09.10.2014 – Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia was the stuff of legends when it was first built in 537 A.D. It stood as the biggest church in Christendom for almost a thousand years. (It later served as a Mosque and is now a museum.) The Cathedral of Notre Dame could fit in one of its side aisles. Inside you can really appreciate it’s huge size and towering central dome, but even from the outside, it is clear that the monstrous building towers over everything else around it.
09.09.2014 – Budapest is one of my favorite European cities. It has beautiful architecture, friendly people, an eclectic selection of sights, and scenic riverfront walkways. The View from Pest’s waterfront across to Buda and Castle Hill is a colorful mix of rooftops and spires periodically piercing the skyline. This ex-communist city is a joy to explore and definitely worth a few days of your time.
08.22.2014 – Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s walls are one of the top attractions in the tiny city. The views are beautiful over the city. It’s definitely worth the effort to walk the perimeter. This city is one of my favorite places in Germany, despite the crush of tourists during the day. Staying overnight is a pure pleasure. The evening is relaxing and quiet. You can truly enjoy it during this time of day.
08.21.2014 – Being a new mother, I’ve been slowed down a bit the past few weeks, but I did have the opportunity to travel to Longwood Gardens, PA 2 weeks ago. While I usually focus my photo of the day on a grand monument or beautiful landscape, I thought these close-ups might be a nice change. Sometimes there is just as much beauty in the little things as in the big ones!
07.16.2014 – The Alhambra is one of the most attractive sights in all of Spain. It is the reason people flock to Granada. The old, beautiful fort has been wonderfully preserved. The most photographed view of the fort is from the San Nicolas viewpoint, especially at night. However, I thought this was a somewhat unique view of the grounds from within the fort itself.
06.21.2014 – Swimming with Elephants was the highlight of my trip to Thailand. I still think of that day as somewhat surreal. Elephants are intelligent, awe-striking animals. I fell in love with them in Thailand. Especially this guy. I got sprayed right in the face (had no idea it was coming), and it was awesome! I think he was amused by it, as well. They loved the water as much as we did on this hot day. It was great interacting with them and playing in their element. I’ll never forget it!
05.25.2014- The Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Nuremberg, Germany is one of the photographed sights in the old city. Built between 1332 and 1339, it was founded to help the poor, a sort of medieval health care. The way it arches over the river (an addition put on in the 1500s) makes it especially eye-catching.
05.20.2014- Villa Cimbrone is one of Ravello’s top sights. The gardens and views over the sea are not to be missed. However, if you are a little bit afraid of heights, don’t look down! In the gardens you don’t realize how high up you are, but the terraced hillside below will make you dizzy if you stare down at it. I love the way that Italians have utilized their unique seascapes to create these picturesque views.
05.17.2014- On a beautiful day like today, I think back to the perfect weather we experienced at Lake Bled in Slovenia. The idyllic Lake with its walking trail, scenic little island, and Swiss Alps feel is one of my favorite vacation destinations in Europe. I don’t know how more Americans haven’t found this gem. It may be a part of the former Yugoslavia, but it is far from feeling that way!
05.06.2014- Old San Juan is a beautiful old city. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we visited it. It feels like part New Orleans, part Caribbean Island, and part Spanish City. This view from the Castillo de San Cristobal is particularly breathtaking. The beautiful azure waves crashing up on the beach with the colorful town as backdrop make for a picture-perfect moment.
04.15.2014- The Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival draws people from around the world each year. We are lucky enough not to live a plane ride away from it and finally decided to check it out this year. This past Saturday we headed down to D.C. to see what we’ve been missing. We were rewarded with perfect weather, beautiful scenery, a prime blossom date, and close-up time with PLENTY of other tourists! The beauty and fragrance of these trees surrounding the water basin made it worth the trip. Throw in a couple of Washington, D.C.’s top Monuments (the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument) as backdrop, and you couldn’t ask for much more!
