Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Has Spring Arrived?

spring sky, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Blue skies, what more could one ask for……


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My Priceless Pick!

Several months ago, after returning from Italy I submitted a Priceless pick to the Priceless.com Mastercard Website, and my Priceless Pick was chosen! Here it is enjoy!


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Life has a way of slowing us down if we too fast…..you see, I’m a firm believer that one can only travel as fast their feet will let them.  But I seem to travel as fast as my mind allows, and sometimes I end up getting “disconnected”. When this happens usually the only cure is to find nature, in it’s own state.

Sunday was a day of recovery.  A spiritual reconnection to the world of nature, to allow time for myself to SLOW down.  Sometimes I know I have too much on my plate, and not enough time to enjoy my life.  That is why travel is such a therapeutic expedition for me.   Time to relax, time to smell the flowers…..literally!

So in my car I drug my weary body and drove off into the wilderness for an afternoon of photography.  Deep in the Maine woods I drove, until I came upon some familiar sights, I had lost track of during the last 10 years or so.  The road less traveled, indeed it is the route I chose.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost 

Frost’s poem says a lot in a few words. Sometimes we are all held hostage by ourselves, and feel as though we have no where to turn.  I often find myself caught up in life’s daily problems.  Human beings have the natural urge to distance themselves from others when they feel certain overwhelming emotions approaching. This can include crying, laughing, mourning, or just deep thinking. One’s personal desires for isolation in these instances are, of course, largely dependent on the type of personality one has. An individual that is more extroverted may not mind others seeing their emotional side and therefore would not seek isolation. On the other hand, a more introverted person might be more self-conscious about their showing of emotion, and seek an out-of-the-way retreat.  That’s what I did on Sunday…..  🙂


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Bella Fiori


While in Italy one can enjoy the beauty of flowers all around. Sunflowers happen to be one of my favorite flowers of all time. Hydrangeas are a quick second favorite of mine. I have a collection of photos that I have taken over last several summers of my favorite fiori in Italy. The beauty of flowers is that they tell a story….they are a painting that mother nature provides us that can heal a hurt, bring a smile to one’s face, express one’s love, and brighten a rainy day.

I photograph flowers as a way to preserve their memory and beauty. Although they can be difficult to capture on camera, their effects can last forever. I have archived hundreds of digital photos of flowers, all shapes, sizes, colors and types. My dream is to sell my photos matted and framed. My husband encourages me to follow my dreams and I have began to do so. I have already given my photos as gifts to family members, and they have enjoyed them. I am now thinking of taking this a step further and preparing a batch for a show. My subject will be, of course flowers! Most of them from Italy!


In Victorian times, certain flowers had specific meanings because the flower selection was limited and people used more symbols and gestures to communicate than words. Oddly enough, Hydrangeas = Perseverance! 🙂

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Tuesday June 19th 2007 is departure day for the Rountrees.


After a late evening out, taking night photos and eating our last gelatos for this year, we had a difficult time hauling ourselves from our sleep. We had booked an early wakeup call and were soon up, showered and packed. No time for a Cappuccino today. We headed down to the lobby of the hotel for a taxi cab call. The taxi picked us up at 5am and drove us to the parking spot, which we had parked the Jag in. We loaded up the car and set “Scanducci” to take us to the airport.

hotel.jpg The ride to the airport seemed long, but I knew it wasn’t. Whenever we leave Florence it is like leaving home. A sadness weighs heavy on the heart. I tired to make myself happy about thinking about the trip we will take…where will it be? When will it be? Did I pack everything? Did I bring everyone a gift? Ughhhh…

We made it to the airport in Florence with plenty of time to return the car to Thrifty’s lot and deposit the keys….we loved the Jaguar! We loved “Scanducci”! Next time we will definitely book a car with GPS. After unloading the car and walking into the airport we realized that the checkin process with Alitalia had changed and they had moved up stairs in the airport…….very inconvenient. We found the checkin spot and checked in without a hitch.The plane left Florence right on time. We landed in Milan an hour later, only to find out that our next flight was delayed by 2 hours. So we sat and I shopped of course…purchasing some Limoncello di Crema for home. I even sampled it that early in the morning….but what the heck it as in the middle of the night back home!

