6/6 Iceland is divided by the Mid-Atlantic Rift and Þingvellir National Park is the only place in the world where this rift is above sea-level allowing you to see the edges of both plates, clearly. With tetonic plates continuing to move apart (at 2.5 cm a year) small earthquakes happen daily.
Even though the tremors are too minor to feel, I swear there is something mystical in the air Þingvellir. Of course, that could also have to do with the history here. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1994, the Icelandic national parliament (Alþingi) was founded in 930 at Þingvellir. Sessions were held all the way up until 1800 before being moved to Reykjavík in 1844. Knowing that, can you imagine everything that happened here?!
As Paolo told me the history of the land we were standing on, my mind flashed to the show Vikings. Images of rowdy outdoor sessions around fire pits came to mind. I’m ashamed to admit it, although we were in Iceland, that was my frame of reference. Truthfully, I’m not THAT far off though since it was also here, at a spot called Law Rock, that Icelanders decided to adopt Christianity and swore allegiance to the Norwegian King. Just saying.
Jokes aside, this is one of the more moving spots to see in Iceland if you are at all a history geek. Plus the beauty of the land you can freely roam (yes freely as in no fees) is vast and graced with an elevated vista point that stretches to the horizon in all directions.
The sheer size and openness of Þingvellir belies the fact that it actually IS one of the most visited places in Iceland after the Gullfoss waterfall (totally worth it) and the Geysir Geothermal Area (which I have to admit I found a little underwhelming after visiting Yellowstone).
With that, I’ll say, I have one more story that I can’t help sharing tomorrow to wrap up our flashback to Iceland!
3/6 Iceland has no mosquitoes! No McDonalds either, both of which are an excellent thing if you ask me.
Those long nights I talked about yesterday make it easier to enjoy long road trips. Plus you can be out late in areas like these with still waters and not be stuck running from plague carrying flying mini beasts. .
Three hours drive from Reykjavik is the tip of the Western region. It’s a drive through lands that have you thinking “should we turn back?” You’ll drive an entire hour and not see a sole, just beautiful, harsh nature.
Still I highly recommend taking the time to go. I’d even skip the #goldencircle
to see this area because it’s far less crowded! Here there is no entry fee like the more popular tourist attractions, cough #bluelagooniceland
Here, for free, you can stop in #arnarstapi
and wonder an old trading post turned village. Hike a seaside cliff all the way to #hellnar
and again, for free, enjoy a cliffside so beautiful it was turned into a Natural Reserve in 1979. It will take your breath away.
Anyway you look, you get the sense of what Iceland is for locals. Remote and beautiful the still before the storm.
Rugged lava formations striking out into the sea. A horizon too far over the water to define. Go!
Now back to the fact that there is no McDonalds. There are not cheap restaurants along the way in Iceland. You need to plan ahead. Something I’ll talk more about in my next post! Oh and this post #paoloferrarisphotography
All the way!
“Well, I should start by saying that I don’t get my ideal reading experience ever. I work a lot and I have kids and a husband and about a thousand side hustles. But in theory, it would be alone in a cabin by a lake. I’d be by myself, with no one interrupting me to ask where their other shoe is, or where the car keys are, or to tell me that I’m needed on set. In this alternate reality, I would also have no emails, no text messages and no obligations or deadlines. I would have nothing at all to do for, say, five days. That would be ideal. The reality? It’s 10:30 at night. Everyone else in my house is asleep, and I read for an hour in a bath or in my bed. That’s when I get most of my alone time.”
It’s empowering to hear today’s most admirable women share their realities. As an entrepreneur I’ve struggled to prioritize reading. Once a voracious reader of three books a week, I’m sitting here wondering where did that time go. Perhaps not so ironically I’m typing this Instagram post, on my iPhone.
My dreams, are to stand on the shore in Puglia and chuck my iPhone into the rainbow in front of me and never come home. Those who know me, know that just might happen one day! Swipe to see photos of the exact spot I first had this thought. The spot I return to in meditation over and over again.
These little odd babies are Percebes or gooseneck barnacles that I recently spotted along the coast of southern Oregon. I'd first seen them in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region a few years back. In Spain, #percebes
are considered a bit of a rare, pricey delicacy, because they attached themselves to rocky cliffs, battered by waves making them dangerous to harvest. Thus demanding upwards of a hundred dollars a kilo and if my math is right, that's just over $200 a pound! But there they were, chilling out on the rocky beaches in southern Oregon, easy to reach and by the plenty!
