Stories from 2018 – 41 – Backyard Camping Birthday Party

A good friend of Nathaniel had his tenth birthday a few weeks ago. It was in their backyard and the theme was camping. They went above and beyond to make it special for the boys. 

After dinner, they all got to watch Princess Bride. 

before dinner, they played with tons and tons of boxes. All the kids said it was one of the best parts.

at night they slept in tents in their own sleeping bags. It was quite lovely.

It was Nathaniel’s first sleepover ever. He had a wonderful time. We are super grateful and hope he continues to have special memories like this with his good friends.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 39 – Barcelona Part 4

I am so grateful that we got to spend several days in Barcelona. This will be the last of my installments about our vacation and Barcelona. 

more on La Sagrada Familia. 

the doors were magnificent.

so much detail

some parts so modern and others so detailed and classical.


and these stunning doors.


they blew me away.

but of course my favorite was the light. 

i couldn’t stop taking photos of the stained glass windows. 

look at that amazing light.

can’t you almost feel it?.

i could have sat there all day.


it still gives me chills.


Then we went to this fountain and music show, it lasted two hours and was amazing.


light, water and music, what more can we ask for?


here’s the before with everyone waiting.


we took the subway there 🙂


on our last day we saw some street art. 


on our last morning we went to this awesome maze. 


the kids had a lot of fun.

and then we went home to pack and we were grateful for a full vacation and for finally being ready to go home to our own beds. so grateful for this incredible vacation.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 38 – Barcelona Part 3

I have so many more photos of Barcelona that I am having a hard time picking what to share since I don’t want to put all 500 photos here.

These are the beautiful buildings.

and street entertainers.

this is a person, isn’t that amazing?

nathaniel got into the spirit of things as always.


our airbnb was lovely.


the one place i wanted to see more than any other in this trip was La Sagrada Familia.

it blew me away.

i might have taken 1000 photos just here.

look at that amazing light.

this place was truly awe inspiring.


this one is from Guell Park. I will have more ofLa Sagrada Familia next time.


Then we went to the beach together. The kids loved it.


and I loved it even more because we just sat there and enjoyed the peace.


and my boys. 


they had really good coffee and smoothies here.


don’t you love Barcelona?! more next time 🙂


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 38 – Barcelona Part 2

Our next stop in Barcelona was at he climbing gym. 

The boys climbed while I read.

it was fun to see them in action.

i wanted more Gaudi but the boys were done so they kindly let me do this one on my own.

the inside of this house is breathtaking.


all the glass and light.


all the color.

i loved the blue.

i can’t even imagine living in this house.

i took thousands of photos.

loved the tiles.

this is the roof.

and one more on my way down.


the boys waited next door and had some juice + chocolate.


so here’s part two of our adventures in Barcelona. more next time 🙂


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 35 – Barcelona Part 1

After Girona, we drove to Barcelona and quickly realized that we didn’t really want a car in Barcelona so we returned our rental the next morning. Our first trip was to Park Güell. I read on the net that you didn’t need to buy the tickets to the special paid part to see all the Gaudi stuff, which was completely untrue. So that night we bought tickets and went back the next morning. I took hundreds of photos at this tiny section of the park. I will not torture you with all of them but I find Gaudi’s work to be magnificent.

The mosaics are just so so breathtaking.

and the shapes he uses are so curvy and organic.

vines.

doesn’t that take your breath away?


this lizard is quite famous.


i tried not to go overboard but I couldn’t help myself.

i just loved all of his stuff.

i mean look at this house!

and this!

even the bathrooms were pretty!

We spent a long, long time walking around before it was ok to move on. 
so here’s part one of our adventures in Barcelona. more next time 🙂


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 35 – Girona

We drove to the last town in France, Perpignan, and took the super fast train to Girona. 

I’d seen this photo but seeing it in person was so much more beautiful.

isn’t it magnificent?

some interesting statues.

nathaniel loved this one store and spent 45 mins there


we loved the streets and noticed all the flags everywhere.


not sure if this is a real person.

i loved these stairs too! 

we could have taken the super fast train right to barcelona which would mean we’d miss this.

and this!

so i am glad we did go to Girona and see this small but beautiful town. 

And next we come to the last part of our trip, Barcelona, which was my very favorite part!


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 34 – Marseilles and Montpellier

After we left Aix, we drove down to Marseilles which was another seaside town. Marseilles is a fishing town and it’s so very beautiful.

I loved all the streets.

and the incredible churches.

isn’t it magnificent?

i love all the detail.

i made the whole family walk to this museum in the super hot weather just so i could get these shots.


this made me think of home.


so many many of the streets had a lot of graffiti. 

and a lot of old doors.

