Daydreaming of: Rooftops

Ever since I was little I’ve loved the idea of sitting in a window late at night with a cup of tea and looking over rows of moonlit rooftops. I know you can only accomplish this from a higher level in a building, and typically in a bigger city. Maybe I should just do a painting of rooftops, and hang them all over the place, so I always have one to look at. Here’s a few of my favorites.

 I completely blame movies like 101 Dalmations, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins for my love of rooftops.

Mary Poppins,

… and Peter Pan.

I would love to see this out of my window. Especially at night.

This is a sketch I saw on Etsy one time. I love this style of house. Chicago? London? Paris? I would go to any of those places.

This picture from one of my favorite Paris Blogs, Prêt à Voyager, has tips and tricks on relocating to and living in Paris.

Paris, again. So much to see!

This rooftop is absolutely lovely.

I found this one on Paris’s Craigslist posting about an apartment. It was advertised as “this could be the view out of your window!” Not too shabby.

Maybe someday I will find an apartment with a rooftop where I can have my tea, look out over the neighbors, and read a book.

Happy Daydreaming!

Daydreaming of an Adventure

I’m sitting here in a house that i’m watching for some clients (it comes equipt with 2 teenagers!) and I’m daydreaming about selling all of my things, (minus the new car) and packing it full of just the things I love and moving to a warmer location, where life is simple, I can live in a 500 sq ft studio, loving my job, my neighbors, my local farmer’s market, with great friends and having my family visit. Is that odd? That i’m 29 and willing to scrap everything for a re-do? My mother did it every year, and I hated it. She would up and move us to a new house, new neighborhood, new friends, and new school. Making my total 13 schools by High School graduation. Granted I don’t have children, and wouldn’t do that to my kids. But while I DON’T have kids, everyone is always telling me to move somewhere warm, leave Green Bay, do what you love. Why not?

I just dream of a simple life. Somewhere warm where I can take a bike to work, help people with their organizational problems, hit the flea market and eat lunch outside more than 4 months out of the year and be… happy. You know, the point of life. Where is this place, you ask? I don’t know. But when I find it, i’ll be blogging to you in the sun, in February.

This is my new car. I love it! It belongs with a surf board. Why would I deny my car what it belongs with?

Is it the San Francisco area I belong in? Maybe. Although I would have to work my buns off just to live in a studio apartment. A closet rents for $900 there. Yikes. Although it would be gorgeous, and there would be tons to do.

Is it Portland? Who knows. They aren’t as warm as California, but they have a very laid back lifestyle that I also have. Very liberal, lots of culture (in a good way) and close to the coast.

Is it Charleston, South Carolina? Maybe. I love the historic nature of the city, and it seems like the less sweaty version of Savannah, Georgia, where I’ve always wanted to visit. It has a population of 115K, which is good, but a higher crime rate than the national average, which is bad. The humidity levels are kind of high, but the winters stay around 40 degrees, and I can handle that.

What do you think? What is your ideal city? Happy day dreaming!

Daydreaming of: San Francisco

Knowing my lease is up in about 3 months, I’ve been letting my mind wander as to where I would go if money or distance from everyone I’ve ever met were no object. Of course, I would go to Europe, but I may get homesick seeing as how that’s a very big pond to cross permanently. So today my mind has gone to San Francisco. The boyfriend just got back from there, and I can just tell, he’s still dreaming of the Golden Gate Bridge. There has been talk of a vacation in the future. Can I be so lucky? We shall see. Here’s what I’ve been dreaming of.

Gorgeous Painted Ladies.

A Trolley Ride.

Amazing views of the city, and…

…the Golden Gate Bridge. Check out this site for many other great shots of San Francisco.

Alcatraz. Yes, for some reason I look forward to seeing a jail. Thank Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery for that one.

Fisherman’s Wharf. I would love to try FRESH seafood! I live in Wisconsin people. I don’t expect Grade-A lobster here.

