Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lake Como

 Daniel and I returned to Lake Como this fall and loved our time there just as much as our first trip in 2008.                                                                                                           Lake Como is right at the top of Italy, close to the Switzerland border.
                   We never got tired of eating pizza and pasta.  Every meal was such a treat.

       We loved feeling like we were exploring the lake on our own and not in the midst of mass tourists.

We rented an old Fisherman's Cottage right on the lake.  Two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen and living room for 870 euros a week.  We split this price with our friends Kip and Annette.

Here is the blog for our cottage if you are interested.  And I also recommend looking on, click to have the language switched to english. 

It was so nice to pop across the street, practice our Italian and grab some groceries for breakfast each day.  That's the luxury of renting an apartment instead of a hotel, plus being able to hang out at night without having to sit on our beds.  And it ended up being 62 euros a night per couple.  Think about it.  You would love it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fairytale of New York

 I am going to go back in time for a moment, back to Christmas 2009.  We spent a few days in Paris before heading over to England.  Geraldine, Tez and Daisy were our hosts.
                                                                 This is how cold it was outside.  Burrr

                                                             And this is how cozy it was inside.

                             We were spoiled with all their attention, hot chocolates and great food.

Geraldine had a stereo in the dining room and we would listen to Christmas music while we visited.  It was on this trip Geraldine introduced us (me and Daniel) to "Fairytale of New York" sung by The Pogues, an Irish band from the 1980's.  We loved it.  The angst of the story, the full sound of the instruments, and passion we felt when we sang the only words we could remember "and the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day!"

Daniel soon got himself a copy and this song has since outed Nat King Cole from his number one spot. It has stayed in the CD player of our hot tub all year because it sounds so good when we turn it up really loud.

I found this version on youtube.  It's great because you can here the lyrics
more clearly, though you do miss the full band in the background.

Hope you like.  I decided to postpone Musical Monday for the month of December, and share some of my favorite Christmas music instead.

Here are more pictures from that 2009 trip.  And if you missed it, here is my 2012 trip to Paris.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Loneliest Road

We are in northern California for Thanksgiving, just outside Sacramento.  We journeyed in our comfy full sized van with two adults, four boys and one dog.  Instead of going along the top on Highway 80, we drove through the middle of Nevada along "the loneliest road in America".  And we loved it.

The towns in Nevada we passed through were clean and cute.  And we really appreciated the lack of traffic.

The last two hours of our drive were eye candy in the mountains.

Though once we lost our daylight, the windy roads were quite scary.  So I was very grateful to arrive in safety and protection.  Now that we are here, the cousins are living it up.  Good times!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pop into Paris

Delta Airlines has a direct flight from Salt Lake City to Paris.  We used this path on our way to Italy this fall, and decided to spend a day in Paris before heading back to the New World.

The thing I love best about Paris is it's lack of skyscrapers, everything is old and beautiful.  And I really like the statues that you find everywhere you go.

              Each time I passed by a statue, I wondered who are these people and what is their story?

    Particularly surrounding the Louvre and on the Cathedral of Notre Dame, there were so many characters

                          I decided I'd like to get a book to teach me about all the Catholic Saints

This Paris post is in honor of my Les Miserables week

We had two great nights with completely opposite dinner experiences.  The first night we headed to the Budda Bar, a very swanky Asian restaurant.  We were tucked into a corner table on the main floor; the lighting was dim, and as we enjoyed our five course meal, we couldn't help but comment on how great the music was.

Our second night, we went out with umbrellas in search of  crepes, and ended up in the tiniest of places.  It was big enough for a counter and three tables. We each ordered a savory crepe for our dinner and a sweet one for our dessert.  Our main was a buckwheat crepe filled with potato, Swiss cheese and creme fraise.  Very very good.  For the dessert we all chose different toppings - apple, chocolate, lemon, and coconut.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Newport Beach, CA

Daniel and I have been going to Newport Beach since we were first married.  
It remains our beach of choice.

That and Corona Del Mar. 

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 Newport is big with a nice mixture of beach goers. 

 Corona is small, only ten minutes from Newport and oh so perfect for children.  

The other thing we love to do when we are in southern California is visit old town Orange City.

We love to eat out on the sidewalk of Watson's Drug & Soda Fountain.  Cobb salad, tuna melts and milkshakes of course.

There are lots of fun antique shops to browse.

