Posts Tagged ‘photo journalism’

My favorite months in Italy are May & September.  If you have an opportunity to visit any other month of year, I recommend you seize the moment.  The moment for me came in November.  My agenda was to revisit Rome and an overnight trip to Assisi.  I only had eight nights.  That’s rather short for me.  I generally always stay two weeks in Europe.  I decide eight will have to do and I shall be utterly grateful for them all.

I have visited a lot of the usual tourist attractions so for this trip, I decided let’s try to visit some places off the radar plus whatever I happen to stumble upon while roaming.  I did not think this fellow would be one of them.  We gazed at each other a long long time.  Love at first sight.


My Buddy


Let’s see what is going on in Rome & Assisi



This is a video I made for my trip to Sicily.   I am very happy with the results!


I can tell you it has outstanding scenery, a town that’s not too big, friendly folks, musical folks, very close to stunning countryside, pubs, a sense of humor, green green fields, coastlines that no movie will ever do justice and rainbows.  Than there is the animals a plenty a favorite of mine and well it’s got rain.  Not a worry though because in about an hour you’ll see the sun, once you have that awhile the rain must get lonely and decides to come back.  The sun gets lonely too and decides to push the rain right back out to sea.  This tug of war between the two pretty much sums up each day.    While they work that deal out you must go about your day and experience all the gifts Ireland is going to bestow on you.  You won’t be disappointed I promise.

I feel like the way we organized our trip worked out perfect for me.  We booked Connemare & Cong with Galway bus tours.  We booked Celtic Compass Tours with Walt and Faherty tour for the Aran Islands.  I still got time to wander thru Galway on foot and tried to walk the promenade to Salt Hill but the wind wasn’t seeing it that way for me.  It kept blowing me back to town.  My umbrella broke in more ways than I thought possible so I attempted it again by bus.  That worked.

The musical people of Ireland are one of a kind.  I hope they never lose this talent.  Their sense of humor has its own brand of excellence as well.  A life without laughter is not really a life and the Irish get this.  I for one got my taste of it in the book Angela’s ashes which remains my favorite book of all time to this day.  Frank McCourt I will always love you.

Okay so back to Ireland and the animals.  I love how you ride down the roads and the sheep are deciding to cross or maybe not cross at all?    They may just decide to camp out till the driver yells out “come on Nelly, you’ve got to move over love.”   Walt took us to places with the animals.  He just would stop the car, we’d hop out and over a stone fence and would visit them.  Now I am afraid of the animal teeth.  The driver for Galway said watch the teeth and that stayed in my mind for every animal visit.   The donkeys were a delight too until I saw one get happy which truthfully I never saw anything like that in my life and ran to the van.  LOL   Oh my gosh and that’s all I have to say about that!

When you read or see photos about the natural beauty of Ireland that’s not tourist lure.  It’s 100 times better than you could have imagined.  Seeings believing so you seriously have to go for yourself and experience this.

I didn’t get to kiss the blarney stone for luck and the gift of gab but I did get to smooch an Irish man a couple of times for luck so I hope it’s still with me.  If not, I’ll go back and smooch another to get more!  joking……

Another benefit we had was the oyster festival so we sampled oysters that were to die for, excellent!    I love the names of pubs and restaurants in Ireland.   I could honestly take a trip and just photograph the names.    I bought a ring which I still wear today and was very surprised while just in Spain smoking at a stinky airport lounge when a fellow asks me if I’m Irish.  No, why did you think that I asked?   He said because of your ring.

My advise to you is to wear waterproof clothes.  On my day at the Aran Islands while on our way up to the ancient fort Ireland threw everything it had at us.  Raindrops as big as me, hail, wind and a path that turned into a river but no worry it gave us a dog too!   This dog barked hello and led us all the way up to the top!  He was funny he’d run ahead, stop look back, bark at us come on girls, than run ahead again.  He and Sandra made me nervous at the cliff’s edge, apparently she and the dog are not scared of heights.

Like I told you regarding the weather battles by the time we got back to the van the sky was turning blue, the sun was out but I was soaked thru and thru.  I thought I had waterproof boots on which did not turn out to be the case.  I did dress in layers and I can tell you every single layer was soaked.  This happened early on so I stayed a prune for the rest of the journey but that’s my fault.   I had to peel myself  like an apple later back at the hotel and I jumped in the bed and rolled myself up in the covers like a cocoon and swore I would never leave them again.  Never.

Promises are made to be broken and I did leave for dinner and music later because sadly our trip was coming to an end.  It was a wonderful journey thru London, Chester, Liverpool, Dublin & Galway.   The next time it will be all Ireland not combined with another country.  I didn’t realize how much more there is to see and experience.    As you can imagine, there’s still a lot on my list.    They say Irish eyes are smiling but I can honestly say so are American ones when I think of the memories of our trip to Ireland.

July 2012


On Saturday morning, Megabus is our best friend to New York. Arriving on time, we head to our friend Ellen’s house to spend one night.  The next day we are moving to a hotel I wanted Kelly to check out.  Kelly goes home Monday, me on Tuesday.  This trip is going to be short but sweet.

The plan is to train to New Jersey later in the evening.  Another friend (Barb) will pick us up from a station there and take us to the State Theater in New Brunswick. We are going to the Glen Burtnik & Friends/The Music of Paul McCartney show. Not that we don’t love Glen Burtnik but the draw for us is Reagan Richards who’s going to sing at this show as well. (on my blog I have videos posted of her) I love her music videos and voice so I was thrilled when Barb suggested let’s go see Reagan.  Maxine our other friend who lives outside of NY city is coming into town as well and will see the show with us.

