09 March 2013


Seeing mountains all around me

Feeling snow under my (new) boots

Listening to this song (thanks to my employer's music tastes)

Wanting some privacy

Eating northern Italian food - polenta and beet ravioli

Enjoying my morning off

Smelling wood-burning stoves

Thankful for my casual, laid-back, American up-bringing 

Wishing my bag wasn't discolored by a close-call with a fire 

Writing out my lists and journals for this month (keeping me sane 
as the kids yell & scream all.the.time.)

*photo of Virginia, Enrico, and I after snow-mobiling out to a restaurant in the middle of the Dolomites

03 March 2013

Cross-Country Skiiing in Harrachov, CZ ::part two::

I wanted to finish my first skiing experience {See my first post here}as I'm heading out to (hopefully) ski with my Italian employers in Cortina d'Ampezzo for the next two weeks.

Around this time last year I was attempting to slide my feet back and forth as I tried to push my body forward on these two slim sticks which were attached to my arms and legs. Nothing felt more foreign. Snow shoeing, no problem. But cross-country skiing! And with strong semi-pro Czech men! I spent half of the day wondering what I had gotten myself into. We left our little pension early, rented our gear, and headed out to no man's land. Literally, I had no idea where we were. They dropped us somewhere along the border of the Czech Republic and Poland. (So, I guess you could say I've been to Poland, but I don't count it because I only saw it's vast ski-culture)

Amy, my American confidant who also was skiing for the first time actually began strong. I, however, spent two out of the four hours at the end of the group. Thankfully, Dimitri, stayed behind with me, coaching me along. I'm so thankful for his encouragement. He really is a great memory!

After a break at a log cabin-turned restaurant, we finished the loop and headed back to our car. Somewhere. It was a wonderful break in a rustic place with people speaking Czech, Polish, and German. Eating hot food-goulash, soup, sausages, beer. Once we regained our energy, we took a group photo and slid downhill. I felt much better after our pit-stop. I finally was getting somewhere on my skis and enjoyed the time sliding down, then across flat plains of snow, then down again laughing all the way. I think Dimitri was worried at some points because I was going so fast. But I've always had good balance. I kept my knees bent, arms in, and head down so I wouldn't hit any branches. With my poles I kept beckoning the snow around me to help me go faster.

It was a lovely winter day in the mountains.

In the late afternoon we returned our gear, got into our cars and made our way back to Prague. Exhausted and spent, but full of happy memories and sore muscles.

01 March 2013

Quick get-aways from my cozy bed

When I left after a quick trip home in September, one of my good friends gave me this yellow book (above) as a parting gift. It couldn't have been a better gift! There are over twenty travel stories in each book that take you all over the world. I've gotten to to re-live journeys while lost in these pages. I lingered in the squares of Savannah. I marveled at Florida's wildlife once again. I smelled the sun in the south of France. I dove back into the intrigue of Capri. I remembered my first vulnerable days in Prague. I strolled around Bath again as my sixteen-year-old-self. I've also been inspired to visit other places that have always held my imagination. Iceland. Jordan. Romania. The list goes on.

These books are great for seasoned travelers and those filled with wanderlust. I know they say chocolate is an instant vacation (for women). But, ten minutes in one of the various travelogues in these books will surely motivate you for the rest of the day!

You can find them online, at Barnes and Noble, or at Anthropologie.

Bon Voyage!