Ciao from Guarene!
I am really loving outfits that are cinched at the waist, slightly flared, and progress out into a full skirt. It gives an ultimately classic outfit such a modern feel. Oh, and I am also really loving anything stripe (and it's not just because I'm trotting around Italy and the South of France, where stripes are absolutely non-negotiable in the summertime).
Sarah and I got into a car accident when we were driving around looking for this alleged oversized pink chair to take photos on in the Piedmont countryside. Sarah, being an incredibly organized Korean, had our agenda and stops printed out from TripAdvisor. I on the other hand, had everything logged in my Excel Spreadsheet and TripIt App. We drove back and forth about three times trying to figure out where this alleged chair was, as Google Maps, Apple Maps, and TripAdvisor all pointed to an area that should have been visible from the road. We never found the oversized pink chair.
Instead, as I was turning a very steep one-way corner, going at a glacial pace, and honking to make sure there were no zombies on the other side, a nineteen-year-old kid flew around the corner and ran straight into us. While worst things could have happened, we ended up being fine, but rather startled and annoyed at the aftermath of what was to follow. Things to note about Italian teenagers when faced with trouble: they call their Momma first, then they call their Papa second. They refuse to give you their license, insurance card, and Netflix password. They refuse to call the police until they have approval from their Papa. And if that isn't enough, they will try and flirt with you, even after they almost kill you.
After a run-in with the local Alba Police, a realization that our car was no longer drivable, a drive to the Alba Avis, a few signatures signing away our lives, and we were back in action with a new BMW and heading to our Castle. I had booked our car via Avis (which actually was very impressive to deal with on all fronts from picking up the car at Malpensa Airport in Milan to our unfortunate accident to swapping cars in Alba to dropping off a new car in Milan days later), but opted out of full-coverage insurance since naturally my American Express Platinum card covers me for auto insurance when I rent cars. Well, wrong. Italy is excluded, so we ended up getting slapped with a pretty high bill for damages, even though it wasn't our fault. Welcome to Italy!
When we arrived at Castello di Guarene, all my worries seemed to disappear. It's said to have one of the best spas in the Piedmont region and I assure you that it did not disappoint. These gardens remind me of Dali for some reason. Maybe because Dalí was highly imaginative and enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. This castle was like that; it was quite an odd Italian castle, but had somewhat of an oriental flavor to it, and it was eccentric down to the staff. Maybe it reminded me of Dali because I've had a lot on my mind the past few weeks and I realized early on in my trip that my unconscious was transforming imaginary problems into real ones. Luckily, I am smart enough to realize what I was doing to myself and all I had to do was shift my mindset and I was back on track again. I think it's important to listen to the signs and stay aware of the things happening in your life. Most of my friends are in this stage lately where we haven't been going out and socializing, but rather focusing on travel and new experiences and just taking some time for ourselves. A low-interaction, low-sodium kind of life. And I think that is entirely okay.
Coco Wears: A Linen Crop Top from Zara, Vintage Pleated Skirt, Prada Wedges, and Saint Laurent Sunglasses. Photographer: Sarah Son. Location: Castello di Guarene, Cunea, Piedmont country, Italy