A Travellerspoint blog

Ben and Jaya visit Germany

Ben is Quinn's cousin and he has come to visit us at every stop along our nomadic journey. Jaya has joined him for the last two stops and during this vacation it has been decided that she will be along for the ride for many more stops! THEY GOT ENGAGED!! Yay! This is the third couple to get engaged while on a trip to visit or stay with us. The other two are our friends Rene and Erica who were engaged on the Big Island of Hawaii and the other two were couch surfers that were staying with us for a week.

Happy picture of cousins.

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The first couple of days that they arrived we had to work and they tooled around Trier and some other little spots. We took them down to Bernkastel Kues to show them the really cute town center.
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Then we went out to a delicious dinner at our new favorite restaurant called Graacher Tor. We invited our friends Andrea, Kevin and Casey along. The food there is delish!
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On the weekend we went to Bruges, Belgium to celebrate the birth of our friends' little baby, Isolde. These are friends that we met through couchsurfing that live in Ghent, Belgium. In Europe, it is more common to have a baby party after the baby is born rather than having a baby shower before the baby arrives. We stayed with our friend Liesbeth's mom and sister in their amazing house/former restaurant. The garden was absolutely amazing!

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Isolde and me

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Her new dress. Every Belgian baby should have one!

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They treated us to such a nice lunch upon our arrival. It was croque (warm sandwiches) that you grill at the table. They were with salmon and ham and cheese and all kinds of sauces. Then we heated them on a sandwich maker...yuuuumy. I love "do it yourself meals" like raclette and fondue.

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We spent the afternoon and evening cruising around Bruge. Such a beautiful city. We didn't see all that much of it though due to all of the stops at chocolate shops, beer places, and a gin and tonic.

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Said gin and tonic

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Cool sign

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Street art

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It's Lt. Dan and Forest Gump! Okay, in all fairness, I did not make this up. Other people have been calling Quinn Lt Dan when he is in his wheel chair. He does not think this is funny.

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Liesbeth and Peter were able to join us for dinner. I don't know how they found the time to make it out for dinner with all of the baby party preparation but we were so happy to have some time with the hosts!

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It was a crazy baby party. There were 180 people. It was all in the garden and it was a perfect day for a party. They also had a traveling fry shop that came and made some fries and other fried treats. They also had bartenders making drinks and pouring beer and champagne. People planning a babyshower take note, alcohol and fried food are a great addition to a baby shower.

The next day we went to Dehaan Belgium which is an aboslutely adorable town on the beach. I really loved it. There were amazing houses, a really cute shopping street and a mile long boardwalk.

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Limbo!
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Cute siblings, taking care of one another

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Before we went back to Germany we stopped by Bruge again. I loved the windmills and canals and adorable shops. It is quite a crowded place but cute nonetheless.

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Cute coffee shop

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Our hosts saying good bye

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On the way back to Germany, we stopped in Brussels so Jaya and Ben could see the main square.

Posted by trackers 10:50 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Recovery

I will do the medical update first. Don't worry to all of our squimish friends. We did not include any pictures of incisions or scars or anything of that nature. To medically minded folks and those that like gore, email me and I will send you those pics if you desire.

The first 5 weeks were the toughest. Quinn was in quite a lot of pain for the first 3 or 4 and it was an adjustment for both of us to be "grounded" in the house. We set up the living room to be Quinn's central command post with everything he could need. He is taking a graduate school course so it was a bunch of work for him to get caught up with class. We had frequent doctor appointments in the beginning with mutliple x-rays and what not. At the six week mark he had a surgery to remove the screw that tied together his tibia and fibula. Up until that point, Quinn could not bear any weight on his leg. The surgery was an outpatient procedure and was quick and painless. Quinn said it only took them about 4 minutes to actually remove the screw using x-ray guided precision. After that time he started a little bit of weight bearing, up to 45 pounds. So he walked around with crutches and put some weight on the leg for the next 3 weeks. In his last doctor appointment they allowed him to increase by 10 kilos every week. So he will be full weight bearing in the next week or so. As of right now, he can stand without the crutches but still has to walk with them since he cannot shift his full weight onto the leg. He has physical therapy 2x per week and about 2 hours of exercises to do every day after and before work. Thanks to Silvan (our friend and Quinn's PT) he has been very busy. He went back to work part time after 7 weeks and now he is back to full time at work minus all of the appointments. He has his final doctor appointment with the surgeon in 2 weeks from now. His flexibility is returning and every week he gets stronger so I am thinking the next couple of weeks will go by fast.

