Travel - Page 4

Rome: The Pantheon


August 2009

In many ways, the Pantheon represents what Rome is all about: a city with so much history it’s like looking at a mosaic of all the art history movements in one place – from Antiquity to Medieval, Renaissance to Baroque, Neo-classical to Modern. It’s a visual medley of periods, if you will.

From the outside, it is rugged and primitive – but inside it’s a sophisticated sight to behold. The impressive dome lumbers overhead while a burst of light shines through the open oculus, penetrating the dense, marble floors. Personally, it felt too impious to be a place of worship (especially compared to all of the other cathedrals we saw) but it’s no wonder this church has inspired so many other buildings – it’s truly amazing! 
P is for…













Rome: An Apartment in Trastevere


 August 2009

In Europe, it is very difficult to find hotel rooms that will fit a family of four (or more.)

 Generally, beds are single sized (often two are pushed together to make a large double) and there’s almost always a limit of 3 twin beds (a triple) to one hotel room.

 Seeing as this would not do, we started looking into other alternatives and found that apartments (and sometimes even houses) were a better and surprisingly more affordable option for our family. Not only do we prefer having more space, but I love to shop for and cook food in different cities.

Have you ever watched the show House Hunters International?

My husband and I enjoy watching it, as we hope to live abroad in the near future. It’s always interesting to see what homes look like around the world.

In that same vein, I also like to take photos of the places we stay in and thought you might enjoy seeing what a random Roman apartment looks like.

This good-sized, 2 bedroom flat was located in the medieval Trastevere neighborhood, near the base of Janiculum Hill. I’m not sure I’d stay in this neighborhood again (a little too far from city center) — but all in all, it was a quiet and comfortable place to live for our 4 days in Rome. 

We booked this particular rental through Home Away, which lists vacation rentals all across the globe.










Salton Sea


May 2009

Welcome to one of the weirdest destinations on the West Coast… The Salton Sea. Last weekend, we spent a day driving around it. It was one of those places I’d always wanted to go to and now it is one that I hope to never see again. Well, maybe once more.


The Salton Sea is located just south of Palm Springs and just north of the Mexican border. Oddly enough, it is the largest lake in California. But unfortunately, it is also the saltiest, most depressing, deserted place ever.


Although the Salton Sea is an important resource for migrating birds and waterfowl, the lake has become increasingly toxic due to pollution, salinity levels and bacteria. The only fish that have withstood the peculiar water are Tilapia and even they are dying off from deoxygenation and parasites. All along the coast are creepy dead fish with hollowed out eyes.


From the 1920’s through the 1960’s, the Salton Sea was a tourist attraction and water recreation destination. Now, it is anything but.


Isn’t this the perfect setting for a horror movie? Can’t you just envision a bunch of crazed locals hanging out at the “Fireside Lounge?” This was one of the eeriest places of all!


Dotted along the coast are several small beach communities. Each one, a ghost town with abandoned buildings, burnt trailer homes, shells of what once perhaps thrived.


What appears to be sand from a distance is actually broken barnacles, salt encrusted shells, and fish bones.
 I wonder if these two were friends or lovers?


Do you believe?  I’m pretty sure that aliens invaded and took over this entire area.  


I could not wait to get out of there.


From the road and tucked in the safe confines of your car, the Salton Sea looks like a pretty body of water set in the middle of the desert.  But this is a classic case of things are not always what they seem… 


Appearances can be deceiving…  and this place smells like death.