Milan and I were recently invited to a wedding on Lake Travis with unreal scenery. His two students from law school asked him to officiate the wedding. I had been to Austin many times but never to Lake Travis which is about 35 minutes from downtown. I really did not know what to expect but I am so glad I at least brought my Fujifilm Camera with me! Not only did it take great shots, it was not intrusive at all. The family's estate was just jaw dropping. I felt like I was on the coast of Italy.
This month I photographed the amazing Fort Worth Opera Gala. My graceful and talented friend Megan organized the whole event and it turned out to be a huge success! The dinner and cocktail hour was held at the Van Cliburn Hall with gorgeous flowers all done by Jake of The Twisted Tulip. The main attraction was his incredible wall made with fresh real florals.
After the dinner we all made our way to the on stage after party at Bass Hall. It was such an amazing and rare experience to see this stage from a performer's perspective. During the after party there were three incredible performances. My personal favorite was a performance by Luke Chacko, a child singer who went viral on the Ellen Show. He blew us away with his incredible voice and personality. For more photos check out Fort Worth Culture Map
Ever since I began my journey as a photographer I have dealt with so many different mediums. I think it is important when starting out to photograph everything and anything. As you become more aware of what you like it is important to focus on those specific areas. I also think photography is ever evolving, and my style is constantly changing. Right now my favorite kinds of photography are travel, food, fashion, and minimalism which is all displayed right here on my website.
Minimalism is new for me, but I absolutely love it. Travel photography is still my favorite, but honestly from being on Instagram you probably will end up with a shot that a thousand other people have already taken. I know I have. Minimalist photography gives you that unique edge to snap a photo that nobody else has taken or at least not that many people. You can also incorporate minimalism with travel like I do. Here I did a minimalist project at The San Antonio Central Library. Normally this is not a tourist destination. It almost is in the middle of nowhere with a lot of homeless people inside and out, yet it is an incredible photography wonderland. Before I go on a trip I do so much research to see where I want to photograph. This site stood out to me on my search and I knew I could practice minimalism here. There are so many types of minimalist photography. I love the bright colors and geometric shapes here.
My husband and I got to spend two wonderful days in San Antonio this past week. He is a law professor at Texas A&M and has a wonderful travel budget. We were in San Antonio this time for him to teach a class at the A&M sector. I had never been to San Antonio yet so I was very excited to check it out. We stayed at The Westin Riverwalk. The hotel, like many others in San Antonio was right on the RiverWalk. You just have to walk downstairs and you are there! I adored the Riverwalk so much. It can be a little touristy with some chain restaurants and tour boats, but it is still such a beautiful part of the city.
The first day we were there we explored the River Walk. Right by our hotel on the river was a small little shopping village called La Villita. The best thing about it is that there are so many exits and entrances. You can go down or up at any time you wish, from downtown and back to the river. It is easy to see all the big sites in San Antonio in just a few hours. Along the riverwalk we exited to check out The Alamo. It is a lot smaller than it looks in photos but still very impressive. For dinner the first night we went to Bohanan's Steak House. This was probably one of the best steakhouses I have ever been to. The steak and sides were perfect. I also highly recommend the chicken tortillas soup. The service was incredible too.
The next day we got a quick breakfast and I ventured off to the San Antonio Central Library. I know it sounds weird to visit a library on a trip, but this was one the coolest libraries I had ever been to! I have been working on a kind of Pop Art Minimalist Photography for a while and this was the perfect spot to practice. You will see in my next post.
For lunch we went to Ocho which is on top of the River Walk. This was a beautiful open air cafe with Cuban/Mexican tapas. The food an ambiance was good but the service was not great. There was one person working there and she had an attitude and as soon as I snapped a photo she told me I could not take photos with my DSLR only my Iphone. OH WELL I got the photo anyway! I am going to go on a rant about this... This makes me angry because honestly, why? What is the difference these days? People make a ton of money off of Iphone Instagram images, and I am literally just taking photos for my blog without monetizing it. I just prefer using a DSLR because of the quality. I respect people's wishes and their privacy but I just don't get it. I would understand if they said no photos in general, that makes sense. Maybe the owner had one too many bloggers taking photos with DSLR's, I have no idea! OKAY DONE!
