Dancing on My Island

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Author and speaker Glennon Doyle inspired this post, with a chapter in her book Untamed. Titled “Islands”, the chapter provides much food for thought. I’ve re-read the chapter many times, underlined passages and sorted through my feelings  and reactions to it.

As this crazy year winds down, I’ve moved deeply into a space of inner knowing. Working in my garden one day, words drifted across my mind, in the form of an invitation. “Release your inner wild woman.” While that is another blog post for another day, part of releasing my inner wild woman, my inner wildness, connects to fully inhabiting my own space and occupying my own island.

I’m still exploring this terrain and learning. And as I gain clarity, I’m dancing over here, on my island. I’ve also danced around sharing this post for weeks. Yet every time I think, “Nah…I’ll share these thoughts later”, I receive a nudge that propels me forward.

Dancing on my island? Yes I am. And here is what that is all about.

Dancing on My Island title meme

On the Island

Glennon shares in her book that when she made the decision to divorce her husband and marry Abby, people had BIG feelings about her news. Some of those responses made her feel afraid, defensive, angry, exposed.

Abby created a metaphor to put the situation in perspective.

She asked Glennon to imagine their love as an island. On that island live Glennon, Abby and Glennon’s three kids from her previous marriage. Real love dwells there too.

She added that the island is surrounded by a moat, filled with alligators, and they will not lower the drawbridge for anyone carrying fear onto their island. On the island only love exists. Everything else stays on the other side. They are happy on their island. Let others scream hate or fear. They can’t hear it. There is too much music.

Creating My Island

That story, that metaphor, resonates deeply with me. There is so much noise in the world right now, so much hate, fear, anger and unkindness. People attack each other over beliefs. As an empath, I FEEL those swirling emotions. They hurt me, and not just emotionally. Fear, hate and anger stab me with sharp, jagged edges and create physical pain.

The idea of dwelling on an island, apart from all the negativity, appeals to me.

There I can connect to nature, to the Divine, to myself…and I can breathe, think, process all the feels and be fully myself.

No one is allowed into my sacred space, carrying fear, hate, anger, prejudice or unkindness with them. I won’t lower the drawbridge. And the moat surrounding my island is filled with jellyfish…beautiful, fascinating jellyfish…that deliver warning stings if anyone steps into the moat.

Dancing on My Island jellyfish
Dancing on my island, protected by jellyfish.

Island Dweller

So what does that look like, in reality, to live on such an island?

Of course, it’s a metaphor. I wish I owned an actual island to fly to when I needed time alone. I don’t.

The island represents my personal space, where I am my truest, most authentic self. I decide what enters that space…and what doesn’t.

I’ve already touched on what is NOT allowed on my island: fear, anger, worry, racism, hate, judgment, prejudice, bullying, negativity and unkindness. The list may grow, as needed.

What IS allowed: love, kindness, joy, acceptance, peace, curiosity, inspiration, connection, creativity, positivity, passion and hope. That list may grow, as desired.

I’m done explaining myself to people who don’t want to understand. As Glennon says, “Explaining is fear preparing its case and I am not on trial.” I’m not on trial either. The only way to convince someone that all is well in my world is to live my life and show that all is well in my world. Dancing, figuratively or in my living room, is an outward expression of my joyful living.

Only Love In…Only Love Out

There is a sign on the mainland, across from my island: Only Love In. And there is a sign on my island that faces me: Only Love Out. Those signs serve as reminders that I won’t drop the drawbridge for someone carrying lower energy emotions with them. I won’t allow them to get close to me.

And, I don’t want to head out into the world, from my sanctuary, carrying those lower energies either. I know how to deal with such energies and clear them out of my life. From love flows all the things I desire in my life and desire to offer to others.

When I’m engaging with the world, I intend to limit contact with fear, anger, hate and the other low energy vibes I don’t want in my space. This means I’m curating my social media feeds and quietly blocking or deleting people as needed. And it means I don’t engage in conversations that include racism, hate, fear or unkindness. I’ll remove myself.

