A Travellerspoint blog

Springtime training, flowers, and surprises

Yay! Spring 2022 was a good season. I was in full training mode getting ready for our big Dolomites multi day hiking trip and Quinn was an excellent training partner/coach/motivator. He planned so many fun hikes for us. I could fill a whole book of wildflower pictures. This photo is a hydroelectric plant we pass often on the way to the mountains.


We also had the joy for some surprise visits!

My college roommate and her family swung into Venice on her whirlwind Europe tour.


My Friday buddy Megan and her sister fit us into their sister trip and we had a wonderful evening catching up.


We also had a scheduled, planned, and highly anticipated visit from our AZ buddies the Key family! They came 6 strong and we toured around showing them our town and Prosecco Road. It was fun to see what the girls found interesting and what questions they had. They were so quick to pick up the language. Little sponges. We always enjoy our time with these folks. I won’t say how long we have been friends because the double digit numbers are making me feel old!! I didn’t get a picture of all 8 of us but here are a few snapshots.



After such a long period without visitors it was such a great treat to spend time with them in our neck of the woods.

So, back to the training. Pretty much every free weekend we spent driving 30-90 minutes to various hiking spots to get in some good training, incredible view, and nature time. I can’t think of a better way for us to enjoy spring than hiking in the mountains. I am sure Quinn would have preferred a few more bike rides instead of the “slow” hiking speed but he was a good sport and went along with my crazy training plan.

He also planned a visit to Val di Fassa which is an area of the Dolomites I had been wanting to check out. It was a drizzly but still quaint and cozy trip. Nothing better than an alpine village and their adorable decorations of the town. Disney, eat your heart out!


I will leave you with mountain flower pictures. How many is too many? You decide. Stop scrolling when you are all filled up.


If you are still here, these pics are flower from my garden.


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Winter turns to Spring

Apparently winter felt extra long this year but we made the most of it with a hiking/cycling trip in Cinque Terre. Quinn also managed to fit in a mega cycling tour with his friend Dave which involved 200+ kilometer days and me happily driving! We stayed in La Spezia which I recommend as a jumping off point and as an interesting port destination itself if you are considering visiting Cinque Terre. We also did a ride down to Porto Venere which is often missed by travelers and is also a cool historical town. Here are the obligatory town shots of Cinque Terre. Gorgeous as always.


Back at the home front, we got out and did a bunch of local rides as well which included delicious food stops.


Snuck over to Croatia to the Istria Peninsula in Croatia to the town of Porec. We learned that it is VERY seasonal and basically everything was closed. Luckily we had the bikes and some good walking shoes so we still had a great time but I would only recommend going here in shoulder or high season. Low season is quite low!


Just when I think we have done every local hike within a one hour drive, Quinn comes through and finds a new amazing spot to explore. This one had sweeping views but was a bit difficult to catch on camera.large_20220227_130718.jpglarge_20220227_133234.jpg

Took another winter break trip to Ljubljana. So much good food but we caught a cold snap!! It was very very cold. We were unprepared and ended up buying gloves and wearing scarves as hats. I think I wore every piece of my clothing every day. We did a meatless month for March, “meatless march.” Creative, I know. So we got to experience all the vegetarian delights in Ljubljana, Slovenia. We definitely need more trips to Slovenia now that borders are open again.


In other exciting news, Quinn and I are now in the same level Italian class! I am so proud of his dedication to language learning all while working full time and keeping me entertained.


As spring began to draw near we saw some beautiful wildflowers popping up and our friends Gwi and Luca hosted an amazing fish BBQ feast! They are incredible and really know how to make us feel welcome and spoiled :)


As an amazing kick off to spring, these lovely folks flew down from Germany for some Italian adventures. We need more of this! Thanks Kayla and Greg.


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Winter 2021

Written in Summer of 2022. I am still so far behind that I am now just doing seasonal blogs.

It was an adjustment settling back into the dual working household routine but we did it. I had a winter break for Christmas so we set off on a road trip through Le Marche and Lazio. We mostly stayed in apartments and BnBs. We rode bikes, went hiking, and enjoyed the coast.


Oh yeah, and we turned 40! What in the heck! We celebrated with a little get together and a large amount of sushi.


Winter goes faster with trips to Christmas markets, the sea, soap making, baby visiting, and some more hiking.


And the highlight of the winter…..MO!!!!! She came to visit and we had a short but hilarious time together.


In other news, I got a Gravel E-bike. Quinn made it his professional duty to find one for me and drove a measly 5 hours to Torino to buy it. He is the best!!


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Fall 2021 (back to work for me)

  • **Note, I am writing this in Summer of 2022 because I am THAT far behind. It is going to take a real effort to get caught up.

Summer 2021 was the last hoorah before I started my new job. My parents came just as I started working so we had to fit in our travels and excitement around my new work schedule. Luckily they were excited for some independent travel! We took them to Chioggia, which is a small fishing village on the south end of the Venice Lagoon. We also hit up a bunch of local attractions including the mountains. My mom and Bob took an independent trip to Venice and fell in love with the city. It is hard not to.


We also had the Germany (PNW crew) come down for a trip to Venice. It was fun to show them our city and continue to experience the city without the crowds. I knew this wouldn’t last long (note, I am writing this in June 2022 and the crowds are back!)


Fall rushed in quickly and we took a quick trip down to Tuscany for a little cycling and leaf peeping. Also took our kayak out on the town river, took some hikes, and checked out some towns within an hours drive. It is really amazing the diversity of activities/towns we have within an hour. Also, I adopted “applejack” a fish for my classroom.



Okay, that brings us up to about Thanksgiving time.


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Summer Shenanigans 2021

Summer is almost here again so I need to get caught up on my entries. I was in COVID jail when i started writing this and just finished it now.

We really made the most of summer 2021 considering all of the constantly changing restrictions and health safety picture. After we returned from our giro d’europa (trip to Germany, France and back to Italy) we did some fun local trips and finally were able to have family time after so long of being separated.

We had a bunch of picnics along the various rivers near our house. This is, in my opinion, the optimal way to beat the heat in the warm humid summers. After all, there are no icy air conditioned malls to walk around. I also included a few pics from our friend Gwi and Luca’s magical house and garden. They know how to throw a good picnic!



There are two different river spots that we hit up this year. One is close with a gorgeous Mountain View and a small man made waterfall. It also has a delicious restaurant along the river, so that is the top choice.

Kayla made the trip down to Italy and we showed her the river and did some wine tasting. I also included some pictures from a Prosecco tasting we did with our friends Sean and Bree. This was in a magical valley with a family run operation. I woudn’t have been surprised if gnomes came popping up behind the vines, that is how mystical it felt.


We also did some bike trips around the area. Quinn did an epic trip with his equally courageous biking partner, Dave, from Innsbruck to Lake Garda. They did this ride in one day while Kate and I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of our lakeside hotel.


Took a quick trip to Austria to meet up with these fine folks Lindsay and John. Did a little biking, hiking, and socializing!


Can’t drive through the alps without a stop at a mountain hotel


More pics from various bike exploration. All within a two or less hour drive.


Then, at long last, we had a family visitor! Quinn’s mom! We took her on a trip to the mountains, bike riding, and showed her around town. We also made a little trip down to Venice and of course, ate some delicious food. It has been so long since I have toured family around, I almost forgot how to do it! Just kidding!


It wouldn’t be a blog post without an obligatory Ethan montage.


Posted by trackers 05:17 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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