Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez, and I’m an artist and a writer. Please look around my website and make yourself at home. I post new blog entries weekly, and hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and come back often! To learn more about me, please view the “About” page…
Category Archives: travel
I had the pleasure of traveling to Kansas two years ago, and really enjoyed my trip. Three Southern California friends and I converged on Lincoln, Kansas in August of 2008, and we met up with three other friends there – including a friend who actually lives in Lincoln. We were there to attend an art show that many of us had artwork in, and to see some of the local sights. Lincoln, Kansas may be a small town, but they’ve got a great art center, and an active arts community.
What a great trip! We visited, laughed endlessly, saw the sights, shopped, tromped through sunflower fields, and ate some yummy food. Oh, and attended the art show! It was a wonderful trip for me – one I’ll always look back on with fondness and a big smile. Thanks to my two friends who live in Kansas and hosted, we had lovely breakfasts – including a printed menu of what we’d be dining on each day. Many other special touches – like a surprise guest, scrumptious desserts, and handmade souvenir books – added to the “they thought of everything” glow the weekend took on.
We did a fair amount of rambling around the countryside and surrounding areas in a vehicular caravan, and did some sightseeing in Lincoln proper as well. Here are some of the photos I took – I hope you enjoy them.
Oh, and I found out well after my trip that my beloved maternal grandmother, Neva, was born in Lincoln. I was flabbergasted! Of all the places in Kansas, I ended up staying in the town she was born in?! I may share more on that in a later post, but in the meantime I’ll say that I think the six degrees of separation just shrank to about three degrees…
On our first morning of sightseeing we came across this field of “spent” sunflowers.
The blooms were dried, but the sunflowers were still beautiful.
And yep, the field was out in the middle of nowhere…
Our next stop was the town of Hunter, where I photographed a lovely, worn building.
This window was “compromised”, but was still beautiful to me…
We continued on to Cawker City, and saw the World’s Largest Ball of Sisal Twine!
They let folks add twine to the ball, so here I am – tying some on!
While on our way back to Lincoln, we hit the motherlode – a blooming field of sunflowers!
We jumped out of the cars and started wading into the field of flowers, armed with our cameras.
This experience was heavenly – pure bliss – for an adventuresome photographer and nature lover like me. And how wonderful to share it with friends!
The art show was fantastic, and the Lincoln Art Center is a jewel in Lincoln.
My submission was a series of collages that combined autobiographical sentiments with vintage images and ephemera. You can see five of the nine collages here, in my gallery.
Our second day of sightseeing started in Lincoln proper. I found some great bargains at the local thrift store, as well as some other goodies at one of the stores there on the main strip.
Another town we visited was Minneapolis, Kansas.
I found this gorgeous, rusted car in between a few buildings when I was roaming around and taking photos.
Proof that the post of a simple street sign can be beautiful…
After lunch and some more shopping in Concordia, we stopped at this INCREDIBLE brick mural. Look at the surface texture, and the movement of the brick. It undulates – undulates, for God’s sake!
A detail shot of the custom mural, that was painstakingly created – brick by brick. AMAZING.
I only had two days to sightsee in Kansas, and it wasn’t nearly enough. I know there are many things yet to see and do there. However, I’ll always be thankful for all that I did see and do on this first trip. Hopefully it won’t be my last. I hope to visit the state and town that my sweet grandmother was born in again, and soon.
p.s. Have you entered this month’s giveaway yet?Tweet
glides above a glassy sea
such tranquil beauty…
I hope you’re all having a tranquil and beautiful week, dear readers.
I traveled to New Orleans in Feburary 2010 to participate in the inaugural Mardi Gras Half Marathon (which took place a few weeks after the actual Mardi Gras), and am SO glad I did. What a city! New Orleans is truly a feast for the senses. There’s plenty to see and do, and good God – the food is incredible! I can’t wait to return, and hope to make it back to the Big Easy soon – very soon!
See & Do
Though New Orleans at large still shows some residual effects of the havoc wreaked by Katrina, it’s business as usual where tourism is concerned and I saw very little evidence of the hurricane in the areas I visited. I was happy to support the city and its inhabitants with my tourism dollars.
