Ah, France. In May, I met up with my friend Ha in Paris and we traveled to the South of France, just because. It had been ages since I had an uninterrupted conversation with a good friend and sat in a cafe for hours eating and drinking. And was even able to take photos of pretty places without having a little person tug at my arm every few minutes or trying to make sure one didn’t wander out into the street or off a cliff. You’ll notice there are far more images from this trip than from previous ones I might have posted.
I went to the South of France a few weeks ago. Because sometimes you just need to go to France. Here is my friend Ha, who met up with me from Shanghai, and we’re hanging out on the beach in Cannes, right outside the Cannes Film Festival. More to come from Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Nice, more Cannes, and Monaco!
Outside the Blue Lagoon
When on earth would we ever go to Iceland? And then the opportunity arose – thanks to a very clever marketing scheme between Iceland Air and the Icelandic government to lure people to their little frozen island. Fly Iceland Air on your way to, say, Amsterdam, and have a free layover up to seven days where you can wander around the island. We rented an awful car from a place called, appropriately, SAD cars, which rents them for dirt cheap, and drove ourselves through the Golden Tour to hike around waterfalls, rock fissures, a crater lake, the original geyser, and other scenic beauty that looks like Mars. We also took a dip into the very expensive but worthwhile Blue Lagoon, wandered Reyjavik, didn’t even try to understand any of the Icelandic language that was spoken, and ate lots of seafood. I was busy wrangling two small children that it wasn’t very easy to take all the amazing landscape of Iceland, but here are a small, select few.
The Blue Lagoon
Last August we took a maternity leave trip to sunny, humid Outer Banks for a week. This is one of my new favorite beach spots to rent a house—long stretches of seashell-flanked beaches, cool oceans, quiet evenings without the collegiate bar scene, beautiful homes with beautiful balconies overlooking the water and sunset.
Arc de Triomphe
Paris! Paris! Paris! We took a last-minute trip to one of our most favorite places on Earth in December, before the Christmas holidays descended on us and right before I started a new job. It had been six years since I’d spent four months there finishing up my MBA. Little had changed other than that we got married and had a kid, and the locks that cover up the seated river view on the Pont des Arts. For six days we wandered to all our favorite haunts with toddler in tow, taking in tea and macarons at Ladurée, playing by the Eiffel Tower and Tuileries and Jardin de Luxembourg, window shopping along the Champs-Élysées, and getting lost up in Montmartre. I also took a number of city-in-lights photos with the intention of creating a Paris-by-night series, but since Paris is beautiful all of the time I’ve included some daytime shots.
Jardin de Luxembourg
Jardin de Luxembourg
Pont des Arts
A week ago, I flew out to Colorado Springs for work for five days. In between meetings, my co-workers and I managed to sneak out and check out some of the amazing sites and scenery. We popped into the Garden of the Gods and took the cog railway all the way up to the top of Pikes’ Peak at 14,000 feet. For a work trip, it wasn’t too shabby! Here are some of the pictures I shot.
The remains of Temple of Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri), Agrigento
Jon brilliantly scored a paid conference trip to Sicily in July, so of course Little One and I had to tag along on the ride. Sicily is truly the “land down under” Italy, with its grand history of once being Greek, then Norman, then Italian. We visited Greek ruins, Norman palaces and churches, Italian gelato and pastas. Our first stay was to Selinunte di Marinella, along the Mediterranean coastline, where we had views of the Selinunte archaelogical park. We drove our rental car to Agrigento, another UNESCO world heritage site of Greek ruins, and to the small town of Erice on the mountaintop, and visited Selinunte archaelogical park, before spending the rest of our week and Jon’s conference in the city of Palermo. Thanks to strep and a resulting tonsillar abscess, I got to experience a little of Sicily’s emergency room healthcare, all in Italian. Here are the photos I did get when I was not being treated for an enlarged tonsil.
“Temple S” at Selinunte, overlooking the Mediterranean
“Valley of the Temples” – Agrigento
Temple of Hera at Selinunte
Temple Concordia, Agrigento
Sicilian flower blooming at Agrigento
Jon and little one playing in the waves of the Mediterranean, Marinella di Selinunte
Outside a ceramics shop in Erice
Near the Castle of Venus in Erice
The Duomo in Palermo