Onto the fun social part! We had so much help and so many visitors the first few weeks back! Our friends Erin and Cole made us some delicious chili and a bunch of Quinn's coworkers/friends (Thanks Phil, Katrina, Susanne, Taylor, Michelle) came over with cassserole's galore! We also had additional little social visits from Susanne and Michelle. Our friends Andrea and Kevin came over with about 1000+ hours worth of movies and television shows. Later on in the recovery process they also picked up Thai food and brought us Chipotle all the way from Frankfurt!!! Our friends Jake and Emily came over with their brand new baby and a tray of delicious bars. How Emily cooked for us with a 1 week old baby and then ventured over to deliver them and let Quinn hold James is beyond me! We should have been delivering food to her! Then they came by again to socialize and drop off some home grown rhubarb which Quinn promptly made into a delicious cake. Then another friend of ours, Nicki, brought us a meal even with two kids of her own to take care of and a deployed spouse. All of these people were so kind to help us out and go out of their way even with their own crazy lives going on. I wish I would have taken pictures of all these acts of kindness but I wasn't really in picture mode. Finally, I got my butt in gear and realized I should start documenting things. So here is a visit from our friend Abby with her two little guys Luke and Same. Sam really made Quinn's day by snuggling with him on the couch.

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Then our friend David came over and cooked us a gourmet meal. No seriously, really gourmet. It was like having a professional chef in the kitchen. He even brought his own salt and pepper and an amazing cheese tray full of cheese he had bought in France and Luxembourg. We are lucky people. Quinn really wanted to be a part of the cooking action so we brought the couch over to the kitchen.

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David insisted that I take a picture of this. He brought all of his own pans to cook but then needed and extra one and used one of ours. Well, silly me gave him the wrong lid and it got stuck on there with steam suction or something and it was quite the hilarious challenge to get it off. Thank goodness it didn't ruin the meal. Now I see why he travels with his own cookware!

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Quinn jazzed up his crutches with stickers so they wouldn't be so plain. I am not going to lie, he was pretty sad when this is how he spent his Friday night but we tried to keep it fun and stay positive.

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After about 4 weeks in the house and not being able to go anywhere or do much morale started to get a little low. Also, I was getting a little tired of being the sole caretaker because that is a lot of work! So we called for reinforcements and my Mom flew to help us. We called her on a Friday night at 9:00 pm and she was on a plane the next at 2pm! Go Mom! She cooked up a storm and I wish I would have taken a picture of each dish but I did take a picture of my favorite. Crabs and sauce! (sometimes it is just nice to enjoy the visit and forget about the camera).

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Everyone was happy to have my mama here. Even Ethan enjoyed the extra spoiling attention!

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One night we had our friends over to the house on short notice for a few after dinner drinks and dessert. It was fun to see everyone and introduce them to mom.

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Kevin is like an elusive cat that moves too fast for the camera.

Also, our friends Silke and Silvan hosted a BBQ for my mom's visit. I cannot believe we did not get even one picture but I think it was because we spent the whole night laughing. My cheeks and stomach hurt by the end. We played a game called "dirty minds" and then we just sat around saying funny stuff the rest of the time. It was a great night. Thanks guys!

For mother's day, my mom and I went down to the Mosel for a little boat ride and mother daughter time. It was a fantastic day.

