Travel

Post image for Madeline Jhawar helps clients discover “Italy beyond the obvious”

For Canadian-born Madeline Jhawar, it seems all roads lead to Italy. She spent a year there in high school as an AFS student, later lived there for five years, and worked for Butterfield & Robinson as a hiking and biking guide.

For awhile she abandoned Italy for the semiconductor industry, doing the job but not loving it. After 10 years, she went back to Italy, so to speak, this time founding Italy Beyond the Obvious, which offers highly customized, private trips for independent travelers.

“My clients are much like that I got to know at B&R,” said Madeline, who moved to Menlo Park from Chicago in 2011. “They expect a mix of adventure and cultural experience. Some want to stay in a farm house and get to know the locals. Others are interested in more luxurious accommodations.

“And when money is no object like it was with one recent client, I can help arrange a once in a lifetime experience, in this case a tour of the Vatican museums led by a Vatican curator.”

Madeline attributes part of her success to relationships she’s developed with local guides and drivers. She charges a fee for organizing the trip and travelers pay their guides directly.

“Every trip starts with brainstorming — ‘we have this much money and this much time and we think we want to do this.’ Most of the trips I plan are for four to six travelers, which often includes multi-generation families.

“One thing I work hard at is setting expectations. I may know the best place to get pasta in Rome, but I also know that the service can be slow and chilly. I want my clients to know what they’re getting into.

“What’s wonderful to me is that I really love my work. I’m extremely lucky!”

Photo by Irene Searles

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Menlo Park resident John Donald’s tips on visiting Disneyland – take two

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park resident John Donald’s tips on visiting Disneyland – take two

Editor’s note: John Donald provided his top five tips when visiting Disneyland but said the past year — when he and his family made numerous trips to the park and Disney California Adventure — yielded even more. Here they are, just in time for holiday visits: Assuming you are going multiple days to both Disneyland and […]

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Tips from a Menlo Park family who’ve visited Disneyland dozens of times

Thumbnail image for Tips from a Menlo Park family who’ve visited Disneyland dozens of times

Editor’s note: Being friends with Menlo Park resident John Donald on Facebook felt, at times, like a Goundhog Day experience. Could he and his family really be at Disneyland again? The answer was yes, as John explains below. Use his “insider” tips if you’re planning a visit to the Park for its Halloween or holiday festivities. […]

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Menlo School student and Eastside College Prep teacher travel to refugee camps in Greece

Thumbnail image for Menlo School student and Eastside College Prep teacher travel to refugee camps in Greece

We sat down with Stacy Ishigaki, who teaches at Eastside College Preparatory School, and Menlo School student Lauren Chan. This summer the pair volunteered in Greece for five weeks where they worked with Syrian and other refugees.. InMenlo: So how did this trip come about Lauren? Lauren: Through a school research grant, from my school [and the HAND […]

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High school trip to Israel leads Menlo Park native to ponder the differences between living there and here

Thumbnail image for High school trip to Israel leads Menlo Park native to ponder the differences between living there and here

For Kehillah High School juniors, it’s a tradition to take a three-week class trip to Israel. We recently travelled up and down the entire country, from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to the Syrian and Lebanese borders. Having lived my entire life in Menlo Park, I came back having much to reflect on in the way […]

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Betsy Sergeant Snow travels to Cuba with cameras in hand – and “oh those cars!”

Thumbnail image for Betsy Sergeant Snow travels to Cuba with cameras in hand – and “oh those cars!”

M-A digital arts teacher Betsy Sergeant Snow, currently on sabbatical, thought she’d travel to Cuba to photograph windows. And she did, a bit. But what filled more frames was the country’s famous old cars — the topic of this post — and the wonderful faces of the Cuban people (to come at a later time). Betsy was in […]

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Sunset leaves Menlo Park for new headquarters in Oakland’s Jack London Square

Thumbnail image for Sunset leaves Menlo Park for new headquarters in Oakland’s Jack London Square

Sunset will move its headquarters to Jack London Square in Oakland this December, Evelyn Webster, Executive Vice President, Time Inc. announced today. Sunset will relocate to Oakland from the Menlo Park campus that it has occupied since 1951. Where the publishing company would land has been a topic of much discussion since last December when the magazine’s owner, […]

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Marissa Muller takes off on cross country trip riding a solar-powered electric bike

Thumbnail image for Marissa Muller takes off on cross country trip riding a solar-powered electric bike

Sacred Heart Prep grad Marissa Muller started her professional career as a journalist at CNN before taking a hard right turn and working for companies focused on sustainability. As she embarks from Southern California on Thursday atop a solar-charged electric bike on a cross-country trip — which she will be chronicling along the way — you could conclude she’s […]

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Women’s Wellness Weekend at Lair of the Golden Bear is hit with local sisters

Thumbnail image for Women’s Wellness Weekend at Lair of the Golden Bear is hit with local sisters

Editor’s note: Did you have a new summer adventure or experience? Send your ideas to tips@inmenlo.com. Women’s Wellness Weekend (actually a long weekend, Wednesday through Sunday) was held this past weekend at the University of California, Berkeley’s Lair of the Golden Bear. While Cal blue and gold could be seen everywhere in camp, one need not […]

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Summer adventure: Walking the Camino de Santiago with Trinity Church group

Thumbnail image for Summer adventure: Walking the Camino de Santiago with Trinity Church group

In the post and photos below, M-A grad Annalise Deal, who heads for Boston College this fall, talks about her summer experience walking the Camino de Santiago. We’d like to hear how other Menlo Park and Atherton residents spent their summer vacation. Send stories/photos to tips@inmenlo.com. “The Camino has been a gift, pay it forward.” I read […]

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Garrett McMurtry completes 80-day wilderness expedition in Patagonia

Thumbnail image for Garrett McMurtry completes 80-day wilderness expedition in Patagonia

For Menlo Park resident Garrett McMurtry the fall semester had a decidedly southern exposure. He and 16 other National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) students embarked on an 80-day wilderness expedition in the diverse landscapes of Patagonia. They hiked across glaciated mountain peaks, camped in alpine valleys, and sea kayaked through island chains. They began at NOLS […]

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