Well it seems like light years since I published my last blog post here. Things became just a little bit crazy leading up to the 2017 winter tours….
In the latter part of 2016 I’d sold my flat, finished building a new home, slipped in a secret wedding, had two books published and did a bizarre amount of press for them both (none of that in the least bit stressful…) – just prior to jumping on a plane to Japan for a few weeks tour research trip in December, then hosting the Zenbu Zen Tour in January followed by spending a couple of weeks in Tokyo doing some Tokyo Style Guide publicity and researching for some new stories – which I’ve been writing since I returned in February – you’ll find one of them here if you are interested!
We spent Christmas and New Year in Kyoto and visited the art island of Naoshima (fantastic!), the onsen town of Kinosaki ( a little touristy to be honest), beautiful Kanazawa and the incredible Noto Peninsula (and a total of 12 hotels) in preparation for plotting future tours! It was non-stop but wonderful (and may have added to my already-somewhat-obvious-to-everyone-but-myself exhaustion..)
We were so bloody lucky to have another fabulous group of truly excellent guests – and I was particularly grateful that when, completely out of the blue (?!?!), I was slammed with a serious dose of vertigo – my freshly wed husband jumped in the deep end to take charge of the remaining days of the itinerary on his own – and that the group were so damn fantastic about me taking a ‘mini-break’ in my room for several days….! (It’s not at all embarrassing of course when you are in the middle of hosting a tour to suddenly not be able to continue…….I really can’t thank my last group enough for their patience and kindness).
I cannot explain how amazingly the staff of Kyoto Hyatt Regency Hotel looked after us all – not to mention their new GM – the charming, generous and unflappable Miriam Varoli who did something that I’m still finding hard to comprehend – she jumped in to host the group when I couldn’t be left unattended on day one of Camp Vertigo. GM must stand for Go Miriam!!? I can only imagine it had something to do with being a straight talking, hard-working, caring, professional, top-notch Aussie sista!! She was and is simply wonderful and I’m forever in her debt.
I’ve, perhaps understandably, been taking it pretty easy for the last month or so – settling into our new home and catching up with myself, friends and family – and will continue to pace myself as I slowly work on a few things including the winter tour itineraries for 2018 (the Spring Tour has just been released if you haven’t heard already!) and some long lead planning for a couple of new projects which I’ll be sharing with you in the not too distant future. I’ll also be adding some more blog posts here during the coming weeks to share some highlights of the last trip including a few new discoveries – so stay tuned friends!