Afternoon Chat: Vacation Morning Views

By Kate Riley July 29, 2020

I just returned from a three day trip to Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park. My teens have been home for months, so I wanted them to get a taste of life outside our hometown before their school year started. We kayaked on the lake and went on a few small hikes in the national park. It’s so nice to wake up to a view different than the same one we have at home.

Whenever I travel I do it on a budget and it’s rare I ever splurge on accommodations. I like clean and simple and in close proximity to what I want to see. I reason I’m only in that room to sleep and shower before I head out to explore, so I don’t spend a lot of cash on hotels. As a result of my budget choices, often my view is of a back alley. :)

As I sat on the deck of our little cabin at Bass Lake, I had a peekaboo water view through the trees and as I sipped my coffee, I recalled there have been a few places in my travels where I’ve woken up to views that were especially memorable.

Salzburg still holds the #1 spot in my heart as favorite European city (with Porto falling into a very close second place). When I visited Salzburg in 2016 I had rented a room in a hotel that backed to the side of a mountain. It was covered in greenery with only a small courtyard below.  When I swung the windows open on arrival I was staring into the face of a mountain. The perspective was so cool because instead of looking at a boring building, it was nature right up in my face. I loved it because I could leave the windows open in the morning at at night and listen to the church bells that ring every hour all around the city while I stared at a 100 foot wall of green.


On a family trip to New Zealand in 2015, we had been traveling for two weeks together, so Matt rented us a townhouse with room to spread out so we could have a little space. The big surprise was that its living room doors opened up to a view of Lake Wakatipu. I admit, it was hard getting out to explore the town when we had this view to appreciate. I remember having coffee here every morning convinced in that moment that New Zealand was the world’s most scenic country.


Another favorite morning view was when I stayed at a converted monastery in Cusco, Peru. I still remember way it smelled as we walked to breakfast downstairs, it was the combination of old floors and bricks and the freshness of air at high altitude. I felt if I closed my eyes long enough and listened I could probably hear monks singing in the corridors.


Now it’s your turn!

Describe for me one place you’ve visited where you’ve peeled back the curtains in your pajamas and just thought to yourself “Wow, I can’t believe this is my morning view!” I’d love to read your stories and why that view was special to you.

Weekend Reading 7.26.20

By Kate Riley July 26, 2020

I feel it, that soft and slow march toward the end of summer as the days are getting shorter. *Sigh* Summer is my favorite season so I’m doing my best to enjoy each day as much as possible. I’m committed to lazier days for just a few weeks more until the kids go back to school. It will be distance learning to start but there will be a new routine for all of us mid August.

I’ve decided to flow with the pace of life and slow down for just a few weeks until we get busy and productive again in autumn. How are you feeling about this time of year? Are you enjoying the relaxed pace of it (I am), or are you ready for fall to arrive?

Favorite links from the week:

Dream destination: this beautiful villa in Bali.

Lovers of white will appreciate the pale palette + beach vibe in this Vancouver home.

Skimp don’t splurge on these lower cost home accessories.

The clay wall treatment in this bathroom renovation is so good.

Seinfeld fans will love these behind-the-scenes cast photos.

The best method for storing fresh strawberries in the fridge.

A few reasons for making big life decisions without telling friends or family first.

More travel companies are now offering female focused adventures.

Take a road trip without leaving the couch with any of these 20 films.

Love him: the world according to Matthew McConaughey. :)

Ha ha: this Twitter battle for the “best bum” in the museums. View the entries here.

Lately on Instagram (@centsationalstyle)