I have always liked a good road trip. Get a couple friends together, make a loose itinerary, and then see where the road takes you. Not a lot of planning, more just seat of the pants. (Small side note…life may have been more hit or miss in terms of accommodations and meals before the days of Yelp and TripAdvisor, but damned if it wasn’t a little more exciting too.) At any rate, when I started as a scarf reseller lo those many years ago, having to drive all over Europe in search of the “goods” didn’t seem like that much of hassle, especially in the beginning. But after awhile, the solo nature of 98% of those trips started to wear on me (apparently the “getting a couple of friends together” part of roadtripping is kind of key.) So when I first realized that Respoke was going to necessitate a new batch of scarf searching journey, I internally winced. But then I realized … I could bring people this time! Not just ANY people, but my amazing team at Respoke! So … off we went. And it … was … awesome. Exhausting and intense, yes, but awesome nonetheless.
We traveled first to Paris. Ah, Paris … the City of Lights … the home of priceless art, unparalleled romance, mouthwatering cuisine … and—most importantly to us—Hermes and Chanel, whose scarf coffers were basically relocated into our rental Fiat’s trunk. We hit up a few more fabulous depot-ventes with secondhand treasures galore, and a couple other hot design-houses, and we were headed to Spain. From Paris we took off to Madrid, and La Rioja—the region that started it all, espadrille-wise. We ate our fair share—okay maybe more than our fair share—of crazy contemporary Spanish cuisine—tapas and pinchos galore—and drank a generous amount of Rioja (like, definitely more than our fair share.) Oh, and somewhere in there we bought a bunch more scarves too.
Then it was time for Italy. Florence, specifically … time to divest Italy of their silk treasure troves too (a la Pucci, Gucci, and Versace….with some Etro thrown in for good measure). No visit to Florence is complete without a visit with our dear friend David (no, not THAT David … although we did take a gander at that fine gentleman too. I mean if you go to Florence you kind of HAVE to). As usual David knew the best restaurant for (by now) weary travelers—some pappardelle sulla lepre and a great bottle of Brunello di Montalcino put us in a much better mood … and a wonderfully sound sleep.
The next morning we piled into the convertible, heading home to Barcelona with a trunk’s worth of scarves and a whole bunch of ideas for fabulous espadrilles … and maybe some other cool things too? The open road has long been seen as inspiring … I guess now I see why … anyway, stay tuned my friends! And remember, if you are going to road trip, always bring a buddy or two to split the Rioja and the driving. Not in that order, though, obviously. That wouldn’t work well at all.