Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of…

Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of…

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ― Ansel Adams   Writing has always been my first creative love, but photography comes in a very close second. Often, here at my blog and site, I write about photography (link to a list of photography posts). And now, I’m delighted to announce: Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of… Photography Recently, I’ve had many inquiries into my photography, and I’m so happy to announce my work will be and currently is on display in many public and private venues. A publisher bought pieces as part of an educational series (non-disclosed). A museum in Milwaukee, a wall mural for an upcoming collection As a cover of a book on Prague, title forthcoming, by esteemed publisher, Dreyers-Forlag in Norway Several private collectors In case you’re interested in Buying My Photography in Prints, Cards, Canvases, etc. Here is a link to RedBubble and my photography there, available in many formats like photo canvases, framed prints, greeting cards, and more. The quality is excellent, and the images turn out beautifully. They also guarantee you’ll be 100% happy with the product. If you like an image that you don’t see listed at RedBubble.com, send me a note and I’ll add it there for you.     Writing My first creative love is for writing fiction. I attended the excellent Muse & the Marketplace writers conference in Boston in May. The classes I took and agents and writers I met there inspired me, and from feedback on my novel as a result, I’ve worked hard...
Winter in Europe: Favorite Places and Photographs

Winter in Europe: Favorite Places and Photographs

“… But unless the child in you is entirely dead, it is snow, too, that can make the heart beat faster when it catches you by surprise that way, before your defenses are up. It is snow that can awaken memories of things more wonderful than anything you ever knew or dreamed.” ― Frederick Buechner   Winter in Europe: Favorite Places and Photographs I love Europe in the winter. There is something magical about European winters. Something about ice skaters filling a small town’s central pond, enchanting architecture sparkling beneath a pixie dust snow, the mountains and the grandeur of the Alps, the Christmas Markets and the rhythm of the people as they go about their lives, and the sheer beauty of it all. Over the four years my family and I lived in Europe, we traveled throughout much of central Europe in the winter. This winter amidst the huge amounts of snow falling on our new home in the American Midwest, I’ve been sorting through some of my favorite photos of our time in Europe. Thanks for scrolling through and discovering some of the favorite places I traveled in the winters in Europe, including Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Germany. All of the following are places I’m grateful to have captured through the lens of my camera. Undoubtedly, they will stay in my heart and mind forever.                                 If you’ve traveled in Europe in the winter, please share your favorite places here in the comments as well. Thank you and happy travels!...
Epidaurus, the Theater from Ancient Greece: A Photojournal

Epidaurus, the Theater from Ancient Greece: A Photojournal

“The Theater at Epidaurus is considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture and dates from the 4th century. The vast site, with its temples and hospital buildings devoted to its healing gods, provides valuable insight into the healing cults of Greek and Roman times.” – Epidaurus, Greece brochure From all of my travels in Europe over the past years, ancient Greece stands out as one of the most impressive. My family and I loved getting to see the Acropolis in Athens, with its stones still spilled across the high ground overlooking the city. But it was on a tour, taken on a whim, outside Athens into the Peloponnesian peninsula that we all fell in love with Ancient Greece. We honestly had no idea much of it still existed and could be toured, so when my 7th grade son’s class began studying Ancient Greece, and I realized I’d never sorted through the photographs I’d taken, I knew it was time to post them. Epidaurus, the Theater from Ancient Greece The theater at Epidaurus in the Peloponnesian Peninsula in Greece dates back to the 4th Century BC, and is built of 55 semi-circular tiers of limestone, making it one of the most impressive works of architecture from ancient Greece. The remains in the museum and the Theater are over 2,400 years old. 2,400 years! Most of the other temples and buildings from ancient times at the site are in ruins, from earthquakes, wars, and time, but the museum holds many treasures found from the site.   Ancient findings from the excavations at Epidaurus, related to Asclepius and the temples...
10 Favorite Places to Visit in Italy