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I don't think my mom and I have done any adventures like that with just the two of us since I was 4 or 5 years old and we used to go to the zoo! It was fun to do something with just the two of us. No offense husbands :)

We went on a little Game of Thrones marathon while my mom was here and we watched all 3 seasons in about 3 days. Wow. That show is sick, twisted, gorey, and completely addicting. It was so hard to say goodbye to my mom but I so appreciated her coming to help. Love you Mom.

Random cheese tray to spice up life.

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Yes another BBQ. We have become the BBQ friends. I imagine the conversation in the household goes something like this. Hey, we should see Quinn and Kristen....oh but they can't really go anywhere right now. I have an idea....let's invite them to a BBQ. We were so thankful that people kept cooking for us and getting us out of the house. Thanks friends.

This one was on base.

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This is the first day Quinn was given clearance to ride his bike on the trainer. What a happy moment.

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After about 8 weeks we ventured out of the house for the first time to an event. This was an open wine cellar event in Traben Trarbach. About 8-10 of the vinters open their cellars, tasting rooms, and gardens to visitors to have a taste and look. It was such a beautiful day and a really fun time.

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One of them had a huge cellar that could probably hold 300 people for an event and under that is a cellar that they have set up as a museum. The vinter's son who was probably about 13 showed us around and gave us a private tour because we had to go in through a seperate entrance that did not involved stairs. Quinn let me take a picture of him in the wheelchair but he was not happy about it.

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We knew we had visitor's coming soon and we really needed our lawn mowed so we bribed our friend Casey with sushi if he came to tame the forest of weeds that was taking over our backyard. We might have gone overboard with the number of rolls we made.

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Quinn's second couch set up perfectly for elevating his leg!

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So, as you can see, he is making great progress. There were some high and low points and everything in between but life is good.

Posted by trackers 11:37 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

The Greek Crisis

We booked a trip with our friends Kevin and Andrea to go rock climbing in Crete. The first day we drove about 3 hours to the south side of the island. The drive was absolutely beautiful with mediterannean landscape and mountains. It was super windy with a bunch of dirt roads and a few goats....okay a ton of goats. The house we rented was on top of a hill with a killer view of the ocean.

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The next day we had planned to go climbing but it rained so we hopped in the car and drove some more winding roads to a town called Matala. This areas is known for caves where a bunch of hippies lived in the 70s. The town has a bunch of artists and painted streets and such, likely the hippie influence.

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Kevin and Andrea enjoying the scenery.

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Kevin before the wave.

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Kevin during the raid.

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We went for a little hike up the mountain to the red beach. I don't know why it is called the red beach since it was yellow. But it was a beautiful hike.

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We ate at a fabulous restaurant with an ocean view. We watched people jump off of rocks and took pictures of people jumping off of rocks, and took pictures of people taking pictures of people jumping off of rocks.

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We rented the house from airbnb.com and the owner, Lior, is also a climber, and adventure guide, so he invited us to tag along with him, which was very convenient because the area was difficult to find. First we met him at his cafe, then we rode in a 4x4 vehicle to the top of the canyon. We hiked in through the narrow canyon and had to jump into water and cross a little river as the water was still running from the winter melt. It was super cool. There were also some goat bones such as the jaw and vertebrae.

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The rock climbing area was absolutely incredible with a bright red wall. Then the canyon opened out onto the beach and there were a few climbs along the beach. We started one and decided it was too tough so we moved to a different one. I tried it and couldn't do one of the moves so Quinn went up to give it a shot.

