Ronn and I have been having a blast and have found Vegas to be an adult playground. The last time we were here was about six years ago, so being back for my birthday and the Daytime Emmys made it quite special this trip. Our stay at the beautiful Venetian hotel was amazing and we were in awe of both Cirque Du Soleil shows, LOVE and ELVIS!! Highly recommend seeing both. Today we head over to the Hilton to celebrate the first live broadcast of the Daytime Emmys on CBS tonight, will blog later about that. Here are a few pics of our trip so far.
This is from our recent trip to the cutest little town called Bulgheri in Tuscany, Italy. We stayed in Bulgheri after I finished Ballando con le Stelle (Dancing with the Stars) and went to spend some time visiting my Italian dance partner, Sara Di Vaira, and her wonderful family. Sara grew up in this special scenic town. In this clip, we’re meeting Illia. She’s 92 years young. She’s the oldest person in Bulgheri and, as you can see, probably the most spry as well.
It has been a most relaxing enjoyable vacation for all of us and a very memorable one for us as a family. We have been made to feel at home with the Biagiotti and the Di Vaira families and it was a very emotional goodbye to all for now. The girls have experienced Italy in a very unique way, both the traditional Roman way and the traditional Tuscan way of life. We want to thank everyone who help us feel so at home in both Bolgheri and Roma. The beautiful dinners, private tours and loving hospitality will endure in our memory for a lifetime. We have made so many wonderful friends along the way, learned so much about wine, food and art and taken away gorgeous memories of the countryside and their culture. So we say arrivederci for now, but we know we will be back to our second home very soon. I will continue to study Italian so that I am speaking more fluently next time. Ronn is loved more than ever in Italy and loves Italy more than ever, so this love affair will continue I’m sure for years to come. It will feel good now to be back home with the animals and our friends who we have missed so much from all our traveling during the past few months.
Our vacation so far has been very relaxing and the weather has been fabulous! Just what the doctor ordered for Ronn, weather that is in primavera and not too hot or cold. A trip to the Spanish Steps, The Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain was the start of our first day. Walking around Rome was grand and it was funny for the girls to see how many teenagers wanted photos and autographs with their daddy. . Our dear friends Laura and Lavinia Biagiotti hosted us in their apartment near the spanish steps, which was in the center of everything. Our wonderful guide Isabella toured us around the city as we walked all day long. We had the most fabulous homemade pasta, steamed artichokes and of course vino rosso. Our second day has been another private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, compliments of our friend Loreto. Our neighbors Steve and Sue and their kids were in Rome for a short while during a cruise and joined us on the tour and then we had a fabulous lunch. The girls then opted to walk around some more with Ronn, while I came back to blog and rest up for dinner. We decided to take the girls today to the Villa Borghese and had a private tour of Caravaggio’s amazing work and the President’s Palace before having dinner with Actress Nancy Brilli and her husband Roy. Plans changed and we decided to rest in the castle of Laura Biagiotti tomorrow before heading by train to Florence to see the “David.” There are so many people that we have decided to go to Venice after Easter. We will complete our Roman Holiday with one last day in Roma before heading home next week.
Our first family vacation to Italy is off to a pleasant start now that we are relaxing in the British Airways lounge. Although we weren’t sure if it was going to happen at all due to the British Airways strike that is taking place this weekend. I had calls from the airline that our flight was canceled from London to Rome and spent an hour on the phone booking an alternative flight. Then we didn’t receive Calee’s passport even though we renewed it well over a month ago. After spending more time on the phone with the passport agency and having more calls from British Airways saying that our new flight may now be interrupted, our nerves were on edge. I spent the past couple months planning the most special trip for us and everyone who knows me, knows I hate last minute changes. Calee’s passport finally arrived by federal express a half hour before we left for the airport and the traffic to the airport was massive, but as soon as we arrived at the British Airways check in, things began to take a turn for the better. We checked in almost effortlessly and went through security without much of a line, which is a first for me! Then we made our way to the lounge and ate something, so now the girls and Ronn are happy to be on their computers relaxing before our flight. We are now looking forward to spending some quality time together is Rome, Venice, Florence and the Tuscan countryside over the next couple of weeks. It’s a perfect ending to Ronn’s Italian experience over the past few months and Italy really has become our second home. Spending Easter there with friends will truly be special and we plan to take lots of pics and video along the way. I will update you guys periodically on how it’s going and we hope to finally bring back Ronn’s huge trophy!
