Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sesimbra - Fishing Village on a Sheltered Bay

Sesimbra was my first introduction to Portugal. It holds a special spot for me even though it's not really my favorite place in Portugal. It's a beautiful beach town full of old houses, cafe's and shops that sit on a hill that butts right up against the ocean.

It's where my husband's family had a house for years (my husband tells stories of running up and down the streets with cousins when he was young) and according to them, the town has changed immensely. From being a small fishing village with vacationers in the summer to a get-away resort town with some locals that still fish. The ocean front is filling up with huge condos and hotels and everything is being upgraded; which is good, but also a little sad. Even 15 years ago, when I first visited, it had a much smaller feel, and while the tourists in August always tripled the population, it was never a "resort" town, just a sleepy vacation spot for those in the know!

Here's a few shots from this visit. Enjoy! :)

This is the drive into the town! Just gorgeous!! LOVE all the red roofs :)

The walk down the hill, through the town, to the beach.

Full of tiny cobblestone roads, old buildings, shops, bakeries, and restaurants.

Further down, ocean in view. 

The beaches are pretty empty now... wait till August!

One of the resort condos recently installed. All the poles on the beach will be umbrellas.

Very typical restaurant. Tiny, outdoor seating, and a huge cooler of fresh seafood!

This one is full of shell fish. ...what ARE those long shellfish things in the middle? 

One of the best restaurants in the town!

Finally, it's hard to spot, this is not a great shot, but there's a huge Moorish castle on the top of that mountain,
you can just make out the outline of the wall in the trees at the very top.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Octopus, Cherries, and a Beer! - Arrival in Portugal

I'm so excited to finally be here!

Portugal is awesome in the summer! Great beaches! and the boardwalk (called the Pardão) by my in-laws house in Cascais (just outside of Lisbon) is like nothing I've seen in the US: miles of wide cobblestone boardwalk lined with cafés and restaurants (where a beer is cheaper than a coke and the fresh grilled fish is to die for!) bordering mini-castles, cute little beaches, rocky cliffs, ocean water swimming pools, and multi-colored fishing boats. It IS one of the most amazing places I've visited (photos of all these things are definitely coming!)  :)

I LOVE exiting the plane on the tarmac, I feel like I've actually "arrived" somewhere! :)

One of the first things we did was hit the boardwalk and head to one of my favorite cafe's.
(it sits just in front of an ocean pool; a walled off area that allows in sea water at
high tide for people to swim in, wave-free)

YES! A cold beer on a warm, beach-y day! LOVE it.
(the "galão" or large coffee with milk and the Pasteis de Nata (custard pastry)
are my husbands, he goes for the sweet stuff :)

Our first dinner, prepared by my Mother in Law & enjoyed by my son: Octopus and delicious Portuguese potatoes! -
The "normal" fare is quite different in Portugal, our second meal was rabbit and we've had duck,
black sausage, and an assortment of shell fish since! Yumm...
Oh, and loads of the most delicious cherries I've ever tasted (and we used to pick them straight from
Washington groves :) --it's cherry season here and I'm in heaven :)

xoxo deb

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Travel Day 1 - New York City

We took the bus into NY to fly out to Portugal from JFK(airline points issues and trying to match up tickets dictated the necessity of leaving from NY) We did have a whole afternoon to hangout before we had to be at the airport though, so we spent the hours at Central Park. It was a perfect day for it, sunny but not too hot and not terribly crowded! ...and I got soma amazing photos :)

I'm always amazed how big Central Park is. We strolled, with only small stops to look at ducks, take photos, etc., for 4 hours and only covered a little corner of the Park!

Central Park and a slice of Manhattan. The red line is what we walked.

I love the contrasts!
The very old 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church against a modern high rise.

Entering Central Park - Lush organic greens against the hard, steel buildings.

An Instagram shot. An adorable gazebo on top of a hill of rocks.
It was much cuter in person than in this photo!

I love that you can take a hike on dirt trails with a cityscape backdrop.

My son being silly! An urban explorer, lol.

Another Instagram shot. The Boat House!
Tons of boaters out in the "very green" water (you don't wanna fall in that, lol!)

The boat house area is gorgeous! All arches, stairwells, and fountains.

A concert al fresco!

An Instagram shot.
I LOVE this shot, it's just gorgeous with the light coming through the arches!

Some gorgeous shapes and textures on the architecture!

Boaters drifting along.

Bridges, Boats, & Buildings :)

Huge planters at the ends of the bridge!

Me and my son! (I love the camera flip function on my iPhone!)

xoxo deb.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Inspirational Hiatus

Hi everyone! I have an exciting announcement! 

I'm going on an Inspirational Hiatus (aka vacation/family visit!) 

I'm heading out with my husband and son to Portugal for a month (to see family and travel around a bit) with a short visit to Italy in the middle!! :) 

I am SO excited, Portugal and Italy are two of my favorite places in the world (that I've visited so far anyway! ;) --I should come back with tons of new design ideas to share!

My shop will be closed during this time (orders can be placed, but not fulfilled until I return) but I'll post updates on FB and share regular blog posts of all the inspirational places I visit.

**Studio closed from June 8 through July 22

xoxo deb.

Wood & Copper! My jewelry display at the Weekend Boutique trunk show.

Display views from the Weekend Boutique! I love designing my display almost as much as I love designing jewelry! What do you think? Do you...