Family Time in Portland


July was a big month for travel! After our trip to Maine, we had less that a week at home before heading out again to Portland, Oregon. Travis had a conference to attend there for work and Kenneth and I came along to visit with my brother, sister-in-law, and parents. It was a great combo trip!


Kenneth got to meet his my brother, Adam, and his wife, Nina, for the first time. He liked them both, but Nina could really get him to smile! Nina and Adam are both completing their Oncology/Hematology fellowships at OHSU. They work really hard. I’m impressed by their dedication!


Travis and I have been to Portland many times (most recently two years ago) and we had to check out a few of our favorite places (like Papa Haydn’s and Dutch Bros), but we also did a few new things this time…

My favorite things to see/eat/do in Portland, Oregon:

  • Screen Door – Our first restaurant stop! We did brunch on Sunday and I had the praline bacon waffle. It reminded me of New Orleans.
  • portlandscreendoor

  • Ava Gene’s – Delicious, fancy restaurant from the people who make Stumptown coffee.
  • Sizzle Pie – Creative pizza with lots of hipster, vegan, gluten free, etc options.
  • Blue Star Donuts – So much better than Voodoo Doughnuts.
  • Salt & Straw – Amazing ice cream (with the long lines to prove it).
  • Lan Su Chinese Garden – A pretty oasis in downtown. We had tea and moon cakes in the tea house. So lovely.
  • portlandgarden2

  • Powell’s Books – ALL the books. I couldn’t resist buying Ken four new kids books.
  • Multnomah Falls – This was my first time visiting and the falls were quite impressive. We ate at the lodge restaurant and Adam and I climbed the uphill mile to the top.
  • portlandfalls2

  • Haystack Rock – At Cannon Beach on the coast west of Portland. Some of the scenes from Goonies were filmed there!
  • portlandhaystack

In addition to meeting his aunt and uncle for the first time, Kenneth got to spend a lot of time with his grandparents… and he loved it! They spent a lot of time holding him, playing with him, and strolling him. They babysat him while Travis and I went out on a double date with Adam and Nina to Ava Gene’s. Very nice!


While Travis, Adam, and Nina were doing work stuff, Ken and I got to go with Grandma and Grandpa to Haystack Rock on the coast west of Portland. It was Ken’s first time touching the Pacific Ocean! We also did some sight seeing and walking around the city, including checking out Powell’s and the Chinese Garden.


Once Travis was finished with his conference, our little Johnson family had a nice day of walking around downtown Portland. We shopped, I drank too much Stumptown coffee, and we went to check out the Timbers’ arena.


I love Portland. I think it is such a fun, cool, easy city with great food and a lot to see. I really think anyone would love visiting this lovely Pacific Northwest hot spot. Bonus points if you also get to spend quality time with family while you are there!!


Check out all of my photos from the trip in my Portland 2015 Flickr Album.

Maine Escape 2015


Earlier this month, Travis, Kenneth, and I took our first ever trip to Maine to visit with family and friends. We stayed in the tiny island town of Stonington, Maine, as guests of our awesome friends, the Billings. The lobster fishing town has about 1,000 residents, a beautiful view of the sea, and a cute main street.



This was our first road trip with Kenneth and he did quite well on the drives. We stopped in Boston on our way up and back from Maine and got to check out a few sights, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Blackbird Doughnuts, and Fenway Stadium.



This was my very first time in Maine and I was blown away by the beauty of the stone and sea and sky. Even though I wouldn’t describe myself as an ocean person (I was born in the landlocked midwest!) I really enjoyed being on the water and seeing all of the sea life, like seals, jellyfish, lobsters, and seagulls.



We had a great week of kayaking (my first time — I loved it!), boating to a small, uninhabited island to hike and picnic, visiting Cadillac Mountain and Bar Harbor, shopping in town in Stonington, and my favorite: eating the local lobster and clams.




Ken achieved a lot of milestones on this, his first road trip: he sat in a restaurant high chair for the first time, he rode in a grocery store cart for the first time, he road in his first boat and touched the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, and he attended his third baseball game at Fenway Stadium.



Traveling with a baby is more difficult than not — I was quite sleep deprived all week from sharing a bed with Ken and waking to feed him more often than usual — but it is still a lot of fun and worth the effort. I think Ken enjoyed spending time with family and friends. We plan to keep dragging him along on many more adventures!

See all of my photos from the trip in my #MaineEscape2015 Flickr album.