I read someplace that New Orleans is the “most foreign” city on U.S. soil, and I agree – it’s certainly unique. I was utterly charmed by the architecture – from large, stately homes in the Garden District, to the ornate railings lining the balconies in the French Quarter. A sense of history saturates New Orleans – and visual reminders of days past are plentiful. The streetcars rumbling through the city were particularly pleasing, as were the plastic Mardi Gras beads dripping off many of the city’s trees – a reminder of their famous yearly party.
Historic Final Resting Places
Somber but beautiful, New Orleans cemeteries are worth a visit – particularly the older ones. Instead of being buried underground, the deceased in New Orleans are interred in above ground crypts. Why? The water level in the area is so high that coffins often float if buried. These stone resting places are an interesting glimpse into the past and are yet another reminder of how New Orleans is undeniably unique.
If you want to get out of the city, try the swamps – there are a number of tours you can take. I took a swamp tour, and really enjoyed the scenery – including beautiful moss-laden trees. We even saw an alligator or two, though it was a bit cold/early in the season. Folks that go on swamp tours during the warmer months are sure to see many more gators!
Sightseeing By Foot
If you’re a distance walker or runner, please consider doing the marathon or half marathon – it’s a great time! With bands dotting the course, and incredible sights to see all along the 13.1 or 26.2 miles, this race is a winner!
OMG – the food!
My mouth is watering just remembering some of the scrumptious things I ate in New Orleans. I was lucky enough to eat at a wide range of eateries during my stay – from Emeril’s restaurant (great food and service!) to a place with a decidedly more “dive bar & grill ” kind of feel (had a shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich), and I enjoyed them all. I’ll share five of my eating experiences in pictures below. I hope to eat at all these places again next time – yum!
If you want a light breakfast to start off your day, don’t go to the Fleur de Lis Café in the French Quarter. My breakfast was beyond hearty and massive, but it was perfect for my last meal in New Orleans, since I’d be eating little and sporadically while flying home. The ladies working at the Fleur de Lis charmed me with their southern accents – and I fondly remember being called “baby” in a way that wasn’t demeaning or condescending – just friendly and kind.
New Orleans is known for their muffalettas – Italian sandwiches with marinated olive salad, salami, ham, and cheese on a round sesame loaf – so I visited Central Grocery, where the sandwiches originated. I bought half of a muffaletta and some iced tea, and had a picnic outside. Though the olive salad mixture was a bit strong for my palate, I enjoyed the sandwich once I’d taken most of it off. (I know that’s probably sacrilege – sorry!) I was happy to have tried a true New Orleans original. Oh, and I love the bag I bought at Central Grocery!
The Acme Oyster House was recommended to me, and my meal there was what I ate right after walking the half marathon. I had grilled oysters, hush puppies, jumbalaya, and pecan cobbler. Ravenous and eager to eat just about anything, I was thrilled when the food turned out to be truly delicious. Acme tends to have a line, so be prepared.
Another edible treat that New Orleans is known for is the beignets. A pastry made from deep-fried dough, and liberally coated in Confectioner’s sugar, beignets are both messy and delicious. Perhaps the best-known place to get these goodies is Café Du Monde, and their French Quarter location is open 24 hours a day!
Willie Mae’s Scotch House has been an institution in New Orleans for decades and with good reason. The fried chicken is amazing! It’s so good that when the restaurant was damaged by hurricane Katrina, and was in danger of not re-opening, volunteers banded together to help rebuild and restore the restaurant. Having seen the restaurant on one of the food channels, I planned much of my trip’s sightseeing schedule around when I could go to Willie Mae’s.
Suggestion: Do some research on Willie Mae’s before arriving in New Orleans. Long lines and a long food wait can be avoided by getting there right when the restaurant opens, and I seem to recall them only accepting cash and having somewhat limited business hours.
That said, all my Willie Mae’s Scotch House planning and preparation was worth it. I usually only eat chicken breast (without bone or skin) and I ate everything they brought me, including the skin. It was fantastically good fried chicken!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my trip to New Orleans. I wholeheartedly recommend that you visit and explore this incredible city if you have the means. A trip to New Orleans will feed both your body and soul…
Austin, the state capital of Texas, is an incredible city. A college town, it’s simultaneously historic, eclectic, and progressive. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Austin several times in the past five years. My brother and his wife moved there in 2006, and I’ve come to love their new hometown. From “standard” trips, to walking a half marathon there in 2008, I’ve enjoyed each and every visit.
