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I don’t know about you, but I haven’t taken a trip or had a real adventure since before Covid, and I find myself dreaming about all the cities and countries I’d like to visit. There was a time when I only sought out places that were exotic, off-the-beaten-path and sometimes dangerous, but I’m older and wiser than I was then. 

And while I still want adventures, I’m thinking of places better suited to the woman I am now.

Enter my girlfriend, an experienced luxury travel expert. We’ve been talking about putting together a small group of women—that means you—who’d like to join us, next year, on a glorious, beautiful adventure.

We’ve thought about renting a house in Tuscany: a base from which to explore the countryside.

Or maybe a short trip on the Orient-Express? From London to Venice: two days and one night with your own private compartment, bookended by the gardens and antique markets around London, and the hidden secrets of Venice.

My idea of luxury travel used to be a comfortable, but stylish, pair of shoes that fit my impossibly narrow feet, but since Covid, I’ve decided the ability to travel is a luxury in and of itself. Traveling has a way of shutting out the noise of day-to-day life and reconnecting us with the little voice that knows what we need. It inspires us as we consider the next chapter of our life. 

Please leave me your thoughts and comments: Do either of these ideas (a house in Tuscany or the Orient-Express) sound like something you’d be interested in? After I’ve heard from you, my friend and I will put together the specifics and get back to you. Not to sound cliché, but Covid and the elementary school shooting in nearby Uvalde, Texas, has underscored that life is short and unpredictable, and I’ve begun to wonder what I’m waiting for, to take a trip like this?

The opportunity to step back and do something for no other reason than to care for ourselves and seize the moment because this day may never pass this way again… That’s money well spent!

Love, Brenda


  • Barbara Bergin June 4, 2022 at 4:33 am

    Definitely interested in either of the above.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2022 at 4:04 pm

      Fabulous, Barbara! You’d be great fun to have on this trip! I’ll keep you posted. xoxo, Brenda

  • Pamela Lipscomb June 4, 2022 at 4:34 am

    The house rental sounds amazing, and if I remember correctly you have done that before. But, who in their right mind would turn that that down? They both sound wonderful, I sit patiently by and await your plans.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      LOL! Love your attitude Pamela! I’ll let you know what we come up with. xoxox, Brenda

  • Julie June 4, 2022 at 4:43 am

    I just may…….sounds delightful…..I have never been anywhere

    • 1010ParkPlace June 5, 2022 at 4:07 pm

      Well Julie, we need to fix that! Travel opens up whole new worlds! Stay tuned! xoxo, Brenda

  • SD June 4, 2022 at 5:02 am

    Hmmmm. Tough decision. I’m leaning toward the Orient Express even though I have been to both London & Venice, they were quick trips and there is so much more to see.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      Hi SD, I know what you mean. Short trips to anywhere leave so much to explore. I think either of the trips we’re considering will be a trip to remember. xoxox, Brenda

  • Teresa Applegate June 4, 2022 at 6:55 am

    Love it!!!!!

    • Kimberly Frick June 4, 2022 at 9:24 am

      Oh how I would love to do either or both! Can’t wait to hear more. Until Then I’m saving up!!! Let’s go be adventurous darlings!

      • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:48 pm

        Yes!!!! I love the sound of that Kim! We have so much to celebrate and be grateful for! Let’s go be adventurous! xoxox, Brenda

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      Love hearing that, Teresa! xoxox, Brenda

  • Christine June 4, 2022 at 7:11 am

    Sounds like a plan… either trip would be wonderful so count me in!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      Oh, good, Christine!! Either trip will be fabulous! I can’t wait! xoxo, Brenda

  • Gloria Lynch June 4, 2022 at 7:56 am

    Either trip sounds good but I’ve always wanted to rent a house in Italy, so that is my choice.
    However we have just returned from Europe and moved into a new home in San Antonio so for the short term I’m sequestered.
    Loved your article on consignment shops in SA but after packing and moving twice in four years, I’m going to have to contain my enthusiasm for the bargain hunt!
    Keep up the good writing; really enjoy the blog. More hints San Antonio would be most welcome.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you, Gloria! I’m like you! Both trips sound amazing! I’ll keep you posted. Perhaps you can join us, Brenda

  • Lynn June 4, 2022 at 8:17 am

    The trips sound amazing! Your comment about your impossibly narrow caught my attention and I’m wondering if you have found any shoes suitable for traveling…or just life really. There are hardly any narrow shoes to be found these days

