Monday, April 29, 2013

Churches of Florence

Not surprisingly Florence is full of amazing churches, this was my first stop in Italy so I hadn't hit "church overload" yet, which means I took way too many photos.

While there is no doubt the Duomo is stunning and enormous, but my favorite was the last church I visited, the Bascilica de San Miniato al Monte (the last three photos above.) It is an old church on a hill with amazing views of the city. It was dark and cool inside (a gift after a long hike up the hill to reach the church.) Better yet there was someone at the organ when I visited, nothing adds to the ambiance like music.

"You never cease to amaze my soul"
Kat Maslich-Bode - March
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Ruby Tuesday

Rolling Stones - Ruby Tuesday Pin It

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wheels in Florence

I know it is a complete cliche - but I couldn't stop taking pictures of bikes and scooters all lined up in Florence. More than once I found myself wishing I had one to ride around too - although since I was in town over Easter Weekend there were huge crowds and just getting around on foot meant a lot of weaving in and out, so I'm guessing a bike would have been a bit of a challenge.

A scooter would have come in handy the days I decided to trek up some of the hills of Florence to take in the view - it was a hike, but the views were worth it.

I'll admit there was a bit of me sad that my Italian holiday didn't include a ride on a bike with a basket full of flowers or on the back of a vintage Vespa...clearly I've seen too many romantic movies set in Italy.

"What a great big world, I better find a way to stay."
Band of Horses - How to Live

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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 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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Friday, April 19, 2013


Band of Horses - Laredo
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Trip to the Spice Bazaar

I'm getting back to life and blogging after a bit of a work imposed hiatus. For the past couple of my months, my job took all of my time and attention, it also made life a bit boring with glimpse of daylight few and fleeting. Most of my days were spent in the office at my computer, including weekends and evenings. However, before things got incredibly crazy, I had one Sunday afternoon off in Istanbul and so I headed to the Spice Bazaar to soak up a bit of local color. In between serious haggling on our purchases I captured a few pictures, now that I'm back home and trying to get back into the normal swing of life, I've finally managed to get them off my camera and onto my long neglected blog.


"I know the world is new, and what you lost lives on inside of you."
Lavender Diamond - I Don't Recall

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