Tag Archives: Venice

SoCal Mini Break: Venice Beach Boardwalk



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Venice Beach Boardwalk Skate Park

I can’t make a stop in LA without a pass through Venice.  When I was a Los Angeles resident, Venice was always a great place to be for the day, with all its color and life!

Luckily, this time, it was only a short walk away from my bungalow in Marina Del Rey to the Venice Boardwalk…


Close enough to take in the art…


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And the people…

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Do a little shopping…



Take in the local flavor…

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And catch some major skill at the skatepark…

Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed.Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with acg presetBut, as I have experienced time and again in My California, I can never get enough…

photo-oct-12-1-34-56-pm…so, I will continue to return.

SoCal Mini Break: Beach Time

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here

“We Got to Let Love Rule”

Accademia Bridge

The Love Locks – Venice, Italy

I think I may have mentioned we were in Italy last November (I promise to shut up about it after this post, maybe).  But one day, walking across the Accademia Bridge in Venice, my sons and I noticed rows of padlocks lining the hand rail up and down the bridge. We were intrigued (‘cause what is cooler than a bunch of unexplained hardware on a historic landmark?) On closer inspection, we discovered the locks were inscribed with names and sentiments of love – which I found adorable, and my boys found just plain embarrassing for the poor schmucks involved.  As we began to notice these locks secured on other historic bridges around Venice, including the famous Rialto Bridge, our curiosity grew.

And thus, through deep investigation (aka google search) we were able to solve the mystery of what we found out was called The Love Locks.

So, this Valentine’s day, if you want to say I Love You Italian-style, here is how it is done.

Accademia Bridge - Venice, Italy

Accademia Bridge – Venice, Italy

1.  Choose a romantic and/or historic bridge as depicted in the 2006 novel responsible for the current craze, “I Want You” by Italian author Federico Moccia. The preferred romantic locations seem to be in Italy – Rome, Venice, and Florence – although bridges in other countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Canada and Russia seem to qualify as well due to the locks massively appearing.  Heck, a bridge anywhere will probably do the trick.

The Love Locks

2.  Get a padlock. Go fancy by engraving it with the name/initials of you and your lover and maybe some gooey sentiments.  Or do a poor man’s version by hand writing names and message of everlasting amour on your padlock (sharpie , nail polish, whatever is handy).  Then lock the padlock onto a historic/romantic bridge and throw the padlock key into the canal or body of water while thus swearing eternal love and devotion to one another.

But pay heed to #3…

The Love Locks2

3.  Seriously, here is the most important part, so don’t zone out yet.

Once you have put your lock into place and thrown the key into the water, run like Willie Nelson from the IRS!  You see, the truth is, putting the locks on the historic bridges is, in many places illegal due to the fact that they are considered by some to be an eyesore and also damage the old stone on the famous bridges as the locks begin to rust.  Getting caught locking your love to a bridge could be accompanied by a heavy fine, and in some cases, jail time (um, you have seen Midnight Express, right?).  All in the name of love.

However, don’t despair because…

The Love Locks3

While it is true that your padlock of eternal love could end up victim to massive bolt cutters in the night by authorities cleaning up and protecting the historic bridge (making the whole eternal thing a little less everlasting), there is still hope.  In true love Italian-style, authorities have in some places near or on the preferred historic bridges begun to install fences or special bars on which to hang the locks of love legally, without damaging the bridges.

You know what they say (or, well,  Lenny Kravitz says it – which is good enough for me),

“We Got to Let Love Rule!”

Happy Valentines Day from Sweet Spot!

Other Valentines Day Posts: True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy



Travel: it costs money. Sometimes a lot of money. Scratch that, travel pretty much all the time costs a bucket load of money. Unfortunately for our pocketbook, my husband and I have developed an obsessive love for traveling, and we have successfully infected our kids with the obsession as well!

Today, over at ParentSociety.com,  as a result of a trip to Italy in November, I am sharing nine of our favorite free (or practically free) activities to do with kids in Italy (believe, if you are planning a trip to Italy – with or without your kids – you are gonna need it!). Go here!