10 Favorite Places to Visit in Italy

“From the dome of St. Peter’s one can see every notable object in Rome… He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe.” -Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1869   The Great Love Affair with Italy Out of the twenty-six countries I traveled in Europe, one country in particular captured my heart: Italy. My love might have something to do with the music in the language, the depth of the history, the variety of the wines, and the authenticity of the people, but I know for sure that I love Italy because of the places I visited. Upon first glance, each of the 10 places I have listed below are gorgeous. But it’s different after you stay at that place and let the setting grow into your senses — that is when I fully knew I loved Italy. Each of these places are ones, that if you have the opportunity to visit and travel Italy, you must see. And if you can, stay a while… 10 Places to Visit in Italy 1. Rome Everyone knows Rome for its history, but the city itself is like no other in the world for its combination of old and new, wrought together in stunning beauty. Personal favorites include Castel Sant’Angelo, the Pantheon, and the Vatican, but the espresso shops anywhere are must-dos in order to watch and really see it all blend together. For more on Rome through my lens, click here.   2. Venice When I stepped out from Santa Lucia station for the first time, I...
Switzerland, the Greatest Drive in Europe: A Photojournal

Switzerland, the Greatest Drive in Europe: A Photojournal

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy The Greatest Drive in Europe: Switzerland When my family and I lived in Europe, we drove everywhere. Not only was Prague (our home) a central location for most of Europe, but for 5 people (3 children), hopping in the car with a GPS and a map was far more economical than taking a train or airplane. (10 Tips for Traveling Europe on a Budget) In our four years in Europe, we drove everywhere — but one drive in particular was spectacular. 5 Countries in 1 Day Czech Republic – Germany – Austria – Switzerland – Italy The drive passes through former Soviet lands through the hops country of Bavaria and into the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken — through Switzerland, top to bottom. How to get there: from Prague, Czech Republic, drive southwest to Munich, Germany, and continue southwest into the northwest corner of Austria and into Switzerland. Then the drive turns from pretty to incredibly beautiful. You can even stop by Liechtenstein for coffee or their famous blood sausage and add in another country on the way toward Lake Como, Italy. Luckily, my husband loves to drive, even the hairpin turns that descend the steep roads through Switzerland. So I kept my camera close and captured some of the stunning views. Once you’ve traveled south through Switzerland past Chur, you encounter switchbacks in the road. They are quite the engineering feats, traversing the edge of...
Prague: 10 Top Things to Do and See

Prague: 10 Top Things to Do and See

Over the 4 years I lived in Prague, I used and refined this list many times. It is useful as a tour list, the Top 10 Must-Do Things in Prague. The city is relatively small and easy to navigate and tour, but even more, it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in Europe. Prague: 10 Top Things to Do and See Day 1: 1. The Charles Bridge: As early as you can, kick off your jetlag and pick up coffee at one of the cafes on the way to the Charles Bridge. Walk the cobblestones of the bridge, which was constructed in 1357 under the rule of King Charles IV to cross the Vltava River. Three tall towers have guarded the Charles Bridge for centuries, and 30 haunting statues gaze over pedestrians as they cross. Read more… 2. Old Town Square: Wander through the serpentine cobbled streets toward Prague’s Old Town Square. With its alfresco cafes, Astronomical Clock, its imposing Gothic Tyn Church and Baroque St. Nicholas Church, you’ll see centuries of history surrounding you in the buildings lining the square. In December, the Christmas markets set up in the square are lively, especially when it snows. Read more … 3. Jewish Cemetery Little more than a stone’s throw from Old Town Square, the Old Jewish Quarter stands near the Vltava River as an inseparable part of the city’s fabric.  The small patch of ground of the Old Jewish Cemetery contains over 12,000 tombs on the surface, with tens of thousands more entombed in countless layers underneath — making the sea of tombs seem to ride on...
12 Favorite Photos from Pompeii and Italy’s Amalfi Coast

12 Favorite Photos from Pompeii and Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson Now that I’m back in the US after 4 years abroad in Europe, I’ve noticed thousands of photos I’ve haven’t gone through from my travels there. So, each third week of the month, I’ll be posting favorite photos from the travel archives… I’ve posted previously on Italy’s Lost City of Pompeii and separately on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, but often the two aren’t connected though they’re merely a handful of miles apart. Here, find photos from both, one of my favorite regions in Europe: Italy’s Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, south of Rome. The Amalfi Coast is a gem with dazzling turquoise waters and steep, sheer cliffs that drop breathlessly into the Mediterranean. “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” -John Steinbeck, Harper’s Bazaar, 1953 The road that leads to Amalfi, Positano, and Praiano begins in Naples (or Napoli as the Italians call it). The famous lost city of Pompeii sits nestled in the southern part of Naples, between the harbor and the daunting volcano, Mt. Vesuvius. “The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city on the southwestern coast of Italy … Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under nearly 20 ft of ash lava in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749.” -on Pompeii, guidebook   In the year since I’ve spent time in the Pompeii and...
Reflections of Prague Castle at Night

