Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Russian River Dacha Update & Reveal

A long overdue update on our Russian River Dacha beginning with the before photos of the great room.
Great room

Great Room Fireplace

Front Entrance

Bedroom 1

The new archway created to convert a 3rd bedroom into a dining room.

The new opening to the left (previously the 3rd bedroom's closet) leads to the kitchen.

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

In the next couple of weeks the exterior will get new paint.  All of the aluminum windows will be replaced before the paint is applied.  The front door will also be replaced with a glass top dutch door.  Currently, the colors below are the preferred choices.  However, it may change.

Khaki will be the new primary color.

Hunter green will be the window and door outside trim accent color.  The windows sash inset trim/mullions will be white.

 The front porch fence will be dark brown.

A sample of the dutch door.

Dual pane windows will also come with screen to welcome the fresh outdoor breeze during the spring/fall and summer seasons.

After the exterior is painted and windows/door replaced, we can focus on the final renovation which will be the kitchen.  Although the area is functional(new refrigerator,stove/oven,microwave) it is in desperate need of new task lighting,cabinets,counters and space for a dishwasher.  I will also share the already completed bathroom makeover at the same time because my current pictures did not come out well.  Please continue to stay tuned.
   I will also be linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday hosted by the talented Susan with Between Naps On The Porch.  Please visit her site for great before and after ideas.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our Last Day In Roma

  Today my parents promised to take me to the zoo which is very close to our hotel.
But first, we strolled by the Galleria Borghese gardens.  A tour of inside the Villa Borghese is a must when visiting Rome because aside from its beautiful architecture, it  houses several great works of Caravaggio and Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the popular statue of Napoleon's sister, Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix by Antonio Canova.
photo courtesy of Britannica Kids

Unfortunately, since my parents already toured the inside on previous visits and because photos and videos are not permitted  and  all bags,cameras and electronic and image capturing devices are required to be left with the coat/bags check desk they chose not to check it out again. So, instead we toured the beautiful gardens.

These statutes are in the gardens immediately in front of the Villa.  Originally, the entire park was the garden to the Villa!

Ah! here we are at the front entrance of the zoo which is only a  5 minute walk from the Villa.  The official name is the Bioparco di Roma.

The park celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, making it one of the oldest zoological parks in Europe.
A train around the Zoo is the best way to get a lay of the land.

I enjoyed seeing all the animals.  Rather than being caged, they are mostly separated from us by moats and ditches.  In 1998, in response to numerous complaints and criticism from animal rights groups, the park underwent major renovations and became known as a biopark with an emphasis on education and the conservation of endangered species.

After the zoo, we took a brief stroll through the neighborhood before heading back to the hotel pool.

Since this was our last day, and knowing we were going to be pool-less for the rest of our vacation in Paris, we decided to spend the rest of the day swimming before our last night out for dinner.

Just can't escape time outs no matter how far away we are from home.
A late lunch break after 3 hours swimming.

Down time watching a video in the hotel room before my afternoon nap and dinner.
Awake,dressed and ready for our last dinner on this trip to Italy.
Tonight we are having dinner at the Al Cepo which is about a block away from the American Embassy.
Daddy loved its eclectic interior.

What an impressive menu...the caprese salad sounds interesting.
Daddy's favorite...a dish full of proscuitto.
Papa chose a mushroom salad.
What else for me?  Spaghetti alla Cabonara!

Daddy's main course was a risotto.
I wonder if I can squeeze in a Gelato after all this....
Grilled Pork for Papa.
Okay, after dinner, I jumped on my papa Dan's lap to thank him for a wonderful trip to Rome.  I didn't want to leave.
Daddy and I in the hotel lobby right before heading upstairs to our room for the night.
  Tomorrow we jump on an Air Italia plane for 8 nights in Paris, France.  I don't know if I'll have as good a time there since our apartment doesn't have a pool.