Sunday, January 11, 2009

St. Martin

We returned to St. Martin as the weather was getting cloudy and rainy. This is the largest of these three islands we visited; harboring the largest airport, highest population and the most things to see and do. This is a GREAT place for families with kids of all ages, but before I get too carried away with the concerige-talk here are some of my favorite pics from the 3 days we were there:
Big dog at the ferry dock. was he going to ride the ferry? I'm not sure.
As my co-workers know all too well, I love to check out the local grave yards wherever I go. This is the Cimitere de Marigot.
I took this photo at about 8:00am, this man was already there, dress in nothing but his underwear tending to a grave. Now that is pure love.

These villas must be sprayed for bugs heavily and often to keep clients from calling people like me during their stay to complain them. You're in the tropics people, get over it.
Fancy crystal at villa Petite Plage 5

This was taken at Orient Beach. The majority of this beach is nude, however when we were in the clothed portion of the beach this lovely creature passed by. I love his idea of being 'clothed'!

Daughter of one of the house keepers, waiting for her mother to complete her day of work at a local hotel. 
Have I mentioned that I love documenting just about every island doggy and kitty I see?
The owner of this property said this cat was "so mean and hates everyone" however, I found her to be so so sweet and she wouldn't leave my side! 



In late 2007 Ashley and I, along with two wonderful co-workers Kim and Stephanie took a trip to St. Martin, St. Barts and Anguilla (Ahn-gwil-ah) in the Caribbean. This was by far one of my favorite trips because of the warm and inviting people of the caribbean, the bluest waters i have EVER seen and the perfect temperature of about 85* all the time. 

We flew into St. Martin and took a ferry straight to Anguilla where we would spend our first 2 nights. Anguilla turned out to be my favorite of the 3 islands for many reasons, but mostly is was the people:
Who wouldn't love an island that greeted you with this smile?

At one point we were stuck in the only island traffic of the day, when school is let out. Like every city in the world, the kids are running across the streets, giggling, fighting, hanging out. Above are the boys...
...and the girls.
This is the most beautiful beach on the island at the Cap Juluca hotel. Recent Ashly had a photo she took at this very spot published online for CNN travel via iReporter. Here is the photo:

Thats me! (Can you see why i love this place so much???)

Lunch at the Sheriva villa.
Our view at lunch. The Bouganvilla were EVERYwhere
This is the Desert Rose. A gorgeous flower that looks nothing like a rose but is equally as beautiful.

Side Note

I wanted to take a moment to note that all of these photos are from a film camera and for now I will refrain from using any digital photos and or editing them in any way since that is not (currently) what this blog is about. I do not consider myself a photographer, these are simply photos of the world as I travel through it.

I suppose am making this note partially because of my lack of confidence in my photography and because I have many talented friends with much more interesting photo blogs. 

With that said, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. Now on to more posts!

A taste of Puerto Vallarta

 The street outside of our villa Casa Sabrina

Ashley at Four Seasons Punta Mita.

I came across a property that was being finished in the residential neighborhood near our villa and took this picture. Though it surely doesn't scream 'Puerto Vallarta", I love it. 

For more Puerto Vallarta pics visit my Facebook or Myspace account. 

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Costa Rica

Though 2008 has been a very difficult year in many ways, I have been able to travel to many wonderful places this year, one of which was Costa Rica in July with my very best friend Ashley. 

We stayed in the northern region of the country, very close to the Nicaraguan border. Because of our line of work,  Ashley and I are able to stay in some beautiful properties that I would NEVER be able to afford otherwise. We are lucky girls. 
I fell in love with these wandering cows. One of the main causes of traffic accidents in Costa Rica are cow-related. There are currently no enforced laws against letting your animals roam free. As a vegan I first thought this was great, but after a few hours of driving along the VERY narrow, un-lit one-way roads through Costa Rica, I soon realized why this a major problem.

As a side note, whipping down these roads at midnight with our escort singing "Black Velvet" in poor English at the top of his lungs was one of the best parts of this trip.
These male oxen are attached to each other for life. When one dies, the other usually follows right after.
Sugar cane fields.