Eventually we made our way over to our gate to sit and wait. Soon the plane began to board, we sat in row 24 near the window and aisle. I pulled out my book I had been reading, but could not concentrate as I was growing so sad for leaving. So I sat next to Don as we tried to relax for the long flight home to the States. The flight lasted about 9 hours and we were late landing in Boston. Our luggage arrived with us, and we made our way through customs without any issues. We say people having their proscuitto and cheeses being confiscated. But my chocolate, cioccolato cantucci, wine, pasta, and Limoncello remained safe in my possession.

We started the next leg of our flight, waiting. We waited for our departures to Kentucky and to Maine. Don had an earlier flight than I did; however, due to my Uncles’ death I was able to fly standby and home sooner than expected which would have been a 23 hour trip. I said goodbye to Don, which is always difficult to do, but in an airport coming home from an extended vacation it is even more difficult to do. I boarded the plane home and realized that I wouldn’t see my husband again for two months. My heart grew heavier… 😦

Don’s flight was delayed in Boston for 3 hours and he did not arrive home until 1:45 am the next day. He landed in Cincinnati and had to drive an additional 3 hours home. And I thought I was tired?

We had a fantastic trip filled with great memories. We always have a difficult time explaining to others the beauty of what we saw, witnessed, experienced and ate in Italy. But this time was different we had made new friends that in Italy, and we could share our experiences with them. Cyndi and Danilo, invited us into their home and into their hearts as well. For we will never forget that day in Fusignamo and the fun we had and our new friends! Ciao!!!

don.jpg gold.jpg

PS. I’d like to thank my sweet (dolci) husband Don for everything. He is the best travel partner and husband anyone could have. Together we can do anything, I miss him terribly when we are not together. He tolerates my shopping, and frequent gelato stops, wine sampling and constant craving to experience new places. He is a keeper! In February will will celebrate 10 years of marriage together….I wonder where we will be to celebrate? 😉

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Well the Travel Channel has started a new show several weeks ago about these 1000 destinations to travel. The couple one the show are not actors/actresses, but a regular couple that travel the world exploring far-away places. What an adventure! I asked myself “If I could travel and see anything I wanted, where would I go?” Well it is not any easy question….because my list continues to grow! Right now it includes:

  • Alaska
  • Brazil
  • Chili
  • Antarctica
  • The Arctic Circle
  • Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Monaco
  • Sicily
  • Amsterdam
  • Austria
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • The Greek Isles
  • Fiji
  • Norway
  • Marrakesh
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
  • The Amazon
  • Ecuador
  • Japan
  • Thailand

The list keeps growing……I could go on forever. Perhaps I will quit my career as I know it and and use my skills to write about my culinary adventures as well as photograph my travels! I’ll have to look into this. My career in higher educaiton has served it’s purpose well and it has allowed me to cultivate my travels, but I’m ready to move on to something more adventurous…perhaps travel is my choice! Ciao….see you in the next destination!


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tree22.jpgOn Saturday while getting ready for Don’s surprise party I realized that my Sony camera was not working. I could not see out of the LCD screen or the viewfinder. I had a new grandson and no camera!  I was devastated!  So while I plotted to get my husband and brother-in-law out of the house, little did I know that he would purchase me another camera that day. I was shocked when he returned that afternoon with a new Sony alpha 100 DSLR.  Wow what a camera.   The first thing our of my mouth was “that is way too expensive” and his reply was “happy birthday hone”. My birthday isn’t til June.

Well it turns out when we returned home I did some research on the internet to find out that there is a class action lawsuit against Sony for my camera that was broken. Evidently they discovered a bad sensor had been installed in the camera. Some we informed Sony and they emailed us a packing slip and label to print and send the camera in for repairs!  I still can’t beleive that my husband went out on HIS birthday and bought ME a new camera!!!  🙂  His justification: you have to be ready for Italy this year!  Mi amore……


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