Now, I'm an introvert. Which means I spend way too much time in my head imaging cool creative scenarios. As I started writing today's post, I imagined how cool it would be if @food4gorham
would reach out saying, "Brandy... were did you see them!" I'd tell them where and we'd all meet at the shore. I'd get to learn all about how to harvest and cook them. Heck, we'd even cook some up, right there on the Oregon Coast line over a campfire at sunset. Paolo would be there, photographing the day and opening the wine for our fresh seafood feast!
While it sounds like pure fantasy from Brandyland, if you can imagine replacing me in this story with a camera crew, that's what I do for a living. I let my curiosity and imagination run wild to discover and create cool stories that can be shared to market something or someone. Which is why I say we do what we love. No vacation is purely vacation and no work day, is purely work. They blend together for us with @ALORconsulting
because we're creatives who just can't help it! Given time to take in what's around us and then time to think, everything, even these strangely beautiful barnacles have a story waiting to be told.
+ #BrandyShearer #ContentMarketing
= #alorconsulting #bestoforegon #oregoncoast #thatoregonlife #thepeoplescoast
Everyone guessed it right yesterday! A Turkey Baster is what we use to keep the beer head foamed up just right. For beer photography a fresh beer on tap is hard to beat. It keeps the foamy head much longer than a can or bottle. Beer on tap is rather inconvenient however when photographing a picnic in a park 😀.
I’ve found the best tool is an old school turkey baster so you can cleanly extract and pour fresh beer or force quick bursts of air into the beer. Chop sticks are also handy for a quick swirl which helps create more foam. I can say from experience to keep these tricks for bottled or canned beer. Don’t try either with beer on tap as it’s likely to bubble right out of the glass! 🙊
Congratulating Paolo on 10 years in America today. Celebrating with two quotes. Both of which mean a great deal since Paolo became an American citizen in December, 2017.
“The principal on which this country was founded and by which it has been governed is that Americanism is a matter of mind and heart; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race and ancestry. A good American is one who is loyal to this country and to our creed of liberty and democracy.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Naturalized citizens are an important part of our great democracy, bringing a wealth of talent, ability, and character to this Nation. Your fellow citizens recognize the sacrifices you have made to reach this milestone and with open arms we welcome you.” — A quote from the previous Administration’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director in The Citizen’s Almanac, handed to naturalized citizens on the day of their swearing in ceremony.
Paolo applied for his citizenship shortly after our marriage in 2013. Gaining American citizenship takes continual effort and dedication... for years. A simple process, it is not. During Paolo’s naturalization ceremony I openly cried, hard. We both FINALLY had relief. Relief from the fear we had been living under from recent political stressors for immigrants and their families. One day we might share our story of the last leg of the journey, but right now we are both too raw. Suffice it to say, Paolo never took the path to American citizenship lightly. Not from the very first day he stepped foot in New York 10 years ago.
Thank you to our friends and family who supported us and cheered us along the way. As Americans we still believe in the American Dream, we just believe in defining it for ourselves.
I KNOW! It’s almost not fair to share a photo of the waters in Sardinia... outside of Sardinia. Can you blame me for dropping my guard and jumping in without a swimsuit. Last time I ever take a boat tour without one! No one was watching me anyway. Everyone was watching their stress fade off into distant memories. #igetpaidforthis
We’ve seen many beautiful places in our travels but Golfo di Orosei in Sardinia quickly shot to the top of my OMGoooodness list. For the first time in my life, I saw waters so enticing, I threw caution to the wind and jumped in... without a swimsuit. My scarf became a makeshift sarong that day and I’ve never felt more free, or cold! But it was worth it! Over the next few days I’ll share more #paoloferrarisphotography
from this eastern region of Sardinia. Fair warning, they just might make you throw caution to the wind and book a flight to Sardinia! If you do, just make sure to take a swimsuit no matter WHAT time of year you go, cause these waters insist you take a swim.
See the tiny tower, high upon the hill? Use Instazoom to get a closer look.
Paolo, being Italian, didn’t struggle like I did to recall their names.
Renuga... no. Nanuga... no “nuraghi” Paolo would correct me over and over again as I would excitedly proclaim
“Look Bello, another nayugar.”
