We're kicking off family travel week with a really heartwarming story from a reader. We sometimes do travel giveaways with partners we like to places we want to go. (Have you seen our Holiday Free Trip Bonanza?) You never know who's going to win these things, but so far they've been absolutely lovely people. Like Abraham Rosenberg, winner of A Gourmet Wine Trip to Tuscany, a giveaway we ran in July. The prize was a week at Villa Montecastello, an organic farm and olive grove owned by wine expert Jens Schmidt. What should have been a vacation with his wife turned into an autumn trip with his two daughters and their families. Fathom's Pavia Rosati spent time with Abraham, helping plan excursions around Tuscany. She asked him to follow up when he returned. He did, and we love his email so much we had to share it.
From: Abraham Rosenberg
To: Pavia Rosati, Amie Rogosin (of Villa Montecastello)
We are home now, and I just want to thank both of you for the trip to Tuscany and for the chance to unite my family in such a splendid setting. Everything I contemplated in planning this trip was exceeded by Jens, the weather, and the smiles I constantly noted on my children and grandchildren's faces. Actually, this type of trip is priceless.
As far as favorite things, off the top of my head, they would be:
1. The scenes of the countryside from Montecastelli.
2. The time we spent together as a family.
3. The special dinner that Jens prepared the night before we left that included fresh white truffle and a magnum of fabulous wine.
4. Lunch in Radda in Chianti, which was not on our list. We just happened to walk by.
5. The awesome weather.
7. The good health we enjoyed throughout the trip.
8. The fabulous bacon and prosciutto we had in Tuscany.
9. The best fish meal I've ever had, also prepared by Jens.
10. The wonderful wines we tried and the excellent wine tours we took.
11. Jens Schmidt and his staff's hospitality and friendliness.
13. I also want to compliment Marco, our driver, who took us to and from Rome.