Jodie Kidd will be blogging for us on a four day fundraising road trip for charity. Aiming to raise money for the (RED) charity's fight against AIDS, Jodie will be joining an eclectic group of 70 women – entrepreneurs, lawyers, designers, doctors, CEOs, models, architects, and fashion stylists – in vintage and classic cars, on a tour from London to Monte Carlo. Read her latest blog post below.
We left Paris at 8am. It was a beautiful drive out of the city and through the incredible French countryside and onto Geneva.
Along the way I was stopped for a routine police check up. They were so nice and asked lots of questions about the tour and what we were doing and I managed to get them to donate to the charity which I was really pleased about. They then wished us well for the rest of the trip. I bumped into more police at a petrol station when I helped one of the girls who couldn't open her petrol tank. All 15 of the police tried and it was only me who could find the button to release it, which made me feel very smug.
I also helped Lilly Becker when I saw her on the side of the road who was worried about her car, but it was actually just the air conditioning over heating!
We then arrived at the Geneva Polo Club and had a fantastic lunch. There was a polo match played after lunch which was great. I play polo so it was great to be around the horses and atmosphere at the ground. Dr Christoph Benn Director of external relations at the Global Fund then gave an inspiring speech about the possibility of ending the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies by 2015. He has dedicated his whole life to raising funds and awareness, it was fascinating to hear.
After lunch we were on route again but got caught in a terrible thunderstorm. It was quite scary at one point as we could hardly see out of our windscreen as a the rain was so torrential. We made it into the Monte Blanc tunnel and then onto our third check point, Milan, where we were confronted by an amazing crowd and the wonderful sight of the gothic cathedral the Duomo.
After checking into the hotel we all had to gather enough strength and energy for dinner and then onto the Cavalli Club for a little R and R.
I must admit today I'm feeling completed exhausted after driving 900k so far, but its all been totally worth it. I feel tinged with a little sadness with it being the last day tomorrow. This stretch of the tour has been by far my favourite. We had some amazing driving convoys with up to 12 red cars at one point all driving side by side. Tomorrow we are driving to the final check point in Monte Carlo.
Please sponsor any of the ladies involved by visiting www.crowdrise.com/redtour
The first leg of the tour has been a great experience. Driving and cars are a personal passion of mine so there was a lot of excitement when setting off this morning, even if it was at 7am!
It was great to be on the road with my friend Vicky and luckily we had a clear run to the Euro Tunnel. Even the typical (rainy) British weather couldn't deter us. As we arrived in Paris we were greeted by the glorious sunshine. Driving in Paris can tend to be a bit of a nightmare and we took a few wrong turns (very unlike me) and arrived just behind Lilly Becker and the fabulous Jo Wood. I arrived in convoy with the founder of the Cash & Rocket Tour, Julie Brangstrup, so we celebrated together. The check point in Paris was at the Place Joffre and it was stunning to have the back drop of the Eiffel Tower and the bright blue skies with 30 (RED) cars and the 60 fabulous ladies in all of our photos.
Afterwards we headed straight to the Park Hyatt Paris where we were greeted and welcomed by Park Hyatt MD Michelle Juslin. We then had a celebratory drink with designers Viktor & Rolf who were launching their new stroller for Bugaboo (inspired by a car, it's called "my first car" - how cute!), and the charming Boris Becker who was there supporting his wife on the tour. For the first time my energy was starting to flag so after a fabulous champagne reception and canapes, it was straight to bed for me so, I could wake up refreshed and ready to go. Next stop, Geneva for lunch at the Geneva Polo Club and then onto Milan!
Although today was the big day my usual routine didn't change! I still had to be up at 6am with my baby to give him his first bottle of milk and breakfast before I left the house. As with everything you always find yourself running out of time, especially as a new mother. It was a mad panic to remove the baby seat from the car and exchange it for my weekend bag for the tour before a 7am haircut and blow dry to make myself photo ready for the photocall later this morning.
