Monday, November 28, 2011

Making Merry


Having seen so many lovely blogs featuring holiday themes, I thought I would dive into my basement, see what I could find, and start decorating.

It may be just me in my little home, but I mean to make it merry! 

In that spirit, there is a wreath on the front door and some pretty lights (joining in with those of my neighbours) helping to brighten the night sky.



I've pulled out one of my Christmas boxes and unearthed some festive mugs from former students...



...and some cheery plates from my niece.

Christmas isn't about "stuff", but it is fun to make life a little bit special with a small treasure or two.

Looking forward to all of your festive posts, whatever the holiday you celebrate!

-Karen


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Travel Snaps (& a Video), Part 2: Fiesole and Orvieto, Italy

A few days ago, I posted some photos (here) of Florence, Italy. What a place!

Just 9 km outside of that marvelous city is the ancient town of Fiesole, on top of one of the many hills.

The first photo in the following mosaic shows an inviting-looking house at the base of a steep set of stairs, which I descended (and later ascended). I can only imagine that those who live in this area have very strong legs as the entire town provides a beautiful workout.




The shrine reminded me of the one in the book/movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun". Not a big leap on my part, considering I was in beautiful Tuscany at the time, with the fabulous sound of church bells ringing regularly.


video

This short video gives you a glimpse of the bus ride up to Fiesole. The quality isn't very good, and you'll have to ignore the wisps of my hair blowing in the wind, but it may just give you a sense of the countryside. The landscape, the tile roofs, the bright buildings, the cypress trees...I love them all!



Following my stay in Florence was one night in Orvieto. You know you're in a lovely place when you open the bathroom shutters and see roses blooming in November. (You may have them at this time of year where you live, but not in my corner of the world.)

In the next mosaic, the first photo shows part of the steep hill I had just climbed (towing my suitcase), vowing to make an effort to get in better shape. Looking in the opposite direction is the old walled city. Thank goodness for the funicular!





Imagine narrow streets and pathways, pomegranates hanging over stone walls, colourful pottery, stunning views...



I hope you enjoyed these images, which I'm sharing with Mary at Little Red House for "Mosaic Monday".


I'll post some photos of Rome, Pompeii and a few other places soon, along with more homey pursuits!


Thank you for taking the time to visit.

Warm Wishes,
Karen

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Travel Snaps, Part One: Florence

After traveling for several weeks, it is good to be home again. 

My wonderful trip took me to Italy first. 
Those who visited my blog earlier may recall that I fell in love with Florence. 


Looking out my hotel window, I saw Renaissance buildings and lively activity in the piazza.


Michelangelo designed the facade for the Basilica di San Lorenzo. 
There it is, just outside my green shuttered windows!


How can this piece of history exist so close at hand to my inexpensive hotel?


A five minute stroll took me to Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, known as the Duomo.


The Duomo is what you can see in the distance in the first photograph.


Getting to the Arno River was also an easy walk.


There are several bridges that cross the water.

I crossed my own "bridge", choosing to spent about 5 days traveling on my own.
It had been a long while since I'd done that and it felt wonderful to do it again.


Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the reflections...


Ponte Vecchio is one bridge you may recognize from pictures, or your own travels.


Time to call it a night. Thank you for taking a few minutes to look at these photos. 
I'll be posting some others soon, if you'd like to return.


It was last month, in Canada, but I hope any Americans reading this had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Warm Wishes,
Karen

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heading Home

 (Photo taken at sea.)

Hello, Everyone. My trip is just about over. The cruise ship arrived in Florida this morning and we'll be flying home Tuesday. I'm looking forward to seeing my little house -and catching up with your posts.

Warm Wishes to all,
Karen

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Still Traveling Solo: Two Views from Orvieto, Italy


I love how the word "Anteprima" showed up instead of  "Preview" when I checked the size of these photos for this blog page. I'm still in Italy, traveling alone, and thought I'd sneak in a quick post before I join my Canadian friends in Rome tomorrow. We'll have stories to share of our various travels since we sat together at the airport last Friday night. We're taking a cruise home, starting Sunday. I know this all sounds rather extravagant, but one friend is fabulous at hunting down excellent travel deals!

When I get home, I'll sort through my photos and post a selection, if there's some interest. I like seeing the travel pictures of others, but many do not share that point of view!

Hope you're all well, new and returning friends!

-Karen

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