A Few Photos from My Travels

I love to travel. It is a big passion of mine. Whenever I can go anywhere out of town I become excited. I prefer to leave the state of California, but with the kids being so young it is hard to hop on a plane to Europe, especially when you need $6,000 just to begin your journey in the summertime. With that being said California has a lot to offer too! I still have not seen all of the central and eastern parts of the state. One day I hope to travel more outside of the state- but for now I plan on going to visit that last “local” California mission (San Gabriel) before the year ends.

Below are a few photos from my two favorite cities – Paris and San Francisco and a country that I have grown to love and appreciate even more since meeting and marrying Max- Italy. I am proud to say that that I have been to 38 states and 19 countries at the age of 41. I hope that by the age of 61 that I can raise these numbers including visiting another continent or two with Max and the kids who also love to travel!


Notre Dame

Tour Montparnasse



North Beach

Golden Gate Bridge

Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco

the beach

Tribunale Ordinario di Firenze

Lucchetti dell’amore

Ponte Vecchio


(day 364)


Christmas Trees on the Pier (Manhattan Beach)

Manhattan Beach Pier

It was a typical weekend at the beach – spending time with my favorite “little man” while his big sister played volleyball. Looking towards the pier I saw that there were Christmas trees up; we had to check them out a little closer.

It was a beautiful morning and I don’t know why I did not wear shorts because it was that warm outside! Anyways we made our way closer. The Manhattan Beach Pier is decorated so simple yet elegant with trees up and down the pier and lights on the aquarium at the end of the pier. I enjoyed spending some time with Matteo exploring the pier – looking at the trees, the surfers and the fishermen. I hope to check it all out at night with everything lit up at some point this week.

the telesccope

stooping by tree

about to sprint

emptying sand

the aquarium


(day 350)

A Day in Photos- Italy (part 2)

It was fun putting together this post on Italy- soo many photos to chose from! You can view part one of this series here. I live by the Pacific Ocean and am a big beach fan- so visiting the cities of Castiglione Della Pescaia and Porto San Stefano along the Mediterranean Sea reminded me a bit of home with totally different landscaping! In the south of Italy I truly enjoyed Naples and Sorrento, two cities also on the coast.

Milan is the only Italian city that I have visited by myself. It is a very sophisticated city – big business, well dressed people, fashion, and lots of shopping. I had a great time here. For me visiting Italy and not seeing Rome is a shame. Yes, there are tourists everywhere, but you just have to see all the famous landmarks here- even if it is just once…. and me, I was able to visit here twice!

Enjoy the photos…..

the Colosseum

the forum

the forum 2

Rome. The Colesseum and the Forum in black & white. I can only imagine how it would have been like to live here way, way back….

boats at sea

on the vespa

the coast-sorrento

I have posted on Naples and Sorrento before- so here are a few more shots from the cities that I accidently ended up visiting – and enjoyed soo much. There is something to be said about straying from your itinerary. I thought that the little girl on the Vespa was adorable. I took her photo while we sat outside eating lunch at a restaurant in Sorrento– the restaurant where I first ate “carbonara style” pasta (yum.. with eggs, bacon, cheese).

il duomo

men at work statue


cimitero storico di milano

I took the train to Milan for a weekend getaway when I live in St. Maurice, Switzerland. After the 3 hour train ride I made my way to the Duomo and found a pensione (hotel) where they spoke French since at the time I spoke no Italian. I talked with the hotel attendant and we came up with a rate for a two night stay that I agreed upon. I really enjoyed my time here- I met a few locals- wandered around… almost got locked in the cemetery.. it can be a lot of fun to travel on your own sometimes!

the beach

beach time

the tuscan coast

The Tuscan Coast is amazing. Visiting here twice in the summer with Max’s family was so much fun! His mom is such a nice person, and the rest of his family is great too. Nothing beats a morning swim in the sea, hanging out with family, eating great food, spending the day at the beach, taking naps after lunch, and just relaxing. These shots are in Castiglione Della Pescaia and Porto San Stefano.

(day 346)

A Day in Photos- Italy

Italy (Italia) is a truly magical place. There is quite a bit of chaos, but the people really are beautiful (and real). The history of the country is amazing and the story of this country goes back way farther than the United States. I have visited here 6 times I believe- and there is still soo much more to see and experience.

The furthest north that I have been (off the train) is Milan and the furthest south that I have been is Brindisi to catch a ship to Greece. I have also been pretty far east to Trieste just miles from the Solvenian border. Having married an Italian from Bologna we tend to spend time in the north, but Max has family from just south of Rome too.. and I have to tell you although the people are very different in the north verses the south (same as here in the United States) I really enjoy everyone in a different way. I also traveled to Italy 3 times before I met my husband so on those trips I explored other areas of the country.

Trying to locate a few photos to post today from my trips to Italy I only revisited one of my trips here- my first trip with Max (before kids). I have so many great photos from this trip that I looked no further. I will try to post on Italy again in the next week to visit more cities since each is so different. Today I have photos from Bologna, Florence (Firenze) and Venice (Venezia). I find all three towns unique and beautiful, each with its’ own very distinguishable characteristics. I bet that you will too….

i portici (arches)

Bologna Football Club Stadium

formaggio (cheese) at the market

Bologna- architecture, the soccer stadium, and cheese!

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

the duomo- florence

 the Uffizi Gallery (outside)

ponte vecchio (old bridge)

view from Fiesole

Wine! (grocery time)

Florence- La Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (inside and out), the Uffizi Museum (outside), Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), view from Fiesole (just outside of Florence), and wine. On this trip we climbed 400+ steps to visit the dome of the basilica and it was worth every step!

Canal Grande

gondolas galore

Ponte dei Sospiri

inside the mask shop

On the canals of Venice and in the mask shop

(day 341)