Leaving my baby for the first time is hard but I was raring to go once I was finally ready. I set off on the road to London and the journey that normally takes me an hour and half proceeded to take over 2 and a half hours! This caused all of my forward planning to go out of the window and I arrived at the Berkeley Square photocall extremely late and slightly stressed. I then had to rush through interviews and a photocall. It all went so quickly but it was great to finally see everything come together and such a fantastic sight to see all the red cars lined up around the square. There was a real buzz with all of the photographers and passers-by waiting to see what was going on.
As we finished up the rain started to fall so I had to run from Berkeley Square to the Metropolitan Hotel. Arriving soaking wet, I was just in time for the drivers briefing and registration. This was my first opportunity of the day to have a good chat with all the other ladies involved. It was lovely to see old fashion friends such as Katie Grand and her driving partner although we were swiftly ushered on for a quick wardrobe change and on to the team lunch at Aurelia, Mayfair.
After beautiful food and a lovely glass of rose we were all relaxed and we listened to the speech of Dr Patricia who really cemented why we are really here and the cause of the charity (RED) and what they are doing. The tour is to raise awareness and funds for (RED)RUSH TO ZERO; (RED)'s campaign to help the global health community deliver an AIDS Free Generation by 2015 by virtually eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV.
After the lunch it was a quick stop into Selfridges to get a few last pieces in preparation for the trip. With any luck I shall hopefully get an hour or two's rest before tonight's launch party at The Box! I want to make sure I am well rested for the long drive ahead and fully focused.
- Jodie x
Please visit any of the ladies pages in order to sponsor them at www.crowdrise.com/redtour
For more information on the Cash & Rocket (RED) Tour please visit www.cashandrocket.com
Today I am so excited about attending the launch for the Cash and Rocket (RED) Tour, which has been starred on my calendar for weeks now. It will be great to see all the preparations come into fruition and I cannot wait to see all of these incredible red cars in Berkeley Square before the trip begins. It really will be a sight to behold - 70 women all dressed in red with 35 red cars. It shows cars aren't just for men!
I thought it was important for me to be involved in this project as Cash & Rock is a really unique way of raising awareness and funds for the (RED) charity’s campaign to help deliver an AIDS Free Generation by 2015. It’s possible that in just three and a half years, we could have a world where no child is born with HIV. There are so many women doing this that I admire and it’s really nice to collectively be involved in something that is so positive. The thinking behind it is that Cash & Rocket is empowering women to do something which is a simple yet potentially life changing idea.
It’s going to be great to meet all these incredible ladies taking part in the flesh this morning, although I know a lot of the girls - Jo Wood, Lily Becker, Lilly Hodges and Anne Vyalitzyne - already. I'm especially looking forward to attending the lunch afterwards to relax and talk about the trip, not to mention the kick-off party at the Box tonight which is set to be a night to remember! It’s important that we spread the word.
I hope all of my preparations for the trip will pay off as I have sourced lots of red items in keeping with the theme. It should be fun with 70 ladies dressed in a different red item every day. I shall be driving a Maserati Grancabrio in scarlett red which has been customised by Maserati to fit in with the theme and will be a real treat to drive!
For me driving and cars have always been a personal passion, so when this opportunity arose I thought it was the perfect way to combine my passion with a great cause. It’s been a while since my last road trip so it is quite an exhilarating feeling embarking on a challenge like this. I have done The Gumball rally before and that was tough so I am hoping that will stand me in good stead for driving long distances. I also have my driving partner Vicky, so we will share the driving between us - which is nice as I will get to see some sights too!
From doing this tour I hope that I can generate lots of positive publicity for the charity as well as raise funds via http://www.crowdrise.com/redtour.
I also hope to enjoy spending time with the ladies - including Julie the organizer who is a close friend of mine - it is a rare opportunity to have so many fabulous ladies from different walks of life all together for such a great cause.
Find out more at www.cashandrocket.com
Until next time!