Family Friendly Breckenridge in Colorado

Breckenridge is a resort town in the Colorado mountains that is quite popular for skiing during the winter and hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer. With so many things to do in Breckenridge, it is a great place to spend at least several days, if not an entire week. Not only are there plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, but the town also has many wonderful restaurants as well as stores offering collectables, clothing, and art. Most everything can be found right off of main street, which is surrounded by a variety of condominiums, rental homes, and hotels.

Downtown Breckenridge
Putt Putt Golf
Statue in Breckenridge
Mountain Bikes for Rent
Families Playing in the Snow

Since we are avid hikers, we truly enjoyed getting out into nature like we did when we hiked Burro Trail. In addition, though, we also enjoyed our time in the town of Breckenridge as well. One of the things that we had heard about was the “Breckenridge Troll”, officially called Isak Heartstone, which is a giant wooden sculpture that has recently been relocated to near the ice skating arena. The creation is the work of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who came back to Breckenridge to oversee the relocation of the piece of art. It is very large and dramatic.

Zip Lines
Shops and Restaurants in Breckenridge
The Breckenridge Troll
Historic Museum in Town
Alpine Slide

We also took the free gondola ride up to peak 8 where there are many activities for the entire family  to enjoy, but especially children. There is a mountain rollercoaster, a zip line, maze, putt putt golf, as well as an alpine slide. For those that rent mountain bikes, there is a chair lift that will take you to the top of the mountain where you can ride down one of the many trails. Even though it was the middle of summer, there was still some snow on one of the ski runs for people to slide around and throw snowballs at each other. There are also a couple of restaurants to enjoy a cool refreshment and get a meal to keep your energy up for the activities.

Another Historic Building
Mountain Bikers Coming Down the Trail
Restaurant on Peak 8
River Running Through Town
Railroad Exhibit and Children’s Park

The town of Breckenridge is very walkable with many shops and restaurants along the streets, but there is also a free trolley that will take you throughout the area. Like most places in Colorado, the people are extremely friendly and very welcoming to tourists that arrive from all around the world. Another benefit of getting into the mountains during the summer is that the temperatures are much milder and it can even get a little cold in the evening. We really enjoyed our time in Breckenridge and found that it was certainly a wonderful place for people of all ages.

Sasquatch Statue Downtown
Bike on the Chair Lift
Free Gondola
Maggie Pond in the Village
Walking Along the River Walk


The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Florence was the cradle of renaissance art for several centuries, so it is no surprise that it hosts one of the most famous museums in the world for renaissance art, the Uffizi Gallery. The Medici family was renowned for their patronage of the arts and commissioned many great works of art from artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Machiavelli. After the family died out, a deal was made to give all of their art to the city of Florence and the Uffizi Gallery is home to many of those works.

Rich and Vibrant Colors
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
Roman Bust
Classic Renaissance Style
Wonderful Details

One of the most famous paintings in the Uffizi Gallery is the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. Painted sometime in the 1480’s, the painting of the goddess Venus coming to shore after her birth. Other important works in the museum include Michelangelo’s The Holy Family, Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi, and Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait as a Young Man. With so many wonderful works of art, you should certainly plan on several hours when visiting the Uffizi Gallery. You should also expect plenty of crowds as it is one of the most visited museums in all of Italy.

Religious Imagery
An Interesting Style
One of the Many Rooms with Famous Statues
Commissioned Portrait
Very Dramatic

Although the paintings are certainly the focal point of the Uffizi Gallery, there are plenty of historic sculptures as well. Seemingly every inch of the museum is covered with beautiful works of art and it can be quite overwhelming. As with many other famous museums with so many different works of art to see, a single visit will never truly do it justice, but since we were only in Florence for a week, it would have to do. In addition to the Uffizi Gallery, visiting the Accademia Gallery in Florence to see Michelangelo’s David as well as many other incredible pieces should also be on your agenda.

Detailed Statue
Portraits of a Couple
You Could Spend Hours in the Museum
Tuscan Perspective


Notre-Dame Cathedral – When Churches Were Beautiful

We’re not sure when places of worship went from being the most beautiful buildings in a town or city to being mega-churches that look more like warehouses than churches, but that has become the case in a lot of cities and towns here in the US.  Obviously you don’t need to be surrounded by ornate artwork, stained glass windows, or marble columns to express your faith, but it used to be an expression of the citizens to make sure that the church was more beautiful than any of the homes in town.  Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most well-known churches in the world and its French gothic style is absolutely stunning.  It is definitely a shining example of how glorious a church can be when the citizens come together to create something that stands the tests of time and is as wonderful today as when it was first built.

Detailed Architecture
Detailed Architecture
Artwork Inside of the Cathedral
Artwork Inside of the Cathedral
Amazing Details
Amazing Details

The intricate sculptures and gargoyles have made Notre-Dame the centerpiece of stories since it was built in the 14th century.  As gorgeous as it is to visit during the day, it is even more stunning at night when it is lit up to reveal all of the details of its architecture.  Taking one of the river tours that takes you around the cathedral is another great way to see Notre-Dame from another angle.  We wish that we would have had more than a couple of days to see Notre-Dame since there is truly so much to see.

Relief on the Wall
Relief on the Wall
Memorial in Church
Memorial in Church
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris

Although there is definitely a lot to see when visiting Paris, we highly recommend that you take the time to really enjoy the Notre-Dame Cathedral.  It is worth more than just stopping by for a couple of quick photos of its ornate façade, there is so much more to see.  It is one of those iconic locations that everyone knows about, but if you take your time when visiting it, you will enjoy all of the little details that make up the entire experience.

Looking Up at the Sculptures
Looking Up at the Sculptures
Observing a Service - We Did Not Use a Flash
Observing a Service – We Did Not Use a Flash