Cast Blog: #RHONY

Work Hard, Play Hard

Sonja gives us the scoop and her and Ramona's activities and how she thinks a vacation should be spent.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of Morocco if you could see if peering over the shoulders of us NY drama queens.

Don't you love the Moroccan architecture and colors? My favorite was Kelly's red room.

Morocco is a very tolerant country, and the people are open and welcoming. As in any country, one must still be careful, especially in the more touristy areas and when transporting.

I wish you could have tasted the cuisine and experienced the aromas. I was enriched by the experienced, was thrilled to absorb some of the culture, and even came up with a tangine dish for the toaster oven using crimped foil and typical Moroccan spices. Hope you like curry in a hurry!

Ramona does need her creature comforts, she works hard, and she deserves them!

The tea service in Morocco is a welcome gesture that is fit for royalty. Tea represents the most refined expression of hospitality and Moroccans take their tea very seriously. Tea is considered a sacred herb. This is one of those subjects Alex was speaking of being careful about. One doesn't want to offend an ancient custom.

The English have always honored their tea service, and I honored Cindy by having her at my home for high tea. Just for her and I. I cooked some cinnamon rolls that she loved in the toaster oven!

I love my bathtubs! If we are in a hotel that offers all the creature comforts, I can rest easy knowing I can take a relaxing hot bath each night with Epsom salts and some nice oils. Ah, me time!

Many times I have someone help me unpack/pack my bags. Is that unusual? Not at all. When you rent a home on vacation it is customary to have help unpacking. It's a vacation, and the job of the house staff is to be sure we have the most relaxing time possible. With this group is it possible?

I packed so light with one carry-on so I didn't need much help. I always have been a light packer since the day I left my large suitcase as a young model in Brindisi, Italy, on the pier on the way to Greece by ferry. I had no choice but to learn how to pack light because I was carrying my own luggage everywhere.

I am laughing so hard at LuAnn's comments. She doesn't get Ramona by now? Or, she just doesn't want to. It's like she's a cat playing with a ball a yarn when it comes to Ramona.

Alex is so right, we have to be careful to not offend when traveling to other countries. We are spoiled as Americans to begin with, and I have to admit having owned and rented homes around the world and running them my way, I am used to things just that way, MY way! I'm no spring chicken, but having said that I still try to grow and be flexible.

Something I am not flexible about: I always stay with my luggage. I have had things go missing from my luggage on airlines, from the car to top hotels, in castles while staying with royalty, and from car to car, plane to plane. You would be surprised, but I have had many experiences and don't want to be burned again. That is why I travel with a carry-on or FedEx things. I am very sentimental and become attached to a favorite hat from a great sample sale that packs well, a ring from Mom, or dress I picked up while traveling on a memorable vacation for example. Some things just aren't replaceable.

The girls were already there a full day and acclimated. We were traveling the whole day and I was exhausted. 

Why are the girls so worried about what Ramona's wearing? She will be fine.

Cindy has already been there for a day, what does she need more hangars for? You just ask the house staff for hangers. All Cindy's clothes have been there and hung. We just arrived. I am starting to see more and more that it is just Cindy wanting some attention and that she manufactures these situations. We didn't even know where the other girls rooms were let alone Cindy's room. Laughable. Especially for Jill and LuAnn, they enjoy it most.

FYI: I co-hosted this trip and LuAnn is acting as THE sole hostess. In fact, it was my idea first to go to Italy and I asked her to co-host!

I just wanted out of the hen house so badly to burn off some energy after being cooped up on a plane, from the plane to a van, that I wanted to get away from their criticism and drama. These girls already had a day of relaxation and they "Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!"  I definitely wanted to see who was in town that I knew at the La Mamounia hotel -- THE hotel in Marrekesh. What a ball we had people watching, saying "Hi" to everyone at the pool from Paris who I know from St. Tropez, and having pink champagne and the marvelous buffet spread there. Ramona and I also knew the concierge there would give us the lay of the land. We found out very quickly that Morocco is a westernized country, and we could dress the same way as at home unless we were at a holy site. Especially at private homes, restaurants, hotels, we had nothing to worry about. They encourage tourism and want everyone to feel welcome. They were thrilled to have Real Housewives of NYC in Morocco.

When I am on vacation I like to have a good time! Especially the first night I arrive. It's the blow out night! Morocco isn't Vegas but they have some great hot spots and like to party like the rest of us. Remember our first night in St John? That was Turtle Time!

