Updated: Aug 8, 2022
Spring is here, and it's tennis season! As usual, spring brings with it a sense of renewal, hope, and possibility. Current world issues are definitely putting a huge burden on the entire world as we wait and hope for a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine. I'll share how I've been keeping informed as well as how the tennis world is being affected. My focus for Tennis City Guide is to bring you lighthearted content, inspired by tennis and travel, in hopes of providing joy. Please know, that my heart is with all those suffering at this time.
This post is LOADED with everything I’ve been into these past couple months, so put down your racquet, grab a ☕️ and enjoy!
TRAVEL: READY FOR MY FIRST SOLO ADVENTURE ABROAD!
Okay, so maybe not totally solo. I'm taking my daughter Hudson to Copenhagen! Since I'll be the main adult in charge, I'm considering it solo, call it solo+. I've been admiring the growing fashion, art and design scenes in Scandinavia for a long time. Copenhagen is also one of the cleanest, safest, happiest, and greenest cities in the world! Hudson is in college and hoping to work in the international fashion industry, so this is a great opportunity for us to visit another great European city before she leaves for New York in the fall. Much of our trip will be focused around art, fashion, and food, but rest assured, I'll find some good tennis spots to share with you as well. I've been trying my best to immerse myself in Scandinavian culture to learn as much as I can before our trip. If you've been before and have any great suggestions, please send them my way.
The International Governing Bodies of Tennis released a statement, condemning Russias attack against Ukraine. The tennis world is filled with incredible players from Russia (Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev), Ukraine (Elina Svitolina), and Belarus (Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azerenka). The current situation most definitely makes for uncomfortable locker room chat. Andrey Rublev, a Russian player, won the doubles title last week in Marseille with partner Denys Molchanov, who is from Ukraine. Andrey then wrote "no war please" on the camera after the match. If only their parent countries could work together the same way.
STYLE: FAVORITE SPRING STYLES FOR WATCHING TENNIS😎💜
After the expensive holiday season, I make an honest effort to curb my spending in the winter. I live in the desert southwest, so our idea of winter is a light jacket. I try my best not to buy heavy winter items and hold out until spring collections come out. I'm also a little tight on closet space, so this spring I'm trying to work with what I have and maybe pick up a few current pieces to add to the mix. Here are some of the looks I love for my upcoming trips to the BNP Paribas Open, and the Miami Open tournaments this month. Weather in the spring can be fickle. It could be 85 degrees and warm at the day matches, and 60 degrees and windy at the night match. I like to layer and plan for fluctuations. All of these looks are from my STYLE board on Pinterest. Click over and follow for more great tennis love.
Clockwise: 1. All white is simple spring chic. Swap the heels for sandals or sneakers. 2. A pastel blue suit is perfect with skate shoes. The jacket is great to have if the sun is beating down on your shoulders, wear a light tank underneath if it gets hot. 3. Another great suit in a fun color combination. 4. Simple Parisian chic is a white button down with a neutral sweater draped over your shoulders, especially for night matches. 5. An airy white dress is a spring must have. Add stylish sneakers and you’re all set. 6.I love this orange/blue/camel color combination. 7. A long coat may be overkill in the spring, but this color combo, texture and proportions are classic. 8. Light, loose, airy clothes are perfect for really warm days.
Leather Hoop Earrings, Lilac - ZARA These are the perfect way to incorporate very peri (Pantone color of the year) into any outfit.
Brixton Hailey Wool Felt Fedora, Nordstrom This chocolate brown color is a great neutral, which means it can get lots of use.
LISTEN UP - my latest podcast obsessions
This daily podcast has been my morning briefing on the situation in Ukraine. The brave correspondents are stationed in Ukraine, Russia, and Belgium and provide first hand insights on what’s really happening. It’s heartbreaking.
I love this podcast, they’re like my British tennis pals. They shed some real insight on how the war is affecting the tennis world.
