Ciao Italy with a bambino! 

Our first family vacation- lots of nerves and hope went into or holiday, and a world of planning. And the result was a dream holiday- relaxing and happy! 

We picked southern Italy, bringing my old hollywood Italian riviera dreams to life! Based on research, we realized the coast is a bit impractical with a buggy and our bubba was not into the sling. We set up base in Sorrento, which is just between Naples and the coast. The coast is pretty crazy in the summer, so we got lucky with timing- spring was the beginning of the tourist season and we still got lots of sunshine. 

Italy is absolutely the best place to visit with a baby- everyone seems to love babies, our bubba was the center of attention with people cooing and appreciating. Most restaurants have high chair and they go out of their way to entertain the baby.

While most blogs advise you not to rent a car, we did rent one. Driving around Amalfi coast is stressful- the streets are narrow and there are cars parked in one side, people are impatient and fast.  Having said that, hubby didn’t mind because the spectacular views were well worth it. Also it was the convinient choice with a bubba- we didn’t have a plan, we would drive till she was happy and when she got restless, we would stop and walk around that town or village.

Our tip on traveling with a baby would be to not really have an agenda and work on the baby schedule. We started our day with a leisurely breakfast and walk, then nap in car, a stroll around and lunch at the town we stopped at as bubba got impatient, drive back and nap when baby got restless, play time at home and a relaxed dinner. We initially talked about going to Pompeii and Capri but realized it’s not practical with a 8 month old. 

We enjoyed driving around the coast, stopping at Priano, Amalfi, and Atriani. We didn’t spend too much time researching but Sorrento, but that turned out to be our favorite- the land of limoncello, we enjoyed walks with a view of Mount Vesuvius and Naples, the blue sea, lush greenery, and the mountains; the tiny marker streets with amazing restaurants and cute stores; the cute street train ride around town. 

Having said that, we did see a lot of amazing places, and here are some of our favorite pictures (all pictures are my own, shot on iPhone):

Positano in all its vertical glory


The view from one of the overlook points- great place to get fresh juice and produce

The view from our lunch spot in Priano (the lovely Restaurant in Costa Diva, amazing food and service)

My lunch table at the lovely Costa Diva

Marina Grande in Sorrento

The omnipresent lemon trees

Narrow streets of Sorrento, full of food and magic!

beautiful church in Sorrento

Spectacular architecture detail

Another Sorrento picture 🙂

Hola Barcelona

Hi everyone

I escaped to sunny Barcelona from grey rainy London over the Easter holidays. Everyone I talked to prior to the trip said Barcelona was their favorite city, and you can see why on day 1- the sun, the people, the vibe of the city. There is something for everyone here- the Gothic quarters, Sangrada Familia, Parc Guell, tapas and sangria… the list goes on!

I have to say while I adored and loved Barcelona, I have to say for someone on their babymoon, I couldn’t indulge in a few things Barcelona was famous for: the bars and nightlife, sangria, and it was still a bit too cold for the beach. So this post is the more pregnant friendly activities in Barcelona: walking around the city, eating tapas, and just relaxing! 🙂

Here are some of my pictures:

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Hubby enjoying the first sangria of the trip!

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Some gems around Gothic quarters

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St. Mary of the sea- amazing tall ceilings

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Cathedral of Barcelona

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Swans at Cathedral of Barcelona

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Parc Guell

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The grand Sangrada Familia- expected to complete construction in 2026, a full 150 years labour of love

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The apse at Sangrada Familia

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The incredible stain glass windows at Sangrada Familia

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The gorgeous ceilings with tree columns at Sangrada Familia

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An orange tree in Spanish Village (Poblo Espanyol)

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Poblo Espanyol has buildings styled by each region- some reviews found it touristy, but we loved it!

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Flamenco at the Andalusian part of Poblo Espanyol


I hope you enjoyed this slice of Barcelona- please share your comments!

The out”door” version of Barcelona

Barcelona has unique architecture- the buildings, town square and fountains are stunning even for those who aren’t architecture aficionados.I was obsessed with the doors and the outer facades of buildings.

Here are a few of my favorite ones (with my attempt at witty one liners), I hope you like it! 🙂

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Blue dreams

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Make an entrance with unique shapes!

