Saturday, March 31, 2012

Italy Day #1

Well, I had intended to be blogging almost every day and now an entire week has gone by! Flew by, really. After some delays, we made it to Geneva, Switzerland, and I got to see my dear, dear friend from college Elizabeth. We haven't seen each other in almost 7 years, but it really feels like no time has past. Almost like we are still 19. My kids adore her kids (guess the kids don't make it feel like we are still 19...), and it is all heavenly. But I'll write about Switzerland later this week, as we only stayed over one night before heading for Italy.

Our plans for this last week were still up in the air when we arrived. We were pretty sure we wanted to go somewhere in Italy. Venice ended up being too far to travel in the few days we had. My friend and tennis partner Jordana had recommended the Cinque Terre, and that ended up being the perfect choice.

Matt rented a car for us. It was a 5 hour drive but didn't seem like that as we went into the alps, through the Mount Blanc tunnel and into Italy. The drive through Val d'Aousta was spectacular. Pointing out castles to each other started out fun but soon became mundane. Oh, look! ANOTHER castle! We also drove through more tunnels than any of us have been through in our life... combined!

We arrived in Monterosso early enough to check in, walk the town a bit and get a recommendation for dinner. Monterosso (and Vernazza, the next town over) was hit with flooding and mudslides in October. There was a decent bit of construction going on, but it was easy to see the charm beneath.

Walking the edge of Monterosso


Dipping toes in the Mediterranean


Jack was fascinated with the reconstruction efforts


We stayed at Hotel Pasquele in Monterosso. We had originally intended to just spend one night but extended to all 3 nights. The hotel is built into the rock cliff, and they have exposed rock all through the hotel. Really charming. I loved that the shutters opened out and the windows opened wide (I'm ready to convert my windows in Colorado...), and we had an amazing view of the Mediterranean.

Looking out our hotel window


We had a pizza dinner at Pizzeria de Ely. Very good. Filled with locals as well as tourists. Wonderfully friendly waiters. We sent the kids to the dessert display to pick something, and Jack came back complaining that the dessert looked like chicken (the baked apples did look a bit like chicken breast...). It was actually an apple, chocolate, creme pie. Yum. But now the family joke is that we had "chicken pie" for dessert.

Enjoying "Chicken Pie"


I took the kids outside while Matt paid the bill. I loved watching Kate and Jack run through the narrow Italian streets. Up and down old stairwells. Along the steps of a centuries old church. It is those moments that I want on this adventure.

Streets of Moneterosso


We tucked in at a decent hour (for the adults, way too late for the kids), and all was well. Until Kate started throwing up...

*all photos are from my iphone - I have BUNCHES more on my good camera, but those have to wait until we get home...

**I can't figure out how to do links from my iPad, so no links

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

PopMom said...

I'm so excited for you guys! I've actually been to Cinque Terre when I was 20 and backpacking. It's amazing! Dreaming about the big bowls of pasta you must be eating!