They are full of clothing, furniture, jewelry, memorabilia, and more

Daniel likes to hit the Old Army & Navy Store.  See?  There's fun for everyone.

It's so nice when a favorite destination doesn't disappoint.  We love our Southern California vacations, and then we love to come back to our mountain home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New York City '12

The day I flew to New York City, I had a long list of things to do.  As the day grew closer to my departure hour, my anxiety become intense.  By the time I arrived at Daniel's office to drop off Teddy and head to the airport, I was questioning whether all this work was worth three days off.  "You look stressed,"  Daniel said as he watched me walk through the door.  "I am", I replied.  It could the whole drive to the airport for my chest to stop feeling tight.

Well, I am happy to report, it was worth it!  All week I've been replaying  New York in my mind and fantasizing when I can go back.

                                  The highlights include: running in Central Park with my Dad

                                    visiting with my friend Jaime and walking her children to school.
                                    It was raining and cute little Truly twirled her pink umbrella.

                                       shopping at my favorite store, Anthropologie

soaking up Monet's "Waterlilies" at the MOMA

                                                      attending Chaplin on Broadway

               and stopping to eat between every activity.  My parents and I savored cheesecake and                   sandwiches at Benash Delicatessen, Fluffy's Cafe, Cafe Europa & Bouchon Bakery.

Let's go back the Museum of Modern Art.  Monet makes my heart swell with joy.  I am happy to study his colors for long periods of time.  As we walked away from the "Waterlilies"  I found myself singing Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing compares to you".  A visit to the museum is worth it just for him.  But I did discover a few others that were pleasing to my eye.

                                                  Henri Matisse "The Piano Lesson

                                                           Gustav Klimt "The Park"

                                                            Steinlen "La Rue"

This last one was lovely and extra special because it's done on paper! The whole scene is a huge 118 inches by 92 inches and is constructed with six pieces of paper put together.

One more thing to share before I go...I had a Sweet Potato & Brie Sandwich with Walnut Butter, toasted.  Have you ever thought about using sweet potato in a sandwich?!  That's why I love to travel -  I always come home with new ideas.  Thanks Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clearwater, FL

Fourth of July weekend Daniel and I flew to Tampa, and then drove half an hour south to Clearwater, Florida, which is in the Gulf of Mexico.  We stayed in St. Pete's Beach and the water was seriously 84 degrees!  For Daniel, he wished the water was more refreshing, but I loved knowing that when I walked in the water I wasn't going to wince at all.

Why did we fly across the country?  To attend the wedding of Daniel's cousin, James, who had flown in from England.  I always love a wedding.  Nothing is more romantic than to hear a bride and groom recite their vows to love and honor each other.  For this wedding we took a boat to a small island, where the man performing the service met us there.  

This was his vessel.

                                Catches Restaurant, where we ate lunch just before the ceremony.

 There were other people recreating with their boats at this small island.  The wind and the waves made it difficult for onlookers to hear, but when James and Sonia were pronounced "Man and Wife"  everyone around started to clap and cheer.  There were also little seashells everywhere on the beach.  I collected enough to write James (heart) Sonia in the sand.    I was so happy searching and finding treasure.

I don't actually have any pictures from the island because we had to get out of our boat when the water was waist deep, and wade to shore, so I didn't worry about bringing my bag with me.

St. Pete's is a true beach town, reminded me of Ocean City Maryland.  No shops except a grocery store and a Walgreen's of course.  The restaurants were nothing fancy, but we were so content eating at the hotels bars on the beach.

                                                      Food, Karaoke and Dancing

Our last day there, I took a thirty minute drive to downtown St. Petersburg, in search of the Dali Museum, which contains the largest collection of Salvador Dali's paintings - unless you go to his native country, Spain.
Cool building.

 I have never been a big fan, but once again I have to say....paintings are so much better in person, a print can not do justice.  Some of Dali's paintings were quite small, like this one.  Girl With Curls was my favorite.  Painted in 1926, her feminine curves were not in fashion with the Flapper Movement, and her body is disproportional  with the background.

This painting, titled Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at 20 Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln.'  was very large. When you squint your eyes you can see Lincoln even better.  Impressive.

I really love paintings, whether thick and textured, or thin and smooth, I love studying the brush stokes.

Here is a map of Clearwater, FL in case I have tempted you to visit.  I didn't spent any time in St. Petersburg except for the Museum, but it looked charmingly metropolitan for a beach town.