SS: A Tokyo Love Story

I met him on Tinder with one and only one thing on my mind.

I've often wondered when I became attracted to their culture. True, I loved their food but was that/is that enough? Was it the mild soft-spoken manner in comparison to my loud boisterous one? Their delicate frame to my solid dancer's build with a bunch of midwestern meat and tater's over my belt? Or was it that they too have flawless anti-aging skin? True, "Black don't crack" but "Asian don't raisin". The Japanese skin regime is on point. And he was no different. Also, there was his hair...he was in his early 40's and has a full thick luscious head of hair. The times I have stroked that hair, GOD, the times I've pulled that hair. The beautiful babies we would have made.

I had it planned. It was to be one night and one night only. So different from my other Sabbatical Smooches stories as I was gonna try for a little bit more than smooch.  

He was sweet, soft-spoken, and while English was not his strong point, he had something quietly sensual about him.

He... was the one, and surprisingly he knew of the perfect love hotel. Hence, the adventure began.

 

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

 

High Times in Denver

Sisters Weekend 2017 was a success. 

This year my sis and I decided we wanted to spend a Thanksgiving doing what we wanted and NOT cooking. We hopped on planes and headed to Denver, Colorado. It was a very relaxing trip thanks to our Bud and Breakfast. Yes you read that right ...BUD and Breakfast.  we stayed at the Adagio. It was a lovely little B&B that not only had every kind of instrument available to smoke from:

IMG_7318.JPG

The days began with an 8am-10 am: wake n bake there was breakfast which was always a variety of cereals, breads, fruits, eggs, chicken, sausage or pork, juices and mimosa's as well as a stocked fridge of beer, water, soda and wine. I would have taken pics but I was h.... (ahem I forgot)

Pipes, Bats and Bongs oh my!

Pipes, Bats and Bongs oh my!

The Inn itself was lovely and quaint:

IMG_7320.JPG

The bedroom we were in was a bit small but homey, however the bed itself was not the most comfortable, in the world but overall a comfortable stay.

Sister weekend the Bud and Breakfast was  a success.

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.

More Excited Today Than First time...I CAN WRITE MY NAME

I can't really recall the first time I learned to write my name. I'm sure there were high fives, and all the accolades a 3 or 4 year old could handle. However the memories are not mine, just the faint ones of bystanders who are no longer of this earth so I can't even get a play by play.

Yup, if I wanted to know the feeling or perhaps obtain it once more, well it's up to me. Traveling is my time to be brave. To try the things I've always wanted to but a bit apprehensive to do so. A time to pull a NIKE and 'Just Do It"...and that's exactly what I did.

I love travel. I used to like it because it gave me the opportunity to find the perfect gift for just about everyone under the sun. It also increased my baggage fees. This trip I've decided to spend my money on learning and adventures. This way I could use my knowledge and make handmade authentic gifts.

Japan's class of choice was a calligraphy class...where I learned how to write the symbol for "Spring" and "Sakura" (Cherry Blossom) as it was that time of year. I don't believe I could have picked a more beautiful time to be in Tokyo if I had tried. The blossoms were in full bloom last week, the weather was PERFECT on all the days I had planned outdoor activities, and the food was delicious. Best week ever. Besides the two symbols I also learned how to write my name. Believe me, I have never been so giddy with delight when my instructor...stood over me and said "good job. Good FIRST try" ...it was then where I started to feel the heat of the Japanese. Trying would only get me so far. I would have to DO.

I googled and googled until I found the website Veltra, I did not have a problem with their services however after my dealings with services like these I always recommend to save money book with company direct. This tour is ran by True Japan Tour. My instructor for my private was a strong and silent type: Mr Hideki Shimizu who was everything I would expect from my instructor: patient, kind, judgemental and pushed me because he KNEW I could do it. He was perfect. He and his assistant(Ms. Yuri ) taught me how to grate and grind my own ink, as well as how to use already prepared ink, the size and width of my brushes, the grade of papers etc.

I did not take many pictures as the setup reminded me of a class/learning experience nor did I feel as if it would be appropriate. The class was an hour in it's entirety. The beginning was history of calligraphy both Japanese and Chinese as the symbols we used came from the Kanji. And a brief overview of the history of the calligraphy, then about 30 min writing my name, and the symbols in both Japanese and Chinese, and then I was given a piece of hard cardboard with gold trim...and I made my masterpiece:

My full name along side the symbol for spring (top) and Sakura/Cherry Blossom (bottom)

My full name along side the symbol for spring (top) and Sakura/Cherry Blossom (bottom)

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

 

 

It's time...it's time!!! Let's go see the world! But, before you go...