I’m not burying my head in the sand on my island. I am very aware of what’s happening around me. I choose not to engage. Instead, I’ll listen and learn from those who are speaking truth, whether about change or life or the future. I’ll grow. My energy I send out in healing waves of love, joy and peace, to those who need it. I’ll use my voice to speak kindness, love and joy. And I’ll take actions to help others, walking alongside for a time, offering from my heart and resources.

I’m protecting myself and my space, fiercely. If others want to shout at me from across the moat, let them. I’m dancing on my island to my favorite tunes.

Dancing on My Island only love allowed
Dancing on my island – only love allowed

What Does Your Island Look Like?

Do you desire to protect your personal space?

What is allowed on your island and what isn’t? Make a list of what absolutely cannot come across the drawbridge, no matter who is carrying it. Decide who lives on your island with you. What an amazing way to love and protect the children in your life, when you will not allow fear to assault them and share space with them.

Read the chapter “Islands” in Untamed…and then start at the beginning and read the whole book. It’s life changing. At least, it is changing mine.

Release your inner wild woman…

I am doing so. And doing so, I am allowing the path ahead to be shaped by what I am discovering. In living life beyond the edges I’m finding out just how far out those edges go.

Dancing on My Island paradise
Dancing on my island is paradise for me.

Check out my review of Glennon’s book Love Warrior.

Purchase Untamed by clicking on the photo below:

 

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Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

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Dublin, the capital of Ireland, joyfully welcomes her visitors. This fun sprawling city, home to 1.36 million people, launched our girls’ UK trip in 2017. We were all first time visitors to Dublin and what an impression this high energy city made on us. We left after our brief stay, determined to return someday and explore more.

The social hub of Dublin is found in its pubs…666 of them as a matter of fact. Dubliners enjoy gathering together for a few pints of Guinness, lively music and shared stories and laughter.

Although pubs are scattered throughout the city, the best collection of pubs is located in the Temple Bar Area.

Come explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area and see why it’s such a popular destination spot.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area title meme

Temple Bar History

Located in the heart of Dublin, the Temple Bar Area is described as the city’s “bohemian quarter”. The district offers a vast variety of art, unique shops, entertainment, cafes and restaurants, hostels and hotels and pubs. Live Irish folk music drifts out from cute establishments lined along narrow cobblestone streets. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the area for the “ceol agus craic”…Irish for music and fun.

However, the Temple Bar Area only gained popularity within the last 30 years. With the Liffey River bordering the south side, the area originally contained marshlands. In the 17th century, with the river walled in, the marshes were developed into a neighborhood for the wealthy. Some say the name Temple Bar came from a family name. It’s more likely it was named after the Temple District in London, in a desire to imitate that prestigious neighborhood.

The area declined over the years and by the 18th century, brothels and seedy businesses claimed the area. By the 1990s the district appeared run down and neglected. While a proposed central bus station for the area was under review, buildings leased for low rents. That attracted artists and creative people to the neighborhood. Fortunately, the renewed interest in Temple Bar prompted the city council to cancel the bus station project. Instead, the area experienced a revival that ultimately birthed Dublin’s premier spot.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area square
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – busy street on the square

Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

Temple Bar offers artsy destinations such as the Irish Film Institute, the Projects Art Centre and the National Photographic Archive. Souvenir shops share the streets with tattoo parlors, hostels and cafes. However, most people visit the area for its pubs.

During the day, visitors hit businesses and grab a bite to eat at one of the excellent cafes. However, the Temple Bar area is the center of Dublin’s nightlife. By evening, crowds appear, filling the pubs for meals, music and drinks.

If you don’t like throngs of people, visit the Temple Bar area during the day. Explore the shops, people watch and enjoy lunch at one of the many pubs or cafes in the area. Live music generally begins mid to late afternoon. The area retains its friendly and fun atmosphere by day, without the boisterous overcrowding present at night.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area leprechaun
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – and find a leprechaun! My sister Linda and her leprechaun in front of The Quay’s Bar.

