A Grand Giveaway + Storytime!!!

Today is a very good day. Awhile back Shabby Apple contacted me and asked me to host a giveaway for one of my readers to win one of their women’s dresses! Now how fabulous is that? One of you is going to win this:

Swoon! I was able to hand pick the dress, so I do hope you like my choice. It’s called Spanish Steps and is from their new collection Roamin Holiday. It’s rather delightful, I think! The collection is inspired by a summer in Italy. And I happen to know exactly what that’s like. Now for a little storytime from my fluting days!!!

During the summer of 2005, I was invited to participate in a trip to Europe. First stop – Italy, where I spent 2 weeks in a small town called Monterchi. It’s located in the Tuscan region, by another village called Sansepolcro and I was there to particpate in a Masterclass with the flute professor from Yale. It was an unbelievable experience. The italian people are soooooooo lovely, so sweet and extremely passionate. It’s funny and I know you are going to ask, because I’m always asked when I tell people I’ve been to Italy, how was the food? Well, to give you an idea, I lost something like 10 to 15 pounds in my two weeks there, and I was terribly thin (just coming off of the college diet) to begin with. I was with a group of flute players and our boarding and food was all paid for. Breakfasts weren’t bad, though there was nothing but crackers and espresso, and here I was needing something like oatmeal at least. By lunch time I was always starving and we would barely get bread with tomatoes and mozzerella and olive oil drizzled on it. Dinner was always…..surprising. The 2nd night I was there, I had rabbit and I was so hungry, I ate the whole thing. Doesn’t taste too much different from chicken really. Ha. But it got progressively worse from there and one night we were served squid risotto which I tried and could not put down, mind you I was sooooo hungry. When we weren’t eating at the establishments that were already paid for, the food was….TO DIE FOR! Yeah. Something was up with that, for sure. Still, I had the most unbelievable time. There were fields of these everywhere:

I walked by them everyday on my way to masterclass. Everything is so old. People lived in homes that were 1000’s of years old. It’s a really different experience for someone who comes from a place where the oldest building is only 100 years old. Really beautiful archways and buildings like this:

That’s me. He he. Here’s a snapshot of Monterchi. Picturesque, no? I think it’s population 500 and the village is built in sort of a corkscrew type fashion. All the buildings wind their way up and up in a circular way to a church or cathedral that is housed at the top.

OK. So now you know that I’m this great world traveler. I would also like to point out that my first time on a plane was taking a Jet Blue to New York for this trip. My second time on a plane was the 13 hour flight from New York to Frankfurt Germany. Thank. You. I was all alone too. Did I say that? And I don’t know a single word of any other language except, “Bonjour!” Believe me, this is not something to pride yourself on either. Sigh…

So you’re probably wondering about the giveaway. Sheesh! I’ve just given you my whole life’s story… Sorry to drone on and on. So here’s how you can win. Two ways to enter:

Go like Shabby Apple on Facebook. They are way too cute not to like. Come back over here and leave me comment letting me know you “liked” Shabby Apple. Now, that was easy.

Leave me a comment about a favorite summer holiday or your favorite place to visit during the summer. I need something warm right about now, Spring/Summer on the way and all. And it’s terribly fun to dream about taking trips to lovely places.

And that’s all you have to do! Do both and you’ve just entered yourself twice. A really good random number generator odd. This giveaway for U.S. readers only. Don’t worry International readers, I’ve got another giveaway up my sleeve open to everyone. Yay! Ready, set…..Enter away! Giveaway ends Saturday! I’ll be back Monday with a winner!




138 thoughts on “A Grand Giveaway + Storytime!!!

  1. I live in Kentucky where the summers are stupid hot and muggy. It regularly gets above 100 degrees and nearly 100% humidity. So we like to drive about an hour south to the Red River Gorge national park. It’s beautiful down there, much cooler, and full of hiking trails and streams for kayaking. Nothing beats sleeping out doors with a camp fire in the summer.

  2. I lived in Germany for a year when I was in college. A friend I and took a long weekend to vacation in Marseilles, France. It was beautiful – the Mediterranean beaches, scenic views, and very multicultural downtown really won me over. We stayed in a very shady budget hostel and had to walk everywhere we went, but it was definitely worth it for all of the sun we soaked up!

  3. North Carolina woods in the summer–warm days, cool nights, and nothing but gorgeousness in the protected forest areas. Glacier-fed streams, and giant rocks covered in lichen. So green it hurts your eyes, but in the best possible way.