Thousand of these structures claim the best views throughout Sardinia. Built as far back as 1500 BC their exact purpose remains a bit of a mystery. Defense, religion, gathering or simply stockpiling. Non excavations to date have been conclusive and so they remain illusive and somewhat magical. At least in their ability to make travelers wonder, what happened here all those years ago and why? #sardiniabeaches #rsa_outdoors
So there we were all alone, peacefully hiking As Piscinas “the pools” a site steeped in ancient history... which may or may not have been a site of “magical-animistic cult” when we heard... cow bells? Sardinia is full of beautiful surprises! #visitsardnia
Stintino a small village in north-west coast of Sardinia, boasts Spiaggia La Pelosa (Pelosa Beach). A place I had never heard of until Paolo booked our most recent vacation.
We arrived, off-season in late May. A few tanned Sardi reclined on white sands watching Germans tourists buzzing about with kites.
This particular pomeriggio (afternoon) only the young and stubborn dared the brisk chill of turquoise waters. Slipping off my shoes and cuffing my jeans, I joined the ranks of the determined, stepping into the clear calm water.
Slow waves lapping at my ankles, I marveled at how far from the shore I could walk. I began to wonder if in the warmer season one could walk right up to the Torre della Pelosa.
Paolo stuck to the beach, snapping photos. Details. Notes for our memoir. Fully clothed and beginning to shiver, I reluctantly returned to Paolo’s side, still curious what secrets the tower held. Such a beautiful place, I longed to swim. Paolo reading my thoughts vowed to bring us back when the weather warmed, then promptly districted me with the promise of Gelato.
While I typically favor off-season travel with cheaper rates and uncrowded access, I plan to return to Stintino when the water is warm enough to dive into.
Our journey through Sardinia continues tomorrow with a story of an unexpected run in, with a four legged beauty. #sardinianbeaches #igetpaidforthis
Seeing as today is Paolo my five year anniversary, it seemed fitting that today’s post is marriage themed!
We recently had the pleasure of orchestrating a beer collaboration between Pro-Skater Sebo Walker & BridgePort Brewing.
Sebo was looking for a way to help his soon to be bride Elle with wedding day details. We pitched the idea of having Sebo work with BridgePort’s BrewCrew to create a custom brew for his wedding. The result, ELBO Kölsch a perfect summer sipper served at the reception and in BridgePort’s BrewPub.
Our thanks to Sebo & Elle for being the kindest of kind to us during the entire process and letting us crash the reception to capture these photos!
Not every Chef gets to play with Liquid Nitrogen on the job. Then again not every Chef is as admirably cool and naturally disarming as Pastry Chef Caryn MacDonald.
During this shoot I kept thinking “I wish Brianna was here.” Brianna is my wickedly bold 13 year old Niece, destined to invent game changing ideas in a lab or a farm of the future.
Seeing faces just like Chef MacDonald’s help young girls dream bigger. With that in mind a few smile inducing outtakes from our shoot @hiltonsfunionsq
Photos by Paolo Ferraris for @alorconsulting
for @hiltonhotels #cheflife #pastrychef #liquidnitrogen #womenempowerment
St. John’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon photographed mid bridge. Something you rarely see over at #stjohnsbridge
I mean sure you see shots where people walk up to and photograph across the bridge but mid bridge? Not so much.
Turns out, there is a good reason for that! While the tranquil Cathedral Park stretching directly below is dotted by peaceful Portlander Picnics... walking the St. John’s Bridge perched high above, is anything but! Traffic zips by, huge trucks boom right beside you, my pace... oh it quickened. The view of the bridge alone is totally worth it, at least once anyway! Only for the brave... or our favorite clients 😉.
Photo by #PaoloFerraris
for @bridgeportbrew #traveloregon #YouCanInPortland #westcoastisthebestcoast #pnwonderland #pnwlife
“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. Being mean will earn you nothing. A little nice will get you more friends than a lot of mean.” — #benjaminfranklin
Benjamin Franklin might have said it first but two incredible women taught me best. First, my Mother, the second an Executive at HBO 25 years later.
To see the wisdom my Mother shared, play out in real life... impactful. During my time as a Producer at HBO, I watched budgets get set based on which show creator was easier to work with. #truestory #bekind #momknowsbest #wordsofwisdom
Photo by Paolo Ferraris of @alorconsulting
for @hiltonhotels @parc55hotel
in #sanfrancisco #shareyourtable