Culture / Travel

Now Hear This — Our Dream Vacations and Realistic Favorites

Travel Destinations to Swoon Over

BY // 03.29.19

We are now a quarter of the way through the year, and many of us here at the PaperCity Dallas offices are itching to travel. Granted, the majority of us pop off for a quick weekend trip fairly regularly.

Senior editor Lisa Collins Shaddock might take the Vonlane down to Austin to see her parents. Editor in chief Christina Geyer might decide she wants to go somewhere remote so she finds a chic B&B in Abilene for a Saturday night to refresh.

Me, I often find myself catching one of the once-a-day direct flights to Tallahassee so I can spend a few days with my dad.

However, none of those are truly vacations. Vacations are supposed to involve lounging in an Adirondack chair in Martha’s Vineyard with a book in one hand and a glass of rose in the other. Or drinking at The Little Nell après skiing in Aspen.

Maybe even biking through wine country in France. Hmmm, I just realized that many of these options involve some booze. Maybe that’s the recipe for success?

Which brings us to this week’s Now Hear This PaperCity Dallas office question: Do you have a vacation planned in the immediate future, and what is your dream destination?


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Christina Geyer, Dallas Editor in Chief

Billy has asked us this week to talk about upcoming vacations. And to him, I answer: What’s that? Sadly, I haven’t had one second to plan a vacation for the summer — and with a busy season ahead, I’m not sure I’ll get around to anything much more than a possible staycation at my beloved Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

So, for lack of a summer getaway plan, I’ll describe the dreamland that was my last real vacation — you know, the kind where you actually put up an out-of-office message. 

Last year in July, before heading down to Los Angeles to spend time with family, I spent a few nights in Santa Barbara. I hadn’t been in years and needed a few days to completely tune out. So, I found myself at the Belmond El Encanto, a beautiful property in the hills of SB, with gorgeous gardens — my favorite —  and stunning views of the ocean. 

I woke up every morning and took long walks in the residential neighborhood surrounding the hotel, eventually making my way down the hill to the gorgeous Santa Barbara Mission.

There is a beautiful park and rose garden in front of the historic church, which I still remember visiting during childhood visits to Santa Barbara. It was just what I needed at that point in my life — serenity, escape and the ocean. Come to think of it, that’s also exactly what I need in my life right now.

Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor

For a vacation in the near future, I am planning an excursion to the Left Coast, Los Angeles specifically.

To quote Led Zeppelin, “I get a feeling when I look towards the West.” Having lived in sunny La La Land, I enjoy knowing that I will have ideal weather, pretty people and some of my favorite Asian cuisine pretty much 11 months out of the year.

You haven’t had Korean barbecue until you’ve experienced it in Koreatown. Two years ago I did a girls-weekend trip to L.A. with my bestie, Dana Garner, and we spent most of it poolside and on the balcony of our room at the Chateau Marmont. During my days living out there in my twenties, I had spent a lot of time at the Chateau.

chateau marmont
Billy spent many lovely afternoons at the Chateau in his twenties.

Usually, it was with someone who had an expense account through their talent agency or post fashion shoot. However, I had never stayed at the storied hotel. The Chateau has always seemed to be the epicenter for those living the fast and loose Hollywood or rock-and-roll lifestyle. Vanity Fair, in their recent Hollywood issue, had a fascinating feature on the history of the playground of the jet set that is just spitting distance from the Sunset Strip.

Since I am in frugal, saving-for-a-house mode, I will likely cash in some American Airlines miles for a ticket and find a friend with a hillside home where I can stay for an extremely long weekend — at least five days.

My dream vacation has been cooking for close to 20 years, from when I led a trip to Art Basel Miami for L.A. collectors back in 2002.

One of the women in that group, who quickly became a gal pal, shared that she was heading to India to take the Palace on Wheels. “What is that?” I exclaimed.

The name alone conjured up adventure, old-school glamour and mystery. I did some research and found out that it’s the equivalent of a five-star hotel, but on wheels. It connects many of the palaces of India so half your time is spent watching the glorious scenery out of your window and the other is exploring those famed homes of royalty.

Lisa Collins Shaddock, Senior Editor

I am the ultimate travel junkie and require zero convincing to go pretty much anywhere. Besides being my favorite hobby, travel is something I feel strongly about as a priority to constantly expand your worldview and shake things up.

That being said, it’s also so easy to let time go by and become comfortable in your daily routine. This is one of the reasons my husband Andrew and I decided to make planning a trip for our anniversary an annual tradition as long as we’re able to.

We’ve only had one, but so far so good! Last year we stayed at the iconic GoldenEye Resort in Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica, and spent two nights at its sister property, The Caves, in Negril, and we had an incredible time. We are behind in planning this year but I am determined to keep the tradition going strong!

As far as dream trips go, my bucket list is essentially the entire globe. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of exploring Argentina’s wine country as well as the many European cities I have yet to visit. 

Samantha Olguin, Sales Account Director and Director of Business Development, Dallas

Since last year was almost fully devoted to wedding travel, a few of my besties and I decided a girl’s weekend away was in order this spring.  

So with a few doodle polls and one very organized friend leading the way — for those of us who rarely commit to booking group travel plans, oops — our trip is now booked to Santa Barbara next month.

We are staying at beautiful The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. We plan to sip some tasty reds and whites at a few wineries, indulge in gourmet food, take in the views, walk the beach and enjoy lots of laughs. Suggestions always welcome. Here’s to toasting with Rose bubbles fireside while watching waves roll in, and as they say “being present!” 

As for my dream trip? That’s easy, Positano off the Amalfi Coast. The picturesque views, turquoise water and elegant architecture always leave me breathless.

I think of myself as a view junkie, if that is a thing. For me, there is nothing better than a getaway set with spectacular views of nature. I feel as there is no better time or place to connect with myself spiritually, practice gratitude and “stop to smell the roses.”

If you are anything like me, that rarely happens during my day-to-day Dallas life. This is at the top of my bucket list, hoping to check it off sooner than later!

Linda Kenney, Account Executive

Dream vacations? I love them. I can’t really say there is a particular dream vacation. I loved driving through Europe with my husband, Bill, when we were much younger and we partied like mad people.

I loved driving from Rome to the Amalfi Coast with him recently — those hairpin turns were exciting, but of course, I wasn’t driving. The view was unforgettable.

Tropical vacations have their place in my heart. I adore Barbados and Hawaii. When our daughters were young, I loved our family vacation in July on Cape Cod. I loved a Paris vacation with good friends Jean and Diane.

It’s safe to say that wanderlust is in my soul.  

Meryn Kennedy, Dallas Intern

This year I would love to go to Miami or Cancun, you can never get enough of that beach breeze. 

Caroline Lidl, Dallas Intern

I just recently returned from a spring break trip to my hometown — the always-sunny San Diego. While at home it’s unlikely you’ll find me more than 10 minutes from the beach.

Hiking, dining, shopping, and studying is always so much better when done practically on the water’s edge. I am looking forward to returning in June to escape the Dallas heat and attend my younger brother’s high school graduation.

My dream vacation would be something close to an Eat, Pray, Love adventure around the eastern hemisphere. There is too much out there I want to experience to limit it to just one vacation, but it is a safe bet that I would begin my journey in Italy. I am all about the pasta.

If you ever have something you want our team to address, shoot us your thoughts via social media or email (@papercitydallas on Instagram; on Facebook; or yours truly, Or, better yet send a message to the office, handwritten on the Smythson stationery of your choice — and feel free to include a bottle of Veuve. Champagne really helps get the ideas flowing.

Look for the next installment of Now Hear This from Billy Fong next week.

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