My most recent trip to the Lone Star state was in January of this year. The arrival of my newest niece, a baby girl named Bryn, set me to packing my bags and flying east. I had a great time meeting the new baby, playing with my nephew, and visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. I also took a day to do a driving tour to some of my favorite spots in Austin so I could take pictures and share these places with you, dear readers.
These are just a sampling of some of the things to do and see – I could only visit so many places in one day, and there are still many places and things I have yet to experience in the Austin area. That said, I hope this post will whet your appetite for a trip to Austin, and for some of the local food!
Starting the day off right…
I started my tour out in the Dripping Springs area, which is about 45 minutes away from downtown Austin. My first stop? The Salt Lick!
The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que is a local institution – and with good reason. Their distinctive barbeque pit turns out delicious barbequed meat, and their sides are absolutely fabulous! For example I never eat coleslaw – except at The Salt Lick. Rather than turning out soggy slaw dripping in a milky liquid, their slaw is made from crisp, fresh cabbage with a light coating of flavorful dressing and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Yum!
I ordered the combo plate for lunch, which included sliced turkey breast, sausage, beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and bread. The waitress brought a pile of napkins without being asked, the sure sign of a good barbeque place. I knew what to expect, having eaten there at least four times before, and dug right in. In the interest of showing you a multi-course meal I also got dessert and I assure you it was a sacrifice. (wink!)
The side porch seating area – you’ll probably never see it this empty unless you arrive right when they open, like I did.
My scrumptious lunch. The beans have a rich, smoky flavor.
Best slaw EVER. Yum!
Blackberry Cobbler á la mode – a wonderful way to finish off a delicious lunch.
The folks at The Salt Lick were nice enough to let me behind the counter to take a picture of their incredible barbeque pit!
On the road again…
Back on the road, I pointed my car towards Austin proper. Along the way I saw these lovely red berries and had to pull over on the side of the road (not far from some grazing cows) to snap this photo.
My next stop was Navidad Farms. Texas is known for their pecans, and Navidad Farms serves up a plethora of pecan-related specialties. From candied pecans to Texas Pecan Pepper Jelly, they have a little bit of everything. My favorites are the Chocolate Toffee Pecans – yum! They only offer this particular item in the cooler months though, so if you think you’d like to try some you’ll want to order now.
The Navidad Farms storefront.
Some of their goodies that I have here at home.
My favorites – the Chocolate Toffee Pecans.
If you enjoy shopping you’ll want to stop on Congress Avenue, as I did. There are wonderful businesses to be found – both stores and eateries. I stopped at Crofts, Tesoros (love their international wares!), and Uncommon Objects. I was thrilled to discover Uncommon Objects, a cross between a boutique and an antique store. I drooled over $60 bundles of vintage sari trim and other fabulous finds. They had so many things I would’ve loved to take home! I grudgingly limited my purchase to three radio tubes that demanded I adopt them for use in my art. Who was I to refuse?
Crofts Original is just one of the darling boutiques work a peek on Congress Avenue.
Tesoros has a incredible array of products from around the world.
Uncommon Objects – could’ve spent hours and thousands of dollars in this store if I’d had more time and bigger budget!
These vintage glass radio tubes were carefully wrapped in paper for my trip back to California.
The Austin Museum of Art – AMOA – was closed when I did my driving tour, but I really enjoyed my time there on an earlier visit to Austin. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re into art or are looking to expand your horizons and get in some cultural enrichment.
The capitol building is quite a sight, and I stopped to take some photos before continuing my tour. The gray winter weather in the photos doesn’t do the building justice – it’s a stunner when accented with sunny, blue skies, and is also beautiful lit up at night.
By this time I was parched, and stopped into Walton’s Fancy and Staple for some refreshments. One of two 6th Street eateries owned by Sandra Bullock (who I think is a class act), Walton’s is a deli and florist shop all in one. I bought myself a bottle of sweet tea and a Golden Egg (nutmeg cake rolled in cinnamon sugar), as well as another Golden Egg and a loaf of Pumpkin Bread to take to my sister-in-law. It was a nice place, and it seemed oh-so-southern to sit outside and drink sweet tea!
Walton’s – exterior shot.
A lovely afternoon snack.
