Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baita Belvedere

We know how to cook on our own. We have lovely dinners :)

But sometimes you have to go out and see what the local cuisine has to offer! After a day of walking around the gardens of the local villas...

We headed out to dinner! The owner of the house we're renting also owns a restaurant up the hill from Bellagio. He and his wife also makes cheese, yogurt, jams, and he runs a shoe store in town. And he has 4 kids. And he has a beautiful garden here, and a house of his own to take care of. Some people have way too much energy! :) We got picked up just outside our own lovely place by the owner and driven up to Baita Belvedere Restaurant. The views were spectacular.
Hazy due to lots of rain before, and now intense heat. Bellagio down below!

The sun finally set behind the mountains. Humidity contributing to the haze.

The atmosphere is amazing, and the views are unbelievable. We met much of his family, who were working there, and his adorable 3 year old daughter. Everyone was incredibly friendly and welcoming. Polenta seems to be their specialty and came in many different forms on the menu. Everything we had was tasty, and we were too stuffed to have dessert (how unlike us!!). After dinner, we got a ride back home in their van, which they use to shuttle people to and from the restaurant if you book in advance. No need to bother with the windy 10 minute drive yourself!

Afterwards, there were incredible fireworks from Villa del Balbianello. (Where we couldn't go today because it was closed all day for a private event... wonder who's?) And I LOVE fireworks! And this was the second firework show that I've seen this week! Does it get any better?
Ok, who is awesome enough to rent the place for the entire day, and then get a fireworks show?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Traveling after WOC

And we're out the other side! And WOC done - and I would say pretty darn successful for us both. There are of course disappointments, but it's important to think about the positives. If you want to read more about some of the racing, you can go on over to the Team USA Blog (starting here).

Ross went back to Uppsala to work (life of a PhD student) and I'm traveling for a week through northern Italy with Mom and Dad (life of a teacher). First, we stopped in Bolzano, and took the cable car up to Rennon, where we hiked to see the earth pyramids.

Awesome rocks balancing on the tops! How do they do that?!

Then we continued to Siusi, Italy for two nights. We took the gondola up to the plateau Alpe de Siusi, and rented mountain bikes! We thought that since it was called a plateau, it would be flat. It was most certainly not!

View from the apartment in Siusi

Almost up the first hill (we started down by those buildings)

Long downhill

Long uphill

Dad and I on another looong downhill :) Resting our hands (and the brakes!)
In the morning we went exploring to see the castle ruins on the hillside. I say exploring because we had the worst map ever made. Not to scale, not orientated, not legible!

Mom at the castle

Permanent story time along the trail! (Italian and German only)
Didn't want to leave there, but now that we are in Bellagio, Italy, we never want to leave here! We have a beautiful house, all to ourselves, with full access to their garden outside. Strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, lettuce, eggplants, peppers all picked from right outside our door.

View from my bedroom balcony of Lake Como
Evening sunset over the lake