  4. Your photos are amazing, I love the look of them (and the subjects!). Your master flute class sounds so cool, you must be very talented! And that’s a beautiful dress, though I thought the name was going to be “Trevi Fountain” based on the photo 🙂
    I’m realizing that I haven’t really traveled over the summer (mostly in the winter to escape the cold), but I did have a great time in Colombia visiting a bunch of interesting places. We visited the Salt Cathedral, which is underground and full of religious sculptures carved from the salt mines. It’s pretty spectacular. Also enjoyed all the amazing food and tropical fruits on hand in the country, oh boy did my stomach miss those tasty treats when we got home!

  5. I just liked them on facebook – that’s a great dress! I lived in England for a summer and while the whole summer was like a wonderful, long summer trip, one of my favorite times was a long weekend in Paris (the croissants! the art! the wine!).

  6. i liked them on facebook. i just came back from a trip to Charleston, SC and Savannah, Ga. gorgeous. loved the architecture, the palm trees and the spectacular seafood. so nice. i wish i was still there…it’s snowing here in Toronto today. 😦

  7. I liked them on facebook.
    And one of my favorite summer vacation were in the winery region (not sure this is correct English but I hope it’s understandable) of Bordeaux (in France). It is a very beautiful place and people are very nice. Plus, there is good wine 😉

  8. Kansas summers are usually pretty muggy, but last year I went on a road trip with a friend to Wisconsin and it was just perfect! North is definitely the place to be in July. I have also spent a weekend with the natural sand dunes of lake Michigan and couldn’t have asked for a better vacation.

  9. I haven’t been many places that are better than the Pacific Northwest in the summer–everywhere else I have been is unbearably hot and humid that time of year–but not Seattle. That is the one season that makes all the rest of the year worth it. Warm days, cool breezes, soft lavender evenings that stretch into the late hours of the day, lots of green trees and blue skies and water to play in. Not to mention all the amazing fresh food at the farmers markets that time of year. The best kind of camping weather.

  10. My best summer away trip was to the Czech republic about three years back. My boss and I were there to examine museum specimens and attend a conference, but my brother was also backpacking Europe at the time and came in to show us around Prague. We did amazingly well with having not a word of Czech, and it was sooo beautiful, akthgh I think I preferred looking at the old crumbling buildings, rather than the fixed up ones, which were plastered and painted in pastels.
    I also totally fell in love with Czech food. Usually some kind of steamed dumpling and a meat stew—the best was some kind of ham/bacon thing (this was at a little local restaurant, far out of the tourist zone, so we were getting by with a Czech-English dictionary and a list of common food words given us by the museum worker.) the Czech girls at the conference found this pretty odd. Apparently Czech girls don’t eat that stuff as it makes you fat. We also found a place with some really good Tex-Mex cuisine, which felt pretty surreal.
    So that’s my best summer travel story… I could go on but I shan’t. That is a truly lovely dress you picked out, too (though I can’t help but wish it came with the scooter 😉 )

  11. Now, for the holiday story… A few years ago, I spent a summer in the Italian Alps, 2 months as an au pair. My favorite thing to do was to go hiking in the mountains in the week end. I would spend the whole day climbing up and down, resting my naked swollen feet in fresh small rivers (not too long because the water was pretty cold). Within two hours, I went from a luxurious place that is full of trees and flowers, to a very abrupt summit, with just a few bushes. On the way, I would pass next to waterfalls, small lakes or beautiful flowers. And on top of the mountain, I would have a gorgeous view. Once, I was sitting, exhausted, on a rock listening to my i-pod, and a goat came from behind me and stole my sandwich! Way to go!
    Pffff, now, I want to go back!

  12. I liked it on FB! Seeing that field of sunflowers reminds me of a summer trip I took 11 years ago, when I did a whirlwind tour of Germany, France, and the Netherlands. I think what I loved most about the trip was just being in the train and seeing the countryside, especially the sunflowers in France. The windows were open, the sun was shining, and it forced to me just sit and slow down.
    Southern Spain is also a wonderful place to be…. Thanks for sharing!

  13. My favorite place to visit in the summer is my local farmers market that is on our waterfront. It is nice because the weather in the Pacific Northwest is never too hot, plus being on the waterfront cools you down a little if it IS too hot.

  14. I grew up in Boston and currently live much farther inland, so I desperately miss Cape Cod! I went there every summer growing up (actually we went off season in September because it’s cheaper then). My second favorite vacation spot would be Valencia, Spain, where I studied abroad. Both are very nostalgic for me in very different ways.
    I also liked Shabby Apple on facebook, too.

