Monday, September 30, 2013

My Fall "Seasonal Fashion Confusion" and a Shabby Apple Giveaway! Pick a Dress!

I don't know about you, but when the seasons change I might always have a handle on the home decor, but I always feel stuck when it comes to pulling an outfit together.  Alex confirmed that this happens every Spring and Fall usually and that I show the same symptoms every time, ha! 

According to him, signs of this seasonal fashion confusion include:
-Making a complete mess in my closet after failed attempts at an ensemble
-Talking to myself with grumblings like"I don't have anything to wear!" and/or "where did sweater/pant/shirt X go?!?"
-Spontaneous online shopping orders and spending
-Repeating, "Does this look stupid?  I feel like I look stupid!" to get reassurance that I don't look stupid, but regardless will continue to insist that I look stupid. 

Maybe I sound crazy but if anyone else is in a fall fashion rut like I am, I have the perfect thing for you today- a dress giveaway from Shabby Apple!  If you haven't heard of them, it's a site full of vintage clothes -- think dresses, jackets, pants, tops and swimsuits.  My favorites are always the dresses, so many fun & feminine looks to choose from!  I'm totally digging a few fall looks like Shetland, At Last, and the Rosalin sweater.  I think each one would be fun for making layered fall look with cute boots to top them off!
What do you think?  What dresses, skirts, or sweaters are you liking this fall?

For a chance to win a Shabby Apple dress, all you need to do is...
1. Post a comment below to enter the giveaway and let us know which dress you'd pick (be sure to include your name or email in the comment if you post as "Anonymous")
2. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook
3. Follow Shabby Apple on Instagram

That's it! So which dress is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and you can win, that would totally get anyone out of a fashion rut, right?  Here's to hoping it's YOU, but if not you can get 10% off using the coupon code fanfavorites10.  The winner will be chosen at random and announced here one week from today on Monday, October 7th. Good luck!!!

*open to US addresses only

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No Way! Something From Denmark Arrived....

It's our CAMERA!!!!  No waaaaaayyyyyyyyy! I'm going B A N A N A S!  Can you believe it?  I can hardly believe it!  (Click here for the full story, but the short version is that it was left on our first flight on our way home at the end of our Europe trip).  After 41 days, this package from Denmark arrived with our camera inside- camera, case, memory card, and all of the memories I thought I'd never get to see again. 

After contacting SAS Airlines and the Coopenhagen police via email multiple times and two failed 2:00am international calls to the Copenhagen Police, I had pretty much given up hope that we'd get it back.  While on the phone we were told that they didn't have a camera turned into the lost & found that matched our description.  I waited a week and gave one more 2:00am call to the police a shot and heard the magical words "we have an item on hand fitting that description & matching serial number."   
From there we did a wire transfer to cover the shipping cost, gave our address, and just waited hoping it would arrive in one piece with a full memory card.  None of the process was easy at all, but I am so, so, so thankful it's here at last with every beautiful memory still there!  Yes, I did have my iPhone pictures but there's about a thousand more moments on the camera, maybe some I've even forgotten about?  I can't wait to find out! I was so geeked that I just had to share the excitement but I'm going to start sifting through all the photos and videos now!  See ya!

Oh PS- I've gotten a few emails from people asking how we planned our multi-city Europe trip or other tips, so I'm thinking about writing up a post with that  info- sound good?  Would you be interested in that kind of post if I did? Let me know! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Simply Arranged Fall Mantle

I finished doing some fall decorating on our mantle last night and I'm excited to share it with you!  I followed some of the inspiration in the photos from my last post and kept it pretty clean, simple, and not too theme-y.  Here's a look! 
My favorite part of the decor is the floral arrangement I DIY'ed using some simple greenery and foliage from our own yard.  It was so easy and it was FREE! Maybe that's the best part?  
I just grabbed pieces in dark red, green and yellow tones and started arranging them in the pitcher to sort of look like the floral arrangement from my inspiration board (but greenery insteadof all florals).  I just love how it turned out and it was fun to make! 
For the rest of the look, I stuck with white mainly for color and layered in that touch of copper I wanted thanks to the two little votive holders I found at Goodwill for just $2.00!  I had the frame, lantern, and white vase filler branches already so it came together pretty easily!

