#24HR Tripper COVID Version

I started 2020 on a new path.  To travel more and write more about it. I even coined the hashtag #24hrtripper on social media. Then we all know what happened and the travel industry is decimated. As places reopen people have slowly begun to travel again, but can we travel safely….

LaConner, WA
Bridge in La Conner WA

What is unfortunate is that some people refuse the slightest inconvenience of wearing a mask. Before this goes into any finger wagging I want to share a podcast from research and shame expert Brené Brown called Shame and Accountability. One takeaway for me was this: people will do anything to avoid feeling shame. In other words, shame is the least effective tool to get people to change their behavior.

If you are traveling for business or personal reasons the CDC has some recommendations here. While hotels, airlines and destinations have instituted cleaning protocols restrictions are not lifting for many destinations. If you’re choosing to travel click over here for some recent experiences from some travel experts. And here are some suggestions:

Be Accountable and Be Prepared

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Wear your mask in public, in restaurants, in parks and hiking. Yeah if there’s no one around I have taken mine off. But when I can’t stay 6 feet away, it’s on, hiking or not. I also have sanitizer in my purse, in the car, wipes in the bags. I also have a first aid kit, extra medication, extra mask, extra everything. I have paper maps in case I’m out of cell phone range. I have alternative spots to visit in case an area is crowded. Are you prepared to use the most disgusting porta potty on the road? And can you trace where you’ve been in case a contact tracer needs that information? Yep, be that prepared and accountable.

Travel Local

Road Trip within your locality. Stay close to home so that you aren’t stuck a plane ride away and with the potential to make others sick if you get sick. You’re also supporting your local tourism industry. Can anyone say “Reading Vacation” while staying in a cabin in the off-season? Or stay at that local resort that you’ve always wanted to stay and order room service?

Pack Food

We selected lots of dried fruits, jerky, PB & J sandwiches and other less perishable items, along with a cooler full of ice, fresh fruit and some frozen water in bottles. Not only are you saving funds, but you’re limiting your exposure. Oh, and now you have those extra PB & J sandwiches to take on the trail of the hike that was a little longer than you thought.

Stay Local

Boreas Inn, Long Beach WA

Stay at a small B&B. Look for rooms with their own bathroom. The less people you are exposed to, the better. Stay masked unless you’re in your room. Keep your windows open if you can. And you’re supporting local people running a small business. Or can you find a VBRO with a kitchen so you can buy some groceries where you are and cook? You’re putting money into the local economy, a winning idea.

Play Outdoors

Instead of museums see mountains instead. Go for that long drive through the mountains. Find those remote beaches that aren’t built to the seawall, more rural lakes and rivers. Find that state park in the middle of no where and take a walk in nature. Just because there aren’t 5 star reviews somewhere doesn’t mean it’s not worth going. If you’re taking a mindful hike, the journey is the payoff, not the destination. Maybe there are less amenities but that also might mean less people. Fly a kite. Enjoy a bike ride. Take all the pictures you want! Outdoor yoga on the beach, yes!

Discovery Trail, Long Beach, WA

Do Less

I’d like to call this the anti-travel list part. The definition of vacation is an extended period of leisure. Instead of covering hundreds of miles in a day plan a trip around spending hours reading, relaxing and unwinding. Stress contributes to illness. Spend less time on completing a travel itinerary and more time sleeping in.

Check Before You Go

We went to an area not knowing it was a hot spot. We figured out quickly why: massive amounts of mask-less people on packed trails. It was stressful. We went back to our hotel room and hid for the rest of the trip. The next time we adventured, we researched and found a great place and had a great time.

A few months ago I attended a virtual summit put on by the Travel and Adventure Shows. One of the key takeaways for me was until there is some form of rapid testing, we are going to have to learn to live with this virus for a while. So when in doubt, I’ll be staying home boosting my mood by planning my next travel adventure.

#24hrtripper #24hrtrips #travelsafely #travelaccountability #travellocal

#24HrTripper Lake Garda, Italy

I had the delightful opportunity to visit Lake Garda and saw a whole lot in 24 hours.

