Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls I don't know why I have never heard or gone here before, it's practically in our backyard - just a hop from Seattle (Hwy 202). I never watched Twin Peaks, but apparently it was featured there. It is impressive and it's free!! Beautifully maintained and in 2013, the hiking trails will open. Perfect stop or little detour to stretch your legs if you are on the road this summer (plus for those who like their shopping, there is outlet shopping in the area).
Plus, it is a really charming town with a railroad museum which makes it a good stop for kids. 

And ... while you are there, you may as well have that famous cherry pie from Twin Peaks in North Bend. I warn you, though, that if you order food, it is ginormous!! Seriously, an order of a plate of food is probably enough to feed the entire family.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coming Up

I loooove road trips! There's something so raw and honest about getting in your car with no specific destination and no reservations anywhere. I knew the general direction I was embarking on (somewhere I have never been) and I knew I only had 4 days. With this, a friend and I ended up through some very quaint and charming small towns in Washington, Idaho and Montana. We saw a herd of metal horse sculptures atop a hill (that we hiked in flip flops), went hot spring hopping, had beer in a saloon in cowboy country Montana, climbed/hiked snowy Lolo peak, found an unmarked "secret" hot spring (after a treacherous hike), got spray misted by Snoqualmie Falls, drove through amazing verdant rolling hills in Palouse and ate cherry pie at the diner where they shot Twin Peaks (Northbend).

So for the next few days I will cover these highlights of my road trip.

Monday, June 13, 2011


This is one of the movies I saw while captive on a plane. Amazing! This subtitled movie (French) was a harrowing story of a brother and sister's discovery of their mother's life. If you prefer light Hollywood type of films, however, this may not be for you because it is very intense.  
It is Seriously good.

This is an interesting/strange movie (also in French and subtitled), a bit confusing, but I think that's the point. It's about this French woman (Juliette Binoche) living in Tuscany who is a fan of a visiting British author promoting his book. They meet supposedly to discuss the book but end up visiting around the the town. 

Be prepared to be confused and intrigued.

Rome: Mass at the Vatican

I actually attended mass! Me! Seriously! It was on the main chapel (there are several) - felt quite privilege actually because the area was closed off to those not attending the mass). It was in Italian, but you could guess what they are saying. It wasn't the pope giving mass but when it ended, the big guy was actually on his pope window blessing the public and giving a speech multi-lingually. So... I've been blessed by the pope, plus I drank from a holy water fountain in St. Peter's Square.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Italian Renaissance in Seattle?!

So, I've been here in Seattle for the last few days and I pop in at The Sam (Seattle Art Museum) and guess what I find on the top floor? More Italian Art! So, if you cannot quite make it to Italy, check out the Sam. It's actually not a bad exhibition, they have a pretty good range from the statues of Classical roots of Ancient Greece and Rome, to medieval and gothic by Daddi, to mannerist and renaissance. They even have an "Italian Room."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Florence: Boboli Garden at the Pitti Palace

You know when you are watching a movie about kings and queens wearing their elaborate fineries walking around in their garden, well the Boboli Garden is exactly that garden (if you were in France, it would be Versailles). It has Statues, formal hedges, fountains, sweeping view, flowers, amphitheater plus for the same entry fee, you have access to the fantastic museums of the Pitti Palace. Definitely, a must see.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Florence: Installation in the courtyard of Strozzi Palace

Numen / For Use - Tape Florence: This is a very interesting and very enormous installation (hanging inside the size of almost the entire courtyard of this Renaissance building). It's like a giant trachea made of saran wrap -- people can actually go inside it. 

If you are needing a break from classical, medieval or all the old stuff, this museum is a nice change. As I mentioned on my earlier blog the other exhibit in the building is: 
Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry Young Men: the Birth of Modernity
12 March-17 July 2011

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi
p.zza Strozzi 50123 Firenze

Top Ten Wonderful Things in Italy

10.The Uffizi (the real David, Michelangelos Slaves)
9. Exploring the Roman Ruins
8. Architecture
7. Raphael (Especially the School of Athens)
6. Bernini (esp The Rape of Proserpina and Ecstacy of st. Theresa)
5. Caravaggio
4. Michelangelo (the David, the Pieta and the Sistine Chapel ceiling)
3. The Vatican and all the churches chockful of art
2. Olive & cypress trees and all of Tuscany
1. Food & Wine

Top Ten Things I Did Not Have for a month in Italy -- some I really missed and some I can do without

10. Tv / Radio (1040 - sports radio)
9. Wifi (reliable)
8. Canucks (play-offs!!!)
7. News (missed things like royal wedding and Arni's dalliance)
6. My car
5. Microwave
4. Sushi / Pho / ramen (good Asian food)
3. My entire wardrobe (missed wearing my heels - not very practical when visiting cobble stoned streets from the Roman era)
2. Yoga
1. Those I love