Ok, so Boyfriend got to go sailing when he was out there. I would love to do the same, or at least go to the beach and listen to the waves for a bit.

Ok, so this isn’t in San Francisco, it’s a short drive south to San Jose, but I MUST see the Winchester Mystery House. Creepy History, and most likely awesome architecture.

So I’m a HUGE movie buff. There were many movies and TV shows filmed in San Francisco, and I would love to see some sites. Here’s a few things filmed in San Francisco I can think of off the top of my head:

  • So I Married an Axe Murderer. Here’s some film locations for this movie.
  • The Sweetest Thing. Here’s the locations for this movie.
  • Just Like Heaven (2005 with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo)
  • Full House
  • 48 Hours (In which Eddie Murphy sings my song from jail)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Charmed (TV show)
  • Parts of “Serendipity”
  • The Wedding Planner. Here’s film locations for that movie.
  • Woman on Top (Penelope Cruz movie)
  • X-Men The Last Stand (in which the Golden Gate Bridge gets destroyed)
  • Zodiac

Here’s a huge list of others! San Francisco just has so much culture, warmer climate, and History. Sure the apartments are an arm, a leg, and your first-born child, but IF I could get a job that paid enough, it may be worth it. Only the future can see! Happy Daydreaming!

Photo Vacation: Martha’s Vineyard

A neighbor to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard is a small island located off of the south of Cape Cod in New England. The Martha’s Vineyard website describes the island as “Beaches, bicycling, family vacations, fabulous food,  romantic getaways, vacations for every budget, destination weddings, corporate retreats, dazzling arts culture, fishing, birding, sailing and so much more awaits you!  Your Vineyard experience is just a short ferry ride or flight away, so welcome, explore and start planning your Island getaway .  The island of Martha’s Vineyard  – it’s all here, for everyone!”

According to Wikipedia, it was home to one of the earliest deaf communities, and even has a special form of sign language, MVSL. The year round population is only about 15,000 people, about the size of a small suburb, but harder to get to. In the summer however, the population grows to about 75,000, filling the 14,000 seasonally occupied houses. You have to fly, or take a ferry ride just to get to the small vacation island. Full of bed and breakfasts, it’s not a thrill ride of a getaway, but it is for those who want to relax, take part of a movie like community, and just sit by the fire and catch up with new, and old friends.

Locals refer to Martha’s Vineyard as “the Vineyard” and its residents as either “Vineyarders” or simply “Islanders.” People who move from the mainland (“off-Island”) to the island (“on-Island”) are sometimes called “wash-a-shores”. The island’s small year-round population has led to an active community of folks who are highly involved in the island’s day-to-day activities. Tourism, overdevelopment, politics and many other subjects are of keen interest to the community. Keeping the balance between the much-needed tourist economy and the ecology and wildlife of the island is of high importance to residents. Over the years the island has been a great little getaway to many famous people like Bill Murray, James Cagney, Meg Ryan, Larry David, Ted Danson, Shel Silverstein and Chelsea Handler. Who wouldn’t like running into these folks while on a walk?

Ever since I found a book by my favorite author, Alice Hoffman called “Illumination Night“, I have always wanted to travel to Martha’s Vineyard. The book is about the lives of strangers, who become friends, family, and form relationships through chance and odd circumstances but takes place on the island, and the “Grand Illumination” is actually a festival of sorts that happens every year, in mid August where neighbors that live in the cutest little gingerbread houses in the Oak Bluffs area put chinese lanterns, japanese lanterns, and string lights on their porches, and light them all up for guests and tourists to see. There’s a camp sing and band concert in the Tabernacle. The Grand Illumination started over a century ago and was to mark the visit of the Governor of Massachusetts.

Sounds idyllic, right? Wait till you see some photos…

Here’s a detailed map of the Vineyard.

Boating and spending time on the beach are just some of the many activities you can do on the Island.

Shopping is a must! The “Black Dog Tavern” is known for its trademark dog symbol, and with its popularity, a mouth-watering bakery, and a clothing store were added.Beautiful waterfront houses. Some are seasonal, and some are occupied year round.