Rivers Edge International Film Festival


About three weeks ago, I traveled with my mom to Paducah, Kentucky, to attend the River’s Edge Film Festival with my grandma and aunts. This was the 10th year of the event. My grandma and aunts who live in Paducah have attended every year! Wow! This was my first time.


My mom and I missed the opening night (Thursday) of the festival, but it turns out that the premier screening of the big horror feature was sold out! There was a line to get in and my family didn’t even get seats with their full access passes. We also missed most of the first day of films since we were on the road driving into town… but don’t worry, we still saw a LOT of films!!


In total, I think we saw 27 different films over the course of Saturday and Sunday. Most of them were shorts, about 10-15 minutes in length, but many were features that ran over an hour. There were animated films, narrative fiction films, experimental films, a good amount of horror, and documentaries. Overall, the quality of the films exceeded my expectations. My favorites were the documentaries.

My top three film picks were:

  • Out of the Fire – A documentary about wood-firing potter, Kevin Crowe, working in rural Virginia. I love art documentaries, and this was particularly interesting to me because I got to do a tiny bit of wood-fired ceramics in high school. The film made the entire firing process seem like a party!
  • Wicker Kittens – A funny documentary all about competitive jigsaw puzzle teams competing at a winter festival in Minnesota. Who knew people were so into puzzles?!
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall – This was a documentary about a hospice program at the Iowa State Penitentiary. I am always intrigued by prison documentaries. Even though I know that the inmates are there for a reason, I can’t help but feel compassion toward them. Maybe I am a sucker. This film followed the final days of one inmate and the care he received from his fellow prisoners. This film won Best Documentary Short for the festival.

Check out all of the festival winners here.


It was a great trip. I basically just relaxed and enjoyed the time with family. Paducah is a really nice small city. I definitely suggest a visit if you are in the area. I didn’t get to visit the National Quilt Museum like I did during my last trip there, but I highly recommend it. There seems to be some type of art or culture event happening at any given time in Paducah. And of course, if you are there in early November, you’ve got to check out the Film Festival! (Despite the big sell-out on the first night, they could use a few more attendees throughout the event.)


Reach the Beach 2014


Travis and I completed our third Reach the Beach relay event earlier this month. My running role was much shorter and slower this year, but Travis and I still had a fantastic weekend Reaching the Beach with 28 of our fun and wacky Brooklyn running friends. How amazing is it to find a group of people who can spend 30+ hours in mini vans together without sleep or showers, run 600+ miles, eat mostly just pretzels and MnMs, and come out the other end smiling more than ever?!


This year our Warriors group consisted of three teams of 10 people each. Our van of five was me, Travis, Amanda, Larry, and Nate. It was Nate’s first time at RTB and I hope we helped make it a fun experience for him. I had an awesome time with our van mates! It was really a no stress, smooth, and even EASY weekend. Amazing.


Since we were van 2, we spent the first portion of the event cheering for our team mates who ran the first five legs. We started the race earlier in the day this year than in the past, so when it was our turn to run, it was still light out! Nice. We ran, drove, cheered, handed off the baton (slap bracelet) at the transitions, and basically just got it done.


I had originally been assigned to run 18 miles during the event, but since I had experienced a difficult four-mile race the week before, I was nervous about my ability to do it… at least to do it in any type of time that wouldn’t completely sink our team. Thankfully, Larry switched legs with me and I got to run 13 miles of much easier terrain. Whew. That was a big relief. I had been worried that Travis may need to run some of my legs for me… but sadly, he had an injured calf and actually couldn’t do his third leg. Joel ended up running it and totaled more than 30 miles for the weekend! Crazy.


I was the last runner in our van to go. My first leg happened to be the same first leg course that I’ve run for the past two years. I am glad that I got to run it again because it was fun to see the terrain while it was still light out. It was VERY hilly and it ended on a grass hill heading up to a farm. I was slow, but still felt really good about running most of it (walking only the big hills). And the best part was that my ENTIRE TEAM was at the farm waiting for me to finish and cheering me on. Definitely an inspiring experience… even if I felt a little embarrassed. It felt like I was running HARD, but on video I’m sort of doing a pregnancy waddle. Oh well, everyone was super supportive.


We rested a little, ate some dinner at a cute and welcoming church, and then ran our next set of legs. It is already hard to remember the details, but my second and third legs went pretty smoothly. I even ran the third one (just a 5k) a tiny bit faster! In between we grabbed some sleep at a transition area. I think I slept for a full two hours on the back seat of the van. I didn’t think it would really help much, but I woke up refreshed. Wow!


