Things are now opening up in Europe and life is starting to slowly return to what seems normal. We took the first available flight from Belgium back to Italy so that we could start preparation for our film, “Surprise Trip.” It was strange to see the Brussels airport nearly empty and everyone wearing a required face mask throughout the airport. Face masks were optional in DeHaan where we had been locked down and now that we were in the airport required.
There were limited flights available and although we were confirmed for this flight to Milan, we were placed on standby due to the flight being overbooked. We had only two options, wait several hours to take a flight to Munich and stay overnight there and take the only flight the next morning to Milan or take a train to Paris and take a flight from there, so we opted for the flight to Munich so that we would arrive in time for my birthday. Otherwise, it would be several days later to get another available flight. So a flight that would take a hour and a half took us nearly two days!
By the time we arrived to Bari, we were completed exhausted. Luckily, a beautiful retreat and brand new hotel, San Lorenzo Boutique Hotel and Spa was awaiting our arrival. It would also host the press conference for our film, “Surprise Trip.” Ronn and I were obviously in great need of haircuts and our wonderful dear friend, Tiziana Nistri came to our hotel and spent the whole afternoon on both of us, giving me a brand new sassy look that I love. I then got an amazing massage by Victoria at the San Lorenzo spa that was just want I needed to bring me back to life and we spent a lovely afternoon hanging out poolside enjoying amazing Italian food and Moss rose’ wine.
We woke up to the news that our Bay family won their 5th Emmy for “Outstanding Digital Drama Series” and that was such an unexpected surprise to top off my amazing birthday dinner in Polignano a Mare with one of our wine partners for Moss vino. It felt like a dream to see all our friends again and share a wonderful meal. Life was coming back to what seemed to be somewhat normal, although all restaurant workers were required to wear masks, customers were not. We felt so grateful to just be at a restaurant with people again. Ronn was surprised to hear his brand new duet single, “Dreaming In Color” was already at #15 on the Belgium charts and we were grateful to celebrate all of this good fortune in Puglia with Moss wine!
It was sad to see news of people still fighting so much back in America on wearing masks and the confusion on it being required by some states. It was making us even more grateful we were not in the cross hairs of all of the chaos. However, our hearts and prayers were going out to so many friends that were indeed in the thick of it all. Although I was happy to celebrate my birthday with friends in Italy, I still felt a sadness for the loss of a longtime dear friend who had committed suicide.
Steve Bing was one of the first people I met nearly 35 years ago when I first arrived in Hollywood. He was a very tall and down to earth guy with an infectious smile and a big heart. I don’t recall ever seeing Steve in anything but jeans and a t-shirt and many people didn’t know for years that Steve had inherited 600 million dollars when he was only 18 years old from his grandfather. Steve was friends with high profile celebrities like Jimmy Caan and Mick Jagger and had given millions of dollars to the Clinton foundation. I’ll never forget Steve bringing Mick Jagger to my Hawaiian theme birthday party whereas, everyone thought Mick was an impersonator. Steve was a gentle giant of a guy who was loved by many for his generosity and kindness. So it was indeed shocking to hear he would commit suicide by jumping from the 27th floor of his condo. This was a man who seemed to love life to the fullest and it will be hard to have future birthdays without thinking of him.
I know many people are feeling the pain and suffering from being isolated and alone. This lockdown was causing much more depression and mental problems than people could imagine. The fear, chaos and depression from isolation was worst than the virus itself. It is for this reason we must pray for our friends and be kind no matter what is going on around us. We are all fighting for our lives here in different ways. We send much love and blessings to America on her birthday today and to our friends for a safe 4th of July.