We just returned home from vacationing in the mountains with the kids. It was a lot of fun this year. Creason, Ronn and Calee went water skiing. It was a little too cold for me but I will try it next year. It hailed quarter size balls one day, which was rather cool. I spent alot of time writing and editing video footage, reading and relaxing. We go every year to the high sierra mountains with the kids. The tiny cabin that has been in Ronn’s family for 100 years is very special to him and the girls, so we are finally getting the ball rolling to fix the place up. Apparently, the forest service has a lot of required permits for renovating something that old because it is nestled in the heart of the forest, so the process will be long and tedious one. Nevertheless, we are expanding it and turning it into our dream cabin for future vacations with friends and family. I’m sorry I seem to be having tech problems with my site. I have alerted my webmaster and it is fixed now. I so apologize to those of you who were trying to order autographed copies of my book and thanks to those of you who alerted me to the problem. But, I had no Internet at the cabin except for limited cell usage. Technology is great when it works, but it’s not always perfect huh? Anyway, it’s good to be home in my own bed, yes I am sooo spoiled, hahaha. I felt like I was roughing it for two weeks in the woods! Here is the link to order my book on Barnes and Noble or you can go to my website to order a limited autographed copy there.
The past couple of days were pretty rough, both Ronn and I were only averaging about 6 hours of sleep with the aid of a sleeping pill to get back into our time zone. I spent most of the day catching up on emails, phone calls, bills and mail urrrghhh! So I became a little cranky by the end of the day. I happy to say I feel more like myself today and will do some more catching up, but I wanted to post some of the photos from our trip here and on our sites. So check them out. Ronn shot so many amazing shots, especially in Sanremo. My birthday is on Thursday and I just want a quiet dinner this year, no big party as I don’t have the energy for it. Tomorrow Ronn and the kids are cooking me dinner and that’s the best birthday present spending it with them.
Finally we are back online in the London airport heading home today. It was hard to distinguish the Internet in France since both Ronn and I don’t read French or speak it. We have decided we want to learn and have already started with a few basics. Our time last night in Paris was magical. We walked for hours taking in the Louve, corner cafes, shopping and a romantic dinner before saying goodbye to our now favorite city together. Everywhere we went, people recognized Ronn and asked for pics and autographs. Even the female taxi driver in little town of Onzain, which was near Lorie Valley asked for his autograph. The women at the counter where we exchanged dollars for Euros did also. Seems I can’t go anywhere with him without this happening. The security guys in the Louve asked for a photo with him. The chef at Loire Valley who prepared the best french meal we have ever experienced asked for an autograph for his mother! Will post pics from this dinner later, it was a work of art! The show is very well the most watched in the world, that’s for sure. At one point we had people from Italy, France, Morocco and Zanzabare asking for autographs and pics! We both have very much enjoyed this vacation and consider it one of our best. But, we are missing home now and can’t wait to see Nayo, Romeo and the girls. I’m glad you guys got to share some of our trip from our blogs here. Will post more pics and we are working on our video from the whole trip on our plane ride back.
After having some amazing tastings in the chateaus of LaGrange, Margaux and Lynch Bages in the Medoc region of Bordeaux and then experiencing some chateaus of the St. Emilion region, home of Petrus. Ronn was fascinated with the wine education he had and found we both loved the older wines from the Medoc, but still appreciated the Merlot blends of St. Emilion just as much. We bought a few bottles to keep for the future, as well as a few to drink now. 2005 was a great year for all of Bordeaux and we fell in love with LaGrange and savored a bottle in our room while catching up on emails in our lovely room we had in this 18th century chateau. So I can safely say, Ronn is very relaxed now and loving France. We both want to learn French and can’t wait to go to Loire Valley, which is so beautiful today. We will stay in another 18th century chateau and visit one more vineyard today there before returning on Friday for our final day in Paris. Then it’s back home on Saturday. So far this has been an amazing trip. We have shot lots of video and we are organizing the clips together for an edited DVD to share soon. Will try to take more pics to post later.
After a grueling week of press and gala functions, Ronn was ready for a much needed vacation. The last press interview was in Amsterdam. We had a wonderful time in Amsterdam and visited with a long time friend of Ronn’s, Amanda. Amanda and some of her friends took us to dinner and we got to experience herring, which is very popular. A stop in the red light district was funny when Ronn would walk by windows of girls recognizing him. I checked out the coffee shops and we both admired the beauty of this amazing city. Ronn and I both would love to see Player kick off a European tour in Amsterdam. Paris has always been one of my favorite cities. It had a been a while since I’d been there, over 10 years to be exact, so I figured what better place to visit with Ronn, especially since he informed me that he had only been there twice and didn’t really remember much about it.They say, you should only go to Paris with someone you love, so it was great to share walking the stairs of the Eiffel tower and shopping on the Champs’ Elysee’. We both love red wines and since I’d been to Bordeaux before and found the train ride from Paris to Bordeaux to be quite pleasant; I suggested this as a good alternative the tremendous amount of driving Ronn does daily. He was so relaxed, he slept the entire three hour train ride! We are staying in a private 1780 Chateau that is ironically owned by a Dutch family. It is so relaxing, beautiful and peaceful and we were greeted with a wonderful bottle of wine and cheese to kick start our day tomorrow of wine tastings in some of the best regions.