The Show

The show was excellent and a wonderful trip down memory lane! Reagan’s persona and voice is even better live on a stage. She’s a force to be reckoned with, so watch out! Her time in the sun is coming! It’s all we can do not to hop up and dance in the aisles but we sit on our hands. Kinda! What I liked about the show was that Glen Burtnic showcased so many musicians and singers. Some known, some not, it was all wonderful to me. We all really enjoyed this show. I have to tell you one funny thing or thought. As I looked around the theater, I see quite a bit of older couples, 70ish and I think wow that’s strange them all coming out to this show– than it dawns on me in the next thought,– well of course they would, Paul McCartney will always look like a boy to me but he’s not, he’s 70! These are his mates, his era, his people.

Ding dong I say to myself.

Headed back on a train to New York, we can’t keep our eyes open. Is that bed going to feel good tonight?  Today has been about planes, trains, automobiles and fantastic music.

Oh btw, we didn’t get sleep the night before leaving because the Olympic opening was on plus I had taped a show about the Frick museum I wanted my friend Kelly to see since that was on our New York agenda.  We had an early bus but all in all I think we did alright.

New York Highlights:

  • I’m in love with a market. Agata & Valentina, go see for yourself
  • The Frick museum. I give thanks to this man for opening his home and sharing his treasure. The painting of Sir Thomas More is my favorite. Fascinating man in his own right till Henry the VIII had him executed. Sharing the same wall with him. Thomas Cromwell a man I’m not fond of in history. He was whacked too later. What comes around goes around. I think the painting makes him look like a squinty eyed weasel. Fair depiction I say. (see the Tudors if you like your history with some fine actors, drama and dresses to die for) On Sundays at the Frick , it’s pay what you want till 1 p.m.
  • Having a Corona viewing the New York skyline just when the lights are starting to twinkle on
  • Katz deli and I’ll have what he’s having. This is restaurant where Meg Ryan did her bit mimicking the throes of fake passion and the lady says, “I’ll have what she’s having” I was dying to say it to the waitress. Oh you cannot do that, it’s so damn corny I thought. A man gets served at a table in front of me. It’s probably the most beautiful Reuben I’ve ever seen. Waitress comes to our table next, are you ready to order? “Yes,” I say and “what is that sandwich he has?” Is it a Reuben? Yes she answers, BEAMING I say, I’ll have what he’s having! It was my crowning moment. LOLLLLLLL
  • The tenement museum. It’s a little pricey because you pay per tour. Since we’re going to Ireland we picked the Irish tour. It was very good. I don’t think I would have wanted to be an immigrant in the 1800’s. It’s a very hard life. The generations that came later ought to thank their lucky stars that these people persevered and give thanks.

Heard in New York in a NY accent.  (always a treat)

  • while asking a bus driver what bus I needed he shouts out with enthusiasm “there go your bus” pointing down the street.”
  • In Chinatown, a lady is impatient waiting to get into the backroom for the fake goods. She’s been waiting 20 minutes. She leaves goes into the next shop where we were too! She tells the heavily NY accented shopkeeper that’s she’s miffed she stood over there 20 minutes waiting for her turn. His reply “whadaya think you’re a princess? Should get right in?
  • Construction workers with steel or iron bar looking things. Big guy shouts out to the others down the street a bit as me and Kelly are approaching, DOUBLE BABES COMING YOUR WAY! The others who have been alerted all kind of nod their heads when we get to them saying how u doin? have a nice day ladies?  Kelly and I were so proud we were called double babes. At our age, it was our Miss America moment walking across the stage!
  • A bum asking us if we were having trouble outside Penn station with another bum who was mad we wouldn’t give him a cigarette.  He says, he gives you trouble let me know, this is my block!
  • A well-dressed guy pleading for money to get a ticket for the train.  I have $2 dollars which he shows me in his hand, he  only needs $5 more.  The sucker that I am gives him $5.  A Chinese man comes up to me after and says he’s a liar he does this stint every day.  Walks off miffed.
  • A lady cussing us all out in a subway car in another language.

Saw in NY

  • On the subway, a guy dressed like a woman, do let me describe…………..Flaring short black skirt, black fish net stocking on one leg, a hairy manly leg on the other, heels, black hat, glasses, sexy top holding a beautiful broccoli salad.  Apparently he’s dressed for a garden party.
  • The Imagine mosaic  while having a hotdog breakfast at Strawberry Fields.  Two girls approach, cute girls, one wearing short shorts, she proceeds to sit on the mosaic legs spread from here to Ethiopia, right above the word Imagine.   Onlookers are  British tourists, (couples) eyes are big as saucers trying not to laugh.  “Imagine” one says, “I don’t have to imagine anything we’ve seen it all”  and we did.
  • Celebrity Jon Cryer walking down the street (Two and a half Men)

Things that fill you with such pride, make your heart hurt and tears well in your eyes.

Hallowed ground the 9/11 memorial

I applied online to receive a ticket for the memorial.  You cannot attend without one.  Each person visits with their own feelings and emotions so this is just from my own personal perspective.    This memorial is not complete but is open to visitors.

For me, if the memorial was only the North and South Pool with the names it could be enough.  The cascading waterfalls stir a feeling of peace in me.  The names stir a feeling of sadness.  These names are people just like you and me.  Innocent people.  The sound of the construction equipment stirs a feeling of pride and of spirit.  We are going to be stronger than before, we are America. The Freedom Tower is going to be 1776 feet and the tallest building in the US. Bigger and better and I feel tremendously proud of this.  There are more plans for the memorial which will include a museum, 400 trees will be planted, a Memorial Glade for gatherings and ceremonies and a train station.  It’s going to be a beautiful place to honor the victims of terrorism.  Bring sunglasses you are going to need them.

I love NY!

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Is it safe for women to travel to Italy alone?

click the link, watch the video I made, decide for yourself !  If you go, I would LOVE to hear about your trip!

ciao for now,