Monday, September 30, 2013

Genoa, Italy {We're Back!}

Well hello there!  I am sorry for the radio silence over here, I had big plans to schedule a bunch of posts to run while we were on vacation, but life got in the way so here we go :)

We got back from Italy last night and, like always, I am feeling like I am in a bit of a post-vacation funk.  It felt like we were gone forever, yet went by so quickly at the same time.  Our 2.5 weeks in Italy were absolutely wonderful, and the next few days will basically be me trying to download and edit the thousands of pictures I took on the trip.  So get ready for an Italy overload here on Dreams in HD.  For now, I will leave you with photos from our first stop - the port town of Genoa.

We were set to visit our first stop, the Cinque Terre, on Saturday the 14th, but I decided to fly into Genoa a day early to give us a little time to get acclimated to the time change and also to allow us to get up the next morning bright and early so we could have the full day in the Cinque Terre.  I didn't have many expectations for Genoa {a port town, famous for being the hometown of Christopher Columbus} other than finding a decent hotel with a comfy bed, just in case one of us was too jet-lagged from the 18+ hour trip.  

However, like usual upon arrival I was too excited to sleep so we headed out of our hotel {The Hotel Bristol Palace which had the most gorgeous oval staircase I have ever seen} to explore the town.  I have to say I was quite pleasantly surprised and we really enjoyed our time in Genoa.  Would I plan on going back for an extended period of time?  Probably not.  But if you are ever flying into the airport or leaving for a cruise out of the port I would really recommend staying an extra day to check it out.  We visited the gorgeous Romanesque San Lorenzo Church, a black and white striped masterpiece {totally reminded me of something out of a Tim Burton film} and wandered around the town.  It was an interesting mix of old and new, ornate and gritty.  Plus, there were virtually no tourists there which is always so refreshing.

In the evening based on a local's recommendation we hopped on the bus and headed to Boccadasse, an old fisherman's village about 4KM away from downtown Genoa.  We didn't really have any expectations other than hopefully finding a decent place for dinner, so imagine our surprise when we turned the corner and found the most gorgeous little cove surrounded by tiny boats, colorful houses built on top of one another, and a picturesque view of the sea.  We spent the evening drinking wine with the locals at a lively enoteca along the water {didn't hear a word of English all night...score!} and dining at an elegant seafood restaurant perched above the sea.  It was an absolutely perfect start to our trip and to really begin living La Dolce Vita!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Italian Dreams

We have spent the last four days in Italy, and it is fair to say I have died and gone to heaven.  We are in the Cinque Terre exploring the five gorgeous cliffside towns on the Italian Rivera and spent a day visiting the medieval town of Lucca.  Internet is limited here so I won't be doing tons of blogging while I am here {just wait until I get back} but for photos of our adventures feel free to follow me on Instagram {@mollyms619}.  Caio!  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tomato and Peach Salad with Feta

I always feel a sense of urgency during the last bit of summer, knowing that before we know it the trees will be bare, fresh, local produce will be limited, and time spent outside will require layer upon layer to stay warm.  Maybe it's this realization that has be trying to eat as many fresh peaches and garden tomatoes as possible.  A few days ago I decided to combine these two summer favorites into a super simple and delicious salad.  Paired with tangy feta and a bit of sweet corn {another summer staple} it makes the perfect main course for a relaxing dinner al fresco.

Recipe below...PS - Follow Dreams in HD on bloglovin' here!

Tomato and Peach Salad with Feta

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 ripe peaches, sliced into chunks
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
1/2 cup sweet corn

1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Combine peaches, tomatoes, and corn in a large bowl.  Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste {I just add a little at a time and keep going until I feel I have gotten the right amount of dressing}.

Add fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste, combine.  Before serving lightly toss salad with crumbled feta cheese.  Enjoy!

 Image via Cupcakes and Cashmere.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anthro Faves

As much as I love summer, there is nothing like the excitement of the impending fall season.  I absolutely love sweater weather - my favorite place to pick up special fall pieces being Anthropologie.  Some of my most favorite pieces of clothing I purchased 5+ years ago from Anthro.  I love their whimsical, feminine style that manages to stay current yet remain unique and classic over the years.  There are so many gorgeous goodies in stores right now, but I pulled five of my favorites for you here!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Walaker Hotel

One of the places I am dying to visit is Scandinavia.  In particular Norway.  In particular the beautiful lakeside retreat that is the Walaker Hotel.  The adorable family owned B&B {founded in 1690} is surrounded by mountains and looks on to the fabled Sognefjor.  Days are spent walking, kayaking, relaxing in the property's beautiful gardens, boating, visiting the world's oldest stone church {built in 1930}, and exploring the picturesque surrounding villages.  Evenings are spent enjoying the hotel's gourmet cuisine and watching the sun set over the lake.  Looks like the perfect combination of relaxation, nature, and luxury.  Sign me up!