Overall, I think this may have been my smoothest and easiest year at RTB, which is totally crazy since I didn’t even know if I was going to do it. I thought that being pregnant would make me really uncomfortable, but I actually felt fine the entire time. BabyJ loved the music in the van and he seemed to sleep when I was running. Thankfully, my team was understanding of my slow speed and need for low mileage… I think that made all the difference. I wasn’t as stressed about being FAST this time around. I felt comfortable watching my breathing and heart rate during the runs and not over-exerting myself. I also worked hard on eating healthy snacks and staying hydrated in between the runs. And I used a LOT of porta potties!


It was another really fun weekend of running south through the mountains of New Hampshire, riding in vans, listening to music, and getting to know our friends a little better. I know that I probably won’t get to do the event again for quite a while, so I am glad that I decided to participate this year despite being pregnant. It felt empowering to complete the event, but even more so, it felt really incredible to have a team that welcomed me, accepted, and encouraged me as a pregnant runner and team mate.



Check out all of my photos from the event HERE.

Blast from the past:

Reach the Beach 2013 // Reach the Beach 2012

fifteen year flashback


I never imagined myself becoming a Disney theme park fan, but somehow they have become a consistent tradition…

The first time I ever went to a Disney park was in 1999. Travis’ parents gifted us a trip to Los Angeles for our spring break during our senior year of high school. We stayed with his aunt and uncle and had a great time sight seeing in the city, including one day at Disneyland. We took analog (film!) photos of ourselves goofing off all around the park. For unknown reasons, the photo of me with a Native American statue on Main Street USA become iconic — probably because it was one of the only photos I scanned into digital format — and we’ve been recreating it ever since!

Our trip to LA last week marked 15 years since our original visit, so of course, we couldn’t resist going to Disneyland! And of course, we couldn’t resist recreating the photo! Who knows how long we’ll keep this going…

1999 DL | 2009 DL | 2010 DW | 2012 DL | 2013 DW | 2014 DL

a wedding in Los Angeles


A week ago, Travis and I were in Los Angeles for our friends, Matt & Emily’s, wedding. It was a fabulous event and fun trip!

The wedding was basically perfect. It was held at a very cool event space in downtown LA. Our friend Larry was the officiant and the ceremony was short and sweet. The reception was lots of fun, with dancing, and good food, and a photo booth. We had a great time, and even more importantly, I think Emily & Matt had a wonderful night. It was so nice to share their big day with them.


In addition to the wedding, the weekend happened to be OUR 11th wedding anniversary. Travis and I celebrated by going to dinner at Baco Mercat, a trendy, new, hipster restaurant in downtown LA. The “baco” sandwiches were awesome. We also managed to sample the LA version of the cronut, “Churro Crullants,” at Semi Sweet Bakery near our hotel. And of course, we had a meal at In and Out Burger!


We earned our In and Out burgers by going for a very hot, very hilly run in Griffith Park. I had a great time exploring the trails with Larry and Alexis, but our run was sort of a half-hike/half-run. It was tough terrain!!


Since we haven’t been in LA for a while, Travis wanted to take the opportunity to stop by the house he lived in when he was born. We took a few good photos and he FaceTimed with his dad. Then, we spent the rest of the Fourth of July with Travis’ Aunt Carol, Uncle John, and Uncle Glenn. We had a great time eating good food and visiting. In the evening we attended Matt & Emily’s rehearsal dinner.


The day of the wedding, we managed to fit in a trip to Santa Monica Beach and a walk down the Venice Beach boardwalk. We probably over-did it for the day and got too much sun, but it was fun to swim in the ocean a bit and see the famous tourist attractions.


In a last minute decision, Travis and I made the somewhat silly decision to spend the final day of our trip at DisneyLand. It wasn’t part of our original plan, but we just couldn’t resist the temptation. It’s been 15 years since our very first Disney visit together during our high school senior year spring break! Wow. We rode all of our favorite rides (like the teacups seen below), ate churros, recreated our traditional photos, and splurged on dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Yes, we are huge dorks, but Disneyland is always a fun time. And, who knows when we will be in LA next!!