That brings us to the moment I wish I could change. Quinn was working through the route when all of the sudden I saw him come off the wall in a twisting position. His foot had caught in a crevice and his hand slipped causing him to turn outward and break his leg. It was an open fracture with his bone coming out of the skin. He called down to me to lower him and I brought him down to the ground. He immediately grabbed his foot, pulling it over to close the opening which was almost 180 degrees of his ankle. Then I tied a tourniquet with my shirt and some of our climbing gear. As I mentioned earlier we were in a really remote location, and it was not possible to get Quinn out the way we came in. There are, inconveniently, no helicopters on the island of Crete. Luckily we had Lior with us (who also happens to be former German Armed Forces) and he jumped into action. There were quite a few people in the canyon and everyone worked together to help us. Lior called his mother who coordinated with the local fishermen and ambulance to provide transport. Someone found a chair in a cave (where people live during the summer), then we slung some climbing rope up under the chair and Kevin and Lior muscled Quinn from the climbing area to the beach where a small fishing boat met us. It took about 7 people to stabilize the boat which drove up onto the beach to get Quinn inside. Then it started pouring rain. I laid on top of him to stabilize him and keep him dry while we took the ride around the mountain so that we could meet the ambulance at the dock. When we got to the dock, the ambulance was not there yet, and two other fishermen muscled him out of the boat and into the back of a pick up truck which drove us to a small shipping container type office where the fishermen started a fire to warm/dry us. The ambulance came about 10 minutes later. The whole process up to this point was a little over 1 hour. The ambulance drivers stabilized Quinn's leg in position and then we started the long 2 hour drive across two mountain passes to the north of Crete to the largest hospital on the island in the city of Heraklion. Within about 2 hours of arriving at the hospital Quinn was undergoing emergency surgery to repair the broken bones and close the open wound. He broke both the fibula and tibia and needed a metal plate and 8 screws, one of which will have to be removed in a later surgery.

So, Quinn and I spent 4 days in the hospital while he recovered from surgery and received IV antibiotics. The first three nights we spent in a tiny little hospital bed together and on the 4th night I was able to secure a room at a little inn for family members of people who are at the hospital, with assistance from the owners of the other airbnb place we booked later in our trip. He was given codeine and some other medications so his pain was pretty well controlled. Most of the staff spoke English so we were able to communicate with them about issues/concerns. Of course being in a hospital is very stressful even when you are in your native country but being in a hospital where you are out of your own culture compounds that effect.

Some interesting cultural differences in Greek medical care. They took NONE of our information prior to providing care for Quinn. They didn't even have our street address. We could have skeedadled right out of there and no one could have found us. The doctors don't really tell you anything unless you specifically ask. Otherwise they just say, "doing good." Even during rounds you don't get much of an update. EVERYONE at the hospital has a family member staying with them at all times. Due to the Greek financial crisis all government systems (including healthcare) had a 25% budget cut across the board. This means less staff to help. So the family members make up the slack by helping people to the bathroom, pushing wheel chairs, opening doors and so on. We even had someone else's family member help to wheel Quinn down to xray! They don't give you pitchers for water. You must go buy your own bottled water down at the cantina. There is no cafeteria for family or staff. Therefore, a few little restaurants and cantinas have sprung up around the hospital to provide people with a place to eat. Visiting hours are quite lax. Our roommate had visitors until 10:30 one night. Actually, most of the visitors don't even start showing up until 8:00. Boy do people have visitors! Sometimes like 8 at a time. The rooms get packed. Every room has a balcony and you can see tons of visitors all smoking on the balconies and basically having a frat party. I kept joking with Quinn that it was like being at a fraternity house! Here are the balconies and the view from the room.

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Also, there are pictures of religious figures everywhere and even a little altar in each room. I am not sure if you put a statue or a candle or what on this but here it is.

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If you want to watch tv you must pay 2 euros per day. If you don't want to watch tv then they actually take the TV away! Isn't that hilarious?

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Around the rest of the hospital things work in a very different manner than I am accustomed to. Each patient gets a piece of paper for various things that they need, for example, an xray. Then they go over to the xray department and instead of signing in, they just hold their paper and then as soon as the xray tech opens the door, they all rush to him and frantically hand their papers to try and be the next one seen. It is absolute chaos. Same situation in the emergency room. Everyone always has a white paper. Even me! (Lucky us we arrived by ambulance ;))

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The woman that we rented our second room from (through airbnb) helped me to get a room at the family center. They gave me a white paper and I had to run around getting it signed by different people so that I could prove my husband was in the hospital and stay at their family center. Her husband also brought us towels so that we could dry off after a shower. They do not have towels at the hospital in Greece! It was so awesome of them to help us. They even tracked us down at the hospital to see what they could do!

