My Most Recent Adventures
I love London, and I try to get there as often as I can. I enjoy some activities in the city so much that I try to fit in time for them every time I return - running in Hyde Park, visiting the National Gallery, tea at the Mandarin Oriental, dinner at the Savoy, and shopping, shopping, shopping...
Portland is a great "little" town, quirky and friendly, and I always enjoy visiting friends and family there. The Nines hotel, dinner at Lewis and Clark, a quick trip out to a winery - and no trip to Portland is complete without an invitation-only stop at the Nike Employee Store, where I always seem to find a way to fill a couple of shopping carts.
Kapalua is my favorite place on Maui - I've been lucky to visit several times. This year was special because I arranged a week-long family vacation. Twelve of us gathered in a beautiful house, with a pool and outdoor area right on the beach. Snorkeling, swimming, surfing, eating and drinking filled our days, and we truly enjoyed each other's company.
On my second trip to Seoul, I was again impressed with the modernity of living, combined with the antiquity of culture in South Korea. The team I worked with there is energetic and engaged in growing our business. I did not have nearly enough time to explore Seoul as I would like - I can't wait to be back!
China - Nanjing and Shanghai
While in China, I visited Kimberly-Clark's facilities and associates in Nanjing and Shanghai, learned about the Chinese market for our products, and discussed ways that technology enables our growth in this vibrant marketplace. I enjoyed the hospitality of our Chinese teams, and felt lucky to be there just after the Year of the Goat celebrations, which they graciously extended to accommodate our visit!
The Nanjing to Shanghai leg of the trip was on the bullet train - the first I have ridden in many years, since my time in Japan. I'm looking forward to the Elon Musk version soon!
(That's my picture, from our dinner reservation location. Shanghai is beautiful!)
China - Xi'an
In this whirlwind Asian visit, I was so pleased to be able to accomplish a truly "bucket list" item - visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors at Xi'An. I felt very fortunate to visit with the farmer who originally discovered the warriors while working his fields. To hear the history, and understand the scope and scale of the work that went into this treasure was truly amazing.
The site itself is so impressive. I didn't know exactly what to expect, especially during the drive in - the surroundings certainly do not fortell the magnitude of the facility. It's a sight to behold.
India - Delhi and Chennai
A two-week trip to India, Malaysia, China, and Korea began in Delhi. Arriving on a Saturday evening, we had an opportunity to visit local sites on Sunday. Having visited the Taj Mahal on my last trip, I chose to see the Lotus Temple and some other sights closer in to Delhi
The Lotus Temple is an impressive sight! I was happy to have the opportunity to visit. While we were in India, we enjoyed the always-warm hospitality of teams from our K-C and business partner companies.
I always enjoy my visits to India - and - it was fantastic to be in a warm climate, after having recently been through the snow in Dallas and New York!
New York is a fantastic city - and Manhattan is a jewel. I was able to spend a few days in Manhattan in conjunction with some business meetings and a gathering of fellow CIOs. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Manhattan are sometimes overwhelming, and I always relish the opportunity to experience the city.
On Saturday evening, I was very pleased to be able to attend a Broadway play - "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." It was terriffic, as Broadway always is - this play originated in London, and we were fortunate to have the full cast here in Manhattan.
Half Moon Bay
I attended a "Women's Innovation Council" event at Half Moon Bay. The event was a great chance to represent K-C's commitment to diversity and for me to show my support for women in technology. San Francisco is one of my favorite big cities with a smaller feel - and Half Moon Bay is a unique little enclave very close to the city. We visit San Francisco quite often, and it's such a change in atmosphere to cross the peninsula and come up on that beautiful coastline.
The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is somewhat iconic - it has a very West Coast, laid-back feel, while still exuding the class and sophisitication the brand represents. The fitness center was terrific for 5am workouts - and nothing beats a run from the Ritz down the beautiful California coast.
(I took that picture from the balcony of my room!)
Southern California has been my home base for most of my life. I've lived all up and down the coast of California, and I have fond memories of my time in San Diego / La Jolla / Carlsbad. I recently atteded the Kimberly-Clark CEO Leadership Forum in Carlsbad. Now that I live in Dallas, I was glad to be able to take some time to really appreciate the weather, culture, and beauty of the coastal area.
