211. Bucine Festival delle’ Regioni (festival of all regions) – Tuscany, Italy

On every trip there is that one place or event that wasn’t planned or on the itinerary but ends up being the absolute highlight–and I’m all about spontaneity and Carpe Diem. The Festival Delle Regioni was that event for us on this trip. We ended up finding out about it from our cottage owner who came by to check on us and see if we had everything we needed. In very broken English she was […]

210. Montepulciano – Tuscany, Italy

Standing high atop a hill in southern Tuscany is the quintessential medieval Italian village of Montepulciano. The city, full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming squares and hidden corners, boasts vast panoramas all over the beautiful Val d’Orcia and Val de Chiano valleys that surrounds it. Although rather touristy with coachloads flocking in by the hour, you should not let that deter you from a stop here. I think the wine was some of the […]

209. The Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy

 I can’t really give a true review of The Leaning Tower of Pisa as we simply hopped off the train-literally-for lunch and a quick picture on our way from The Cinque Terre to Florence.  It’s a tower, it’s leaning, and I can cross it off the bucket list.  

208. The Cinque Terre – Italy

The primary reason we included the Cinque Terre on our Italy itinerary, aside from its postcard worthy colorful cliff/seaside villages, was to hike all five terre and we purposely chose Monterosso as our jumping off point as it is at the beginning of the trail although some people choose to hike the opposite direction beginning in Riomaggiore.  We took the train from Venice to Monterosso (about a 6 hour trip with a bit of a […]

207. Burano – Venice, Italy

Just a short water taxi ride from Venice lies a small island I could easily call home.  Probably the most colorful place I’ve ever been, Burano is a feast for the eyes and camera lens and I cannot imagine any one of its 2,000 residents ever waking up less than cheerful. While most tourists head to the more famous Murano known for it’s stunning blown glass, I’d seen pictures of Burano on Pinterest and just […]

206. Venice, Italy

Venice had been a long time bucket list item of mine and definitely was included on our Italy itinerary.  In researching the trip however, there were very mixed reviews that had me a little worried about not only going there but how much time to allow.  We decided to go with a 2 1/2 day itinerary and we chose an amazing apartment through vrbo (http://www.vrbo.com/802960ha) rather than a hotel–we don’t regret either of these decisions. […]

205. Swamp & Bayou Tour – New Orleans, LA

If you are in New Orleans for any more than a couple of days, you’ll need to take a break from the alcohol and stench of Bourbon Street for awhile.  One thing to do is to take a swamp/bayou tour. There are many out there and I had been on one the last time I was here but it didn’t compare to Airboat Adventures Swamp Tours http://www.airboatadventures.com/.  Located in Lafitte just a 30 minute ride from […]

204. The Garden District – New Orleans, LA

Just a cable car ride away is a really great diversion and polar opposite atmosphere from the craziness and stench of Bourbon Street. The Garden District is rich in history and down every tree lined street are stately homes with spectacular architectural details, beautifully landscaped yards tucked behind ornate garden gates. We did a self-walking tour and were able to take our time. You can go on the internet and get a map of the […]