Archive of ‘Travels’ category

Good Ole Florida Kitsch


The Sponge Factory-Tourist Shop and history of Tarpon Springs video on a continuous loop. I love these old cut-outs!

Looking for a fun day in Florida? You’ll do well to spend an afternoon in Tarpon Springs. I remember its claim as the sponge capitol of the world when I was a kid, and it’s still trading on that century old history. The sponge industry was huge at the turn of the last century and as it grew attracted Greek immigrants that brought their knowledge of sponge diving and culture to this little Florida town.sponge-capitol-pl


As we headed back to the DC area late this summer, we spent a few hours in the historic Greek district centered around the Sponge Docks on Dodecanese Boulevard (map).

This area runs along the water and you’ll see boats of all shapes and sizes, plenty of shorebirds, and lots of snowbirds. There are totally cheesy tourist shops-complete with videos on the history of sponging-and delicious Greek restaurants with live music and waterfront seating.


Boats of all shapes and sizes


Dining doesn’t get anymore waterfront than this!


Natural sponges



My favorite? The art bikes! Just like everything else in this charming town, they had a local spin incorporating life on the water and many, many sponges!





I’m not the only one who loved the bikes! This one was by far my favorite.


To see more of this artist’s work check out Flowerbikeman on Instagram.

PS: I know this is out of left field as I’ve mostly just been trying to spread PANDAS/PANS awareness and give updates on our son this year, but hey! I am trying to get back to normalcy-whatever that means, right?!?! B is doing well (much improved actually) so far and we are all just holding our breaths to see if he heals all the way and if that healing sticks around for a while this time!

Celebrating Paris

Paris St Art PL

When I heard the news from Paris last Friday night, it was crushing. Having just spent an incredible weekend in an around that neighborhood, I picture the cafés and people in the streets so vividly. Hubby and I talked about the very young men we saw guarding the masses in Le Marais (where we stayed) with machine guns and how close we were to the offices of Charlie Hebdo as we strolled on Saturday.

My immediate response was to share some of the moments we captured that illustrated the beauty that is Paris. Then I looked at our pictures and felt they were so unimportant. What meaning does street art have in light of the violent loss so many are experiencing?

Then on Monday, Paris went to work. Life went forward.

And now I realize my instinct to not share the beautiful and inspiring scenes I was fortunate to experience in Paris just before this terrible attack was wrong. I think so many people around the world are inspired by and feel a strong bond to the French.

So now is the perfect time to celebrate the culture and inspiration of France’s capital city. What I have always loved about Paris is the art in everything.

If you’re going to do it, it should be beautiful, right?  Below are some of the simple things I enjoyed this trip.

Dirty Art PL

Art in the streets—everywhere.

Ceiling in Bloom PL

This is the ceiling in a funky little shop/café. More a US style café with a small seating area inside. The street was so narrow, there was no space for a traditional French café with sidewalk tables. I love how they brought the outside in with this fixture.

Funky Shops PL

The sign said Photography, but there was a bit of everything… everywhere! And somehow it was still so inviting.

Chocolate Works of Art PL

Chocolat! Can you imagine spending the time and heart this took to make something so impermanent.

Dogs in Cafes PL

I think this must be how this pup spends everyday. Inside a quiet bench, outside a bustling café on a main square.



Last Friday night, my husband and I flew to Paris to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and our son’s continued recovery. We spent 2 glorious, beautiful days walking, eating and shopping and flew back to the States on Monday.

Tonight, our hearts go out to the people of Paris and all of France.



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