The Omni La Costa is an interesting property - laid out over several acres with multiple pools and buildings - great for large teams having corporate events. Some of our team got to enjoy the golf course - it was all I could do to get up at 4:30 each morning and take advantage of their huge fitness facility. The picture is from the room balcony.
While I was in Carlsbad, after all of the corporate events were complete, I was able to sneak away to visit my very favorite Armenian restaurant of all time - The Armenian Cafe. When I eat Armenian food - it's always compared to the standard of The Armenian Cafe - though I have to say my twin sister makes an even better rice pilaf...
Visiting Buenos Aires is always a great experience. Although it seemed like a quick in-and-out trip, my most recent experience was no exception. I gathered my IT Leadership team in Kimberly-Clark's beautiful Puerto Madero offices for a terrific session to start the year. What a great place to have a set of business-focused discussions, to get a perspective on the South American economic and political realities, and to shake up some North American, European, and Asian minds.
I was so thankful for the K-C team who took care of our visit, especially the informal discussion sessions with so many K-C ITS team members. Porto Madero is a beautiful location in a beautiful city - I have so much hope for the future of this great country, and I want to believe it'll find its way through the current difficulties.
Oh - and the wines from Argentina are fantastic...
In the right location, I'm usually keen to append a personal weekend to a work trip. Such was the case for my most recent trip to Costa Rica. I really enjoy Costa Rica. The country is beautiful, it's an easy trip in and out from Dallas, and the people are wonderful. With a work trip to San Jose during the week, I took the opportunity to return to the Papagayo Peninsula, on the country's northwest coast. The beautiful Four Seasons resort has managed to establish itself there as a luxury retreat that honors and supports the natural environement in which it's located. The peninsula is always wonderful, the seas are calm and warm, and Costa Rica offered its typical charms on my getaway weekend. All that - and my favorites - the howler monkeys...
I also took an extra day and half in San Jose, seeing another side of Costa Rica. I enjoyed the restaurants, the markets, and the "business" side of this exciting place. All of the people I encountered were friendly and seemed genuinely interested that I enjoyed my experience in their country.
Thanks to Kim Kardashian's vacations and smartphone game, Punta Mita has become increasingly famous of late. Before all that, it was (and still is) a fantastic getaway. For our birthday, my twin sister and I got away to the St. Regis in Punta Mita - and we had a fantastic time. Apparently, Mexico's most famous (presidential) resident was also having a great time at the resort while we were there - the Mexican Navy had ships just off the coast, and the Federales were around the property. We felt well protected.
Punta Mita is truly beautiful. On the Pacific side (across the country and almost directly west of Cozumel), it has a different climate and unique feel from other tourist locations in Mexico. The weather in May was perfect, and we experienced some of the best sunsets I've seen in a long time. Mexico is a place where my diet usually falls apart - I can eat and eat and eat wherever I go in Mexico, and Punta Mita was no exception. Not far from the culinary capital of Oaxaca, Punta Mita's cuisine was spectacular.
On the same trip as our visit to Fuerteventura, we took three days to explore the Portuguese island of Madeira. There's something about the combination of island, sunshine, and old-world European charm that makes this place special. The Reid's Palace hotel was a terrific "home base" from which to experience the island of Madeira and it's largest city, Funchal.
Funchal is a beautiful city, and its residents and visitors appreciate the variety of cultures tha make up its eclectic nature. To varying degrees, it can seem European, Portuguese, German, and Global. At its core, though, it's charming. The city truly welcomes its visitors, and offers sights and sounds that are only available here.
Reid's Palace is a special place, with a rich and storied past. I loved walking the paths where Winston Churchill painted, and Queen Victoria held court. Diving into the Atlantic Ocean from a platform built in the 1800's - to which steamships carried well-to-do European visitors - was truly a remarkable experience.
As a lover of most things Spanish, I very much enjoyed my trip to the Canary Islands, an "autonomous community" of Spain, just off the northwest coast of Africa. An archipelago of 12 islands, its climate and cultural adventures are quite varied. Spanish and strong Morroccan influences are everywhere.