What do you think of the fall mantle look? 
Are you liking the DIY floral arrangement? 
What's on your mantle this fall? 

Time to link this bad boy up over at Thrifty Decor Chick

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I've Got That Fall-ish Feeling

Although tomorrow's Autumnal Equinox officially marks the beginning of fall, it's certainly been feeling like it here in Minnesota for a couple weeks now.  The shorter days have been sunny with a crisp chill in the air and the nights have been down right chilly almost getting to freezing temperatures.  I have to say though, I don't mind at all!  I used to be a summer gal but I've grown to love the fall season.  Everything from fashion to home decor just feels cozier, even social gatherings!  

With fall on the brain, I've been been looking for some decor ideas for our home- and yes, I better get my rear in gear since its almost October! Anyway, I'm really feeling the idea of rich dark green, navy, and brown with some warmer copper mixed as my alterative to the orange kind of look.  I'm hoping to cozy things up a bit and pull together that type of look so it feels fall-ish without screaming fall themed.

What do you think, liking the look or anything in particular above? 
How about you? Have you injected some fall decor into your home?  
I'd love to know what everyone's inspired by this fall season!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All Roads Lead to Rome... And the End of Our Vacation

It's the last stop for all of our Europe vacation posts (then we'll be going back to reality  home stuff), time to wrap things up with a look at our visit to Rome, Italy!  

The eternal city was stunning with it's concentration of art, history, romantic scenery and charm- but I'm not going to lie, Rome was hot, crowded, confusing, and did I mention crowded?!!  Anyway, here's a look at the good, the bad, and some ugly moments from Rome...

The hot Rome misery is on display in this video, I was just as grumpy as Alex sounds, that crowd was insane! 

Dinner and entertainment at Cafe de Paris in Rome! Loved every part of this dinner, felt like family and learned a thing or two about Italian dining! 

Rooftop breakfast included at our hotel- uh, amazing! Simple, table served and delicious!
Also included with our hotel- balcony from room, rooftop hot/cold tubs (needed after hot gross days sightseeing), and views of Roman ruins. So glad we found the Relais Badoer hotel near all the sights we wanted to see! 

What was your favorite moment in Rome?  
Alex: My favorite moment in Rome was when we first rounded the corner to see the Pantheon. This behemoth of a building is truly breathtaking and dwarfs everything else around it (literally and figuratively). We caught ourselves going back to it a few more times just to see it – as if we thought it was going to disappear on us. Nevertheless, this marvel of Roman ingenuity is amazing! Oh, also, riding a Vespa all over Rome on our quest to find the best Cacio e pepe only to get lost (several times) and end up at a very local “off the beaten path” restaurant for lunch where no one spoke English before speeding off to visit the Colosseum…yep, that was pretty great too
Carla: The moment I saw the Pantheon for the first time, the size, opulance, and structure was astonishing! This grand dome shaped ancient structure sits tucked away down several small Roman streets but once you have a chance to lay eyes on it, it overtakes you.... along with all the younger buildings surrounding it.  In that beautiful moment, I saw The Eternal City's layers upon layers of civilization that have existed with life continuing on no matter how much things change around it.  

What surprised you about Rome?
Alex: It surprised me that I had to intentionally slow down in order to fell really excited about Rome. Maybe it was the crowds or the fact that it was the last leg of our trip. Maybe it was the fact that I had built this place up to the image that Hollywood portrays in all of the period films. Regardless, it wasn’t until I slowed down and thought about the marvel of what I was looking at that I felt truly moved by Rome. Sure, walking into St. Peter’s Square for the first time, or zipping around the Colosseum on the Vespa were truly spectacular moments but, few and far between were the moments that I felt as though that magic feeling came naturally. I loved Rome but, I wasn’t in love with Rome. I think I secretly longed for the Rome from Gladiator – the Rome of legends.
Carla: The massive, and I mean MASSIVE crowds of tourists that ruined the special moments I envisioned when dreaming of traveling to Rome one day.  I know it sounds lame but it was such a bummer during our trip and yes, I know we went in the high tourism season but this was OUT of control- again watch that video we posted from the Trevi Fountain, the size of the crowd is insane! We've been to many other cities in Europe in August and nothing was this bad.  Biggest disappointment was when we visited the Sistine Chapel, I dreamed for so long to see it with my own eyes and truthfully, the experience was much like being in a crowded loud bar or club with wall to wall people and security guards pushing you along while yelling at you to "move, no cameras, keep moving, put that camera away!"  Yea, not special at all and I imagine Leonardo DaVinci didn't envision that either.

