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Flashback Friday

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Flipped Upside Down

Sharing time…

While on a family vacation, this past January, I was in a life-altering car accident. I was the only person involved in the crash. It occurred at the start of our vacation, so many people ask if it ruined my time off. It didn’t. In fact, it was the best vacation ever. And here’s why.

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Flashback Friday | 1999

The other day, I decided to digitize some of my old slides. I don’t own a good slide scanner; however, I do possess a camera and a macro lens. So, I set up a little duping station in the studio and spent the afternoon reliving some of the moments and memories from the past. Even after 13 years (yikes, 13 YEARS!), I can still remember the specifics of the day, the locations and interactions from each photograph. Without these photos, I probably wouldn’t be able to recall the details from that time. Today, I wanted share a few of them with you…

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Flashback Friday | I Do

Have we ever told you the story of our engagement?

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Piraeus, Greece right outside of Athens. We just finished a long walk from the cruise ship to the local Starbucks and grocery store situated next to a quaint boating dock. We ordered our favourite drinks, at the time, Mocha Coconut Frappuccinos and sat on a wooden bench overlooking the harbor. We chatted for a while about the usual, and then we started talking about marriage. We’d only know one another for four months, but we knew from our very first date that we were destined to be.

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Wanted | Fall Family Fun

We decided to do a more recent flashback this time. Flashback to last week…

Have you heard of Pinterest? Pinterest is a brilliant online tool that inspires creativity in a really interesting way. According to their website, Pinterest is “a virtual pinboard… (it) allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” What you do is go online, find things that inspire you, then pin these interests (Get it? Pin your interests, Pinterest! Very clever) onto these boards that you’ve created for your profile. It’s genius! My sister-in-law introduced me to this handy little gem, and I am a huge fan!

After spending a few minutes on Pinterest (But seriously, you could spend an hour or more on Pinterest if you’re not careful, it’s that addictive), I came across a really fabulous idea for Fall.

Someone pinned a Fall Bucket List on their board and I just had to repin it onto my “Holidays” board. A bucket list is a wish list of things to do before you “kick the bucket.” I believe that this Fall Bucket List, is a list of family fun activities to do before Fall kicks the bucket. Some of the activities on the list include apple picking, going on a hay ride, corn maze, going to a pumpkin patch and much much more.

Well, what better place to experience a lot of these great ideas is at The Pumpkin Festival at Chappell Farms right outside of Barrie, ON. This was our first time ever visiting this amazing family friendly destination and we loved it! Noah loved the cows and sheep at the petting zoo, the mini playground, the tricycles, the hay maze, and the tractor ride. But most of all, he loved chasing the seagulls all around the property.

All in all, it was a perfect family outing. Many wonderful memories were created. All thanks to the creative ideas presented on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what cool activities our Winter Bucket List has to offer!

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Flashback Friday | Pompeii

The day we traveled to Pompeii was an interesting day. Paul, a couple of friends and I found an awesome “taxi driver,” who looked a lot like Robert Duvall, that offered us a sweet deal on a tour of Pompeii. Red flag! We hopped in the little green car and set off towards the ruins. On the way, we stopped at a cameo museum to learn about the whole process of creating this antique jewelry. After our mini tour of the museum, we got back into our Pompeii-bound vehicle. Suddenly, our “taxi” pulled off to the side of the road behind another car. Why? Well, because we were pulled over by the police! The policeman asked for his license and registration, and then went back to his cop car to do a check on the driver. It turns out, this was not a real taxi or taxi driver, but a 71-year-old man with five children and nine grandchildren (that love to eat spaghetti and lasagna) looking to make money in his free time. He asked Paul to pretend like he was his uncle and that he was simply showing us all around the city if a “situation” occurred. Well, fortunately no situation occurred, we didn’t have to lie and he was released to continue on the journey.

Upon arriving at our destination, we paused at a glorious fruit stand for a freshly squeezed orange juice. Delicious! We, then, trudged up the hill to the gates of Pompeii and were told that admission was free today!! Oh happy day!

Pompeii was a vibrant, bustling, prosperous city until Vesuvius erupted and buried the land in 79 AD (Do not quote me on this!). It was completely covered in ash until archaeologist began excavating the lost civilization. In a storage room, among the urns and statues, human carcasses lay in their final poses. We journeyed through the uneven terrain and passed through several brick building remnants. It was a very moving experience. There were so many interesting, sad and beautiful things to see. It was quite overwhelming! We spent three hours trekking through the fallen city and only saw half of the entire landscape.

We left the ruins and walked back to our “uncle.” We found him at a little diner at the end of the path chatting with the proprietor. We were all ready to leave, but because of circumstances, we had to stay at the diner and have lunch. Why? Well, because a police car was nearby and he didn’t want to get busted again for taking passengers in his “taxi.” Finally, the officer left, so we jumped back in the car and headed back to the ship.

