On our second day in Cinque Terre we visited the towns of Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza – a very full day. Monterosso is the largest town of the five lands and has an actual beach. It’s also reached by train. After spending the morning there we hopped back on the train to Vernazza, where we stayed until after sunset. Vernazza is still a true fishing village with a protected harbor and one of the most photographed towns of Cinque Terre. It is also the only town with a lookout tower, originally built to protect the town from pirates.   Tunnel into town from theRead More →

From Venice, we travelled to Verona, a town seeped in romantic history and setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays. We were there for only a couple days, and one of those days we spent at Lago Garda, so just had a few hours to explore the historic central district.   In the major tourist areas you’ll find local ‘actors’ who dress up as various historical characters. Shortly after arriving at Piazza Bra Grima was approached by this Roman Centurion. Skeptical of his intentions, he turned out to be a thoroughly delightful fellow and was as interested in getting his picture taken with her as weRead More →

Of course, piazza San Marco is the centerpiece of Venice and the largest. But we were charmed to stumble across so many other ‘neighborhood’ campis while exploring the many passageways throughout Venice.   Piazza di San Marco with the Campanile and the Basilica di San Marco after a short cloudburst, which fortunately cleared most the tourists off the piazza.   Preparing for dinner   The upper floor columns of the Procuratie Vecchie on the Piazza di San Marco, home today to shops and restaurants.   Pigeons rule the piazza and captivate the tourists.   Although there are scammers wandering around – they’ll throw a handfulRead More →

We scored tickets to the Lion King at the Starz Center for the Performing Arts, a truly beautiful performance. While in the theater a storm blew in and by the time we left the theater the city was washed clean and bathed in an eerie glow of fog and colorful reflections. Went to the top of the William F. Poe Parking Garage to grab some images.       So, more to come. Love to hear what you have to say about our travels.Read More →

We continue our exploration of the Tampa area, crossing over to Davis Islands, dotted with canals and views of downtown Tampa and sailboat harbors, plus some very impressive homes. We then cross the Hillsborough River to the University of Tampa to take a close look at the H.B. Plant Hall building on campus. It can be seen clearly from across the riverfront downtown Tampa, and is striking for its Moorish architecture. The building was constructed in 1891 as a luxury hotel railroad magnate Henry B. Plant. Today part of the building, a U.S. historical landmark, is used for university classes and part is a museumRead More →

January is a nice time to be in Tampa, for the most part. It can get cold, but mostly the weather is pleasant if not raining. We chose a beautiful, sunny day to go to downtown Tampa and check it out. Were pleasantly surprised to see a modern, well designed river walk pretty much encircling downtown Tampa. We strolled from the Straz Performing Arts Center, past Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, past the Sail Pavilion, all the way to the Tampa Bay History Center. A model for any town with a river (hint, hint, Sacramento).     Went into the downtown area and passed Sacred HeartRead More →

The first time we drove into downtown Atlanta it was on a Sunday and kind of a gray day. We drove through the old downtown area and it was a little depressing, somewhat deserted and didn’t look very walkable. So not too impressed. A couple days later drove back to see the Inman Park festival. Took awhile to find any place within walking distance to park, but did enjoy seeing some of the older homes and architecture. The festival itself not too impressive. Next time drove into town to see the High Museum of Art and were very impressed (see the next post). Did walkRead More →

Was in Vegas for a photo trade show (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International – WPPI). Took some time to wander around the strip to take some images.   From atop the MGM parking garage, a great view of ‘City Center’   Another view, I think capturing the essence of the strip.   The Bellagio Hotel creates these amazing scenes in its Conservatory and Botanical Garden area. When I was there they had a Chinese theme.   Of course, the laguna and fountains in front of the Bellagio are world famous.   Moon peeking out over the Eiffel tower and Paris Hotel Vegas style   Close-upRead More →

The beach dominates much of Viña’s life – both in terms of tourism and attitude. High rises front the coast along Calles San Martin and Jorge Montt. The city has done a magnificent job developing the beaches with beautiful stretches of parks with biking and walking paths along the entire stretch from Muelle Vergara to the amphitheater at Playa Marineros, enticing locals and tourists to come out and enjoy.   Graffiti adorns concrete blocks buttressing Muelle Vergara   High rise apartment buildings overlook Playa El Sol’s sand and sun seekers.   The sign says “Beach not suitable for swimming” – but the water’s too alluringRead More →

Leaving the summer heat of Santiago, we travelled back to Viña del Mar, about 73 miles west of Santiago, where we stayed in an apartment on the 15th floor of an apartment building on Viana and Quillota, a block and a half from the Plaza Vergara. I’m not generally fond of tall buildings, especially in a city known for violent earthquakes. We were calmed somewhat by the fact that Chilean’s have learned to construct some of the best earthquake ‘proof’ buildings in the world. But, to our unease, we could feel vibrations from time to time from the construction of a large building next door.Read More →