What was your must-try menu item while in Rome
Alex: Pasta. It seriously is that much better than when you’re sitting down at the never ending pasta bowl :) Yes, you can find bad/average pasta all over Rome but there are plenty of places that do it right, and won’t let you down. Yep it’s cliché but the Pasta and Pizza were outstanding! I recommend Café de Paris and anything else that's not on a major tourist trap street.
Carla: Order Cacio e Pepe- but make sure it is at an off-beat, non-tourist location.  It's an amazing Italian dish, just pasta, fresh Parmesan, salt, pepper, and bam!  Done right, those simple ingredients become an AMAZING, rich pasta dish! Aside from that, find a great authentic bakery and get lots of treats to sample! We found one near the Piazza Campo D. Fiori (photos above) and enjoyed picking lots of goodies to snack on while sitting in the piazza people watching. 

What tip would you share for someone going there?
Alex: First, If you’re going to Rome in the  high season, be prepared to deal with crowds and let go of your dreams of capturing that timeless photo of you and your loved ones all alone in front of some amazing landmark. Second, get a Vespa and get lost in the eternal city. Third, eat and drink anything you want, whenever you want.
Carla: See my above response for more details, but go in the fall or winter :) avoid the hot HELL that Rome is in August.

Why would you go back?
Alex: I want to go back to Rome in the off-season and really take it in slowly. There are too many sights and sounds going on that make it easy to get caught up in the action and forget to visit Rome like a Roman. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, I recommend watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Rome episode. Tony found his “Rome” and I will go back to find mine someday.
Carla: I would love to go back to see the Trevi Fountain again... and not hate it.  Seeing that was one of my 'someday I dream of seeing' places and it was awful- so crowded, couldn't enjoy it, wanted to curse at people, wanted to hit people with a stick so they'd get out of my personal space, and yea, it was awful.  Despite all that awful, there is something I regret- I didn't throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish.  The long time legend/tradition in Rome is if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, you will return to Rome someday.  At the time the crowd was to large to even try pitching a coin in the fountain but more than that the crowd made me so disappointed and mad that I thought I wouldn't want to return to Rome.  I guess this is my honest, regretful public statement, I would love to go back so I can throw my wish in the foutnain... Just not in August.

That's a wrap for Europe, phew!  I kind of got sick of that stuff, glad it's all done!  Ready to get back to home, house, DIY, and fashion fun! Hope ya'll are ready for it! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Achy Breaky Macarena Day Trip Montenegro

As part of our week long stay in Dubrovnik, we thought it'd be fun to rent a car and visit Montenegro since the border was only an hour away.  We had heard a little bit about Montenegro and that it could be an up and coming tourist destination, so why not check it out?  

The whole day turned out to be quite an adventure- we hiked up a mountain, got a little lost and ended up in a place that looked like Baz Lurhmann's version of Romeo & Juliet (dirty beach carnival looking place we dubbed 'Fair Verona'), we shopped, we ate, and mostly explored the city of Kotor.  The whole day including the drive (there and back) was a day to remember... Thankfully, Montenegro's radio stations had lots of bad US hits from the early 90's as our soundtrack along the way!  Almost like we stepped back in time, LOL! 

Here's a look at our day trip and we included a couple videos of the most surprising musical moments on the drive...
Photos from the car ride after crossing the Croatian border into Montenegro

Our first strange radio music encounter was the moment we went through customs into Montenegro.  I think anyone would think WTF if the Macarena randomly came on the radio, right?  I couldn't help but think it was funny! 
Views of Herceg Novi from the car

After passing through Herceg Novi, good ol' Billy Ray Cyrus paid us a visit on the radio- oh yes, his Achy Breaky goodness... How could we not sing along?! 
Beautiful scenery all around as we approached the city of Kotor
City and fortress walls of Kotor
Street scenery inside Kotor's Old City Walls

