Tout le Monde

Documenting our adventures as we explore this great planet

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Day 5

Our first day in glacier!

We got up early and hit the road. After an hour we entered into the park, the scenery quickly turning dramatic as the great mountains became visible.

A brief stop in Apgar allowed us to get our bearings, grab some essentials (including a bear spray rental!) before heading further into the park. Apgar is a quaint little village of buildings all sporting some heavy 60s stylings from the road trip vacation boom of that era.

Our next stop was lake McDonald lodge. One of the original lodges of the park, it was a lovely building sitting right on the lake. We checked out the surroundings before stretching our legs on our first hike. Fish lake had a strenuous up hill, but was only a few miles long, a perfect way to get warmed up for hikes to come. We also made a brief stop to do a loop through the cedars trail which contained dozens of trees near a thousand years old.

Once back to the car, the journey to rising sun started. This involved driving most of the length of the going-to-the-sun road that goes up and over the continental divide. Crowded with tourists, the road and sights were still breathtaking. Many photos and a descent later, we arrived at rising sun motor inn. Another group of buildings from the great automobile era, we had half of a duplex cabin to ourselves a couple hundred feet from St Mary lake.

We checked out the lake and got a lay of the land for our new home of a few days. Eventually we grabbed a later dinner from the restaurant there and retired for the night.

Day 4

Mostly a travel day, but still fun all the same.

We had one last get together with Kate and Jon st s brunch in their building before hitting the road. It was great to catch up in a more casual setting, and wonderful to see them one last time before moving along our trip.

We shipped our wedding clothes home and caught the link out to the airport. Our flight out gave us a wonderful parting shot of the city, including seeing a blue angels flyover of downtown. On the way out, mount rainier decided to poke its head out as we headed a bit back east.

An hour later we were in Montana. We got our rental car and dropped stuff off at our one night hotel. Then we made a quick jaunt into Kalispell to have dinner before heading to bed. We stopped at a great spot called Hops and had a wonderful meal.

Bed called us early as we knew the next day was going to be a long one as well.

Day 3 – Wedding!

The big day is here! We were very excited, but did not have much to do until the evening, wedding wise. So we checked a few more things off the list while we waited for party time to arrive.

We met up with Drew to go for a run along the waterfront trail. Beautiful views of the city made the miles go by fairly easy, though the sun coming out did warm things up quite a bit.

Later we went out to round out a few more shopping items to help with the glacier portion of the trip. Things were amazingly busier on the weekend than had been the past two days causing a few changes in food plans as we went. Fortunately, Abby was able to check sushi off the list when we squeezed into Tsukushinbo for a lunch bite.

After that we returned to our place to freshen up before the wedding. A short walk down the block from where we were staying let us arrive promptly for drinks before the ceremony.

The space was a lovely grand industrial setting attached to an art gallery. Of course everyone looked great, and the brief ceremony was wonderful. More delicious food was followed by an evening of frivolity, including spilling out and down the street to another bar. What a great night.

Day 2

We decided to get up early and check off one of our Seattle desires: visiting discovery park.

We walked a couple blocks to our bus stop, grabbing some delicious pastries for breakfast and future snacks from Piroshki Piroshki. A half hour bus tide then had us near the park.

Slowly we wound our way through the wooded parts further inland, eventually arriving at great open fields with wonderful views of the sound. A great sand bluff overlooks the beach that we will eventually hike down to. Once on the beach we explore the various creatures and artifacts exposed by low tide before having a brief snack break.

More walking and hiking takes us to the lighthouse at the point before turning back inward towards our next destination, the Ballard locks. We had a great time watching a few boats go through the locks, marveling at how well some 100 year old piece of infrastructure still works. The original administration building is still there and open to look at the beautiful architectural details, which we of course did.

Another bus ride had us back in town, freshening up before heading to rehearsal and the associated dinner. The brief break in between let us go up to the top of Smith Tower, the first skyscraper in Seattle. The prohibition era bar and appropriate era drinks were a lot of fun, along with the exquisite views.

Dinner at black bottle was fun, delicious and generous. We had a great time gorging ourselves on both food and conversation before wrapping things up at the very fun black cat bar.

Day 0/1

Another fabulous trip based around a wedding! After a rather stressful half day of work for both of us, we caught the direct flight to Seattle, which thankfully proceeded uneventfully.