03.30.2014- This is the most photographed street in Cordoba: Callejon de las Flores. The pretty flower pots lining the alley walls leading to the bell tower of the Mezquita are a well-known corner of the city. Just trying to get a photo without numerous heads in the way was a challenge. Still, there’s a reason it is so well photographed, and it’s definitely worth a peek.
03.19.2014- I haven’t thought about Amsterdam for a while, but what a great city! It may be more famous for what you can do there legally than its sights and museums, but it is a hub of culture and beauty. I have been to some of the best museums of Europe in this city. This was my favorite, but the Van Gogh is equally worth visiting. I love the green between these two museums. This photo was taken from there.
03.15.2014- I’ve posted pictures of Sagrada Familia’s ceiling before, but the entire church is awesome from floor to ceiling. The stained glass and even the modern crucifix all just add to the drama of this enormous place. You could spend hours exploring in and around the church and not see half of the detail that has gone into its ongoing construction.
12.10.2013- Snow Day at work! Finally some time to put up a post. This photo was taken during our recent trip to Florida. I hadn’t been to St. Augustine since I was a kid, and I forgot how much history is in the city (even if it is a bit kitschy). The lions fronting the Bridge of Lions are one of the most photographed sites in the city, and I can see why. They’ve been guarding this site since 1925 (with the exception of a brief removal in the early 2000’s when the bridge was being worked on).
11.18.2013- So I’ve been seriously slacking lately. Live and my day job have been crazy. I really need to make a concerted effort to get back on track with my travel tips–and photos! In the meantime, I at least want to post a quick photo tonight. These are the Las Vegas Mirage dolphins. This guy kept swimming by and checking us out as much as we were checking him out!
10.31.2013- Happy Halloween! While in New Orleans, one of the locals told me that while Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest are the city’s biggest draws, the best time of year to visit the city is, in fact, Halloween. I can see why with all of the characters who abound in the city every day of the year! I loved this city and can see why so many visit it time and time again. Jackson Square is one of the most iconic spots in the city. We caught it early in the morning before tourists and locals alike began to descend on the spot.
10.27.2013- Ponte Vedra Beach was probably the first ‘relaxing’ trip I’ve taken in forever. We went there solely to get a little break at the end of our trip. There’s a lot to be said for strolling down Bourbon Street in New Orleans or taking in the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, but sitting on the silky sand of the beach watching the sunrise with nowhere else in the world you need to be is perfection. I LOVE running around Europe and boating through Asia and riding a camel across a beach in Africa , but sometimes the beauty in ‘our own backyard’ goes overlooked. It was nice to stop and take some of it in for a few days.
10.23.2013- Just back from a trip to New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Ponte Vedra Beach. They were all wonderful places to visit, and each had their draws, but New Orleans was my absolute favorite. About an hours drive outside of the city in Vacherie, you will find several gorgeous southern plantations that can be toured. Oak Alley is one of the most picturesque. The huge oak drive leading up to the house is flanked by 300 year old oak trees. This photo doesn’t even do the view justice.
09.25.2013- The Pantheon is one of the most incredible structures in all of Rome–and there’re plenty to choose from. Built around A.D. 125, the roof is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It’s definitely withstood the test of time–wars, elements, disasters… I like seeing it in black and white. It feels like this picture could be a snapshot from any year in the life of this incredible building.
09.15.2013- Athens’ Acropolis is one of the most recognizable sights in all of Europe. If this hill could talk, it would relay thousands of years of history. The rise and fall of empires, the change from paganism to Christianity, destruction and reconstruction. When I was in Greece in 2009, they were hard at work restoring the sights on the Acropolis. This work began in 1975 and is still ongoing. In a few years, when it’s complete, I hope to get to see it again, fully restored.
09.11.2013- On September 11th, I wanted to pick a photo that was a little more tranquil. These peaceful windmills on the Greek Island of Mykonos seemed to fit the bill; plus the white and blue was a nice touch. Today I’ll leave my narrative on the photo at that. However, I hope everyone take a moment to stop and reflect on the people that were lost on that awful day 12 years ago.