Kelly it's my house, it’s not my husbands, and it’s mine free and clear. I don't know where you are getting your information. I am maintaining a house in Colorado that I built with my Ex and I own a house in France. So while my divorce continues to tie up my assets and the cash investment I have made in them, I have a tight divorcee's budget! I guess Kelly doesn't feel its up to her standards. I don't know Kelly's story because I don't count other peoples money, but if she got the marital homes and a nice settlement from her marriage she should be happy and more sensitive towards my situation. If she lives in her husband’s house, it's not my business. I don't care whose house she lives in, and how she got it, she can still hang with me and have a good time without me being judgmental! If it was always her house, I am happy for her and hope she can keep her children in it as long as possible, as that is what I am striving to do and why I work so hard. I want my daughter to live in her childhood home as long as possible and for her to have that stability. I know my husband wouldn't live in my basement though. He lives in his own houses or a hotel. Again, it's great she has a wonderful relationship with the father of her children, and I wish her the best.

I believed Brad when he said this country is gonna love Ramona. Was that meant to be a joke? I found the country more than tolerant.

Vacaaaation. Do you drink on holiday? Do you go out to lunch? Ramona and I said we would be back in two hours, and we were. We were dead tired from a day of travel though. Consider us troopers. We are always ready to rally.

Jill is hilarious with the snake on her head. Looks so good on her. Dahrlling!

I would ask Marc Jacobs to put a log on the fire. I would ask any man in the room and Marc Jacobs is a man! I wrote in my last blog that I worked with Marc at Charivari boutique, modeled for him, and I can say he would have no problem with me asking him to put a log on the fire! I would ask my friend Prince Albert to put a long on the fire! Talk about being pretentious. Please, why are people pretending to be different than a bunch of ladies on vacation?

I was so pleased to be invited to that fabulous home in Morocco. How can you insult the host? Again. Dear Jill, it was nice of Brad to invite us. Period. I don't care if he owns, rents, or if it's a bread or breakfast. He was gracious to host us and provide entertainment with fun people. I love to dance, and I, for one, don't sit around like a bump on a log.

Cindy and I had a lunch date that never happened. She asked me to come down for lunch! Can she still not admit we were supposed to have lunch and she lied? Even on the doorsteps of Vivienne Tam? I asked if we are eating when I first arrived on the doorstep because I was starving and she said yes, knowing she was not going to have lunch with me because she had a cosmetic dental appointment. She showed her teeth to millions of viewers and Vivienne, but could not have lunch with me anywhere in the neighborhood. I wish she had just called me before and said I can't do lunch, so don't come 35 minutes downtown!

In Morocco I just tried to break the ice in the van because she hesitated to jump in the van with me when she saw Ramona, and I thought a little self deprecating humor would work to soften relations with Ramona -- to show we could move on and laugh at ourselves. Why do I try?

This is what parties are for! Puhleeese! Who likes to have fun and let go on vacation while at an intimate party for 20 people in a private residence? You do have to watch that Kelly when she twirls her hair around a guy. It's become a classic! LOL

I'm pretty sure this was not a real fortune teller, but it started out fun. I was so happy to hear Kelly is having a third child because she so wants one. I hope it's true!

Another woman? Mario? I don't think so after reflection. But I am Chicken Little, and I worry. I don't want anyone to go through the pain of divorce. No one. We flew this day, went to La Mounia, was treated to an amazing lunch, saw friends from abroad, grilled the concierge, met with the designer, and then ended up at a party with new friends and snakes. Is this unusual the first day of vacation? Not for me. I was definitely tired and sensitive to the issue, and I want the best for Ramona and her family.

I work hard, and I like to play hard. Life is too short. I take care of myself, always have, and my concern is for those who I need to take care of. Once that is done, I am free to be me. Am I perfect? No. But live and let live.

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Luann: Ramona Does Have Sticky Fingers

Luann talks about the dueling brunches and explains why it was weird to be back in Ramona's apartment. 

Quite the episode, right? I’m loving my new house, as you can probably tell. It’s so cozy, and the girls loved it. It was fun to hang on the couch and chat it up about everything from brunches to toe hair…(which is a little gross, but that’s another story).

So this episode brings in Dressgate and Brunchgate…and Kellygate! Word to the wise: NEVER steal Herve Leger. (Bethenny clarified that it was a Halston, but still--who steals from a green room?) Ramona does have sticky fingers when it comes to that, though. Looking back, if you remember a dress Sonja was buying in Season 2 and how Ramona asked to “look at it” and ended up at the checkout line with it…She took it right out of her hands! Oh, Ramona…you really are a piece of work.

So Brunchgate.

Brunch #1. You know, I figured having two invitations to two brunches isn’t that bad of a problem, so if we went to both, we’d make everyone happy. I really like Bethenny’s Hamptons house, and I love the red accents! Her brunch was a classic breakfast with, of course, great cocktails. B was great to entertain me and my guests with all of her SkinnyGirl flair. I thought it was really nice of Bethenny to give us some parting gifts. I took some energy bars but kept it simple and didn’t grab her appliances. Tacky much? To each her own… (Bethenny was sweet enough to send me a blender weeks later, though. Noel may even steal it when he moves away for college this summer. So thanks, B! XO!)