Though Austin is the (self-proclaimed) live music capital of the world, I haven’t partaken of that particular pleasure while visiting Austin – yet. However, since I was downtown and the downtown area is home to multiple music clubs, I stopped by the Ghost Room and took a picture for your viewing pleasure.
Worth the wait…
My final stop of the day was at Fonda San Miguel. I really love this restaurant – such delicious food and a beautiful setting, both inside and out! The only thing that tops the lush decor and the rotating art collection is the incredible food. I ordered my favorite meal – the Ancho Relleno San Miguel. I’m a wimp when it comes to spice, and this chile relleno dish isn’t spicy at all – just amazingly flavorful.
The chile ancho is filled with chicken, olives, capers, and almonds and is served in a light cilantro cream sauce. Served with refried black beans, rice, and tortillas, this meal is incredibly good. Olives and capers are usually a bit strong for me, but mixed in with the other ingredients they were mild and contributed to the overall yum factor of the dish.
Once again, in the interest of showing you more than one course, I ordered dessert. The Crepas de Cajeta were so good! The crepes were sauced with caramel and toasted almonds were served with caramel ice cream. I ate them with pleasure, and it was around this time that I fell into a food coma.
Fonda San Miguel’s exterior
My fabulous dinner. The rice, beans and tortillas weren’t photographed…
Crepas de Cajeta – caramel crepes!
As I said before, this is just a miniscule sampling of some of the things to do and see in Austin. I hope I have the opportunity to do and see more on future visits! Please let me know if you have any question, y’all. I’d be happy to answer them if I can…
*The photo at the very top was taken at Fonda San Miguel. The carved face is on their front door…Tweet
I was a Guest Curator at crescendoh.com from December 27, 2010 – January 2, 2011 and it was a pleasure to share some of my favorite things with the crescendoh community. In case you didn’t get the chance to click on my Guest Curator window daily to see the links I shared with Jenny Doh and her readers, I’m posting them here as well.
These links include things like community art projects, a favorite song and its charming video, artists I like, how-to art features, ways to share kindness with others, and a scrumptious cheesecake that can magically appear at your door!
Please take a peek at these Lovely Links:
Can these gorgeous beads really be made of paper?
Art with Heart – fabric-based art from Little Lion Designs
There’s lots to see and do at the Art House Co-op!
I love this song, Fireflies, and also love the video’s aesthetic and playful innocence…
I want to buy one of these crocheted hats (in an adult size) for my inner child.
Please lend a hand. Organizations like this can help you help others…
Does collage confound you? This tutorial will help.
SkyBluePink is a great resource for collage artists…
Banish dull travel journals with these helpful hints!
Diane Teske Harris‘ work is wonderful - whimsical…
Carnegie has mastered the art of making cheesecake. Thank goodness they ship!
“In the end only kindness matters.” (Jewel)
I imagine the folks at Kind Over Matter agree with those lyrics.
It’s playtime! Pay a visit to The Toymaker.
I hope you enjoy these links. I’ll be a Guest Curator at crescendoh.com again in June, and am starting to compile another batch of lovely links. It’s such fun to hunt and gather wonderful things to share…
In December of 2004 I traveled to Ireland for a guided tour. I was so excited! It was my first time overseas, and was my first real international trip. (I’d been across the border into Mexico a few years prior, but when you live in Southern California that doesn’t count as international. At least not in my book!)
I toured with CIE Tours International, and I had a wonderful time! I was only in Ireland for five full days, which was much too short a time to get my fill, but it was plenty long enough for me to fall in love with the country. The scenery was utterly gorgeous, and the people were charming. I was particularly lucky to meet up with some of my Irish family when I was in both Dublin and Galway, and appreciate the effort they made to see me.
I hope to return to Ireland in the not-too-distant future – there’s still so much to see and do! In the meantime, here is a semi-brief photo tour of my time in Ireland. There’s more to the trip, but this will give you an overview.
My Tour of Ireland
The tour began in Dublin, and we started with a driving tour of the city, which included stops at Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I saw pages from the Book of Kells at Trinity College and nearly swooned. Such amazing artistry and mind-bogglingly detailed illuminated pages!
Top: A busy Dublin weekday
Bottom: Landscaping detail at Trinity College
The next day we left Dublin behind and drove southwest, and I got my first glimpse of the Irish countryside. Gorgeous! Our first stop was at the Rock of Cashel, and I was literally giddy with excitement as we approached the stone ruins. Off the tour bus, feet on the ground, breathing the crisp air, I felt so alive and invigorated! Knowing the site had been there braving the elements for centuries was amazing, and I took dozens of pictures.
From top to bottom:
The Rock of Cashel
Gravestones at the Rock of Cashel
Looking down at the village of Cashel
The Irish countryside
Continuing southwest, our next stop was at Blarney Castle. What an experience! The staircase to the top level consisted of dozens of narrow stone steps spiraling up – up – up. The view was worth it though – the gorgeous scenery illustrated why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, said to have forty shades of green.
Top: The view from atop Blarney Castle
Bottom: The grounds at Blarney Castle
My third full day in Ireland included the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive in the southwest, well known the world over. It didn’t disappoint! Some noteworthy stops included Dingle Bay, lunch at the Scaraff Inn, and the village of Sneem, which was darling.
From top to bottom:
Boats near Valencia Island
At our lunch stop at the Scaraff Inn
Wild flowers near the Inn
Gorgeous scenery in the village of Sneem
On day four we traveled north to Galway. Our journey included a ferry ride across the River Shannon estuary and a stop at the Cliffs of Moher. It was very windy at the Cliffs of Moher, which made for an unforgettable experience. I had to brace myself against the stone fence to keep from getting blown around while taking photos!
Top: The dramatic and beautiful Cliffs of Moher
Middle: A delicious lunch of vegetable soup and a wheat scone
Bottom: Approaching Galway Bay
Our group visited Kylemore Abbey on the last full day of the tour, and it was a beautiful site. Once a private castle, it’s now an abbey for Benedictine nuns and a private school for girls. The main building, nearby lake, and the church tucked into the woods were lovely.
From top to bottom:
The main building
The little church was nestled into the woods
Architectural details inside
Window details outside
I definitely wasn’t ready to leave when my departure day rolled around, but was incredibly thankful for the time I did have on the Emerald Isle. I flew out of the Shannon airport on the west coast.
I’d wholeheartedly recommend Ireland as a travel destination. Just be prepared for the weather, which can change from sunny to rainy within minutes. The Irish say there’s no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, and since I was prepared with a slicker and an umbrella I was perfectly content.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic tour of Ireland. To see a feature about travel journals, which includes my Ireland travel journal, please click here. Please post a comment if you have any questions or comments on either post.
Keeping a travel journal is a wonderful way to enhance a trip you’re taking, and this post will cover some of the benefits of journaling, important things to include in your entries, and how to customize your travel journal before you ever leave home.
You might be tempted to skip journaling on a trip. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and you want to be out seeing and doing things – right? You can do both though, with a little dedication and forethought. The rewards will be many! The trip will be more indelibly etched in your mind, you’ll have a chronology and log of events to help you with any printed photo books or scrapbooks you might make, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind souvenir that will take you back to those incredible moments and places.
The Method to My Madness
When I went to Ireland I took my travel journal with me everywhere I went, and I discovered that lugging around a backpack full of stuff daily was not ideal. By the time I headed to Peru I knew just how to streamline. I still took my full-size journal with me, but I left it in my room each day. My constant companion was a small paper notebook that I jotted down the date and order of events in, and then I took some time each evening or morning to elaborate in my journal.
My travel journals are part diary and part scrapbook – I take pens and glue sticks with me, and paste things into my journal as I go along. Not only does this add visual interest, but it’s a great way to record certain stops along the way. Postcards are an inexpensive way to illustrate your journal as you go, and are sometimes the only image you’ll capture of the inside of a structure. For example, in Peru many of the cathedrals didn’t allow photography inside, but did sell postcards. Now the incredibly ornate interiors can be seen in the pages of my journal. I also glue in some receipts – and anything else that strikes my fancy.
Style and Substance
Whether you write out full paragraphs, make printed bulleted lists, or just glue down ephemera from your travel and jot down meaningful and informative phrases adjacent to these treasures, it’s all up to you. I tend to combine all three of these techniques – I go with whatever the day or moment requires. Your journal, your rules, but please consider including the following:
Dates, times, places: These details, which are fresh in your mind during your trip, will soon fade away if you don’t have them written down.
