Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Dream Holiday

I started dreaming of a trip to Italy in 2001 - I was working on the Salt Lake Olympics - the job was hard and all consuming, and I promised myself an epic trip to Italy after the Games. After all, I'd be out of a job then. I bought travel book after travel book and dreamed of a long stretch of time in Italy exploring everything. Things didn't go quite as planned, I (luckily) found a new job before the Games were over and ended up not having a single day off - truth be told, the two jobs overlapped by a day...so my Italian trip got pushed back.

For years, I kept putting off the trip. I was always looking for a year when I had enough vacation time to spend 10-14 days there and had enough money saved to make the trip happen. I was waiting for everything to fall perfectly in place (not that I stopped traveling mind you - I do plenty of that - I just kept putting off this one trip I'd been dreaming of because I wanted it to be perfect.)

This past January I had an epiphany. The project I've been working in Istanbul would have a major deliverable at the end of March, which meant I could easily take some days off the following week or two. I'd already be in Europe so the trip would be cheaper than ever - and thanks to living like a monk for 6 months during a heavy work period I had some savings built up (The easiest way for me to save money is to be too busy to shop!) It was time to make this trip a reality.

I ended up with 10 days in Italy - 4 in Florence, 1 in Siena and 5  in Rome. I found fantastic places to stay and had all the time I needed to explore the cities. After spending months in an office, and rarely seeing daylight, I decided I would focus less on the museums on this trip - and instead spent a lot of time outside. The weather didn't always cooperate with this plan, but I stuck with it regardless, as all that extra vitamin d was good for my soul.

These photos are mostly from was my neighborhood in Florence, right on the River and very near the Ponte Vecchio. If you count the arches in the above building with the arches, along the river starting to the left, my apartment door was across from the 7th arch, you can't ask for a more perfect location to explore Florence. I am still digging through all the photos I took while I was there, but even if I don't yet have photographic proof - I can say this was one of the most beautiful vacations I've ever taken.

"I've been up, I've been down, I've been everywhere around for you."
Wolfrider - For You

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Anonymous said...

This looks so dreamy and wonderful, great shots!

Susan said...

Jamie so glad you could fulfill a wish/dream. What a wonderful way to be kind to yourself, no matter how long it took to get there. What a great spot to stay overlooking the river. I love seeing these shots having never traveled to Italy.
I'm sure you have 10 gazillion more photos. Processing huge amounts of images is really hard, so I hope you have an easy way to do so, but if you linger over the process, you'll remember this on an even deeper level.
Thanks for sharing. Hope all is well with you.

Christianna said...

What a brilliant trip! I'm so glad that you were finally able to make it happen! It sounds like you had an awesome time and that it went just like you wanted it to! What's better than that? Nothing!

Cindy said...

i really enjoy all of your travels, but this trip to italy was the best. i would love to go there and seeing your photos made me feel like it was.

Karen M. Peterson said...

Gorgeous photos! What an amazing trip. Italy is up there on my list too.

It's definitely time for a new stamp in my passport...

It's awesome that you just decided to go for it.

Rosie Grey said...

How gorgeous, Jamie! I love your photos and I'm glad you made it to Italy :-)

Karen said...

Stunning photos! Florence was one of the most beautiful places I visited when I toured Europe after college graduation. The weather might not have been perfect, but the dramatic skies certainly are beautiful in your photographs.

Dagmar said...

Jamie, how did I miss these amazing photos..I am so happy for you that you took the time to go to Italy and see the beautiful outdoor vistas..I have only been to the northern part several times, where my cousins live and I love it...
Keep sharing these wonderful photos you take..and the songs you share!

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