Also, Greek people all talk to each other like they know everyone. For example, they will frequently ask you what happened to you and want to know everything. I had people in line often offering to help translate medical information or personal financial information for me. There is not really the same sense of privacy that we think of. It is kind of refreshing. They are just like, "hey here is your situation and that's it."

Nearly EVERYONE on staff was so helpful and kind. Here is a nurse that even though he didn't have a word of English made us feel so welcome. He made us special tea from the mountains of Crete and joked around with us through gestures and facial expression.

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Quinn in bed.

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We were discharged after 4 days and given all our medical records. One of the attending doctors kept telling us how "perfect" Quinn's surgery was and how well he would heal because his surgery was "perfect."

Pics on the way out from Quinn's point of view.

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We have this insurance service called ADAC. It is kind of like AAA in the States. This service helped us tremendously! They "repatriated" us back to Germany. They had a doctor on staff that communicated with our doctor in the hospital and they booked our flight arrangements, ground transportation, and a hotel for us for two days before we were able to get on a flight. After we were discharged from the hospital they put us up in a five star hotel on the coast. The hotel didn't have a wheel chair so Quinn road the luggage cart up.

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View from the room.

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Pillow menu

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One good thing about the hotel and one bad thing. The concierge was able to secure us crutches within 20 minutes of arriving at the hotel. The home health company delivered them in about 10 minutes. It was amazing. The bad thing was the concierge refused to tell us any place to get food because they have a full restaurant. I think this is really poor business practice because people do not want to always eat in a hotel and to not help your guests is just crap. Especially, if one has a broken leg! I was pissed. Anyway, I wandered around for a while and found the cutest little new restaurant and they made us take out every day for lunch and dinner.

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The trip from the hotel to the airport was by a car and a wheelchair. Everyone at security was very accommodating. We rode on some little strange bus thingy to get us to the airplane and it lifted us up so Quinn could just walk right in with his crutches rather than climb stairs. ADAC booked us 3 seats for Quinn so he could have his leg up and one seat next to him for me. The flight was uncomfortable for him but the staff tried their best to help.

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Once we landed in Germany we were transported again by some little wheeled vehicle thing and then to medical transport. It is a two hour drive from Frankfurt airport and we were finally home at 1:30 am. It was a LONG day and Quinn was so tough through the whole thing.

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We saw the German orthopedic surgeon yesterday and he said, "well, I have to say, they did a very good job." So it is nice to have a second opinion and one that is positive. I think this means a lot because anyone who has worked with an orthopedic surgeon knows that they usually think they are the only ones who can do anything right so a compliment from one to another means a lot.

A huge thank you to to all of the people who helped us out of the canyon including Lior, Francy, and Suzy. Also a big thank you to Andrea and Kevin who drove all around to get our stuff and then to come and sit with me during Quinn's surgery and to come and drag me out of the hospital for lunch one day. Also a big thank you to all of our friends who helped prepare our house for arrival and stock our fridge with food (Erin, Cole, Casey). An advanced thank you to Silvan who will be Quinn's PT once he is ready for rehab and again to Andrea who will provide massage to reduce scar tissue.

Emails and messages are welcome but we may not respond to all questions because frankly, it just takes too much time. We don't have much more information about the road ahead. You know pretty much everything we know at this point, but we will share it as we get it. If you would like to be on the update list by email then let me know that in an email and I will add you. I am sending out update emails with more personal details of things than I am posting on this blog. Hope you all are doing well.

Posted by trackers 03:45 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Sicily

What?! It has been a month since I have written anything. Wow! Time flies.

