Venice & Naples

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IMG_3472Okay, so Naples is in the title, but full disclosure, “Eating in Naples” would be a more appropriate way to describe our brief visit to the city. Our flight from Venice left out of Naples, so after taking the train from the Amalfi Coast we had just enough time to arrive at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele right as it was opening for the day to grab a pie before making our way to the airport. It’s a pretty safe bet that almost any pizza you’ll eat in Italy will be some of the best you’ve ever eaten, but by some accounts this is in fact THE one not to miss.

The pizzeria got lots of attention for being included in Eat Pray Love, and based on the amount of people that arrived first thing in the morning, it doesn’t seem the popularity has slowed at all – and for good reason. Walk in and grab a seat. Wait patiently and one of the gentlemen will come take your order. There are only two types of pizza to choose from: Pizza Margherita (with double mozzarella as an option, go that route) or Pizza Marinara (which is just tomato, garlic, oregano and oil, no cheese). Each pie will run you 4-5 euro and is big enough to be shared if you’re not that hungry, but you might want your own.

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Italy’s Amalfi Coast

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My mom loves Italy. Anyone who knows her – or me, for that matter – knows that. She visits frequently, for several weeks at a time, taking language and cooking classes while exploring her way around the country. This spring I went to meet her toward the end of one of her visits. She’d been staying in Salerno with her friend Julie, and I met her there toward the end of her stay so we could explore the Amalfi Coast before heading out for the rest of our journey.

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Maine Forest Yurts – Durham, Maine

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As we made our way toward mid-June and still hadn’t been camping a trip to Maine Forest Yurts seemed like the perfect way to enjoy a night away without much effort. We hadn’t been before, but had received a gift certificate for Christmas and were eager to check it out. Less than an hour away from South Portland, it was the perfect combination of being not too far away, while still feeling like we were completely removed from our every day lives.

Located in Durham, Maine Forest Yurts is easily accessible from both Southern and Midcoast Maine. If camping isn’t really your thing, or you’re looking for a little more luxury than setting up a sleeping bag on the ground, this is a fantastic place to really get away from it all without giving up the comforts of more modern accommodations. There’s a fully functional gas stove, solar powered lighting, water provided for washing dishes and showering, and an outhouse right outside the door. We stayed in The Zen Den, the newest of the property’s three yurts, which can easily accommodate up to six people. It even had that “new yurt” smell to remind us that we were lucky to be visiting during its first few months of life.

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Driving up the West Coast

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After Napa, we drove toward the coast, ending our night by setting up at a campsite in total darkness, which made for some incredible views as we opened our tent flaps the next morning to find ourselves surrounded by some of the biggest trees we’d ever seen. We were eager to hit the road, and the journey led to even more impressive sights.

IMG_6295If you’re a sea glass fan, you’ve no doubt seen pictures of Sea Glass beach, which I was determined to visit and made priority #1 when we hit the road that morning. For those that aren’t familiar, the beach is one known for its abundance of sea glass, created by years of dumping trash nearby. It had been on my list of places to visit since before planning the trip, and in the morning sun it definitely lived up to my expectations. If you’re in the area, Egghead’s is “the best restaurant in Fort Bragg,” and whimsically decorated as if you’re stuck somewhere in Oz.

We took our time driving up the coast, stopping in historic Ferndale, known for its well preserved Victorian houses and storefronts, before hitting the Redwoods, which were – probably not surprisingly – another highlight of the drive.

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San Francisco

Sometimes you spend weeks plotting and planning the perfect vacation destination, or you have an event to attend and you make a trip out of it, or there’s somewhere you’ve been dying to go and your plans are finally working out. Other times you have airline miles that are about to expire due to a severe lack of travel and of course you want to make the most of them so you go about as far as you can go with what you’ve got – which is how we ended up in San Francisco.

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