Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people: Nico

Today Barefoot in Luxembourg meets  Nicolas, an enthusiastic US expat who will introduce us to some extremely cool vacations concepts- The Ski Week and The Yacht Week.

_OLI7718 -081015 - Olivier ToussaintHi Nico and welcome at Barefoot in Luxembourg. Can you introduce yourself: Who are you?
I am a California native who moved “inland” to Luxembourg in 2007. Most are curious as to why I am here, but honestly, I could not be any happier living in this cosmopolitan mecca. The sun might not shine as often here, but I am a quick flight to the Austrian or Swiss Alps as well as the Adriatic or Aegean Seas. I love being outdoors so sailing and going skiing are yearly rituals.

What are the best three adjectives to describe you?
Passionate, Energetic, Innovative… I am a forward thinking marketing professional who not only adapts, I seek to drive change.

Tell us a bit more about The Ski Week project and The Yacht Week project you are involved with.
Like many I love the sea, so in 2011 I gathered some friends and booked a boat with The Yacht Week. Our week of sailing the Greek Islands with 20 other boats with 100+ other like-minded professionals was life changing. The relationships I have made will be lifelong as there is an incredible bond made when sharing an adventure with someone. Since my first trip to Greece, I have done seven more in beautiful destinations like Croatia, Italy, Turkey and British Virgin Islands.

The Yacht Week is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2016. Last year they booked more than 1300 yachts. For 2016, bookings opened October 27th, and they already have 350 boats booked!

http://www.theyachtweek.com/

The Ski Week is similar to The Yacht Week… you gather your friends and prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime. Except, instead of sailing the sea, you are skiing together with a unique blend of young professionals from all around the world. With my love of skiing, I simply swapped salty waters with fresh snow and the party and it’s people move up to the mountains.

The Ski Week has sold out their Chamonix and Japan Week in January but there are still some rooms/cabins available for Austria and Aspen in March.

http://www.theskiweek.com/

Why should people join The Ski Week?
If you love being in the mountains and having fun activities planned throughout the course of the week, then The Ski Week is for you. You don’t even need to ski to enjoy it. Many people come just get some “fresh air” and party and socialize with others who have traveled from around the world. It really is a tremendous networking event.

How long have you been living in Luxembourg?
8 glorious years

What is your most beloved place in the city?
I recently moved in with my Fiancé to Bonnevoie and I am digging this neighborhood a lot.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
Mamacita
…. where I met my fiancé!

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
I really enjoy having drinks with friends at OCTANS.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
Similar to The Yacht Week or The Ski Week, when I start a conversation with someone in Luxembourg, I am blown away by how international, educated and open-minded people are here. We are all expats navigating life, we just happen to be on Luxembourg Island at the moment.

What would you change or improve?
I wish we had Uber, so it would be easier and cheaper to move around. Web Taxi is okay for now.

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?
Christmas is coming, so a trip to the Strasbourg Christmas Market is mandatory.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg?
Open.

If you want to meet Nicolas or learn more about The Ski week, join TSW Luxembourg launch party this Friday at House 17.
Find more information here and confirm your attendance to info@house17.com.
Sailing in Croatia, can you spot th Luxembourg flag First Day Party in Poros, Greece Ski Week Party in Austria Take a little dip after skiing Nationalities unite in Austria Fun o nth slopes More bubbles pleas Night skiing in AUstria obertraun austria Fun with friends This summe rin Turkey Love of sailing Sailing in San Francisco, hometown

House 17 Dinner & The Yacht Week Launch Party

I had the perfect Saturday: early clock, work-out, some shopping (got some sky-high heels from Nando Muzi that I cannot stop contemplating 😛 ), hairdresser appointment.

Saturday night was also great: we got the invitation for the Yacht Week Launch Party. The party took place at House 17 and, considering it was one of the last week-end the club was open for non-members, we decided to book a table at the restaurant to have a final try before requesting the membership.

Our reservation was at 9.00 pm but our guests were a bit late, so we decided to start with couple of drinks.

I had the salmon starter and the sole as main course, Patricia same starter than me and half-cooked tuna fish with kiwi sauce, her husband poached egg with ham and Angus beef, hubby egg as well with beef steak. The dishes were anticipated by a small welcome from the chef.
We girls went for a bottle of Chablis while lads stayed with red and we concluded with coffee before going up for the party.

