How I Spent the Last Day of 2014

So today my brother and I hit the pavement in Naples, FL with some bikes and a couple of iPhones to take pics of all the great architecture we've been admiring while on vacation. I've found you look like slightly less of a stalker when pointing an iPhone into someone's window as opposed to a professional Nikon with a telephoto lens. And when the owner of the home steps out as you're framing your shot, it's much easier to slide your iPhone into your pocket and slink away, as opposed to packing up a tripod. 

Long before blogging and instagram and all of that, I have always been intrigued by capturing the essence of my surroundings. It's very hard for me to just BE somewhere without really getting involved, getting intrigued, taking a closer look (this applies to many things and is why my brain never rests). And what I've found here in Naples is there is a lot of beauty. At first, I thought it was the architecture, but after pedaling around all day snapping photos, I don't think it's so much the real estate (although it's very nice) but the never-ending lushness of the landscape. It's green, vibrant green, layered, and just beautiful. It soothes my soul somehow. 

And if you can't guess by now, I'm more Domino than Elle Decor (I'll take a shack on the beach, thank you) but in Naples you'll find a whole lot of grandiose, over-the-top. So I set out to capture that grandness, and what I ended up being attracted to was the beach bungalow circa 1952, the blue painted wood gate set between some palm trees, and the alley ways that run behind the large estates lined with boxwoods and giant palms. Naples somehow crosses between tasteful nouveau-riche and mid-century Florida glam and doesn't mess with my head. Maybe it's the ocean breeze and long sandy beach that goes for miles. That helps. Anyway, here's Naples according to my iPhone. 

Closing out this year with my family on vacation, I feel a a whole lotta gratitude. The older I get the less I feel the need to sum up the past or set any one goal for the coming year. Each year has its highs and lows, as does each day really. But the more I can cultivate gratitude, the happier I am. Today I got to pedal around and look at beautiful stuff while my husband took my son to Lego Land. That's a win-win. Wishing you all a joyous 2015!! XO

You have brains in your head. You have feet on your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
— Dr. Seuss