Later evening after my husband's class was over, we met up for drinks at Haunt in the St. Anthony's hotel. After that we checked out Esquire which has the longest bar top in Texas! It was late so we just ate there but it was very good bar food. After that we ended the night at Last Word, a nice cocktail bar.
Here we are in beautiful Sonoma again. We have now spent three amazing trips here since it was part of our honeymoon last year. After spending a night in San Francisco, we took an UBER back to this gorgeous paradise for just two days. Believe me just two to three days is enough when you are drinking wine all day and night. The first day we ate some lunch at the pool, and I got to have some of my favorite fish tacos ever! After lunch we headed up to Repris Winery. We became wine club members here last time and did another tour.
Repris is probably my favorite winery in Sonoma because of the wines and the privacy. This is NOT a touristy spot at all. Our wonderful tour guide led us up to the vineyard in an ATV and then we tasted wine overlooking the beautiful hills. Unfortunately a lot of the land around it was burned from the wildfires but Repris was barely touched! We headed back down the hilltop to once again explore the most amazing wine cave. We ended the tour with a private tasting of the wines accompanied by charcuterie. After our wine tasting we ate a light dinner at Tasca Tasca which has delicious tapas and you can bring your own wine with no corkage fee. We wanted to eat light because the next day we had an Easter brunch booked at Sante in the Fairmont.
On Easter Sunday we started the day at the incredible Fairmont Spa. All of the water in the spa part of the Boyes Hot Springs- natural and healing hot springs that appear just in that area. Included in the spa is an outdoor heated pool and a quiet pool where you float on noodles and dip your head into the water to hear music. The inside of the spa includes a hot tub, warm tub sauna, steam room, and sprinklers/ ice bucket. After relaxing at the spa we enjoyed our buffet brunch at the Fairmont's restaurant Sante. We ordered some champagne and enjoyed a ton of food including unlimited caviar, seafood, cheese, breakfast, and dessert. By the time we were done with brunch and the spa we went back to the room and passed out.
From Paris of the East to Paris of the West. I just learned via a crossword puzzle that San Francisco is referred to "Paris of The West" and it is easy to see why. I have been to San Francisco many times now but it is always different each visit. This trip we stayed at the classic Palace Hotel. This hotel very much reminded me of being back in Paris from the architecture to the Garden Court to the Parisian balcony we had in our room. Outside of the hotel I noticed some 1950's style trolleys. I usually notice the older ones but this was my first time seeing those. San Francisco can bring you back in time at every corner. Sometimes I feel like I am in a Hitchcock movie, or sometimes I feel like I am in Paris in the 20's.
In a stark contrast to the beauty of San Francisco, there is a huge wealth disparity. It pains me to see so many homeless people and it is really apparent here compared to many other cities. I recently watched a documentary called San Francisco 2.0 and this film shared the growing gentrification of the city. This documentary was made in 2015 and you can see an even bigger contrast now in 2018. There is no middle class here anymore, just rich Silicon Valley kids and people who were forced out of their homes due to high cost of living.
Before my trip to Europe I was looking into getting a different kind of camera. I was SO sick of lugging around my bulky DSLR that makes everyone look like a tourist. I also feel that DSLRs can be very intrusive especially when photographing in a quite place, shop, or restaurant. I googled mirrorless camera and the best reviews and results came from the Fujifilm x100 series. I decided to buy a used one in great condition, an older model the x100s for $489 at Adorama. The new version is the x100f which retails for about $1300.
I was a little reluctant to just rely on this camera at first, so I still brought my DSLR with a 24-70 lens with me on my trip. I also didn't get the camera shipped to me until about 2 hours before my trip so I did not have a lot of time to mess with it. I was quick to learn the new settings on the plane ride and eventually got used to the dials. They are pretty easy to use.