09.10.2013- Fira comes in a close second to Oia in a competition for the most beautiful town on Santorini. That’s some stiff competition, though. A visit to the island is not complete without a stop in Fira. The main thoroughfare is pedestrian friendly (no cars), has many cute shops to explore, and several eateries to choose from. Have a drink in one of the bars with a view and soak in the caldera. This is a great spot to take in the sunset.
08.20.2013- There is a field of sunflowers near us this time of year that is so photogenic, I can’t keep myself from snapping a few every time I’m near it. This flower is nearly perfect, it cheers me up just looking at it. The credit, though, goes to my husband–he is definitely the photographer in the family!
08.11.2013- Cesky Krumlov is one of my top 10 favorite “smaller cities” of Europe. It’s this picturesque little town in the southern Czech Republic that a lot of people don’t even know exists. Prague is the big draw to the Czech Republic, but if you’re going all the way there, I’d DEFINITELY take the time to detour to this beautiful little place.
08.06.2013- Lake Bled has some of the most crystal clear water I have ever seen. The whole lake looks an icy blue, especially from above when the sky reflects off of its glass-smooth surface. I love this place. I could spend a week relaxing here–and I never relax–and not get bored with it. There is boating, swimming, a path around the lake you can stroll, jog, or bike, a fun toboggan run that goes down the hill facing the lake, and and more amazing desserts than you could eat you way through! Bled is known for its cream cakes; it’s honestly worth the visit just for that alone!
Over the course of 3 days, we relax at the resort, soaking up some sun and taking advantage of the gourmet cuisine and free entertainment; venture off the island, and head to Phang Nga Bay for kayaking, cave exploring, and a visit to the famed muslim floating fishing village, Ko Panyee; and take a trip out to the gorgeous Phi Phi Islands for some sun bathing, snorkeling, sightseeing, and general monkey-ing around. Phuket, Thailand has a lot to offer; this video explores the island and some of its best day trips. Along the way, we’ll also see the film sights of the 1974 James Bond Classic, “The Man with the Golden Gun” and the 2000 hit, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.
07.19.2013- Riomaggiore is the lowest village in the Cinque Terre–5 villages along the northwestern Italian coast. Taking a boat ride out along the cost from Riomaggiore up to the northernmost village, Monterosso al Mare, is a must. The coastline is beautiful, and the now-regulated colors of the villages are breathtaking.
07.12.2013- So I’ve been very lax lately about getting a photo of the day up. Work has been crazy and I’ve been working on another travel video and 2 travel tales: the video’s on Phuket/day trips and the tales are on Cambodia and Puerto Rico. I just haven’t had time to finish and post them. In the meantime, though, here’s a photo from my favorite country, Italy. The Amalfi coast looks like this up and down the coast, jagged cliffs with little houses clinging to the side of them and boats dotting the coastline. The rugged beauty in this photo makes me want to go back!
06.16.2013- My favorite place in all of Florence wasn’t the Duomo or Michelangelo’s David in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city but in peaceful corners of Boboli Gardens. It feels less like being a in a city and more like being in the middle of the Tuscan countryside. There are sculptures interspersed throughout the garden, and the views over the city are beautiful, as well. Hiking up to the top of the garden for this view is very, very worth it.
06.10.2013- Retiro Park is a great place to relax amid the hustle and bustle of Madrid. We rented a row boat one afternoon and spent a lazy hour floating across the pond in the sunshine taking in the scenery, and then wandered the shaded paths surrounding it. On your walk, you’ll encounter everyone from performance artists to exercise instructors to street vendors.
06.06.2013- Plitvice Lakes is one of the most amazing naturally recurring phenomenons you will find anywhere in the world. It is an entire park of terraced lake and waterfalls. If that wasn’t enough, calcium deposits in the water calcify everything submerged in them making the water a brilliant blue color. It’s the perfect place to explore since there are raised walkways built over the entire grounds at the most scenic points.
Over the course of 2.5 days we visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Olympic Park, and the Summer Palace.
Beijing is the capital of China and one of the most populated cities in the world with over 20 million residents. Since the city’s history dates back 3 millennia, there is plenty to see and do here. It’s a world away from the United States and the perfect site for travel video #2.
