Monthly Archives: September 2010

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Ready for Spain? I’ll see you there tomorrow! Can’t wait!

xo,

Image via simple tess

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Hello.

Forgive my absence. Its been a crazy week and although I can’t wait to post our next Vicarious Vacation, each one takes hours of research, so that’s what I’ve been up to. I love it, but I get a little sucked in. On top of that, I’ve been finishing up my last week with the BYW class and attempting to do some more collage work in my sketchbook. I get ideas for posts all day long and then can’t seem to find the time to do them. grrr.

I wanted to do a quick post today and let you know that I didn’t run off to Italy or anything (tempting as it was). I’ve just been a little overwhelmed with everything. My dad said to me on the phone the other day…”Sounds like you are spreading yourself a little thin.” Maybe he’s right but when I’m passionate about so many things it can just be hard to focus…

What’s a girl to do?

I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, here are some floral shots I did for my homework for BYW.

Enjoy, and make sure you check back in on Friday for our trip to Spain! I promise, it’s gonna be beautiful!!

And I played with some textures too…couldn’t resist…


Have a fabulous day and I’ll see you on Friday!

xo,

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Vicarious Vacation # 1 : Casole d’Elsa

Happy Friday and welcome to our Vicarious Vacation. Today, I’m going to whisk us off to the quaint, little town of Casole d’Elsa in the hills of Tuscany. Strolling down the ancient cobblestone alleyways, decadent wine tastings, a visit to the Siena marketplace, a brush with history and of course a large helping of the local food are all on the agenda. Sound good? Okay, come on!

Image via casalecapita

Let me tell you a little bit about this beautiful town. Casole D’Elsa is located in the Tuscany region in the province of Siena. Conveniently located between Florence and Siena, it provides a peaceful respite from the bigger, touristy cities. See map here. Pedestrian friendly streets, intimate cafes and a few notable historic attractions should keep us busy but not overwhelmed. Leaving plenty of time to soak in the Italian sun, sip Chianti and gobble up the local delicacies. Now where are we staying, you ask? Well…

I hope you don’t mind but I booked us into a rather fancy hotel just outside of town. I think we deserve it, don’t you? Welcome to the Relais La Suvera. Steeped in history this medieval fort turned sumptuous Mediterranean villa is our place of relaxation and refuge after all that sightseeing. Sigh…isn’t it simply dreamy!?

Ready to see your room?
Images via Relais La Suvera

Fit for a princess right? Okay, freshen up and let’s go exploring. I know you are tired from the trip but it’s nothing a glass of Chianti can’t fix! Besides, we have massages scheduled later at the spa. Yes, even medieval fortresses in Italy have spas!

Let’s go for a walk…

Press play to listen.


Images 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Am I Hungry? Of course I am! This place looks charming…let’s stop here – Osteria del Caffè Casolani- and have some treats.

Here’s what I’m thinking…wine, cheese & cured meats. The local cheese -Pecorino di Pienza and fresh cold cuts such as salumi di cinta senese, will make the perfect blend of tastes and textures. Creamy and nutty in flavor, the Pecorino is a perfect pairing with the saltiness of the meat and sweetness of the wine.  The celebrated local wine is aptly named Erta, meaning steep slope, indicative of the agricultural landscape of the region. A completely organic wine, it is a lovely blend of 95% Sangiovese grapes and 5% Merlot. Subtle herbal notes and deep cherry overtones will delight your palette! Want more…why don’t we try the testaroli? It’s a crepe like pasta usually combined with pesto. Yummy! This place is famous for it!

Images 1. 2.

Now to walk off all that scrumptuous food…

Ooh…before we go…is that a little bakery I see?

We had better stop in and grab some dessert! This region is known for its pastries and traditional sweets. One of the oldest treats around is the famous Panforte margherita!  This “spiced bread” is a magical combination of dough, almonds, candied fruit, cinnamon, all spice and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. Isn’t it beautiful?

Images 1. 2.

On to some history…

This is the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back 1161! The original Roman bell tower still remains with the upper half of the building being constructed in the 14th century. Inside are the sacred tombs of Beltramo Aringhieri, by Marco Romano, and of bishop Tommaso Andrei, by Gano di Fazio.

