Posts Tagged With: romance

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

Categories: Beach, fun pics, Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An unexpected surprise-Volterra

Volterra street

Sunset over Volterra
Jim on a Volterra street
Volterra up ahead
View from Volterra, Italy

As my countdown to Italy continues, I am looking back at our first trip

together to Italy in 2006.  We were staying in Siena for a few days, and decided

to rent a Smart car to explore Tuscany.  We headed north to Pisa, and on the way

back, took a route closer to the coast.  We were driving along and saw this town

high in the hills.  We decided to stop and check it out.  Wow, Volterra is a

beautiful little town overlooking Tuscany.  We parked in a garage and started

walking around.   Above the town, we saw a really cool  building and wondered

what it was.  It turned out to be the Medici Fortress, a high-security prison.

I found out later, that on Fridays, a gourmet restaurant inside is open to the

public served by inmates!  It is quite popular, and reservations are required.

But we ate a different restaurant, and it was one of the best meals I had in Italy.

Volterra is known for selling items made of alabaster. Personally, I was not

interested in those souvenirs, even though they had some really nice things.

My favorite part was being able to see the sunset over the hills of Tuscany.

Some of the best things that happen on a trip were never planned!

high security prison in Volterra

Categories: fun pics, Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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.

Categories: Beach, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eiffel Tower through water

available at Etsy.com

The Place de la Concorde in Paris is one of many beautiful spots in the city.

It’s next to Musee L’Orangerie (giant Monet works), and at the end of the

Champs Elysees.  Of course you can see the Eiffel Tower.  A view I don’t

see too often is through the Fountain of Maritime Navigation, one of two

fountains here.  I just like the pretty fountain with the water droplets

spilling into the air, with a part of one of the most famous  landmarks

in the world in the background.  You can also see this photo in my shop 🙂

Categories: Paris, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.

Categories: Beach, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moon over Champs Elysees

available on etsy.com

We were lucky to be in Paris on a clear night with the full moon.  We climbed the winding staircase

that makes me feel like I’m going to die after I get to the top, and had this spectacular view.

My husband, Jim, took this photo.  And without a tripod!  It’s tricky getting good shots at night

without it.  But I believe they had a sign that forbade the use of tripods.  I really love this photo,

not only like this, but Jim actually made a triptych out of it, and put the 3 panels between glass.

It looks awesome against the red wall of our dining room.  This photo is available at etsy.com if you

think its awesome too!

Categories: Paris, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Anniversary Will & Kate! Our weekend in London during the Royal Wedding

This why my husband is so great:  Three weeks before the Royal Wedding, I was telling him how I was excited to get up early and

watch the wedding on t.v.  It would be over by the time we had to leave for work.  I mumbled something about it being cool if we

were actually there.  He said, “why don’t we”?  I said no, that’s crazy with this short notice, and we just paid off another trip we

took.  The next day, I am sitting at my desk at work and he calls.  He says he has an air/hotel package  pulled up, and he is about to hit

the book button.  I was freaking out!  I am usually the planner, taking months to research a trip.  So I said, fine do it.  And we were off

for a four-day weekend in London!  We arrived on the 28th.  The city was full of media and pictures of Will and Kate plastered the city.

The procession route, St. James Park, and Westminster Abbey area were full of campers.  They had been there for a week!  While I would

have loved to see them in the carriage after the wedding, I chose to stand by the church to see them emerge together for the first time

as a married couple.  We decided to go at 4 am.  We got up around 3, got ready, and headed to the church.  There was already a good

crowd there.  We got pretty close, but even closer after the police made people pack up their tents and chairs as it got closer to the wedding.

I have never been so packed in a crowd like that.  My arms were literally pinned to my sides.  It was a struggle just to get a bottle of water

out of my bag.  The only problems were people from the back kept pushing everyone forward, causing the front row to yell back to stop

pushing.  There was also an annoying guy who was very tall in the front row with a t.v camera.  I thought isn’t he important enough to

stand somewhere else?  So after standing for 7 hours, people started to arrive.  The family was shuttled in by buses.  We didn’t see

any famous people as they took the side entrance.  When the immediate family started to arrive, I gave the camera to Jim, as he is taller

and would get better shots (as you can see).  I love the photos he got of Kate, and even had a canvas print made for our bonus room wall.

After everyone was in, we turned around to the media stand behind us  with the local t.v stations.  They turned a monitor towards us

and we were able to watch the wedding.  It was really awesome.  I got to watch it again as I recorded it at home.  After it was over, I was

looking forward to seeing them come out together.  That never happened.  A whole crowd of horse guards blocked our view.  Of course

we got a great view of Pippa in her carriage!  When the crowd started to disperse, we went to lunch, then back to the hotel.  I would

have gone to Buckingham Palace, but we thought the balcony appearance would be over by the time we got there.  It wasn’t.  We were

able to watch everything else on t.v.  We even watched the fighter jets on t.v, and outside our window at the same time!  We then fell asleep for

three hours!  Besides the wedding, I got to eat the best fish & chips, took some great photos, and even visited an old friend who lives

outside of London.  One of the best weekends ever!

Pippa leaving wedding

us in the middle of millions

the media stand behind us let us watch the wedding on a monitor

these horses blocked our view when they were leaving the church

The Queen and Charles
William walking into the church
campers across from Westminster Abbey
Media stand across from Westminster Abbey
the crowd outside Westminster Abbey
Categories: fun pics, London | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I could use a glass of wine!

available at etsy.com

Today was a good day.  After opening my shop last month at etsy.com, I had no orders…until today!

I was happy to receive one this morning, then another appeared later in the day.  This calls for a

celebration I say!  This photo was one of the pictures sold.  My husband and I were walking along the

Seine in Paris, taking photos of every angle of the Eiffel tower you could, when I looked down and saw

this wine bottle just sitting there with the sun glistening in the river behind it.  I pictured some

romantic couple drinking from it the night before and had to get a shot of it.  If you would like to

see it (and possibly purchase it) in my shop, click here!  Merci beaucoup!

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

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

Abstract Paris

available at etsy.com

When we were in Paris this last time, we were ready to head up to the 3rd level of the Eiffel Tower.  But it was overcast, windy, and unbelievably crowded.  We decided against it.  So on the ground I tried to take different shots of the tower, even though after that, I have seen similar pictures.  I didn’t expect to like these so much.  I think they make a great screen saver, which I do have for my Ipad or this blog!  Great framed too 🙂  You can also see these at etsy.com.

Categories: Paris, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: