I hope you enjoy my Blog from an anniversary trip my family took to Europe in 2006. Our kids were 14 and 11 years old and the 4 week trip cost a total of $12,000 including air, car, hotels, food, train, souvenirs, etc. We used air mile for 2 of the airline tickets. Happy Reading!
Wednesday May 17, 2006 -- 4:20 AM
I am so happy. My soul is filled with love for my husband, for my family, for this beautiful world! I am so grateful to be here in the Cinque Terre. This may be my favorite place - of all the places I've been (and I've been to lots, but not nearly enough), this just very well may be the spot that makes my heart ache with joy more than any other.
It has been such fun planning this trip - but Greg did this part. Greg in fact initiated ALL this - 2 years ago! He started saving 3 years ago for our 20th anniversary. He surprised me by planning for us to come here - to the Cinque Terre - to celebrate our 20 years together as husband and wife. Now - it has turned into so much more than only our time in this spot - we'll be here and then in Tuscany for a week and then Chelsea and David will join us in Rome and we'll go on from there. (Rome is where my part of the planning began). But for now we are here in the Italian Riviera - in a perfect, beautiful spot and I am filled with joy and passion for life, for love - of my husband and this world.
It has been quite a journey to get here - and here we are. It has been fun waiting and wanting and hoping - and now it is fun to enjoy the culmination of all that we have been looking forward to for months.
We took the kids to school/sent them on their way to class on Monday morning May 15 and then Mom came to pick us up and take us to the airport. Her friend joined her. We flew from Dallas to New York, then NY to Brussels - a 3 1/2 hour layover there. And then Brussels to Florence where we rented a car. Our car is really cute - it's a 4-door smart car. It cost EURO 238 for the week. Exchange is about EURO 1 = $1.28. It was a fun drive from the Florence airport to Vernazza - it went faster than we thought. The most fun was the last 10 kilometers or so into Vernazza itself - WOW what a tiny, curvy, spectacular little road! I cried when I saw Vernazza -- I just can't believe we are finally here!
I love our room here in the Cinque Terre! We have to walk up SO many narrow, windy steps - you can get lost in the passageways here - I love it! Our room is small - with a slanted, timber ceiling. Our bathroom is across the hall and we share with others. We have a balcony and it looks out over the Mediterranean! Incredible! Did I say that I love it here?
We got in last night about 5:00 - adrenaline kept us going and jet lag was not too bad (although I woke up at 3:30 and am writing this before sunrise - in fact the moon is reflecting on the water in a spectacular way right now - it's beautiful!) We wandered around - I love this quaint town. The shops are darling - the food incredible! We bought a bottle of Chianti for EUR 3.60 and a small slab of Pecorino cheese for EURO 4.80 - we took it out to the rocks in front of the water and sat down and soaked up the flavors, sights and sounds of Vernazza. We had an incredible meal last night at Gianni Franzi. For EURO 41 we had lemon anchovies, a "salad" of seafood - mild & tender - pesto with special pasta/potato....yum! And we had a bottle of house white wine - fantastic meal. Fantastic place. I love it here! Ciao!
Some observations - the train goes by quite often. It's surprising to hear the train whoosh through town in the middle of the night. I like it.
The little Italian ladies - and men - in town, surprise me. The little ladies are dressed up - in skirts and sweaters and hose and dress shoes - and they stroll through town - linking arms. And 2-3 older men and women will sit on a bench and just chat - I get the idea they've been doing this for years - and this is simply what they do - every night!
I love the kids in town - on bikes or playing ball. They are just part of the atmosphere, the environment that makes this such a special spot.
The lemons are incredible - and stone walls & the river - and roses and lilies and vegetation -- gorgeous!