Despite all of the strange/bad music we heard on our drive, we had a nice surprise when we saw/ heard these musicians on a street in the Old City.  The music was beautiful and the sound captured the look and feel of Kotor. 
Churches in the old city, most dating back to the 1300's
More views of the Old City streets and the entrance to Kotor's fortress
A must-do if visitng Kotor- ascend approximately 1,350 stairs to a height of 1,200 meters to see the views from atop PTvrđave Kotora or the Castle of San Giovanni
The PTvrđave Kotora fortress walls date back to medieval times, built on and off between the 9th and 19th centuries, and built by everyone from the Byzantines to the Venetians
Photos of the PTvrđave Kotora fortress once we got to the top of those 1,350 stairs!
The long, LONG, drive home and 2.5 hour wait in line to get through customs and back into Hrvatska! 

Favorite moment in Montenegro...
Alex: While walking through the old town, there was a small group of street performers playing classical music near a small town square in Kotor. The group was nothing more than a violinist and two gentleman playing accordions but, the classical sound that they created gracefully weaved its way through the ancient city, calling everyone within earshot to seek it out. It was beautiful, peaceful, and a moment I will never forget.
Carla: I can't say it was an exact moment, but my favorite memory when thinking of Montenegro was just wandering the streets of Kotor.  I think it was the first time during our whole Europe trip were I really zoned out and could just wander aimlessly.  It is less crowded and smaller than all the other cities, so I really took it in.  I didn't worry about being lost, I didn't feel like I had to swat people out of my way- I got to just stay in the moment I guess, so maybe that is why all the exploring is my favorite "moment".

What surprised us about Montenegro...
Alex: Honestly, the music selection on the local radio. Seriously. We heard the Macarena and Billy Ray Cyrus playing on the radio within 5 minutes of each other. It almost seemed as though the entertainment was being piped in from the late 80’s/early 90’s. At any rate, it gives the locals a good idea of what most of America is all about!
Carla: I thought it'd be a lot like Croatia since it basically shares the same Adriatic Coast, it's hot/sunny, has old Stari Most towns every few miles, and has mountains.  Sounds a lot like Croatia, but I was surprised at how different the whole look and feel was.  A lot of people describe Montenegro as "the most beautiful meeting of the land and sea" or "where the mountains fell into the sea" and it is truly the most defining characteristic of Montenegro.  The natural beauty of the inland fjords meeting against the mega mountains is unlike anything I have ever seen, and it was all around, everywhere you looked! 

What tip(s) would we share for someone going there...
Alex: It’s beautiful. The natural splendors are aplenty and that alone is worth the trip. However, Montenegro is just beginning to embrace the fact that they’re one of the next tourist hot spots. That said, it’s not as glamorous as some other places along the Adriatic. Give them 5-10 years though and you’ll be looking at some great accommodations right next to ancient cities that dot the coast all the way to the land where the mountains fell into the sea.
Carla: If you are driving into Montenegro from Croatia and plan to drive back into Croatia, know that it could take anywhere from one to three or even four hours to get through customs and back into Croatia.  I have never had to wait in a line that long to get through customs into another country, and that includes going from Ciudad Juarez back into the US (work trip a few years ago, needless to say our company doesn't permit travel there anymore).  Alex and I had no idea it would take that long and almost got charged another full day for our car rental since we didn't make it back by the 8pm deadline.  We waited about two and a half hours, it was so annoying and stressful!  So if anyone out there does the same at least you've been warned, build in that extra time to your schedule! 

Why would we go back to Montenegro?
Alex: This is one place that I really want to go back to, just to see how it grows and develops.
Carla: I'd love to go back and explore some of the smaller towns that we saw along the drive and I'd also like to see if their tourism grows since it's possibly up and coming- I wonder if that will be true? It has many beautiful characteristics that Croatia has and we also heard that Montenegro is envious of Croatia's tourism boom, however Montenegro might have a ways to go before catching up to Croatia.  It certainly is charming, but seemed like it needed some more structure or something? With that said though, it is a nice smaller town escape from Dubrovnik for a day and not far away at all! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik

"Those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik.
– George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Prize winning writer and playwright

I'm very happy that I get to share our favorite city from vacation today! Croatia is always a special place for us to visit because Alex's family came from Croatia.  When we got married and I became a Zidarevich, I didn't know a lot about this small country on the Adriatic until we went to Split in 2009.  I quickly understood why his family took so much pride in being Croatian.  Yes, there's the beauty, islands, the Adriatic, fresh food, the old world feel, beaches, 275 days of sunshine a year, and just about any wonderful thing you can think of- But more than any of that, I love the people, the lifestyle, and the general feel you have when you are there.  It's truly incredible! 