05.25.2013- Sintra, Portugal is known for its scenic views and the castles and mansions that dot the area. The Pena Palace, though, is the star. Home to the royal family until they were exiled, its colorful exterior and the views it provides of the surrounding area are not to be missed. Only a short train ride from Lisbon, Sintra makes a perfect day trip.
05.24.2013- The Angkor Temples are truly spectacular. Actually, nearly all of the temples in the Siem Reap area are impressive in their own right. The temple of Bayon at Angkor Thom really stands out, though. With 54 towers covered in stone faces, it is truly a work of art. To top it all off, the temple is nearly 800 years old.
Over the course of 3 days we visit Central (Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Park, Shopping, and Star Ferry), Kowloon (Waterfront, Symphony of Lights, and the Temple Street Night Market), Lantau Island (Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha), and Macau (casinos and the historic district).
Hong Kong and Macau are two of Asia’s most interesting locations. As Special Administrative Regions of China, they have freedoms not found elsewhere in the country and a completely different look and feel. I think they’re the perfect locations to focus on for my first travel video.
05.07.2013- I love this little girl enjoying the sunny weather at Lake Bled feeding the ducks. It’s a reminder that no matter where in the world you may be, nationalities and locations don’t matter to a child. Whether it’s the U.S. or Slovenia, kids just enjoy being kids. With the lake’s castle as a backdrop, it’s definitely more scenic than my pond at home, though!
05.01.2013- Sunset over the harbor and walls of Old San Juan is spectacular on a night with just enough cloud cover to reflect the golden rays of the last of the sun’s light off of the water below and the clouds above. We happened upon it by chance just at the right moment while out for a mid-dinner stroll (restaurant hopping–best way to get a real taste of San Juan).
04.30.2013- To celebrate my 30th birthday, I decided to prove to myself that I was still capable of doing something a little adventurous. So, I signed up for a Rainforest adventure while in Puerto Rico complete with rock climbing, zip-lining, and rappelling. The rappelling was clearly the most awesome part. I was a little afraid, but it was absolutely exhilirating!
04.21.2013- Ko Panyi is a small island in Phang Nga, Thailand. It is mostly a fishing village (and a tourist attraction) populated by a community of muslims. It’s often referred to as the “Muslim Fishing Village” on tour routes. The people are quite friendly (almost too friendly since they’re really trying to get you to purchase some of their wares), and it’s interesting to see how they go about their daily lives–you can visit the school and see the children learning, playing soccer, or eating lunch–in this small community. The waterfront is especially eye-catching with all of the fishing vessels and nets waiting to head out to see and haul in their next catch.
04.18.2013- Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania has the most beautiful gardens I have ever experienced–in the US, Asia, or Europe. The variety of plants and flowers inside the greenhouses and dispersed around the grounds is astounding. I love these flowers in particular. While they’re small, their color and shape make them almost look like something out of a cartoon.
04.16.2013- Maya Bay, where they filmed the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio is as pretty as one would imagine. Sure, the throngs of tourists can be a bit much, but if your tour guide times it right, you can experience the island with a minimal amount of people and experience this small slice of paradise. Sitting on the white, soft sand beach, looking out at the turquoise blue of the water with the rising dark green peaks encircling the bay make you feel a bit as if you were on a movie set. The beauty feels surreal.
04.14.2013- I love this picture of Ravello from Villa Rufolo showing the terraced hillside of the Amalfi coast. Wine vines grow rampant, you can just make out a few olive trees, and the orange rooftops typical of tuscany are also dotted along the countryside here. The squiggly terraces remind me of waves in the sea, and the rocky peaks in the background look more like they belong in New Zealand or the South Pacific. I love the combination!
04.29.2013- Mykonos isn’t the most beautiful of the Greek islands; it pales in comparison to Santorini or Corfu, but it has its own redeeming qualities, particularly its windmills and waterfront area (along with its beaches). The island’s harbor area is a great place to stroll and take in the view or relax with a cocktail and listen to the waves slowly roll in.