About Me

I am a young 40+ year old, married to a wonderful husband (Kim), and a mom of 3.  I am also an Auntie, Sister, and Daughter, and Friend.  I am an entrepreneur, volunteer, and co-owner of my husband’s business.  I am constantly striving for balance for my family and myself, and with my busy life I still like to get out and explore our wonderful world. Traveling is a HUGE part of my balance.  I am proud to say that I am successfully teaching my family the same love. Since it is important to lead by example, exampling away, I must.

I have discovered that I Absolutely Love Europe, and so far I have been to France, Austria, Germany, Britain, and Italy. BUT, just because you have visited a country once, does not mean that you have truly experienced their way of life, and culture; something I am passionate about while traveling.

For a more relaxing vacation, I prefer tropical vacations to places like Antigua, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.

And for a weekend getaway, nothing beats Whitefish, MT.

The question I ask is not how will we go somewhere, but where are we going next!


12 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Ciao Trina

    I have just seen your clip on youtube and now i want to tell you about my experience i had in Florence two years ago. I had a wonderful time in Florence, the four star hotel Baglioni near the trainstation i can only recommend and from the roof you have a one million dollar view all over Florence. It’s really worth to pay one hundred dollars a night. Of course Florence is famous for leather goods and i discovered a small leather boutique near the Duomo. The owner is a very nice man and he speaks very good english. He showed me a weekender bag in dark brown, all handmade and believe it or not, i paid only 130 Euro. I work and live in Zurich Switzerland and for the same weekender i would pay here five or six hundred Swiss Francs. Or why should i pay 2’500 Swiss Francs for a Pradabag, just because it’s from Prada? Of course i did not buy only one weekender, i bought three in three different colours and I also use it to go to the gym. It’s very stylish with an italian suit in darkblue and darkbrown sewn-welted shoes.
    So if anybody comes to Switzerland, don’t shop here, except you buy a Rolex, it’s better to buy leather goods, suits and business shirts in Italy. You have a better choice, you pay a better price and you have always the latest fashion.

    Best regards from Zurich Switzerland


    • Ciao Jonathan!
      Thank you for your comment! I would love to know the name of the store that you bought your bags at near the Duomo. I will be going back to Florence possibly in November or May, and this will be helpful for me when shopping. I am glad that you had a positive experience, and I appreciate you sharing it.

  2. Ciao Bella

    Come stai, va tutto bene? Thank you for your quick answer.
    I really cant remember the name of the boutique. Just go around the Duomo, you cant miss it. Beside the boutique is a small restaurant. Its better to go to Florence in May, many stores, restaurants and hotels might be closed in November, because its off season. And yes, in November its cold in Europe and maybe we will have already snow. I have also been to the market of San Lorenzo, but i was really not attracted to the leather goods. I also wanted to buy a leather jacket for a good price. Its good i found a very nice boutique with the very famous name Belstaff and yes I found a very nice leather jacket in dark brown and yes it was very expensive. Many top actors from Hollywood are wearing Belstaff, like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo di Caprio, Tom Cruise and so on, and so on. Its really worth it, to invest over 1’000 Euro for a very good leather jacket, it never runs out of fashion, its timeless and its really nice to wear and sure many people will admire you. And by the way, there many good video clips on youtube, so go and check it out…
    Best regards

    • My first trip was to Italy was in November, and the weather could not have been better- the days were in the 20’s (degrees Celsius), and the hotels were a HUGE BARGAIN. We did see a day of rain, but it was a great excuse to shop that day.
      I also loved that the crowds were minimal, and honestly we had no issues with restaurants being closed. I would definitely go back in November if I could. And I will buy a good quality leather jacket the next time.
      Ciao! Trina

  3. Ah yes, the infamous SLM. I visited in 2011 and thought I was pretty clever getting a leather jacket for 130€. The jacket was not as bad as yours but I’ve since learned about leather nod realize I bought a piece of junk that’s definitely not Italian. Well, we just went back in March of 2014. It’s such a beautiful city. We went to the SLM so my wife could buy some cheap souvenirs. The first stall on the left (walking in from the church) had handbags. My wife asked if they had a style in blue and the man said just a minute and disappeared. He took quite awhile and I moved on down a few stalls looking at other cheap stuff sold by non Italians. I heard some yelling and turned to see my wife being followed and berated by the vendor. She wouldn’t buy from him because he refused to negotiate at all because he spent so much time finding her the bag. “Why are you busting my balls,” he screamed. I walked back and took her hand and stared him down. He left, but it was pretty tense. We found the bag later at another market. I also did my research and ended up buying a good jacket at the leather school in back of the Santa Croce church. There’s nothing wrong with buying her if you realize you’re not getting anything but souvenir quality stuff. Personally, I’d rather spend a bit more and go to a locally owned shop. I think the SLM also is mostly ran by some syndicate as many of the stalls have exactly the same thing!

    I looked for “your shop” but couldn’t find it. I was going to send you a souvenir picture! 😉 Happy travels.


    • Hi Dave! Thanks for your comment! Knowledge is power and I congratulate you for taking the time to share your experience at the San Lorenzo Market! I 100% agree with your opinions!
      Glad you had a great time and went home with some great finds- Italian or not and knowing the difference!
      Ciao! Trina

  4. Trina,
    So glad I discovered your blog after you followed me and left a comment..I love your wanderlust and passion for travel. Thank you so much for your support and I am thrilled that you love Italy so much..I will email you

  5. Good evening,
    I saw Your YouTube video and because I’m from Rome and staying in contact with an artisanal jacket leather I know (presume) what’s going around leather biz.
    We are developing tuUNICA.it project (sooner) for artisanal/Stylist/creative People Who produce products by themselves (we’ll check IT out first! ) and then We’ll put pics and info for each Laboratory for Every Italian city .
    Process is long but not worries. WE don’t deal about Price,selling,delivery,nothing at all !
    Every leather craftsmenship Who works directly the product and treat customers in a Good Way apre welcome to Our site .
    How You said: knowdledge is power
    Association TuUNICA

  6. I wanted to share what happened to my husband and I while in Rome, Italy a year ago last October. We went to a shoe maker named Manofatto located on the street address Via Margutta 100. We had him size my husband for a very nice quality leather shoe and he sized his feet. We live in the U.S. so he said he would mail them once he made them but may take some time…some times even a year or so. We paid $1000 US by credit card. Then went back the next day to order one more pair which I insisted since it was an anniversary present from me. I paid by credit card $800 and no shoes even today.
    (Their phone numbers are: +39 063218615 & +39 3922757810 but they answer but no one speaks English. They have hung up on me 4 times.) Still nothing I can do and the credit card company said we should have let them know within 2 months of purchase but they declined our request and plea to not reward the thieves. I trust too many people I guess and should not have insisted on his two shoes!! Guess we lost $1800 with no recourse!!

    • Marjory, Iam sorry for your bad experience. It is unfortunate that there are people like this preying on tourists. Iam so Blessed that I found Benheart and am happy to send everyone I know to them and at a great or ice especially compared to what you were charged!
      Thank you for sharing! I will make sure to repost your story so that we can help others not to be scammed by these people!
      Please do not let this experience taint your view of Italy as there are so many beautiful people there!
      Grazie, Trina

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