Aug 15, 2018

Travel Guide: Pomepii And Mount Vesuvius

Our fourth day in Positano, we decided to check out Pompeii and Vesuvius. This was the first time for the majority of us and I was extremely anxious to see the famously ruined city when Mount Vesuvius blew it's top back in 79 A.D. There are a few tip and tricks we found along the way!

How To Get To Vesuvius
There are a few ways to get this to this famous location either by train, bus or a hike journey! You can ride a rickety but reliable commuter train from Napes to Sorrento. From the Pomepii stop, a shuttle van then takes you up the volcano to the end of the road and from there it's a steep 30 minute hike to the summit. You can go up to the crater's edge where steam vents slowly creep up. The last eruption was in 1944 so it's only a matter of when it will erupt again. 
It was almost eerie imagining a scene nearly 2,000 years ago when Vesuvius sent a mushroom cloud of dust, ash and rocks 12 feet into the sky and then for 18 hours straight it spewed it's ash onto Pompeii. The 2,000 unlucky souls who had stayed behind and buried leaving their bodies encases in the debris is chilling to witness up close.  

What To Do: 
The best way to understand Pompeii is to walk around the site. There is an entry fee of $15. The city is well organized with walls helping to steer you around a grid street path. Your ticket includes a map and small pocket guide to the site, which is excellent and leads you number by number through the not-to miss sights. You can also download da great guide on your iPhone with the Pompeii app. ( I love this virtual Google Map too ) 
I would recommend entering from the Porta Marina entrance. You don't want to miss the FOrum, which was Pomepii's commercial, political and religious center. Alongside the Forum, you can visit the Grain Stores where you view many of the plaster casts of Vesuvius's victims. 
We ended up option to pay for a private tour ( about $120 euro ) and it was amazing. She was extremely knowledgable and brought us to so many different locations I would have never thought about including a small amphitheater where if you stood in the small center of the theatre, your voice was amplified because of the incredible acoustics. We all practiced saying something and all had the same reaction when we heard our voices bounce off and vibrate off the walls thinking we were talking into a microphone. It truly was incredible!  

What To Wear/Bring:
It goes without saying that you want comfortable shoes with all the uneven streets you'll be walking in. My opinion would be to wear flats because of the uneven areas. If you're traveling with little ones, you'll want to bring a carrier as opposed to a stroller which I'd imagine would be extremely hard to push over all of the stepping stones. 
I'd also suggest bringing water. It's perfectly fine to bring it in yourself and you'll be happy you did with the sun blazing down on you!

Have you visited Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius? 

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Aug 13, 2018

"I Was Born To Be Real; Not Pefect" #MondayMatters

Happy Monday friends. What a great weekend we have as we are less than 6 weeks until we close on our new home! Ahh! Each week new and more fun things are being added to our amazing dream space and I can't wait to share full details soon! Truly bringing the kids each week and seeing their amazement and the process of seeing a hole in the ground and now a home we'll be living in is so much fun. They truly marvel at everything that's been added ( well, except Landon because he's 16 months old ha ).

I was able to actually have some quality time with Lily, something I've neglected the last few months since moving back to Chicago, and it was truly needed for both of us. We were able to spend our time shopping at a mall for back to school clothes, eat ice cream and just spend quality time together that we haven't had. Lily loved the attention, trying on new outfits for the fall and just being such a fun spunky little thing that she is.

During our time together, Lily had spilled some ice cream on her outfit and her immediate reaction was tears and saying she was " so sorry!" I immediately felt awful and told it was ok, dabbing it with napkins and assuring that all was fine. And then it came to many times had I scolded her for getting something on her outfit? How many times had I wanted her to look the perfect part? That's not why we're born.
We're born to be real; not perfect. This mantra came to me when I had this moment with Lily but in all aspects of how our days out now. Social Media depicts us all to try and be perfect. We want the perfect hair, the gorgeous house, our nails always polished, our friends to follow us to gain popularity.  Sometimes I hit a moment where I'm not living the life I want to be living. For me, for my family or my children. I want to live a real life; one that is full of hard times, difficult moments but uplifting and exciting ones. And I'm real by sharing all of that with you on my stories on social media and these blog posts for you to view.
The truth is, you can control your social media account but not your reality. We are real people behind our posts, with real issues going on. Our lives aren't perfect and we only post what we want you to see and know. Don't get caught up in viewing or admiring other's life. Even the most success ones have their doubts and personal struggles.

So say it with me friends; you were born to be REAL; not perfect.

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Aug 8, 2018

What To Do Eat, See And Do In Capri In 24 Hours!

We visited Capri while staying in Positano for one a quick trip and it was lovely! Even if you have only a few hours to hop over and visit, it's worth the trip! A day trip from the Amalfi coast is worth it's dramatic views, striking rocks and sheer beauty.  Capri is an island in Italy's Bay of Naples and is famous for it's rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping as well as the famous Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue from the sunlight passing through an underwater cave. Here are a few tips to get around!

Get Up Early! Of course it's impossible to see everything in just one day but if you get there early you'll have a chance to see many of the island's best offerings! We took the ferry for Capri usually around 8:30 which gets you into Capri around 9:30am. Although you can purchase tickets when you leave, I'd recommend booking a few days avoid disappointment.

How To Get Around Capri - Lucky for us, all the ferries dock in the Marian Grande. You can either take a funicular up to the charming Piazzetta which is the heart of Capri or a bus to Anacapri which is still touristy but more a residential area.

What To See:  

We decided to take a boat tour around the island and I absolutely loved it! One of the most prominent attractions on Capri is the 1 Faraglioni, a 3 mysterious rocks emerging from the sea just off the coast. Each of the rocks has a name. Stella is the piece attached to land, Faraglione di Mezzo is separated from the land and has a hole in the center that small boats can pass through and finally Scopolo is the farthest out to sea. Did you know that this one in particular is the only place on Earth you can find the vibrant Podarcis sicula Coerulea- a lizard bluer than the ocean!

Where To Eat: 

With so much walking, it's time to think about food! There are several various places to enjoy panino caprese, named after the island and filled with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. It's a huge staple and one we enjoyed together a few times on our trip. We headed to the popular place for pizza, caprese and a great view called Via Caprile.

The hand-painted ceramic floor in Capri’s Church of San Michele
You truly cant go wrong with any where to eat in Capri. There are small areas on the bottom of Capri in their main square to enjoy and watch people come in on various boats from other places but if you want great views, you'll have to take a small train or car up to the top. It's worth it!

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