I am trying to be outdoors more this season instead of starting my
hibernation too early. I would rather be inside with a cup of hot
chocolate and the whole first season of Downton Abbey instead of raking leaves.
Friendship. More specifically, the friendships I've developed through blogging. When I decided to start a blog years ago I had no idea how influential and important your friendship would be. And I had never met any of my blogging buddies in person until I met Colleen and now she is one of my dearest friends. She reminds me of Joseph Campbell because she's an amazing writer (now published!!!) and because she is a voracious learner. Sara always has spot-on book recommendations for me. And Tiffanyrecently reminded me I should be planting garlic NOW. And thanks to her I heard this beautiful song. (Yes, I know I must be the only person left on the planet who hadn't heard of them...)
My amazing Bean. I think I will always be afraid that my teenage daughter might turn into an alien at some point but right now I am so grateful to have the relationship we do. It amazes me sometimes how much love you can feel for one little being- a rumpled up combination of confidence and insecurity, interested in everything, deciding her fate, planning her life, charting her course. Bubble tea, sushi, sketchbooks, music. Kindness. Silliness. Her laughter drifting down the stairs.
are turning and it has been a beautiful autumn so far but I'm
disappointed that I haven't been out to take more pictures. I'm a
fair-weather photographer... We made crockpot applesauce again this year which is an all time favorite: apples and a couple cinnamon sticks on low for about 6 hours and you're good to go. I just core and quarter them leaving the skins on and then use an immersion blender at the end to incorporate them into the sauce later. It's easy and delicious and no sugar is needed.
It was gorgeous and peaceful despite the many tourists. One nice thing is the park lets in only a few cars because they offer a shuttle service. After going to Yellowstone and dodging RVs and hundreds of cars, we were thrilled with this rule at Zion.
Next stop: Kolob Canyon. It rained a ton before these pictures were taken which really made the colors look nice and deep.
It seems every few years I fall out of love with blogging.
I just got back from a week's vacation and I'm not even motivated to post the photos here. Maybe it is because I'm wasting all my time on Pinterest and Facebook? But that's a whole other post...
We flew into Las Vegas.
And immediately knew we lucked out with the weather.
It was still hot but at least the heat was cut by afternoon thundershowers. Which brought the temperature down to a cozy 90 degrees.
We also immediately learned that Las Vegas had changed. At least in our eyes. Instead of seeing an insulated pocket of fun and indulgence, we saw a bit more of the underbelly than we had on on visits years before.
It is startling how much of a difference there is between the glitzy casinos and the "real" and much poorer parts of Vegas.
There are literally pawn shops, tattoo studios, liquor stores, bail bond shops, and advertisements for personal injury lawyers on every corner.
Hello gorgeous! Is this a beautiful place or what? This is the inland view from the apartment we rented in Riomaggiore. And this is the view to the other side, our balcony looked out over the Mediterranean's Gulf of Genoa and it was more than perfect.
We visited in December and look how beautiful the weather was! It was sunny the whole time and there were even some crazy French people out swimming...
Riomaggiore, which dates from the early 13th century, is the southernmost village of the five Cinque Terre, all connected by trail. The water and mountainside have been declared national parks.
The town is literally vertical and people carve their places into the side of the mountain-- citrus trees, gardens, vinyards.
Multiple times a day we took a maze of stairways to get from the town's main drag to our apartment. That is a lot of stairs ...and no elevators!
The Via dell'Amore or The Way of Love, is a path connecting Riomaggiore to it's neighbor, Manarola and is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area.
After World War II, the trail was renovated and became known as a meeting point for the boys and girls from the two towns. A journalist, who noticed all the amorous graffiti along the path, coined the trail’s name: Via dell’Amore.
Some tourists are put off by the graffiti that covers the trail but it's just part of the history and charm of the lovers’ lane.
Closing a padlock with your lover onto a cable or railing at a lovey-dovey spot—often a bridge—is the current craze in Italy, having been re-popularized by a teen novel. And to profit from this, the hardware store in Riomaggiore sells these locks.
The owner of our apartment met us at the train station and offered to take us on a little stroll to show us around. She met us that afternoon and then... proceeded to walk us over to the next town over! And she has grand children. And she was in heels.
It was a lovely walk and only further fortified my theory that all Italian woman are in better shape than me.
She planned the walk perfectly because we ended up at Manarola as the sun was setting.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. Manarola is known primarily for its fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned.