Everything Is Grand at the Grand Hotel!

Riane and I have now been married for 16 years… When we met, we were 19 and came from completely different worlds. ie. When we graduated high school (from different schools in different towns - we did not meet till college) - Riane went to Europe for 2 1/2 weeks. I went to work at CIG with my dad. Riane had been to Hawaii, Africa, and Europe. I had been to Possum Kingdom Lake…100 x’s. I had never been on a plane until Riane and I started dating and needless to say, I’ve gone from “Texas forever” to “where are we going this year?”. We always have fun finding new places and experiencing new things and boy did we find a gem this time! The last 3 years have been really good, but long, very busy and just like everyone else - we work A LOT… So, heading back to Italy this summer for a work/anniversary trip not only felt like a much needed break from the “non-stop”, but it was one of the most beautiful trips we’ve taken. Lake Como is incredible. The views, the food, the atmosphere, it is a “must do” trip and is on our “do again” list.

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When in Lake Como, you have what seems like an unlimited amount of choices when it comes to where to stay. The great thing is - regardless of where you stay, you can hop from town to town on the ferries and experience all you want. So - this week begins our ‘Tour of Lake Como’ and we are starting with our favorite spot in the entire area. 

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Grand Hotel Tremezzo - note: we did not stay here, but we did hit the spa, the pool, the restaurants, gym, sauna, and the fancy candy bar! From Bellagio (where we stayed for the week) we took the ferry straight to Tremezzo and took the short 5 min. walk from the ferry to Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Quick history - The Grand is the oldest hotel in Lake Como and begin such was the first hotel on the Lake. It is amazing. Here’s the thing with The Grand - even if you are not staying there, you are welcome to hit up the Spa or eat at any of their restaurants during your stay in Lake Como - which you without a doubt should! I’m going to give you my 3 top highlights from our time there. 

1. The Hammam treatment: Let me say this… THIS WAS THE GREATEST SPA EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HAD! If you are an American - this is going to stretch your comfort level a little, simply because we don’t have things like this in the states. (which is good: you don’t go to Europe to get what you can get here…) I’ll nut shell the concept for you: 1- Circle room made completely of marble floor to ceiling with a marble table in the middle. (see picture above) 2- It’s a private couples treatment - so it’s super intimate and very comfortable. 3- Basically a full body scrub down + a message at the same time followed by a sauna/cold shower/hot tub experience. Again, this was the best spa experience I’ve ever had hands down. I left feeling 100% relaxed, clean and I’m sure there’s another word I’m looking for I just can’t find it… If you are even remotely close to Lake Como in the future - this is the one thing I would say you have to try. 

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2. T Pizza at the pool: When we are in Italy we eat a lot of pizza. Like, a lot of pizza. Which means, I’ve tried multiple places and I feel like I’m a pretty good judge of whether or not you should continue eating slices or refrain and save the room for Gelato. You will not be saving room with the Veggie at T Pizza by the pool - we mowed that thing down and could have gone another round. It was D-lecious. Riane and I shared the ‘Think Green’ smoothie and the ‘Lombarda’ Pizza - The best pizza I’ve ever put in my mouth. I took my first bite, looked at Riane and said, “This is the the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.” (no joke, no paid ad here… it really was the best pizza ever) The view was incredible sitting pool side next to a garden and the oldest hotel in Lake Como, the staff was amazing, and it was a perfect way to relax for an afternoon. 

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3. Relaxing pool side (the floating pool) with drinks, snacks, and lunch at T Beach. The Grand has a floating pool on the lake with a beach lounge and bar/restaurant. We laid out, had drinks and grabbed lunch and dessert one afternoon. I had my first seafood burger and Riane had pasta once again. Shoutout to our friend @the_greatgreta who made our dining/layout/desert/drinks experience so much fun! Was a great way to celebrate 16 years of insanity together :-).   

There are 5 restaurants, 2 pools, a spa, A 3 STORY GYM (coolest hotel gym I’ve workout out in…) - it’s great for couples or families (they have accommodations for large parties or families as well) - and even if you don’t stay in Tremezzo you can still use all the hotel facilities if you book a spa experience. So if you are in Lake Como, planning a trip or considering a trip… Stay at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo, or at least book a spa treatment, and spend some time at one of the coolest places in Lake Como! 

sharing the love as we travel the world - 

@stello_fello & Riane

Back to School with Walmart!

I remember each August getting so excited to go ‘back to school’ shopping. Getting clean new binders, pencil boxes and bags, that fresh box of crayons, the scent of those new shoes just out of the box – these are some of the happiest memories of my childhood. The point is this: whether your kids love or don’t love school…I’m willing to bet they love ‘back to school’ shopping - simply because they get all their new gear for the year. ;-) Our kids get so excited about this, which is timely because it helps offset those end-of-the-summer blues. Now is the time to jump on the shopping list and knock out all those “to gets”. Walmart has some great deals on some of the best items your kids are going to need. 

Walmart is now carrying school uniforms too! Our kids go to private school, which means that we get to buy new clothes for the new season but we also get to buy school uniforms on top of that. When we do, we want to buy quality uniforms but we don’t want them to break the bank. Walmart gives us great options that the kids really like and are well-made and affordable! Tanner opened her skirt and said, “I love it!”. - The point is, you can grab what you need for a very affordable price.  These are great options for any of you who buy uniforms as well. We picked up this great skirt for Tanner as well as some shorts and pants for Dax. Walmart gives you multiple styles and colors that fit inside the uniform codes. It’s worth it to check out these Walmart options!

I can’t tell you how many times Tanner said, “Mom, I need a new backpack!” last year. And, surprise, as we made our lists for the kids, both needed new backpacks. Not only does Walmart have all you need for uniforms and school supplies, but they also carry name brand backpacks!  These are both Hershel backpacks, which our family loves. Hershel makes a high quality, sturdy, and very affordable bag in multiple color and styles.

So as your summer winds down, squeeze in your last trips and get in that last ounce of vitamin D by the pool. Let Walmart be your go-to for checking all the items off your kids’ back-to-school list. Shop Walmart online - extremely easy to navigate and you can find literally everything you need to save you time.  And don’t forget Walmart offers free 2-day shipping on all orders $35 or more!