  15. Being able to spend an extended amount of time in another country can be such an enchanting, frustrating, and memorable experience. I love Italy – I didn’t spend a summer there, but I did spend a semester abroad. Thank you for sharing your photos and experience. It looks and sounds lovely, and it reminded me of the ups and downs of my own time there. Someday I will go back! My favorite part was when my little sister came to visit and we took the Easter vacation to roam around for two weeks, from Padova to Napoli and back again. It was a whirlwind trip, and the nicest part was when we got stuck on an island off of Napoli (near Capri) for longer than we intended. It was so relaxing and beautiful that being stuck didn’t matter at all. We stayed in a hostel run by two young brothers who drove a tiny mini van at frightening speeds along the extremely narrow streets of the old town. Our introduction to the island was being crammed in that tiny van along with maybe six other girls and their luggage, all piled on top of each other, roaring through the streets at night and occasionally scraping against the wall of a building as we barely squeaked by a narrow turn. Sigh. What an awesome trip! Here’s photos if you’re interested! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2035826&id=905279&l=512f3f2b2b

  16. I Liked Shabby Apple on Facebbook! Also, best vacation I had over a summer was to Cape Cod…the ocean is beautiful and the lobster rolls are plentiful 🙂

  17. My favorite holiday was also in Italy, but in Sicily. My boyfriend and I stayed there 10 days and it was just wonderful. We spend 5 days on the east coast then drove across to a little town called “scopello” (heaven on earth if you ask me). The food was amazinf (tons of fish and seafood – and I personally love squid)…
    It was warm and sunny all the way through and just a very care free time…

  18. I liked Shabby Apple!
    I spent two summers working on a ranch in Jackson Hole, WY. Being surrounded by mountains, grand vistas and amazing flora & fauna meant being on sensory overload at every turn. It is a truly amazing place.

  19. Hmm, I actually love my hometown (a tiny town in the mountains of central Idaho) in the summer. It’s sunny all the time, and warm, and stunningly gorgeous. My favorite summer trip was a complete accident. After college I was traveling with friends in Europe and we got on a ferry in Greece headed for Mykonos. But when we saw the absolute zoo at the docks we decided to stay on the boat and instead got off at the next island, Patmos. It was really early in the season so there weren’t many tourists and we got this fabulous apartment for next to nothing (this was in the days pre-Euro). We spent the days eating wonderful food and hiking to beautiful empty beaches. It was so idyllic we honestly lost all track of the days of the week and accidentally checked out a day early for the next stage of our trip.

  20. oh no, that’s such a shame that you got the shaft on italian food! granted, i’ve only been to italy once – and it’s pushing nearly 10 years ago at this point (geez, has it really been that long??) – but, oh man, the food is something i still dream about to this day. aaand now i’m hungry 🙂
    to answer your question, my favorite place to be in the summer is right here at home 🙂 i live in nashville, TN, and it is a WONDERFUL place for summer fun times – there are always festivals (music, food, beer, art – take your pick. we even have a tomato festival! i love tomatoes! haha!). my roommate & i are pretty into hosting out-of-towners, so any given day of the week we are likely taking a group of people downtown for honky tonkin’. we ride our bicycles, drink mojitos on the back porch, spend entire afternoons at the farmer’s market picking out what to cook for the evening’s dinner party… it’s absolutely perfect. i love my city – it is always beautiful and fun, but it really thrives in the summer!

  21. Summers here on the Gulf coast are hot and humid and filled to the brim with mosquitoes. I honestly hate summer here. My favorite summer vacation was a trip up to Colorado– not only was the weather fresh & cool, but everyone we met was so friendly AND there was obviously a lot of value placed on environment protection… I’d live there in a heartbeat if we could!

  22. Lord, but that’s a beautiful dress!
    Summertime honeymoon to central Europe. Idyllic Innsbruck, our hotel was in a cobblestone pedestrian zone and, when you leaned out the window, there were the Alps, RIGHT THERE! Biking with my new hubby along the river, stop for a picnic, heavenly.

  23. I live in California wine country, so a nice summer trip is just a Sunday drive through the little roads in and out of vineyards.

  24. I love Shabby Apple! And my favorite summertime vacation is going hiking for a couple of days, I love the mountains with aspen and pine trees. You don’t have to worry about a different language or airport security, you can just enjoy the beautiful natural world. Don’t get me wrong, I love Europe too, the food is better there than camping food. My favorite place that I have been in Europe was Croatia, the coast was gorgeous and craggy, and people were nice and we had some great local cheese there.