The meals you eat, and where: Whether it’s a bit of street food from a vendor’s stall or a meal at a sumptuous restaurant near the Eiffel Tower, each meal – and where you eat it – helps to tell the story of your journey.
Ticket stubs, postage stamps, coins, and more: The bits and pieces you pick up along the way will help form a beautiful patchwork illustrating your trip – one best captured in your travel journal.
Personalizing Your Journal
As a writer I think the most important thing is documenting and writing as you go along, no matter what your journal looks like, but the artist and visual journaler in me demands a bit more when I go abroad! For my trips to Ireland and Peru I chose journals from Cachet. They have a variety of colors and sizes to choose from, and I love that I’ve started a little library of sorts! The simplest way to customize your journal is to decorate the front cover, but why stop there? I also added pockets and marked each new entry with something along the pages’ outside edge for easy reference.
The cover: I used a vintage map and a vintage postcard to embellish my covers, and sealed both the front and back with water-soluble Polycrylic that’s available at the hardware store – or in smaller containers at Michaels. Not only does this give the cover a nice shine, it protects it from damp tabletops, dirt and spills.
Front inside pocket: I put a pocket with a library card inside the front cover, and use it to record the hotels I stay at, along with the date(s) and my room numbers.
Front inside page: I like including something decorative on the first right inside page – just for fun.
“New day” delineation on inside pages: I’ve stapled some paper element on the first page of each journal entry so I can easily flip from day to day. In my Ireland journal these papers were decorative, and in my Peru journal I used Peruvian bus tickets I’d purchased online before my trip began. This is why the folks in customs might find a tiny stapler in my luggage. I like the look these tabs create on the book’s closed edge.
Pockets on inside pages: These pockets can hold things like small coins, stamps, or other goodies you pick up along the way.
Back inside pocket: Consider using this area for miscellaneous items, like notes on the must-see spots a friend recommended or an extra copy of your immunization record.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these travel journal tips, and hope they’ll inspire you to document your next trip – or to embellish a journal – in ways you hadn’t thought to before. Happy trails!
Are you familiar with the phrase “A rolling stone gathers no moss”? The person who coined that expression could’ve easily been talking about Wendy Telford! Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Wendy has traveled far and wide, despite humble beginnings. Wendy and her siblings were raised by their mother, and though they didn’t have much in the way of money, they had an adoring and capable parent that passed on her can-do attitude to her children.
Wendy took that inheritance of confidence and ran. Over the years her enthusiasm, incredible work ethic, and ingenuity have brought her many wonderful things in life, including a happy home life with her husband and two (now grown) children, the travel she loves, pets galore, and friendships aplenty! She’s kind, helpful and hilarious – Wendy is one of the all-around best people you could ever hope to know.
Oh, and I’m not kidding about the extensive travel, folks. For years Wendy traveled for work as a marketing and tradeshow manager, and between work and pleasure Wendy has visited 36 of the 50 United States. One of Wendy’s recent “for pleasure” trips took her to Arkansas by plane. From there she drove to Kansas, then Texas, then Phoenix, and on to New Mexico before driving the rest of the way home to San Diego. She logged a total of 3,154 driving miles and visited seven different groups of people on the way home, and this is the kind of trip she doesn’t think twice about. Wendy is game for just about anything!
Wendy is also a seasoned international traveler. She’s been to nine countries, and has been to Italy fourteen times. Italy has stolen Wendy’s heart, it seems, and she’s found a wonderful way to ensure her return yearly – and sometimes visits twice a year. Wendy has a small import business, and just has to go purchase the items herself. I know – I feel terrible for her, too!
It’s really quite clever. Wendy travels to Italy, generally traveling from South to North, and buys Italian ceramics and other goods along the way. She finds things that are well-priced, easy to transport, and that will sell well back home – something she’s determined from multiple trips and by selling at many open-air markets. Wendy ships some of the goods home, and takes the rest back home in big suitcases.
If you’re like me, you’re wondering how on earth she gets ceramics home via the airlines without breakage. Not surprisingly, her answer is bubble wrap. LOTS of bubble wrap. And though I understand bubble wrap’s protective qualities I also know how rough those luggage handlers can be. It’s nothing short of a miracle that only one piece has been damaged in the past five years.