Best Pubs in Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

These fun pubs are considered the best of the best in Temple Bar. Enjoy a meal, grab a pint and listen to music.

The Temple Bar Pub

This pub dates back to 1840, making it one of the oldest in the neighborhood. Cool and quirky, the pub attracts artists, poets and tourists. It offers one of the largest whiskey collections in Ireland…some say the world…along with fresh oyster platters and live music daily.

The Auld Dubliner

Considered the “quiet” pub in Temple Bar, The Auld Dubliner is an oasis of calm in the bustle of Temple Bar, at least during the day. Enjoy a mix of hot and cold traditional Irish fare as well as more contemporary choices. Upstairs the pub hosts local and international live music every day.

The Porterhouse

Although this pub is a chain, they serve their own house beers. In fact, The Porterhouse was Dublin’s first brewery. They offer guests a classic Irish menu…plus American, British and European food…live music every day and a very laid back environment.

The Oliver St. John Gogarty

This pub attracts the younger crowd and even hosts a hostel upstairs. The food is informal plus they offer a large selection of rare whiskies. The Oliver St. John Gogarty presents live traditional music sessions every evening and overall, a fun, if a bit wild, vibe. As a side note, Dublin’s population is the youngest in Europe. Almost half of the city…49%…is under the age of 30.

The Quay’s Bar

This pub, with the fine restaurant upstairs, resides in the heart of Temple Bar. Live music begins at 3:00 PM daily. The menu and the musical artists range from traditional Irish to modern to international. This is an excellent pub to take a break in and enjoy lunch, an afternoon tea or a cup of Irish coffee.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area vegan meal
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – I enjoyed a vegan meal and a hot tea at The Quay’s Pub.

Lunch in Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

Our girls’ group enjoyed an afternoon in Temple Bar. We visited the bright red namesake pub and found it too crowded to enter. After strolling the narrow streets and enjoying the sights and sounds of the neighborhood, we settled on The Quay’s Bar for lunch. What an excellent choice!

The Quay’s Restaurant, located upstairs above the pub, provided the perfect spot to relax and refuel. Windows let in ample sunlight, creating a cheerful, inviting space to dine. My mother and I both ordered plant based meals and hot tea. The Quay’s offers a variety of scrumptious dishes to please everyone, including vegetarian and vegan options. My rice dish topped with arugula tasted amazing.

As is common in the UK, restrooms are typically located down a flight of stairs. When my mother, sister Linda and I ventured down to find the restrooms, we walked through the much livelier pub section. The Irish are such a fun people…joyful, humorous and open armed. A couple of young men happily posed with us for a photo and gave us warm hugs too.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area Quay's Bar
Having fun at Quay’s Bar and Restaurant. Isn’t my little mama adorable?

Find the Temple Bar District

The Liffey River creates the northern boundary of Temple Bar. Dame Street marks the south side, Fishamble Street lies to the west and Westmoreland Street completes the square on the east.

We walked to the area from our apartment, crossing Liffey River on the historic Ha’Penny Bridge.

Nearby attractions include Trinity College, five minutes away on foot, Christ Church Cathedral, at the end of Dame Street, and Dublin Castle, four minutes away on foot.

The impact Dublin left on me creates a deep yearning to return. We barely scratched the surface of all that this amazing city offers, in our two days there. My Celtic roots, both Scottish and Irish, strongly compel me to return “home” and better know the land of my ancestors.

I’ll go back one day. A month spent exploring Dublin and farther out, all of Ireland, would barely quiet my longing. But what a start it will be…

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area Quays Restaurant
Girls’ lunch at The Quay’s Restaurant, Dublin.

Check out this Tale from Ireland:

St. Stephen’s Green Dublin

And these finds from Amazon:


 

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Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This is a paid affiliate partnership with Decocrated. All opinions are my own.

In southwest Missouri, August is typically hot and humid, or what we call “muggy”. This year, the last half of the month offered cooler days that hinted at the impending arrival of fall. I welcomed those below average temps.