We took the Link to downtown and found our airbnb without issue in pioneer square. Hoping to reset our clocks a bit, we went out to grab a bite, settling on a great nearby place called damn the weather.

Eventually time caught up to us, and at bit past midnight home time we had to call it quits.

The same time shift saw us up early the next day, struggling to find many things that were open at 7am. We grabbed a great breakfast at biscuit bitch before proceeding on a walking tour of the waterfront and pike place market.

We continued our walk out to the flagship REI where we grabbed some hiking snacks and other fun things while taking in the massive store. After we went back to our place to allow Abby to get some work done and freshen up before lunch.

Our last trip to Seattle a friend took us to a great bar called Oddfellows, so we had to make our return. We had a delicious lunch and some drinks before exploring the Pike/Pine district some more.

Eventually we made it back downtown to finally meet up with Kate and take Tupelo for a walk. After we met up with family and friends for a small pizza gathering, swapping stories and breaking the ice before more wedding festivities to follow. Pushing a little later than the night before, we still wandered back exhausted from a great first day on vacation.

Day 10

Last real vacation day!

The previous night we had come to the realization that we would have to head to Naples Tuesday evening instead of arranging incredibly late night travel to make our 6:20am departure.

Fortunately we were able to still make it to Pompeii, adjusting plans slightly to leave a bit earlier and bring all our luggage with us. An early morning, hour long bus ride along the winding Amalfi coast is a hell of a way to wake up. A short train ride later, and we made it to our destination.

While not quite opening time, we had still managed an early enough arrival that the ticket line was short, and once inside the massive crowds had not yet shown up. We started at the less popular eastern entrance, winding among the arena and old vineyards first.

It’s hard comprehending buildings nearly 2000 years old being this accessible and this well preserved. As we meandered among ruins, the impeccable frescoes and tile work still there, scattered amongst blocks and blocks of partial walls, was awe inspiring.

We ended up running into Ryan and Carrie and John and Allison mid way through the day, and then also Jon and Leslie as we prepared to leave. It was nice to see everyone amongst the ruins, and say one last farewell before packing up to head home.

We made it back to the train station and retrieved our luggage. Naples was a short 30 ride away, after which we caught a bus out to the airport. A boring walk through parking lots brought us to our boring hotel, an anticlimactic end to a great trip.

Yet again we ran into sabato difficulties with trying to get an early dinner, everyone closed except for super minuscule take away menus. We eventually found a place a short walk away, which turned into quite a chaotic, but delicious, dinner. It definitely signaled that we had finished our trip, and were becoming home sick for things we knew well.

Day 9

Jon and Leslie were kind enough to invite us to join them for the day on a private boat. We certainly weren’t going to pass up such a great opportunity!

We got up early to explore the possibility of getting to Positano early, but that ferry wasn’t yet running this early in the summer. So after arriving closer to 10, we promptly hopped on ‘our’ boat. With room for 6-8, it easily fit our 4 along with the provided skipper.

Almost immediately we went at full speed towards Capri, and island off the coast of the peninsula Amalfi and the like are situated on. We made brief stops at the white grotto and the emerald grotto before clearing the open water to the island.

We slowly circled in a clockwise direction, having various sights pointed out, all the while admiring the staggering coastline. At the far western edge of the island, where the huge private yachts of the very wealthy are docked, we made for a small beach and hopped off the boat to swim briefly.

Back on the boat, we continued our circling of the island, noting other famous sights along the way. We eventually took a lunch break back on the western side of the island. We got to choose our fish from a platter of that days catches. Cooked in the chefs preferred method of capers and olives, and served with potatoes, some of the best fish all of us had eaten.

We returned the boat (via another boat shuttle, no less) and decided to head back to the peninsula to find a spot to relax and swim for a bit before ending our day. We found a nice spot with calm water and a small pebble beach and got in, but not before breaking out cheese olives and wine for a brief snack as well.

After a leisurely afternoon, it was time to head back to Positano, parting ways with our boat and Jon and Leslie. We hopped our ferry back to Amalfi, where we grabbed a couple last items in town before completing the hole through Atrani and up to our apartment once again.

Day 8

Another multi stage travel day. We get up at 7 in the morning to begin our drive back to Siena. After an hours beautiful, but groggy, drive, and a very tricky alley parking job, we grab our train to Florence. An hour long ride that goes a few minutes late has us rushing to our platform worried about missing a train, only to find we have plenty of time and the train hasn’t come yet. Europe.

