Friday, April 30, 2010

Taking it to the next level

For a while people have been asking me if I have a website for my photography.  I had to say no.  Friends who are also my peers in the world of photography have been asking why I didn't have a website.  I didn't have a good answer.

After much contemplation I finally decided it was time to take my photography to the next level - a website dedicated to my art.  I am happy to announce that is ready for its debut!

I'd love if you would hop on over and give it a look and if you have feedback I'd like to hear it! In addition to being able to view my images you also have the option to purchase prints or canvas gallery wraps in several different sizes. Wish me luck in this new venture!  I don't know where this step will take me but I can't wait to find out!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Amazing, Beautiful, Siracusa

Saturday was supposed to be our monthly photography club field trip, and the chosen destination was Siracusa.  When we scheduled this trip I knew that not many people would be able to join me, its been a busy month for everyone.  What I did not expect was that the few people who were planning on coming would be sick.  Big time bummer!

I drove in to base to the meeting point anyway.  You never know when someone who didn't RSVP might decide to join the trip at the last minute.  No one was there so I was faced with a decision - to go home and catch up on rest and other necessary chores or go to Siracusa by myself.  I chose to take off on my own!  I had been really looking forward to spending some time in Siracusa (one of my favorite places in Sicily) and I didn't want to give it up. I ended up having a great time exploring and taking pictures.

I arrived late morning during market time...

Old doors with intricate and worn wrought iron caught my eye...

I walked the entire length of the island of Ortygia, which I'd never done before...

Fountain by Giulio Moschetti of Artemis, goddess of hunting

I want to live here....this balcony overlooks the sea as seen in the previous photo
I walked all the way to the tip of Ortygia and the 13th century Castello Maniace.  I can't believe I'd never visited this awesome place before Saturday...

After exploring the corridors and arches of the castello I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Piazza Duomo...

A car waiting for a newlywed couple next to the duomo

The ancient Greek columns built into the side of the duomo never fail to mesmerize me
As I left Piazza duomo I noticed this amazing driveway and courtyard...

And a beautiful street performer...

I'm so glad I made the trip!  I see things differently when I am by myself.  When I'm traveling with others I am always mindful of where they are, if they are waiting on me, etc.  When I'm on my own I can go at my own pace and take as little or as much time at a site as I'd like.  It is wonderfully liberating!  I really need to make trips like this more often.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

San Vito Lo Capo

Our final day of vacation was spent in San Vito Lo Capo. The plan was simply to relax.  There were nearby sights to see but our primary goal was simply to rest.

Before the clouds rolled in...

We stayed at the Hotel Mira Spiaggia which overlooked the white sandy beach. We spent much of our time sitting out on the front patio either sipping hot tea or wine (depending on the time of day) and reading.  We did take one stroll around the town.  In pre-tourist-season preparation there was a lot of construction as businesses spiffied things up for the summer crowds.

Not long into our exploration rain sent us scurrying back to our hotel and the protection of the covered patio where we could relax and enjoy the view while staying dry. I didn't take many pictures but I did get a massage.  We also got a chance to try out a regional specialty - Couscous con Pesce.  It was amazing!  The flavors were very eastern Mediterranean and showed the influence of the many different cultures that make up the melting pot of Sicily.

San Vito Lo Capo was beautiful and I think would be a lot of fun during the summer months (except August when all of Europe will be there).  We might just have to go back to get some sun along with our relaxation.  We stayed in San Vito for two nights and then headed back home.

Our vacation was fantastic and I'm so glad we were able to spend some quality time in western Sicily - something that was a must-do before we move back to the states.


Back to the travel posts!  More than a week later I still haven't finished blogging about our trip to Western Sicily.  Life has been crazy busy since we got back.  Lets see, where was I....ah yes, Segesta.

This was our second visit to the Greek ruins of Segesta (check out my post from the first visit here). I to visit Segesta again because on our first visit I was sick sick sick. I trooped along, but I was exhausted.  In addition to the fantastic temple Segesta also has an amphitheater but because I was feeling icky we didn't make the trip up the hill.  That alone turned out to be worth going back for, but more on that in a moment.

We happened to visit Segesta on a gorgeous day!  It was warm but not too hot and because it was Spring the wild flowers were everywhere!

After visiting the temple we trekked back down the hill to catch a bus up to the amphitheater.  I'm so glad we opted for the bus!  It was a long long way up.

The amphitheater was in amazing shape for its age and the view was spectacular!

Les sitting in the amphitheater at Segesta

Looking out from the amphitheater at the autostrada winding its way through the valley below
These orange flowers were covering entire hillsides, GORGEOUS!

Halfway back down the hill the bus stopped to let passengers take pictures.  I handed my camera to Les and he got the following shot:

Once we were back at the bottom of the hill we were ready for some lunch.  On our way to the cafe we stopped to talk with another American couple that we'd crossed paths with several time throughout the day.  Somehow they had missed their bus back to Trapani.  The next one wasn't for several hours and they had their two year old daughter with them.  Les & I offered to give them a ride back and to say thanks they bought us lunch.  We got along great with them and enjoyed chatting with them on our way back to Trapani.  We exchanged contact info and though I haven't heard from them yet I hope to connect with them soon.  I think getting to  know them better would be a lot of fun.

From Trapani we made our way to San Vito Lo Capo and the winding down portion of our vacation....The finale, coming soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day & Shaklee

Clean Green and Stay Healthy!

Today I decided to take a break from my travel posts to share share something with you that I've become very passionate about - Shaklee.  Up until perhaps six months ago I'd never heard of this company but they have been around for 50+ years! Shaklee makes natural products that are designed to improve health, work without compromise, and be gentle on the planet.

A friend of mine introduced me to their products back in December.  I ordered the Vitalizer vitamin strips and the Cinch Shakes.  I loved them so much that I have been using both products ever since and Les uses them now too.  I am happy to say that I haven't been sick since I started taking Shaklee's vitamins!  For those of you who know me well you have probably noticed that I catch everything that goes around, but not anymore!  I even managed to travel for two months encountering sickies everywhere and I didn't get sick!

Shaklee also has amazing green cleaning products!  I've fallen in love with these products because not only are they environmentally/kid/pet friendly they actually work!  I use the H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate all over my house and recently switched to their laundry and dish soaps as well.

A few months ago Les & I decided to become Independent Distributors for Shaklee - that is how much we love their products!  This isn't a pushy sales pictch, this is me sharing products I love with you.  If you'd like to know more about Shaklee just let me know! I'd be happy to talk with you one-on-one or even host a Shaklee party for you!  If you'd like to explore their products please visit our website:

Shaklee's products are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and decades of scientific studies proving their effectiveness.  In addition, they have MY seal of approval!  I use them and love them.  If you are interested in improving your health and the environment Shaklee products can help you do it!