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Thanks so much for stopping by! I believe that everyone can have a beautiful home without spending a fortune! One of my favorite things to do is find creative ways to re-purpose things I already have on hand, or have picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. Join me as I share with you some of my favorite ideas for crafting and decorating, as well as travel adventures, and fun things that I pick up on my treasure hunts! Much of my work is influenced by my love all things French, nature, and of course shabby chic! I have gotten so many creative ideas from you very talented bloggers out there, and I hope that I can be an inspiration to you as well!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Buon Giorno From Italy!

Buon Giorno!
Hubby and I just returned from 10 days in Italy. We had a wonderful time, but it feels so good to be back home!  14 years ago we first travelled to Italy, and could hardly wait to return.  We saw so many amazing sites, but the highlight of our whole trip was the 4 days we spent on the beautiful Amalfi Coast. We wish we had spent our entire trip there!
I took tons of pictures, so I'll be sharing lots with you over the next week. For starters, here is a glimpse of gorgeous Amalfi.  
 This is the town of Positano, just down the road from where we stayed.  We were amazed at how everything seemed to be built right on top of each other, literally hugging the rocky cliffs!
 An adorable little shop in Positano.  I didn't buy much on our trip, as the US dollar is so weak compared to the Euro. We lost 39 cents on the Euro, ouch!
 The Tyrrhenian Sea was beyond gorgeous, and pretty as a postcard!  Notice the long, long flight of stairs on the right, which leads to the sea?  Climbing is a fact of life in Amalfi!

 This is where we stayed, the Hotel Open Gate in the cute little village of Praiano.  It's a small family owned and run hotel, and they really made us feel right at home!
 The view from our balcony.  Oh how we miss that view!
 Breakfast was included with our room, and here is where we ate each morning.
This was our view from our room!  We enjoyed many meals at the umbrella covered tables, perched right on the edge of a cliff!
 Our room looking out to our balcony.  Notice hubby waving in the chair?  Guess he was too relaxed to turn and look at the camera:)
Here we are in the town of Amalfi.  It is a beautiful town, just down the road from Praiano.  It's quite touristy though, as many cruise ship passengers arrive for the day on tour buses.

 You'll see many fancy boats and yachts docked here in the harbor, as well as fishing boats (like the one below), that look as if they came from another century.  Notice the old fisherman waving at me??
 Bouganvilla grows everywhere and is just gorgeous!
 I kept having to pinch myself that we were really here!  The entire area feels like it's right from a movie set, it's just so pretty!
 Lemon trees grow everywhere, and really thrive in the hot, sunny and dry climate.  This was a cute little restaurant in Praiano we had dinner at one night.

 This beautiful old church was also in our town. A bunch of young boys were playing soccer in front of it when I snapped this photo.
 Inside was nice and cool, a welcome break from the heat.
 My photos just don't do justice to how beautiful it was.

Driving in Italy is not for the faint of heart!  Not only do Italians drive very, very fast, but they also drive very recklessly as well!  Hubby did all of the driving, thank goodness, as I never would attempt it there!  Trying to understand street signs is also another challenge.  Signs leave much to be desired, and to us don't make alot of sense.  If you are looking for a town and see an arrow pointing right, well, you turn right, rightWrong! 
We did that and ended up driving for a good hour down a narrow, never ending very rutted gravel path, which ran between fields.  We had no chose but to continue on. Thank goodness we finally found a paved road!
And driving along the Amalfi Coast is even more challenging, as the very narrow winding road runs along the edge of the cliffs, and hugs the jagged rocky mountains as well!  Needless to stay, it really was a white knuckle ride!  I snapped this shot, below from the passenger seat, going around the unending hairpin curves.  Yikes!

The best part of coming home was getting to pick our Katie up last night at the "pet resort".  We missed her dearly, and could hardly wait to see her!
I have lots more to share with you, so stay tuned for posts on our adventures in Rome and the medieval hill towns of Umbria.


CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Donna, WELCOME HOME!! I sure missed you and I know Katie sure did.
Your photos are amazing of your trip. Love the church. How gorgeous with all the details and carvings.
What a beautiful spot your hotel was located and the view is breath taking. The hillside of buildings is beautiful and I love seeing those stairs. Did you climb those on a walk? The drive looks a bit scary and right on the edge!!
You and John look like you were having the best time and rested.

Looking forward to seeing more of your trip. Thank you for sharing.

Trisha said...

I wondered if you were away and what an awesome trip you were on! It looks like you had an amazing time. Again, I am super jealous but so glad that you guys were able to enjoy such a beautiful country. Welcome home!


Susie said...

Donna, What glorious pictures. Just touring those towns would be enough . So pretty in the church. Couldn't you just sit there and take in all the ornate beauty? That would hurt like the like a punch to the wallet, losing 39 cents to the dollar. Blessings , xoxo,Susie

Tete said...

Geez louise! Isn't that the prettiest place you have ever seen??? Love all your photos and am so glad you got to go! Just an awesome get away...so how much did you gain eating there? Or did you work it all off on those steps to the ocean? LOL
I bet Katie was glad to see you!

Joyce Mayer said...

I can understand why you would want to spent your entire trip on that coast.

Happy Weekend. Missed ya. Hugs to the Katie Bug.

Bente said...

Oh this is beautiful pictures, Donna. Soo funny, because we are going to Italy soon. First Roma then just the same place you visit. Now I look even more forward to our trip. (and I will visit that shop)

Big hug from here

Bente said...

Oh this is beautiful pictures, Donna. Soo funny, because we are going to Italy soon. First Roma then just the same place you visit. Now I look even more forward to our trip. (and I will visit that shop)

Big hug from here

Musings from Kim K. said...

I'm glad to know why you've been quiet! What a fantastic trip! Your pictures are gorgeous. I can't wait to see more! I've been wondering how your real estate adventures have been going. Welcome home. I'm sure Katie is glad to have her Mommy back!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

So glad that you had a terrific trip to Italy. It's on my bucket list along with France. Your photo's are stunning and everything looks wonderful. What a great hotel you stayed at. You know how I love hotels, since I worked in them for almost 20 years.
Glad to know that you are okay - was getting worried that you were not posting - thought maybe you had move already to Washington.
I bet Katie ate you up when you picked her up at the Doggie Hotel.
So glad that you had the best vacation.
Have a great weekend and you will have to give Katie lots of hugs.

PS stop by Junk Chic Cottage and read my Spotlight of last Saturday.

Little Miss Maggie said...

Your trip sounds fantastic. I am longing for another trip to Italy as well so I know just how you were feeling. It's a magical place.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Beautiful photos! I dream of Italy sometimes! Hugs!

Debbie said...

These pictures DID remind me of the old time movie sets, Donna! Amazing!
I love the photo with the statue that has the babies in the bucket reaching up to the saint on the alter.
You guys are so cool the way you just jet off to places like Italy, and France the way you do. I admire you.

Jan Tanis said...

Oh my how absolutely beautiful!! Love the views and everything!!


NanaDiana said...

Wow, Donna...I am just blown away. What a great trip!!! I loved all the pictures and feel like I was there right along with you. I am so glad you had the chance to go back there again this year.

The town is just amazing and the views are breathtaking. I LOVED the aprons in that little shop you showed there. They are so cute with the ruffles.

The place where you stayed is marvelous!!! Love your sweet private patio, too.

Can't wait to see more and while I am glad you had a good time- I am also glad you are home-xo Diana

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

What a beautiful area, Donna! I think this looks more my speed compared to your post on Rome. : ) Less crowded, more laid back, with beautiful views.

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Now you REALLY have me dreaming of Italy. What a wonderful trip - so happy for you!