Getting there: Take a bus to Salò or drive the 2 hours from Milan. Once there you can either drive to these destinations or take a boat. You can hire a boat that will take you from one place to the other.

Stay: Hotel Bellerive is a gorgeous 4-star hotel in Salò directly on the Southern Shores of Lake Garda. My room looked over the rooftops of this quiet village. The breakfast was incredibly delicious and the servers were there to fulfill your every need. You can leisurely walk along the lake to see the quaint downtown village shops and museums.


Visit: Gardone Riviera and Vittoriale degli Italiani. Gardone Riviera historic waterfront has beautiful villas that line the waterfront among the hotels. But just up the hill was where famed poet Gabriele d’Annunzio made his home his castle, complete with a navy warship embedded into the hills. This place is truly incredible to see and offers spectacular views of the lake. The legendary war hero and poet wanted to surround himself with beauty and that he did. A cross between a quirkier Hearst Castle and a Mediterranean villa; every little detail, the kennels for his dogs, gardens with little lemon houses, the overwhelming amount of art and artifacts in his home, satisfies the curiosity and creates conversation.


Eat: Il Fagiano at The Grand Hotel Fasano. This is a 5-star experience. I was traveling with travel directors from around the globe and many of them said this was in their top five meals of all time. I took two pictures and shared them on my Instagram from this meal and I can remember exactly the taste, divine. I enjoyed every moment of it. You will not be disappointed. 75841514-220F-4F58-9D97-EA854B02DAC5

Visit: Sirmione and step back in time. Scaliger Castle and its drawbridge welcomes visitors to this medieval village. Walk along cobblestone streets to see the buildings built from lake stones and sand. Visit the famed thermal spas as you walk past the former home of Opera Diva Maria Callas. Visit the Roman Ruins or stop into Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore. This was really a beautiful church and I actually stopped taking pictures out of respect for the parishioners who were there.

Eat at: La Speranzina Restaurant & Relais in Sirmione. Offering sweeping views of the lake I tried their steak tartare and they had these delicious #gluten-free crackers made from amaranth, fresh perch from the lake and delicious tiramisu.






#24hrTripper Victoria, BC Canada

The details: This trip was 24 hours exactly ferry to island and back. We had the ‘luck of the ferries’ on our side and we had such a great time. If you want some tips and tricks on how to make the most of your 24 hours in Victoria keep reading!

Get there:  BC Ferry Trip from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. Make a reservation to hold a spot for you and you purchase your ticket once you arrive but get there no later than 30 minutes prior to departure. TIP: We showed up early and WE GOT ON EARLY! You can also take a ferry from the WA but some only run once daily.  We arrived in Swartz Bay and drove about 25 minutes to Victoria.

Stay: Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza. This is close to everything. You can basically walk to Chinatown, Inner Harbor, Parliament Buildings, museums, shopping, dining. It’s a perfect spot. The restaurant next door Ruby’s has great food and good gluten free options. Tip: Ask the hotel if there’s a possibility to keep your car there after you check out so you can have extra time for site-seeing.  More than likely, if there isn’t some big event happening, they’ll say yes. Check out time was 12 noon here so we checked out early, they kept our bag and car and we went off!

See: Chinatown and the famous Fan Tan Alley with its little shops, even a little Italian bakery called La Tana.

Inner Harbor: Continue on down Wharf Street to the water to see the famous Parliament Buildings and their green tops, statues and grounds. Walk over to the monument in honor of Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion and see the time capsule and beautiful water sculpture. Tip: If you’re there during the week take the free 35 minute tour offered to see the Buildings!

Miniature World: You can’t miss the Empress hotel and around the corner is the most intricate display of tiny recreations of history. Perfect for youngsters and those that appreciate the time that went into these models being built.

Government Street: Continuing walking back towards Chinatown and see all the shops and souvenirs you can possibly collect. Stop at Bastion Square.