Check out all of the photos from our trip in my Flickr Album.


eiffel tower

Paris! I loved the City of Light more than I even expected to, and I was expecting to really love it! I guess I was most impressed with the beautiful architecture of the city and its fashionable residents. It was also easy to get around via the subway system and I felt like everyone was friendly and welcoming.

happy in Paris

Since Paris was our final stop, we splurged on a slightly nicer hotel in the Rue Cler district near the Eiffel Tower. I was so thrilled that we could see the Eiffel Tower from our room!

eiffel tower

We were hungry when we got in and could not resist trying the Bedford Ave Brooklyn Diner right on our hotel’s street. It was funny to be eating in a Brooklyn-themed restaurant, but the burgers were actually great. From there we headed straight to the Eiffel Tower to walk around its gardens. (And take too many photos.)


We started our first full day in Paris at the Louvre. I have always dreamed of going to the Louvre. But I was also nervous. After being a little overwhelmed and disappointed by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I was afraid the Louvre might make me feel the same way. Plus, everyone talks about the Louvre being way too big and hard to navigate. But I shouldn’t have worried. I LOVED the Louvre. I was so happy to be there.

happy at the Louvre

We spent about four hours wandering around the museum, from the Mona Lisa, to the French painters, to the Egyptian and Near East collections, to the Medieval moat. I wish I could have seen the Winged Victory, but it was out for conservation.

photographing in the Louvre

Thankfully, I didn’t really feel overwhelmed. The museum was crowded, but there was a lot more room for everyone to spread out, so I didn’t feel boxed in or overwhelmed. The entire complex was lovely and clean and easy to navigate. And ALL the BEST art! Did I mention I loved the Louvre?!


After the Louvre, we headed to Angelina for hot chocolate. We’d heard the line for the famous cafe would be long, but we actually got to walk right in and be seated. We had a delicious lunch, plus the hot chocolate and their signature dessert. Yum!

arc de triomphe

Next we walked down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (with a stop at Fauchon for macarons) to the Arc de Triomphe.

view from the Arc de Triomphe

We climbed to the top and took in the panoramic views of the city. So amazing! (I took a few iPhone panorama shots like the one seen above.) After getting our fill of the city views, we went to a delicious and lovely dinner at Les Cocottes near our hotel… and then zzzzzZZZZZZ.


Our second day in Paris turned out to be May Day, a major French holiday, which meant most sites were closed. It was also raining. Ick. But we tried to make the best of it. We took the train out to Versailles.

Versailles Gardens

The palace was closed but we were able to walk around the grounds and gardens, which were huge! We couldn’t help but compare Versailles to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Both were gigantic, gilded, and beautiful.

Versailles gate

Before we left for our Europe trip, I booked one of our most touristy and most anticipated activities: Dinner at the Eiffel Tower! We felt a little dorky, the dinner was pricey, and the food wasn’t incredible, but we had a lot of fun. There was a diverse mix of diners at the restaurant (tourists from all over the world!) and the staff was very nice and accommodating.

night eiffel tower

After our relaxed two-hour dinner, we got to go out and explore the Tower. The restaurant was on the first level, but we were able to take the stairs up to the second level. It was after 11 pm and it sort of felt like we had the Tower to ourselves! We took a bunch of photos and then managed to buy two of the last elevator tickets to the very top. It was scary at the top of the Tower — so high! — but it was also magical. It was raining, but I didn’t mind. It was romantic to be up in the Tower at night with Travis. We even caught the final sparkling Eiffel Tower light show on our way back down the Tower. I loved it! So sparkly! Such a perfect night.

top of the eiffel tower

On our very final day in Paris, the very final full day of our European trip, we did a lot of strolling around the city. After a stop at the too-crowded Museum d’Orsay, we headed to lunch at the famous cafe, Les Deux Magots. It was charming sitting out on the covered patio watching the fashionable Parisians walk by. For dessert, Travis took me to Pierre Herme for absolutely delicious macarons and chocolates. Such a fancy, perfect shop!

Notre Dame

We continued on to Notre Dame. It was crowded as well, so we opted out of going inside. We wandered around outside the cathedral, avoided pick-pockets, took photos, and continued on to Île Saint-Louis for ice cream at Berthillon. I had the roasted pineapple and basil flavor. Very unique and good!

selfies with Notre Dame

We finally made our way back to the d’Orsay where the lines were a little shorter. We got inside just in time to do a sprint, one-hour viewing of the huge Impressionist museum. The converted train station building was impressive. We saw many Monets!

