While most people fidget with their i-phones or i-pads or i-pods to release tension, I allow my mind to wander off during my commute home from work.
It, not only relaxes my eyes from staring at a computer or gadget, but also refuels my soul. I think about:
My childhood summers in Lebanon
Picnics with extended families on a hilltop far far away from civilization
Saturday morning tea and fresh baked brioche with my mother and girls
Romantic walks through most any garden around the globe
And most of all my dog who is waiting for me to get home
By the 31st of December, I was completely restless, sentimental and somewhat anxious for the day to end. I honestly can’t pint point the why behind the way I felt, but I just did. So with champagne toast in hand at almost midnight, I did my normal countdown to (now) with Ryan Seacrest in New York and then after watching the after party show, I went to sleep
After sleeping in on New Year’s day and then driving home in heavy traffic, back to San Francisco, I decided that if the weather permitted, I would spend day two of the new year somewhere outdoors.
So, of course on January 2nd, when I saw the sun shining and the weather unusually warm for the season, we got in the car and drove up to Muir Woods, just 40 miles or so North of San Francisco and spend the day walking about the beautiful redwoods, while my friends and I contemplated how we foresee the new year to be.
Actually, while they talked, I took photographs. Check out some of my favorites.
The photographs are the property of http://www.rawsilkandsaffron.wordpress.com. Please do not borrow them without my consent. Thank you
Main square - Piazza Umberto
Most of my previous travels are to the main cities or towns within a country in Europe. But a few years back, when I ventured towards the Southern tip of Italy (the booth) I decided to take a ferry to the island of Capri.
I must admit I wasn’t disappointed with the choice, even though the ferry schedule a bit unreliable and the frequency less than desirable, the trip was well worth it.
main point - marina grande
The way it works is, after disembarking the ferry from Napoli, you have to take a taxi or a bus up to the top ( Alta Capri). This is where the main town square is and most of the civilization on the island. I did get a bit sick because of the altitude or maybe because of my fear of heights, but every where I looked there was the most beautiful view anyone can imagine.
view from the top
We stayed 3 nights 4 days and because the best way to see a place is by walking. We walked one entire day around the island, actually trekked through the back roads and saw the best of the best the island has to offer.
On the second day we took the funicular up to the highest point and this is where I hiperventilated and screamed all the way to the top, because the funicular was a single open seat, a small belt across your lap, feet dangling for 20 minuets . I actually hated going up there and the way down, but if you can stomach the ride, it is again well worth the adventure.
yes I was on that
The best and most memorable of my time on the Island of Capri was visiting Villa San Michelle and riding a small boat into The Blue Grotto – pictured below.
villa san michelle
This is going to be my first summer without a backyard. After selling our house in the country, we traded in a grand backyard with a pool and garden for a view of the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad trade off.
But I vowed I would not write about outdoor spaces, patio furniture or backyard get togethers until I worked the entire experience out of my system. But knowing me and the need to talk outdoors, I had to include some of my favorite photos of French country backyards and furniture.
On Sunday when I went for my usual walk, I realized that the reason I appreciate Springtime in San Francisco so much, is because we usually miss out on a traditional Summer in the city due to the heavy fog and cold weather.
Springtime in the city, is the only time, we actually experience warm weather while the days are getting longer. I know we also have, what is famously known as Indian Summer in the Fall, here , but since Fall is normally a prelude to Winter, the days are shorter, so the feeling is not the same psychologically, if you know what I mean?
Anyway, yesterday with Camera in hand, I took some photos of the first signs of Spring around the city by the bay. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Happy Monday everyone!
Posted in anniversary gift ideas, fitness, flowers and romantic gestures, garden must visit, inspiration, San Francisco Apartments, Travel
Tagged fitness, photography, romantic getaways, san francisco in springtime, travel
Earlier this year, I can actually start saying that now since we are in February, I had stated that I normally pick a country to vacation in and end up writing everything about it until I drive myself and my readers (probably) crazy. Well except for one of my good friends here, I know she doesn’t get sick of Italy or all things Italian no matter what.
So here’s to my friend and to Italy (cross fingers and hope I can go there this year), I have included photos of Tuscany to hold me over until I can make my vacation plans into a reality. Have a great weekend everyone!
Posted in around the world contest, boutique hotels, budget vacation, garden must visit, inspiration, museum and fine arts, Travel
Tagged affordable vacations, budget vacations, glamorous vacations, italian vacation, romantic holiday, romantic vacations, vacation and holidays
Every year, I pick a destination (mostly in Europe) and run with it. This year it is Italy, so you will be hearing alot about Italy in the upcoming months from travel to fashion to food and wine and photos of where I have been and where I have yet to discover. In addition, I will share with you, hotels throughout Italy which I love, or have stayed at and some I wish to stay in the very near future. So, here we go
Second hotel pick for 2011, is the Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como (area) Italy. I first heard about this property through a professor at San Francisco State University, long, long time ago and of course I jotted it down in my journal for future use. Later on when I developed a crush on George Clooney and discovered he purchased a villa in Lake Como, I decided it was time for me to go there and check out the destination and while I was at it, to check out the hotel.
First of all, Lake Como is probably one of the most romantic and amazing places to visit if you plan to indulge in luxury and elegance. Most of the hotels surrounding the lake are breath taking and are either a palace or a villa built in the early 1900′s. The Grand Hotel Tremezzo is no exception and the only way I can actually express my appreciation of this particular property is to share some photographs with you. Enjoy and happy weekend!
Posted in boutique hotels, budget vacation, champagne, garden must visit, gourmet cooking, inspiration, romantic getaways, Travel
Tagged affordable vacations, boutique hotels, italian vacation, romantic getaways, travel
Los Angeles is my playground and I frequent this particular destination about six to seven times a year. The fun thing about Los Angeles is that, you can never get bored, I mean while looking to experience something new and different – such as a hotel or a restaurant or a cafe, even designer boutiques and beauty salons. It is forever changing and just when you think you have a list of your favorites down, think again, the next time you visit, it may not be there or better yet, it has been revamped, redone or remastered just to entice the visitors and locals alike.
So, in light of this wonderful entry, I have included a bohemian themed boutique hotel so nicely named, in my opinion, Petit Ermitage located in West Hollywood. A great escape from all the norms of hotel luxury. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Posted in boutique hotels, brandy and cognac, budget vacation, champagne, christmas gift ideas, French vintage, garden must visit, gourmet cooking, romantic getaways, Travel
Tagged a makoever, cannes film festival, Celebrity, healthy eating, Hollywood, Interior Design, romantic getaways, travel