Pickup the car and head to:

Beacon Hill Park: Famous for a tree planted by Winston Churchill, this beautiful park has a petting zoo, peacocks roam freely and so many beautiful walkways and ponds to spend a few hours in if you have it. TIP:  From Beacon Park take Dallas Road and just keep going and you’re on the scenic drive around the coast. We drove through some really beautiful neighborhoods and stopped to look across at Washington State, because you are that close!

Tea at Abkhazi Gardens: Created by the Georgian Prince and Princess Abkhazi, this lovely garden is run by donation and has a lovely tea room. TIP: Make a reservation ahead of time. They offer a gluten-free tea that is delicious! After your tea make your way through the garden and discover its hidden delights.

Head back for the ferry (show up early and they’ll get you on) and enjoy seeing the water and perhaps wildlife. And that’s your 24 hour trip!

#24hrtripper #24hourtripper #bcferries #victoriabc  #victoriacanada #canada #visitbc #abkhazigardens #hightea #beaconhillpark #governmentstreet #fantanalley #parliamentbuildings #glutenfreedining #glutenfreetravelling

24Hour Trip #24hrtripper

#24HrTripper The 24 hour Trip



We got away for 24 hours. It was wonderful. It felt longer. I don’t undervalue a real vacation at all, but I think that I put so much emphasis on THOSE trips when I actually need a little break from reality right NOW! And 24 hours can do it.

What we did not do was:



Overextend ourselves

What we did do was:

Have a few ideas

Make two reservations, one for a hotel and another for a meal

Took lots of pictures

Allowed for space for exploring and spontaneous fun

And it was.

So I am going to blog about these adventures in hopes that it will inspire some of you to do this.

When you need to reset, renew and get a little perspective, consider a 24 hour trip.

But let me know, what do you want to hear about? How to plan one? Maybe what you should or shouldn’t try to do? Doing one on a budget?

Let me know in the comments!

#vacation #minivacation #retreats #24hrtrips #24hrtripper #travelblogs #travelblogger

Italy: For the Love of Coffee

Since my first trip to Italy all I have longed for was another Italian cappuccino. I have had multiple conversations with others about our love for the coffee of Italy. My former co-worker from France begrudgingly but completely agreed; The Italians do it better. And my recent trip confirmed that: from the hotel coffee machine to the café on the corner Italy’s coffee is delicious.

During my first trip there wasn’t a cappuccino that I didn’t try. From Rome to Florence to Venice, any chance I broke the rule of cappuccinos only at breakfast and drank until I could drink no more. But this time I had little time and a lot of stops on the itinerary, so I did what my lovely guides and hosts did. Well, most of the time.

My first morning was the breakfast buffet at the NYX Hotel in Milan. (Side note: if you’re an American reading this you would die of shock of how wonderful these buffets are compared to our sad hotel breakfasts). After gathering my plate of fresh, delicious treats I stood in front of the ultimate sacrilege: an automated cappuccino machine. Desperate after being up 36 hours traveling the previous days and unsure if there was coffee service, I filled my cup. Gratefully there were actual waitstaff who brought me a cappuccino. But not before I had finished what was a really terrific cappuccino, actually, better than most chains-that-will-not-be-named. Yes, even the Italian automated machines are better.

Outside the Duomo I expected a less than stellar experience being a high tourist area. Before lunch we popped into this cute place, literally called Caffeè and sidled up to the bar. That is the one thing that the coffee culture offers in Italy: fast bar service. There is no need for a to-go experience when you can simply walk up and get a quick shot of espresso or cappuccino. The speed in which the baristas delivered our varied drinks was outstanding with a glass of water on the side.  Oh yes, I was falling deeper into my coffee stupor.

FTIW1680hotelbelleriveNext destination was Lake Garda and the Hotel Bellerive did not disappoint (again these breakfasts are a whole other post). The waitstaff brought me coffee with steamed cream. It’s why you’re seeing multiple pictures of this. If there were a perfect cup of coffee, it was here. The perfect temperature and the cream. I savored each delicious cup. Later after lunch I would have another first, shot of espresso. This is not something I normally drink. But the little cup, with the little bit of sugar and the cream was just a little slice of heaven. Rich, dark, almost like a dessert in the way of satiating a sweet tooth, but with coffee.