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 12:59 pm

      Shoes!!!!!!! I hear you, Lynn! Just finding shoes for everyday is difficult for those of us with skinny feet. Stuart Weitzman carries narrow widths, but their shoes are expensive. Here’s a list of comfortable shoes and narrow widths I put together a couple of years ago. https://1010parkplace.com/50-readers-list-comfortable-shoes/ Hope it helps. FYI, I found a pair of espadrille sneakers at H&M last month that fit me perfectly! xoxox, Brenda

  • Arabella Williams June 4, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Both sound sumptuous, I am leaning towards Tuscany

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      That’s a great direction to lean, Arabella! I’ll keep you posted on my blog, so keep reading. Thank you, Brenda

  • Barb June 4, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Brenda, This is soooooo YOU! Any trip , any where! Keep groups small & renting a house is something we have done all over the U.S. and we will be doing as long as we travel. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Women NEED Women!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      Barb, You’re so right! Women need women friends and with Covid and getting older, it’s been harder for me to make new friends, so I’m excited about putting together a group of women I feel like I know, but I haven’t met in person – all of you who read my blog. Thanks for weighing in! xoxox, Brenda

  • Joanna June 4, 2022 at 9:22 am

    A trip that is all planned out and organized by someone else sounds wonderful But I’ve explored Italy many times, including Rome, Tuscany, Venice, Pompeii, and along the Amalfi Coast over several visits. I’ve driven by car, by motorcycle , by plane, and by train over Italy. Throw out another destination and I’ll be all over it. Next time, perhaps?

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:04 pm

      I hear you, Joanna. This trip may not be for you, but I hope this is the first of many trips we take. Where would you like us to consider for our next trip? xoxo, Brenda

      • Joanna June 6, 2022 at 8:21 pm

        I’m dying to go explore the Greek Islands, not just beaches but real life and/or a tour through France, that includes cooking classes, gardens, shopping, eating at quaint little corners…immerse us in the French culture. Cruises through France only touch on a very small portion and you don’t experience the real France. In Italy, I had a contact (friend) that lead me through the real thing – restaurants tucked away where they brought you courses of fresh delicious food and great wines of their choice, in front of the Vatican without dealing with the crowds, shops that make custom shoes or seamstress that design that beautiful silk blazer(that I still own), museums (without the wait with a knowledgeable guide). Of course, I explored all the ruins and old cities. Having an insight into the real Italy beyond the tourist places was beyond precious. I don’t live that life that had privilege anymore. Cruises are wonderful, as everything is organized and you unpack once. But…the lines…the typical tourist spots…

        • 1010ParkPlace June 8, 2022 at 10:06 am

          Thank you, Joanna! You’ve given me concrete ideas for another trip. There’s nothing like having someone who’s intimately familiar with the places tourists don’t see. That’s the kind of travel I’ve done most of my life, so you’re my kind of traveling partner. I’ve been on one cruise, the only way to see the icebergs in Alaska, but I’m not a cruise person. Keep reading and keep sending me ideas. I look forward to making one of them work for you. xoxox, Brenda

  • Patricia Mushovic June 4, 2022 at 9:34 am

    I am definitely interested. Open to whatever you two decide.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Flexible! I like you already, Patricia! Keep reading because as soon as we decide, I’ll post it here on my blog with next steps. Thank you! Brenda

  • Debbie June 4, 2022 at 9:50 am

    I will take Tuscany, in a heart beat!.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      Tuscany! Yes! Thanks Debbie! xoxox, Brenda

  • Mary June 4, 2022 at 10:00 am

    What gardens in London would you recommend? We are going in September.

  • Missi Baker June 4, 2022 at 10:21 am

    Oooooh, yes! Been there but would climb aboard again! And a gaggle of wonderful girls? You betcha’!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      Oh, good, Missi. Stay tuned. I’ll post what we decide and give you next steps. xoxo, Brenda

  • Missi Baker June 4, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Oooooh, yes! Been there but would climb aboard again! And a gaggle of wonderful girls? You betcha’!