I took around 600 photos just in Marseilles.
and snapped this on the way out of town.

We then drove to Montpellier where our AirBnB was down this amazing, amazing street.

And the house was amazing too. It was big and fun and we ended up taking the whole day to relax.

the kids played all day while I read and Jake went climbing.

On the way out of town we passed by Carcassonne and had to capture this shot since it’s one of our favorite Board Games 🙂

Next up is Barcelona, the last leg of our wonderful journey.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 33 – Cannes and Aix-en-Provence

On the way back from St. Tropez, we decided to stop at Cannes. I had read that it was not as interesting and it was getting darker but we went anyway.

We were so glad we did. In fact, it turned out to be Jake’s favorite part of the trip.

we walked around the beautiful beach.

and I snapped a million photos.

we saw a ferris wheel and decided we had to get on!

it was fantastic, right at sunset.


it was very beautiful in Cannes. 


we didn’t do shopping but still went to the main street.


but the beach was so much better.

The next morning, we were on our way to Montpellier so we stopped by Aix-en-Provence, which I loved.


This city is so very beautiful and old and lovely.


Full of fountains.


and these stunning buildings.

I just loved the feel of the whole city. It was so delightful and warm.

And of course I took photos of all the windows.

this is one of my favorites.

isn’t it magnificent.

we then moved on to Marseilles but I love love loved Aix and here’s to being able to go back one day!


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 32 – Pisa, Nice, and St. Tropez

 

 

On the way to Forte dei Marmi, we decided to stop by Pisa since it was really closeby.

It was super cool to see the building in person so I am glad we did. 

We didn’t stay too long but it was totally fun 


Then we went to Forte dei Marmi and spent the four days with my family. After that, we drove to the edge of Italy to SanRemo and took a train to our next destination: Nice.

the views from the train were breathtaking.

and even the train garre was amazing.

we had a rental waiting for us right outside of the station. 

and we drove straight to our AirBnB, dropped off our bags and left for downtown Nice. 


the kids did a lot of reading throughout or vacation and we brought the kindles everywhere to ensure there was no whining. 


love my boys.


The next day we woke up and drove all the way to St. Tropez where we walked its lovely streets. 

and visited the butterfly museum.


and this big fort.


the views there were breathtaking, too.


and everything was cute and french and lovely.

We wanted to make sure to stop at Cannes on the way back so next time I’ll share a bit about our Cannes adventures along with the rest of France.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 31 – Forte dei Marmi

After our day and a half in Rome, we rented a car and drove north to this little town called Forte dei Marmi where we met up with my family to celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday.

My amazing sister had done an incredible amount of work to make the day special for my dad. We call him opapa so she made custom shirts so we all had shirts that said who we were in relation to my dad.

and then the back said 75th birthday.

the three of us.

my mom and dad with all the grandkids.

she had setup games for us to play on the beach.

there was much laughing 

and joy

my parents were super game to play along.


afterwards she got us all white shirts and a whole bunch of props to take photos with.


and everyone was happy to play along.


here’s my special sister and her amazing family.


without whom none of this would be possible. She also got custom towels made, custom chocolates, hazelnuts and many other small and big touches. It was a wonderful few days with the people who are most special in my life.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 30 – Rome

I figured I will share some photos from our trip, little bits at a time but these will still be photo-heavy.

Our airbnb in Rome was lovely.

not huge but clean and nice.

and right in the middle of rome.

we had only one day there so we had to see everything in one day.

i walked them to fontana di trevi first.

and then we walked slowly on the way to the Colosseum and saw things along the way.

This tower was super-meaningful to David cause he knew all about it. Trajan’s Column.

they all loved the ancient ruins everywhere in rome.


and all the mentions of SPQR.


And finally we were there.


We then went to the Pantheon.


which was magnificent.


and the Spanish Steps.


we took more than 30,000 steps in one day while in Rome. We saw so much. We went to Trastevere at night, too. 

But we didn’t get to see Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel. That will have to be saved for next time. Rome was everyone’s favorite so I imagine we will go back.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stories from 2018 – 26 – Family Reunion

Last weekend, we got to visit Boston to celebrate my husband’s family reunion. There were 50+ people there which was magnificent. 

The kids got to play outside all day and did all sorts of things from playing on slides, to water slides, to making tie dye and many more opportunities to run around and explore.

It was really wonderful to see everyone together. 

I was extra lucky because my nephews were both there, too. 

So we took photos with the 4 cousins since it’s not often they are in the same location.

There was much laughter. Many long and lovely conversations. A lot of relaxation. An incredible talent show and so so much else. I am so grateful for family.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.