Friday, April 27, 2012


Trees amaze me. There's something majestic about a sturdy oak or an ancient olive tree. To think they had their start as a tiny seed!

The memories of the birch of my childhood warm my heart. I would curl up with a book in the bend on dreamy summer days and be undisturbed in my world for hours. I don't need to touch the bark to feel it (but I still like to).

                                                                                                              photo by Mia K

 River trees
                                                                                                                              photo by Mia K

Trees that stand in attention to let you pass

                                                                                                           photo by Mia K

These lovelies dress my neighborhood. Can you guess which ones live in my yard?

                                                                                             photo by Mia K

                                                                                                  photo by Mia K

                                                                              photo by Mia K

This spring I tied a wish onto a tree. 
I think it may come true.

What's your favorite tree memory?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Peek at Milan, Italy

To experience MILANO 
you need more than the one day we had, 
but I'm glad we stopped to take in what we could.

The Duomo

The construction for this massive Gothic cathedral was started in 1386! The Duomo boasts hundreds of spires and thousands of statues and is made of white marble.

I still think my friends tricked me into going up to the roof. We took the elevator up (for a fee). I have a fear of heights so the plan was for me to wait by the elevator while they looked around. As we reached the top, we found that it was a one-way tour and I was forced outside. On the roof! That's a fake smile on my face in the picture. 
To get back to the ground we had to teeter down a set of narrow stairs that wound around the outside of the cathedral, placing us face to face with gargoyles and giving glimpses of the world below. I did not stop to snap pictures. I just about kissed the ground once safe on it, but, truth be known, I was glad I hadn't missed out on the experience.

                           So many intricate details decorate the gorgeous cathedral.

The Galleria, built in the 1870s, graces the edge of the Piazza del Duomo.  
Check out the glass ceiling!

(photo by wikipedia)

 The building houses high-end chandelier-lit stores 

                                                            like Prada

                     and connects Duomo Square and La Scala.

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci in Piazza della Scala 
(photo by wikipedia)

Milan bustles with cultural events, history, and grand-scale shopping opportunities, but you can also catch a quiet moment enjoying a gelato in one of the many green parks around the center of the city. We took the tram to see more of the city in a short time. The stops are plentiful and the schedules convenient.

Note: Some tourist sites and stores are closed on Mondays and for much of August for summer vacations.