In Paris and Belgrade I used a mix of both of my cameras. When I knew I would probably be photographing something I needed to get closer or wider, I took my DSLR. When I took it out though I really hated using it. My shoulder started hurting yet again. I still had my Fujifilm on me at all times because it easily fit into my purse. I was even able to take photos at night with it, and I do not like to take my DSLR out at night.
A few notes about the Fujifilm x100 series:
- Love the vintage look of this camera, yet it is still digital.
- Super light weight! Fits in a small to medium purse.
- Fast focusing and shutter.
- The aperture knob was fun to use but sometimes it got stuck, I think just because it was older and used.
- It has one fixed focal point of 23mm. I think it is great for travel photos, the perfect distance!
- The photos are very sharp, and the aperture goes down to 2.0 which creates a nice blur!
- Indoor shots are not as great as my DSLR's. The ISO obviously has to be raised so the image of course looks grainy.
When I got home, after loading and editing my photos I realized I could not tell the difference between a lot the photos I took with my DSLR and my Fujifilm. The only ones I could tell a slight the difference was that sometimes the coloring was more bluish/green on the Fuji. That is easily fixed in Lightroom.
After using a DSLR for years I think I have almost converted to a mirrorless camera person! I am still going to use my Canon for professional work such as events, portraits, etc. For travel photography though it really does the job. The most important thing to know about photography is that it is not what kind of camera you use, it is the person behind the camera that creates the photo.
After Paris, my husband and I took a short flight to his native country Serbia. I adore Serbia and this is now my third time in the capital city of Belgrade! I love it here for many reasons. One of them is that it is unspoiled by tourists and instagramers (although probably not for long). Yes, Belgrade can be dreary less attractive to the eye because of the brutalist architecture. Aside from that it has some of the most beautiful architecture along with the famous Saint Sava Cathedral and Kalamegdan Fortress. Belgrade also has an amazing coffee/cafe culture. Similarly to Paris, everyone sits outside and enjoys a coffee with friends. Another reason to love Belgrade is it is SO cheap! You can have dinner for two at the best restaurant in town for the equivalent of $50-60. The only downside I find is that people smoke everywhere! It is hard to find a bar or restaurant that is non smoking.
We stayed this time at the Square Nine hotel which is the top hotel in Belgrade. During our time we visited with Milan's Baba (grandmother) and his aunt and uncle. She is almost 93 years old but looks fantastic! I think it is a mix of good genes and fresh food.
Places to Eat and Drink:
Ambar: It is right on the Danube River along with a lot of other great restaurants. There is actually also an Ambar in Washington D.C. which we went to about a month ago! Great small plates and best cheese pie ever.
Franš: This place is an institution in Belgrade! It has a gorgeous outdoor seating area and the inside is just as nice. It reminds me a little of Tavern on The Green in New York but with better food.
Rakia Bar: This is THE place for Rakia in Belgrade! Rakia is a fruit brandy that is strong but delicious and low in calories. My favorite is apricot and raspberry but the quince is also nice.
ŠEŠIR MOJ: Meaning "My Hat" is located in the bohemian area of Skadarlija. Skadarlija is the Montmarte of Belgrade. This restaurant serves classic Serbian food and has a group of musicians come over to serenade you.
Little Bay: A wonderful little Serbian restaurant with a beautiful interior that resembles an Opera House.
?: Yes, Question Mark Restaurant. This is the oldest restaurant in Belgrade! If you want a really authentic Serbian experience, this is the place! Just be mindful of the smoking.
Klub književnika: AKA The Writer's Club is a beautiful and upscale restaurant. We ate a huge plate of meat here!
Sasa Bar: We found this place our last night and their ricotta gnocchi with beet sauce might have been my favorite dish of the trip!
One of the top items on my travel to do list is to photograph Paris in the Spring, notably the blossoms. Every time the seasons are changing it is always a mad dash to get the perfect photo of the season in bloom. Blossoms do not last long at all, maybe a week or two. I am so happy I got to check this box off my list by getting lucky and having some blossoms pop up in Paris on a cloudless day. It was a little early for them being that it was end of March, but there was so much rain in Paris the past few months. These beauties are all over the Champs de Mars. I saw a beautiful Magnolia tree about to blossoms, unfortunately it was a little too early. I still was able to get some amazing photos of these so I am very grateful!