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Flashback Friday | Marseilles

Since we are now in the heart of wedding season (pun intended), we are choosing to only flashback on our travels abroad once a month. With Bastille Day just around the corner, we figured we would stick with a French theme and continue our journey though France. Now we reminisce about our time in Marseilles…

Paul and I decided to spend our day at Chateau d’If. He handled all forms of communication that day because he speaks a little French. We bought tickets for the local ferry and went on a breathtaking boat ride to the famed fortress.

When we finally reached the island, I realized that I did not dress appropriately for the day. I wore a skirt and three-inch Coach high-heel shoes to a prison on a mountain top. Honestly, what was I thinking? I climbed up the steep, cobblestone hill, then trekked all the way across a wooden-slatted bridge to get to the fort entrance. I remember I had to step so gingerly along the platform, so as not to wedge my heels in the planks. Paul thought it was hilarious and photographed me trying not to fall in the cracks.

We explored the area and peeked inside the prison cells. Interestingly enough, each room had a television with a different version of the movie “The Count of Monte Cristo” playing on the screen. After about an hour, we left the fortress and traveled (carefully) back across the bridge and down the slippery hill to the dock. Four ferries came and went until, finally, our water taxi arrived to take us back to the mainland.

Once we arrived in Marseilles, Paul and I decided to have an impromptu picnic beside a grand fountain in the square. We dined on an incredible lunch of baguettes, wine, meat and cheese. It was a perfect way to end the day!

Flashback | Monte Carlo

What a gorgeous principality! It was our three-month anniversary of dating. We took the shuttle to the Yacht Club, where the ship’s tender drops you off, and walked along the harbor. We saw balloons and games everywhere! It was an impromptu fun fair!! We snacked on waffles smothered in nutella and took some fun photos of the Monaco Cow Parade.

It was as if Monaco knew today was our special day and decided to celebrate! I paid a couple of euros to bounce on a trampoline and ride a blue spaceship merry-go-round. I felt like a kid in a candy store… or, I guess, a kid at a fair.

We walked around a little more, stopping at the Dali photography display, then headed to the Royal Thai restaurant for lunch. We dined on spring rolls, chicken skewers, and pad thai with shrimp and crab meat. Yum! After eating all that beautiful food, we hiked over to the Grand Casino to work it off.

Paul rushed over to the car show in front of the hotel and drooled over the stylish sport cars. He says that if you love cars, and get the opportunity to travel to Monaco, it’s like a small taste of heaven. Apparently, the car scene is top notch.

We strolled through the lush, green park area and sat on one of the nearby benches for a spell. After resting, I decided to meet up with a few locals in the area to play a friendly game of cards.

It was a beautiful day and a great way to spend our “anniversary.” Sigh! I miss Monaco!

Flashback | Trevi Fountain

I have a confession to make. I really love Italy! Which is probably why this is the third blog entry reminiscing about our summer overseas.

On a warm day in July, Paul and I rode the forty minute express train from Civitavecchia to Rome. Upon reaching the central station, we hopped on a subway and headed to Trevi Square to view the famous Trevi Fountain. We sat at a quaint little cafe next to the fountain, sipping on iced cappuccinos and enjoying an impromptu lunch by the water. The fountain was pretty packed because it was a weekend, so we only stayed for an hour. I can’t even recall the wish I made by the fountain, but legend has it that if you throw a coin into the water, it guarantees your return to Rome. Well, I can’t wait to go back!

After our romantic lunch, we wandered about town in search of the Spanish steps. Paul and I climbed the steps and sat atop the stairs observing the town. Below us, a newly married couple was having their wedding photo session by the steps. The bride looked absolutely stunning! I remember she wore a strapless, cream coloured satin dress with a gorgeous sheer covering draped over her shoulders. It was lovely! Perhaps this was the very moment we were inspired to pursue a career in wedding photography and cinematic video. I mean, how could you not want to capture incredible moments like this for a living?

Flashback | Capri Sun

No, not the drink (although it is rather tasty), but the Italian island of Capri. Six years ago, Paul and I arose early on a Saturday morning in June to take a hydrofoil from Naples to Capri. We sailed across the water for forty minutes before arriving at the sun-soaked island. We had no agenda. We simply wanted to relax and enjoy the day. And that’s just what we did.

We strolled along the waterfront and found an adorable yacht cafe far away from the hustle and bustle of the main road. We sat on the cushy sofa, surrounded by colourful flowers and eccentric candles, and ordered cappuccinos. We watched a couple of long, narrow taxis with canopies along the back, pass by, as we sipped our Italian coffees. The taxis were so chic! They looked like white, open-air, stretch limousines.

After paying for our drinks, we walked to the hydrofoil meeting point and returned to the mainland. Now, I realize we could’ve done more in Capri (the blue grotto, the island tour, etc.), but simply sitting back, chatting, and observing the beauty of this remarkable island was enough. It couldn’t have been more of a perfect day.