trying to find themselves professionally. Ladies are different.”

A lot of the men I encountered have been married 1-3 times before and choose Sun Valley to be one with nature, enjoy a very down to earth group of locals, and the active lifestyle.

If you visit during the Allen & Co week, you will rub elbows with a lot of movers and shakers if you are lucky enough. A lot of the locals head out for that week to get outta dodge away from the hustle and bustle.

Our featured song for this entry is Tim McGraw and Faith Hill It’s Your Love 

So, grab your best girlfriend and head to Sun Valley for a long weekend. I’d play it real low key as these guys are no dummies. They can spot a woman who is after them for the wrong reasons or simply someone who is too eager. I chatted with my new Sun Valley buddies about this! Stay in town, go horseback riding, eat at the Pioneer, listen to live music, admire the thriving art scene, check out the Ketchum Grill, grab coffee at Java for low-key or Tully’s for more of a scene…..mingle and meet some really great locals who like you are searching for that perfect match.

Sun Valley, Idaho – The best baked potatoes money can buy! Good shopping! Limitless outdoor activities! (skiing, horseback riding, cycling, golfing)  Gorgeous mountains! The downside is a long drive from Boise airport to Sun Valley. The upside is countless new connections to really down-to-earth, good people…and possibly finding love!