Friday, May 28, 2010


I love this picture.  For some reason, it reminds me of my older sister.  Maybe because, as a kid, all I ever wanted was to have been born in '76 as opposed to '78.  She was TWO whole years older than me and those TWO whole years provided her with a cool factor that I desperately wanted.  She had her ears pierced before me, drove a Cabriolet convertible before me, shopped at 5-7-9 before me, and went on car dates with BOYS before me.  

Today, those two whole years provide less of a cool factor but quite a bit of wisdom and grace.  And, while I now associate two years with acquiring more fine lines and gray hairs, I would still trade places with her in a heartbeat. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sunday, we were lazy.  Woke up late.  Had a leisurely breakfast.  Got on a boat.  The boat was cool and it was sunny so I was a happy camper and Dave Cole kept himself occupied by singing his favorite boat song over and over again.  Until he saw the sail boat below, and then he just kept drooling.  
We decided to have lunch in Santa Margherita, this chi-chi little town that caters to people who own yachts and drive fast cars.  Seeing as we have a Nissan, we grabbed lunch on the water, checked out the marina, saw the church, and got out of town.


Five days after our return from Cinque Terre, DC and I packed up the same clothes (mostly washed, of course) and headed back. We lost the Adairs but gained the sunshine so all but one of the trails were open.  Unfortunately, tourist season is picking up as the weather improves and so we had "standing room only" tickets all the way from Milan to Genoa.  We were definitely ready to sit, relax, and take in the view from our little apartment off the main street.  

We headed out bright and early the next morning to start our trek on the famous Trail #2.  The first leg (Riomaggiore to Manarola - 25 minutes) was the same one we had done last weekend.  We rolled through Manarola and headed out on the second leg, Manarola to Corniglia (45 minutes).

At Corniglia, we stopped in for aperitivo and quickly found our way down to the local beach.  I thought we were just up for some sunning but, before I knew it, DC was cannonballing himself into the cold Mediterranean water.  We convinced a few others to join us in our chilly swim but soon found ourselves sitting in the sun, warming up and waiting for our clothes to dry.
Corniglia to Vernazza was one of my favorite legs of the hike (45 minutes) and we met a fun mom and her daughter from Cleveland whom we followed down the mountain.  We bonded over failed NBA championship experiences and then cut off to hang out at the same cafe on the hill that we had been at last weekend.  

As we ventured down to the town, DC convinced me that we should at least check out the last trail even though it was closed.  While I'm not usually a rule breaker, I figured this was a rare chance and so I followed my wayward husband over the fence and we started the final leg, Vernazza to Monterosso (90 minutes).  We ran across a few other rule breakers but, for the most part, had the trail to ourselves and easily hopped over the gate in Monterosso with only a few odd glances.  To celebrate, we rewarded ourselves with a seafood extravaganza at a little restaurant on the beach: lobster, calamari, octopus, shrimp, mussels, and whitefish.  Nathan and Lindsay - it was definitely as good as it looked!   So good, in fact, that we convinced the Australians next to us to order it as well and they thanked us by taking our photo with the feast.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Sunday morning, we woke up to extremely worshipful church bells, blue skies, and gorgeous ocean views.  To take full advantage of our rooftop patio, we had an extended breakfast in the sunshine as well as some gardening by Emerson.  
After dragging ourselves away from our casa, we navigated the 10,000 steps down to town and explored our own little city and its marina.  
I love that coastal towns love kitties.  Milan is obsessed with dogs so stopping to pet each cat was a welcome change.  At least until the mad case of fleas sets in.
We raced to catch a train to the largest and most resort-y of the five towns, Monterosso.  After a close call involving ditching Lindsay and Emerson in the train toilet, we finally made it to the beach!  Having forgotten our speedos, however, we simply strolled and played in the waves (well, some of us fell into the waves but I won't belabor the point) until we decided it was time for some more food at a seafood place on the boardwalk.  
We hopped another train to Vernazza, the jewel town of the five and, while I thought it was beautiful, I’m not sure I quite appreciated its jewel-ness until we stopped for refreshment at a little establishment with what has to be the best view in town.  
Six bowls of chips and a few drinks later, we headed down to the playground where DC and Emerson bonded for life and the Adairs and I planned our 2011 adventure to Spain and Portugal.  While waiting for our respective departing trains, we taught E the one...two...threeeeeee game before sending everyone on their way.  
I think DC took this shot right after I successfully convinced him to return to Cinque Terre with me the following weekend.  I read about this place ten years ago and one weekend was simply not enough so get ready for another installment!
Thank you Adairs for such a fantastic and relaxing weekend!  I just told DC that I hadn't realized just how much I had missed hanging out and having fun with friends who both love us and laugh at us.  You guys definitely fit the bill on both.  Ciao!