  25. Yay!!!! I love this dress! My favortie summer trip was a graduation present from my grandmother to my cousin and I. We went to Greece. My favorite city was Naflio. It’s on an inlet, with the most beautiful blue water and sky you have ever seen. It only rained once, and just server to make things more blue. There was a little tiny fort in the middle of the inlet that looked like a sand castle. All along the water were little coffee shops and outdoor bars that you could sit at and have delicious food and drinks. On 4th of July we were walking along the water and suddenly fireworks started going off. Crazy, right? Anyway, it was one of the best summers of my life. People are so nice, the food is perfect. It’s paradise!

  26. Liked them on Facebook! My favorite place is the Frio River in South Texas. Cold, clear water, hot sun, huge shady trees and amazing chicken fried steak from Neal’s Diner when you’re starving from swimming all day!

  27. One summer I spent 6 weeks in southern Spain, studying Spanish and falling in love with the culture and food. I also lost weight, but only because I walked everywhere… I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in fried food daily!

  28. I live in Vermont, and it’s ice cold and windy hell for five months, muddy for two, picturesque autumn for two months and the remaining three are gorgeous, perfect, summer days.
    My family owns a dilapidated cabin on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain (the sixth-largest lake in the country, thankyouverymuch!)Every weekend when I was a child, we would pack up my dad’s SUV and head out to the dock, load up our battered pontoon boat named Fluffy (serious) and putter out to paradise. My summers were spent swimming, kayaking, tanning, tubing, grilling, toasting anything I could on a stick over a campfire and exploring the fields and bogs on the island.
    Now I’m older and I can’t get out there as much as I would like, but I still act like a little kid when I’m there. As soon as we tie old Fluffy up to the dock I am always the first to sprint up the hill, feel under the cinder block for the key and let myself in to smell the musty beachy smell of Camp.

  29. I spent a summer in Northern Ireland on a farm. It really was like a fairy tale summer, except it rained every day and I had to wake up and be at the barns by 4:30 to milk cows!

  30. I liked ShabbyApple on FB. Too cute!
    I have traveled from the Caribbean to Africa, but have to still cite my Grandparent’s house in New Jersey as my favorite summer memory. When my parents would send us all there to spend an entire summer it was always a blast. The boardwalk,Dorney Park (roller coasters and childrens’ rides), the food (my Grandfather was a chef for the Pennsylvania Railroad), and the company (cousins galore), it was also so sweet!

  31. In 1 month, my husband and I are taking our first trip to Italy for a belated honeymoon! We are beside ourselves with excitement and I’m sure it will be my favorite vacation spot anytime of the year. Have been struggling with what to pack for spring in Italy and gosh wouldn’t this dress be just perfect?!

  32. My favorite holiday is a lot less romantic than others. Last summer my partner and I went to a gaming convention in Indiana, and it was so much fun. The whole downtown area of the city it’s held in gears up for months so that by the time the convention rolls around there are gaming themed small brew beers and goofily named dishes. Our hotel (which we rented cheep for such a nice place) was a couple blocks away so we didn’t need to pay for cabs or buses. Probably not everybody’s dream vacation, but it was great for the two of us!

  33. I don’t get to take many vacations, but my husband and I love to go up to the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern MN – it is so beautiful there in the summer and early fall. Simple fun enjoying the outdoor beauty.

  34. Not eligible to win, but Italy is definitely one of my favorite places for spring/summer. I grew up about 3-4 hours by driving from northern Italy and have spent my share of family vacations there. Even now I like to go about once a year, in early summer. I just love the landscape and the people, the architecture, the food… wonderful cappuccino for barely a euro, crisp pizza, risotto, grilled vegetables in olive oil… little villages with warmly painted, really old houses… olive groves and sunflower fields…
    Not sure if I’ll get to go this year, but I spent the week before last in Portugal, which is rather similar. We visited a winery and got to pick some fresh, ripe oranges and lemons, we ate lovely fish… 🙂

  35. With two very little kids, we don’t take regular trips anymore. But my favorite past trip would have to have been Ireland. About 10 years ago, we spent two weeks driving nearly the entire perimeter of the country, stopping at all the small towns and seeing the sights. We stayed in B&Bs at every stop and got to spend lots of time with the locals. Such an amazing experience.

  36. I clicked the like button! And although my vacation days have not been overly exciting through the years, I think one of my favorite things to do is to lie on the beach at Carmel, CA. The soothing ocean sounds, the warm sand, the blue sky, all soak down into my bones and give me relaxation like nothing else can. Beautiful.