  • Donna Nance June 4, 2022 at 10:26 am

    Renting a house as a base sounds wonderful! I hope you can enjoy a trip with interesting ladies! The older I get, the more introverted and stay at home I become. I look forward to hearing about your holiday and lots of beautiful pictures. xoxo

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Donna! I’m like you: I’m perfectly happy as a homebody, but a trip with interesting women to exciting destinations? I can’t pass that up! xoxox, Brenda

  • Nanci Astwood Kryzak June 4, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I’ve always wanted to travel on the Orient Express. I haven’t done it, because I’ve been concerned about dining alone or being stuck with unknown table-mates while watching the romance pass me by. Traveling with likeminded women would be fabulous!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:18 pm

      I understand what you mean, Nanci. I’ve been widowed for almost 11 years. In the beginning, I felt like the world was passing me by. I was uncomfortable in the presence of couples, but I soon discovered that was a mindset I could change. In the last 10 years, I’ve been to NYC well over 10 times on business, have gone solo to 13 concerts (one in Italy) and taken two trips to Europe, and I’ve had a blast! I’m not one of those women who takes a book to read at dinner either, because you miss everything. Of course, it’s fun to travel with someone else. Maybe I need to do another blog about traveling solo. xoxox, Brenda

  • Lisa Powell June 4, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Both sound lovely. The house in Tuscany sounds like a wonderful respite after such a stressful few years. Keep us posted!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Miss Lisa!!! I’d love it if you came with us!! Keep reading for more info. xoxoxoxox, Brenda

  • Linda L Floyd June 4, 2022 at 11:46 am

    The Orient Express sounds like travel seen in old movies….what a treat that would be!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:24 pm

      Linda, I know! The Orient Express has always held a fascination for me as well. If we choose to take the Orient Express, perhaps we need to film our own little movie about all the fabulous women onboard. xoxox, Brenda

  • Kathryn Orr June 4, 2022 at 1:21 pm


    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:27 pm

      Wonderful Kathryn!! Stay tuned for further details. xoxo, Brenda

  • Lynn Hamilton June 4, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    Orient Express, Please & thank you!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:28 pm

      The Orient Express! It sounds so exciting!!… So does Tuscany! xoxox, Brenda

  • Cindy June 4, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Sounds elegant. I so wish I could travel with girlfriends. I haven’t any. My choice. Just never developed the need or the ability to share. I am not a woman of information or interest. I do love to view and admire from afar. I have 2 sisters and I enjoy some relationship with them. How do Women do friendships? I just cannot after the “mean -girl” experience I had in fifth grade…. Bullying and the fall-out still has the grip on me. I guess I view friends and their talk as “gossip”, and that brings up old sores. So I keep arm distance…. But I do appreciate and admire those who share and exchange. Enjoy and have a wonderful experience.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      Oh, Cindy! I’m sorry you were hurt at such a young age. Women do have the power to hurt one another. I know that. When I was a senior in high school, my best friend started calling me Brenda Big Butt–I was 20 pounds overweight–then she dropped me. I vowed the next time we saw one another I would be fabulous looking. Ten years later I met her for drinks. We pulled up at the same time. She was dressed very conservatively. I had on blue jeans, heels and an off-the-shoulder white blouse, and I was driving a new silver Porsche. She was shocked speechless and still is. Now, all these years later, she’s still jealous of me. She’s the one who’s overweight, and she’s an alcoholic. It’s all very sad, and if I said it doesn’t hurt, I’d be lying, but she’s still in my life. Then I could tell you about all the WONDERFUL women who’ve come into my life. For all of the mean girls, there are ten times as many fabulous, interesting women. I hear you when you say you’re afraid of trusting again, but it breaks my heart to hear of the pain you’re still in. What if you talk to someone, a professional… or volunteer somewhere or maybe take a class in something you’d enjoy? It might be a good way to stick your toe in the water. Or… Come with us on our trip! It might break down some of your barriers and open new doors in your heart. xoxox, Brenda

    • Yvonne June 10, 2022 at 8:14 am

      Hello Cindy, I have been there and I empathise with you. I’ve been rejected many times in my life but I know that I am a beautiful woman worthy of love. I just trusted the wrong people, people who didn’t deserve my friendship. People are not always who they say they are. Because of the betrayals I don’t make friends easily and have a hard time trusting but I tell myself that I just haven’t met the like-minded that I am seeking but they are out there. Take care! You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. ‘Hurt people hurt people’.

