rome + corinthians

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Photo by me

Photo by me

What I love so much about traveling internationally is there is opportunity to visit other countries and cities either by train or very short flights which is exactly what we did. We were stationed in Paris, France and decided to take a day trip to Rome, Italy. Why not!? We planned ahead of time and booked the cutest air b&b which I’ll link a bit later in the post. We took a two hour flight from Paris in the a.m. and this photo was taken from the Vatican which left me completely breathless. We took in as much of the culture as we could in one day so I just wanted to share a few more photos with you. If ever I make my way to Rome again, I would plan for 4 or 5 days to really immerse myself in all of its wonder & beauty.


Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

So here’s the honest truth about The Vatican. Although Rome was absolutely on my life list to check off {bucket list for someone of you; we speak life over here lol}, we actually did go in and yes we saw Michaelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel!! Note: because it is considered a holy place, we were not allowed to take photos of it. There were WAAAAAY too many people and it was incredibly hot, but I have to say that being able to see Michaelangelo’s work in the flesh is something I will never forget and carry with me always. Not being knowledgeable about it, I always thought it was JUST the Creation of Adam. I was completely unaware of The Last Judgement and the magnitude of it. I think I must’ve did ten full 360 spins trying to understand how God instills visions in us, His creations, and when we give every part of ourselves {mind, heart, spirit, intellect, creativity} to that vision it surpasses anything we or those observing can imagine. Here our a few more photos from The Vatican. Enjoy the carousel!!


Yes the Vatican is very touristy, but only being able to visit Rome for one day we decided to not pass up the experience. Speaking of touristy things, we also visited Piazza del Colosseo and went into the Colosseum. We actually walked through the underground and worked our way up with a tour group & guide. We arrived late and missed our original tour group which means we lost money for that so for about an hour we were a tiny bit bummed and trying to figure out how to proceed. We did not come all that way to cave into the nature of travel mishaps. It happens so with apprehension at first {because of scammers} we paid and was able to go with another tour group. I’d say it was worth the hassle. I felt like we learned so much about the history. Truth be told, I was questioning a lot of it, but we ended up having THEE best tour guide who apparently studied Roman history her entire life and it showed. It didn’t seem like she just memorized facts for her work. She spoke with such fluidity and always had triple the knowledge to share. She also did not leave out the contributions of slaves which I really appreciated.

PhoTO TAKEN BY ME

PhoTO TAKEN BY ME

PHOTO TAKEN BY ME

PHOTO TAKEN BY ME


Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

How can one visit Rome and not have pizza!? This is all I thought about on the flight. It was absolutely cheesy & delectable! After we left the Colosseum we stuffed our faces then we started exploring. I just could not get over the architecture; the DETAILS!


photo taken by me

photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

The last shot of this group of photos is the Trevi Fountain in the Trevi District in Rome. Yes this is THAT instagrammable spot & what a little cropping will do because there were SOOOOOOOOO many people just relaxing and chatting around the fountain. I was a tiny bit disappointed because a local told us the water had been off for awhile. I don’t know if people were standing around waiting for it because they were not aware, but we left after about 15 minutes & strolled through the community. Nevertheless it was still beautiful and I am happy to say, “I’ve been there!”


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This was my favorite thing about Rome. The streets were filled with people of course, but also filled with life. It seemed every little street had a story to tell. They were quaint, bustling and beautiful. We walked for miles!!

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken me

Photo taken me

Photo taken by me

Photo taken by me


I want to make sure I share my airbnb with you!! To say eye candy would be an understatement. It was so artsy and comfy. Emanuela was our host and she was so accomodating and kind. She also left us a basket of bread with jams and treats in the kitchen. We ate all the treats lol. I highly recommend you stay at her place so click HERE if you’re thinking about staying in Rome!!

Photos by me

Photos by me

Photo by me

Photo by me

Photo by me

Photo by me

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Photo by Me

Photo by Me

I have cringed on occasion at the thought of “deep reflection” while traveling. Do we really have these profound thoughts while experiencing another culture halfway around the world? I say YES! So the word for Rome is ‘history’ and as we move along in this life we are creating our own. What is yours and what will it be? How has it shaped you and how will it shape others. If we REALLY think about this daily it forces us to be more intentional so I end this post with a scripture the encompasses who I’m becoming in Christ. Thank you so much and I hope you have the opportunity to experience Romaaaaaaa!!

