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It’s not every vacation that my husband, Mike, and I come back 23 pounds lighter combined but with souls heavier.
Our son Nick and I started in the South of France in the ancient cliff-side village of Eze for Sly Stallone’s 70th birthday at Villa Mereze. The Stallone celebration then moved to Monaco and Alain Ducasse’s La Trattoria, hosted by our friends Victoria and Isaac Oberfeld. Ricky Martin, managers Danielle Del and Eric Podwall, singer Monica Mancini and others flew in from all over for a four-day epic party. Prince Albert — who last year bid on and won Sly’s boxing gloves for 400,000 euros at Leonardo DiCaprio’s wildlife fundraiser in St. Tropez — asked for a private boxing lesson at the palace. Sly graciously taught the prince and his friends and bodyguards how to spar movie-star style.
Irena (far left), Nick and the Stallone sisters piled into a helicopter to buzz over to a yacht on their trip.
From there, we met producer Sybil Orr and her husband, Matthew, on the 115-foot yacht Enchantress and took off to St. Tropez. Sophia and Sistine Stallone (whose modeling career has blown up — she’s landed the Express campaign and she’s still in high school) and Nick hit three clubs in one night: Le Quai, La Cave and, last, VIP room.
From left: Scarlet, Sistine, Sylvester, Sophia and Jennifer Flavin Stallone at Villa Mereze in Eze.
Being on the boat and staying in the water is our joy, so we were constantly swimming (no jellyfish!). My friend Dagny Dubelko back home sent me a TMZ photo of Jennifer Flavin off the boat that called her body “flawless and the pinnacle of perfection.” That’s what it’s like being with Sly and Jennifer and Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet. It’s enough to send everyone else who feels like a “before picture” to a health spa.
Sly and the Enchantress’ first officer.
By Bastille Day, Mike had joined us, and we were off to Cannes to watch the fireworks on the boat near Nice when the horrific truck attack happened after the show. Sistine’s phone went off with worried messages, then all our phones went crazy. As we saw later with more terrorist attacks in France and Germany, it wasn’t over. We live in such a fragile state now, and those events have brought into stark relief that we should appreciate the moments we are together and take nothing for granted.
The next day, we flew to Italy to meet friends on their boat in the Aeolian Islands. The calm was a respite. We cruised through Stromboli up to Capri, where we ran into Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and his wife, Nicole Avant, who were staying on Tamar and Bob Manoukian’s boat, as were Haim and Cheryl Saban and David Foster. Ben Silverman, Ryan Seacrest and power real estate agent Kurt Rappaport were on another boat, while Tobey Maguire and jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer were hanging on David Geffen’s yacht. Our friends flew in a rocking band from London, and we danced on the boat until the Capri sunrise.
Mike and Irena ate light (mushroom bouillon and vegetable bouillon) at the Palace Merano’s Espace Henri Chenot spa.
The next morning, the Stallone clan departed for L.A. with Nick. Mike and I reunited with the Orrs at the Espace Henri Chenot spa in Merano, Italy, near the Austrian border, for what they promised would be a life-changing experience. Canyon Ranch and Miraval cannot compare. In nine days, Mike lost 15 pounds, and I lost eight. More than that, it’s a holistic, cleansing reset, medically supervised in the most elegant and delicious way in the Tyrolean Alps. We hiked in stunning landscapes. A musician played during the gourmet healthy meals. We had intense therapy sessions with doctors who see you every day, hydrotherapy baths in rooms that would make Caesar jealous, body scans measuring fat and bone density, and seawater-based thalassotherapy. The massages are done the Chenot way with cups and vibrators (no, not there). Everything is personalized. I have never come home from a month in Europe weighing less and feeling better. And in 24 years with Mike, I have never seen him lose weight like this and be so energized and focused.
A water therapy room at Henri Chenot.
We flew back in time to see Barbra Streisand’s concert at Staples Center, which was powerful. Her beautiful song “The Way We Were” now has a different meaning for us in regard to the world we live in. After moving Nick into NYU later this month, I am looking forward to Labor Day in the Hamptons. Give me some USA, baby.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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