Highlights from Florence, Italy

Last month we took a week to visit Italy for the first time. We chose Florence as our introduction to Italy. Florence was a compromise since over-touristed places like Rome or Venice are not generally not my idea of a good time. We flew from Valencia, Spain, where we now live permanently, to Bologna then …

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The Best Thing About Early Retirement in Spain…

... is I can ride whenever the f*ck I want! Today was not the best ride, not the longest ride, but I got out there. Lane's Inspirational Quote du Jour: It's not whether you succeed or fail, it's whether or not you tried! I wasn't 'feeling it' when I got on the bike. The wind …

The Street Art of El Carmen: Episode 2

Yesterday was a holiday here in Valencia. We celebrate the Nou d'Octubre, (9th of October) as The Region of Valencia Day, the day in 1238 when King Jaume I liberated the city of Valencia from Moorish rule. Most people had the day off. Only bars and restaurants were open (says a lot about what Valencianos …

Florence’s Hidden Gems: Food

[This post is Episode 1 of a multi-part series on Florence, Italy.] Traveling to Italy? Florence, Italy ('Firenze' in Italiano) has some amazing hidden gems,... and I'll help you discover them! If you are like me, you usually avoid cities that are over-touristed. I was leery of Dubrovnik for this reason. I like to find …

Nou d’Octubre: A Celebration of Valencia

This week we celebrate Nou d’octubre, the day King Jaume I liberated Valencia from Moorish rule in 1238. Celebrations around the city include parades through the historic city centre (where we live), live music, food, fireworks (always fireworks in Valencia!) and at least 9 gorgeous historical buildings now used as government buildings are temporarily open …

The Church of Santa Lucia dei Magnoli – Florence, Tuscany, Italy

I love coming across old gems! We are here in Florence for the week. This is our very first time in Italy. The city is extremely photogenic with the Arno river flowing through it and the iconic architecture. I was out exploring today (as I am known to do) and came across a little-known historical …

Best Mexican Restaurants in Valencia

Good Mexican food is difficult to find in Valencia, Spain. It is not a natural fit for Spain. Spaniards generally don't enjoy spicy food. And, I think, many of the typical ingredients for traditional Mexican food are not available in this part of the world. One of the things we miss most about California is …

Moving to Spain as an American: What I Wish I Knew

Are you an American thinking about moving to Spain? Whether you are moving for work, to retire abroad (like us) or to soak up Spanish culture on a sabbatical or a gap year, we would like to share our experiences. Avoid our mistakes Learn our top challenges and how to avoid them Learn our top …

The Palace of Versailles

On a business trip to Paris in June 2018, I took the opportunity to visit the Palace of Versailles. The opulent 17th-century palace is located about 17 kilometers southwest of Paris. It was the royal residence from the late 1600s to the late 1700s right up until the French Revolution. If you'd like to go …

The One Change I Found Difficult to Embrace

I have made a lot of massive changes in my life recently, however, one surprising change has been more difficult than all the others. At this stage in my life, I don't fear change... I embrace it. Until 5 years ago, I was generally shy and introverted and while you won't see me speaking in …