  37. My all time favorite summer vacations spot? Mackinak, MI. The main land, not the island although the island is BEAUTIFUL too. Some of my cousins own a cabin right on Lake Michigan under the Mackinak Bridge so every other summer or so I get to spend a couple weeks lounging on the beach, swimming, boating, eating fudge. It’s delightful!

  38. I’ve been to Italy to twice already and each time was wonderful ! I had the same experience you had tough : the food we ate during the school trip was king of digusting (in fact it was pasta and potatoes EVERY MEAL. I didn’t eat pasta for a month or two after that !), but when I went with my family everything (Icecream, pizza !!!) was delicious ! However I would never go to Italy in the summer, the heat is wayyyy to much for my liking. In fact, even the temperature in kind of northern France where I live is too high for my liking. That’s why I just want to go wherever there is water running. I especially love cascades (which can be fond in the Massif Central, right in the middle of France) or by the cool sea of Bretagne where most of August goes in a very soft rain, almost like mist.
    I surely hope I didn’t make too many mistakes with my english ! Thanks for hosting the giveaway !

  39. Lake Tahoe is gorgeous in the summer– if you’re up in the mountains, it’s cool, but you can go swimming in the (freezing cold) lake. Or dip into a casino for a quick round of blackjack!

  40. I’ve never been on a particularly amazing summer holiday. I did love our stay in Whistler BC. Definitely not warm, but so beautiful!

  41. I’ve actually never made a habit of traveling over the summer. We’d always go to summer school or something instead as a kid. As an adult I’ve usually worked. (Besides, aren’t places more crowded?) Then again, I do live in Miami….summers are pretty great here, allowing for impromptu beach trips! (By the way, great job with picking out that dress….it’s gorgeous! Oh, and I like the new header! I usually read your posts through Google Reader, so I was pleasantly surprised the last time I clicked through!)

  42. I just went and “liked” Shabby Apple on Facebook !
    And also i wrote a longish comment on my Italian trips but it didn’t come up ! I have no idea what went wrong. Maybe I will come up later ?

  43. Just “liked” shabby apple on facebook.
    My favorite summer place to visit is Charleston, SC. My husband and I were married there 1.5 years ago, it holds a lot of great memories for us. 🙂 St. Thomas is also pretty amazing!

  44. I “liked” Shabby Apple on Facebook.
    My favorite spring/summer was spent in Rome. I actually took a picture on the Spanish steps. I wore the most giant egg plant purple hat. ::sigh:: It was so crowded. When I look at the picture now, it takes me a second to find the big giant purple hat amongst the sea of people.

  45. My favorite place to visit in the summer is actually my parents house. They live on Lake Lanier in Georgia and it’s so nice and cool. Plus its deep enough to dive off the end of our dock! I usually just sit there and float and play with my brothers and sisters. Plus my mom is an excellent cook and at night we sit out and have bonfires or play mexican train while drinking lots of wine/beer/margaritas. And it sounds bad, but since my parents moved there after I moved out I don’t know anyone in the town that they live in, so there aren’t any obligations to visit anyone. I always come back feeling refreshed!

  46. I’ve also been a fan of Shabby Apple on Facebook! And I LOVE the dress that you picked. Have you seen their new swimsuit collection?

  47. *liked* Ok so my trip is in the future… but I know it’s going to be my favourite! I’m going to Italy and Turkey in the European Summer to study an intensive course on Venitian Art and Architecture AAARRRGG! I get so excited just thinking about it 🙂 This year has been dedicated to making things for my trip, and I still have a very long way to go! Eep…

  48. Just liked them on facebook. We are not world travelers – just not in the budget. But in the summers we love to visit the Central Coast of California and Lake Tahoe. Would love to win this beautiful dress.

  49. Okay so I’ve facebook “liked” Shabby Apple – they’re stuff is so pretty!!
    My favourite place to holiday in Summer is actually a tie between Cairns and Port Douglas and the Gold Coast (all Queensland, Australia destinations – I’m from Sydney) because the weather is always so warm, and to just go to the beach and relax with a good book, or going to the hotel pool and the swim up bar is my ideal holiday, no matter where I find myself.

  50. Liked on FB.
    Even if I don’t win, thank you for introducing me to this beautiful dress. It might just make a fine casual wedding dress for an end of the summer wedding. I love the skirt. What do you think?
    Favorite vacation? Last year in February I went to the Grand Canyon in AZ with a few friends. On our last of three days we had rain, snow, sun, three rainbows and the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. Hands down the most amazing trip ever! This year, my significant other and I repeated the trip by ourselves (different route though) and he proposed as we were hiking. Awwww.