So, I know I aleady said it, but I really am excited that I get to share a glimpse of Dubrovnik with you!  Let's go! 
Views of Dubrovnik, the Adriatic Sea, and Banje Beach
Alex taking in his first moments in Dubrovnik, his highlights included breakfast at Lady PiPi inside the Old City and eating Croatian Cheescake! His grandma makes it for every holiday and it was the first time he had the real deal in Croatia!
Here's a video glimpse while walking on the walls
Beautiful views of Dubrovnik along the 1.5 mile walk atop the Old City Walls, go at sunset and avoid large cruise ship crowds! 
Best dinner of the whole vacation at Rozario, loved the seafood stew and found Posip, our favorite Croatian wine! 
Nighttime fun on the pier outside the city walls, at the Casablanca bar, and our favorite late night treat- fries from Surf'n'Fries
Buza Bar, the best spot in town day or night! Where else can can you soak up the sun, sip fruity drinks or a Karlovacko, and go cliff driving?! Croatians have the life!
With so many small island and caves just off the coast, it was a blast exploring for the day on a jet ski (Gari Transfer Rentals)
Always a must in Croatia, fresh seafood! Great mussels and black ink squid risotto at Moby Dick
Known by locals to be cursed, Lokrum Island remains uninhabited. Only accessible by boat, the island was a peaceful escape from the city and an unforgettable experience
Croatian tapas at Lucin Kantun, a perfect way to try and share traditional dishes!
Placa-Stradun after sunset
Sights and sunset along Placa-Stradun
Excellent traditional Bosnian cusine at the Taj Mahal, lived up to the hype and worth the long wait!
The view from our wonderful room at the Peline 21 Apartments (highly recommend, the owner gave us great tips & made us feel at home!)
Our last beautiful sunset in Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic and certainly paradise on Earth! 

What was your favorite moment in Dubrovnik?
 Alex:  It didn't take Carla and I very long to fall in love with a certain location in Dubrovnik. When we first found "it" we both had this overwhelming feeling of calm and happiness. We went back there every night and it never felt forced, faked, or routine. Whether we were unintentionally sharing gelato with oneanother or sipping a local wine and and snacking on cheese, this little spot felt like our very own little sliver of Dubrovnik. I'm not going to disclose the location because I hope that you too will travel to Hrvatska someday and find your own special spot.  The visits to this little spot were my favorite moments in Dubrovnik, and lucky for me, they happened each night during our visit!
Carla: There were too many so it's hard to pick just one!  But if  I have to pick, I guess one moment that really stuck out was when we were out island hopping on our jet ski.  Alex let me take the wheel after we left Lokrum Island and I decided to head toward the Old Town to get a closer glimpse of the Dubrovnik's city walls.  There we were, whizzing by those tall limestone walls on the sparkling Adriatic Sea.  I had seen many photos of Dubrovnik before planning our trip, hoping I'd see it with my own eyes someday and in that moment I had my own look at Dubrovnik, a picture no one else would see and an experience I'd never forget.  Those moments passing by on the sea are what I picture when I think of Dubrovnik now, more beautiful than any photo could capture.  

What surprised you about Dubrovnik?
Alex: Dubrovnik. The pearl of the adriatic. What surprised me? I'm not 100% sure how to answer this one. You see, I knew it was going to be beautiful. I knew it was going to be relaxing and exciting at the same time. I knew it would feel like home. I knew I wouldn't want to leave. I thought I knew so much about Dubrovnik and still, I was surprised that not a single one of my expectations fell short.
Carla:  That visiting War Photo Limited  gallery and seeing remnants of the war at the old Dubrovnik Riveria would end up being some of the most meaningful parts of our visit (see more information and photos below related to this topic).  Everything in the gallery is sad and seeing parts of Dubrovnik still destroyed is shocking.  You'd think we would avoid sad things on our trip right?  It's hard to explain, but things like that hit you deeply and you learn so much in those moments. Makes you all the more thankful for peace- such a simple word to describe an outcome of so many struggles.

