Spain was an amazing experience and I feel fortunate to have been able to travel there. I wrote about the highlights and there were many more from our trip. Europe in general has a piece of my heart. When I was younger I had the opportunity to study in Italy for a semester. Being an art student and getting to travel to Florence, Italy, where the heart of the Renaissance happened was unbelievable. Seeing the paintings on the walls of the museums and walking up to the sculptures of Michelangelo and Donatello lives in my mind clear as when it happened. While in Italy, I also had amazing weekends of explorations with our teacher and traveled the countryside. We saw and hiked the Dolomites which I have on my list to travel back to. They were magnificent in the summer and I would love to see them in all seasons to marvel at all they have to offer the senses. My group and I traveled to Sienna and watched the Palio. This is a horse race that has been happening in their city since the 1200s. Our teacher was welcomed into one of the families so we had dinner with them the night before the race and all of us wore their colors during the race. The whole entire educational trip was magical to say the least. 

One of the most breathtaking spots I saw was Cinque Terre, Italy. We stayed in Riomaggiore while there and had cappuccinos every morning. We traveled the towns and had seafood with pasta and hiked along the Mediterranean. While writing about Spain, I was also remembering my first European trip. So much happened while living abroad for a semester and I could write several blogs about it, however, I have decided to write about trips I have taken around the United States for a while. Italy, Spain, France, and everywhere else in Europe I have traveled to will have to wait. I want to take you from cobblestone streets, churches, the cities, and now have you explore the Southwest with me. There is so much to see in the desert and so many marvelous adventures to share. Where are some places you have gone in the Southwest that you love? Where are some places you have in your list to see? I think I will keep this blog short today and spend today and the weekend thinking about where I want to take you all next. Thank you for reading these blogs and have a fantastic weekend. Happy Friday!

-Karen Hilliard

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