  51. Oh, Italy — I love it so! Let’s see, growing up in Colorado I have to say that early summer in the Rockies is gorgeous (but don’t forget your sweater…)
    I also “liked” Shabby Apple on FB…such a pretty dress. And called the “Spanish Steps”, even better!

  52. Hi! My favorite summer holiday was when my family and I went to Bermuda for a few days. It is absolutely breathtaking there..the water, and the colorful houses! We were lucky enough to be there for a little festival at night where local artists sold their work on the street. It was awesome and I’m dying to go back someday!
    I already like Shabby Apple on facebook actually =) Thanks for the chance to win such a gorgeous dress!

  53. I would have to say one of my favorite summer places to go is Portsmouth, NH. I have an aunt who lives in Maine so in the summer I try to get away for a weekend and spend time with her and go to one of my favorite towns, it has the greatest shops and it also has a great fabric shop!! One of the many places I would love to visit in the summer would be Greece, I will get there someday!

  54. I ‘liked’ shabby apple…but I wish they had a ‘love, love, love’ button. Maybe I’ll contact Facebook about it?!?!?

  55. I love to go camping, anywhere really from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon. . . hiking during the day, sleep in a tent at night. It’s relaxing like nothing else, it really forces me to unplug!

  56. I love this dress!!! Okay, on with the story. Aside from the misquotes, I love my hometown of Saugatuck, MI in the summer. Lake Michigan swimming, fireflies, big humidity enhanced hair, campfires, and corn on the cob. All simply delightful! I always feel guilty entering contests for things I can make, but heck, sometimes we like to wear something we didn’t have to make 🙂
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  57. In the summer of 2008, I joined a multinational team and walked across Tanzania. It was awesome -even with the malaria, giardia, general trail wounds, man-eating ants, man-eating flies, and even man-eating lions.

  58. Liked. I don’t travel much in the summer but I like anywhere with different birds and plants. A few sprigs ago I was in Netherlands and I was going crazy not knowing the names of the birds. So I stopped in the nearest book store for a field guide…in Dutch. Thank goodness for Latin names and the internet! The Dutch were lovely people but apparently if you tell someone in their language that you have no idea what htey’re saying because you don’t speak it they think you’re lying and continue blathering on. Ik bin amerikansa! Sprekt u engels?! and being European, of course they spoke English.

  59. I remember my trip to Ireland, which was for the entire month of July. I loved it, even when it rained. I spent part of the time in Connemara and on the Aran Islands. I still have dreams of the sunlight shining on the waves when standing by the Dun Angus in the afternoon. And riding my bike down the roads among the patchwork fields, losing track of time (the sun set at 9:00ish). And photgraphing the stone fences holding the most relaxed horses I’ve ever seen.

  60. I haven’t really been anywhere very fun for the summer. I’ve been to China, but it had its ups and downs. Besides all the bug bites on my legs, I got to walk the great wall of China, which was a lot of fun. Visiting relatives that I never heard of until then was fun, too. My family and I walked the packed streets, shopped for hella cheap, ate delicious pastries, visited old palaces and landmarks, had photo shoots all dressed up, and rode carriages(?). Hmmm… I guess it was pretty fun, but I still want to go to Europe.

  61. My fave place to go is Black Butte Ranch in central Oregon. Perfect weather, lots of biking trails, and really beautiful scenery. Love the smell of the pines. Can hardly wait for this summer!

  62. Hmm, favorite summer vacations…
    I’ve been to Hawaii a few times, which is always lovely. Unfortunately the sun doesn’t agree with my skin and I have to work very hard to avoid a lobster-red angry sunburn. But I do love the beaches and the waterfalls and the snorkeling.
    My dream vacation though, is Buenos Aires. I’m dying to go there. Preferably in the fall, when it would be spring there. I dance tango and BsAs is Mecca for tango dancers!

  63. That dress is gorgeous, thanks for the giveaway! I feel very fortunate to have done some extensive travelling in my life thus far, one of the perks of becoming a geologist. I’ve seen some amazing places and one that comes to mind immediately is Fiji. Beautiful beaches, small islands, bright sunny days, yummy food and extremely friendly people.

  64. I ‘liked’ shabby apple on fb. I really do, too. 🙂
    I really love my front ‘yard’ in the spring/summer. My front yard is a large green boulevard where everyone goes to hang out. They’ll be people sunbathing, bbq-ing, tossing a ball with their dogs, and playing Frisbee.
    The best is when it turns into a farmer’s market every Sunday where I can get all of my meat and produce as well as baked goodies and flowers. These simple, simple pleasures make me happy.