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy

Other Sweet Spot posts about Italy.

A Boy’s Eye View of Italy

Just ‘Cause It’s Friday

For more Sweet Spot Travels posts Go Here!

Just ‘Cause it’s Friday


Cata LisaCata – Lisa

Painted by a local popular artist in Venice, Italy.  What’s that rumbling?  Oh, yeah – that is Leonardo Da Vinci rolling over in his grave.  I hear he does a lot of that these days.  Still, it is kind of irresistible – or at least my son thought so!

Happy Friday!

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

A Boy’s-Eye View of Italy


Italy is awesome!  Or so, my boys have proclaimed.  Seriously, what is not to appreciate about a country that has so much to offer a boy’s sensibility – especially from a Teen/Pre-teen boy perspective.  Please, allow me to explain:

1.  You get to learn about crazy people.

The Pieta (The Pity) Statue by Michelangelo, Vatican City.  Yeah, yeah, this statue is beautiful, impressive, stunning, etc.  But, did you know it is encased in a plastic protector because in the 1970s, a “mad geologist attacked the statue with a hammer.”? (say what??) Right, well, apparently, any way you slice it this story was clearly cool enough to spawn a steady laughter invoking exchange for the remainder of our trip such as the following:

“Hey Mom”


“I am a geologist and I am really MAD…GET ME A HAMMER!!!!

ok, it still makes me laugh…

2.  You get to throw stuff

Trevi Fountain, Rome.  Let’s face it – any opportunity to throw stuff…legally… is well worth a long plane ride. But take note – don’t even waste coin after coin after coin trying to nail the Trevi seagulls, they are way, way too saavy to be caught by such an assault (and I suspect, have had to learn the hard way!).

3.  You get a drink, for free, anytime you want.

Random fountain in Rome.  Just pray, the water isn’t as ancient as the fountain…

fountain rome

4.  You get to play in the dirt

The Colosseum , Rome.  Sure, the whole Colosseum thing is crazily impressive and all,

But even better is collecting some ancient Colosseum dirt to bring home.  Just be warned – apparently a bag of dirt in ones backpack is cause for suspicion and, if you hazard the attempt to bring home said souvenir, you will be detained at every single security checkpoint along the way.


5.  You get randomly photo bombed.

Navona Piazza Street Performer, Rome. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere – you never know exactly when it is happening.  It won’t be until viewing pictures at some later date you will realize you were, yet again, photo-bombed by a statue’s bare butt (or other random, bare body parts) making for endless amounts of humor opportunities.  Ah well, you know, when in Rome…

navona square

6.  You get to spit on stuff.

Venice, Italy.  What better attribute does a hotel have to offer than the ability of customers to be able stick their head out of their very own hotel window and spit right into a not so clean canal of water that can’t be hurt  by a few dribbles of spit, anyway.  Pure genius, I say.


7.  You get to handle wild animals.

Venice, Italy – some piazza somewhere.  From a boys perspective, never underestimate the entertainment value of handling a rodent with wings (i.e. pigeons).

8.  You get to eat good food.

Venice, Italy. Pizza for breakfast, Pizza for lunch, Pizza for dinner, Pizza with french fries…need I say more?

9. And some things, are just plain cool – graffiti and all!

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

Rialto BridgeFor more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Travel Magic


No matter how much I travel, it always seems like pure magic  you can get on a plane, sit there for some hours, and arrive at a place like this:

VeniceVenice, Italy

Or this:

RomeSt. Angelo Bridge, Rome, Italy

And even though I may get cheated by a taxi driver (hey, I can now say I have been cheated on two continents!), have to sit by a guy who snores (I sleep next to one on a daily basis, so no biggie), get practically run over by a scooter (it is Italy after all, maybe he was hoping for more than a brush of the elbow?), or have to beg a waiter on bended knee for a few pieces of precious ice… I will continue to test the magic – time and time again.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!