Hidden Gem Culinary Spot: Youssef 242, Hickory

http://katiasphotographytravelblog.com/2015/11/04/youssef-242-hickory-north-carolina/

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Trilogy restaurant and Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill!

http://katiasphotographytravelblog.com/2015/11/04/silverspot-cinema-and-trilogy-restaurant-in-our-community/

Paris, Je t’aime

Ha Paris! Who has not dreamed of the romantic city? Waking up in a Paris, listening to the guy on the bank of the Seine river playing “La Vie en Rose” with the accordion, eating croissants from the Boulangerie of the corner!

Well, I was so excited to hear that Delta Airlines is finally bringing the Raleigh, Durham area, a direct flight to Paris in the spring 2016. No more connections to no end, to fly there. As a French/ American Citizen, I look forward to a long weekend in the Capital of fashion, the country of gourmet food, the history of such an old European country.

I imagine, leaving on Thursday night from RDU, arriving Friday morning in Paris, enjoying the day walking Montmartre, seeing the Eiffel towel, going on a tour in a “Peniche” (the French Seine River sightseeing boat), and finishing the evening eating in a local Bistro. Saturday, I would be waking up to the smell of the “Pain au chocolat “, and spending the day at the Louvre, or Versailles….. And Sunday come back home to RDU.

Of course, that would mean that Monday morning , I would be totally homesick for my croissant! I would take my car, and end up at the French Corner Bakery ….

June_2015_Montmartre_Sacre_coeur_0289

Sonoma Bike ride

 I decided to sign up for a bike ride that the hotel offered. It was incredible! Our tour guide Dan Cortright was there waiting for us at 8. I had woken up and had breakfast at the restaurant Sante with Patrick before that.

I toyed with the idea of taking my camera, but riding a heavy bike ( I am use to mine and it is a light one as I do triathlon) and taking photos on the saddle is always challenging. I went for it though, thinking if I can do it during the Tour de France then I can do it in Sonoma! So glad I did take it!

I also had the opportunity to get to know better Scotti Easton. What a great friend I made that day!

So her and I discovered we had a lot of in common.

The ride in itself had 4 people, and it was more challenging that I had expected, more hills and longer. I loved it. Our guide Dan took us through Sonoma the town, the vines, vineyard, and told us about the historic house of General Vallejo’s home, he also had a lot of knowledge about wine and was fun!

Here are photos from our 2 hours excursion.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Wow!

We went to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, California. What a grandiose place it was.

Filled with movie memorabilia, the desk that was in the Godfather movie, the boats that were used in the Marie Antoinette movie. The Automobile was the original car from the movie Tucker. The car was actually placed on a turn table, it was really impressive.

The outdoor was wonderful. Between the pool, the bocce courts and the view, it was a wonderful time to take a tour of the propriety.

We did not try the wine there, we just walked the ground and the propriety.

https://www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com

 

 

Monastiraki, Μοναστηράκι, Athenes, Greece

Monastiraki is a  very pretty neighborhood located in the old district of Athens. From the square we can see the Acropolis.

First time I saw it was at night….I felt back in time I have to say. The people, the music, the fashion, and the view , incredible view of this ancient place called the Acropolis.

Flea market, shopping districts where you can found literally anything. It is a major touristy area, but very entertaining.

The name came from the monastery that is on the square.

Jour J -5

I am in middle of finals. Final quizzes, final projects and trying to keep that GPA high to get the honors.

Someone asked me not too long ago why do I thrive so much for those honors? Why do I thrive so much for perfection? I did not know, could not answer that question. I am not in competition with anybody. I just need the degree. So why indeed I am thriving to get those A?

A friend posted on facebook this morning a quote and it indeed answered that question to me. This is how I feel! I want to be better than I was yesterday. “I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape or form. I just aim to improve, to be better that I was before. That’s me and I am free. “— Jenny G. Perry

I am leaving for Greece in 5 days. The day after my youngest birthday. I am soaking the time that I have with my kids, getting ready for Chloe’s birthday party. I am swamp getting my gear ready, cleaned. Not packed yet…

But I am dreaming…dreaming of Greece this morning. I can hear Athena telling me why such a enchanted city to whom she gave her name had become Socrates, Plato, Sophocles and Euripides birthplace….

It will be a not much internet connected trip, not much Facebook update for me, and probably not much update on the blog. However as usual if you want to keep up with me through my phone “What’s app” is the way to go.

The trip will be one rich of my favorite things put together: History, philosophy, poetry, photography and family.

Athens to start for 4 days, then flying to the island of Santorini…

August_2013_NC_Museum_art_0035

 

Last day in France…

This is it. Vacation coming to the end. What a great time! What a relaxing time! What a recuperating time! What a great shooting time! How nice to have the kids all the time with me!

-Visited Dordogne for a week

-Ride in ULM

-Shooting the Tour de France

-Milongas, milongas, milongas

-Nantes, Rennes, Fougeres, Vannes, Saint-Malo, Dinard

-Friends

-Boat rides with my dad

-Golfing

And to send me off I had the privilege and the pleasure to see Dolphins…

I am ready to come home to my friends. Ready to come home simply.

La France cet ete… France this summer

There are so many things I am grateful for. One of them is my trip during the summer back home.

I am leaving with the children on June 15, it will come fast with all the end of school activities. We are coming back on July the 23rd.

During our stay there, we will take one trip together with my parents and head to the South of France. It will be a wonderful photographic journey.

We will leave from Paris June 16 and visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarlat-la-Canéda, then we will take the time to do the little Villages around like Rocamadour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocamadour, then we will stop by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collonges-la-Rouge. We will visit le Gouffre de Padirac et les grottes de Lascaux where the prehistorics drawings are: http://www.lascaux.culture.fr/?lng=en

Of course Bergerac, is on the way back, it is one of my favorite wine…

This nice weather that we have right now makes me long for the aperitifs outside, the time to have meals outside, time to have friends over.

I will also take a trip to Paris by myself and enjoy photographing the city 23/06 au vendredi 28/06. After that it is friends and kids, and beach, and home:-)

On the way to the gardens of Chaumont sur Loire

The roads that took us to Chaumont sur Loire were so pretty…

It was quiet and peaceful.

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