Beach

Room with a view

view from the front gate

We went to Italy last month, and it was one of the best

vacations we ever had!  I will start off with the first place we

stayed:  Positano.  We rented this lovely apartment

from www.vrbo.com called Villa Fior di Limone.  We

had the best view from our balcony.  I would make tea

every morning, and just sit out there and enjoy the

boats on the water, or the village below.  At night, we

could hear music from one of the restaurants.  One

night we even heard a party boat in the water.  They

were blasting dance music, and I am sure the whole

town heard it!  Positano is a vertical city, with many

levels.  One day my husband decided to count the steps

up to our apartment from the main street level (the beach is

a few levels down), and there were 443 steps!  I can walk

on flat ground forever, but I was never good with uphill, or steps,

so it was a little challenge for me.  But the view was so worth it!

If you go to the Amalfi coast, I recommend this place, or at least

this town!

me enjoying the view

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Cinque Terre, Italy

Portofino, Italy
Vernazza, Italy
sun shining through the clouds
walking the Cinque Terre
Corniglia, Italy
Cinque Terre, Italy
Rapallo, Italy-view from our room

I have Italy on the brain!  In two months we are off for our second trip to Italy!  The first

time was in 2006 where we toured northern Italy, and these are some photos from the

Cinque Terre, also known as the Italian Riviera.  We stayed in a town outside of that region

called Rapello, and took a train to see the villages of the Cinque Terre which consists of

Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.   There is hiking

along the coast that connects these small, picturesque villages.  The cliffs overlooking

the Ligurian Sea are pretty rugged.  But people live here with their vineyards, and even

have roosters!  One day we took a short boat ride from Rapallo to Portofino.  I believe

people with money hang out here 🙂  We saw many large yachts.  Some people were  doing a photo

or video shoot with some model walking around the upper deck of one of those yachts.

And the stores were all high-end designers.  I did not get any souvenirs there 🙂  When we

go back, we will be doing the Amalfi coast, which I believe will be even more beautiful.

Categories: Beach, fun pics, Italy, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

RAWartists.org-Nashville, TN

available at etsy.com

Calling Nashville area residents!  As you may know, this blog is linked to my shop at etsy.com.

Someone from Rawartists.org contacted me through that site and asked if I wanted to be in a

showcase.  I never even heard of it.  They have one every month at the Mercy Lounge on Cannery Row.

Not only are there photographers, there are fashion and jewelry designers, musicians (it is Music City), etc.

My husband and I are both going to have work in this show on Thursday, June 21.  It will be really cool

seeing all the different forms of artistry in one place.  So I am asking you to please come support

local artists by coming to the show.  And if you are some sort of artist yourself, you can be in it too!  You

can apply to be in a show on their website.  They are always looking for talent.  If you are interested,

please purchase ($10) tickets through this link: http://www.rawartists.org/lisa08.  I need the credit,

and they are more at the door.  The last day to purchase is Monday, June 18.  The photo here is

my husband’s, and it will be in the show.   I really, really appreciate you support.  Hope to meet

someone there who actually read my blog, haha!  Thank you, Lisa Long.

Categories: Beach, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sunset over the bay

available at etsy.com

When we went to San Diego last fall, the weather was beautiful.  Since it was clear

in San Diego, we were excited to drive up the coast to La Jolla and take some sunset

pictures over the ocean.  That didn’t happen.  We learned a new term that day, “marina layer”.

While its sunny inland, the coast is all cloudy, and kind of depressing!  So we went back to

Jim on the observation deck

the city before the sun set, and got some nice pictures overlooking the bay.

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Sunset San Diego

available on etsy.com

Last year my husband took a business trip to San Diego.  He wanted me to join him for the weekend

after the meetings.  I kept an eye out for air fare sales and really lucked out when I found  dirt cheap

tickets.  If you are not subscribed to http://www.airfarewatchdog.com, I highly recommend it.  You put

in what cities you want to fly, and they send you emails when regular fares fall.  Neither one of us had

ever been to San Diego, but heard it was beautiful.  One night we went across the bay to Coronado Island.

We timed it so we could catch the reflection of the sunset in the buildings of the city.  Afterwards, we

ate at http://www.ilfornaio.com/.  OMG…the best pasta I ever tasted!  You could tell it was homemade.

I really enjoyed my meal there.  I also recommend that.  If you like the photo I took, you can also see it at

etsy.com.

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Packing for your trip? Here’s what I learned to lighten the load

hubby and me at sunset, Edisto Beach, SC

In my travel experiences, I have come a long way in terms of packing for a vacation.  My first 10- day trip to Europe consisted

of a giant wheeled suitcase with everything but the kitchen sink! This irritated many strangers as they had to help me hoist it onto trains, buses, and boats!

Since then, with luggage fees and a lost suitcase, I have

learned how to whittle everything down to one carry-on.  Now these have been for no more than a 4-day weekend, but I am

challenging myself this fall when we take a 10-day trip to Italy with only a carry-on.  My husband and I will have the smaller

wheeled suitcases they allow on board, along with a small backpack for me, and our camera equipment backpack for him.