For our one year wedding anniversary/my husband's birthday, we decided to take a trip to Paris and Belgrade. We have not been back to Paris since 2015 and were so excited to finally be back again. Paris is one of my favorite cities and the place I have been to the most outside of the USA. SInce I have been here a lot I decided to try and do Paris like a local. It is actually amazing what you can accomplish in just two days in a city (if you try).
For the first two and a half days we stayed in the Rive Droite this time at the W Hotel near the Opera. The hotel is just around the corner from a ton of shopping too. On the 8th floor of Printemps there is a beautiful and free view of the city with a great food marketplace. We also decided to try some of the smaller museums that are a lot less touristy like Musée Gustav Moreau and Musée Jacquemart-André. The museums are always wonderful in Paris, but strolling through the city is the best thing to do! As we were walking we stumbled upon an amazing Cathedral called Eglise de la Trinité and had the entire place to ourseleves!
After Belgrade we went back to Paris for just one day in order to catch our direct flight back to DFW. We stayed at the quaint Le Dokhan near Trocadero. The location was very different. It was in a local neighborhood even though it was so close to the Eiffel Tower. I liked this hotel and location a lot better than the W. The room was small but it felt like I was living inside a French novella in the 1600's. Another fun part was the Louis Vuitton elevator! It felt like you were being transported in a large Vuitton luggage.
Now on to the food and drinks:
Coquette- Inside of the W hotel. We ate there for lunch while waiting for our room. It was very solid but not amazing. I had the Coquilles Saint Jaques and Milan had the truffle flatbread. We also had the breakfast buffet here in the morning which was again good, but not great.
Comptoir de la Gastronomie- We sat outside here for lunch on the most beautiful afternoon. This is THE place to order anything with duck. I ate the fois gras ravioli and Milan had the duck. The ravioli was probably the richest thing I ever ate in my life, but wow!
Les Afranchis- We stumbled on this Michelin Star restaurant near Pigalle. It was superb french cooking! I had the fois gras, chicken, and for desert an incredible dish with wasabi. I never had anything like that! I also ate most of Milan's mashed potatoes. Oh my, they were amazing! I have a thing for french mashed potatoes. I especially love them at Joel Robuchon and these were just as good!
L'Atelier Joel Robuchon- Of course we had to go here to celebrate Milan's birthday! This is one of our favorite restaurants in both Las Vegas and Paris. The food at the Paris location is very different than the one in Vegas so it is worth checking out both. We ordered the eggplant, spaghetti, shrimp ravioli, chicken ravioli soup, le burger, and a side of the best mashed potatoes in the universe! When I describe the food in English it doesn't sound at all that interested or special, but just imagine the most amazing kind of dishes you ever had.
Le Dokhan's Bar- On our last day we spent a few hours at this amazing Champagne bar in our hotel. They have a Champagne Sommelier who brings you 3 different glasses to pick for your Champagne. I got the coup glass each time. They also have these amazing cheese puffs.
Restaurant Victor- On our last night we wanted to stay close to our hotel for dinner. We had reservations at another place but our hotel messed up the time. While looking for another restaurant stumbled upon this place and it had good reviews. After waiting about 45 minutes for a table on a Wednesday we got seated. The food was very good, but VERY traditional french. I had scallops with some kind of mashed side dish. I had the hardest time figuring out what it was because it was not potatoes. I found our it was actually mashed Jerusalem artichokes, how weird! They were very good but so different. Milan ordered veal but didn't realize they were veal hearts. They were not for him. This was probably my least favorite of the bunch but still good, and unique!
A few takeaways/realizations about Paris:
- I guess I forgot how busy a city can be! Paris has a ton of relaxing corners but it is still such a bustling city that it can be overwhelming. It reminds me so much of New York.
- When you speak French or at least try to, people are REALLY nice! The French in general are mostly nice polite people. They say Bonjour, Merci, etc. to everyone in a restaurant or shop. I feel that in the US people a lot of the time do not say hello, please or thank you.