Museum d'Orsay

A little dinner near our hotel, and that was it for our grand European adventure! So much sight-seeing exhausted me. Travis and I had a lovely, romantic, fun, relaxing, exhilerating month traveling together and it was sad that our trip was over, but I was also tired and ready to get home to Crusher. Au revoir, Paris! I’d love to return and see more of the city someday!

au revoir


We are STILL working on compiling our photo highlight album, but I did manage to put together a complete set of all of our Selfies of Europe. Check us out at all the major sights!


Read Travis’ posts about Paris HERE, HERE, and HERE.




Prior to our trip, we had grand plans of traveling to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland and getting to the top of the Jungfrau… but we hadn’t totally looked into April weather in the high Alps. The temperature is still in the teens and they are still getting snow. We didn’t pack for those types of conditions, so we changed our plans to make a lower key (and lower altitude) stop in Lausanne, Switzerland.

We didn’t have much on our Swiss itinerary, just view the alps, eat fondue, and change out our Euros for a few Swiss Francs. Success on all fronts!!


The weather was overcast and rainy, so I didn’t take many photos, but Lausanne was lovely, fancy, and sophisticated. Very quaint and clean, with an adorable subway system. The population of Lausanne is only 132,000 and it is one of the smallest cities in the world that has an underground subway system. They speak French in Lausanne, but German, Italian, and English are also common. We had a bit of trouble code-switching to French, even with our very limited set of conversational phrases. Travis is much better at languages than I am.


Our hotel, Agora Swiss Night, was cool and modern. It had all kinds of fun Swiss details, like the cuckoo clocks seen above, plus fun rooms and pretty good interent.


Because the weather was icky, we didn’t do too much in Lausanne. We only had one full day there and we spent it relaxing and eating. We went to a California-themed restaurant for lunch called the Luncheonette Cafe. We thought it was funny to be at an American restaurant, but more than that, we were craving vegetables. Eating in train stations makes you miss healthy food! We downed a giant salad and burrito quickly! It was exactly what we needed.


For dinner we sought out the best, traditional fondue in the city. Travis found Pinte Besson, a 200+ year-old tavern with some of the best-rated fondue in town. We shared a cheese fondue and a sausage dish. It was HEAVY, but absolutely delicious.


And other than mailing a few postcards, that was about it for our trip to Switzerland. Most of our Alps mountain views were seen from the train to and from Lausanne. I’d love to go back some day and actually hike in the higher Alps!


Read Travis’ post about Switzerland HERE.

I love Lago di Como

Lago di Como

We booked our three-night stay in Varenna on Lake Como as a planned vacation from our vacation… and it worked out exactly as planned. We had a wonderful, relaxing time!


We had originally planned to go to Cinque Terre instead of Lake Como, but it turned out to be an Italian holiday weekend and all of the hotels there were already booked. Usually, Lake Como wouldn’t have great weather this time of year (which means hotels were available) but we lucked out and had two perfect days of sun and amazing views.

Varenna, Italy

Varenna was definitely one of my favorite stops of the whole trip. It was quiet, with no tourist crowds, which had gotten very exhausting in the bigger cities. We stayed at a wonderful, small hotel in a room with our own terrace with stunning views of the lake and mountains. Plus, we had my favorite meals of the trip there at Restaurant La Vista.

La Vista octopus salad

14107056093_eed9cff719_bIf you are ever in Lake Como, you must go to La Vista! The food was amazing (the octopus salad was my favorite) and the staff were so very nice and welcoming. It was fancy, but totally comfortable. It is also located basically IN the water of Lake Como and has spectacular views. We ate inside on our first night and then went back on our third night in Varenna and sat on their terrace. It was so beautiful and fun! They bring out blankets for you when it gets cold after the sun goes down so that you can stay and take your time enjoying dessert. So cute! Travis and I joke that La Vista is now my most favorite restaurant in the world… but it isn’t really a joke. I think it is the truth! We had such wonderful, romantic, three-hour dinners there — it was perfect.

Lake Como sunset

Hitting up so many amazing, but crowded tourist sites all over Italy was tiring, and we knew we wanted to relax in Varenna, but we couldn’t pass up hiking in the Alps and checking out the local castle, Castello di Vezio. It was a very small castle compared to many we visited, but you could tell that it was cared for well. There was a falconry at the castle and they let the birds out for us to see. I fell in love with a cute, white owl. There was also a reptile exhibit, a sculpture garden, and strange chalk ghosts that are made each year and then slowly deteriorate. Odd, but definitely a really unique and special place. We had fun exploring the grounds.