Our high speed train has us passing by the winery we visited near Il Rigo a mere 36 minutes later, and two hours more has us through Naples and approaching Salerno. We walk a few blocks to the ferry terminal, and buy tickets for the soon to depart ferry to Amalfi.

We have a stunning 30 minute ride, ending in the gorgeous town of Amalfi, another movie set it’s hard to believe is real. We grab a quick bite of lunch while we wait for the Airbnb to free up, and to figure out our best way up what is a steep we climb than even our Pittsburgh-steps minded selves had imagined.

We settled on a bus and caught one after a brief wait and research about the correct one. A terrifying ride up narrow streets, passing cyclists, pedestrians, cars and houses all with no more than a few inches wiggle room. We didn’t think we’d ever go somewhere with crazier switchbacks and drops than Tobago, but here we are.

We meet our host at the bus stop and he helps get us checked in. Afterwards we go for a calibration walk and to buy a few items to prepare for the next day. A thorough walk through Amalfi has us righted, and we return our groceries to our apartment.

We head to Atrani for dinner, to a restaurant recommended by our house. Empty when we arrive, we panic that they are closed or a tourist trap that everyone is warned to avoid. After our first delicious course more people arrive and slowly fill in, and we settle in for a long evening of chatting, drinking and eating.

We make the slow climb back home and immediately head to bed, knowing a long day on a boat awaits us tomorrow.

Day 7 – The wedding!

The big day is finally here, landscape and weather both providing a perfect surrounding for such a great celebration.

Delicious coffee and a wonderful assortments of breakfast foods start the day off, followed by a relaxed pace for the rest of the day. Ryan and Ben went for a walk into San Quirico along back roads and paths to help kill time.

The 2 mile walk, each way, was scenic every step of the way. A brief stop in town to hydrate with both water and beer, and then an equally beautiful walk home.

Showers and prep work soon followed, balancing providing genuine assistance versus being in the way and causing undue stress. With no major issues, the ceremony began promptly at 3. Jay did a wonderful job announcing, and friends and family gave great readings and support. Decorations had been provided by the farm, and were a gorgeous blend of cut flowers and foraged greenery from the grounds.

An aperitif followed out of the sun, loosening up the crowd and providing another instance to mingle. Abby did a great job wrangling photos during all of this, and the food and drink were just as great as every other meal at Il Rigo has been.

We proceeded through a fantastic evening of eating and drinking, some fantastic toasts interspersed throughout. We transitioned back to the courtyard as the music picked up, eventually leading to the necessary dance party. We eventually slipped back into more conversation, a wonderful evening centered around the great location and great people Jon and Leslie have brought together.

Day 6

The fawning over Tuscany makes total sense. Waking up to look out over majestic rolling hills, fog clinging from the chilly night, is a breathtaking sight.

After soaking in the landscape for a while, we had a delightful breakfast buffet prepared for us by Il Rigo. Needless to say, it broke the definition of “breakfast buffet”, a collection of meats and veggies, handmade bread (from their own wheat) that can be slathered with their own home made jam. Some serious lifestyle envy.

We needed to find an ATM and some bug spray (even Italy has mosquitos) so we rolled into the nearby town of San Quirico. A brief wander through side streets and a wonderful set of gardens around the ancient city walls, and we found a great town center with shops carrying our requested items and services.

Regrouping at the farm, we divided up into cars and set out for salcheto, a local winery known for amazing wines and a sustainably mondes business model. Marco provided an amazing tour of the entirely off grid facilities and their inventive processes to keep the wine as organic, and using as little energy in production, as possible.

This was followed by a wine tasting and light lunch (chickpea soup, farro salad, insalata, cured meats…”light”). The four wines we sampled were all fantastic, leading to the whole group buying at least a bottle, or for quite a few (including us) a full or partial case to be shipped directly back to the states.

We stopped briefly in Pienza to buy some of their famous pecorino cheese and generally admire another lovely small Italian town. They also had pecorino gelato, which was amazing, and amazing views since the town was built on a hilltop several hundred years ago.

Returning to Il Rigo, we all freshened il before getting together for amazing wood fired pizzas and drinks for the evening. And endless supply of pizza flowed, ranging from traditional margherita to additives like olives, capers, potatoes and more. Another evening of landscape admiring, sunset watching, star gazing, and great wine drinking was in the books.

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