When my fall Decocrated box arrived, I determined to begin the switch to autumn decor…now! How exciting to open up that box to see what lies tucked within.

The theme for fall is “Fall back in love.” I love that! Most of us spent more time at home this year. With vacations canceled or changed and safety protocols in place at many attractions, it just makes sense to create an environment in our own homes, that supports us and brings us joy.

For this post, I’m adding a few words to the theme:

Fall back in love with your home with Decocrated.

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated title meme 2

 

 

The Decocrated Fall Box

The Decocrated subscription boxes ship out at the beginning of each season, offering fresh decor pieces to incorporate into any decorating style. Each box contains seven to eight curated items appropriate for the season.

I find it easy to mix my own pieces in with the Decocrated items. And each season’s decor pieces work well with the future boxes.

The fall collection builds around a palette of burnt orange, dusty teal, black and white. The decor in this box combines warm wood tones with black metal and cozy textiles.

This season’s featured artist is Emily Doliner. Emily is a designer and illustrator based in North Carolina. She loves pattern design and brings a sense of mischief and wonder to the fall box.

Before enjoying my new fall vignettes, take a peek at the unboxing!

The Entry Table and Vintage Wooden Chair

Here we go, my fresh fall vignettes.

Entry Table

The little chippy entry table, that I change up seasonally, received a complete makeover.

On the table top, a black and white buffalo plaid linen provides a fun foundation for the tiered tray from the Decocrated Summer Box. Let me just say that I love buffalo plaid. I began bringing it in for Christmas, in red and black, a couple of years ago. This fall it’s my fun core pattern. I’ve got big plans for this plaid for Halloween decor.

On the top tier of the tray rests a light teal pumpkin, that lights up, and a framed Y, for Yaya, that my grandchildren gifted me with this summer. The lower shelf holds an orange THANKS sign, a wonderfully scented spicy candle from the grandkids and a teal and black autumn mug. I tucked a few cinnamon sticks into the mug. A wooden black and white sign, with the word GATHER on it, completes this vignette.

The bottom shelf of the entry table holds the gold planter from the summer box, filled with artificial eucalyptus, and two gold canisters from the Decocrated Spring Box. Each canister holds a faux succulent plant.

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated entry table
Fall back in love with your home with Decocrated – entry table top
Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated lower shelf
Fall back in love with your home with Decocrated – lower shelf

Vintage Wooden Chair

The vintage wooden chair next to the entry table provides another space for me to decorate. And trust me, I need all kinds of flat spaces for decor!

The little round seat perfectly holds a small vignette. The mirror from the summer box remains, with a little black and orange fall pillow hanging from one corner. An orange linen covers the seat. On top rests a teal ceramic bird while the black lantern from the spring box houses a stack of pumpkins.

Next to the chair, my grandfather’s old metal army trunk holds a stack of quilts and pillows, including the reversible pillows from the summer box, turned to the textured side, and an autumn pillow I bought for a dollar at a discount store.

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated chair
Fall back in love with your home with Decocrated – chair vignette

Bookcase Shelf

The top shelf of the dining room bookcase received a complete makeover as well. A nubby textured striped rug, in warm fall colors, provides the foundation for this vignette.

The framed wooden print from the fall box certainly inspires cozy feelings. It makes me smile reading the words, as it perfectly captures fall. Resting in a stand, the print anchors one corner, while on the opposite corner, the woven basket, also from the fall box, balances out the display.

The basket is woven from water hyacinth, a natural material that gives each basket unique colors and textures. The hyacinth basket has a wonderfully earthy, slightly sweet scent that I love. I tucked a white linen with the word Thankful on it into the basket, then added a fall arrangement. A simple wreath with black berries goes on the wall.

Two black and white buffalo plaid cloth pumpkins rest next to the basket while the Our Happy Place wood and metal sign completes the vignette. I love how this mostly monochromatic display turned out!