For Valentine's day we took a quick little trip to Trapani, Sicily for a little rock climbing and Vitamin D intake. Check and check. We have this whole Ryan Air deal down to a science. I wait for the checked luggage and Quinn high tails it to the car rental line. There were about 20 people behind him when I showed up with our gear bag and we were on the road to explore an Italian island. We found a grocery store for a picnic lunch because it was about 2:00 and all of Italy closes down between 2:00 until about 6:00. Here was our picnic lunch view with the salt flats. Apparently they harvest/gather/dry? I don't know the correct terminology, here at the flats and under these tile roofs. The windmill's must act as pumps.

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We drove out to San Vito lo Capo, which is a resort area in the summer and completely abandoned in the winter. We could barely find a place to eat. We finally settled on a place right near our hotel which we completely missed during our initial drive to town. We enjoyed a glass of wine and sunset. Oh how I love the sun. You don't realize how much you love it until it isn't around, says the girl who has lived in Arizona, Florida and Hawaii.

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Our inn at Sunset and again in the morning for breakfast. Our hostess put out an incredible spread of food. I think she was trying to feed about 100 people.

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Views on our way out to the climbing area.

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Freshly painted....Well this doesn't happen everyday.

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The climbing here was really incredible. It goes around an entire cape and is a mesa in the middle of the cape. Ocean views from every climbing spot with super sticky rock. It was awesome. They host a big international climbing competition here every year and I can see why! We met up with some couchsurfers that took us to this awesome spot. It involved off roading in our tiny rental car over huge rocks and mud puddles of unknown depths. Quinn's driving skills definitely came in handy.

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This is a "where's Kristen?" photo.

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On the way back, we discovered this!

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That night we drove into Palermo. Along the way we stopped for some cannoli. These were the biggest ones I found along the trip. I may have eaten 7 cannoli in 3 days, no biggie.

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View point on the drive to the next hotel

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We were planning on driving to climb on Sunday to another spot near Palermo, but the traffic was so horrific we couldn't bare to put ourselves in the car again. So we wandered around the city and enjoyed the scenery. I think we were both a little bummed not to climb again but the traffic was just totally insane. I enjoyed the rural areas of Sicily but the cities were not my favorite.

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One thing I really did enjoy was the outdoor market. The vendors were shouting and singing and just generally making a commotion that really added to the atmosphere. They were selling baccala which reminded me of my stepdad, Bob, who nicknamed a couple of his friends the baccala brothers. Based on the smell of this dry, salted fish, he didn't think too highly of these people!

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Not sure if this was special for the day we were there or if Sicilians drag all their crap out onto the street to have one giant yard sale every Sunday but everywhere we turned there was a sale going on.

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More cool stuff around town

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It's not every day that you see a tribute to the fight against the mafia.

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Food glorious food, what is there more handsome?

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This church was super cool because all the of the artwork was made of mosaics. It was so intricate and amazing.

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And we got to go up to the look out tower and see some hundreds of year old graffitti!

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This face totally creeped me out.

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Quinn parked like an Italian, right in front of the church! He demanded a picture to commemorate this event.

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Another cool drive back to the airport. Happy to leave the city. Sad to leave the countryside.

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Found this super cute stray dog along the way. I wanted to bring her home so bad.

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Then we stopped in the town of Marsala. This also reminded me of Bob because he taught me to cook mushrooms with Marsala wine. Now I have been to the home of Marsala. It was super cute and we were sad we didn't have more time there. If we go back for another rock climbing trip, this town will be on the list of must sees.

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It is really nice to get out of the cold even if it is just for the weekend.

Posted by trackers 13:07 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Porto: Tapas, Tawny, Tiles

Another Ryanair trip is in the books. This one was with our awesome friends Kate and TW and Casey. What a fun group of people. Sometimes, all the pieces are right for a great trip.

It is only fitting that we start this blog out with a train ride picture because we spent a lot of time with Kate and TW on the trains in Japan. This was a train from the airport into the city and only cost about 3 bucks for a 30 minute ride. That's cheap.

