Posts in Category: ITALY

FAVORITES FROM ITALY

After 4,000 photos sometimes I look back and think, ” I still didn’t capture the essence of that trip.” It is a struggle for recognize that some days we did not take a single photograph, but it is also important to realize that is ok. This trip it was bigger than I ever could have imagined and there is no way to capture every moment. I don’t think we were meant to. Here are a couple favorite photographs that I printed as a present for my mom. I thought they captured the moment perfectly. Sometimes all it takes is one photograph.

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VIEWS FROM THE ROOFTOPS IN ITALY

As I sort through my over 4,000 photos I wanted to share a few gems this Monday afternoon. The views- they don’t get any better than this.

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A CELEBRATION

Today I am celebrating my 29th birthday. Looking back on this year I can’t helped but be amazed and thankful for my family and friends. This year I feel like I have grown in so many areas of my life. It was a good year to create, believe, challenge, love and explore. I can’t believe it can get better than this. I think that is what I said last year…

I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I always knew what kind of women I wanted to become. -DVF

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LESSONS LEARNED

It is a big world out there full of ideas, history and beliefs. We are leaving this trip completely fulfilled. It was better than I could have hoped for. Two months and I would not change a thing.
We have grown and learned so much, because of this trip and the people who made it possible. I wanted to write down some place specific lessons before we left for the US tomorrow. We had fun putting these together- ENJOY!

Walk– master the art of rambling through your own city with no destination.{Thirsk, England}
Mindful eating- taking the time to sit and enjoy a meal. Bedtime be damned. {Paris, France}
Routines– creating a routine and taking pride in it {Meta, Italy}
Tell stories – don’t let anything get in the way of a good story about your past {Edinburgh,Scotland}
It is always better fresh– it doesn’t mean you are a hippie. Actually, most of the world eats locally grown. They just don’t talk about it as much. {La Spezia, Italy-farmers market}
Greet everyone – I am going to adopt the good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening! {Saronno, Italy}
Recognize strangers– Stop and complement dogs and kids…it doesn’t matter what you say. Everyone will leave the conversation happy.{Sorrento, Italy }
Dog people – People who love dogs…they will help you no matter where you’re in the world. {Treviso, Italy}
Stay connected we met so many amazing people on this trip and so many people from home came out to encourage us. We could not have made this trip without their support. {home}
Strut more stress less oh what a pair of wedges and some confidence will do. {Barcelona, Spain}
Travel to places that you don’t immediately love finding the best in an area really is an adventure{Naples, Italy}
Pamper yourself with time– unplanned days are often the most memorable {Lucca, Italy}
It is better to trust first than to doubt. you never know- if they say they can get you there in 17 minutes – a drive that normally takes 45 minute- a doubt will only come off as a dare and if he is an Italian taxi driver… He will win that bet. {MXP, Italy}
Family– family is the most important thing you will create. Value it. {Topcliffe, England}
Long term planning is important alway have a “and then” plan. { Valencia, Spain}
Roots learn where you came from. Everyone has a clan somewhere.. Find yours.{Scotland}
Beach culture If the sun is out- be out. {Valencia, Spain}
Believe in something believe in something bigger than yourself. {Rome, Italy}
Stop the glorification of busy 45 minutes siesta – if a whole country can siesta- you can too. {Barcelona, Spain}
Be the only tourist when traveling in another country you do not need to go to the tourist destinations. Just close your eyes and pick a place on a map. { Lake Como/ Nesso, Italy}
Find your partner The discovery of your best friend’s strengths and the affirmation that they are kind to all people, handle stress incredibly well, roll with the punches, are very self sufficient,and above all caring. This was the most valuable discovery of them all. {everywhere}

Contine to check back as I have so many stories I will share in the following weeks about our adventures traveling. We leave this trip fulfilled and thankful for the opportunity.

