Tag Archives: Landscape

Would You Like To Join Me For a Run?

I have a love-hate relationship with running.  I love the feeling of finishing a five or six mile run.  I hate the agony I get in my calves the next day.  I love pushing myself to run a distance further than I’ve ever run before.  I hate pushing myself through that first mile after foolishly taking four months off during the winter.  Currently, I’m learning to find a proper balance in my on-again off-again relationship with running.  Since living abroad, I’ve discovered a renewed commitment to running.  I am lucky enough to have some of the most amazing routes in my own backyard – a benefit that definitely keeps me on the trail a little longer.

“Please, come join me along my run”
Julia loves to join me on an occasional run

We have been really lucky with some wonderful weather this fall.  Just this morning, I went for a jog in shorts and a lightweight jacket.  I understand it’s a lot colder at home, so I would like to invite you to “come for a run with me”.  I have several routes that I take on a regular basis depending on how long, how far, or how much of a vertical climb I want.  Or sometimes, I’ll just go out and try to find something new. Continue reading Would You Like To Join Me For a Run?

Loosen Those Belt Buckles – Some Serious Eating Ahead

Before I’ve even written the first word of this post, my OCD brain is trying to figure out if this post should be categorized under the “Food” or the “Travel” sections of the blog.  I will be taking you along with us on our travel adventure to go eat some of Italy’s best food.  It’s quite the dilemma…

A selection of salumi (cold cuts), formaggi (cheese) and the cinghiale (boar) that gave his life to the cause

You may have read about part of our visit with Aunt Deb and Uncle S where we ventured into the wine region of Piemonte during the first portion of their visit.  Their two week sojourn in Italy included a mission to explore the best of what the country has to give.  It was no coincidence then, that their adventure had been neatly divided into three of the country’s best offerings.  Part I was Vino (wine).  Party II was Cibo (food) – the subject of today’s post.  Lastly, Part III was Storia (history).  Since they experienced the rich history of Pompeii and Venezia on their own, I will let them tell you all about it at their next dinner party.  I’ll simply report on the parts during which we were present… and luckily for us, we were present for a three day trip into Italy’s richest “food region”, Emilia-Romagna. Continue reading Loosen Those Belt Buckles – Some Serious Eating Ahead

Trois Villages in Une Day

There once was a couple in France
Their kind invitation gave us a chance
To visit a wonderful land
And so a trip was planned
Soon it was wine we were drinking

And glasses we were clinking

Our good friends Michel and Shirley have a wonderful home in a small village in the Côtes du Rhône region of France.  They invited us to join them for a few days recently, an invitation we were happy to accept.  Google maps told me that the journey from our home to theirs was approximately six hours and so we decided a stopover at the beach for a night would break up the drive nicely (read about it HERE).  After a relaxing night in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, we headed north to Sablet, France so that we could savor an enjoyable visit with good friends.

Sablet, France

We arrived in Sablet as scheduled, late in the afternoon.  However, I had misplaced all the phone numbers to reach Michel and so I wasn’t quite sure exactly where to go upon arriving in the village.  Michel gave me specific instructions not to attempt a drive directly to his home.  “The roads are far too narrow – many cars scrape on either side.  Don’t attempt it – park at the local bakery and head by foot”.  I only had his home address plugged into the GPS and admittedly, I had the words of Barney Stinson ringing in my head “I shouldn’t attempt the drive… challenge ACCEPTED!”  After creeping up, up, up, slowly, slowly, slowly – I made it to their home.  Luckily I made it with all car paint intact – but it was close.  I had been far too cocky and got lucky – I literally had centimeters on either side of my car at times.  We found their home and discovered they were just out at the local market, preparing for our arrival. Continue reading Trois Villages in Une Day

Edward and Bella – We’re Here!

Well, we didn’t run into Edward Cullen, Bella Swan or that creepy little girl that can induce pain in people’s mind (I suppose the world’s largest and most powerful coven of vampires was in hiding) during our visit to Volterra in Tuscany.
Now this is Tuscany!

