Archive - August 2014

Cinque Terre – The Odd Way Around
Fun with Fish – Tips For Rialto Fish Market, Venice
Grab Some Disney Magic! Win a $500 Disney Gift Card!
Batu Caves and VERY Cheeky Monkeys! – Video
The Bread Man Cometh…House Sitting in Lucca, Italy
Follow the Rainbow in Burano, Italy – (Caution, May Need Sunglasses)
Mark Twain on Traveling with Others

Cinque Terre – The Odd Way Around

  • Along the wharf at Riomaggiore
  • Pick your favorite!
  • Docking in Riomaggiore
  • Even the little boats get in on the action
  • The wind in the sails...ahhh!
  • Even a restaurant carved into the rock!
  • This is a nice one...
  • So it this!
  • Clinging to the cliffs
  • Colorful homes
  • Next stop...Vernazza!
  • My favs!
  • Looking down the coast at the Cinque Terres
  • Smelling the sunscreen!
  • The colors of summer
  • A kayak counts as a boat, too!
  • Options by boat
  • All Aboard!!
  • Don't you just want to jump in?


It’s hard to say much that’s bad about a place where every single view is “postcard-worthy” – that’s my indication of how beautiful a place is :-). Cinque Terre is a picturesque line of five waterfront villages just begging to be photographed from every angle. We choose a slightly different viewpoint on our visit. Arriving in La Spezia as most visitors do, we purchased the Cinque Terre Train and Bus pass for $12 euro. This allows unlimited train and bus transport between all 5 towns.

Perfect! We hopped on the train and headed for Monterossa al Mare, the charming village at the end of the Cinque Terre chain. Our plan was to walk the paths (many were closed due to recent earthquakes and storms) or take the train/bus and see all 5 towns. That was until we discovered the ferry service from Monterosso to all of the towns instead. The water was calling us…so blue it practically hurt your eyes…we really had no choice in the matter.

So began our discovery of the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – the odd way around – by sea instead of by land. The day was perfect. Light winds, blue skies, and just warm enough to make the sea breezes feel incredible. Each place we stopped we had a chance to explore the village more carefully…which in our case meant scoping out the best gelateria, coldest vino bianco or seafood so fresh it tasted as though it was caught as I placed my order.

Seeing Cinque Terre from the sea gave us a completely different perspective. We were able to see things we couldn’t if we’d stayed on land. Watching children jump from amazing heights of rock into the clear water (yikes!) or seeing areas of the walking paths completely obliterated by the power of a landslide. Our final stop at Riomaggiore gave us the chance to climb to the highest points of any village and receive stunning views in return.

A magical day in Cinque Terre – the odd way around!

Fun with Fish – Tips For Rialto Fish Market, Venice


  • venice, italy
  • venice, italy

Fish Eyes everywhere! It’s the Rialto Fish Market – where you’ll find the freshest creatures straight from the Venetian Lagoon. Careful of that one – he’s got a mean set of teeth! And what on earth are those?? OMG! Those are snails and they’re wriggling around!

Definitely NOT for the faint of heart or nose (Cheryl was far away sipping an espresso by the canal – she said even the canal smelled better). The Rialto Fish Market is a tradition among Venetians, foodies, and photographers alike. Ink-stained squid, plump baby octopus, angry-looking shrimp, and even bags of perfect whelks compete for our euros.

Watching the locals haggle with the fishmongers was a treat. There was lots of gesturing and shouting before the tiny grandmother was finally happy with the quality of her purchase. The seafood is fresh and seasonal. You may see different varieties on each visit, but the variety is always top-notch.

If you’re a seafood lover like me, your mouth will be watering at the thought of tonight’s scampi with garlic sauce. I’ll just not think about the fact that I could have been looking into its eyes this morning.

Helpful hints of the Rialto Fish Market:

* Open Tuesday through Saturday

* Best time to visit is early in the mornings (opens around 6am) or just before siesta around 1pm

* Vaporetto stop is Rialto Mercato

* Look around carefully and you might see someone famous – some of the best chefs of Venice pick their restaurant’s own seafood personally

* The Rialto vegetable and fruit market is just next door. Perfect to pick up the side dishes for tonight’s dinner if you’re lucky enough to be cooking at home.

Grab Some Disney Magic! Win a $500 Disney Gift Card!

We LOVE Disney!! Where else can you be 100% “kid-like” even if you don’t have children? Disney!! We get there early to be the first in line and by the end of the day are so exhausted (and sticky from cotton candy) we can barely move. It’s a dream come […]

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Batu Caves and VERY Cheeky Monkeys! – Video

Just a short trip outside the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia you can find the tranquil Batu Caves.  Well, tranquil until you encounter the monkeys that is! As you enter, one of the first things you will notice are the monkeys looking for a hand out.  No need […]

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The Bread Man Cometh…House Sitting in Lucca, Italy

Our mouths start to water around 10:30am. Though we’ve been told that the tell-tale horn won’t blow until 10:45 or sometimes even 11 if he’s running late. It’s Monday, so things could be busy where he works. We wait impatiently, straining our ears for the sound of his car coming […]

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Follow the Rainbow in Burano, Italy – (Caution, May Need Sunglasses)


Famous for it’s beautiful lace, tapestries, and wildly colorful houses, Burano, Italy is a photographer’s dream! Just a 45 minute ride on the vaporetto from Venice’s Nuovo station and it feels as though you’ve stepped into a fresh palette of paints.


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