Fall Back in Love With Your Home with Decocrated shelf top
Fall back in love with your home with Decocrated – shelf top

Dining Room Table Vignette

As I’ve mentioned previously, I never eat at my little round dining room table. Rather, I decorate it seasonally. I consider it my “feature” display area. I walk through this room many times a day and I enjoy the vignettes that occupy that space.

Black Metal Candle Ring

From the fall box, a black and white table runner, adorned with leaves, sets the stage for the vignette.

On the left, rests a black metal candle ring from the fall box. Six burnt orange candles dance around that ring. (Tip: use double sided tape, wrapped around the candle base, to create a snug and secure fit.) I stepped out of my comfort zone, when I went looking for a garland to decorate the ring. You could easily leave it bare and the candle ring would still look cute. I decided to go with something very different…a felt garland in dusty blue gray, orange, white and yellow. I love it’s uniqueness and playfulness.

The small double sided print is from the fall box as well. The side shown features a recipe for pumpkin spice latte while the reverse side is perfect for Halloween with the words…Double, Double, Toil and Trouble. I love the little photo holder I found at Hobby Lobby. It echoes the theme for the season!

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated candle ring
Adorable black candle ring with fun felt garland and print card.

Wooden Crate and Pumpkins

I love wooden crates and this one from the fall box offers plenty of room for all kinds of items. The crate comes with two wooden signs, “Autumn Harvest” in white and orange and “Harvest Moon” in black and white. I chose to use the Harvest Moon sign as it looks great with my black and white buffalo plaid.

In fact, I lined the crate with a black and white plaid linen and then filled the interior with soft mini pumpkins in dusty blue gray, burnt orange and white. Those little pumpkins match the felt garland around the candle ring.

In front of the crate rest the pumpkins from the fall box, in burnt orange and dusty teal. These pumpkins are so nicely done. Made of resin, the covering on the outside feels like velvet.

The little photo holder with the pumpkin spice latte print is nestled close to the wooden crate.

I’m already enjoying this vignette and indeed, all of the Decocrated inspired vignettes I created today. I have more fall decorating to do, on the front porch and on a few other surfaces and in containers. However, what a wonderful start to the season.

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated harvest moon
Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated – wooden crate and pumpkins

Ready to Fall Back in Love?

Are you ready to fall back in love with your home? Maybe there’s one room in your house you’d like to fall in love with again. Or perhaps, like me, you want to spread the love around!

I can help with that.

If you’d like to receive the fall box, which will sell out I’m sure, use this link DECOCRATED FALL BOX. And, type in my code CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE10 to save $10 off a seasonal box. OR use CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE30 to get $30 off a yearly subscription. That way, you won’t miss a box.

If, like me, you enjoy decorating and connecting with others who share that joy, then you will love these subscription boxes, delivered right to your front door. Plus Decocrated members have perks such as private Facebook groups, additional items to purchase in their online store and specials like Halloween and Christmas boxes. Those sell out very quickly.

I’ve now received a full year of Decocrated boxes and I love this company and the quality items they offer. It’s fun to open each box and feel my creativity ramp up. During this year of staying home, my house has become my sanctuary, my playground and my creative studio. Decocrated has played a big role in helping me fall back in love with my home.

This feels like the perfect season to say, “I am grateful.”

Fall Back in Love with Your Home with Decocrated dining table
I am grateful for Decocrated.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Decocrated Curated Home. I may earn a commission for items purchased through my links, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy

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Exploring the small town of Orvieto, Italy ranked as one of the top highlights of my trip to Italy in 2017. On the last day of our 12 day tour, my daughter, grandson and I soaked up the gorgeous views and fascinating culture of this gem in the Umbria region.

Read the highlights of that day HERE. Then read on for fun facts about Orvieto Italy.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy title meme

Getting to Orvieto Italy

Orvieto rests on a rock cliff formed from a volcanic butte, 1000 feet above the valley below. Considered one of the most striking towns in Italy, Orvieto sits in the middle of the country, less than 90 minutes from Rome.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy

This ancient city of about 21,000 people features an old and new town. Visitors arrive in the new town where they leave their cars or exit their tour buses. To gain entrance into old town they must ride an escalator up or take a funicular (trolley type car) to the edge of town. There buses transport guests up into the city.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy cliff top
Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy – the city perches on a cliff 1000 feet above the valley.

