Monthly Archives: May 2013

Friday in Florence and Pisa

Friday in Florence and Pisa

Back again, and fitting that it is rainy and crappy outside because that’s how it was when we visited Florence, rainy and crappy. But we soldiered on because we had things to see and places to go.

First stop, was the David. Florence as a whole has really strict picture taking policies and rather than run the risk of getting thrown out – we opted not to take pictures and bought postcards instead. So sadly, I have very few pictures of Florence and most are of outside structures.

We bypassed the line and bought our tickets from one of the street vendors, saved us a three and a half hour wait, which obviously was totally worth it. Went in to see the David – OMG is it massive! My kid was especially intrigued by the fiber optic cables they have to monitor the cracks in the sculpture. Really interesting.

Then it was on to the Ponte Vecchio – a famous bridge that has NEVER fallen despite wars and numerous natural disasters. It’s lined with shops selling gold and silver.

After that it was the Uffizi Gallery – famous for all the Botticelli paintings – like the Primavera and the Birth of Venus. It was just so amazing to see those paintings in person and not just in a book, I’m so glad we got the opportunity to do that.

We stayed in the guest house of a private villa in Montevarchi. We stayed there last year when we were driving back from Sicily. I couldn’t recommend it more, family is very nice, place is clean, and she had made dinner reservations for us for both nights! Both nights were multi-course traditional Italian dinners – the first night we tried Beef Carpaccio for the first time and the second night we both tried rabbit for the first time. I’d have the rabbit again (it was an amazing rabbit ragu cream sauce), I’d probably skip the Carpaccio (just not that into raw beef).

It was on to Pisa the next day. We opted NOT to climb the tower in the interests of time AND none of us were too keen on climbing 300 steps to the top. So we walked around it, took loads of pictures, walked around the cathedral, bought some stuff in the gift shop and then ate lunch in a café in view of the tower.

I would love to go back to both places someday. So we shall see.

Next up – Venice.

Have a great weekend. Don’t forget, my next short, Ready to Ride, comes out next week. I’ll make a post about it on Wednesday, that’s its release day.
Until then – TTFN



Our view from our room in Montevarchi

The Ponte Vecchio

View from the Ponte Vecchio back toward the Uffizi Gallery complex

View of Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi Gallery – the one picture we WERE allowed to take

The Palazza Vecchio

The Cathedral (under construction)

Where we ate dinner the second night – FABULOUS /

Santa Maria Della Spina – in Pisa

The Cathedral at Pisa inside the Piazza dei Miracoli

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Inside the café where we had lunch


Tuesday in Rome

Part Two of our Trip to Italy 😀

After our night in Verona we traveled to Rome. I had booked us a room at the Imperia Suites. They were fabulous. We had a great room, they were extremely helpful, gave us a map, told us how and where to get to the Metro, labeled all the important sites on the map, and even gave us recommendations for lunch and dinner both days. And let me tell you, dinner the first night was AMAZING – hubs said it was the best piece of veal he’d ever had in his entire life!

Anyway, onto the pictures. I’ve actually included a couple shots my kid took, because he takes pictures of really interesting things. So without further ado.

Our first stop – the Colosseum

An exterior shot – kid shot

An interior shot

The Forum – which we had tickets to go into but decided not to, we could see most of it just by walking around it.

The Parthenon

Inside The Parthenon – really the pictures just don’t do it justice, it was breathtaking.

The Spanish Steps – we bought a postcard of this so we would have one shot of them empty because they are NEVER empty.

Trevi Fountain – I really liked this, although it was very crowded. (but then everything was)

The entrance to The Vatican – kid shot 😀

One of many interior ceiling shots – kid shot

A statue in the Vatican – I had to – you know for ~reasons.

Another ceiling shot.

Unfortunately no pictures of the Sistine Chapel because they said no pictures and we like to follow the rules most of the time 😀

Next stop : Friday in Florence 😀

Have a great week, don’t forget my new short Ready to Ride comes out on June 5th. I’ll post links and all the official stuff next week.


Memorial Day

I hope everyone is having a healthy, happy, and safe Memorial Day.

While you’re enjoying the swimming, the barbecues, the movies, your families, take a moment to remember WHY you’re enjoying all of that.