  65. I liked Shabby Apple. I spent a few years in Germany and enjoyed the summers going around to different places. I don’t recall it being too hot though. I am dreaming of going to Hawaii when the children are a little bigger. We didn’t get too much cold or snow here in Western WA but we did get abnormal amounts of rain, so I too am ready for summer!

  66. A couple of years ago i visited my sister in Starsbourg (France). It was the best vacation ever. I got to spend time with her and visit an incredible city, full of history, yet so modern; intimate and cozy, yet the home of the European Parliament. Best part? This summer I’m doing it again 🙂 Thsi dress is so pretty, i would only make it justice to take it on a trip to europe…ahhh. (I liked Shabby Apple on facebook, too). Sunni, thank you for hosting teh giveaway and for telling us a bit more about yourself. I really enjoyed reading it!

  67. Hmmm, don’t know what happend to my previous comment…Anyway, here it is again: My favourite summer vacation was a couple of years ago, when I visited my sister in Strasbourg, France. I got to spend time with her and visit a city full of so much history, yet so modern, cozy and intimate, yet the home of the European Parliament. So relaxing! Best part? I’m going back this summer!! this dress would be just perfect for that scenery 🙂 (i liked Shabby Apple on facebook, too). Thank you for hosting the giveaway and for sharing your memories with us. I really enjoyed reading them.

  68. Hmmm, don’t know what happend to my previous comment…Anyway, here it is again: My favourite summer vacation was a couple of years ago, when I visited my sister in Strasbourg, France. I got to spend time with her and visit a city full of so much history, yet so modern, cozy and intimate, yet the home of the European Parliament. So relaxing! Best part? I’m going back this summer!! this dress would be just perfect for that scenery 🙂 (i liked Shabby Apple on facebook, too). Thank you for hosting the giveaway and for sharing your memories with us. I really enjoyed reading them.

  69. I love going to the beach for sure, early in the morning and watching the glorious sunrise and basking in the warmth! Thanks for the chance to win a fabulous piece of clothing!

  70. I’m a beach girl, through and through. Even when it’s a muggy, 95 degree Indiana day, the thought of the beach is still welcome. There’s just a big difference being in the heat when you’ve got an ocean breeze and the salty water to cool off in!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  71. My favorite thing to do in summer is to go out to a cabin I have out on a river in the bayous of Louisiana…there’s watermelon, swimming,crawfish boils, gumbo and lot’s of fun!

  72. I grew up in Puerto Rico and my parents still live there. I like nothing more than an early spring trip down to PR with a side trip to the Virgin Islands. Each of the islands is beautiful, but Cinnamon Bay on St. John’s is my favorite place because of all the great childhood memories I made there. Ahhh… if only I could will myself there now!
    BTW, LOVE the dress!!!

  73. Hi, My name is Charlotte. I liked Shabby Apple too. This dress is wonderful!!! My favorite place to spend anytime during the year… Carmel by the Sea. I live in So. Cal. so some summer days can get over 100 degrees HOT, so, this sleeveless beauty would be perfect to wear.

  74. When I was growing up, my mom and I would take a 1-2 week road trip each summer with my grandparents. One trip I remember in particular included a couple of days at Yellowstone. I loved driving slowly through the park on its windy little roads and stopping at certain locations for short hikes or just to stand and admire the landscape. It was just very peaceful and simple.

  75. My brother lives in Seattle, and I love visiting him there and then taking day and weekend trips all around the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Olympia, beaches, mountains, forests, it’s all there.
    Next time I’m hoping to do the San Juan islands!

  76. At the end of June my family travels down to this wonderful family camp. It’s in Pennsylvania, which is a bit south of where we live, so we see summer a little earlier. Besides all of the things to do, like swimming, tubing, and a choir, I get to see all of my friends I made in the last few years. We have a lot of fun. Last year I put on a tea party, and we brought poetry to read.

  77. I can not believe I never liked Shabby Apple on Facebook before now. Corrected!
    I spent a summer in Costa Rica studying in high school. It was amazing. So many different options! Food, theatre and museums, rain forest zip lines, hiking, beaches when you want to just relax. I loved the black sand with the turquoise waters on the Pacific side. Just stunning. And for a real treat, there is a great spa at the base of the active Volcano Arenal, Tabacon. Thermal pools, and a grand spa. It is not only a wonderful place to visit, but the people, just as amazing. I’ve been itching to get back. And it’s a place everyone should visit once.

