Belle Photo Essays

One of our favorite kinds of travel inspiration is through photography.

Lotusland Lovelies in Montecito, California

Just inside Montecito, California, adjacent to Santa Barbara is a closely held secret: Lotusland. Although it sounds like a scary Homer's Odyssey-type amusement park, it actually makes for a fantastic, botanical and artistic afternoon.

Place de la Concorde and a Chic Breakdown in Paris

As I was ambling through the Tuileries Gardens one vaguely hot summer afternoon last August (crumb-filled patisserie bag in hand), I was more than delighted to come across this “breakdown” scene smack-dab on the Place de la Concorde. Of course not so delighted for the poor men who were stuck in the sun with their now-defunct car, but delighted that I was having one of those fabulous travel moments that allows us to escape reality for even a split second…and dream.

Visiting a Flea Market in Helsinki

From architecture to technology, Helsinki has taken the concept of design to a whole new level.  Strolling through the streets of its Design District Street, the passion for fresh modern design is evident in every shop window. But it was the lure an open-air flea…

The Vespa 50 or Scarabeo: Pimp my Italian Scooter

Remember Roman Holiday? Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn riding shotgun around 1950's Rome on a Vespa? The classic Italian scooter was (and still is) an Italian two-wheeled icon. The coveted Vespa 50 still reaps fans all over the world. But take the pink Scarabeo portrayed…

Photos from a Myrtle Beach Sunset

When I first moved to Myrtle Beach, new local friends would sometime express amazement that I actually spent so much time on the beach. Summer, fall, winter, spring, you'd find me there at all kinds of times that weren't at high noon in the summer.…

Belle Views: The Beach House Gazebo

This past week I spent several days on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with family. One of everyone's favorite things about this beach house was the oceanfront gazebo. (or IS the oceanfront gazebo - some of us, not me, are still there :( It…

Belle Views: E’s Market

Rome, Italy: My son and I like to set up a little organic market stall at our neighborhood playground. I used to do this when I was a child, in the same place, and it’s heartwarming to see my son–totally unprompted–doing the same. Starting from…