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Essays, Guides, Info


A Gothic Treasure: The Valencia Silk Exchange, La Lonja de la Seda

Light streams between a forest of spiral stone columns. Each support twists upward, branching into a delicate web of ribbed groin vaults overhead. This airy—seemingly weightless—volume exalts Valencia’s commercial hub, unique to its time. The History of This Temple of Trade When Pere Compte (renowned master builder from Girona) began construction of this trade center…

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Streamlining Our Life: Less Things Means More Experiences

A Personal Journey—How downsizing upgraded our lives and revealed what’s really important to us, in this moment. It may seem counterintuitive, particularly for an architectural designer amid a pandemic, to sell our house and move into an apartment. But that’s exactly what we did. We let go of the “American dream.” As homeowners for the…

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Gluten-free Banana Oat Muffins

These gluten-free banana oat muffins are made with whole oats and can be made vegan. Try both the smooth blended version and the heartier whole oat version.

Coconut Thai Curry Tofu and Squash

This spicy Thai-inspired dish combines coconut milk and Thai red curry paste to create a creamy sauce for tofu and butternut squash, perfect to serve over rice.

Coffee in Italy: How Tradition Upholds Artistry and High Standards

The dapper barista steamed the milk with precision, poured the creamy froth over the shot of robust espresso in a rhythmic swaying motion, then slid the cappuccino onto the bar with a slight nod. As I sipped the luscious intensity, I tasted Italy. The day officially began. The taste lingered with both me and Aaron…

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How Pizza in Rome Will Entice You to Savor Perfection

He wore a collared SS Lazio shirt, tucked beneath his round belly with a sweatband and three pairs of glasses on his head. This wacky waiter served more than just pizza—he indoctrinated foreigners on proper Italian dining decorum. Our desire to experience the Romans’ Rome began our first night, two blocks from the Tiber River…

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Vatican City - museum courtyard

Travel Guide: Vatican City

The world’s smallest country is also home to the Pope. However, not only Catholics make their pilgrimage to the Vatican, but people from around the world come in droves. Vatican City is a city-state politically separate from, but geographically surrounded by the city of Rome. The Vatican’s 3 main attractions Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and…

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Travel Guide: How Florence Inspires a Higher Standard and ‘Slow Tourism’

Stunning architecture and sculpted masterpieces, natural regional food and wine—Florence is sure to delight your perspective alongside your tastebuds. No wonder it’s such a popular destination. You really can’t help but fall in love with Florence. Italian Pride and Passion: Learn about Italian quality. Florentine Beauty Abounds: Discover the hot spots. A New Look Beyond…

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Florence, Italy: Currently Closed. Our Recent Visit Affirmed the Need for Sustainable Tourism.

Today the jewelry and souvenir shops lining the Ponte Vecchio—in medieval stalls once occupied by tanners, farmers, and butchers—are closed until further notice. For several weeks now, response to the Coronavirus global pandemic has shut down many businesses throughout the world deemed non-essential. Tourist destinations have been the most vulnerable to the virus, and Italy…

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Virtual Travel During Challenges

Virtual trips allow us to experience places that we may not be able to visit just yet, but may like to go someday; or perhaps they ignite memories of previous travels. My intention is to provide hope and inspiration through my stories and photos while transporting you during this challenging time. My thoughts and prayers…

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Barcelona: Spain or Catalonia?—When we unexpectedly met its complexity and conflict

Many may not even realize—I, one of limited knowledge, can only begin to understand—the layers of Barcelona’s complicated history within the region of Catalonia. Seeing their pride and their frustration in action only gave me a glimpse. What I do know—people want to be heard. Acknowledged. Respected. Our issues are universal. A common desire among…

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Valencia, Spain – Plaza del Ayuntamiento

The Luster of Valencia: Revealng Spain’s Third-Largest City (Part 3 of 3): Quality + Balance

As my family’s Valencian soccer trip came to an end, we reflected that true prosperity flourishes in their balanced way of life. The people displayed pride in artistry and quality. Integrity is in the details. Small businesses and local vendors matter more than chain stores. Celebration and relaxation are shared by all. Compact Quality and…

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Valencia, Spain – Museum of Arts and Sciences

The Luster of Valencia: Revealng Spain’s Third-Largest City (Part 2 of 3): Artistry + Progress

As Valencia progresses into the 21st century, this city built over two millennia works to maintain her heritage. Quality development balances artful modern construction with soul-protecting historic preservation. The Wisdom in Artistry & Soulful Progress We were first introduced to Valencia through La Turia Gardens. This river of green space flows around the old city,…

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Valencia, Spain – Plaça de la Virgen

The Luster of Valencia: Revealng Spain’s Third-Largest City (Part 1 of 3): Her Allure

Valencia doesn’t seem to realize how beguiling she is, which only adds to her charm. As the capital of a once-prominent region, this unpretentious city proudly showed us a restoring sense of hope through her unique qualities. Valencia Reveals Her Allure Previously left behind by Franco, the 20th century Spanish dictator, Valencia gradually emerges from…

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