Friend me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterFollow me on PinterestRSS FeedFollow me on Instagram

Italy and Greece – Parents Hall Pass!

After a little time off from writing and being a parent…I’m back!  Summer has now wrapped and my husband and I topped it off with a trip for two.  Parents Only!  Before we left I was a little weary about leaving our 16 month old for almost two weeks, but the moment the wheels went up on the airplane and I had my first cocktail in my hand all those parent guilty feelings flew out the cabin!  All I could think about was, what sites to see and cocktails to have when we arrived.  We had two weeks to live it up and stay out past eight.  What happens when time doesn’t matter and there are no curfews?  What if there were no nap schedules, no eating schedules, no bedtime routine schedules…well let me show you!

Here’s a little look into our travels to Venice, Florence, Athens and Santorini.  We packed a lot in and ended the vacation on the beach!  Oh the things you can do when time has no restraints…

First stop Venice!  Straight from the plan to a boat, headed to the city center.  Yep, there’s the gondolas…we are definitely in Venice.  Could we have done this with a stroller.  Maybe, but I sure feel relaxed right about now, no thoughts of how to get the baby gear in and out of the boat.  A strange feeling I need to get use to, and let me assure you, I’m getting use to it quite quickly!!

One of the most unique cities in the world.  A city made up of 120 islands, almost 500 small bridges, lagoons and 100 churches.  A picture perfect scene around every corner.  I could get use to this lifestyle!

A city that has never modernized architecturally and has been around since the 10th century BC.  I think I could live a car free lifestyle and travel by boat.  Like they say…if you can make it in NYC then you can make it anywhere :)

The symbol of Venezia!

A local Venetian neighborhood…

A classical performance in Venice, a must!  Listening to the orchestra perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at an ancient church along the Grand Canal in a city with so much art history was a highlight of our trip.

Looks like it’s time to part with Venezia and our beloved afternoon drink, the Spritz!

Bye-bye canals, lagoons, gondolas and gondoliers, San Marco, Cathedral, Doge Palace, vaporettos, delicious fresh pasta, little bridges, narrow streets, ancient venetian artwork, churches around every corner, long Venetian dining experiences, carnival masks, and of course, the evening bright orange Spritz and aperitivio.  Ciao Venezia!

Buongiorno Florence!  I’ve seen this view in magazines and on t.v. and now here we are!

The Duomo.  The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Our Lady of the Flower).  The third largest church in the world, which took 140 years to build.  Spectacular!

Quick trip to the Chianti countryside.  Had a fair dose of wine on my Adults Only trip.  Loved Tuscany wine, but still faithful to my Napa.

When in Italy, expect to eat and eat a lot!!  I tried every type pf pasta dish and Italian pastry I could get my hands on!  Needless to say, I’m back on my bike, but so worth it.

Here we are at a traditional Florentine restaurant enjoying an amazing homemade pasta dish (2 pics above) and a biscuit pastry with sweet liquor.  One dip and I was already feeling it!!  Tuscany wine followed by a sweet shot of liquor…uh oh!  I might be in bed by the 8:00pm curfew.

Now time for a pit-stop in Athens and then to Santorini!  Ciao Firenze, Uffizi museum, David’s on every corner, amazing Tuscany wines, Renaissance buildings, Chianti vineyards, Michaelangelo’s artwork-home-tomb-road, Salvatore Ferragamo and Arno River.  Arrivederci Italy!

 

Hello Greece!!!  I tried to learn a few words in Greek, but it was all Greek to me :)

The Acropolis in Athens…a UNESCO site that must be visited!  Wow, the ancient history under our feet and before our eyes.

Hello Santorini – now pool time and relaxation!  A destination I’ve only seen in pictures and now a place I can call one of my favorite islands ever visited.  Look at that picture…have you ever seen an area like it?!  Gorgeous everywhere you turn.

A signature of the island…blue doors.  One of the three blues that represent the island..the blue sea, the blue roofs and the blue sky.

One of the many stairway illusions on the island that leads a person straight to the clear blue ocean.  I’m on my way!!

