Beach Creatures

 So...this is what we did when the thundershowers came down upon us for a few hours at the beach...we played with the sea shells, sand dollars, and seaweed we collected and made Beach Creatures.

A Sea Princess Angel
{Precious Guardian}

A Mermaiden
{Kiss her for good luck!}

The Million Dollar Sand Dollar Man
{Bionic strength!}

A Baby Seashell Girl
{Bambina del Mare}

A Sea Angel

A Sand Mouse

A Crazy Coral Guy

A Sea Angel Boy
{Bambino del Mare}

A Happy Beach Dog

A Dapper Dollar Dude
{Corporate Guy}

And...Or Favorite Floppy Sea Turtle

This was our tiny Beach Creature family we made during the week at the beach, captured by the camera.  {Don't be surprised to see these creatures in my Etsy shop or on My Front Porch one day soon!}

Rosemary Beach photographs next time.  See you soon.

Thank you, as always for stopping by.

Ciao amici,

White Stucco and Painted Shutters, Sea Breezes and Palm Trees

With all that goes on during the summer months with us here at the homestead in the Deep South, this little blog of mine often ends up being last on the list of "things to do."  But...when I do get it back on the "list" I usually have some wonderful photographs and stories of fabulous places in the sun that we have been to.  

Recently, it was the sugar sand beaches and turquoise sea on the gorgeous Gulf Coast of Florida ~ a tropical paradise with a Mediterranean flair and reminiscent of the West Indies.

Although we stayed in Rosemary beach, one morning we rode our beach cruisers to Alys Beach {just over one mile down the bicycle path} and explored this luxurious village.  

The architecture and details were as impeccable as I remember from my first visit to Alys Beach a few years ago.

 Limestone paving with patches of green mossy ground cover framing portals to the homes...

...stunning over sized black urns filled with bright green palms and a white marble poolside deck, with canvas canopies filtering the sun...

...made me want to get off my bike and dive in!

Instead, we kept on cruising along the paths, not sure where we would end up.

We took a break on this bridge and enjoyed the view.

Then I saw this trio of aquamarine shuttered doors which led to a private pool...

I can only imagine the swimming pool water being this same aquamarine colour.

What do you think is behind this petite arched window?

The shutters with their vibrant pastel Caribbean colours against the stark white formal stucco buildings created a bit of whimsy, which was refreshing.

I'm always a fan of black and white though...

The dramatic contrast and clean palette is stunning.

And then there was this fifteen foot long limestone and marble sofa, with bolster "pillows" even, along the front wall of another home.  Notice the "ruffle" along the base of the sofa.  Details.

What a nice welcome this is ~ make yourself comfortable while you wait!

Although I suppose if that sofa is not comfy enough, one could always hang out in this green square and sit around a stone fire pit with a suspended chimney above.

Another dramatic architectural detail that caught my eye ~ sinuous curves, smooth corners, shades of white and cream...

'Loving the Bermudian style stepped roof tops...

...and this secret dipping pool in a private courtyard.

We stopped here to read the local paper and enjoy a cold bottle of water for a few minutes before continuing our journey.

This beach pavilion which led the way to the shore reminded me of something I would see in India or Bali.


Wouldn't this be a fabulous place to have a party at sunset?

Then the stormy clouds came in ~ dark and ominous against the brilliant white rooftops ~ and warned us with a roar.

After about five miles of riding in and around this Mediterranean-styled village, it was time to head back to Rosemary Beach.  {I will share those photos with you next time.}

I've missed you all!  
Thanks for your visit and I'll be back soon.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Joining of a few of these friends this week.

Summer at the Shore*

Swimming in the emerald sea like a mermaid...

Playing in the crystal white sand like a child...

Appreciating and enjoying it all like a grown up.

Happy Summer!

These "vintage" images above are some of my favorites from my childhood...the mermaid was a postcard I received from a cousin in the early seventies which I had saved; I had Jessie Wilcox Smith's charming illustration in a petite frame in my room as a little girl; and the contemplative blue eyed girl with the summer hat which I also had framed in my room as a young adult always reminded me of myself on the beaches of California {even though I have green eyes}.  That's my summer story...for now.  

*{I will share photographs when I return.}

Ciao amici,

A Promise of a Rose Garden

I am finally back from my not~so~brief sabbatical from posting on Italian Girl in Georgia.  Summer Arts Camp was a total success last month and now I am making up for lost time here with a promise of a rose garden.  

So sit back and relax ~ I've got dozens of photographs to share with you!

Late in May and early June my son and I cooled off in the Pacific Northwest with a visit to my family.

The highlight of the trip, other than seeing them of course, was an afternoon in the City of Roses ~ Portland, Oregon ~ and a visit to the magnificent Rose Gardens.  

It has been more than ten years since I was last walking under these arbors of roses and through the terraced gardens,

and it was more beautiful and breathtaking than I remember.  

It did not hurt that the Portland skies were crystal clear blue and the warmth of the summer sun welcomed us.

Fields of flowers and trellised tea roses were in full bloom throughout the park ~ one rose bed was prettier than the next.

The vista from the gardens through the evergreens to the city and snow capped mountains beyond was a surprise each time we turned a corner or walked along a brick pathway through the heavenly scent of blooming roses.

And we were not the only ones in the gardens enjoying Mother Nature's gift just one week before the annual Portland Rose Parade.  The gardens were full of visitors from all over.

Meandering along the garden paths, I never got enough of the pretty petals.

Each and every one was perfection.

Blush pink...

Pink peppermint...

Old English roses...

{My favorite!}

...tangled with gorgeous hot pink dogwood blooms and wrapped around lanterns.

{This pink dogwood variety does not grow in my neck of the woods ~ the blooms are much paler here in Georgia.}

Enchantingbless it's heart...

...some natural lovin' displayed on its petal.

A sweet farewell and a wonderful afternoon in the City of Roses.

Then it was time to go home.

Hope you all will take a moment to stop and smell the roses, appreciate all of Mother Nature's gifts, and the beauty our country has to offer.

Happy Independence Day!

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Reconnecting with some of these friends this week.