- Even though you try to speak French ( My husband's French is amazing) They still know you are American. We got ripped off by a cab driver one night. It was our fault though we hailed a cab on the street which you should not ever do, but it started raining.
- Paris seems even more touristy than it used to. I know it has only been 3 years but even in low season it seemed to be bursting at the seams with tourists (Probably because of Instagram/Social Media) A lot of the lesser known spots a few years ago were now packed. I wanted to take Milan to the Opera and in the morning there was a huge line out the door! I remember walking right in three years ago and it was empty.
- I love Paris, but it will probably be a while before we return. We went very hard!
This past holiday I spent two amazing days in San Diego before celebrating New Years Eve in Vegas. We wanted to go somewhere warm and decided on San Diego because we had never been before. My husband and I stayed at the Kimpton Palomar in downtown with a beautiful terrace overlooking the city. One of my goals was to find the best fish tacos in the city. I am very picky when it comes to fish tacos but San Diego is probably the best place in the world to find them! We tried two different places, and while the tacos were good they were not amazing even though they had good reviews. The last place we tried was called Serrano's Street Tacos and bar- we hit the fish taco jackpot! I actually ate 5 tacos they were that good! The tacos themselves were perfect but also came with three delicious sauces.
In between our taco hunt, we explored La Jolla Cove and the sea lions that love to sleep on the rocks. We also of course went to the San Diego Zoo. The zoo was great but very crowded and expensive for a ticket. I am glad we went though. It was really a fantastic zoo that felt more like a safari than a typical zoo. There is so much to do in San Diego, I wish we had more time here but it was such an incredible experience.
Every year my husband and I love to go on at least one big Eurotrip, so the whole year we save up a ton of points to fly first class. We flew amazing British Airways First Class round trip to and from Europe. Just flying there is half the fun and you get the sleep that you need. I also hate flying and being in first class at least distracts me and puts my mind at ease. Located right in the nose, you don't even feel like you are on a plane. Leisurely you board the plane and the cheery British flight attendants welcome you. They immediately serve you a drink of choice as you settle in to your seat. Waiting there are noise cancelling headphones, magazines to choose from and my favorite, an essentials kit from Liberty London. The pretty pouch is filled with everything you need for the flight- eye mask, lotion, toothpaste, cleanser, pen, deodorant, cotton pads, comb, etc. By the time you get settled you are already in the air.
After take off, dinner is served. There is a full menu to choose from including amuse bouche, appetizer, main course, and dessert. Included is all the top shelf alcohol you can drink. Lately I have gotten motion sickness from drinking on flights so I just sipped on a glass of champagne while enjoying dinner. My favorite was the delicious pasta which was honestly just as good as pasta we had in Italy When you are ready to go to sleep they come over and "make your bed" for you. I didn't even watch a movie, by the time I woke up we were an hour out of London.I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on our connecting flight to Rome and enjoy the day. First class is truly an amazing experience and I am grateful to experience it.
Here we are at the end of our trip in last but certainty not least, Venice. This place is truly a dream, it feels like it just isn't a real place. Venice can get a bad wrap for being too touristy but again, not in November. I am still dreaming about being here and lusting over these photos. To begin our trip we took the Trenitalia from Milan to Venice in the business class. The train was empty and relaxing. As we got in we got to see the city on the water from the train windows. We left the train station and were immediately wowed! The hotel website said to take a boat from the train station but we decided to just walk as it was only 20 minutes and the most beautiful day. We got to see the real Venice, where people actually live and work on the way to our hotel across the Rialto Bridge.
We got to the Hotel Ai Reali and quickly freshened up before getting some lunch. We stopped at Cantina Do Mori, Venice's oldest bar founded in 1462. Similar to Rome where they have Apertivo, Venice has Cicchetti which is tapas and they serve it all day. Most bars you find will have tons of fresh delicious food to choose from including meats, cheeses, arancini, crostini, fish, etc. Our absolute favorite part of Venice besides seeing the sites, was enjoying wine and cicchetti. After that we went to a wine bar and did a tasting with a yummy pizza. A little tipsy, we stumbled upon the Peggy Guggenheim Collection which was such a treat! We finished the day at the beautiful restaurant Bistrot de Venise which has a Michelin star and 60 wines by the glass.
