Remembering Athens…

As summer begins, the warm weather makes me think of my travels to Athens, Greece.

Street in Athens facing Hadrian's Arch

Street in Athens facing Hadrian’s Arch

Architecture of Athens

Architecture of Athens

In spite of the hustle and bustle of tourists, wild dogs and native Athenians, the beauty of ancient Greece shines through.

Hadrian's Arch

Hadrian’s Arch

The Plaka is an open air market at the foot of the Acropolis near the ancient market area of Athens, the Agora. If you know how to haggle over prices, you can find great souvenirs without spending too much.

The Plaka (open air market)

The Plaka (open air market)

After a day spent souvenir hunting you can relax at one of the Plaka’s restaurants for a good Greek meal.

Outside restaurant near The Plaka

Outside restaurant near The Plaka

Antique/junk store at the Plaka

Antique/junk store at the Plaka

The steps are ancient and the slope is steep but the long walk up to the Parthenon offers this view (below) as an award.

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Pediment of the Parthenon

The Pediment of the Parthenon

Notice (below) that the columns of the Parthenon are not a single solid piece but several drums placed on top of one another and originally covered with a veneer to give the illusion of it being a single piece.

Ionic column of The Parthenon

Ionic column of The Parthenon

The Acropolis (high city) is best known as the home of the Parthenon, but it also contains the beautiful temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and the famous Propylaia (the front gate), the complex of columns and rooms at the entry to the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion with the porch of the Caryatids

The Erechtheion with the porch of the Caryatids

At the foot of the Acropolis lies the Theatre of Herodes Atticus (below) and the Theatre of Dionysus, where the famous plays of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles were first performed.

The Theatre of Herodes Atticus

The Theatre of Herodes Atticus

The area around the theatre of Dionysus

The area around the theatre of Dionysus

The Acropolis is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day.

The Acropolis at night

The Acropolis at night

This wonderful restaurant (below) on the very edge of the Roman era forum in Athens had food to match the glorious setting.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum

Even when the sun goes down the beauty of ancient Athens shines.

Eating dinner at dusk in the shadow of the Acropolis.

Eating dinner at dusk in the shadow of the Acropolis.

Mother’s Day at Spring Lake

Here in the United States we celebrate a special day commemorating all the hard-working Mothers… Mother’s Day. Every year my husband and I pack up our three kids in the car and head for the Jersey Shore to spend the day running on the beach, flying kites and just hanging out together as a family. One of our favorite locations is Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Spring Lake Beach

Spring Lake Beach

Spring Lake, NJ

Spring Lake, NJ

It was a perfect day in a beautiful town where the shore is lined with breathtaking mansions and beach houses. While my husband and kids were flying kites, I took a little stroll.

Mansion on the shore.

Mansion on the shore.

Beach House at Spring Lake, NJ

Beach House at Spring Lake, NJ

Beach House at Spring Lake

Beach House at Spring Lake

Many of the homes have sprawling lawns, large porches and colorful awnings.

Spring Lake Beach House

Spring Lake Beach House

Manson on the beach

Manson on the beach

The streets are lined with large trees and lavish green lawns.

House with a wrap-around porch.

House with a wrap-around porch.

Spring Lake, NJ beach house

Spring Lake, NJ beach house

I even caught a glimpse of a bride and groom having their picture taken by a photographer!

Bride & Groom at Spring Lake Beach

Bride & Groom at Spring Lake Beach

After drying off and trying to get all the sand off our bodies, we enjoyed a pizza in the adorable Spring Lake town. I plan on going back during the week to window shop!

Town of Spring Lake, NJ

Town of Spring Lake, NJ

I had a lovely Mother’s Day at a wonderful beach and a fun dinner with my family in a quaint and picturesque town.

A Little Bit of Heaven in a Frigid World – Patmos Aktis

The Frigid temperatures of winter are upon us here in Princeton, NJ. As I look out my window at the snow covered landscape, I am reminiscent of the warm summer days at the exquisite Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa. It is a 5-star luxury hotel situated on Grikos Beach on the the island of Patmos … and my husband and I were lucky enough to go there.

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The amenities include private townhouse pools, indoor and outdoor emerald-colored pools and a pristine outstretched beach along Grikos Bay.

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The all-white exterior and interior exude a sleek, modern atmosphere while blending perfectly with the traditional architecture of Patmos.

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Natural hues reflect the surrounding sandy landscape.beach1warm

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Rustic touches combined with luxurious elements make for a relaxing atmosphere. cafetableswarm

Views of the outstretched beach and indigo bay are enjoyed from every angle.

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The monochromatic colors and simple design elements exude luxury and comfort.

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The breathtaking views of Grikos Bay penetrate the interior of the hotel through large paned glass windows and doors.

