Geneva, Switzerland

Today was primarily a travel day as we said goodbye to Italy and hello to a new country. We left Venice by boat (of course) and met up with the first of our three trains today. The trip from the Venice – Santa Lucia train station to the Venice-Mestre station was pretty quick. Enough soContinue reading “Geneva, Switzerland”

Venice, Italy; Day 3

We woke this morning with a continued threat of rain. After a hearty breakfast in the apartment we saw grey skies but no moisture so we headed toward the water taxi. Our destination was the island of Murano – home of the famous glass blowers of Venice. Many of you are aware that we aren’tContinue reading “Venice, Italy; Day 3”

Venice, Italy; Day 2

We awoke today to a sky which couldn’t seem to make up its mind whether it would offer rain or sun. The radar wasn’t much help. We thought we’d run out for breakfast, but we were slow to get our shoes on and a light shower drove us to cook at home. After making breakfastContinue reading “Venice, Italy; Day 2”

Venice, Italy; Day 1

The 5 Adventures have made it to our last major stop in Italy – the beautiful city of Venice. But first, we had a fresh breakfast at our farm stay lodging (cold cuts and cheese, pastries, scrambled eggs with bacon – a mixture of European and American). After we packed up, we spent a coupleContinue reading “Venice, Italy; Day 1”

Bologna, Italy

As much as the parents wanted to visit the crypts of Donatelli and Michelangelo, the kids seemed to be in need of a different type of Adventure. We have seen a lot of cathedrals and statues in Europe so far and have several more on our list to see in the next few weeks. InContinue reading “Bologna, Italy”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 7

We said arrivederci to 2 Adventurers today. Grandpa Ed and Grandma Loesje have been away from home for 6 weeks and were ready to return to California. Brian drove them to the Florence Airport to send them to Amsterdam and then onto America tomorrow. The Florence Airport is quite different from the Florence rail stationContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 7”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 6

Today was our last full day with 7 Adventurers so we didn’t want to spend it driving all over the countyside. Plus we hadn’t spent enough time in our temporary hometown. One of the joys of staying in a Tuscan town is that there are wineries everywhere you look.  There was one right down theContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 6”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 5

We went to Italian cooking school today in Montaione. It is another remarkable hilltop Tuscan town with buildings from the 12th century. It was remarkable today, however, for the notable lack of individuals that we encountered. We saw no tourists besides ourselves and no locals roaming the streets. We found this strange but decided thatContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 5”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 4

Today’s Adventures took us on a short drive through the picturesque Tuscan countryside to the town of Volterra. A walled city dating from the 8th Century BC, it featured narrow streets, charming outdoor eateries and a couple of playgrounds for the kids. We wandered the 2800 year old streets to check out the ancient architectureContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 4”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 3

Today we visited our host town of San Gimignano and we also learned a bit about the train platform in Florence. Our rental house has a wonderful view of the Northwest side of San Gimignano which sits about 4 km across a valley of vineyards. Our 5 Adventurers piled into the rental car to driveContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 3”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 2

We spent our first full day in Tuscany settling in to our house and working with our host on a couple of issues like no gas for the stove, no hot water – you know, small things. Everything got sorted out by mid-day so we headed out to one of the kids’ bucket list itemsContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 2”

San Gimignano, Italy; Day 1

We all enjoyed Rome much more than we had anticipated. We stayed in the Trastevere neighborhood and found a local park that the kids insisted on visiting nearly all 5 days that we were there. The restaurants served delicious food which made us feel better about the slightly inflated prices. And the sites that weContinue reading “San Gimignano, Italy; Day 1”

Rome, Italy; Day 5

Today was our last full day in Rome (for this trip anyway). We had left today open in terms of planning. We had figured that there might be something that we might want to return to or add to our Roma list so it was easy to decide to head back to St. Peter’s Basilica.Continue reading “Rome, Italy; Day 5”

Rome, Italy; Day 4

We found ourselves travelling to another country today. This country is, according to our helpful guide, the wealthiest country in the world but also the smallest. It lies entirely within the city of Rome and has been here since the 5th century (but only recognized with sovereignty in the 20th century). Of course, we areContinue reading “Rome, Italy; Day 4”

Rome, Italy; Day 3

Today’s Italian adventures started with French Toast in our apartment. From there we did a famous sites 5K. Our first stop was the Colosseum and then to the Roman Forum. We were a bit hot and tired from the walk there – but as we approached the walls of the ruin our spirits lifted.  OurContinue reading “Rome, Italy; Day 3”

Rome, Italy; Day 2

We are finding that Rome is a very walkable city and didn’t find ourselves lost even once. It helps to have 5G coverage and internet mapping because the old part of the city has zero right angles and thousands of ways to get confused and turned around. For those of you that have visited thisContinue reading “Rome, Italy; Day 2”

Rome, Italy; Day 1

Today was a travel day for the 5 Adventurers. We knocked the cobwebs off our backpacks, bid a fond farewell to our Rota apartment and made one last trip to Seville. We returned our reliable but small manual transmission rental car and caught our discount carrier to Rome. Our list of things we like aboutContinue reading “Rome, Italy; Day 1”

Rota, Spain; Day 29

Today marked the last road trip Adventure from our Rota home base and it was back to Seville. We got an early start because we had a few things to do and the temperature was predicted to hit 90 degrees in the afternoon. First stop was the Setas de Sevilla which was new for BrianContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 29”

Rota, Spain; Day 25

Our original plan for the day was to head out to another SW Spain destination for some cool Adventures. But one of the kids turned an ankle last night (CreeperPuppy) and it was still a little sore this morning so we decided to postpone that activity. So today was a day of normalcy. We satContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 25”

Rota, Spain; Day 24

We had a few short drive Adventures today seeing some new areas of Andalucía. We dropped Tiffany off at the Chipiona post office to send a package to Cincinnati to Sister/Aunt/Grandma Tracy. The kids and Brian went back to the nice park to ride their zip line and to wait for Tiffany to return. WhenContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 24”

Rota, Spain; Day 23

Today our Adventurers took to the road again on a trip through the SW Spain countryside. Known as Andalucia, this area is known for many things, one of which is the Pueblos Blancos or ‘white villages’. They get their name from the whitewashed buildings that make up the towns – initially colored to keep theContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 23”

Rota, Spain; Day 22

Our hosts provided us with a helpful guide regarding the beachside apartment here in Rota. We have used several of the suggestions for places to visit and local markets to shop. Today, we walked over to the Mindundi Frutas store for two large bags of fruit and vegetables. Everything looked good and appeared fresh. OurContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 22”

Rota, Spain; Day 21

Today our Adventurers took to the road for a 90 minute drive to Seville. Since it’s somewhat close to Rota we decided the 3 Adventurers that missed it the first time would get a chance to visit. Tiffany and Suaram took advantage of the second trip to see even more. Our main activity for theContinue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 21”

Rota, Spain; Day 20

We enjoyed the afternoon at the park and then Brian cooked a chicken dinner for these Adventurers. The kids enjoyed their time at this park which sits only three blocks away from the apartment. If the zip-line cable wasn’t damaged then it might even be better than the park they found at Chipiona on Friday.Continue reading “Rota, Spain; Day 20”