I think the key is renting places with washing machines!  But here are some of my tips:

1.  Travel in warm weather, you wear less, so you pack less.

2.  As stated above, rent apartments with washing machines.  If that is not possible, your clothes can be hand-washed in the bathroom sink.

We have done this, and bought a clothes line with a sink stopper from Magellan’s to hang our wet clothes on besides chairs or whatever.

You can also get soap sheets, or pack some dry detergent with you.

3. If you do choose to wash your clothes in the room and you don’t have access to or want to pay to dry your clothes at a laundry mat with

a dryer, you will need wrinkle-free, quick dry clothes.  Buy socks that are not 100% cotton, not only do they dry overnight, they keep

you from getting blisters if you walk a lot since they don’t get moist and rub against your feet.  Some places to get some nice travel clothes

are Magellan’s as mentioned above, Patagonia ,Athleta, and REI.  I have found some really cute dresses at the last two places that you can wear

anytime! Now these are not cheap.  I have had to save money for a couple months to get clothes, which is fine, if you know far in advance

where you are going.

4.  Some awesome packing aids are packing cubes, which really help condense things like underwear, or those air compression bags you squeeze the

air out of (without a vacuum).  I have seen these at Target and The Container Store.  I love these!  You can really compress your

clothes down, and have room for new stuff when you go shopping!

5.  If I know I am only going to hand-wash items, I really don’t want to wash my underwear because I feel like that is not clean enough.

I have bought cheap packages of underwear, rolled them up tight into a zip-loc bag, and then thrown away a pair every day so

I am not carrying around dirty underwear.  That’s just my preference, I am sure most people wouldn’t care 🙂

6. For the few outfits you will bring, make sure all the colors match, so you can wear any top and bottom together. Or just wear dresses.

7.  If you don’t want to bring socks and tennis shoes, or sneakers, get some good walking sandals and wear those the whole

time.  A good walking sandal that I found is Merrell brand.  I know REI sells these as well as individual stores, and online.

I have some that I have walked several miles around Chicago for 3 days straight, and they never bothered me.

8. Now how about those pesky airline restrictions on liquids in your carry-on?

*Instead of bringing a travel bottle of your facial cleanser, I use those Dove facial cloths that activate when you wet them.

They free up space in my quart bag, and exfoliate everyday that I use them.

*Some things you only use a tiny bit of, like eye cream.  Even that small jar is too big to take with you.  Go to a

cosmetic counter like Bare Minerals, and ask for a sample of something.  Those tiny plastic containers they give

you are perfect for eye cream or some makeup you will use a little of.

*If you are traveling with someone who does not need all the space in their little quart bag, put some of your

stuff in their bag!

9.  Do you really need your hairdryer?  Most places provide one, but if not, wash you hair at night and let it air-dry

and just wear it in a pony tail or braids while on vacation.  If you do it this way, you may be able to cut down on

your liquid items as you may not need to pack hairspray, leave-in conditioner, or styling gel.

10. I know there are tons of tips I don’t know about.  What are yours?

Categories: Beach, Chicago, fun pics, London, New York, Paris, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It pays not to sleep in!

available at etsy.com

available at etsy.com

My husband is notorious for sleeping in, and taking naps at the drop of a hat.  I am the opposite.  Because I start my work day at 7:30am, I am used to getting up early, and couldn’t sleep in if I wanted to.  This benefitted me when we took a beach vacation to Edisto Beach, SC last September.  The sun didn’t rise until 7, so I was up at least an hour ahead to prepare for my sunrise photos.  The weather was perfect, and the water warm.  I got up four mornings in a row before the sun came up snapping away.   You can see more of these at etsy.com.

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A Sepia Sunrise

available at etsy.com

We stayed in Edisto Beach, SC last fall where the weather was more than perfect.  I woke up early every morning and took some colorful sunrise photos.  But I love the tones of this barrier on the beach without color.  You can also see this at etsy.com

Categories: Beach, Nature, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fun with the tripod

Before our trip to the beach, I was looking at professional photographer websites in places like Seaside, FL or Myrtle Beach.  People pay good money to dress up and have professionals take their photos.  We have a tripod and remote release, so I decided we could get those same type of photos ourselves, for free!  We really didn’t have “nice” pictures of the two of us on vacation.  We are in casual clothes since we walk for several hours a day, carrying a bag or camera.  So we dressed up, set up the tripod, and had some fun.  Luckily, no one was around that day to ruin our shots.

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A day at the Beach

Jim and I wanted to rent a beach house somewhere where it wasn’t crowded or commercialized.  Going after Labor Day helped, and I had heard about Edisto Beach, SC from a friend.  We got so lucky.  The weather was perfection, not a cloud for 4 days!  I am an early riser, and I got up before dawn every morning with my camera taking photos of the sunrise since we faced east.  After that, I just sat on the deck drinking tea, reading a magazine, and listening to the waves.  The only vacation where we weren’t pounding the pavement trying to get photos of everything!  Please see this and other sunrise photos at Etsy.com

available at Etsy.com

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