Entries from May 1, 2013 - May 31, 2013

Wednesday
May292013

Taor{ahhhh}mina, Sicily :) - Part 2

Day 2 and 3 in Taormina - I'm trying to condense but the more I look at these blue skies, the harder it becomes to delete photos!? :)

Did I mention that we walked A LOT? And 1/2 of that was UPHILL? Just a little warning for ya. Of course, it's perfect for energetic kids and parents who need to work off pasta and vino!

just around the bend from our hotel was picturesque Isola Bella and a beach that overlooked it.

the flowers were gorgeous! My gardening mom was completely in heaven! pizza and lemon granite on the beach. Yes please!

sun-deprived Belgians take random blue sky photos on vacation.. even if white clouds are present :)
this girl!?
We drove up to a church on a hill we could see in the distance just to do it. The adventure was complete with goats on the road at the top. Of course it was!

we LOVED out hotel in Taormina. It was one of our faves since we've lived in Europe actually. Bel Soggiarno has old world charm, great service and amazing views.. It didn't hurt that MaeMae had 2 little roomates for the week either :)

Pics of the hotel and more around Taormina..

Do you notice the champagne glass at Wunderbar? Tennesse Williams frequented the bar, as well as a string of actors in the 50s and 60s (Greta Garbo, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, to name a few).. When little miss personality is famous one day, they can add her name to the list! haha..


speaking of the cutie..
One last adventure for you.. in the Wheatley spirit of hiking to the top of every fabulous viewpoint we can.. here's the hike of the day that you MUST do when you go! (Vastines, Michaels.. I'm talking to you!)
Hike up to Castelmola (the castle ruins have been closed for a few years, but there's also a cool rock church you can see) and the views are to die for.. and you'll burn off MORE pasta, vino AND gelato :)
the view!


after the hike, we played a little game of "Fill the Statue" and had gelato (And a coke zero for moi) for our hard work!
ok.. have I convinced you yet to go!??? I hope so!
One last sunset shot..
thanks for peeking! Next stop: Volcano eruptions!

Thursday
May232013

Taor{ahhhh}mina, Sicily :) - Part 1

Seeing as the forecast is blah here in Belgium for the next.. forever.. I might as well start recounting my sunny days in Sicily last month. Maybe the Vitamin D will seep thru the screen and tint my cheeks again :)

Why Sicily you might ask? Well, we've been to Italy 5 times already and love everything about it: the food, warmth (both in the weather and the people), the colors, the sea.. We really wanted to take my mom and the kids to Rome for their first time and decided we'd throw in a new Italian adventure for the hubs and I as bonus. I'd heard great things about Sicily and it took quite some time to narrow down where in fact we wanted to go - It's a big island, and while 6 days is a good amount of time to see it "All" at break-neck speed, we decided to slow it down this trip and just focus on 2 areas: the old resort town of Taormina and Greek-ruin filled Siracusa. Sicily also has more Greek ruins than anywhere outside of Greece, which is cool.. OH, and there's an active volcano (Mt Etna).. you may have heard of it :)

first stop: Taormina, which was often on the "Grand Tour" of the privledged scholarly traveler in the 1800's. It's perch overlooking the Mediterrean is outstanding, with Mt Etna spewing in the distance. But really, the  first admirers were Greek, who settled there in 900 BC and built an amphitheater with the most incredible view!

Our first day in Taormina...


land of lemons..
Piazza Duomo
The 7thc BC Greek (later added on by the Roman) amphitheater -


ahh.. the PERFECT first day in Sicily. Can't wait to share more!

Tuesday
May142013

Easter in the UK, finale :)

well hello there. Anyone still reading this sporadic blog??

The ONLY reason I don't feel more guilty about my poor blogging is that I've had enough adventures in the last 6 weeks to keep me busy blogging until the end of year!? Hopefully, it won't take me THAT long to report, but in the meantime, here I sit.. 6 weeks later, trying to finish up this little Brighton trip that has turned into a month long post! lol. Let's do this thing!

ok, so in case you've forgotten, you can read up on our Brighton Loop here and here.

On our final day, we headed to The Brighton Aquarium, which has the honor of being the oldest aquarium in the world! It still had some nice old interiors from the 1800's, but was mostly modern, informative and entertaining to the old and young. I didn't get ANY pictures for some reason, so here's one I pulled of a vintage postcard.. it's not nearly as cute as that anymore from the outside, so I prefer this anyway.


We  bid adieau to Brighton and made our way back towards the Chunnel making sure we time for one last stop: Leeds Castle (often billed as the "most beautiful castle in the world") in Kent, England. It had been on my bucket list for a number of historical geeky reasons and was certainly fun to see in person. The grounds were massive and would be spectacular in the summer. It was a sunny afternoon but was chilly and VERY windy, so we really were all about getting to and from and not lollygagging in between! :) But your ticket is valid for an entire year so I could see locals enjoying going there in the summer and enjoy the castle grounds!

Some of my faves from our Easter Monday at Leeds!



and one final image to prove that these blue skies were quite deceptive!?
haha.
Well, don't feel too bad for me. The next week I was on a plane to Sicily and got my sun fix in a BIG way.. the next week it was Amalfi, then Lisbon and Madrid.. eek! So much fun to share! But I'm back for a few days in a row and hoping to organize these thousands of pics and share the fun soon. Thanks for looking and not giving up on me.
Bisous, Mac ;)