My last afternoon in frigid Paris I walked all through the Luxembourg Gardens, taking pictures. So many of the pics I found online were taken the other 3 seasons. I found it to be peaceful. There were other people walking, talking, exercising, playing, reading, laughing.
The journey continues.
P.S. If you want to use any of these pictures, please ask first. And credit me.
Just a few choice memories from my recent trip to Rome and Florence, Italy, with a couple of my travel photos. There are also a few tips for travelers included.
I will no longer skip over the Italian wine section at home. I have a much better appreciation for Italian wines than I did before this visit.
Many key museums here are far less expensive than in the US. Why don’t we let children go free here in the US? Note that it often helps to buy tickets ahead with a set entry time. And skip all of the obnoxious hawkers at the front of every tourist destination.
Limoncello is considered a digestive aid. It is often given freely at the end of the meal. I had it served as a shot, on the rocks, and sipped. Room temperature or iced, it all tasted splendid.
Using a printed map can be challenging in older cities that are not set up on grids. (Ie. like Chicago or New York). Having some phone data can help you find your way.
Keys were my nemesis before this visit.–no longer! I worked a lot of very fussy keys in the two flats I stayed.
Wash cloths and tissues can be hard to find. Bring your own.
Renting a “first floor flat” often means walking 1 to 2 flights of stairs before you reach that flat.
The doors. Huge. Heavy. A presence.
I can get a lot accomplished working remotely, as long as I don’t need phone calls. No distractions wherever my office was.
The many “cuts” of the meat in the window is appealing to shoppers, but that I can do without.
For the cheapest meal in Florence, grab an aperitivo. It’s a flat fee for one drink (make it a special one!) and unlimited buffet of delicious food.
Gelato can be eaten at any time of day. And found on every corner.
Churches abound around every bend. It is NOT obligatory to visit every one, but pick a few. They are inspiring, humbling, surprising, awe-inspiring, or forgotten.
Wear comfortable shoes. There are a lot of uneven steps and many sites to see.
Finally, if I wasn’t a pushy bitch before this trip, I am now! You have to be, with all the groups clogging sidewalks, tour and tchotchke hawkers, people trying to sell, sell, beggars, distracted walkers, and potential pickpockets.
These still life scenes were created by the beauty of the warm Puerto Rican ocean currents, the salt, the sun, the moon, the animals and plants that inhabit the coastal waters, tiny sand grains and unwieldy shells, sadly forgotten garbage.
These lovely displays were tossed at my feet, waiting to be captured on my camera. A few shots before a future tide re-arranges, mixes, removes, adds dimensions and mystery.
There were layers of opposition: colors and bleached corals, barnacles, barbs, smooth, crunchy, twisted, shiny, lacy, spotted, striped, hiding, clamoring for attention. I so enjoyed getting lost in their beauty. C
Sometimes a brief getaway with friends is exactly what you need to restore your center, step outside your routine, push your worries to the recesses of your mind, free your spirit. We recently spent the weekend with a group of friends in MI–two years in a row of glorious weather, biking, fire pits, cooking, laughing over morning coffee, sharing wine, lunch at a local and super-friendly bar, strolling the beach, picking berries, talking, laughing, reading, spending a moment alone. And a surprise boat ride with new friends at sunset, along the shoreline.
Different experiences from last year, but the same warm memories.
A few more photos from our recent NY visit. My girls showed that teenagers still are very curious. They want to learn, to wander, to shop, to laugh, to take many photos. Also, they definitely wanted to visit places they had seen on TV, in the movies. Take your kids for a walk in the park, a nearby city, a beach. You might meet some interesting people, see some unexpected sites, make some memories. A summer to remember. C
Hello, lonely blog. Summer used to be a slow, lazy time for families. No more. Between working overtime, kids choosing to continue sports camps, family obligations, volunteering, and blistering hot weather, it feels only like a slow-motion of the school year. Since we did not have a long summer trip planned, I took my girls with me to New York for a business trip and play weekend. It was wonderful to spend time with them when there was no sports tournament, no college visits, no homework.
Here are 8 highlights (non-work-related) from our recent trip:
8. The only perfect-summer-weather for 6 consecutive days this year. Fantastic for walking the Highline or taking photos on the final day of the year to take pics between the buildings.
7. Friendly, sometimes unusual people sparking up conversations in taxis, hotels, shops, the park, coffee shops.
6. Eating a different ethnic food daily–Greek, Thai, Italian, Mexican. Some our own finds, some recommendations from friends.
5. Friends sharing our hotel for a night, with a day walking from Central Park to Rockefeller Plaza and beyond, sharing appetizers and drink at the lively Eataly before dinner.
4. A day of sight seeing at Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and WTC Memorial. A ferry ride, lots of walking, a bit of learning, no teenage complaints.
3. Shopping, shopping, shopping at familiar stores, one-of-a-kind places, in So-Ho, Chelsea, Times Square, Fifth Ave and everywhere in between.
2. Seeing the fantastic Tony-award winning play “Once” on Broadway , then watching the girls’ faces as we exited the theatre, walking into Times Square the first time nearing midnight. The masses, the lights, the chaos. Then seeing Steve Kazee, the “Once” lead several days later by the theater, chatting and taking photos with him.
1. Spending unhurried, explorative days with my two daughters in such a phenomenal city as New York. It’s a trip we will always remember taking together. one day off work felt a week to me. C