Because of the sacrifices of so many that have come before.

So if you get the chance, take a moment and say thank you to a service member or their family because our freedom is what they protect with their sacrifice.

Enjoy your day everyone.

And thank you!



Thrilling Thursday

First, my big news, I have a cover for Ready to Ride. Isn’t it gorgeous? Also, it comes out on 5 June, 2013. It will be part of an anthology and also available separately. Will post more about that probably next week.

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Now – FINALLY onto my trip to Italy over Spring Break. Due to the insane amount of pictures and sizes and such, I’ll confine my posts to one locale per post – which means there will be about five posts in total.

First stop: Verona – home of Romeo and Juliet. Or as my husband liked to continually remind me the entire time we were there – a FICTIONAL couple. *sigh* Seriously though, we enjoyed our stay here a great deal and if I ever get the chance to get back to Italy I wouldn’t mind spending more than just one night here.

The weather was kind of crappy, it rained that evening, but we still got to see the castle and had a really great dinner. The next morning we got up went to Juliet’s Tomb, her house, and tried to find Romeo’s house – we never did find it but we did end up on Dante’s Street. Having read Dante’s Inferno back in high school, I found this highly entertaining.

We stayed at a Best Western and it was really nice and they had a HUGE breakfast spread the next morning. We checked out before we went sight-seeing and had to pay for parking which limited our time exploring but seeing as how we had to drive to Rome it all worked out.

My husband was extremely frustrated over not being able to find Romeo’s house – it was on the map, but there were no signs and the street signs weren’t helpful. But no matter, we enjoyed our time there, got some great pictures and then it was time to move on.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Next week – Rome!

Have a great weekend.



On the entrance to Juliet's Tomb

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The Castle

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Juliet’s Famous Balcony

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The Wall where you can leave a message or a lock for Juliet declaring your true love. You might remember this from the movie Letters To Juliet.

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Dante’s Street

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Dante Himself 😀

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Just Another Manic Monday

Our stuff is gone, on its way to Virginia and my stress level has decreased dramatically. Can I get a hell yeah? HELL YEAH!

Of course now there is new stress – trying to get all the last minute things done before we actually leave in a few weeks. Stuff like school records, medical records, paying our final vet bill : (((((( etc.

The most common phrase heard in our house the past week? “We don’t have that. It’s on its way to Virginia.” I had to go buy pot holders!

All that aside, I fully intend to start and FINISH my posting of pictures from our trip to Italy before I leave. I will start this Thursday so stay tuned.

Now onto the really great news. I have a new story coming out! It’s called Ready to Ride and it’s coming out in the Fever Anthology next month from Torquere.

Here’s the unofficial blurb:

Eric is an orthopedic surgeon volunteering his time with the Justin Sports Medicine program, traveling the rodeo circuit two months out of the year. Underneath it all though, he’s a cowboy at heart and not just because he was born and raised in Texas. He’s a cowboy at heart because Ben Greene, champion Saddle Bronc rider, owns his heart.

They haven’t put words to what they’re doing together even though they’ve been together for almost a year. But when Ben is bucked off during a ride resulting in a season-ending injury both these cowboys just might have to finally acknowledge what they have together.

I’m super excited about this one!

That’s all for now.

Have a great week!



Thrilling Thursday

Busy Busy Busy.

The first car is shipped – YIPPEE!

The movers come on Monday – WOO HOOO!

But we are SO not ready – BOOO : (

I just finished a Cowboy story I plan to submit to BA Tortuga’s Fever Anthology *fingers crossed*

Other than that – I can’t really concentrate on any writing things until after the movers are done next week.

We still have to pack (our stuff that we’ll need for the next two weeks), make our donation runs, clear out some final clutter and a hoard of other miscellaneous stuff.

HOPEFULLY after next week things will calm down and I can get back to semi-regular posting.

Just wanted ya’ll to know I’m still alive, I haven’t forgotten about pictures from Italy and I wish you all a fantastic weekend and a Happy Mother’s Day!



Oh and the hubs and I saw Star Trek Into Darkness last night and it was AWESOME – the dialogue was clever and fun, the action was A++ and the drama was even better. Can’t wait to see it again!