Welcome to the Jungle...Golden Dreams Safari (review) -Tanzania, Africa

Africa is a massive continent. Its’ actually the world’s second largest continent by both land area and population. It’s like huge…so when my friend mentioned a safari in Africa…I was like nah hard pass.

Let me be clear I am city girl through and through so I was NOT on board. I mean I did not want to spend my vacation sitting in a car looking at animals. I could go to the zoo. And sleep outside in a camp? Tented lodge?!?

Then she mentioned Zanzibar (and I did some googling) and soon I was on board.


It was the best experience of my life. One that I would easily do again. The whole experience was top notch. Victor (our guide and owner of GOLDEN DREAMS SAFARI) has been eating all the carrots as his eyes are amazing. He could see movement from what felt like hundreds of meters away. The call him Big Five and with him we saw the Big 5!
The Jeep was comfy and great for taking pics. The packed lunches were ok but camp sites were great, comfy, running water and a bathroom and very glam...we weren’t camping we were glamping and it was glorious.
Love love loved our time with Golden Dream Safaris and the owner/operator Victor.

This was a private tour which cost us less if we would have booked with a group. An amazing experience and my advice to anyone looking to book a safari, read reviews, check out different sites and always try and deal directly with the locals.

remember this is a slide show and sometimes needs to be toggled to get to the next pic.




It’s a Ryokan Life

A couple of years ago I went to Tokyo for the first time. While I was there I met a guy who was awesome and we dated while I was there, and when he'd come to NYC. The thing with dating across the ocean is you get lonely. One day I asked him to send me a pic. He did. The difference is in this pic he looked totally relaxed and very Japanese formal yet informal. Like some sort of Japanese Tea service.  He explained to me he was staying the night in a ryokan...a ryo..what?

A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn which stems from the 8th century. They are hard to find in a big city like Tokyo as many of the Japanese have taken to western culture and hotels, however in the smaller towns you can find them, but be prepared they are EXPENSIVE.

As a treat my friend surprised me with a two-day trip to Kyoto as well as a Ryokan. It was so charming, seeing old world Japan.

A Ryokan: The Traditional Japanese Setting

My apologies as I was so excited I did not get pics of the bathroom, and because of other clients no pics of the Japanese baths, but it was glorious.

Definitely an experience but for the price and sleeping on a floor...well I prefer the St.Regis.

Taking Chances...Part 2,923,309,434,343 ....

The kick-off of my birth month was a treat. And not an apple pie and vanilla ice cream kind of treat either...It a was sinful, decadent, sexy, shop-filled and gastronomical delights all in one...  Italy. It was perfection. 

I flew into Rome on a Sunday morning. Hopped the train from the airport to the city, checked my bag and walked for a bit. Destination: Breakfast and the Trevi Fountain. Trevi Fountain Tidbit: There is a belief that if you go to the fountain and throw in a coin you will return to Rome. Well, the first time I was in Rome was five years ago and I did just that, and here I was back in Rome so it must have worked.  Near the fountain, Lexie made a new friend.

The afternoon flew by, and soon we were off to our next destination:

Rome was just port of entry the real fun was to begin in Florence.

Rome was just port of entry the real fun was to begin in Florence.

Italian men are handsome, and make me h---yAF! It's been five years since I'd been to Florence, but nothing has changed. They are still sexy and it felt like home. I wanted  to have sex with all of them. The whole city. Well, the whole city over the age of 30 and under the age of 50.

Florence was about wine, food, fun, and frolic. My first night was filled with all of these plus a late night Vespa tour of the city that ended with me kissing on the sexiest men I've ever met. That was the kind of night that RomComs are made of. (more of this story in the book)

I spent my days walking the cobble-lined streets, shopping, eating and drinking my way around town. It was amazing.

Florence was so short but what was even shorter, however, one of the most perfect parts of the trip: Milano!!!!!

First, I have to amend my earlier statement about the age requirements on men I'm interested in 35-50 does not work in Milan. Mainly because ALL the men are gorgeous. Seriously, made me consider dating men in their 20's all the way up to 75. The men are too much.  If that isn't enough to make a girl swoon, it's Milan! The fashion capital of the world.

 I stayed in a delightful Airbnb which was adorable. I had lunch, (a light yummy margarita pizza)

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then went on my main mission. To shop until I dropped...some cash. I went to a (read: THE) vintage store: Vintage Delirium. Click on the link because the store is classic. Better yet if in Milan go to the store in person. So freaking worth it. I found the most beautiful dual tone leather travel bag, a 1940 back and white dress, and a 1980's brooch that would make Patti LaBelle's voice go up yet another octave, sunglasses and more.