For the Tibetan monk that has been living in isolation in Bhutan… and my sister, the only two people in the world that haven’t a clue who Edward or Bella are – I am making a playful reference to the Twilight Series.  Buddhist monk and Michelle, listen up – the premise of the fictional story is simple. Girl falls in love with boy.  Boy happens to be a blood-sucking vampire.  Girl also falls in love with another boy.  Boy happens to be a shape-shifting werewolf.  Love triangle ensues.  They all get in trouble when the Volturi (fictional Vampire royalty from the non-fictional town of Volterra, Italy) get involved.  Giant battle rages.  Extend story over five books.  Produce six movies and collect hundreds of millions of non-fictional dollars.  You know – your classic love story. Continue reading Edward and Bella – We’re Here!

Facebook Brought Us To Tuscany

Facebook is great for a lot of things.  First of all, it’s a wonderful time killer.  It is a spectacular medium for sharing funny videos about cats.  The site is also great for shameless self-promotion of your unimportant blog (ahem).  Facebook keeps me and Jen apprised of popular youtube videos and trending pop-culture stories we would have otherwise missed living in another country.  But perhaps best of all – it helps reconnect people after many, many years.

This is how you “like” a post on Italian Facebook

This was recently the case when my wife re-connected with a high school friend of ours, now living in Tuscana (Tuscany).   Continue reading Facebook Brought Us To Tuscany

How Do You Say, "The End" in German?

Two posts about the Dolomites and now four posts about Austria… will the posts about this road trip ever end?!  I promise, I’ll wrap it up here… I think I’m spending as much time writing as I did enjoying the trip!

An unfortunate haze covers a beautiful city

You may have gathered (HERE) that we instantly fell in love with Salzburg and extended our trip by an extra day/night to see more.  We started day one with a visit to a castle, Hohenwerfen Fortress and so I thought starting our second day with a visit to it’s sister castle, Festung Hohensalzburg would be appropriate. Continue reading How Do You Say, "The End" in German?

"G’day Mate" from Innsbruck, Austria

Strange… not only do they not say, “g’day mate” in Austria – they speak German!  Oh well, what’re you gonna do?!

Innsbruck, Austria

After we spent four wonderful days in the Dolomiti mountains (which you can read about HERE and HERE), we planned an impromptu trip to Austria.  The Dolomites span across the northern end of the Italy, just south of Austria.  A quick google search confirmed that we could arrive in Innsbruck in under three hours and the opportunity was too good to pass up.  Once we explained our plan to visit Innsbruck to Claudia’s cousin, Angelo – he suggested we also stop by Salzburg.  Well, what’s another couple hours drive and another day or two?  After all, we didn’t think we’d be back in Austria anytime soon. Continue reading "G’day Mate" from Innsbruck, Austria

Dolomiti e Una Macchina Fotografica

“The Dolomites and a  Camera”

You may have recently read HERE about our trip to the Dolomiti (Dolomite Mountains) to visit Franco and Claudia over Easter weekend.  What I wasn’t able to fit into that post, was all the imagery we captured of the most spectacular mountain range we have ever seen.

Hilltop view – I had to trespass to get this shot
Mountain view from “Claudia’s” bridge in Canale D’ Agordo

We extended our trip in Canale D’ Agordo (Claudia’s hometown) by a day, because the three days we planned was barely enough to just scratch the surface in this region of Italy.  Claudia wanted to show us not only her town of Canale D’ Agordo, but also the surrounding towns.  We would like to now share them with you. Continue reading Dolomiti e Una Macchina Fotografica

Easter in the Pope’s Church

This year we took full advantage of living in Italy and went to the Pope’s Church for Easter!  Only, it wasn’t in Vatican City and it wasn’t the current Pope.  But it was still his church!  If I may explain…
Jen and Julia in front of the church in Canale D’ Agordo

If you’ve read a few posts (or know us), you’ll know that we’ve been fortunate enough to live in Jen’s parent’s condo while in Italy.  Even more fortunate is that Jen’s Zio (Uncle) Franco and Zia (Aunt) Claudia live above us.  This means we’re eaten countless meals upstairs (she’s a wonderful cook), have built in baby sitters, tour guides and translators… basically we have a third set of parents and new besties. Continue reading Easter in the Pope’s Church