Tag Archives: Travel and Tourism

Sydney Love…

Hello there. I’m sharing more pics of Sydney today. My experiences there were completely amazing and I can’t even express the joy and gratitude I felt. Pictures do a better job than I can with words…

the stunning Harbor.

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a stormy sky over Palm Beach.

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a magical tree at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

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feathers in the grass at Circular Quay.

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  the beauty of the Opera House.

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G’day.

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a beautiful morning at Balmoral Beach.

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gazing up at the Ferris wheel at Luna Park.

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a dear friend’s charming beach cottage.

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a cake made with love to share with friends.

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bug-hunting with my best friend’s daughter.

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exploring Manly Beach.

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sipping bubbles while…

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gazing at this lovely view.

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my last day.

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coming home.

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It was bittersweet to leave the place where I spent most of my childhood days but coming home to my family was wonderful. I got to see my old friends and their new lives. I got to meet their children and visit their homes. We shared many laughs about the old days but the best part was seeing how they have all grown into amazing, beautiful and successful women. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for dropping everything for my visit, showing me a fabulous time and welcoming me into their hearts and homes again. I felt truly blessed to be surrounded by their grace and love.

Have a lovely rest of the week and thank you for letting me share these with you.

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under photography, Thoughts, Travel

Room service at Dawn

Hi there! Happy Friday! Wanted to share a few more Instagram snapshots from my Sydney trip.

One of my favorite mornings there we ordered a room service breakfast, promptly delivered at 6 am. Jetlag didn’t really slow us down, it just had us going to bed early and waking up with the birds – which – actually turned out to be a gift. Watching the sunrise over Sydney harbor is quite breathtaking and enjoying a hot cup of tea in the snuggly hotel robe wasn’t too shabby either…

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I have a thing for itty bitty jars – especially when they say “Made in Australia”.

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What a magical way to start the day. I felt so grateful for this sweet indulgence.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under photography, Travel

Home again

Hi dear readers! Yes, I am home from beautiful Sydney and I’m still trying to take it all in. It is always a bit surreal when one day you are in another country and the next you are in your own bed. Always trips me out a bit. We actually got home a week ago but my family stayed on to celebrate Grace’s 7th birthday…so…this is my first chance to sit down and post.

I have dozens of photos and I promise not to unload them all at once but I thought today I would just share some of my favorite Instagram shots from the first day of our adventure.

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We landed at 6:07 am. Bright and early!  After enduring all the fuss of customs and luggage wrangling, we jumped into a cab and headed to the Four Seasons Hotel. Even though I was exhausted, my heart was beating fast with excitement! I was actually here. The view from our room brought me to tears. Of joy.

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Like good little travelers, we resisted the urge to stay in our room and sleep and instead went for a brisk walk in The Rocks district, discovered a sweet cafe, downed a few coffees and a tasty breakfast.

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The feeling of being back in Sydney was rather indescribable. Surreal, bizarre, overwhelming, exhilarating. I was overcome with gratitude that somehow, in a matter of a few days, my dream of returning to my birth city had been actualized. I was in Sydney, with my beloved husband, staying at a beautiful hotel and only hours away from seeing my childhood friends. To quote my dear Aussie friend Jo – “I was completely spun out!

After a very short nap, we got up showered and felt somewhat human again. We had to seriously rally because we were off to the Opera Bar for sunset drinks with my mates!

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The Opera bar was swarming with people, all taking in the gorgeous view, the warm sun and of course the lovely drinks. I scanned the hundreds of people looking for familiar faces. The butterflies in my stomach raged and my trembling hands were doing their best to steady a glass of white wine. I was nervous and excited at the same time. What would it be like to see these girls after 19 years!?

Just when I thought that perhaps we arrived before them, two hands fell on my shoulders and spun me around. In front of me was two of my girls. Claire and Natalie. We screeched, laughed and embraced in one hysterical mess. I’m sure we looked crazy but we didn’t care. Before I knew it, another two friends arrived with bottles of bubbles, warm hugs and endless giggles. While the champagne flowed, we caught up with one another like no time had passed at all.