Next up, evening cocktails. I mean I can't be a lady who lunches, shops till she drops and then not complete with a cocktail..how uncivilized. I went to one of the world's top 50 bars...Nottingham Forrest.

This place was lovely, the service was quick and attentive, everything was edible and the drinks were STRONG. I barely got thru the first one, but I did it. (check out picks below. It's a slide show so just click and the next pic will cycle through...five in total)

This birth year for me is about re-birth. It's scary, new, different but I am embracing every minute. Check back in a week or so when I go on my end of the month birth trip, becuase why the fuck not?

I travel to see the world, but also that I can be seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

Living My Best Life ...

This has been a hard week for us at LOLA with the death of icon Kate Spade.

We launched in Amsterdam because of bags and purses. Kate Spade was a major influencer in my love of a nice purse. Then today, travel guru and icon Anthony Bourdain. He showed me places I would never have ventured out on my own.

They both seemed so strong and to have it all, but that's just it, even the strong have moments of weakness. I am learning that self-care is first and foremost in my life. Granted this is not the life I planned for myself but it's the life I have and it's a good one.

June is a hard month for me: it the's ...it's just... bad.

This year I decided to take it back. Kicking off the summer in Italy.  Life is too short to "wish I had time to travel." or "if only I had the money". Sometimes you just have to go for it. Work out the details later.

This trip was all food, wine, fun and perfect.

Please remember, words hurt; pain is real. Please show some respect for those who appear strong but may not be. Compassion and love.

Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566

National Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA): 1-800-273-8255

You Can Always Go Home Again...Amsterdam

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, from parts of SE Asia to Japan to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has my heart unlike no other. It was one of the first (of two) places I ever visited outside the United States. The other was Paris. I called the trip the "Kittykat Olympics". It only made perfect sense as the trip included the iconic shopping mecca that is Paris, as well as the ahem, 'recreational" activities of Amsterdam. Seriously, if shopping or smoking EVER became an Olympic event...I'm READY. No need for training. SEND ME IN COACH!!!! (especially if it's the shopping)

Amsterdam is a city no matter when you go you can always find something new or interesting. This trip was a last minute, "let's go see some friends for a couple of days" and that's exactly what I did. I strolled the canals with Lexie, we shopped, drank a lot and ate a little:

And the highlight of this little excursion was the pleasant surprise of the "My Name Is Prince" exhibit. More details and pics on my next post.

Remember...there's no place like home,

Love,

Dorthy aka Kit n Lexie

 

Sometimes Piggy (or Froggy) gotta EAT and Eat and Eat

Today in Koh Samui some ladies on the lam knew that some real clean, organic food was needed. And it was absolute Heaven.  

The last two days I have gone to Vikasa Cafe which is apart of the yoga sala and yogis at Vikasa. The staff is lovely and Susu is amazing with children. Today’s chef was one of the “hot chefs” Chef Cyril. Abd seriously all of the chefs are gorgeous. It’s almost like a requirement.  

But enough about the eye candy let's see the real MVP...the food. (ps the drinks aren't bad...I had the Sin Gin which was gin mixed with kale juice and pineapple...SHUT THE FRONT DOOR delicious) and The Last Straw (fresh strawberries, vodka, soda and just plain yum!)

I love Samui as it one of the healthiest places I have ever been to in this word. The medical facilities are beyond amazing, the food healthy, beautiful and mouth-watering, and the exercise/training programs rivals those in NYC, London, LA etc.

Seriously the food is delicious but the experience is life-altering. Yeah I said THAT!

Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam aka Where it all began

I officially launch LOLA January 1, 2016. Now, here we are almost two years later and growing and evolving. What started out as a small tour in Amsterdam has morphed into a website, IG pages for both LOLA and the face of the company Lexie, and so much more. 

2018 will be chalked full of adventure as I am working on my first fitness/wellness retreat that will include yoga, Muay Thai, meditation, hiking and more in the lovely location of Koh Samui, Thailand.  

Also, I'm planning the adventure of a lifetime and would love to get a group together for some or most of the trip: Africa 2018

Gonna hike Kilimanjaro, go on a Safari, then on to the lands of my ancestors Mali, Benin, and Togo for a couple of weeks. This trip will be 4-6 weeks. If any interest or you want to know more you can always reach out to me via email: ladiesonthelam@gmail.com

So excited for the things to come but here is a reminder of where I started:  

We started at the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje and now we are here. Located in Amsterdam, NL, is a museum devoted to historic handbags, purses and suitcases. The museum's collection includes 4,000 items dating back to the 16th century. One of only three museums across the globe specializing in the field, and its collection is the world's largest.