The next day as usual I woke up at 7am for sunrise and walked around St. Mark's square. I highly recommend doing this, you get to see the sunrise on the water over the gondolas. After we ate some complimentary hotel breakfast buffet and continued our day. We walked back to St. Mark's and kept going until we got lost in a few beautiful local neighborhoods. The best part of Venice is getting lost! Don't spend your whole trip figuring out where to go on your phone. We were pretty beat from the walk so I quickly went to our hotel spa which was very much needed! We continued to walk around for the rest of the day and enjoyed some mulled wine off the street vendors. After we got a gondola right from our hotel which was nice but underwhelming and so expensive! I am glad we did it though just once. Our last night we enjoyed more ciccheti and ate dinner at Cantina Do Spade where I had the most amazing ravioli and meatballs.
The next day we had to say goodbye to Venice, and did so in style with a private water taxi to the airport. Normally we would not have gotten a private taxi because it was very expensive but we had to leave at 5am. This was so much fun though having it all to ourselves and docking right at the airport! Till next time Venice... we will surely be back.
P.S. Thank you so much to my amazing husband for putting up with my photography OCD and taking pictures of me even though he hates it!
The second part of our journey through Italy was North to Milan via the Trenitalia. I loved riding the train and then arriving into Milan's beautiful train station. Right away when we arrived I noticed a huge shift between Rome and where we were now. It was a dreary rainy day but I expected that from Milan. The main city architecture was very brutalist and corporate until we got to the fashion district where our hotel was. The big attractions here are the Duomo, The Galleria, and of course shopping in the Fashion District Via Spiga. Milan felt a lot like a cross between Paris and Belgrade. The people were nice but not as friendly as in Rome and a little snobby. It is worth coming here also to just people watch because all the women wear outrageous outfits.
Our first half day we checked into the Mandarin Oriental which was a great mix of modern Italian decor with a little Asian flair. The room was sophisticated and minimalist with an enormous bathtub that we used quite a bit. We started the day off with a quick walk to look at the shopping center Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ii. The Galleria is filled with high end shops and restaurants and has two gigantic Prada stores. We stumbled upon a small Fondaizone Prada Osservatorio photography exhibit that took us to the top of the building. Aside from the cool exhibit we got to see the top of the Galleria which not a lot of people get to see. Afterward, we admired the beautiful Duomo which is right next door. Then we went to the Museo del Novecento which housed beautiful works of art as well as a nice view of the Duomo. Later that evening we enjoyed apertivo, cocktails, and pasta at the Armani Hotel. This was probably the chicest hotel I have ever seen including the clientele at the bar. To end the night we walked around the fashion district and admired the beautiful stores and christmas decor.
The next day I really wanted to check out the Fondaizone Prada museum and the attached Bar Luce designed by Wes Anderson. It was definitely out of the way, about a 20 minute UBER ride. We only saw one gallery before the attendants kept telling me to check my bag even though it was just a medium sized handbag. Apparently it was too large but I really didn't want to check it being that I had valuables inside including my passport. We decided to move on to eat at Bar Luce. We didn't have to wait too long for a table being that it is a very popular place. We ordered cocktails and sandwiches, and then I wanted some coffee and desert but our waiter never came back so we just paid the cashier and left. I was a little disappointed by the trip there. I would not highly recommend it if you don't have a lot of time in Milan. We decided to walk back because it was such a beautiful day. We got to see some great local neighborhoods in Milan including the University and a beautiful park. All in all I am really happy we got to see Milan, it is a great city to do in just a day or two!
The first part of our amazing 8 day romp through Italy was in Rome. You hear so much about this city but can never truly know until you have been. I can say it is definitely one of my favorite cities now. It really is the Paris of Italy in my opinion. Even though I am a Francophile, maybe I even liked it a little better than Paris?! Here is a synopsis of our time there. I don't write guides because I am not expert but I can say that it is possible to do Rome in just two and a half days!