And onto Brunch #2. I felt bad that Dorinda had to go, but I understood. We were late. The new girl likes her Bloody Marys not as bloody, but extra merry. I can definitely empathize with that! She and Bethenny kept me laughing this episode. And I was beyond thrilled when Dorinda called John out for being rude with the phone at lunch. If you know me, you know that if you make a lady wait, she’ll take a pass. Phones have no place at the dinner table or the lunch table or the breakfast counter--especially when it’s a date--so put your phones away, people! She’s a fierce one, and I was cheering when she spoke up and ended that call. John has to put a leash on his PDA. A little smooch is OK, but restaurant mouth-to-mouth is a no-no unless someone is choking. Like the moment Dorinda practically choked by confusing a fellow diner with a server…ouch!

And now, my chat with Ramona over some pinot and seafood salad. I hadn’t been to Ramona’s since “The Ambush,” when Jill and Bethenny were fighting for their friendship, only to continue straining and destroying it. For the record, they were going around in circles, getting so upset and not making any progress, that I felt I had to step in and have them take a break and regroup in a few days. Not weeks or months or years. It’s a shame. I still have hope they’ll patch things up.

I’m not sure if she’s just coping really well and being reasonable about it, or if she’s in some sort of denial.

Luann de Lesseps

So for that and for numerous other obvious reasons, being a guest in Ramona’s apartment after so many years was a little weird, but I knew we needed to have this moment. She’s undergoing a reinvention and “rising from the ashes,” so to speak. I know that what she’s experiencing is the hardest thing a woman can endure, and the power of friends and support is unimaginable. It’s almost comforting to see Ramona seem calm about the whole thing. I’m not sure if she’s just coping really well and being reasonable about it, or if she’s in some sort of denial. It was tough telling her that Mario was on dating sites and that I knew people who’d seen him on there, but she handled it well. At least in front of me. And we had a good chuckle about it. With others making Tinder such “a thing” this season, nothing really surprises me--or Ramona--anymore. Anyway, I’m glad she knows I’m here for her and that despite my feelings and our past, I always do my best to be there for my friends. Stay cool, Ramona!

Having lunch with Heather and Bethenny was quite an adventure. (By the way, I’m obsessed with guacamole. I’m practically 6% avocado at this point.) We had some Skinnygirl margs and caught up on the other girls. But maybe too much catching up. I noticed some tension brewing between Heather and Bethenny right away, and I know that if there’s too much talking going on and nothing really means much, some people just turn off and stop caring. Heather gets into the nitty gritty and Bethenny is all about the headline and the bullet points. I could tell there was a minor clash about to occur. But Bethenny was ultimately pretty cool about it. And hilarious. Between Dorinda’s “not wanting tongue as an appetizer” and Bethenny’s sorority tales (ahem…braiding), I was chuckling for the full hour.

Sigh… Kellygate…

Beautique is one of my favorite places in the city and certainly one of my favorite nightspots. It’s a chic hangout for singles to mingle with great music and a staff of sweethearts. Kelly Bensimon and I were at the same party earlier that evening, and I told her to come along for a girls' night out. I didn’t think I needed to ask Bethenny permission, so I was surprised Bethenny was so bothered by Kelly being there. Get over it already, B! Once she explained how she felt, I understood where she was coming from. I’m just glad it didn’t ruin the evening. We discussed it, shared our thoughts, and moved on--that’s what I love about our relationship. Kelly has always been a good friend to me, and it was fun to spend time with her and the girls. A little unofficial reunion at Beautique.

Now, ladies…for a girl’s night out, why not have some good looking gents thrown into the mix, right? You saw Lady Morgan. She was quite taken with Mr. Germany, as she calls him. Sonja has a good eye--a little young for the taking, but very handsome. My friend Eric is a great guy, charming and a gentleman. I knew he would bring someone fabulous…just not someone that young. Ramona is a little new to this element, so I was proud of her for jumping in and meeting guys and dancing and enjoying the attention. She’s quite the natural, isn’t she? Surprise, surprise! She brought a whole new meaning to “twirl” that night, and we were so happy she was having a good time. I just regret not inviting Dorinda to join us. Clearly, she was really the odd girl out that night.

I’ll just say this: I don’t know if I’d want my boyfriend hanging out at Beautique for a “business” meeting. It’s certainly not the place. And it certainly wasn’t the time for it, either. We’ll have to see how Dorinda feels about this next week. One thing about Dorinda that I’ve seen first-hand: She doesn’t play around. You cross her once, you’ll think twice before crossing her again.

This season keeps getting better and better. I’m already excited for next Tuesday night!

Speaking of “twirling,” go check out my new Spring Swirl & Twirl dresses at Evine Live, and keep in touch on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram at @CountessLuann.

Be cool. 

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