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The night unfolded beautifully! We ended up at a sushi place where we were joined by another friend. Chris celebrated his birthday there – the actual day had been lost in time when we crossed the date line!

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After that we meandered the Rocks, linking arms, sharing stories old and new and laughing about high school memories. My heart was flooded with happiness.  It felt good to be home.

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Okay more to come – I will break it up a bit so I don’t bore you to tears – I promise.

What have you been up to while I was away? Anyone else travel or start a new Spring project? Do tell.

xo,

Ivy

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Ranch life…

Hi all,

Hope your week is off to a good start! As promised, here are shots from our trip to Brasada Ranch…(these are a mix of iPhone pics and shots with my Canon).

Central Oregon has a wild, rugged beauty to it. Gnarled Juniper trees with their soft blue berries, bristled sage brush and tall evergreens dominate the landscape.ranch1

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Grace got to go on her very first trail ride…

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and she tried out my camera on our photo walks together! It was too cute to see her snapping shots of everything.

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Screen Shot 2013-04-05 at 3.02.39 PMClaire was a trooper too and loved being all snuggled up in her stroller for our long strolls around the property.

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My favorite photos were taken during the golden hour when everything seemed to glow with the warmth of the setting sun.

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This was the gorgeous view from our cabin’s deck…sigh…

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Felt so very blessed to spend our Spring Break here. We will be going back to the ranch for sure!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under photography, Travel

Grace & Dottie

Hi there! How is week going so far? All is well, here at the Newports. Claire Bear is saying more “words” and is desperately trying to stand on her own. Grace is getting excited to celebrate her 7th birthday later this month so we are in party planning mode and my dear hubby is super busy but grateful for the work. As for me, I’m excited to start a new online art class with Jeanne Oliver on Monday! I’ve been absolutely dying to make some art but I always do better with a specific assignment and a deadline…must be programmed into my brain from art college! I’m hoping to gut my studio this weekend and prepare all my art supplies so I will be ready to dive in. Eeeek! Can’t wait!!

Okay, so I promised to share some photos from our trip to Brasada Ranch and I managed to get these done the other evening. This is Grace and the ranch dog, Dottie. Grace was completely smitten with her. Every chance she got she would beg us to take her up to the main lodge to visit her. It was really sweet to see the connection between the two of them…

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More photos to come…

Hope you have a beautiful Friday!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under photography, Travel

Weekend away: Oregon wine country

Hi there! How’s it going? Okay, so I promised I would be back with some pics from our little weekend getaway. I have to admit that my big camera was left in the hotel room because I am so addicted to Instagram. It was fun to capture the moments in a spontaneous (and easy) way with my phone!

We stayed in the historic town of McMinnville at the 3rd Street Flats. They are beautifully decorated, European style flats full of gorgeous decor, charm and local art. The complimentary bottle of wine and chocolates didn’t hurt either. Love this place and would stay again! We could walk to all the restaurants, bars, cafes, tasting rooms and shops!

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That first night we ate at the beautiful and romantic La Rambla! Spanish Tapas and fancy cocktails. Yes, please.

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Now don’t laugh but the whole point of this trip was, yes, to be romantic and go wine tasting but it was to also work on the re-design of my blog. I rarely ever get Chris’ undivided attention (and talent) so I took advantage of the situation and we parked at the Cornerstone cafe to geek out together and actually get some things accomplished! Grace & Ivy will be new and improved very soon! ;)

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After a little hard work, we had to go play and taste some wine so we packed up our laptops, hopped in the car and ended up in the tiny town of Carlton.

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We stopped into two places we had never tried before. Absolutely loved the French style Burgundy wines at Scott Paul!

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And a ten sample (yes ten!) wine flight with chocolates was a delight at Seven of Hearts!

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That night we got all dolled up and dined at Thistle. I LOVED this place. Intimate, delicious, charming with a totally vintage vibe. I was right at home.

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What a wonderful treat to get away with Chris! It felt amazing to recharge, re-connect and get inspired.  Thank you to my fabulous brother and his beautiful fiancée for taking our kids for the entire weekend!

If you haven’t gotten away with your partner lately…try and plan something. It is so worth it!

xo,

Ivy

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