  78. I lived in Rome for many years…It’s a great city. Pity Shabby Apple called Spanish Steps a dress and then took the image at the Trevi Fountain. Pity you didn’t like the food…indeed rabbit is something eaten in Italy and since they don’t know about US taste, they tend to serve it. Many regional dishes are based on that. Breakfast is not a big meal in Italy, the most you can get in many places is bread with jam or croissants. But then again Italians don’t understand how Americans can eat so much for breakfast and even savory food like bacon and eggs. It’s all part of the travelling fun… that’s why I love hopping on a plane whenever I can ;o)

  79. My favorite place in the summer is Lake Powell! I love the gorgeous red rock, the hot sun and the beautiful water. Being out on that huge lake makes you forget about all the day to day stresses you left behind. It is fantastic!

  80. My favorite vacation was to Cambodia. Although I didn’t visit in summer, it still felt like it. At the beginning of January it was 75-85 degrees. I loved the beautiful ruins at Angkor Wat and the nostalgic feel in Phnom Pehn. And the shopping was fantastic!

  81. My favorite vacation was Venice. The buildings, the smell, the people and so warm in the summer. And then heading over to the beaches in Greece…we had the beach to ourselves. wonderful

  82. I wish I had a warm sunny place for you to visit in the summer but we tend not to take vacations. Which is all too terrible. I would love it if my husband and I got away for a few weeks to Europe, perhaps? I would choose london. But I’d go in the Fall or early winter.

  83. I haven’t been on many exotic travels, as you know, but one favorite summer trip that I went on was to Oregon. Not so much for the music camp but to see the gorgeous, Rocky, Oregon coast. There was fog everywhere and the forests were gigantic with moss growing always on the north side of everything. It seemed like the perfect setting for a fairytale.

  84. My favorite summer holiday was probably when I went to Sri Lanka and the Tamil Nadu section of India. It was gorgeous, the food was outstanding, the people we met couldn’t have been friendlier, and–other than the plane ticket–it was easy on the wallet. It was truly an amazing experience.

  85. I more than like Shabby Apple on facebook….I LOVE it!!!
    One of my favorite places to go in the summer is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I have memories of going there as a child and every summer my family goes back at least once. Being there with my family in the great outdoors, hiking, biking, watching lightning bugs in the evening, wading in the rivers….there really is nothing I enjoy more.

  86. Favorite place to visit in the summer? I think it would have to be Carmel. Strolling the sunny beaches, exploring the wonderful town, dining on fabulous cuisine, or just relaxing and watching the ocean from a B&B, Carmel is just about perfect in my book.

  87. My favorite summer holiday was a 2-week road trip I took with my boyfriend a few years back. We drove from southern California to Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and back down the California coast, staying with friends and camping along the way. I’d love to do that again! It was just wonderful.

  88. I’m pretty boring these days with my summerhood days. (After getting sick-like hospitalization in a non-English speaking hospital in muggy and super hot Japan.) I’d rather be in Portland–food carts, warm but rarely searing, and youthful. Love your blog

  89. Shabby Apple is such a lovely store! Thanks for sharing it with us. I liked them on facebook.
    My favorite place to visit is the British Isles. My husband and I spent a week in Northern Ireland and Scotland a couple years ago. I got to see Loch Ness! It wasn’t the warmest summer I’ve had, but boy was it delicious with history and beauty.

  90. I’ve been dreaming of the Lost Coast in California. Maybe not as romantic as Italy, but it makes up for it in beauty.

  91. My favorite summer memory is from living in Concepcion, Chile. We took an old coal-fired train into the foothills of the Andes to a tiny little town. It was the end of the summer and harvesting was in progress. Being from the Midwest, I’m used to farmers harvesting their crops with huge machines. But in this little town, the crops were gathered the old-fashioned way…manually. We watched as they threshed the wheat using horses to power a turnstile. Afterwards, the entire village gathered for a feast which included fresh goat’s blood. Ewww…I tried most everything but I couldn’t bring myself to eat that. However, it was a magical summer day.

  92. I liked them on facebook.
    My favorite trip was to Rome, Italy last spring break with my family. The Make a Wish Foundation granted my brother’s wish to go there, and they basically paid for everything! We even got to meet the Pope! It’s so beautiful over there–the architecture, sculptures, and the culture. Aughhh, and the food! I will never look at pizza and ice cream the same way ever again. 😀

  93. I too like my hometown in the summer – boring I know, but the beaches are amazing… golden sun, warm water, fresh seafood, cold rose wine, mmmm… perfect for summer.
    I’ve also ‘liked’ shabby apple on f’book.

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