Etruscan Roots

The Etruscan civilization predates the Romans. Orvieto, known as Velzna then, was the most important town in the Etruscan territory. The Etruscans inhabited Orvieto until the 3rd century BC, when the Romans invaded.

The Duomo

This magnificent cathedral, one of the finest in Italy, took 300 years to complete. Think about it. The United States, founded in 1776, has yet to reach its 300th birthday. Generations of builders worked on this masterpiece.

Pope Nicholas IV laid the cornerstone for the Duomo on November 15, 1290. Completion occurred in 1591.

Inside, visitors appreciate the tall ceilings and black and white striped columns. Within the Duomo is the Chapel of San Brizio, featuring Luca Signorelli’s paintings, Day of Judgment and Life After Death. Some find the works of art creepy, with their depictions of hell and flying demons, while others declare them stunning.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy chapel
Fun facts about Orvieto Italy – the Duomo took 300 years to complete. Interior view.

Papal Residence

Outside of Rome, only Orvieto and two other cities contained papal palaces. During the sack of Rome in 1527, Pope Clement VII sought refuge in Orvieto.

Fearing the water supply might not last, if the city went under siege, the pope commissioned a 62 meter deep well. The Pozzo di S Patrizio, or Well of St Patrick, contains a central well shaft surrounded by stairways in a double helix design. The staircases allowed one way traffic, with empty water jars going down one set of stairs and full ones coming up the other.

Visitors may climb down into the well and toss coins into the water.

Underground Labyrinth

Beneath Orvieto lies a labyrinth of Etruscan caves and tunnels. The underground city boasts 1200 passageways, galleries, wells, stairs, cellars, cisterns and rooms.

Noble families living above were equipped with escape tunnels that wound from their homes through the labyrinth below, emerging at safe exit points outside the city walls.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy street
One of the gorgeous streets in Orvieto.

Oldest Church in Orvieto

San Giovenale claims the title as the oldest church in the city. Built in 1004, on the site of an Etruscan temple, the building contains many 13th century frescoes.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy oldest church
Fun facts about Orvieto Italy – the oldest church was built in 1004.

Etruscan Necropolis

Orvieto contains one of two Etruscan cemeteries in Italy. This one is 2,500 years old and located on the northern side of the cliff face. The tombs resemble houses, neatly arranged in rows.

Middle Ages Fortress

Built in the 1300s, Albornoz Fortress stood at the edge of the city on the site of an Etruscan temple. It’s purpose was to keep the city secure. Today it’s mostly in ruins and used as a public garden with an amphitheater for performances.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy fortress ruins
Fun facts about Orvieto Italy – the fortress was built on the site of an Etruscan temple.

Torre del Moro

The 47 meter tall clock tower in central Orvieto contains 236 steps that visitors may climb for spectacular views of the city and valley below. Originally built in the 13th century, the tower belonged to the pope. Today its clock and bells tell time.

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy clock tower
Fun facts about Orvieto Italy – the clock tower is the tallest structure in the city.

White Wine

The soil around Orvieto contains rich minerals, producing grapes that give wines a clean, crisp finish. Orvieto is known for its white wines and Grechetto and Trebbiano grapes.

Fall in Love with Orvieto

We loved this beautiful old city at the top of the world. We spent a pleasant afternoon wandering the narrow streets and taking in the sights. Cafes, shops, historical buildings and attractions offer much to visitors.

I’d love to return and spend a long weekend there, experiencing more of the people, the history and the culture.

Have you visited Orvieto, Italy?

Fun Facts about Orvieto Italy Dayan and Yaya

 

More Tales from Italy:

10 Good Luck Traditions from Italy

Lions of Venice

Things You May Not Know about Michelangelo’s David

Bridge of Sighs

 


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.