Tuesday, October 25, 2011

South of France 2010

After Paris, we headed to a tiny village in southern France called Saint Siffret, just outside of a somewhat larger town called Uzes. My neighbor when I was growing up has a house in the village and recommended a long list of things for us to do. (Last year we had Rick Steves, this year we had Ron. I think Ron wins.)


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We rented a fantastic house that became home base. Everyday we slept in, got a late start, and then drove to our attraction of the day. The perfect vacation for two pregnant ladies. This was taken at a tiny town we stumbled across on one of our drives.


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Some ancient ruins you can drive up to (if you have really good 4 wheel drive...I've never been on such a crazy road.) We were the only ones there and it was amazing to be able to walk in and around them.


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Two pregnant sisters.


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An old man walking around in the charming town of Uzes.


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We spent one afternoon at the Pont Du Gard. One of the highlights of the trip.


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There was a beach and a swimming hole under the aqueduct. I really wished I had my bathing suit.


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Ron recommended we go to a local bullfight. One where the amateurs try to remove a ribbon from between the bulls horns, one that is non-violent and the bulls are the stars. We asked the tourist office to direct us to one of these "Course Camarguese" and they sent us to this amazing Roman amphitheater in Nimes. As soon as the matadors came out with spears and swords, we realized our request for a non-violent bullfight was lost in translation. After the first bull Alissa and I had to leave.

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Taylor acting like a bull.


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We spent our last day in Avignon. I still can't figure out how this statue doesn't fall over.


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A statue at the top of a hill in Avignon.


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We thought this pose was appropriate for the creepy mustache Ryan grew while we were there.


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Yes, we definitely love France and hope to go back soon!

Paris 2010

It's been a year, but I finally got around to editing the photos from our trip to France last fall. The trip started with 24 hours of traveling (I've never been awake for my entire birthday before), but got much better after that. We met Joel and his family in Paris who happened to overlap our trip by a couple days.

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We spent the day with them at Versailles. It was a gorgeous day and the palace was beautiful!


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Inside the palace there was some sort of Japanese anime sculpture exhibit going on. I don't think they could have found anything more out of place to display.


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The next day we met up with Ryan and Alissa. Paris has these Velib stations all over the city where you can rent a bike and return it to any station. Pretty cool. Except when you discover your bike has a flat tire or is missing a chain.


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We rode to the Eiffel Tower.


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And to the Rodin sculpture garden. (Thanks Sunny and Marc for the tip.)


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It was a really great way to see the city, especially when you only have a day to see it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Venice

The entire trip I was really excited to visit Venice, especially to photograph it.

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Ryan and I woke up early the first morning to catch the good light. Sadly, all we got was a heavy layer of fog.



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But we made the best of it and had a fun morning capturing the city.



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The fog gave it a bit of a surreal feeling.



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The clock in San Marco Square.



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You can't go to Venice without getting a photo of a gondolier.



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Or his boat.



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We took a long walk to a little pier that had some significance that I can't remember.



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Our perfect travel companions!



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Our last stop was Rome. By this point I was tired of photographing (and I had tons of photos from our previous trip to Rome), but we did manage to get this one.


It only took me 2 years, but I finally managed to finish posting our trip. Thanks Packers for making it a memorable one!

Sienna

On the way out of the Umbria region we stopped at Sienna. It was overrun by tourists and not my favorite.

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But the gelato was delicious!


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Italy really knows how to do doors. The first one was in Spoleta and the last was in Sienna. I don't remember where the middle door was, but I found it interesting that they just painted the wall to look like stonework.

Civita and Orvieto

On Rick Steve's recommendation, we went to a tiny hilltop (more like cliff-side) town called Civita. It is often called a dying city because most of it's residents are quite old and the population is literally dying off.

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The town is surrounded by very steep cliffs and the only way to access it is to walk across an elevated bridge.


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This women sits in front of her house everyday and charges visitors a small fee to enjoy the view from her backyard.


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Near Civita is Orvieto. My favorite thing in this town is the famous striped church.


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A tribute to Kimmy. She will know why.


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Not to be outdone by us, Al and Ryan had some good poses too.


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And one good shot to round out the photo shoot.


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This restaurant was across the piazza from the church. I would have loved to eat there, not sure why we didn't.


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Apparently this worn down lion was very exciting.

Assisi

I didn't have high expectations for Assisi, but it turned out to be one of my favorite cities.


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Assisi is famous as the home of St. Francis. He is buried in this basilica.


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I'm assuming this is a statue of St. Francis, but I'm not positive.


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I loved all of the nuns running about.


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Consulting the guide books.


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Why don't we have more fountains here? There are gorgeous ones all over Italy.


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Alissa and I went shopping for souvenirs.


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The flying buttresses of the Basilica of St. Claire made a nice backdrop for this pigeon.


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A trip to Italy would not be complete without Taylor acting like a tool.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trevi

On the outskirts of many towns, we found random pieces of exercise equipment. We dubbed them Communist Training Camps.

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The one we found outside of Trevi was the most elaborate. All sorts of fun toys to play on.



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Al is showing off her muscles.


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This one may look fun, until you get to the end and it sends you flying.


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Trevi was a fairly typical hill town. Very quiet with cute little streets.


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This pattern of colored rocks was used as a door mat.


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We found a doorway just Alissa's size.


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A heart-shaped rock.