Amongst the white buildings and deep blue roofs and doors were other vibrant colors of red and green, and the beautiful fuchsia flowers that popped up everywhere.

Everywhere we turned there was a picturesque view!

Open a door and it felt like it led you straight to heaven!

Lets not forget the sunsets and the yummy Greek food and amazing restaurant views.  Dining was an experience in itself…felt like nothing was between you and the ocean.   Do we look like refreshed parents?  Taking in our last sunset!!!

To the last night of a memorable trip with my sweet husband.  What a great experience and relaxing vacation.  Tomorrow back to being parents, with curfews, schedules and less couple’s time, but I can’t wait!  In 24 hours I’ll be giving Maddie a huge hug and hearing all about her experiences with grandpa and nana…a time together that is just as important.

Do you have a trip you took somewhere near or far that is unforgettable?  Would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Amy’s Whine

 

It’s been one of those days.  My husband is away this week for work and my 15 month old is teething, fussy, and hanging on my leg every second and has decided to start taking only one nap.  I’m ready for the one nap, truly, but does it have to be this week?  Lunch was tossed on the floor, followed by dinner.  Do I need a cooking class?  Are my meals not even baby worthy?  The time had come, Maddie was in bed - time for mommy juice.  I grabbed the first bottle of wine I found in the kitchen, shoved in the corner behind the tupperware, then called another mommy friend, Lourdes (who has 4 little girls!) and vented.  It felt so good to swap stories and turn the frustration and tiredness into laughter.  Turned out we both needed it!

I’ve been getting things ready for our guests coming this weekend – aka, grandparents coming to babysit for a couple weeks.  I know it’s not going to be easy for them and I’ve been baking, cleaning, getting things organized, and making lists after lists – I’m calling it “The Survival Guide.”  Trying to make things extra special hoping it relieves some of my guilt.  Guilt, for leaving my 65 year old father and Katheryn with a 16 month old for almost two weeks and hoping Maddie doesn’t think mommy abandoned her!

Gondolas, beaches, no curfews – gondolas, beaches, no curfews – gondolas, beaches, no curfews.  Okay I’m back in packing mode!

But first, where’s my mommy juice?  Did you know women purchase 64% of the wine sold in the U.S., but most labels are marketed for men.  Mommy Juice was started by a mom and the title was derived from her kids always referring to a bottle of wine as their mommy’s juice!  Just knowing that I have got to try it.  Ordering my $10 bottle tonight!!

Ah, feeling better already.  Nothing like girl talk with a glass of wine and a little writing to cure any whiner’s whine.

Do you have something you whine about and it’s really not that bad?  Please tell!

Until next ride,

Amy

Time To Recharge

 

This weekend I finally got a little me-time, with my bike, the road, and a few thousand New Yorkers.  I did the 30 mile (with hills!!) Hudson Valley Bike Tour with Bike NY.  I had been looking forward to this for weeks.  Excited to have a little me-time, and that does not mean a trip to the grocery store alone or running errands after my husband gets home to babysit or reading a book in another room.  This was something I really wanted to do.  Something I planned for and set a date.  Something I waited for with anticipation.  Something I knew would give me the 3 things I needed the most to recharge: exercise, being outside, and getting out of the city.  Woohoo!

Don’t think I just stopped there…I ‘ordered’ a few more things for my much needed me-time.  Let me show you how a bike tour recharges and helps me become a better mother, wife and woman… It might just help you find your recharger!

First, the amazing views from the different locations on the bike trail.  Here, I am cycling over a wide footbridge…you can see it at the top of this page.  An area of solitude, just what I ordered, and reminds me of the beauty outside my small world.

Here I am looking north over the Hudson River. It was so very hot and all I could think about, at that moment, was how much I wanted to leap over the rail and go for a swim, right up the Hudson!  Especially, after cycling over all those hills!!!  Wow, I ordered some exercise and boy, did I get it.

Is this God’s country or what? We rode through areas of tree covered paths and rode under small arched bridges. Third order, relaxation!

I know you don’t see very many bikers, but trust me, I really was on a bike tour!!  At times, I rode into areas where there were none or very few bikers, and I felt like I had the whole tour to myself.  Peacefulness, something else I ordered!