2017 keeps on whizzing by and we all know I am not one to let moss settle on my feet. Stay tuned or better yet contact me and JOIN me on my next adventure.  I mean we are Ladies on the Lam.

Tokyo Memories

Seems like just yesterday I was walking the streets of Tokyo glancing at vending machines which had everything from little toys to full meals ...in a VENDING machine. #icantevendeal #mindblown

Tokyo was a treat for the senses from the food, the sites and even a little romance. 

 

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the city is mine for the taking...Tokyo♥️ 

 

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cooking class...lunch. #nomnom  

 

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dinner time ... 

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new friends

performing in Tokyo open 🎤  

performing in Tokyo open 🎤  

time to say goodbye my love ...cue #sadface

time to say goodbye my love ...cue #sadface

Sabbatical Smooches: How It Came to be and WTF is going on with LOLA

Dating and kissing abroad once for me was a game I would play for personal entertainment, then I got into a bit of a tax predicament...and now it's become my way of life. Hey it's a tough job but someone HAS to do it. And do it, and do it and do it again. Move over kissing bandit there is a new gal in town, introducing... Kissing Kitty.

I've been traveling the globe from Sydney, AU to Seoul,SK kissing men (and women) just so I can write, blog and perform it just for you. Book will be completed winter 2017. However I will be posting excerpts, anecdotes, pics and more: did I tell you about the time I made out with the handsome Italian I met on the train platform in Pisa? Bellissimo!  Or the lovely lad from Kurdistan. While he no longer has a country, he does have quite a kiss.

And there is much much more...for once it really will be ok to kiss and tell.

Beautiful romantic Thai sunset...a bit of kissing was done here

Beautiful romantic Thai sunset...a bit of kissing was done here

LOLA is going in a different direction than when originally launched and this is a good thing. While I love tours and people I'd rather become more detailed oriented and putting together full trips and excursions. Thinking either Cuba for a humanitarian trip, or Thailand for a beach/workout/adventure getaway...depending on interest. If interested in either please leave comment below or shoot me an email (ladiesonthelam@gmail.com)

 

 

And YOU Get an Avocado, and YOU get an avocado, EVERYONE HAS AVOCADO

and it was good. The END

Oh wait...you want me to continue? I had you at avocado, didn't I?

The Avocado Show is situated in the hip, and trendy De Pijp area in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Great area for shopping, drinking and you guessed it...eating. I have been looking forward to this place since I first heard about it last November. It was supposed to open early 2017, and it did.

This past February Amsterdam had a NEW yet not so leafy green...THE AVOCADO SHOW. Where every dish features avocado. A glance at the menu:

They also have a special breakfast that is not on the menu. It is basically a eggs benedict with softer bread and heavenly chorizo. It melted in my mouth...

And of course Itried there signature Avocado Daiquiri. It was surprisingly delicious, and I showed some restraint in the fact that I only had one. It was on 1030 in the morning for goodness sake.

The Avocado Daiquiri...YUM!

The Avocado Daiquiri...YUM!

Now for the real deal....the intel:

COLD HARD PLASTIC...yup you read that right..no cash, money, dinero, euros, pounds, baht...CARDS ONLY!

If you go past 1015...you WILL wait. This was my THIRD attempt to eat here. The first two were once late afternoon (1430) and then yesterday evening (after 7) each time it was over an hour wait. I decided to try for breakfast and it worked like a charm. I walked in and had my choice in tables...within 15 min the entire restaurant was FILLED. I arrived at 1015...and if I would have shown up even 15 min later ...I would have earned myself a 15-30 min wait. So GO EARLY...they open at 9.

The food was quite scrumptious and hearty. Not something I'd eat everyday but when in Amsterdam. Seriously the bread was so soft, with the avocado, and tomato based salsa with chorizo, topped with a yummy hollandaise sauce. I get excited by the memory. Now what was pleasantly surprising was the cocktail. It was sweet yet very refreshing. I could easily see myself having 10 of them...sigh.

All in all, the food is delicious and I'll definitely go again. However, I'd rather get a solid start on my day so my game plan (and I recommend you do the same) save yourself some time and get the most important meal of the day, go early for breakfast. Bonus: they still serve the booze. You're welcome.