Reflections of Prague Castle at Night

 “History teaches everything including the future.” -Lamartine When I stand in Prague along the Vltava River and see this view, I can hardly imagine the hundreds of years of stories and history tucked into the walls and crevices of the buildings: Prague Castle (the long, horizontal building that stretches across much of this photograph) was founded around the year 880 and is made up of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles. The Castle has hosted the region’s ruling powers through countless wars, the Nazi occupation, the Soviet Communist rule, and the post-Velvet Revolution government — for over one thousand years. St Vitus Cathedral, with its high Baroque and Gothic spires inside the Prague Castle walls, was founded on the 21st of November, 1344, during the reign of King Charles IV. The beauty inside is astounding, especially considering the cathedral is approaching 700 years old. St Nicholas of Mala Strana Church, constructed around 1750 (the spires on the left of the photograph), was a favorite Nazi spying outpost, from the top of its bell tower. Also, famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played the organ in the church. Charles Bridge, the historic bridge that crosses the Vltava River, was constructed in the 1350s by King Charles IV. Its presence across the river helped make Prague an important trade route between eastern and western Europe. There is so much to see, feel, and experience just by standing in one small spot in a historic city like Prague. Imagine … What do you think about when you experience something so much bigger than you and your time? Related posts: Reflections: Prague Castle at...
23 Countries & 5 Seas: My 3 Years in Prague Travel Log

23 Countries & 5 Seas: My 3 Years in Prague Travel Log

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine of Hippo In the past few years, since my family and I moved to Europe from the US Midwest, I’ve had the opportunity to see and travel to far more places than I ever dreamed. It’s been one incredible adventure. During that time, I’ve written dozens of posts on my travels around Europe, from places like Dubrovnik to Paris, from Sweden to Tuscany. We’ve traveled to 23 countries in Europe, and dipped our toes in 5 seas!   visited 24 countries (10.6%) I thought I’d compile a list as a blog post to share here. Following, a list of many of my Posts on Travel:   Italy’s Amalfi coast from a hike along the Trail of the Gods “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.   Autumn Views from the Austrian Alps: a Photojournal Nelahozeves Castle: the Finest Bohemian Renaissance Castle Střekov Castle: Stunning Gem of Czech Republic My 3 Years in Prague Sailboats, Shells, and Sunsets: Photos from a Florida Beach 3 Hours inside Prague Castle: 10 Favorite Sites to See Italy’s Lost City of Pompeii: A Photojournal Italy’s Amalfi Coast: A Photojournal 10 Tips for Traveling Europe on a Budget The Alps: A Photojournal My 12 Best Photographs of 2011 7 Ingredients of a Great Getaway Vacation What Fuels You? 7 Days in Tuscany: A Photojournal Sea Side: Retreat along the Mediterranean Travel: How to Really Experience a Place Van Gogh, Inspiration, and Art Amsterdam...
Charles Bridge, Prague, and Sunrise in Fog

Charles Bridge, Prague, and Sunrise in Fog

“Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.” – Raymond Chandler, from The Big Sleep If there would be one scene that defines Prague for me, it is the serpentine Vltava River winding through the city. Bridges cross the river at regular intervals, artistic in their arches, their Gothic architecture, and their spacing. Vintage red trams cross several bridges, along with cars and trucks and buses. But one bridge in Prague is completely special: the Charles Bridge. Today, only pedestrians cross the bridge, which was constructed in 1357 under the rule of King Charles IV. Three tall towers have guarded the Charles Bridge for centuries, and 30 haunting statues gaze over pedestrians as they cross. Darkened with time and elements, the statues were added to the bridge around 1700 in Baroque style, and to me, always feel as though they are watching. The mystery, legends, and history–the feel of standing still in time there–make Charles Bridge my favorite place to be in Prague. I love photographs I’ve seen of the Charles Bridge shrouded in fog, orange in the rising sun. Many many many times I’ve ventured down the Charles Bridge on a foggy morning hoping to catch my own photograph of the incredible scene. Every time, I’ve missed it. The fog is gone, fleeing by the time I arrive. But this past Friday, I woke up to a blanket of fog. And this time when I ventured down to Mala Strana it was different: the fog stayed. The sun rose, orange, glowing. Swans...