Now that I’m back, I’ve been told that if I truly want to dive into coffee, I must go to Naples and enjoy the coffee culture there. So it’s now on my next spring trip list. But I’m afraid I may never come back. Maybe I won’t…

@2019 JennieOSix















Sorry it’s been a while. My husband would ask if I’ve waited 15 seconds before I told you “I just got back from Milan.” Because it was all I could talk about for about two days. Well…

Brera District, Milan

So I just got back from Milan.  And Lake Garda. Could I fall in more love with Italy? Yes. This was a very quick trip, fit in lots of things in 4 short days…WHY do you ask, well I only had 4 days, it was a tourism trip and I squeezed it in. Was it worth the 14 hours each way to fly in 5 days. Yes. Absolutely yes.

When I was a little girl I would watch all the Fashion shows on Canadian television, long story but yes, I would watch them every Saturday or whenever they were on. I watched the long lines of models with all of their precision cat-walking and dream of someday going to Milan or Paris for Fashion Week.

We left Milan the day Fashion Week was starting. The energy of the city was shifting. Photographers and models started cropping up all over the city. From what I’m told, it’s incredible but also incredibly expensive to be there. The prices go up for every hotel. But if you get into the parties, you’ll eat your way through the pain.

Fashion week taxis outside Teatro alla Scala

It was a dream to be there. And to shop there. And to drink myself full of as much coffee as possible, that is going to have it’s own blog post soon. I’ll be blogging more about this on the Cultural Italy website. But for now I leave you with some pictures. And my little girl was delighted. She’s still smiling.











My Writings on Italy

I have not been blogging personally for a while, but have been getting paid to blog on various websites. Here’s a couple from Cultural Italy, the luxury travel tour company that I also write their monthly Travel Tips newsletter:

Marina Abramovic: A Body of Art

Flight Network’s World’s Best Journeys

Winter to Spring Festivals

Ancient Theatre among the Ruins

Becoming the Art: The Klimt Experience

Manifesta 12: Palermo

Andy Warhol Superstar

Sneek Peek at the Summer Festivals

The Price of a Savior

Foodies Paradise: Eataly World

Winter Travel Wonders

An Unconventional Thanksgiving







The Sum of All Years

fierceI got this fantastic idea from Bonnie Gillespie whom if you don’t know and you’re an actor trying to work, you need to just go down the rabbit hole of her website and all she offers.

The Sum of All Years is a writing exercise in which each year of your life is described in the number of words for that age.

For now this is the past three but I would like to do this for each year and if I do, I will update this post!


Learned to slow down the hard way.

Surgery. PT. Weight gain and loss.

Healing is never ending.

Gave myself opportunities to grow and others followed suit.

Directing. Producing.

Stopped taking shit (see healing)

The compassion I cultivate must be for myself first.

Fully focused.



Financial freedom is attainable.

Sometimes you have to say no and goodbye forever.

Boundaries are not meant to be broken.

Fringe. Laughter. Friendship. I got your back.

Pismo Beach. Jeff getting married. Indy Film. Webseries.

There is so much I have to offer.


Calendar Girls and taking sexy back.

Learning the painful truth about teachers is key to evolvement.

Yoga Journal Conference, old and new friends.

Some people have sad endings and there’s nothing you can do about it.

After Holiday travel magic in Vancouver.


Sometimes I am neglectful and just recently remembered that I neglected to send a Christmas card to my agent this year. OOOPSS!!!

Life can get very busy sometimes. So I like to have little things on hand that I stick in my cupboard and then when that last minute need arises, I have something!

moroccan_rose_water_3d_front_1_compactThis Moroccan Rose water from Instanatural I got for free for this review. And after seeing on their website it was rated the #1 Just-In-Case gift from People Magazine, it’s not hard to see why. It’s a huge bottle. And at 13.97, it’s fairly inexpensive.

You can buy it here:

I’m off to my agent!