Adorable! You almost expect 3 bears to live here, or for a pie to be cooling in the window.

One of the many adorable “Gingerbread” houses in the Oak Bluffs area of the Island.

Getting ready for Illumination Night.

All lit up!

Some more of the Gingerbread houses with their lanterns.

Many hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and resorts are available for travelers. According to the Wesley Hotel’s website, “The Wesley Hotel is one of the largest Ocean-front hotels on the Island. Relax and enjoy the view of the harbor from the rocking chairs on our spacious front porch, or visit with friends in our Victorian lobby sitting areas.”

Something you’ll learn at the Museum is that Martha’s Vineyard was named after an English explorer’s daughter, after tripping on the vines, which were most likely poison ivy and not grape.

I hope that someday I get the chance to visit Martha’s Vineyard. Maybe I’ll wait until I have kids and they are old enough to shop, eat candy and baked goods, and see the amazing Grand Illumination. If they’re lucky, maybe they will meet Goldilocks or the 3 bears.

Photo Vacation: Paris, France

Ok, so it may seem like I’ve already written a post about Paris, because I have. This time it’s because I woke up this morning with a faint memory of a dream of Paris in my mind. Now, this isn’t nearly as glamorous as it seems… I woke up remembering that I was leaving for a flight that left in an hour, I haven’t packed, I don’t have a passport, and my homework required to get on the plane was due yesterday, and I hadn’t started it. Sounds like a typical dream, right? Well, it had me thinking, if I were to go to Paris, where would I go? How could I best utilize my time in another country to get the fullest experience out of my vacation? Well, here’s some of the things I would do.

Do you think I would miss this? The Eiffel Tower is a not to be missed destination.

Notre Dame. I would go here just to try to see the hunchback or maybe some talking gargoyles.

I would definitely take a Paris Walk to see some sites. I would love to take the Amelie Paris Walking Tour, and walk through the sites in the movie. And after seeing the episode of the Samantha Brown show on the Travel Channel taking place in Paris, I knew the Latin Quarter was also a place that I HAVE to go someday. It’s located on the Left bank of the Seine River.

A photo of the Latin Quarter.

Another Photo of the Latin Quarter.

Also located in the Latin Quarter, Shakespeare and Company is the oldest english bookstore in Paris. And for someone dating and English Major (who would be my travel companion) , you know I’d have to go here.

I would have to see the Arc De Triomphe. Beautiful at Christmas Time!

Riding the Metro would be a great (and fast) way to site see.

This is the inside of the Garnier Opera House in Paris. Breathtaking.

Taking a day or two to just walk around, taste the food, take a bunch of pictures, and talk to locals, as long as I can speak the language, would be a must.

As super creepy as this is, it’s a part of Paris’s History. It’s the underground Catacombs.

I would love to visit the little village of Montmartre.

The Stairs at Rue Foyatier in Montmartre.

This is tHE Boulangerie Eric Kayser, and supposedly is the best bakery in Paris. How could I resist?

This 100-year-old department store dedicates an entire floor to just gourmet food — over 300 varieties of cheese, 3,000 bottles of wine and a champagne counter.

Well, there are just a few of the things that I would have to see if I were in Paris, granted I had the time, and money. I would have to set aside a few weeks, I’m sure, and I would probably have to sign contracts with my family members that I was coming back, just in case I decide to stay. And hopefully the next time I’m thinking of Paris, and traveling there, I’ll have my passport, my luggage will be packed, and my homework will be done.

Happy travels!

P.S. After the fact sidenote: Movies you MUST SEE to get a good look inside Paris:

1. Amelie

2. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen’s newest flick)

3. Ratatouille

4. Paris, I Love You

Great movies, I just saw Midnight in Paris this weekend, and fell in love even more with the beautiful city. The lights! The sights! The roaring 20’s!  Cheers! or, Au Revoir!