This is a great crime drama starring Uma Thurman. She's a major media mogul and her son is abducted in New York City. Four seemingly normal Brits are suspected of the crime, and it's hard to tell if they were involved or not. There's also a menacing character in the mix. A mysterious guy who could also be the kidnapper, and he happens to look a bit like Roger Federer. Imagine Roger Federer as a sinister, super hot criminal. I know, right!
Along with hot Roger, it has a great cast and suspenseful storyline. I’ve been hooked!
This could also be called Young Whisperer. My husband and I joke about how soft spoken Kurt Wallander is, even when he’s shouting profanity. I was on a hunt to find Scandinavian series to watch in preparation for my trip. This series is based in Sweden, and the new season was just released. There's also a really great tennis scene (good scene, horrible tennis).
Shailene Woodley plays Daphne, who is basically a hot mess. Reeling from a bad breakup, indulging in her vices, she gives off some major Girl on the Train vibes. She ends up meeting two guys, friends, who are polar opposites and gets involved with them both. Nothing goes wrong. Just kidding. Everything gets all f&#%ed up, and it's like watching a train wreck. Jamie Dornan's Irish accent is worth the watch.
I love Spain, and am always dreaming of returning, so anything Spanish typically catches my eye. This story is about Puri. When her father dies and leaves a cacao plantation to her in Vinces, Ecuador she leaves her home in Spain and sails to Ecuador with her husband. She's attacked on the ship, but the assailant ends up killing her husband instead. Realizing someone wants her dead, she takes on her husbands identity and tries to find out who's behind her murder attempt. I loved this story. I read it in February and it made me think of the film Chocolat, and my visit to the museum of chocolate in Brussels. Chocolate is so intriguing. This is the first book in a long time when I didn't catch myself asking, "When does it get good?" Captivating from start to finish and full of historical information about Cacao in Ecuador.
I've read lots of historical fiction about World War II. Most of what I know about German occupation in Europe, I learned from reading historical fiction novels. On my first visit to Paris, we took a day trip to the Champagne region and much of this book is based in Reims and Champagne. The people of this region were so important in the war. The caves were used to move information, arms for the resistance effort, and even housed Jewish refugees trying to flee before being captured and taken to concentration camps. Reims in particular was especially important in the war. A schoolhouse in Reims was used by President Eisenhower as the Supreme Headquarters to the Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF). The first German surrender was signed there on May 7, 1945.
The Williams sisters grace the cover of March's issue of Harper's Bazaar. Although I haven't picked up a copy yet. I thought I'd share my initial feelings when I saw this pop up on my social media feed. If you know me, you know how much I love these two. Although they're a few years younger than me and my sister Susanna, we've always felt a special S&V (Susanna and Valerie) type of connection with the William's sisters. Like the famous sisters, we had to play each other a lot, we were often the only hispanic tennis players in most places, we had a very a "'passionate" dad (who we always thought embarrassing, but in hindsight, just loved us so much), and we both love tennis. Like the sisters, we're tall. We're both just under six feet and have always had strong athletic bodies, and love to eat. I mean, really eat. When I first met my husband, I was playing college tennis and he joked about how much I ate, which was often more than him! Additionally, if you know me, you know that I love fashion and follow models and fashion influencers just like lots of other women. I'm not immune to comparison (the thief of joy). I don't now, nor have I ever looked like a fashion model, although I catch myself sometimes, being less than kind to myself because of it. When I saw these two beautiful black women on my feed, I said to myself, "This is what 40 year old, strong, athletic bodies look like. Bodies that can have babies, win over 20 world championships, push through three hours of hardcourt tennis if needed. Bodies that are loved and cared for, fed and nourished. This is kinda what I look like." I don't know about you, but I needed this, and I love it. I'm so happy for them and their family. Their story is important and I'm glad the world gets to know it.
I hope you are enjoying lovely spring weather, and hopefully finding time to play tennis. You can follow me on Instagram where I'll continue to share updates on where I'm headed next. I've got a tennis filled month ahead, and I can't tell you how excited I am! I am so grateful for for your support, for loving tennis, and for being you!
Wishing you Love and Tennis this spring