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First building out of the subway. Just a sign of things to come. I couldn't get enough of these blue tiles.

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Stopped at a corner store to fill up on supplies for the apartment. We didn't know it at the time, but the bottle with the yellow label would be one of our favorite wines and was a bit of foreshadowing for one of our best meals ever.

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Breakfast the next morning. Quinn is a carbaholic, so he was pumped about finding this place.

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Street Scenes

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Photo Bombs

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There was a really awesome bridge connecting the cities across the river. There was an upper and lower bridge. I loved the views.

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Porto is known for its Port wine. There are a bunch of wineries along the river. We stopped to partake in some wine tasting. It was a blast. Did a little photo shoot as well. You may also notice the boats in the background. There were so many forms of transportation in Porto from boats to gondolas, to tuk tuks to trolley cars, to trains. I could go on and on. Here are some river shots and also transportation shots.

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Tuk-tuk
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Funicular
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Port wine tasting

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Sommelier
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Trolley Car
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Photo shoot

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Lovin the tile

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That night we had some difficulties finding dinner. It turned out to be a crazy busy dinner night and every place was totally booked. Thanks to Kate's ingenuity we were able to find a pizza joint so we didn't starve. Europe tends to only do one sitting at a restaurant, so when you go out for the night you may see plenty of empty tables in a restaurant, but it may be reserved for a dinner party at 9 p.m. Nevermind that it is only 7. You won't get the table.

Then we hit up, "The Gin House." I have to admit that I was less than enthused to go to a Gin bar but the bartender was amazing and convinced me that I really wanted a 12 dollar gin and tonic even though I don't like Gin. Every single drink used a different kind of gin and had different garnishes. The making of the drink was quite a process and super fun to watch. They even froze the glass and ice cubes with a special machine. It was worth some of the money just to watch him make the drink. Turns out, this guy can make a Gin and Tonic that even I like! Swanky.

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The next morning we ate at one of the restaurants where we had tried to eat dinner. It was basically brunch time so we were able to get a table for lunch. It was a super cool library/restaurant where they brought you a menu in a book. Here were the delicious dishes that followed.

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This was the best sponge cake I've ever had. I'm not sure I know what sponge cake is, or that I have ever had it before, but it was good.

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Checked out a church and some tombs inside the basement with actual bones.

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Walked up this tower.

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This city really has character. It is unpolished and earthy and artsy and beautiful.

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Another church.

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Me enjoying the sun.

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More street shots

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I cannot get enough of this tile.

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TW and Casey really wanted to check out a winery called, "Cockburns." No, I am not making this up. So we trekked up a big hill to the winery and much to our dismay, it was closed! Stupid Sundays! Anyway, we were able to find a strange park with an abandoned building in the center. Photo shoot.

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No surprise Quinn was a runner.

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The creepiest chimney ever.

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After the park, we had to at least have a picture with the sign of the winery.

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Me waiting for these yahoos who are taking pictures of people taking pictures.

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Can you see a common theme here with all of the picture taking? Quinn and Kate were out of control. I loved all the photoshoots but I am telling you, it made writing this blog a long task when I had to wade through 700 pictures for a 3 day weekend!

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Crochet?

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Our last night we ate at an INCREDIBLE tapas restaurant. Unfortunately, we only took a picture of the cheese. I think after the first course we were so busy eating we forgot to take more pics. Remember that yellow bottle of wine? The waiter recommended it at this place, and we had 3 bottles of it. Imagine our surprise when we got back to the room, and discovered we had a fourth in the fridge. What a great night.

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Okay, I cannot help it, one more tiled building.

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To bring this blog full circle, here we are on the train with yet another photobomb! TW and Quinn had a very tough trip to the airport. Apparently they were over hydrated.

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I just cannot express how much fun this trip was. This group of people really know how to have a good time together. It is not often that you can travel so seamlessly with a group of 5 and just really relax and have a great time. I CANNOT WAIT for the next trip.

Posted by trackers 13:38 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

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