Castello di Vezio

We continued hiking to find a nearby waterfall. It was very impressive. So loud and fast! The water was very cold since it was coming down from the Alps. It acted as a type of air conditioner and cooled the surrounding area. I drank some of the water out of a spout that was set up — it was refreshing! Then, we hiked back to town and bought lunch at the local farmer’s market. For dinner we had simple pizza and gelato. Then we turned in early and enjoyed our hotel room balcony.

Varenna, Lake Como

On our second full day we took the water ferry to Bellagio across the lake. It is a bigger town. It was more crowded, with more shops and restaurants. I liked Varenna better, so after some gelato and a rest at a water side cafe, we headed back “home.” We decided spur of the moment to go back to La Vista for dinner… and I am so glad we did! Such a great night!

ferry to Bellagio

Our entire stay in Varenna was relaxing and magical. I had been cranky while we were traveling there, but the beautiful views turned my mood around as soon as we got off the train. I had a wonderful time. I doubt it will actually happen, but we are already talking about returning someday…

Castello di Vezio

Funny Side Note: We relied heavily on Rick Steves’ guidebooks and therefore ended up surrounded by other tourists who did the same. We joked that whenever we heard someone speaking English, they were talking about Rick Steves… well, in Varenna we actually ran into one of his tour groups!! He wasn’t leading it, but it was definitely his program. We overheard a few couples talking about it at dinner… they had all been on multiple Rick Steves tours! Biggest revelation: Rick Steves’ son doesn’t wear a money belt!! The tour participants really though that was wild. haha!


We are still working on uploading and organizing our insane amount of photos. I plan to curate a much more manageable “highlight reel,” but for now you can view them all in my Europe 2014 Flickr Album. Travis and I took more than 2,000 photos EACH. Gah!

Read Travis’ posts about Varenna HERE and HERE.



Florence is a beautiful and elegant city. It might be the opposite of Naples. The population feels older, fancier, and more sophisticated. There are designer shops all over the city center, not to mention the amazing museums and churches!


It had been a life long dream of mine to visit the Uffizi Gallery and to climb the dome of the Florence Duomo.


On our first afternoon in Florence, we went straight to the Duomo. It is so beautiful, with its pastel colors and intricate decoration. The giant octagonal dome was higher and wider than any that had ever been built in the 15th century and it is still a marvel.


I couldn’t wait to climb to the top of the dome! (We bought the expensive, but worthwhile, Firenze Cards and were able to skip the very long general ticket line.) The climb was long, with more than 400 steps in very narrow, slanting stairways, but it was thrilling!


The view exceeded my expectations! It was amazing. The red tile roofs of Florence spread out all around us and we could see the green hills and even the Alps in the distance. Once again, we were blessed with perfect weather and a very clear day. I was so happy on top of the dome!


On day two in Florence, our Firenze Cards once again saved us from the major line at the Uffizi Gallery, but it couldn’t save us from the crowds within the museum! Prior to visiting I thought the Uffizi might be my most favorite museum in the world, but instead I felt frustrated and overwhelmed inside. It was extremely crowded, hot, and it was difficult to find/see all of the masterpieces. Also, no photos inside the Uffizi. Boo!

Despite the crowds, it WAS lovely to see so many Renaissance paintings. I especially loved the Raphaels, like this Madonna of the Goldfinch. But I didn’t spend as much time in the Uffizi as I expected.


We also went to the Academia to check out Michelangelo’s David. It is huge! Seventeen feet tall! You weren’t allowed to take photos, but I snuck a quick one. There were big crowds at the Academia as well, but the Firenze Card allowed us to get in quickly. The David is so large it is easy to appreciate it even while surrounded by hundreds of other viewers.


It was fun to just stroll around Florence. I loved crossing over the Ponte Vecchio bridge over the Arno River. We grabbed sandwiches three times from I Due Fratellini, a little sandwich and wine stand near the Duomo. They were so quick and tasty. We also loved our dinner at Trattoria 4 Leoni and gelato from Gelateria Vivaldi. So good!


Overall, Florence was lovely, but I think I was overwhelmed by the tourist crowds and I don’t know if I totally absorbed it all or explored it to its fullest extent in only two days. Oh well, I will just have to return!

Read Travis’ posts about Florence HERE and HERE.