Wendy’s most recent trip to Italy included a stop at a bubble wrap factory where she shocked the staff by buying a massive roll of bubble wrap that was almost as tall as she is, and then proceeding to fill the rental car with it. Even Wendy’s husband, Don, who has known Wendy to do some unusual things, was slightly taken aback. Yep – Wendy can do. Just watch her!
Back home, Wendy unpacks and prices everything, and then takes her wares to open-air markets in the San Diego area. She’s often at The Scripps Ranch Farmers Market (Saturday) and the La Jolla Farmers Market (Sunday). She also participates in the yearly Little Italy Festa and Sicilian Festa.
Wendy sells her Italian imports at home parties as well. She offers a 10% discount to the host or hostess of the party, in addition to some other goodies, and will travel to your home in Southern California if you can meet her required number of guests.
If you’re interested in hosting a home party, please contact Wendy via email at email@example.com. Or just stop by one of the markets she frequents to say hello. And just think – if you purchase something you’ll be helping to deplete her stock. That will eventually require Wendy to travel back to Italy. How wonderful! Quanto meraviglioso!
Photo credits: Photos taken in Italy were taken by Don & Wendy Telford. All other photos were taken by Melody Nuñez.Tweet
I traveled to Peru In September of 2009, and took part in a Gate 1 Travel guided tour. It was my first trip to South America and I was so excited! By the time I departed I’d been planning and doing research for about three months, and couldn’t wait to experience the country for myself. My preparations paid off – and I also had good luck. My trip was fantastic, and virtually everything went smoothly. No sickness or other calamities befell me, and I’ll always look back on this trip with wonder and gratitude. My tour director, Lucero, was great and I thank her for herding our group through her home country with such care and attention to detail.
Not counting the days I flew in and out of Peru, I was there for seven days. The time flew by, and I wish I could’ve stayed longer. I hope to return one day, as there is still so much left to see (the Amazon, Nazca, the coastal region), but it was a great introduction to Peru. What a charming, colorful, and unique country! The history was fascinating, the textiles were mind-boggling, and the food was tasty. Oh, and the scenery? Stupendous! I was in heaven, taking in the incredible stone work at Machu Picchu, the lush vegetation in the mountains, the cracked adobe dwellings in the Andes, and the deep blue water of Lake Titicaca.
I took hundreds of photos, but will only share a few. Here’s a brief photo diary of my trip to Peru.
San Francisco Church and Convent
This church, located in Lima, is famous for its catacombs full of bones. It made me a bit nervous to go down into the catacombs – not because of the bones, but because Lima is in an earthquake zone!
Cusco – 11,203 feet Above Sea Level
When we landed in Cusco, in the Andes, I could definitely feel a difference in the altitude. My heart was beating more quickly – like I was exercising, though I was just walking in the airport!
The Sacred Valley & A Little Llama
The Sacred Valley was gorgeous, and I made a friend. It was my first llama sighting and contact!
Friendly Locals & Gorgeous Textiles
We stopped at a weaving cooperative near Chinchero. Peruvian textiles are mouth-wateringly beautiful.
The Chinchero market was incredible. I felt as though I’d stepped into the pages of National Geographic!
Breathtaking! Mindblowing! Machu Picchu’s incredible natural beauty and spectacular masonry are unforgettable.
Plaza de Armas – Cusco
Back in Cusco, I enjoyed Qorikancha, the cathedral, and the Plaza de Armas. I met this gentleman near the Plaza. Such a wonderful face and such colorful hats!
Sky High – 14,200 Feet Above Sea Level
This is what 14,200 feet above sea level looks like. I was moving my flatlander self around carefully!
We visited the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca – amazing! People live on floating islands made of tortura reeds, and it was fascinating to get a glimpse of their way of life.
Coolest Boat Ride Ever…
Yes, I was a really happy camper. I LOVE to travel! And riding on a boat handmade from tortura reeds was pret-ty fantastic.
Return to Lima
We ended our tour where it began – Lima. After some shopping at the Indian Market I finally tried some of Lima’s world-famous ceviche and understand what all the fuss is about. It was delectable! I recommend Alfresco if you’re in Lima and want some great ceviche.
Please post a comment if you have any questions about Peru and my adventures there. It’s an incredible destination. And though you’ll want to be prepared and a bit cautious, you’ll be fine if you read a few guide books and/or visit Lonely Planet’s website. It’s well worth the effort. Viva Peru!