Hillside view of this magnificent Florentine city!
The Frescobaldi Family Estate in Tuscany


I’ve just finished responding to all of the urgent ESCAPESEEKER TV series related e-mails, and it is now nearly 2 a.m. I can’t believe it is no longer my birthday! Rats! However, my computer tells me that it is only 4:55 in Newport Beach, so I guess I can choose which time zone to abide by…or just keep on celebrating and have a birthday month! YEAH, that sounds better…so if you’re reading this from the U.S., don’t think you’re getting out of celebrating my very big birthday ok?

Seriously, before I finally climb into bed, I must share one of the most unique Tuscan experience we’ve had thus far. I apologize for being a little slow in updating my blog today.

My team and I just returned from Tuscany where we were hosted to an exquisite day, by the illustrious Frescobaldi family whose history dates back 700 years! The youngest of the Frescobaldi sons, Matteo, is participating in our ESCAPESEEKER program–so we will be returning to film at their Tuscan estate in September.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the FRESCOBALDI name–let me give you some insight into this exceptional Florentine/Tuscan family:

The Frescobaldi name is renowned throughout Italy (and other parts of the world also) for their long standing tradition of involvement in the art, culture, and history of Italy and of Tuscany that stretches back more than 700 years. The Frescobaldi family includes authors, explorers, musicians, financiers, as well as politicians and statesmen.

A dedication to viticulture and to agriculture in general has always been a major characteristic of the family: for fully 30 generations, beginning in the very first years of the 14th century, the Frescobaldis have been producing wine in Tuscany, as attested by countless historical sources!

Even as early as the 16th century the Florentine family was a supplier of wines to the Royal English Court and to many other courts throughout Europe. Letters and legal papers in the family archives document during the 13th century, contacts and business contracts with many European monarchs, among them Henry VIII of England.

Well today, July 21, 2008, I too felt like a member of a monarch while dining with my ESCAPESEEKER team and MATTEO FRESCOBALDI! The photo of the Tuscan villa above is where our ESCAPESEEKER team spent my birthday. Now, that’s just one more special day to add to my journal of life.

Thank you friends and family for your warm and loving wishes…and thank you ROY for the gorgeous flowers and sweet, loving poem…I will have our photographer take a photo of them. You will not believe how BIG Florentine rose buds are!!

Well, I’ve really gotta hit the sack…we depart early tomorrow morning for Italy’s food capital, BOLOGNA–that is after we shoot a sunrise over Florence at around 5 a.m. No sleep for these serious ESCAPESEEKERS!

With all my love,



  1. From the Banks of the Brazos says:

    Mel……what a fabulous birthday……..and what memories! Loved the latest pictures of the babies….. also the one of Garrett & Violet. We miss ya'll.

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