For our first trip to the Canary Islands, we elected to sample the rustic pleasures of the island of Fuerteventura. An unofficial windsurfing capital of the world, Fuerteventura is on the same latitude as Florida or Mexico - and unlike either. The sun was hot, the wind was strong, and we loved our time on the beach. That said - my favorite part of the trip had to be the food - some of the best seafood I've ever had. Paella to die for, and fresh fish right from the sea - it was all fantastic. In the mornings, we made sure to take long runs, just to make room for the calories we knew we would take in each evening.
I love beach destinations. To unwind, check out, and be off the grid, there's no place like a sunny, sandy, wet destination. Mauritius is all of that. The St. Regis Hotel and Resort on Mauritius is an hour's drive from the airport on the island, and completely worth the trek. The green Le Morne Peninsula, where we stayed this trip, is a beautiful place on this volcanic, mountainous, and friendly island.
Mauritius itself is a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean. The people are happy and pleasant - who wouldn't be, living in an island paradise? The weather can be dicey at times with the rainy season, so look into the rainy seasons and times when the temperatures might be more to your liking.
Buenos Aires, whose denizens fancy themselves as Europeans living in Latin America, is a beautiful city. Experiencing the city on business, I continue to be impressed by my team's high energy and sense of achitevement. I chose this picture of BA to represent the modernity of thinking, together with the city's tremendous historical path. Visiting as a tourist, we have now found our favorite tango show, restaurant, and park - I always enjoy returning to BA, to find other new favorites. I've stayed at the Four Seasons and the Park Tower, and look forward to experiencing some of the unique and interesting boutique hotels, like the Faena Hotel and Universe.
I first visited Tel Aviv in 2013. I don't know that I had particularly preformed opinions of what I expected - but I have to say that Tel Aviv was NOT what I expected. I didn't expect the beautiful beaches, palm trees, and kind people in the "Miami of the Middle East". The people in our teams here are as impressive as they are friendly. I had the good fortune to spend a short amount of time in a brief tour of the city, and I was hugely impressed with the people, the sights, and the cosmopolitan vibe.
Mexico City is an often-misunderstood, underrated destination for travelers. My partner and I had a home in Mexico City for three years, in the posh, urban, neighborhood of Polanco. We absolutely love the city for its energy and rhythms. Every Sunday, the main boulevard through the city is closed to car traffic, and opened to pedestrians, runners, and cyclists - it's one of the best ways to experience the city in an unpressured, adventurous way. With parks throughout the city, restaurants and cafes everwhere, and secure transportation easily available, Mexico City is a true joy for the weekend traveler. The recent violence in the frontier areas of Mexico have not impacted the city, and the colonias (neighborhoods) of Polanco, Condessa, Roma, and Santa Fe are among some of the safest in the country. We shared this city with Mexicans and Expats of various origin - and we enjoyed every minute. We still get back to the city for weekends whenever possible.
Shanghai - a modern city in an ancient country, the truly great thing about this city is the ability to experience both. New sights, sounds, smells, and experiences everywhere I turned. I was only in Shanghai for a brief time, and was impressed with the energy and passion of the IT team. I am looking forward to planning a longer return trip.
I have been to Sydney for business, visiting with my strong and passionate team here - I look forward to coming back through on a personal visit, to enjoy the people and experiences of this vibrant city. A beautiful city with a unique personality owing to the strong individual personalities of Australians, Sydney is a wonderful place.
Phuket has been a beach destination for me and my family for years. Though you have to watch out for mosquitoes, and plan for the right time to visit, based on weather - Phuket is a terrific place to unwind. Phuket is an easily-accessed location, very tourist-friendly, and beautiful. The Banyan Tree in Phuket does not disappoint.
There's no better place to charge your design and cultural batteries than the land of Gaudi, Dali, and Picasso. The city is a magnet for artists and adventurers of all stripes. Strolling La Rambla, attending an Opera at the Liceu, visiting the Gaudi House and Sagrada Familia, or just sitting in a cafe sipping wine and enjoying jamon iberico and other tapas - all of these are key to enjoying this fabulous city. I have stayed in several places here, including the W Barcelona, the Ritz-Carlton, the Le Meridien on La Rambla, and the Le Meridien Ra Beach (which is a bit of a way away, but worth the train trip). We love Barcelona, and come here whenever we can.