Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July!

I am so thankful I live in a country where freedom rings. Happy and thankful to be an American!
May your day be full of celebrations. Wishing all of my friends a wonderful day......

America the Beautiful
Hymn Lyrics

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thorough fare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Friday, June 29, 2018


Tour of Italy 

Continuing with my recent trip to Italy, the final days of our adventure. If you missed the post for part-one of our trip go here. If you missed part-two go here
You may want to have a snack and drink if you stay. This post is ridiculously long!

After our stay at a Tuscan Villa, visiting Florence, Siena and a Tuscan winery for a wine tasting, our tour with my husbands retirement group boarded a bus to travel to the picturesque Italian Rivera where we visited Lucca, Cinque Terre and Portofino.

After a wonderful full American breakfast buffet of bacon, eggs, croissants, fresh fruits, pastries and the famous Italian coffee we were ready to board our bus. Only a short ride later we arrived in the charming little village of Santa Margarita Ligure.  There we boarded our boat for a cruise along the Italian Riviera coast to the very glamorous seaside resort of Portofino. 

Santa Margarita Ligure
Fountain and statue of Christopher Columbus in the town center

Pointing West

Italian Riviera ~ Santa Margarita to Portofino
Views from the open top deck of our boat

Glamorous Portofino

Looks as if the French like to visit as well

After our morning of walking and shopping we were happy to find a charming restaurant overlooking the harbor. After a delicious lunch with local wine we boarded our boat back to Santa Margarita Ligure and back to our hotel.

Cinque Terre

The next morning we walked to the train station for a short trip through the rugged coastline to the five villages of Cinque Terre. Entering the first village from the station through a tunnel, we exited out onto a picture postcard view. Charming pastel colored shops and houses. People going about their everyday lives mixed in with tourists. I love how the residents enjoy standing at their windows or on their balcony and looking down at their village. Walking along the paths you come to the edge of the cliffs with sweeping sea views. Stunning! Looking down you see the rugged cliffs with the little harbors and the fishing boats belonging to the villagers. Each village is linked to the next with hiking trails. Our group explored two villages. Hiking between villages with spectacular views requires most of the day.  A lot of stopping to take a lot of photos!

Jim waiting patiently for me while I popped into a shop

Below you can see some of the trails with the sea views. The hike also takes you through cliff vineyards. 

After our day of touring we returned to our hotel.  It was soon time for dinner.  The evening of cocktails and dinner was held at a castle overlooking the charming town. We were fortunate to see a wedding party after their  ceremony, the brides gown was lovely. They were having their reception in the gardens. 
Our evening was magical. The dining room was overlooking the sea and coastline. The sunset was spectacular!


After many "Trains and Boats and Planes" as the song goes, we boarded our bus for the ride to the airport and yet another plane. This flight was for Rome. We parted with most of our group here. Most were returning home but we extended our trip for a return visit to this sprawling city spanning some 28 centuries. We've traveled here several times but with an interest in history Jim could never get enough of this city! The last of my trip photos... I promise.

Our hotel in Rome
Bettoja Mediterraneo

Breakfast was served in the rooftop restaurant overlooking Rome. The view was amazing.

The Pantheon

Trevi Fountain

Monuments and Statues

The Spanish Steps


Constantine's Arch

The Sacred Way
leading to Palatine Hill

St. Peter's Basilica

Meeting friends for dinner our last night in Rome. We dined at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel for a wonderful evening sharing our trip adventures. With beautiful friends, food and views it was the perfect way to end our trip!

If you are still here, thank you. I wanted you to feel as if you had a little tour of Italy, the reason for a lengthy post. I would love for you to leave a comment, it's the only way I know you stopped by.  



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