One of my favorite parts of the ride, through the back roads of upstate NY, was watching the sun peak through the foliage. Oh, the beauty of nature.  Which leads me to my last orders, to be surrounded by nature, only hearing the rubber from my tires move along the pavement, and to have a goal just for myself, and to complete it.  Sunday’s ride might not have been an Olympian ride, but I sure felt like I had won the gold after crossing the finish line!  And my Closing Ceremony on Sunday, you ask? Celebrating with my hubby and daughter over dinner, I inhaled :-)   That me-time is more powerful than we think.  We all need it, whether we realize it or not, and it makes us a better and happier person in our everyday lives.

What is something you do special for yourself and it helps you recharge? Please share! I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Friday Favorites: Exotic Destinations

Please don’t give up on me!  This has been a busy week of birthday parties, working on the stop-procrastinating-Amy-get-it-done-now list, and all the other little things that tend to pop up.  Thank you to those faithful readers who still checked in for my weekly posts.  I’m still here!!

As you know from my last posting, I’m trying to find a summer destination.  I have been looking all over, debating and torn, trying to find a fun and new place to explore.  Just for kicks, I checked out one of my favorite blogs The Cool Hunter and found these amazing exotic treasure spots around the world.  Places that seem dreamlike!!  Maybe they will inspire me to finally pick a spot!  Have a look at my “Friday Favorites” exotic destinations around the globe…

Marble Caves, Chile Chico, Chile

Restaurant near Sanyou Cave above the Chang Jiang river, Hubei , China

Madeira, Portugal

Sky Lantern Festival – Taiwan

Keukenhof Gardens – Netherlands

Rice Field Terraces in Yunnan, China

Riomaggiore, Italy

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia

Benteng Chittorgarh, India

Aiguill e du midi, Chamonix, France

The Pearl Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou Valley, China

If you get a chance, check out this “cool” website.  The Cool Hunter searches the globe for awesome discoveries in every genre and it continues to inspire me in so many ways.  It might do the same for you!  If you’re a Pinster, you might just start pinning away.

Have you heard or traveled to a place you find exotic?  My exotic spot is a park on the East River in Queens that has 5 very large hammocks that overlook Manhattan’s majestic skyline.  Laying on those hammocks at night with the dazzling Manhattan view in the background feels exotic in my tiny world!  If you have an exotic spot and would like to share it, I would love to hear about it.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Until next ride,

Amy

It’s Here! It’s Here!

We have been checking the mail for the last two years anxiously awaiting, not giving up hope, and blaming the poor mailman!  Here is an example of our evening conversations, after checking the mail, over this long awaited time…

Dean: Did it arrive Amy?

Amy:  Not today, honey…

Dean: Do you think they’ll really publish it?

Amy:  I hope so, but not sure…

Dean: Should you check on it?

Amy:  I have been…

Dean: Ok, we probably won’t recognize ourselves once it does get published, because we’ll be so old!

Amy:  Speak for yourself!  I plan on looking the same as I did on our wedding day 20 years from now!  {well, that’s what I thought before I had a baby :) }

Dean: Of course honey :)

Drum roll…trumpets please…announcement…it’s here!  Two years in the making, or two years of Amy following up so we don’t get lost in the wedding paper shuffle, is our debut in Melbourne Bride Destination!  We were hoping for a tiny spot in the corner, but to our surprise, got four pages!!  It’s an Aussie magazine, so tough to get your hands on, since they don’t mail out of Australia.  But, so cool to know we are in a magazine!  Probably my first and last time in a magazine, so I’m going to dwell in it for a while.  Here it is…take a peek…

Looking at these pictures and reading the write-up brings back so many fun and happy memories with family and friends.  I feel like I could do it all over again…

I can’t believe we have been married for two years already.  How time flies, especially with a 14 month old.  And, your calculations are correct.  Maddie blessed us shortly after we were married.  Celebrating our one year anniversary, at home, with our three week old daughter could not have made the first year of marriage more memorable.  She is truly the icing on the cake, no wedding pun intended!

Is there something you hold onto, or have, that reminds you of a special time?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...