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LAKE COMO

The risk of traveling long term is adopting a ‘been there done that’ mentality and to assume you know what to expect. This is the risk, if not a small one, as you undoubtedly will visit a place that leaves you be awe the moment you arrive. That is the thing about traveling that gets you hooked. It is that constant sense of awe that presents itself at various locations and is unfailingly ‘just around the corner.’ This type of awe, for me, was Lake Como. I don’t know what I had come to expect. I had heard that people just fall in love with the area – but I really didn’t have a full understanding of why, until I arrived. We decided to tour Lake Como the day before we left for Spain. If we didn’t already have our tickets booked we would likely be still swimming in the lake.
This place- where do I start? It gave me the same over the top, I am so in love, pinch me feeling that Paris did on our honeymoon. After almost two months of travel in Europe this little lake left me breathless.
We rented peddle boats and toured the coastline. Many of the houses along the lake have their own boat garages. There were hundreds of ducks and ducklings all around the lake. Many made their home in these small garages. For lunch we took a tram ride up to the top for a panoramic view and what was supposed to be a waterfall. We never found the waterfall on the hill, but we did stumble upon some local beer and wine, so we called it a success. A resident and B&B owner fell in love with Lilly and asked if we wanted to tour here new B&B. We of course said yes! It was opening next week and she had put so much work into it. After promises to return she directed us to the local ferry to tour more of the lake. We basically picked a place on the map and said, “why not go there?” It was in our price range and the name had a ring to it, Nesso.
We were one of three people who boarded the small boat for Nesso. A stark contrast to the dozens that were headed to the more popular places. After a 45 minute stunning boat ride we arrived at this little village. The lady on the dock and signaled that there was nobody getting on so there was no need to stop. When the captain announced “Nesso” and saw our hands shoot up he was just as confused as the lady on the dock. We were Nesso’s only tourists. Nobody got off except for us. The woman realized we had no plans and really no idea where we were so she asked us to follow her. We rounded the corner to be overcome by a huge waterfall. There was our waterfall! It had found us! We spent the time until the last boat arrived swimming and sunbathing. The video is of Justin doing a backflip off the waterfall bridge. We were in heaven and we swore we would return.

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A tired puppy.

THE VATICAN AT NIGHT

I feel you could spend a lifetime in Rome and still not discover everything it has to offer. From the timeline of the Colosseum to Michelangelo’s work in the Vatican I don’t believe I have ever been more enchanted by a city. Jaw dropping- especially at night.
Walking among buildings that completely reconstruct your historical timeline and what you believe is possible, it is a magical experience.

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This car had parked itself in the middle of the road to enjoy the view. They brought a bottle of wine and snuggled. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

LUCKY

If you are lucky enough to catch the tide floods in Saint Mark’s Square- you are lucky enough.

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THE STORIES WE WILL TELL

We have been incredibly lucky this trip. Most of this trip has gone more or less how it was planned, but as my uncle says, ” Spice up the blog with some horror stories.”
Well here is one for the books. I will let Justin tell it because it is best coming directly from the source-

“What a day! Made it to Venice this morning with Laurel and our friend Erica, we stopped for a cup of coffee and to leech off some interweb. I thought I would try to peek my head around a corner which had stairs going down to the water. I stopped just one step shy of the water line and to my surprise that step was slipperier than shit and my sperry topsiders gave -No traction! Needles to say I ended up in the drink! After clawing my way out like a cat in a tub I had managed to scrape my knee and elbow, and on top of being soaked all the way to my waist and muddy to boot, I took a glance at my hand and noticed my right pinky was facing 90 degrees from straight (one of the strangest things I’ve seen my body do) at the second knuckle. Luckily it was NOT broken and I managed somehow to pop it back into place! So now after seeing my hand in that state of course I get that wooziness that comes with shock and I have to say is not a good combo with a fresh cappuccino-sugar buzz I was on. I managed to shake it all off and decided that I was there and was just going to deal with it, so for the rest of the day I walked around with wet pants but I did manage to come across a tourist vender and get a new shirt, So I can now say ” I came all the way to Venice, and all I got was this crummy shirt”.

It wasn’t all bad we found that Venice is a perfect place for people watching and at the moment we were the people worth watching!

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VIDEO OF THE EDGE OF THE WORLD

Just in case you were wondering we did cross the bridge. Here is the video to prove it.

Sorrento, Italy from Laurel Hammond on Vimeo.

HOW WE ARRIVED AT MY FAVORITE SPOT

It is worth another post … And a movie. How the water is this many shades of blue is beyond me. I was there and I still don’t believe it.

trim.IwLaFc from Laurel Hammond on Vimeo.

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