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Who knew we would match?

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An old classic

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Am I flaming hot?

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So classy!

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I have a large green footprint

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Dancing ladies to get your attention!

Postcards from Paris

I spent the Christmas holidays in the romantic and magical city of Paris. As it is one of the most popular cities in the world, I don’t have to share my travel guide for it.

Here are my travel postcards (enhanced with a little help from Instagram):

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La Tour Eiffel during the day

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A closer view of La Tour Eiffel at night

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View from above LA Tour Eiffel

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Louvre

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Notre Dame on Christmas night

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The Notre Dame cathedral ceilings

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Love locks <3! Pont de l’Archeveche

 

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Pont Alexander

A Bath Weekend to remember!

Almost 8 years ago I visited the city of Bath over a summer afternoon, and I remembered it as a picturesque town but I didn’t really explore it all that much. I just went around the town square and loved it.

So when we were thinking of a weekend getaway, I decided Bath would be the destination- so I could really explore the city. The city of Bath is a UNESCO heritage site, the site where the Romans built the spa Aquae Solis in the 1st century AD. The entire city seems to be made of the same golden colored stone, adding to the allure.

Here is my attempt at taking you through the main highlights of Bath (pictures are mine with a bit of help from Instagram):

Parade Gardens

Parade Gardens

In the city center is the beautiful parade gardens, with River Avon flowing through it.

City center

City center

One of my favorite places was the town center- walking around the cobbled streets listening to local artists and walking into small boutique stores.

Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent

One of the most spectacular and picturesque places I have seen in Bath is the Royal Crescent designed between 1767 and 1774. The crescent has 30 houses with the front facade being totally symmetrical and uniform.

Ha-Ha in front of Royal Crescent

Lawn in front of Royal Crescent

Here is another view of the royal crescent- with the wonderful green lawn looking into Royal Victoria Park.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

In the middle of the city center is Bath Abbey, built in 7th century.

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Roman Baths

And finally- to the highlight of Bath: the Roman Baths- set against the background of the abbey.

The original spa structure

The original spa structure

The Roman Baths were built 1st century AD, and their ruins were only discovered in 1879.

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Bath Springs

The Roman Baths used water from a natural hot spring: the Romans believed the water was blessed by Goddess Minerva.

Goddess Minerva Gold Head

Goddess Minerva Gold Head

The Baths was not just a part of their cleansing routine, there was a spiritual aspect as well. The Baths have a temple for Goddess Minerva- the gilded gold head of Minerva was discovered.

If only we could live a day like the Romans, hanging out in hot springs and enjoying a relaxing Bath! 🙂

A fall weekend in Cotswolds

Ever since I moved to London, I heard about Cotswolds, the Hamptons of London. I got the opportunity to spend a Fall weekend in Cotswold- just as their tourist season was wrapping up. It is a picturesque part of the country, with tree tunnels, rolling meadows. As we drove by, I kept reminding the novels I read through childhood.

This post isn’t pictures of sights, just the fall colors and greenery.

Hopefully it will have the same effect on you as it did on me- I fell in love with nature again ❤

(Pictures are all me with a little help of Instagram)

The many colors in one frame

The many colors in one frame

I love yellow!

I love yellow!

Orange is the new block

Orange is the new black!

Colors of the shrubs- so they don't feel left out

Colors of the smaller plants- so they don’t feel left out

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree :-)

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree 🙂

Ello Scotland!

Exotic Scotland always beckoned me- with mountains and the breathtaking landscape of Scottish highlands, the rich history, traditions and castles, the mysterious Nessie.. the list goes on and on…. So when I finally got to Scotland, it was a dream come true!

My pictures are more from Loch Ness- the natural beauty captured my heart and gave me a much needed break from the hustle and bustle. The enormous Loch, the green mountains, clouds and rainbows, and when you least expect it, some sheep! What would have made this album epic would a picture of the elusive Nessie- but I wasn’t that lucky! 🙂

I couldn’t cover much of Edinburgh- it is a big city, and we got there during the summer fringe festival- full of music, performances, and art- which made it crazier. The streets were full of people, so stopping for a picture was next to impossible.