  • CASSANDRA June 4, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Count me in. I have been to Italy, London and Venice but many years ago. Would really love to go again. After Covid, I am interested in going anywhere, especially with like-minded women. What fun!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:51 pm

      Cassandra, I couldn’t have said it better!! I agree with every word you’ve written. Yes! What fun! xoxox, Brenda

    • Cindy June 6, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks for your response Brenda. It was so kind of you. Enjoy this trip. I will look forward to pictures of this trip on your blog.

  • Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns June 4, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I would love to hear more. I have been to Venice, London and Tuscany several times but they never get old. There is always something to explore.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      Elizabeth, I agree. These places and their insights into history and other worlds never get old. So much to see and explore. Every day there, every trip is different. Keep reading my blog. I’ll let you know as soon as we’ve decided. Great to see you here again! xoxox, Brenda

  • Sally Leonard June 4, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    I’m VERY interested in joining this group! I lean toward the Orient Express as it’s such an iconic adventure. That said, I’m in for either trip.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Sally!!! I’m thrilled you’re interested, and you’re right about the Orient Express being an iconic adventure. I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve been on a number of train trips, and they’ve all been memorable and such fun. Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Marsha June 4, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    This sounds like a great adventure Will look forward to more info
    I could go on either trip but the Orient Express is a life time dream

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      I’m with you, Marsha! It’s been a life-time dream for me as well, but I know either trip we choose will be a wonderful adventure and an opportunity to meet interesting women! xoxo, Brenda

  • Judith June 4, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Would love to do the Orient Express- agree with Marsha- has always been a dream of mine!! Although, the home in Tuscany sounds amazing as well- love to travel and it is always so much fun to meet new friends!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:43 pm

      I’m with you, Judith, and I’m getting excited. Stay tuned! xoxox, Brenda

  • Judith Herling June 4, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Ohhh…Tuscany sounds wonderful!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      Doesn’t it? Thank you for your interest, Judith! xoxox, Brenda

  • Sheila-Merle Johnson June 4, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I would put them together for a longer trip: time in London to get to know each other, train trip, time in Venice, then train or air to Tuscany for villa and adventures. I would also add some processes to promote group cohesion. Sounds like a dream time!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:45 pm

      Love your ideas, Sheila! We’ll definitely bond with one another and be great friends! I’m excited. xoxox, Brenda

  • Jennifer June 4, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    I’d love to join you for either…but why not both!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      LOL! Why not both? We’re talking about that, Jennifer. Stay tuned. More to come. I hope you join us! xoxox, Brenda

  • Brenda June 5, 2022 at 5:18 am

    Take me away. I need this.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:48 pm

      LOL!! Yes! After the last few years, I think we all could do with a fabulous trip like this, Brenda! xoxox, The other Brenda

  • Betty Ellis June 5, 2022 at 6:12 am

    I would choose the Orient Express or spending a week in Venice as I have always wanted to go back to Venice and spend more time there as there is so much to see and do there
    I have spent a week in Tuscany so prefer the above

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks for your input, Betty! So many wonderful choices, so I appreciate your thoughts. I’ll let you know! xoxox, Brenda

  • Adrienne June 5, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Any adventure that includes Italy or London with a group of like minded women sounds perfect!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:50 pm

      Yes! You’re my kind of woman, Adrienne! I’ll keep you posted. xoxox, Brenda

  • ROBIN LAMONTE June 5, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    You had me at “Join me for a trip for women over 50!”
    Let me know the details and I may join you!


    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      Robin, I know! Doesn’t this sound like fun? More details when I know more! Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • bonnie June 5, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    well, this is a loop i’d like to stay tuned in…the train to venice and then overland to tuscany!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Bonnie, That would be some trip, doing both! We’re considering it. Thanks for your interest. Keep reading my blog for more details. Thank you, Brenda

  • bonnie June 5, 2022 at 5:08 pm

    oh yes!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:53 pm

      Oh yes!! I know! Exciting isn’t it? xoxox, Brenda

  • Heidi June 5, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    Yes to the house in Tuscany Brenda! Although my new status as almost single might leave me out of anything luxury for awhile, (I hope not) but anyway I’d love to be a part of this.
    Xo Heidi

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:55 pm

      Hello Heidi, Did I miss something? Almost single? Take care of yourself. More when I know more. xoxox, Brenda

  • Tammy Bochat June 6, 2022 at 8:57 am

    Sounds like an awesome idea!!! Please keep me posted

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      I’m glad you think so, too, Tammy! We’ll let you know what we’ve come up with! Thanks for your interest. xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA June 6, 2022 at 9:57 am