What was your must-try menu item while in Dubrovnik
Alex: Honestly, you have to try the fresh seafood. We live in the midwest so FRESH seafood is basically limited to Walleye. In Croatia, you are getting the catch of the day every time you sit down and order black seafood risotto, or seafood stew, or grilled octopus, or stuffed squid, or mussels, or escargot, or....well, you get the idea. Oh, I almost forgot, fresh figs from the daily farmers market. Same as the seafood really. These are fresh - as in meet the farmer that picked it an hour ago, good! 
Carla: It was my favorite dish during our whole multi-city trip- the Seafood Stew from Rozario, a charming restaurant within the Old City walls.  I had never had something like it, the flavor was incredible and the fresh fish used in the stew was the most delicious fish I've ever tasted! To top it off, instead of bread, they served perfectly cooked & crisp polenta.  We also discovered our favorite bottle of local wine, Posip from Korcula Island, which paired perfectly with the meal! That dinner experience was the best of the whole trip, the waiter even stayed to chat with us for a while after reading our last name asking if we had family from Croatia.  When we go back to Dubrovnik (because we will!) I'm heading to Rozario for that stew! 

What tip would we share for someone going to Dubrovnik?
Alex: Lokrum island is approximately 700 meters off shore and it deserves a visit. You can catch a short ride over there from one of the several charters in town or you can rent a jet ski or boat and head out there on your own. However you get there, just be sure to get there. It's beautiful, has great swimming spots, is filled with beautiful wild peacocks, and even has a couple small cafes that make it easy for you to spend a whole day there. 
Carla: Be ready for some serious stairs if you are exploring the Old Town.  We had heard about the stairs when reading through travel guides and thought nothing of it because there's always a lot of walking and stairs in older European cities.  But yea, Dubrovnik tops them all when it comes to stairclimbing.  From the main drag Placa-Stradun, you can only go up to get anywhere in either direction and the stairs are more like blocks.  It doesn't ruin the experience or anything, just be ready to feel the burn in your thighs and calves :) I guess it makes it easy for locals to look great on the beach though! 

Why would you go back to Dubrovnik?
Alex: I would go back to Dubrovnik because this feels like home to me. I know it'd be great to say that I would go back for the cliff diving at Buza Bar, or the crystal clear Adriatic, and the Karlovacko at Banje beach but, the truth is, I will go back just to feel at home. In my heart, this is home. I challenge you to discover your own reason to visit Croatia (or go back). You'll be glad that you did.
Carla: Why wouldn't we?!? Croatia is the most beautiful, peaceful, happy, and perfect place I've ever been to in my life.  We've been to Split and Dubrovnik now, and the same feeling overcame me during both visits.  There's something about Croatia that you just feel.  You could be just sitting on the beach or diving off cliffs into the Adriatic, no matter if you are relaxing or taking in an adventure, each moment feels exciting and perfect. You betch-yer ass we're going back! 

Alight, there's a bit more below regarding my "what surprised you" response, but that's it for Dubrovnik!  Get ready for Montenegro next followed by our last city, Rome.  Vacation posts coming to an end shorty then we're really back to reality :)


War Photo Limited Gallery and the old Dubrovnik Rivera
You won't see many remnants from the war in the old city, but if you want to get a glimpse there's a place midway between Dubrovnik and the airport known as the old Dubrovnik Rivera.  We only found out about it thanks to our driver Robbie after chatting about Alex's Croatian roots and mentioning the wartime gallery.  I know it is strange but as I said above, these experiences were deeply moving and didn't want to leave it out of Dubrovnik post.  Take what you will from it, I'm just thankful for the peace there is today, otherwise Alex and I wouldn't have found our favorite place in the world.
Once known as Dubrovnik's Rivera, these four large resorts named Pelegein, Kupari, Grand, & Goricina remain as is since the war
The Grand Hotel, built in the 1920's and once the biggest tourist draw in Dubrovnik.  I can only imagine how beautiful this old hotel was, and maybe it will be again someday.
A look at a few gallery images and a short description of the war- I know not many US folks understand or know about it so I wanted to include

If you visit Dubrovnik, we highly recommend visiting the gallery.  It is a moving experience!