Slovenia | HIGHS AND LOWS

As we wandered through Ljubljana during our last day in Slovenia, I kept feeling overcome with anger. I ADORED this country, and every delightful experience just made it harder to say goodbye. 

The open market was mostly organized and really enchanting. We ate freshly purchased blueberries while picking out purses, honey brandy, and glass blown vases. We wandered through shops and watched children chase bubbles through the street under a sign proclaiming that Ljubljana had been awarded the title of European Green Capital 2016. We sat in Le Petit Cafe and ate a cheese platter and a chocolate soufflé while going over the things we loved best about our trip…and the things we didn’t love as much. For your own Slovenian travels (do it!), here is one woman’s preferences:

The Bad

  1. Driving on tiny mountainous roads. This was seriously scary for two Midwesterners, and we didn’t even go into the Alps. It didn’t help that we had a larger vehicle, so if you want to do more exploring than we did, book a smaller rental car ahead of time!
  2. Lake Bled. This was the only area I’d heard of, and apparently the same was true for everyone else. Although Bled Castle was really great, I just couldn’t stomach the pristine beauty of the place while jostling through crowds (note: this complaint was going to seem VERY petty once I got to Venice).

And…that’s it, I think. Slovenia won me over, hard. 

The Good

  1. Renting a car. Do it! Although you can get to all of the tourist destinations by bus or tour guide, it is so rewarding to take in the country at your own pace. Having a car gives you freedom to stay longer, change plans, or just get in some roadtripping. 
  2. The pastoral yet majestic scenery. None of the pictures I took really capture the way the Slovenian countryside filled my insides with peace. So much of where we went included quaint steeply sloped houses with bright flower boxes in the foreground and stunning mountains in the background. It’s what I imagine New Zealand must be like. 
  3. Vintgar Gorge. This place is AMAZING, go at 8:00 am to get the full exploratory experience!
  4. Predjama Castle. Great tour, cool castle, lovely surrounding landscape.
  5. Skocjan Caves. It is one of those places that make you think, “The world is more magnificent than I ever thought to imagine,” so I recommend it highly for those who need a boost of wonder!

I adored Slovenia. I hope this is not my only time to see the country. If any of you ever go there, let me know and we can shriek about its perfections!

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A to Z Travel Meme

The A to Z Travel Meme was created by Julie Fox.  You can find the original post here.

If you decide to answer these A to Z of Travel questions, all you need to do is:

  • copy the questions into a new post, either on your own blog or on this one
  • write up your answers
  • maybe add a few photos to pretty things up
  • include a link back to this post so others can find all the information
  • tag a fellow travellers (or two, or three) to do the A to Z of Travel
  • paste a link to your A to Z of Travel in the comments of this post
  • post an excerpt so we can share your A to Z

A: Age you started travelling?

I went to International Falls, MN when I was about 6 months old.  I first left the United States when I was 16.

B: Best beer you’ve had and where?

I don’t usually like beer, but I had a really excellent pale ale at the Blind Pelican in New Orleans, LA.

C: Cuisine (favourite)

Ahhh, um.  Mediterannean?  Really any version:  Greek, Turkish, Lebanese.  I love pita bread, lamb, rice, and tzatziki!   Continue reading

StumbleUpon Sunday (18)

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. Fully-Customizable Tiny Homes Start at an Affordable $22,000
    Cut to:  Tricia, hyperventilating.  I WANT A TINY HOME SO BAD.  These are adorable.
  2. To the New Culture Cops, Everything is Appropriation
    As a tumblr user, I see the term “cultural appropriation” a lot.  I really liked this article’s balanced view of the subject.
    “At one time, such critiques were leveled against truly offensive art — work that trafficked in demeaning caricatures, such as blackface, 19th-century minstrel shows orethnological expositions, which literally put indigenous people on display, often in cages. But these accusations have become a common attack against any artist or artwork that incorporates ideas from another culture, no matter how thoughtfully or positively.”
  3. 14 Cool Psychology Tricks You Need to Try
    This is basically just manipulation tactics, but…..I still find them extremely interesting.  My favorite (that I hadn’t heard before) was the suggestion that you can end a repetitive mental song by intentionally remembering the end of the song, since closing the loop allows our brain to stop latching onto unfinished things.
  4. 14 Brilliant Re-Imagined Names For Everyday Objects We All Need
    Hahaha!  I like the “people shelf” and “t-rex deer.”
  5. 14 Stories that Prove Animals Have Souls
    I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.
  6. You May Not Need These 19 Things, But You’ll Definitely Want Them Pretty Badly
    There has never been a more accurately named post.  Give me that divided frying pan immediately!!
  7. A Fast Food Purse
    Um, this is GENIUS.
  8. Here are 20 Animals That You RARELY Get to See as Babies
    The bison!  And reindeer!  And that little chameleon all curled up into itself!!
  9. Witnessing Beautiful Autumn’s Transformations
    Excellent documentation proving that autumn is the most beautiful season.
  10. 10 Fun Movie Facts
    “Because Bruce Lee was so fast, they actually had to run his films slower so you can see his moves.”

