Great Escapes: Retail Genius Jen Mankins Shares Her Dreamy Family Vacay To India





When we want a quick hit of visual stimulation, we're happy to head to any Bird boutique in Brooklyn, thanks to owner Jen Mankins exceptional gift of buying and selling everything we want. However, when Mankins herself needs to recharge her stimulation batteries, she's more than likely getting on a plane to do it. And her recent "family vacation" to India was definitely what the doctor ordered. Thankfully, she was happy to share shots from this magical escape...and for some reason, now the Hamptons really isn't measuring up at all! Here, she takes us along for the journey.

Last fall my mother and I set out to plan a much-needed and long-awaited mother-daughter trip. We could go anywhere in the world, she said. In unison, we both said India! The people, colors, clothes, jewelry, food, temples, forts, and bazaars have long stirred my imagination through films, photos, books, and magazines. So, without hesitating, we booked tickets on the Maharaja's Express, a new train through the northwest that would take us from Delhi to Mumbai via Rajasthan, with a few days of sightseeing (and shopping!) in each city. India is vast, and it would be impossible to try and see it all, but this route would be a good start. And after the long, cold winter I was ready for an adventure. With everything in place, my dad said it sounded like the trip of a lifetime, one "not-to-be-missed," and shortly after that, my husband agreed. And, well, that's how our mother-daughter trip turned into full-blown family vacation. Adventure, indeed! Want to indulge in more vacation fantasy day-dreaming? Check out superstar stylist Heidi Bivens' Kauai paradise.

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