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new orleans + prayer

a manifested ten year conversation...

 
photo credit: me, lenora houseworth

photo credit: me, lenora houseworth

 

Don't worry. I promise this won't be some long rambling post. If you probably saw my adventures in the Big Easy, but don't fret if you missed it because I added it to my highlights. I hope you check it out. What I didn't add there you will see here. Hopefully lol {because my memory}. This journey far surpassed what I expected or anything I could have imagined.

It was beautiful and lively and amazing and inspiring and cultured and heartwrenching. When you are sitting down writing your list of places you want to travel in the world, in between Paris and Bali and Japan, throw New Orleans in the mix.

The story begins with Essence . If you are not familiar, Essence is a magazine that focuses on beauty, fashion, literacy. pop culture, wealth building and more importantly social and socio-economic issues and solutions that directly affect African American women. This mag was created due to the lack of representation in print publications. For the past 25 years they've put on a festival in New Orleans celebrating and empowering women of color by way of music, beauty, financial literacy, networking, panel discussions and more. For the past 10 years, my cousin, mi familia, my inspo, @lenorashewrote   and I had been discussing our unnerving desire to attend. We talked it but didn't walk it!! FOR TEN YEARS.

And last year we threw caution to the wind and it still almost didn't happen. There were literally no hotel rooms or Air B-n-Bs available when we began our search. Keep in mind this festival was last week and everything was practically booked by November 2017, but when God aligns things, everything happens as it should. This is the longest part of this post. Hang in there.

The history of New Orleans became the focal point of our travels and it has forever changed the both of us. Most of the time when people travel and post to social media they post the aesthetics and there is nothing wrong with that at all, but once we stepped into the depths of NOLA's history we couldn't let go.  It would have been irresponsible traveling to ignore what we were seeing. We talked to natives. Asked questions and were lead to the most amazing places. We were given impromptu tours of historical communities by Uber and Lyft drivers. We gave our dollars to black owned businesses in suffering wards. We had a real experience. The following is a visual mix of the landscape, art, the beautiful surroundings, architecture & us vs. the very important and real history of this city where we learned of the roots from which we grew. Enjoy! 


Architecture

Every building has a story; a testament of how rich in history the city is. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has stripped it of quite a bit of its history along with gentrification.  These shots are from the very touristy French Quarter.

 

 
 

the cafe'...

We ate breakfast, had coffee and had NOLA beignets for the first time at Cafe Beignet on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. People kept recommending Cafe' Du Monde which is a very popular tourist stop. It was grossly over crowded, but a lot of natives expressed to us that it is like the McDonald's of Beignets - a fried biscuit is how one gentlemen described them. When the natives speak make sure you listen.

Cafe Beignet is quaint, comfy and the food is crazy delicious.  Scroll through the slideshow. 

 
 

the bookstore...

The Dauphine Street Bookstore has been in the French Quarter for 24 years. There was a cat lived there and his spirit roams between the shelves.

 
 
 
photo credit: cici ford

photo credit: cici ford

 

just me...

 
 

the history...

Life changing. Please refer to my highlights on IG for more details. The emotions were extremely high because I felt the spirit of my ancestors. I heard their cries. I saw their pain in front of me in vivid detail. I internalized the stories od displacement from the victims of Hurricane Katrina who thirteen years later are still trying to piece together pieces of their lives. I am eternally grateful for this journey.

This trip made me reflect on God’s power and how there is an opposite power in the world that we forget about. Slavery and the things my ancestors experienced was heinous and unbelievable and tragic. The people that committed these acts against them were not people of God, but people who are servants of another power. God teaches us to love because He IS and when you know God you live your life reflected in His image and that is projected onto others; love, compassion, empathy. This trip changed my life and I pray that I am my ancestors dream. I pray that when they looked to the heavens to pray they saw a day where their descendants could live freely. May God bless their souls.