Category — PHOTOGRAPHY

{10 Second Vacation} Quito, Ecuador (Plus a Few Side Trips)

We hit up Quito, the charming capital of Ecuador, last summer before heading to Machu Picchu. It totally exceeded expectations. Everywhere you look, there’s a beautiful view. It’s a lively small city with a lovely colonial center. The people are friendly and there is lots to do. Not only that, it’s a really cheap town – we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment for around 70 bucks. A far cry from paying $200 a night for a decent hotel room as you do in many places. Plus, Quito can be a jumping-off point for so many other adventures, like a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or the beach.

quito ecuador

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June 25, 2015   No Comments

{bella roma} My Favorite Things to Do and Eat in Rome

Since tonight I officially returned to my Italian lessons after a 6 month hiatus, I was inspired to share my Rome travel guide. I have emailed this list of recommendations to so many people, but somehow it has never made it onto the blog. I’m excited to report all of my favorite things to do and eat in Rome, organized by neighborhood. I can’t wait to go back so I can expand this list even further!

rome street

Centro Storico [Read more →]

July 7, 2014   1 Comment

{travelogue} I Went to Hanoi, and All I Did Was Eat and Take Pictures. If That Sounds Good to You, Read This

Hanoi is a fun, vibrant, dirty, smoggy, incredible city that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s modern and old-fashioned and surprising and busy. It’s Vietnam with a French Instagram filter.

hanoi 2

Just when you can’t take almost being run over by 22 dozen mopeds anymore, you can duck into a soothing courtyard oasis and eat something wonderful. And in hindsight, I spent nearly a week there and basically all I did was eat and take pictures. So if that sounds good to you, keep reading!

hanoi1 [Read more →]

June 12, 2014   No Comments

{recipe roundup} 25 of the Best Super Bowl Party Recipes

Planning to watch the game tomorrow? Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite recipes from my own collection and from around the web. Bring any of these to a Super Bowl party and I guarantee you will be voted “MVP” of the day!

buffalo wings

25 of the Best Super Bowl Party Recipes

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February 1, 2014   No Comments

{travelogue} Street Eats and Spicy Stuff; Crickets and Craft Beer: A Second Time Around in Shanghai

I recently went back to what I think might be my #1 favorite Chinese city: Shanghai. I have met so many Westerners who tell me they don’t like Shanghai, but I think the problem is that it’s like New York or London or any other huge metropolis: it is so big and there are so many things to do that it can be hard to crack past the touristy spots and get into the real Shanghai. But once you figure out what to do and where to go, it is a fantastic cosmopolitan destination that should be on everyone’s short list.

detail of stone carving

This trip, we made a point of discovering great street food, trying restaurants that represent cuisine from different parts of China, and exploring some hidden treasures. Here are my recommendations to help you figure out all of the very best things to do in Shanghai. And be sure to read my previous post for a complementary set of recommendations so you’ll be totally well-versed on all that’s great about this busy city!

January 29, 2014   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Hidden Beaches & Floating Villages of Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam

If you travel to North Vietnam, chances are you will make an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Ha Long Bay. Its calm waters are dotted with unique karst formations, tiny beaches, and floating fishing villages. You can take an overnight boat cruise on a small junk, which is a great way to explore the bay’s wonders. The floating villages were a sight to see. Since we were traveling with a 2-year-old we were doubly impressed with how adeptly some of the young children could swim and steer boats all on their own! 

halong 1

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January 21, 2014   1 Comment

{10 second vacation} Winter Weekend in Monterey, California

Monterey is most famous for its fabulous aquarium, but the area boasts lots of other charms. If you can largely avoid the tacky, touristy Cannery Row area you are in for a real treat. A 10 minute drive down the peninsula will put you in the quaint town of Carmel, so it’s really like a two-for-one! Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the absolute gems of the California coastline – and rivals many a national park in beauty and sights. You can spot sea lions, tide pools, and hidden beaches at nearly every turn. 

There are lots of fancy spots to try, and I do enjoy a sunset drink with bagpipes with the upper crust at The Inn at Spanish Bay, but I find myself gravitating more to the down-home dives for meals… like an early morning stop on funky Fisherman’s Wharf to hit up Loulou’s for creme brulee-style oatmeal or enormous pancakes, or chicken shawerma lunch with fluffy pita and garlicky sauce at teeny-tiny Paprika Cafe. To warm up, try a big sourdough bread bowl of creamy clam chowder at Schooner’s right over the water. For more Monterey recommendations, check out this article with tons of great suggestions. 

gibson beach point lobos ca

Gibson Beach

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November 25, 2013   2 Comments

{10 Second Vacation} Ahhhh, the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is known for its beauty, with steep cliffs leading down to endless bays and beaches. Most people focus on the touristy northern town of Positano, but there are some real gems a bit farther south. Heading south from Positano, the Fiordo di Furore is a special place–a pocket-sized inlet with a dramatic arched bridge. Its beach is littered with smoothed-out pottery shards you can collect. Further down the road is the lively town of Amalfi itself. Away from Amalfi’s choked roads, you’ll reach Atrani, a sleepier and more quaint town that is one of my favorites. High on the hills above Atrani and Amalfi is Ravello, which is worth a trip for the views alone. Enjoy! 

ravello window

window view from Ravello

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September 30, 2013   5 Comments

{photojournal} America the Beautiful – Favorite Photos of the USA

Since it’s the 4th of July, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of different parts of America. We have some stunning, interesting, and unique spots in the USA! Happy 4th of July, everyone.

hearst castle

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

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July 4, 2013   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar

Nungwi is a stunning spot at the northern tip of Zanzibar. The waters of the Indian Ocean are impossibly blue and the people are incredibly welcoming. As the sun starts to set each evening, the temperature cools and the locals come down to the beach to play soccer. If you get a chance to visit Zanzibar, don’t miss Nungwi! I recommend the cool, laid-back, affordable Z Hotel

zanzibar1

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June 20, 2013   No Comments