Directly next to the church lies the Museum of Sacred Arts. A beautiful collection of religious art can be enjoyed here, including the works of Alessandro Casolani and sculptor, Marco Romano.

Got your culture fill? Let’s go to the Siena Markets!

Press play to listen to the bustling market square…


How gorgeous is that fruit?

Images 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Don’t you love all the amazing colors and textures?

I don’t know about you but the hotel spa is calling my name…let’s head back and end our trip on a relaxing note.

You go on and get your massage. I’m heading down to the hot pool for a nice soak…so lovely…

Images via Relais La Suvera Spa

I hope you enjoyed your day in the Tuscan countryside. Loved vicariously traveling with you! I learned a lot and loved seeing this little corner of the world. The village of Casole d’Elsa was enchanting, the food delectable and the Siena markets were utterly inspiring.

Join me again next Friday, when we head to Spain!

Have a beautiful weekend!

xo,

audio files via freesound.org

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Have you packed yet?

Good evening…just checking in with you. Have you “packed” your bags yet? Ready for our little trip to Italy tomorrow? I am!

Can’t wait for you to join me.

I’ll be the one with the glass of red wine.

Ciao!

xo,

Image via deviant art

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A New Series: Vicarious Vacations

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to travel and as a kid, my family and I were lucky enough to travel abroad many times. Those days are long gone but a girl can still dream…

For example, mention Italy and I deeply sigh and slightly swoon. I even burst into tears during the first Italian scenes of Under the Tuscan Sun! It’s kinda pathetic – especially since I’ve never been there. Yet, I dream of Italy….I long for it…

Okay, reality check – I’m a mother to a four year old, a domestic engineer (aka homemaker) and we aren’t exactly loaded, so my sappy little self isn’t going to be getting to Europe anytime soon. Fact.

Soooo…I’m going to have my own little Vicarious Vacation series and I want you to come with me!! Game?

Here’s the plan. Over the next four weeks, I will be posting a Vicarious Vacation on Fridays. Seems appropriate right?

Researching is kinda my thing, so I will be hunting down some fabulous places for us to explore. Tantalizing all your senses with wonderful imagery, recipes, local hang outs and even sounds – I hope to provide a mini getaway via my blog.

Excited? I am! If we can’t travel in real life…let’s play pretend. My four year old is a pro at it, so let’s pull out our imaginations and do a little sight seeing.

Pack your proverbial bags because this Friday we are headed to – you guessed it – Italy! It’s not the big cities that everyone talks about but I promise it will be a unique little adventure. I can’t wait!

Here are a few images to get you in the mood…

If anyone has any thoughts of where we should go the other three weeks I am open to suggestion! If not, I have my own growing list…

Can’t wait for Friday!

xo,

Images: 1. toprural 2. chinita_jill 3. ascord04

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Going within

Just completed my BYW homework and I’m glad it’s done. This course is really making me think. and dream. and wonder. and worry. and fear. and be so excited I want to jump up and down and sing. It’s making me go within. Deep. Down.

We got our assignment Monday and its taken me all week to finally sit down and write out my thoughts. The answers haunted me everyday, begging to be brought forth and made real. Pen to paper. One afternoon, I even sat down with my journal, dated the page, wrote “Homework Week 2″ at the top of the page, brought the tip of the pen to the paper and then stopped. Closed the book, laid the pen down and walked away. Ridiculous!

One of the things we had to address this week was what made us different…what would we bring to the table that was unique to the blogging world? This question scared the heck out of me. Tonight, as I neared the end of the assignment, that very question loomed at the bottom of the page. Mocking me.

Finally, I grabbed it with both hands looked it in the face and wrote from my heart exactly what I had to offer. It felt good, and I realized that I do indeed have much to offer and even more to gain by simply being me. That’s unique right? No one is me, except me. Now it’s time to accept and cherish that…

Now, for some gorgeous images that made me think of how I’ve felt this week…

More beautiful photography from one of my favorites – Lauren Withrow. Check it here.

Have a lovely, restful Sunday.

xo,

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