Wherever I go I  try to take pictures at local markets. Sausage is obviously big in Costa Rica

We saw these spider monkeys up close and personal when we later went on our zip-line tour. They are amazing and the cutest things ever. 

We were in Costa Rica during the "Gold Season" so the trees had lost the majority of their foliage.

Hello again..

After a long, long time I have returned to my blog. No good excuses as to why I have not kept this up in 2008, but the usual holds true: I am not as organized as I would like to be.

Here comes 2009 and it is already showing itself to be a kinder year than the last, filled with babies, art, new friendships and change all-around.

I'm ready to jump in with both feet.

Enjoy to following posts full of new/old photos.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tuscany 2007

In May of Last year i was lucky enough to go to Tuscany for work. This was the first time I took my Nikon on a trip and I have never been so inspired.
Somewhere between San Gimignano and Lucca we stopped at this road-side restaurant/bar/rest stop and for about $5 i had some of the best hot chili flake pasta I had ever eaten.
This is a view from inside the under ground city of Perugia. We were in this town for only one night but we wandered through hallways and up escalators, through an evening market where local wine and cheese makers were sampling their products. Amazing, but quite smelly. Undergroud Italian cheese can be POTENT! In Perugia I also had the most delicious truffle pate I will ever eat, about $200 of it! If you don't know me personally you may wonder what exactly I do that I am able to travel and get paid for it... I work for Villas of Distinction ( as a Concierge. When we go on these trips, we spend most of our time viewing the private homes that we rent, sounds amazing, and it is, but after the 30th flight of stairs for the day, you start to get tired of it. The above picture is a view from a villa we sell called "The Lakes" in San Gimignano. These are man-made lakes in the middle of what looks like Sonoma County x 10,000, with better food.
This is what I mean...

We didn't get to go into any of the famous churches and museums in Florence or Siena, but we did stop in one small church. Kim, my amazing and huge-hearted co-worker and friend, got us each a candle to light and make a prayer. That is what I love about Kim, I have never met anyone in my life who has made spirituality her own in such a special way. She is an Italian Catholic to the core and the conversations I've had with her about signs, angels, prayers, etc. have been some of my most inspiring. When you look at the town of Siena, it looks like buildings on top of buildings all growing higher from the town center, it is jaw-dropping.
This was in the office of one of our suppliers Italy, there were multiple office kitties and I LOVED it!

Yes, there was LOTS of gelato everywhere in Italy and no, none of it was dairy free. P.S, don't ask a local if something is vegan or not or you'll be treated like you're 100% insane.
The garden below was on the property of one of the villas that we went wine tasting at. These lemon trees are over 100 years old and each pot is numbered. In the winter the sensitive citrus trees have their own house on the property where they live and are tended to until the spring when they are put back out in that exact same spot (hence the number) as the year before and every year before that. These trees will keep on living in this same way for at least another hundred years, or until they stop producing fruit. These guys are the dedicated grounds keepers that keep this process up, the same way their fathers and grandfathers have; every generation living on this property. After 1 or 2 generations, the head grounds keepers are given a home on the property that is theirs to own and therefore, the tradition keeps moving forward.
Below is a man working in one of the many wineries that we visted. Wine making and Olive oil production in Italy is very different than in Sonoma and Napa. The tools they use are sometimes hundreds of years old (see the terracotta pots below used for holding the oil while the particals settle) and the people making the products have been doing this all their lives, the way their fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers have. It is a true honor to see them work.

These terracotta barrels are so large that there is no kiln that can hold them and when (god forbid) one of them breaks, it takes weeks for it to be replaced since it must dry in the sun for quite a while.
Lucca was one of my very favorite places we visited, partially because it is a city FULL of dogs! They were everywhere!
This is also a shot from the gardens of one of the houses we rent, simply gorgeous.

There are so many things about the cities of Lucca, Perugia, Florence and Siena that just transport you into the past...

I can't wait to go back on my own someday!