    WELL I AM IN…………if all allows me too!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 6, 2022 at 2:58 pm

      Elizabeth, I’ve met Banksy! You’ll have no problem talking him into this… or the Italian. Love to you, Brenda

      • Donna Robinson June 7, 2022 at 1:21 pm

        Brenda – Yes, absolutely I’d join you for Tuscany or wherever the adventure is headed. In fact I was going to message you tjj hi is week and ask if you were planning another trip sometime soon. I planned to go the last time but had to cancel due to my son’s wedding. My schedule is open and I’m ready! Having spent a month in Rome Abruzzo and Umbria last September, Tuscany sounds wonderful for the next trip! Put me on the list and keep me posted. I’ve been researching trips with women – perfect timing!

  • Donna Robinson June 7, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Then again the Orient Express, London and Venice are enticing… difficult decision.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 8, 2022 at 9:56 am

      I know, Donna! It’s almost like choose one, and I’ll be there!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Joan Stommen June 7, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    I love the Orient Express idea and most definitely interested in traveling with you; meeting new friends! I’m flexible and free as a bird with no place to go and no one yo go with….and now I’ve read this!
    Msg me if it’s too late…87 replies?? or any other details

    • 1010ParkPlace June 8, 2022 at 9:59 am

      Hi Joan, I hear you! Free as a bird with no place to go. That’s me, and it’s not too late. I’m just getting a feel for which trip everyone’s interested in, and it seems to be a tie. When I’ve made a decision and have more details… probably not until September… I’ll post another blog with next steps. xoxox, Brenda

  • Yvonne June 10, 2022 at 8:20 am

    Hello Cindy, I have been there and I empathise with you. I’ve been rejected many times in my life but I know that I am a beautiful woman worthy of love. I just trusted the wrong people, people who didn’t deserve my friendship. People are not always who they say they are. Because of the betrayals I don’t make friends easily and have a hard time trusting but I tell myself that I just haven’t met the like-minded that I am seeking but they are out there. Take care! You’re not alone in feeling the way you do. ‘Hurt people hurt people’.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 14, 2022 at 9:23 pm

      Yvonne, Thanks for the supportive comment you left for Cindy. I have a hunch most of us have been disappointed, letdown and hurt by those we thought were our friends. “Hurt people our people.” Good one! I haven’t heard that, but it’s true. Fortunately, most of us have been able to shake it off and move forward with our lives and find our way to trust again. Bless you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Yvonne June 10, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Hi Brenda, what a fabulous idea! I am unable to go but any destination would be great. Can’t wait to hear where you have finally decided to go and I want to know all the details and see pictures. Wishing you the best adventure and laissez le bon temps rouler (Let the good times roll). I envy all of you. Take care and keep us posted. Always a pleasure to read you. I love the story about that woman who bullied you. The best revenge is a life well lived.

    • 1010ParkPlace June 13, 2022 at 5:27 pm

      Thank you, Yvonne! I appreciate your comment and am grateful you enjoy what I write and have to say. The women here are like-minded and are great at lifting one another up and being inspired by one another. How lucky are we to have found one another! xoxox, Brenda

  • Vivian Rogers June 14, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Love to join this great sounding group on either trip

    • 1010ParkPlace June 14, 2022 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you, Vivian! I’m excited to hear this! It’s so much fun to travel and make friends with other women who have similar life experiences! Keep reading because I’ll post more when I know more. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara Shallue June 15, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Looks like you’ve got way more than a small group interested, but add me! I have been feeling the same way and both of these sound fabulous. I really want to spend a few days in Venice. I’ve only managed day trips so far. But please keep me posted on any definitive plans! Thank you!

    • 1010ParkPlace June 20, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Barbara, Thanks for your interest. Regardless of where we go, this will be an empowering trip, getting to know other women our age and thinking about what we want in the next phase of our life. Look for my next blog about the trip as it will give you instructions about the next steps. I look forward to talking with you about our trip. Brenda

  • Joyce Hodge July 25, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    I’m in, wherever the wanderlust decides to take you. I have been traveling alone for the past few big trips and it is OVER RATED!
    A shared experience is far more fun.

    • 1010ParkPlace July 26, 2022 at 10:11 pm

      That’s great, and I hear you Joyce! I hope to have something to share with everyone in the near future so please keep an eye out! xoxox, Brenda

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