So come see the magic of Scotland- one of my favorite vacations to date (all pictures are mine, and with no filters :-)):

The magic of Loch Ness

The magic of Loch Ness

Uruquat Castle

Uruquat Castle

The cascading hills near the castle and Loch

The cascading hills near the castle and Loch

A waterfall in the mountains around the Loch

A waterfall in the mountains around the Loch

Fort Augustus Center

Fort Augustus Center

Roybridge while driving around the Loch

Roybridge while driving around the Loch

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

From inside Stirling Castle

From inside Stirling Castle

Fringe Festival in the background of Edinburgh castle

Fringe Festival in the background of Edinburgh castle

Bristol relived!

My first taste of UK was during my year studying at Bristol- the city is always in my memory as the place which was full of fun, friends, and carefree fun! After 9 years, I was curious to see how much the city has changed.

I guess the first thing I realized is I never truly explored the city- the touristy bits! So it was fun to rediscover the elements that make it so tourist friendly, and what better weekend to explore than when the annual balloon festival is in town!

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

One of the mos amazing sighs is the Clifton Suspension Bridge- walking along the bridge is an incredible experience. The river Avon below, the greenery around the bridge, and the gorgeous hill with observatory… perfect spot for a picnic!

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The balloon festival

The balloon festival- the annual event that attracts thousands…. one of the best places is the White Lions bar at Avon Gorge Hotel- the best view of the bridge and to see the hot air balloons….

How did a monkey get here?

How did a monkey get here?

Clifton village has lots of cute arts and craft stores and boutiques, and as I was walking around, and look who I spotted?

Victoria Rooms

Victoria Rooms

One of the most beautiful landmarks are the Victoria Rooms, with gorgeous fountains outside…

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church, Castle Park

Castle Park is an an open green space by the river, with herb gardens, and the ruins of Bristol castle, and St. Peter’s church. It is a great combination of history, green space, and tranquility by the river.

Other spots that I couldn’t take a picture of:

  • Cabot Towers
  • College Green
  • Bristol Harbor

My first few pictures of London

Hello London! Thank you for the great welcome- gorgeous weather with hardly any rain and some awesome company to explore… 🙂

So here is a collection of my postcards so far-taken by me, with some help from Instagram!

Westminster

Westminster

Big Ben

Big Ben

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Artwork outside Regent Park

Artwork outside Regent Park

Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind - boat

Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind – boat

Southark- remains of Winchester Palace from 12th century

Southark- remains of Winchester Palace from 12th century

Kensington

Kensington

Camden

Camden

My Top 5 New York memories

After a long hiatus, I am back in blogging- big changes! We picked our bags, and hopped across the pond to London. After all the chaos has settled, I am so excited to be blogging again.

I was thinking about my top 5 places of New York- the snapshot that comes up when you think of the city…. If you head to New York, here is my one day list of must sees- the places the tourist books don’t cover!

And here is my list (pictures taken by me, with some Instagram love):

  • Waterfront and skyline views
Skyline view

Skyline view

Walking along the Hudson river is so incredible- tall buildings in every direction… Whether you are on the Jersey side or Manhattan, the views are one of the most unique in the world…

  • High Line Park
Highline Park

Highline Park

One of the most unique places in New York is Highline Park- an abandoned railway line that is converted to a park. What I love is the unique views- water, city landscape, and the most unique art. This billboard is one of my favorite spots on the Park.

  • Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Central Park is the must see park in every guide book, but Washington Square Park is the hidden gem! Just off the busy West Village neighborhood, you are suddenly transported to a world with live music, art exhibits, and people escaping their busy lives…

  • City Hall Park
City Hall Park

City Hall Park

This isn’t a hugely popular park, but tucked between busy downtown buildings is a little park covered in flowers and with this gorgeous fountain. It is my little spot of sanity in the middle of crazy!

  • Frying Pan
Frying Pan

Frying Pan

Frying Pan is my favorite bar- an old boat that is docked on Hudson river. It is the best summer spot- rocking on the boat on a warm summer day is incredible! My only complaint is now that it is on all the travel magazines, there is a line to get in… I miss the days when it was on a hidden gem…