Posts Tagged With: vacation

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!

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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

Hang gliding in the Alps

in the air
hang gliding over Lake Thun, Switzerland

I love heights!  I have been skydiving a couple of times, so hang gliding was on my list.  When we were planning on visiting Switzerland, a friend who goes there frequently for business mentioned paragliding.  I thought what would be cooler than flying around in the Swiss Alps?  I did some research, and found something better: hang gliding.  Paragliding uses a parachute, whereas in hang gliding, a rigid wing is used.  I am not sure, but I think you could possibly go longer on a hang glider.  We were staying in Murren, a small village over 5,000 ft. in elevation.  The place where we flew was in Interlaken, about a 15 min. train ride away.  I contacted Interlaken Hang gliding , and when we arrived at our hotel in Murren, they called for us and set up a time the next day to go.  They picked us up at the train station, and drove to a park in town.  We loaded up the wing in a van and drove up a hill, or maybe a small mountain to where we were going to jump from.  After we put on our suits, and practiced running with Bernie, the pilot, we were ready for take off.  We jumped off at a point near Lake Thun.  A beautiful turquoise colored lake you can see in the photo above.  We hovered and flew around that lake for what seemed like 20 minutes!  It was very easy to just relax and let Bernie do the flying.  He had a long pole extend out in front of us with a camera attached to it, so that was how he took pictures of us while in the air.  I love just flying around and looking at the scenery, but when Bernie decided to do some tricks, I had to close my eyes, or the flight was not going to end well!  Both my husband and I had a great time.  We were the last flight of the day, so Bernie and my husband had a beer!  I recommend splurging on this adventure, if not here, do it somewhere in your lifetime!

me hang gliding in Interlaken, Switzerland
Categories: fun pics, Switzerland, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hey kids look… Big Ben, Parliament….

available at etsy.com

I will forever associate these two major landmarks with National Lampoon’s European Vacation where Clark drives past Big Ben and Parliament several times as he can’t get off the roundabout.     Though I think the first movie is much better!  What do you think?  Christmas Vacation was really good too.  Anyway, I love the dramatic clouds over Parliament, as it kind of looks like a storm is coming, but it was actually partly sunny.  And I LOVE this picture of Big Ben.  We were out late one night taking photos, and decided to finally go back to our hotel.  We got off at Westminster Tube station, walked out, and surprise! there was Big Ben.  And yes, the clock is accurate, it really was almost midnight.  We had this photo made into a large canvas over our couch, and it looks awesome.  You could own these photos too at etsy.com!

available at etsy.com
Categories: London, photos for sale | 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.

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

Tiny Empire

me and Mr. Grimaldi

available at etsy.com

I had been to New York a couple times, but never to Brooklyn.  The day we went was beautiful.  We ended up going twice, once before sunrise, and again later in the day to explore and take night shots.  We were on this street and I just thought it was so cool to see a tiny Empire State Building under the arch of the Manhattan Bridge.  I took a few angles, and this was my favorite.  It ended up being printed in a University calendar, and sold at a charitable auction.  If you go to Brooklyn, there’s this awesome pizza place called Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge.  There is always a line it seems, but it’s worth it.  I even got a picture with the owner and his car parked next to the restaurant.  This angled Manhattan bridge photo could be yours too! Go to etsy.com

!

Categories: fun pics, New York, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monet’s Garden

Water lily pond, Monet's gardens

flower in Monet's gardens

Claude Monet's house, Giverny, France

sign for lily pond in Monet's gardens

Monet's gardens, Giverny France

While visiting Paris, we took a day trip to Giverny France, home of the Impressionist artist Claude Monet.  He is our favorite painter.  Right now is the perfect time to go, as the gardens are breathtaking, looking just they do in his paintings.  We took a train to Vernon, leaving from the Gare St. Lazare station.  We then took a short bus ride into Giverny.  There really isn’t much there except Monet’s house.  Photography is not allowed inside.  I found it fascinating though, that the artwork covering his walls were of Oriental nature.  There is a gift shop at the end of the house tour where you can buy prints and other souvenirs.  Walking around the grounds, you find hundreds of kinds of flowers, including the famous water lilies.  I personally believe his best water lily paintings are housed in the Musee de l’Orangerie.  These painting span several feet across the wall!  For information on getting to the gardens, you can visit this site.  Enjoy!

Categories: Nature, Paris | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Going down a mountain is harder than you think

available at etsy.com

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
sitting on wall in Murren, Switzerland
Staubach Falls, Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

We went to Murren, Switzerland which is a cute village above Lauterbrunnen (elevation 5412ft).  We stayed at the Eiger Guesthouse for 5 nights, which was wonderful.  On the last day, the weather was beautiful after a few overcast days, and we decided to hike down to Lauterbrunnen.  I thought how easy this would be, because climbing up a mountain certainly is not easy (at least not for me).  It was actually difficult.  Walking downhill for that length of time is pretty strenuous.  And it was slippery from the runoff from the snow at the very top.  I actually fell a couple times, almost breaking my precious camera! The photo with the sunray coming through the clouds was taken about 10 am, in Murren before we headed down.  You can also see this photo at etsy.com.  The waterfall is Staubach falls which starts a little below from where we hiked from.   The photo with the buildings is the main street in Lauterbrunnen.   This part of the Swiss Alps is so beautiful, I bet even more so in the winter!

Categories: Nature, photos for sale, Switzerland | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

Aim high

available at etsy.com

Another thing I love  besides city street lamps, is the skyscrapers.  Like I have said before, I grew up in rural areas, and the city fascinated me.  The first time I went to NY, I just stood there with my mouth open when we arrived in Times Square.  Then a few days later, I was the dork lying on the sidewalk taking pictures of the skyscrapers, like these.  I also enjoy heights, so I guess I like to imagine the view from the top of those buildings.  You can also see these

photos at etsy.com.

available at etsy.com

Categories: New York, photos for sale | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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