Last weekend, Baltimore hosted roughly 400,000 or more people during a three day outdoor art exhibit event called Artscape. Attracting hundreds of eclectic artists, Artscape is the modern day artist's Mecca.
During the second day of the festival, I was able to venture out with a few friends to enjoy the sites and tastes Artscape had to offer. It was an extremely humid day, and the city of Baltimore took great measures to provide festival goers with plenty of water and cool air. There was even a city bus parked in the street strictly for providing guests with a place to sit down and cool off in the A/C. As hot as it was, we didn't let the temperature stop us from exploring everything Artscape had to offer.
Our first stop was a seat on this colorful ferris wheel. It gave us a fantastic view of the festival, and showed us just how HUGE the festival was - spanning along large sections of Charles St. and Mt. Royal Avenue. After my ride, I snagged a shot of my friends Olivia and Mike taking the ferris wheel for a spin!
I love to travel. Exploring old places with a new and fresh perspective is more than exhilarating, it's life changing!
I remember my trip to Italy like it was yesterday. I miss the cobblestone streets, the sea filled air, and coffee chats with my bestie. We found a great deal on Groupon, which included round trip airfare, car rental, hotel stays and quite a few complimentary breakfasts for one low price. Gotta love Groupon!
After landing in Rome, we hopped into our little Fiat rental, and headed for the Amalfi Coast. It was an amazing journey, and here are some tips that I learned along the way:
1. Save $$$ and learn to drive a manual car.
In Europe, stick shifts are the most common cars on the road. Our Groupon deal included a manual automobile, which posed some initial difficulty. We did have an option for selecting an automatic car rental; however, that change would have cost us an additional $1,000 USD. Not happening. So, I learned how to drive a manual instead (easier said than done.)
2. If you travel in March, bring an umbrella...and a jacket.
My friend and I chose to visit Italy just before tourist season. We wanted to get to know the beautiful country void of its large number of seasonal tourists. While there were virtually no tourists in Sorrento during that time, there was a lot of rain. In fact, it rained everyday. Neither of us were prepared for the rain, and the chilly temperatures that followed in the evenings also took us a bit by surprise.
3. Plan your schedule around the locals' - riposo
The riposo is the Italian version of "siesta." Each day, anywhere from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m., local businesses close down for a midday break. If you are the kind of traveler that loves a packed schedule, keep the riposo in mind and plan your meals and activities accordingly.
4. Bus tickets - buy them early.
When visiting Italy, I recommend buying bus or ferry tickets early. None of the buses or ferries have assigned seating. If there are multiple people in your party, purchasing tickets and boarding early can give you a better chance of staying in a group. It can also give you a better view!
5. Ferry tickets - buy them one way at a time.
This advice may seem as a contridiction to #4, but hear me out! Buying round trip ferry tickets is more expensive than purchasing one way tickets at each port. For example, buying a round trip ticket in Sorrento costs more than buying a one way ticket in Sorrento and then a one-way ticket in Capri. Secondly, you do not know how much time you will want to explore the island. Trips between ports are pretty well staggered (keep in mind tip #3) so you shouldn't have a problem finding an adequate return time.
So there you have it, 5 useful tips for visiting the Amalfi Coast. All based on my personal experiences. If you have any more useful tips, definitely mention them in the comments below!
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Excuse me, but I am in the mood for a meaningful (or meaningless) tangent.
Lately, I have been in a certain frame of mind. I have all of these things that I want to do, and I don't want to wait 5 years to do them. I want to do them NOW. I have this heart pounding desire to write a book, own my own business, start a travel blog, and be able to work from anywhere in the world.
I swear, I have come up with too many reasons why my dreams won't become a reality. But I think those self-defeating reasons are masking the real issue. I am fearful that my dreams may just become a reality.
Now, I know it sound crazy, but I am more afraid of succeeding than I am of failing. And unfortunately, I know I am not the only one out who feels like this. So, here are 7 reasons why you can make your dreams a reality (I am also talking to myself here):
1. You are Fearfully and Wonderfully made.
2. You are a capable human being with strong values. You can do more than you think you can do.
3. There is so much information available to help you reach your goals.
4. You are passionate.
5. You have a purpose.
6. If you don't do it, then someone else will. And if they can, then WHY CAN'T YOU?!
7. You are loved by the one who has power over all things. And your success or failure will never change the power of that love.
This is 2015. And although the year is over half way done, don't wait until 2016 to make your dreams into new resolutions. There are over 5 months left in the year! Start Today. Start by taking baby steps and work toward actually making your dreams a reality. Nothing happens overnight. Everything worth having is worth working for.
If in the process of discovering your dreams, you find you need some encouragement. I would be happy remind you of how capable, wonderful and ambitious you truly are.
Stasia | Rose