Curious about after dinner impressions? Scroll down after the pictures.  photo 82089eaa-40cc-47d2-b3d4-8a667c4aecaf_zpskzlqlhfc.jpg  photo e1d99723-7cbb-42be-865a-02f5353e00ba_zpswd7pvb4c.jpg  photo e6f9d7f3-ce66-4618-8692-ca36e0e6e71c_zpsdbjshj7h.jpg  photo d4a4ceed-368a-494f-be00-9c18b5806d2b_zpsfebjerer.jpg  photo b6508f48-2088-49fe-9afb-7036e4a895cb_zps5igldotj.jpg  photo 44cc0ec9-949b-47e3-b7ac-3f478bc12b53_zpsidmifsb2.jpg photo 858ac8dc-bf26-4c41-99f2-27d5e1ef80d2_zpsrtyavocj.jpg Things I loved about the restaurant:

– The atmosphere is just perfect. I think this one of the first place in Luxembourg where I found a kind of ambient that perfectly suits a Saturday night fresh dinner. You know what I mean? Something that you would find in a big city abroad, not too old-fashioned like most of the fancy restaurants in Luxembourg, formal but not trapped in a plaster cast. Relaxed lights, great table settings, sweet background music, correct distance between tables. Just lovely.
– Dishes were extremely good. The combination of my salmon starter was great – I even appreciated the beetroot jelly – even if I would have preferred the salmon sliced a bit thinner. The sole was also delicious. Perfect cooking, portions were really fine as, after two dishes, I was feeling really full for taking a dessert.
– Cocktails are to die for. Hubby had a mojito – and he is not normally a fan – and said it was great.

Thing I loved a little bit less about the restaurant:

– I asked for an aperitif suggestion and I was told: wine, champagne, usual cocktails… As cocktails are such great here, I would have expected they had a house cocktail to suggest. I stayed with my usual Hendricks.
– Amuse-bouche was yummy – but was prepared with meat. As two of us at the table ordered only fish for the entire dinner, it would have been great to differentiate also the welcome.
– I ordered oysters as initial starter – as during the aperitif I was seeing these huge dishes passing by and I was dreaming of them – and, after a while, I was told they were over. Same thing for the wine choice, we ordered a Saint-Aubin as white one and the waiter came back saying they don’t have it anymore. Sad. Better advise the client before he/she is going for the wrong choice and would be deluded.
– As general feeling, service was a bit inattentive: we had to ask for the bread, my first single glass of wine arrived kind of 5 minutes later of those of others at the table, before the coffee nobody was monitoring the room so I had to get up to ask for the bill as we wanted to move up soon.
It was nothing too bad honestly – our dinner was great and we will definitely come back soon, but as the bill is not inexpensive maybe some small improvements would be highly appreciated.

As said, after the dinner we moved to the third floor bar for the Yacht Week party. It was crowded, great atmosphere as well, we met friends and we had a blast. It was long time we were not spending such great Saturday evening – and for sure it was clear when we woke up hangover on Sunday morning 🙂  photo 4d647b54-50fb-4bd9-8480-78a3c3ce6af3_zpsasqkmsww.jpg

Ech sinn ërem – I am back

I see. It has been a bit less than one year since I deactivated my Barefoot in Luxembourg. I was feeling kind of demotivated after years of having hundreds of followers on my Splinder blog. I started to be a blogger when Chiara Ferragni was yet to get her third grade and my blog was a kind of extremely personal stream of consciousness totally separate from my day-to-day life. Most of my friends barely knew I had a blog and there, there, yes, I could have been the kind of person I was not in my real life, myself. Splinder closed and at the same time my life went off a new dimension. Happier, for sure, but in some ways less interesting. This, probably, was one of the reasons because I was feeling frustrated: I did not have enough things to tell my people about.

Then I realized. Things changed, outside. I am married, well behaving most of the time, out of the range of extremely creative ways to evolve my current job. But. I am still travelling, physically and with my mind. I am still going crazy for childish things, still addicted to reality shows and still with a 2.55 in my bucket list before buying an house. What more?

I attended My Little Fashion Diary blog class yesterday, at House 17, here in Luxembourg. It had on me the same effect of the juniors’ introduction at university. I will never be a fashion blogger, this is for sure – I still miss an Antigona, a Reflex and a MacBook on my knees -, but isn’t my Moleskine more fashion, gosh?

This is gonna be, once again, a semi serious chronicle of my Luxembourg crazy life – whatever it means.

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