Have you heard of “That Travel Guy” Andy Hayes?

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I might have been away on vacation in Italy, but while La Reine, The Contessa and Lady Lotus were guest blogging on my site, I was guest blogging on another site… that of Andy Hayes’ Sharing Experiences. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you meet the nicest people on the internet and Andy is one of those friends I’ve made in cyber space. Andy is known as “That Travel Guy” and with good reason, for I think he’s traveled the globe with a pen (er, make that laptop) in hand. His posts are always informative and fun to read, chock-full of tips and tidbits. Plus, he’s just plain charming in his correspondence.

A few of his articles I’ve referenced when planning outings or past trips include:
  • 24 Hours in The Dutch Kitchen – Your 24.com
  • Best Capital Boutiques (Edinburgh) – Planet Eye
  • Out and About Day Trips Near London – Europe Up Close
Based in Scotland’s fashionable capital Edinburgh, you see him and his work everywhere. He is passionate about travel and does a lot of writing for major magazines, blogs, as well as a few print books. He’s also the man behind the blog, Sharing Experiences, a site where he interacts with other travel writers and shares travel tips with his wide range of contacts. Not only does Andy write about travel, but he also helps companies in tourism and travel-related businesses take advantage of the myriad of social media’s available and embrace online technologies, ensuring their content, both print and online, matches their business needs and their brand. Make sure to check out his services to launch your business into First Class!

Last week Andy featured me, The Antiques Diva™, on his blog. Leading into my article, Andy writes:

“Today’s guest post features some European highlights from my friend Toma Haines. Toma is one fabulous lady who is guaranteed to make you laugh and give you some great tips! I’d dare say there are more shopping suggestions below than any other blog post on the planet! She offers really unique tours and I’m jealous to say I haven’t been on one of them yet, but hope to do so in the near future – just chatting away with Toma is convincing enough. Anyway, I’ll stop spoiling the fun and will hand it over to Toma….”

With an introduction like that, all I can say is Thank You Andy for sharing Diva Tips with your readers! And Dear Diva Readers don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you either… You too can read the full article to Euro-Fabulous Shopping with the Antiques Diva” href=”http://andyhayes.com/euro-fabulous-shopping-with-the-antiques-diva/”>Euro-Fabulous Shopping with the Antiques Diva on Andy’s site!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

The Antiques Diva™

P.S. Now that I’ve returned home from Italy I’m gearing up for a series of great posts on La Dolce Vita! Stay Tuned for more!

The Antiques Diva Expatica Resource Guide

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When we accepted our first expat assignment, I orchestrated the move while my husband went ahead to start his new job in Paris. When our shipment arrived months later with only a forth of our furniture in tow, my husband was baffled at my choices. As he sought a chair on which to sit in our living room, he incredulously asked, “Why didn’t you bring all our furniture?”

Realizing for the first time the consequences he faced as a result of not sharing in the coordination of our international move, he was given an answer that would define nearly a decade of expatriate life, “As an expat, Europe is now my playground. A person’s home should reflect not only who they are, but where they’ve been and where they’re going.” By bringing only our favorite possessions, I gave us room to grow into the people we’d become through living abroad.

Needing a table on which to dine, as well as the china to set on it, we began searching the flea markets of Europe, letting our travel choices dictate our décor. “Darling,” I rang my husband’s office one day, “We need a buffet and I’ve just read an article on the selection of antique side boards available in the Costa Blanca. Shall we go to Spain this Easter to see the procession and to stop by an excellent source for richly carved chestnut chests?” Weekends were passed flea marketing in the French countryside as we filled our home and stomachs while sampling the specialties of the regions. As our waistlines expanded, we’d return to 6eme Parisian apartment with a shabby chateau canapé that would groan when sat upon and Napoleon III side tables lacquered and adorned with mother of pearl embellishments.

When we moved to Holland, Belgium became our favorite getaway as it brought back memories of France with its abundance of French antiques, but better Belgium prices. Trips across Germany have filled our home with the type of knick knacks we never knew we needed until they completed a tableau. While visits to see friends living in Switzerland resulted in us starting a new collection of antique globes found at their many brocantes and led us to purchasing a politically incorrect vintage fur throw straight from a chalet at a bargain bin price.

Guests visiting us in The Netherlands nearly a decade after our expat journey began tour our home and comment on the eclectic international décor and when I point out a pile of plates that I peddled home in a box tied with a bungee cord to the back of my bike, they exclaim, “It’s just so you!”

By The Antiques Diva

PS: To read the country overviews I wrote for Expatica, simply click on the links below!

to-antiques-shopping-Expatica_country-wide.html” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva™ Expatica Resource Guide



The Netherlands




A Diva’s Work is Never Done!

Dearest Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>It seems a Diva’s work is never done and these last three weeks have nearly ran me into the ground! I’m in serious need of some R & R for all the champagne & caviar of this past month has me in desperate need of a detox program with my health guru Vardit Kohn! After hosting two sets of guests back to back these last two weeks (as well as making 2 trips to Antwerp leading The Antiques Diva™ Shopping Tours), I woke Tuesday morning, hopped in my car & drove to Rotterdam where I took to/pickwick” target=”_blank”>The Pickwick Women’s Club on a “tourframe.html” target=”_blank”>Grand Tour” – figuratively speaking that is! In case you didn’t realize it, The Antiques Diva™ makes public appearances, sharing all her diva-licious European shopping tips & giving enough Grand Tour addresses to fill two little black books.

toinette.bmp”>toinette.bmp” border=”0″ />No sooner than The Pickwick Ladies closed the meeting in a round of applause, the Volvo was thrown into high gear and I raced four hours south to Paris where I was meeting two of my friends, The Belgian Beauty & Ms Holland, for an overnight excursion to Sotheby’s Paris for the Important Meuble & Silver Sale and a date with Marie Antoinette in the Grand Palais.

We’d planned the trip ages ago, but I had to cut it short when a diva-licious opportunity popped up – fortunately my friends forgave me for departing a day earlier than planned. One of my favorite antiquaries in Amsterdam, Robert Schreuder, delighted me with an invitation for a Fashion Show and Pre-Preview for Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Fashion Designer Frans Hoogendoorn presented an amazing collection of gowns fit for a diva, while the pre-preview at AF’sH left me drooling for more – and with a shopping list a mile long!

Luckily for you & me both, the Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch has just gotten underway. It runs from April 11 – 20, 2008 which means I’ve another week to convince my husband to return with me to close a few Antiques Diva sales! But you’ll be reading about that later this week as I list my 10 favorite dealers at AF’s-H! In the meantime, make time to attend this sensational antiques show held at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch!

By the way, you’ll also get to benefit from my presentation to The Pickwick Ladies as they’ve given me a list of questions they’d like me to answer this month in a short blog series called “Pickwick Express”.

Stay tuned for more Diva Details,

The Antiques Diva™