Every time before I leave I feel nothing, except maybe angst. Did I pay my student loan? Forward my mail? Call the banks? Etc. At times I actually forget this is actually FUN. 

While I am not a fan of checking a bag for me it has become a necessity when my trip is over a month and covers various climates. Most of the time I am team carry on only. 

Also comfortable yet casual is what I find helps me get through my travel, and layers. Lots and lots of layers:  

 

FullSizeRender.jpg

This look is easy, chic and fun. Basic Michael Kors black pant, H&M tank top, Jones of NY black sweater, Calvin Klein light jacket, purplish blue shimmer scarf (great for covering arms and head when going into temples) picked up in Thailand for 390 Baht (about 11$ usd) and my new Obsidian black Tieks.  some simple jewelry and I am ready to fly. And don't you dare forget the compression socks for flights over 5 hours. It's not a "rule" or anything but I've found my travel experience a bit better because of it. 

Just be clean, comfortable and considerate. Leave the graphic tee's, flip flops and nail clippers in your packed suitcase.  

As for me...almost time for wheels up on my next new adventure. I'm going to a place I love as well as three NEW countries. 

I look forward to sharing the adventure with you.  

See you somewhere in the world  

xo

K

Source: http:/

LOLA...2017 is coming and it's gonna be EPIC

Well 2016...was one heck of a great year, mixed with some sorrow. However 2017 promises to be epic as I have a HUGE stateside adventure planned...that will include my sissy, and two uncles. I don't know how this will work, so I'm thinking a lot of booze and prayer.

However, I can't just say goodbye to 2016 without remembering how much fun I had and how much of the world I need to see...from the coast of Africa to Asia and behind. Enjoy!

Press Play and see 2016 and some of the places we've seen

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS

Hey friends...I've been away for a few days. I'm currently in Utah shooting a film, as well as checking out a few places for hopefully LOLA getaways in the future...and guess who is going domestic? That's right ...yours truly. I still will be focusing on Amsterdam, however I want to expand to various US cities in unusual places like Utah, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and somewhere on the east coast. Still in the air about that location.

Today was my late day on the set. I'm in lovely Ivins, UT and the scenery is absolutely stunning.

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Isn't it breathtaking? So breathtaking that I got lost and was scared for my life. I think the movie 127 Hours played over in my head at least a million times.  I walked around FOREVER, then it started to rain so I took cover in a rock enclosure. 127 HOURS had become my life, and all I could think is "Please God let me keep my limbs" . Reception was spotty at best but I was soon able to get a call into park officials and send them pics of the things were around me.

They found me within20 minutes maybe less..definitely faster than Domino's delivery. Once I had been saved...well I needed a pic of course.

Wilderness Woman

Wilderness Woman

At first I swore I would never attempt hiking again, then after thinking about it a few hours I've decided to fight this fear. I'm going ALL IN, and signing up for a hiking retreat. Why? because if something scares you then you have to face it head on.

THAT'S how a LOLA woman does it! Wish me luck.

xo

Kit

Fear...of water, flying and more, however JUST KEEP SWIMMING!

Fear...I am afraid of anything, everything and NOTHING; all at the same time. Moments creep up on me and I wonder: am I doing the right thing? , How am I going to afford this? Am I crazy for thinking a travel adventure company for women could work? And so on and so forth.

But then I remind myself to do NOTHING, just breathe. Get through the moment. It feels as if some moments are a lifetime, but they too pass.

Personally, I detest long flights, water vexes me, have no use for repressive heat OR so I believed until I chose Asia for my destination de jour. After catching a great break on Qatar Airlines I was off for almost three months to see the undiscovered...I traveled all over parts of SE Asia and Australia.

First and foremost, I do NOT like to fly. Mainly because I feel it is a waste of time. I mean I'm just in the air. I can't control anything on a plane. I can't even backseat drive and tell the pilot to "watch out" I feel powerless.  However, Qatar made me forget all about that:

Second, I was terrified of water; now thanks to a lovely Aussie I am over that fear. I made a new friend in Thailand who was a behavioral specialist as well as former lifeguard. In the beginning, I didn't want to even get in the water, by the end I could doggie paddle.

 

Last but not least, I HATE the heat. I don't like being hot and I believe that air conditioning is the best invention EVER. PERIOD. THE END. So to exist in 100 degree heat and even (GASP) exercise.

 

One night in Thailand I was feeling VERY alone and homesick. And I thought of the movie Finding Nemo. Especially the part where Dory told Marlin that when you don't know what to do you "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. swimming. swimming" and that's what I do.

I know how I want the game to end, I just don't know the path yet. And that's Ok.