 

 

F__K I just cheated on SPG and I really, REALLY LOVED IT...Mandarin Oriental

I adore SPG hotels, I'm in love with the St. Regis. It is MY hotel, like seriously, but this past week I had the opportunity to try the Mandarin Oriental and well. Do I dare say the words: if I would have married the St.Regis;  we would be in divorce proceedings right now, as I have a new lover...the Mandarin Oriental. MO takes customer service to a new level. for instance I had my laundry done by the hotel, and THIS is how I get my underwear back:

Are you kidding me? They look like I just bought them from a store off of 5th Ave in NYC. #dead #icantevenbutIamandLOVINGit

Are you kidding me? They look like I just bought them from a store off of 5th Ave in NYC. #dead #icantevenbutIamandLOVINGit

The above is what sent me over the edge, but it all started with the check in. First, and here is a hint when checking into high end hotels. CHECK IN AS LATE as possible, even if it may mean missing a part of your first day. Remember the early birds are getting their worm, sure they check in early, then next thing you know the hotel is oversold in your price range, so the only option is FREE UPGRADE. This seems to happen to me more often than not when I check in late, so play around with it. I bet it works for you. So instead of King bedroom with park views, I was upgraded to a corner room PLUS executive club privileges. OMG...the executive club is beautiful with a great morning buffet, afternoon deli lunch, high tea followed up with an evening cocktail service. The staff is amazing and every day they said hello and welcome back. It was awesome, well actually better than awesome. Sad to say I was too busy eating and making new friends to take pictures. But Lexie did not miss an opportunity and I found her in the club for high tea:

Lexie Loves Luxury

Lexie Loves Luxury

 

The room was twice the size and less than half the cost of my NYC apartment:

My new home away from home but better....

The place is not onlu beautiful but the staff is first rate and the concierge had me a reservation at Nobu withing an hour, and the hotel also has a great Japanese restaurant called "Wasabi" where the fish literally MELTED IN MY MOUTH. I also tried the gym and spa which includes sauna, steam room, plunge pool, whirl pool and regular pool.

The pool in paradise...

The pool in paradise...

 

It was absolutely spectacular. This was how I stared every morning followed by breakfast in the executive club, followed up by a tour or shopping, back to Executive club for lunch or high tea, nap, then exec club for cocktails then dinner. All in all a wonderful day in and out.

Also, I decided to live my best life and had a choice between tennis or golf. Honestly, I thought golf would be something that I would work on so I decided to take a couple of lessons. And I think I have found my new sport:

All in all, my entire time was amazing. And I'm not going to lie. I went a little overboard and bought one little treat in the jewelry gift shop Amee Philips. I saw it, it fit and had to be MINE:

A beautiful little trinket for me :-)..now my trip is complete

A beautiful little trinket for me :-)..now my trip is complete

 

 

I ATE ALL OF INDIA..and I liked it

While traveling, I love to find out different aspects of the culture but it's usually the fashion, booze, beauty and food. While in India I had lots of food...lots AND lots of food. It was Heavenly.

If you are EVER in New Delhi, the ONLY (well it's not the only one but it definitely is the BEST one) Food tour you need is run by "India Food Tour" (click on words if you want to check out their site). This tour was RIDICULOUS! And I mean that in a great way.

I signed up originally for the "Single Traveler" option. I believed it was just gonna be me and a guide trying things out. I was shocked but delighted when it was not just me but 12 others. I could tell you about how amazing everything was and write about it for days. Raj, one of the guides as well as a professional chef was perfection: funny, witty, charming, dad-like (he was always on hand with sanitizer and wipes), and boy did he know his food. He is like a wizard. He taught me more about food, blends, tastes and my pallet in six hours than I have known my entire life. I will NEVER eat food the same way again...I've been changed. I AM A BELIEVER. And I believe that pics are better than my words. This is what we ate: (*note: click on pics if slide show doesn't load to see all the food)

1) Kachori (peas & lentils) with potato curry
2) Samosa (potatoes)
3) Nagori halwa
4) Sweet Lassi
5) Fruit sandwich
6) Allo chaat
7) Naan khatai
8) Kulfi (pomegranate & saffron pistachio)-ICE CREAM
9) Chola bhatura & kulcha
10) Gulab Jamun
11) Golgappe (hallow ball with spicy water): there was both a savory and a sweet one. My fave was the sweet.
12) Mushroom Patty, Chicken patty & Shammi kebab
13) Chicken tikka rolls & Paneer rolls (YUMMY)
14) Thumbs up (soda)