StumbleUpon Sunday (17)

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee
    For a person who drinks so much coffee, I know surprisingly little about it.  Until I read this funny infographic, anyway!
  2. 25 Genius Hacks That Make Having a Dog So Much Easier
    These are so simple and, like the title boasts, genius!  I especially like the tip to play fetch downhill so your dog will get tired faster.
  3. 15 Amazing Places You Can Tour on Google Maps
    Don’t have the money to travel?  Staring wistfully at your computer screen is the next best thing!  I toured the Coliseum, and it was pretty cool.
  4. The 11 People to Unfollow on Facebook
    Hahahaha, yesssss.
  5. 15 Super Cute Hand-Sized Baby Animals
    Everything is cute when it’s tiny!  They snuck three baby foxes into the list, and I am so okay with that.
  6. 22 of the Most Secluded Hotels in the World
    A traveling introvert’s DREAM.
  7. 3 Leadership Lessons Learned from Jon Stewart
    Good TV host, great leader.
  8. 100 Disposable Cameras Were Given to Homeless People
    This is a really cool art project!
  9. 20 Great Escapes that Will Make You Feel Small
    Beautiful photography.
  10. My DIY Coffee Pot Terrarium
    I don’t usually like Pinterest-y craft projects, but I think this coffee pot terrarium is super cute.

StumbleUpon Sunday (16)

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. Neonflames
    Swirl different colors around and make a galaxy!  This is completely mesmerizing.
    download
  2. 15 Multifunctional and Ingenius Furniture Designs Ever Made
    I want the couch/bed/desk and the desk bike!
  3. Out of the Ordinary Beauty Tips That Work
    Toothpaste on yellow nails, powdering greasy hair roots, brown sugar treats dandruff, and more weird (and cheap) solutions!
  4. On the Madness and Charm of Crushes
    This article is brilliant!  “The crush reveals how willing we are to allow details to suggest a whole.”  I readily admit that I take one gesture or sentence and automatically construct prince charming.
  5. TRENDS: 50 Fun Facts about Languages
    I especially liked the facts about endangered languages and the shout out to Tolkien’s 12 created languages.
  6. 30 Flat Design Color Palettes That Just Work 
    Very handy colors schemes for arts or crafts or home decorating!
  7. 10 Awesome Infographics for Graphic Designers
    Some of these are too specifically tailored for graphic designers, but the Psychology of Color (first one) is fascinating!
  8. Ink – Quotes about Writing by Writers
    “A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes.” -William Sansom
  9. Most Beautiful Villages around the World
    This list wins points for largely ignoring picturesque European villages and instead finding beauty in poorer towns in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
  10. 22 Incredible Photos of Faraway Places
    India, Yemen, Cambodia, Afghanistan…these pictures are stunning.

F•R•I•E•N•D•S Book Tag

Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N.S

1. Monica- The one with your favorite perfectionist.

Steve_Jobs_by_Walter_Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is, I think, the most perfectionistic person on the planet, which is why he was horrible to work for but managed to create some of the world’s most innovative and beautiful technology.   Continue reading

StumbleUpon Sunday (15)

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. 10 Incredible Thrill-Seeking Adventures To Do Around the World
    I will never do any of these because I am a big coward.  Maybe the wing walking.  But only on a dare.
  2. 29 Mind-Blowing Coincidences You Won’t Believe Happened
    I’m naming my son Hugh Williams.
  3. Dog and Lamb
    A boxer frolicked with a lamb, and there are pictures!
  4. What It’s Like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suite Class
    Oh my GOSH this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read.  Someday when I’m flush with cash I will spoil myself silly on the world’s most expensive flight.  The guy who wrote this has a great sense of humor, too.  I especially loved his horror at sleeping for six hours, or “$6,000 worth of the flight.”
  5. 14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time it Takes to Eat Lunch
    I love this list of bite-sized literature.  It is especially useful for its links to places you can read the story for free.
  6. ‘Real Monsters’ Art – Mental Illnesses as Monsters
    Wow.  These creatures are really beautiful, in a horrible way.  The artist, Toby Allen, does a wonderful job making mental illnesses understandable.
  7. 26 Gifs So Cute You Might Die a Sudden, Tragic Death
    Death by adorable is a good way to go.  (Hint: click on #5 to see a whole video of this tiny orange kitten climbing up to sit on a cameraman’s head. And #11 IS SO CUTE.  Just, all of them.  Look at all of them.)
  8. 12 Interspecies Hugs That Show That Love is Universal
    More cuteness!  I’m especially awed by the lion and the fawn, but there’s also the cat and the owl!  And that last picture of a koala sleeping on a dog’s back is super adorable.
  9. 10 Mnemonic Tricks for Never Forgetting Anything Again
    Super useful!
  10. What Real Beauty Looks Like Around the World
    These photos of diverse women in their 20s are a stunning reminder to embrace your culture and background.