Monday, July 28, 2014

Sorrento, Italy

After spending four wonderful days in Rome, we headed off to Sorrento, a beautiful little town located on the Amalfi coast, overlooking the Bay of Naples.

How to get from Rome to Sorrento: At Rome's Termini Station we took the EuroRail to Naples Centrale Station, it took about an hour and 10 minutes. From there, you take the Circumvesuviana Line from the Piazza Garibaldi station which is very conveniently located downstairs in the Naples Centrale Station. Basically, it's all in the same building, just go downstairs. You can purchase your EuroRail tickets in advance, but you'll have to purchase your ticket for the Circumvesuviana line upon arrival. The train from Napes to Sorrento is a quick 55 minutes and departs once every half hour.

Take a cab to your hotel if you can: According to Google Maps, the walk from the train station to the hotel was only 10 minutes. So we decided to walk to our hotel. Bad idea. I suggest always taking a cab if you can. We got lost, it was almost 80 degrees and the sound of luggage loudly bumping along the cobblestone streets is the worst. It was definitely a buzzkill. Once we arrived at our beautiful hotel, all was right again.

// Mount Vesuvius //

// Breezy track pants and comfy flats make for a great travel outfit // 

 // Mount Vesuvius //

Trip Advisor is a great resource for hotels and restaurants in Europe: We stayed at the beautiful Grand Hotel La Favorita. I would go back in a heartbeat. The service at the front desk was just ok, but the bar staff and waitstaff were great. The property was immaculate and has a lovely garden that is perfectly manicured. We found Trip Advisor to be very helpful when planning our trip and choosing hotels and restaurants.

// The pool at Grand Hotel La Favorita //

// The view from the pool at Grand Hotel La Favorita //

// The lounge at Grand Hotel La Favorita //

// From the garden at Grand Hotel La Favorita //

After we relaxed a bit, we enjoyed a nice lunch in the heart of the town at Fauno Bar. Sorrento is the birthplace of Limencello, a sweet lemon digestif. At each restaurant in Sorrento and Capri, we were given a small glass of Limoncello after each meal. At Fauno Bar our waiter was the best and knowing it was our six month anniversary, he gave us a couple of extra.

All photos by yours truly and my talented husband, Nic Camp.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Natural and Organic Baby Gifts

There is a brand new baby in the family (!) and wanting to gift her with something special, I poured over the internet looking for natural, organic, eco-friendly options (yes, I live in Los Angeles and do consider myself a granola-eating hippie on occasion). Hoping you find something you like amongst these wonderful, natural finds!

These natural wood, toy storybook blocks are so amazing I want a set for myself! There are many options: Curious George, Peter Rabbit, Disney themed, Periodic Table themed...the list goes on.  
These blocks are handmade by BlockPaperScizzors

Personalized baby gifts are so special and unique. 
How about this set of Four Personalized Natural Bamboo, Wood Engraved Baby Spoons by Teal's Prairie & Co.

This little Baby Bamboo Beach Robe is sooo adorable. As a beach robe or bath robe, this cruelty-free, dye & color additive free, GMO free robe makes for a lovely gift.

No sulfates, no tears, non-comedogenic and non-irritating, this 
Calendula Horsey Tote by California Baby is an all-natural mama's dream.

Baby shoes have to be one of the cutest things. These organic Guava Boots by Goumi Kids are "the industry’s first two-part closure for a baby bootie - making it easy for single-handed on and off.  Smart stay-put design allows baby’s feet to retain the heat they so easily lose in their newborn days." 

Made with the finest Egyptian cotton, this Bunny Blanket found on Our Green House,  
triples in efficiency to cover teething, security and snuggling.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rome, Italy

In May, Nic and I had the time of our life on our honeymoon in Europe. We traveled through Italy and France stopping in Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence, Venice, Nice, Monaco and Paris. We're finally getting some time to edit our photos so I thought I'd roll out these blog posts city by city. First stop, Rome. The temperature was a comfortable 69F to 72F degrees while we were there which made walking around easy and enjoyable. 

Rome Travel Tips
  1. Tours: The tours are really worth it. We booked two through Walks of Italy and were really impressed.
  2. Google Drive: Save all of your documents and maps to "offline" mode in Google Drive, this was key for us when we didn't have access to internet. Download the Drive app onto your phone, looking at your documents, click on the little "i" and there you will see an option to "Keep on device." 
  3. Stay at a Hotel with Free Internet: Most hotels have free internet. This was key. We did not have to invest in an international phone plan because it was so easy to check emails and make FaceTime and Skype calls when needed. Other than that, we really didn't need a phone service.
  4. No Bloody Mary's: Don't even try ordering a Bloody Mary-- I tried multiple times at multiple places and was grossed out each time. Now, if you do find a good one, let me know so I can update this post. 
  5. Tipping: You don't have to tip there like we do in the states. In the beginning we were leaving 20% tips and tipping cab drivers-- we were told numerous times that cab drivers don't expect a tip and that restaurants only expect a 5%-10% tip. That said, I got the feeling that because we are Americans they were expecting us to tip more...
  6. Travel Light: This goes without saying-- travel lightly. Let's just say that wedges + suitcase  + cobblestone = nightmare. Don't even try to take a suitcase without 4 wheels. Just don't do it.
  7. Allergy Medicine: Bring it just in case. We were fine in LA, but the second we got to Rome, we were hit with some pretty bad allergies. During this time of year in Rome, there are these little cotton-like things from the trees floating through the air.
  8. Leverage Jet Lag: Take advantage of your jet-lag and go to the Colosseum at sunrise! After sleeping for 15 hours one day/night, we woke up at 3a and made it down to the Colosseum by 5a. We were able to get such great photographs and there was no one there! 

 // inside the Colosseum //

  // inside the Colosseum, you can see where they re-built part of the stage on the left //

// the Colosseum at sunrise //

 // the Pantheon //

 // the Pantheon //

  // inside the Pantheon //

 // Basil and Lemon Gelato //

 // Trevi Fountain //

  // somewhere near the Spanish Steps //

 // first Selfie??? //

// Villa Borghese //

// Villa Borghese //  

 // Villa Borghese // 

// Villa Borghese // 

  // inside the Vatican //

 // the Vatican //

 // the Forum //

 // le photographer @nicamp //

All photos taken in this post (except for 2) were taken and edited by the wonderful Mr. Nic Camp. 

Right outside of Villa Borghese is Harry's Bar. It's a great place to stop and have a bite. 
Let me tell you, they make a great dirty martini.

 // walking the streets of Rome //

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