I just got back from four weeks of vacation in Italy, which was undoubtedly fabulous, but I was extremely ready to be home. My dad and I flew over and met my sister and mom, who had already been over there for several weeks, in Milan and we all headed to Lake Como. It was absolutely breath taking! I have never seen the alps, except out of a plane window. It was amazing to see them in person and you feel so small next to them. My dad and I were able to hire bikes for the day while in Bellagio and we did the Giro di’ Italia TT course, which completely kicked my ass! I have never experienced riding at that high of an altitude and I almost threw up a few times, but I made it!
The next week we spent in Cinque Terre, which was surreally beautiful. It is so colorful and charming there but everything was on a hill! I’m pretty sure I have never done that much hill walking in my life, but we did spend a lot of time at the beach and also got to go sailing so that made up for that walking a bit. My dad had to leave after the second week and head back home to work but my mom, sister and I continued onto Cortona for a week and then to Siena.
Siena was amazing, I had been there once before but this year we were there during the Palio. If you have never heard of the Palio please look it up, it is an amazing tradition which has been going of for centuries. There are 17 neighborhoods that make up Siena and each has a coat of arms. Each year in July and then again in August there is a horse race held in the main piazza. Everything about this race is left up to chance and luck. Each neighborhood is given a horse which is determined by a drawing process and then they must scramble to find a jokey and make arrangements for the next three days. There is an incredible sense of excitement in the air you can just feel it, it’s amazing.
Italy is amazing but I learned that two weeks is my limit, I’m such a home body and I was so homesick for my bike, friends, work, and my bed. I also learned that when you love your life you really don’t need a vacation from it. Now that I have been back for a few days, I have had a chance to ride and every time I get back on my bike after being gone I fall in love all over again. There is no love like the love of cycling, it runs deep and true. It also keeps me sane which is a bonus 🙂
Rachel and I have ridden a couple of times and the traffic has just been horrendous! The tourists are now in town enjoying our beautiful city and beaches and I’m glad they are here, but boy is it terrifying to ride with them on the road! We almost got hit several times by people who were not paying attention and this was all within the period of an hour. Please be respectful of cyclists, this is our home and we welcome you so please don’t hit us! Okay my rant is over, glad to be back 😀