Monday, December 19, 2016

Italy—part one...

Its funny to write this as the day is dark and dripping heavy rain. The wind has that rushing around sound and I feel cozy in my slippers. Italy? Tuscany? Summer? It all feels very far away. But here goes:
I was unbelievably thrilled to reach Italy. It's a place I have dreamed of visiting for as long as I can remember and although we didn't get to find Morolo, the small town where my father's family is from (which is unfortunate since I have no idea when I'll ever get back) we did get to see some wonderful places. I am probably like most visitors and found the Tuscany area to be my favorite.

Lucca was utterly charming. It was fairly early morning so the streets were mostly empty as we strolled up and down taking in such an old town. It's something I'm still getting used to; that people lived in these same buildings hundreds and hundreds and in some cases over a thousand years ago... 

We bought meringues that were so hard and sugary that it hurt to bite into. I wanted to try everything that I laid eyes on, but alas we didn't have that much time...

Snapping pictures through the bus window was mostly frustration, but I did catch a few that were fairly in focus...

The sunflowers were definitely from a story book...

Pisa was interesting too, but so overwhelmingly populated by the many visitors from around the world, that it was hard to experience... 

During the this trip I found I had a special appreciation every time I came across hanging laundry...
Next was Pompeii. I remember my mother telling me about Pompeii when I was very little. It was a mysterious image in my mind that was interesting to finally turn into a reality. The July day was so hot that we lost steam after a bit and I think that's why I don't have as many pictures as I thought I had. If  I ever visit Italy again I will aim for winter or at least late autumn or early spring.

Well that's it for now, hopefully Italy-part two will get tucked in here soon!

                                                          Cheers and HAPPY HOLIDAYS~

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Raw Spice Bar... A Givaway!

Hello to everyone that I seem not to be writing enough to. It's been such a busy time, but I want to catch everyone before the holiday season takes off. I still will be posting more trip pictures, but I want to tuck in this post in because I have a GIVEAWAY to host!
Raw Spice Bar, which I have written about before, is a super fun monthly mail subscription, spice boutique. I was offered a sample subscription a year or so ago and liked it enough to actually order my mom the subscription for her birthday. All the spices come with recipes and are sent in little, single recipe-size packages. 

Thanks to Sarah at Raw Spice Bar, I can offer one of my readers a free three-month subscription!

To enter, please post in the comments below what your most go to spice is. I would say one of my most favorite for savory cooking is freshly toasted and ground cumin.

Also, I recommend checking out their shop:

Last day to comment will be Friday November 25th. 
I will post the winner by random selection this weekend. Thanks for entering!
Sadly this has to be for US residents only.

                                                                                Cheers ~

P.S. Double your chance to win by sharing this post on your blog or in social media. 
Please post a link to your share with your comment.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Onward to Toulon and Monte Carlo...

Toulon was quiet and pleasant. We had fun at a local farmers market and spent our day meandering the mellow streets. We found a beach and I had my own secret giggle while I sat next to a topless older lady with my sixteen year-old son. He didn't seem to notice which I guess means he is "that cool"...

small french town
We managed éclairs while resting on the curb outside of a closed business. It's interesting how much "pressure" there can be to fit in all of our "wish list" factors. Éclairs were one of those...
The next day we spent in Monte Carlo where the coast is utterly gorgeous and the old walk up to the palace was breath taking!

It was amazing peering over the retaining wall and out to the sea where the water was MAGIC...

We even found a "secret" beach that was one of the highlights of our whole trip!

But honestly, the city itself was rather too la-de-da for my taste...

I'll post the next steps of your trip soon!

                                                        ~ Marica