Two of my favourite shots – both from the top of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence – are almost as good as gone.
At the beginning of my first trip with a proper DSLR in hand, I was so intent on keeping on top of my photos – going through them, organizing them, deleting the clearly unusable ones – that I got a bit ‘delete’ happy. I’d not only delete the photos that didn’t have the composition or subject I cared for at the moment, but I also deleted the originals (so much facepalm) after I edited and saved the photos I wanted to post.
Hence the filter coated lower quality version of the feature image above and the Campagnile (bell tower) below. Here’s a look back at them along with some other images from above.
Prague is an architecturally beautiful city – the palaces and towers alone deserve plenty of time for admiration. Add in the Vltava river and a series of bridges over it and it’s a cityscape photographer’s dream.
We were almost late for a symphony at the synagogue because we spent so much time photographing the Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter) and Castle District!
This might come as two announcements in one but: we’re getting married in Europe!
Yup, this June/July, we’re heading back to Europe for a four week jaunt filled with family, friends, fun and, most importantly, sunshine and relaxation.
With some favourites and some new locations, here’s what’s in store for us this summer.
Some place, Somewhere
To be honest, we don’t know where we’re going to start the trip (!) and we’re looking for suggestions.
We have 3-4 days before we arrive in the next place and really want to spend those days unwinding and organizing ourselves for the upcoming weeks instead of exploring a new or exotic location. We’re thinking somewhere with a hot spring/thermal spa/lake/etc. and wifi is a must. Because of the limited time, it can’t be too difficult to get there, or take too long to get to Czech afterwards.
Before we get to our wedding, we get to be guests at some friends’ wedding in Czech! Tabor is a 15th century medieval town full of monuments, towers, castles, and museums to see. We’ll only be here a couple of nights but we’ll definitely take a walk along with the city wall – a point of pride – and take in the historic park, home to central Europe’s oldest artificial lake.
This place tugs at my heartstrings every time. With the setting and my history here, is it any wonder it’s the location for our wedding? We have a beautiful villa just outside of Florence and you better believe we’ll be revisiting the city! Climbing up the Duomo, the steps up to San Miniato al Monte, the strolls through the streets…LOVE.
Florence will be flanked by a day in Rome, and a week visiting family in the north – San Zenone, Cornuda, and Venice – before leaving Italy.
Do you even know how excited I am for this? Besides the fact that I was born to live near white beaches and turquoise waters I’m pretty sure, the island of Menorca also looks glorious for a honeymoon. And kayaking! It looks stunning for kayaking! I can barely wait :)
What do you think of our choices? Any place we should check out in Tabor? Or Menorca? Or, any suggestions on where we should start our trip? I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Some people migrate south in the winter – friends to Hawaii, parents to Mexico – but we opted for a cooler vacation spot this winter and headed east towards Apex Mountain Resort.
Apex Mountain Resort
Apex Mountain is a half hour drive from Penticton, a small city in the Okanagan Valley in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Because of its location, Apex gets the perfect combination of high precipitation with low humidity, resulting in the lightest champagne powder. Horrible for snowball fights, yes, but ideal for skiing and boarding and snowshoeing even without daily snow fall.
Winter within walking distance
Though we ended up there accidentally when looking for somewhere to camp, Apex ended up being exactly what we wanted – somewhere we could camp and be within walking distance to various winter activities.
The small town centers around one square block that features the Gunbarrel Saloon, the Edge cafeteria, a snow school, rentals area, liquor store, and a shop for all your mountain needs (to mention but a few). And of course, there’s a hotel, a lodge, townhouses for rent, and an RV camp site where yours truly hung out.
Skating, Snowshoeing, Skiing – Oh my!
The RV campground was a two minute walk from the skating loop, which was literally a 1km loop through some trees and was so much more fun than skating circles around an ice rink, but if you were into that, there was also a hockey rink a bit closer to the town center (10 minutes from the RV park).
There’s also a tubing hill for the kidlets, and for those young at heart. And of course, there’s loads of cross country and snowshoe trails, most leaving from the Nordic Center further up the mountain, and one (the Honey Loop) which starts right in town (which was our trail of choice, given our preference to not drive). (We got lost anyway).
And if you’re more prepared and want to go bigger than that, there’s also about 70+ runs for your skiing and snowboarding pleasure.
New Year’s Eve, trailer park style
On New Year’s Eve, we opted out of going to the party at the Gunbarrel Saloon and instead hung around the RV campground, Trailer Park style, waiting for the fireworks we heard were going to happen. A giant fire pit was resurrected from beneath the snow and a bonfire started early afternoon that lasted well into the next morning when we woke up.
As we sat around waiting for midnight, we listened to our camp neighbours talk about their time at Apex. “It was packed up on the runs!” Ms. Kerry said. “Oh yeah?” The half Portuguese guy quipped. “Did you have to wait 3 people to get on the lift?”
And that’s the beauty of Apex. Barely 4.5 hours away from Vancouver, and yet a world away: a winterland no one knows about.