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The minimalist interiors and rustic style of this Greek getaway have inspired me to recreate it in my own home. The white textured walls and Mediterranean blues of the ocean create a relaxing and down to earth atmosphere. I’m excited to embark on my own Greek inspired master bathroom makeover. Stay tuned! Opa!

The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian

During a recent visit to Patmos, Greece I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in the village of Chora. While walking through this historic byzantine structure that was built in 1088, I was amazed not only by its ancient relics and artifacts but by its simple charm and beauty.

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The contrast of the hard byzantine style fortress with the indigo sky, the white hilltop structures and the cerulean sea exudes an inexplicable beauty.

le monastère de Saint Jean « le théologien » et la grotte de l'Apocalypse sur l'île de Patmos

Doorways and windows hide little crevices of simple and holy elegance.

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The quiet staircases and walkways diverge with the scurrying about of the black vested monks.

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The arches and porticoes cast dramatic shadows upon the monastery’s pilgrims and inhabitants.

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The ancient icons and frescos radiate a mysterious allure that touches one’s soul.

The monastery’s land encompasses vast field, and hilltops painted with windmills. This is the view (below) as you journey upward toward the monastery.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing this simple yet majestic glimpse of The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. The monastery along with its island can’t help but inspire you with its quiet and mystical grace, charm and spirituality.

The Beauty of Patmos

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I recently visited the beautiful island of Patmos, Greece. I was in awe of the breathtaking splendor of its magnificent charm. Patmos is a small island on the Aegean Sea and is one of a cluster of ten islands (Dodecanese) southeast of mainland Greece.

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The island’s main attraction is the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the cave where John the Evangelist was inspired and wrote the Book of Revelations. Hence, it is an island of Orthodox faith and devotion.

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On a long walk along Patmos’ jagged coastline I discovered bits and pieces of paradise.

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The island is enveloped in quaint picturesque architecture that is typical of the Greek style.

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Blues and whites along with a natural earthly hue dominate the landscape. The colors depicted on walls, windows and canopies contrast exquisitely with the blossoming clusters of flowers, the Aegean sea and the ultramarine sky.

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The simple yet exquisite island landscape emulates perfectly the ethos of the Greek culture. Say a simple “para kalo” (please) or “efcharisto” (thank you) and you’re invited into a relationship and have made a friend for life.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my modest depiction of the beauty of Patmos. For more information, I would recommend visiting http://www.patmos-island.com/

 

 

 

Adirondack Style

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We recently took a trip to Lake George, NY for a short family vacation. In between the wave running, the tour of Fort William-Henry, the miniature golf and swimming in the lake, I got to do one of my favorite activities, WINDOW SHOP! I love seeing home décor items that uniquely express a particular place. There was definitely alot to see in Lake George!

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I love this rectangular lamp (above) that has various sizes of branches surrounding the base. I found it at the Indian Tepee Gift Shop in Bolton Landing, a little town just north of Lake George Village. It has all kinds of rustic goodies, like the items below that really accentuate the Adirondack style.

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Another wonderful gift shop is the Trees Adirondack Gifts and Books. It is also in Bolton Landing. It features a wonderful array of home décor items, art by local artists, books and jewelry. I spotted this wonderful antler chandelier (above).

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A unique and rustic decorating idea that I spotted at Trees Gift Shop was this branch hanging from the ceiling. It was lined with miniature white lights. What a wonderful yet simple way to add a natural-looking sparkle to a room. Great addition to a country-themed Christmas décor.

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Here’s another unique floor lamp that incorporates the antler design. This would be a wonderful conversation piece with a rustic flair!

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There was yet another great Home Decorating store that I ran into while visiting the town of Bolton Landing. It was called Next Summer. It features supplies for the lake house. I just adored it’s modern edge to a traditional concept.

The beautiful Lake George area had a bounty of indigenous decorating items for the home, lake house or your pinterest board. I adored window shopping and drinking in the natural and rustic perspective of wonderful little home decorating stores that exquisitely feature the Adirondack style. I encourage you to visit this picturesque and creative area yourself!

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Hanging log swing outside a restaurant in Bolton Landing.

Deck at the Algonquin Restaurant at Chic's Marina

Deck at the Algonquin Restaurant at Chic’s Marina

 

Lake George

Lake George

 

Lake George beaches

Lake George beaches

Carmel by the sea

I recently visited my home state of California with my daughter. Because my trips home usually encompass catching up with family (I am one of nine!) and visiting friends, I rarely get to enjoy the beautiful sights that California has to offer. This trip, however, I managed to slip in a visit to the beautiful picturesque town of Camel, CA. I love the quaint architecture of the homes and shops and the brilliantly blooming flowers.

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