The first day we got in around 2pm after an 8 hour flight and a 2 hour connection from London. We took a cab to our hotel with the nicest driver who's family was five generation Roman. On our way to our hotel we got to see many sites which was a great introduction. After we checked in we walked around to the Piazza Spagna and the Trevi Fountain which was close to our hotel. We definitely worked up an appetite so we went to dinner and I got my first bite of Italian Carbonara at a local restaurant. Later we drank delicious Sagrantino wine and then stumbled over to Harry's Bar for a nightcap. The funny thing about Rome is they never stop feeding you! Even though we were full after dinner we continued to devour the free snacks at Harry's and they even gave us free cookies.
The next day I woke up at sunrise as I do every trip for the beautiful light and empty city. After a beautiful walk we ate at the breakfast buffet at our hotel and saw Comedian Jim Gaffigan eating with his family! This was a huge day filled with stopping at all the tourist attractions including a tour of the lesser known Palazzo Doria Pamphilj which is still inhabited by the original family. After that I had to get some Gelato which became my lunch with a macaron on top (the Francophile in me of course). Then we cabbed to the Colosseum at sunset. To end the day we walked over to the Monti neighborhood and ate at Ai Tre Scalini. I had the most delicious pumpkin lasagna. It was still early, so a few hours later we sat outside at Taverna Dei Monti and got a pizza pie and more wine.
Our last day there we had to see the Vatican of course. Lines are the worst so we got tickets in advance and got right in. The Sistine Chapel was awe inspiring and the one place you cannot take photos, which I actually appreciated. It was nice to see everyone enjoying the moment. After that we walked to St. Peters but unfortunately there was the biggest line I had ever seen to get in. We decided to move on and not waste the day in line. Guess we will have to be back! We UBER'd over to the quaint Trastevere neighborhood and found a great spot for lunch. Percorsi Wine Bar was said to have the best burger in Rome and after two days of straight Italian I was ready for something different. It was honestly top 3 best burgers I ever had! After we were done with lunch I stopped to admire the huge chandelier in the restaurant and the waiter lowered the chandelier and told me to get in! I was raised to the ceiling on the chandelier like in a movie, it was so much fun! For dinner we ate a more high end Italian meal at Brunello which was fantasic!
This is probably the most I ever wrote in one blog post, but Rome was worth writing down each moment.
This November I turned 30 and wanted nothing more than to finally go to Italy! My husband took me on the most amazing 8 day trip through Rome, Milan, and Venice. Late fall is the perfect time to go to Italy or anywhere really. The weather is cooler, less tourists, and the trees are beautiful. Our first stop was in Rome staying at the Westin Excelsior. The hotel was in a great location right near the Piazza Spagna. I was able to wake up very early to go take photos at sunrise. Our room was gorgeous with a fantastic view. My favorite part though might have been the free breakfast buffet where we also saw Comedian Jim Gaffigan with his wife and kids!.
One of my favorite things to do in LA is to go to Venice Beach and watch the surfers from the pier. This time I decided to wake up very early to get the beautiful light. You would not think it, but there were tons of surfers out at sunrise, I think that is when the best waves are! This is part two of my Venice series.
On the way to Vegas, we decided to stop in to LA just for two nights. We stayed at the famous and historic Palihouse hotel in Santa Monica. We got in late at night and checked in at the front desk where the concierge gave us actual room keys instead of cards.. The hotel definitely has a little bit of a haunting feeling but very cozy too. The room was very quaint and the bed was super comfortable. There is also a very nice outdoor patio. The hotel really feels like you are staying in LA during a golden age, with a hint of The Shining and Norman Bates :)
After being in Fort Worth for a few years now, I have definitely run out of things to photograph. It is a great little city, but it has many lulls and I feel like I have photographed almost everything. I always get excited though come fall for a few events a year including this one. The Fort Worth Car Show is such a fun event to photograph. I have a thing for old cars, I actually don't like the look of new ones and don't even own a car myself. If I did own one I would love to have one of these beauties!