Books & Old Prints

Here I go again mixing my love of travel with my love of literature. For some reason I always manage to seek out books wherever I go. While visiting Boston I ran across this book store tucked in an alleyway. I couldn’t help entering it and looking through all the vintage and rare prints they had available. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are ever in Boston!

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Newport in January

Newport is Rhode Island’s biggest draw. In fact, it is quite the popular place to visit. New York’s wealthy – such as the Vanderbilt’s and Kennedy’s – made their way there, loading the town with mansions. So when I planned a road trip in the area I made certain to add the location on the itinerary.

What I was not prepared for was that Newport, unlike any other city we visited, actually has an off-season. While it may seem obvious that a beach town will not get as many visitors in January, that did not mean that the place would be dead. What about the people who actually live there? I assumed I could at least be able to visit the town and do some exploring. Instead what I found was a waste land. There were almost NO shops open. Museums and breweries were closed as well. In fact, I can count on my fingers how many people I saw. I almost expected a ball of tumbleweed to blow across the road.

My advice? If you’re planning a road trip in this area of the states, either stick to warmer weathers or be prepared to skip Newport. At least I managed to visit the beach and take some gorgeous pictures. And grab some Newport wine of course.

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By the way, I am officially declaring Rhode Island the land of sunsets. First Providence and not this. I keep getting blown away.

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RISD Museum of Art

There is a problem I often find with museums: size. They are either too big and overwhelming, making it impossible to see everything in one trip. Let alone actually take in the experience of what you have seen. Or they are too small or simply provide art from one particular niche.

When visiting the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art I managed to find the perfect sized art museum! Not only was it neither too big nor too small, but it also provided such a wide variety of art.

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Hello Boston

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Recently, I decided to take a road trip from New York and go to Boston, Massachusetts. Here are the adventures of that trip. We stayed at the 4-star Historic Omni Hotel that was located in downtown Boston. This location was the perfect place to be – nearby all the local attractions! We got a deal for this hotel on groupon (which I highly recommend checking out while traveling,  you can always get great deals!)

Afterwards we went out and had dinner at a lovely place called The Merchant. The food was lovely and paired with lots of exploring and shopping afterwards. That evening we found shelter in a lively bar as it started to snow outside. And I mean snow! While New York was still sporting 40-60 degree weather, Boston exposed us to the first snow fall of the season.

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The next day we spent more time exploring the historic parts of the city of Boston. Highlights of the trip included walking along Freedom Trail, exploring the historic Beacon Hill area and gawking over the endless supply of quirky Irish taverns.

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Ksamil

The next stop on our Albania road trip was the beach town of Ksamil. This particular location is very much loved by locals and tourists alike. I can see why. The Ionian sea is so utterly breathtaking. Look at these photos and see for yourself why Ksamil is so loved.

I have noticed, however, that whenever I visit beach towns I always completely fail to take enough pictures! This may be perhaps because I am always too busy enjoying the water to remember to take pictures. But anyways, here are the few I did manage to take.

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Butrint

When you think of ancient ruins what countries come to mind? Greece? Italy? Perhaps even Turkey. But I’m going to bet you didn’t think of Albania. But how could a country next to Greece and across the water from Italy not also have ancient ruins?

Once of Albania’s most famous ruin sites is Butrint National Park. What makes this particular ruin site, or city, so interesting is the way in which two thousand years of history are all presented and emerged together. There is a 4th century BC sanctuary dedicated to the healing god, Asclepius while at the same time a Venetian castle built in the 14th-16th century – all in one city. Butrint itself was mentioned in Virgil’s epic poem The Aeneid describing Aeneas visiting the city of Butrint. For all you history buffs out there like myself, visiting Butrint should be on you list.

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There was also an archaeological museum located on the site that was lovely to see. I didn’t manage to take any pictures of the inside of the museum, but plenty of the outside!

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The Blue Eye

After spending days in Tirana and the surrounding area my cousins and I decided it was time to head south. I have actually never gone lower than Tirana before while visiting Albania so this trip was one I was very excited for. The road trip itself was a beauty. I was not aware just how stunning the landscape in Albania actually is.

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The Blue Eye is located en route to Saranda, near the town of Gjirokaster. (Gjirokaster, I will regretfully say, was a city I wanted to explore but because of shortage of time was incapable of doing so). Legend says that if you bathe in the freezing waters of the blue eye you will be cured of all illness.

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Kruja

One of my favorite towns in all of Albania is easily the town of Kruja. It, like Durrës, is a quick trip from the capital, Tirana. The ride there takes a little under an hour. Historically, Kruja is an important town. It was the first capital of Albanians in 1190, during the Middle Ages. Today the town is stunning to see from the castle and the best place to do some souvenir shopping in all of Albania!

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