"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Italy with Friends

The garden in the Italian countryside.
 I have to apologize for my radio silence here on the blog, I don't know what has happened but somehow two whole months have just gone by.  Well things have been unusually busy with our rascal kids so there's that, but I think too once one falls out of the habit of blogging it just doesn't come to mind to load up some pictures and write a post.
I wanted to share a few pictures of our trip to Italy early in May.  It was a special trip for one particular reason: the 50th birthday of dear Laura, one of our best friends.  We had a really wonderful time and I did wonder how it would work to travel as a group of eight friends, not the sort of trip we typically take.  We most often travel as a couple or with our kids, but it turns out a group trip is not just really fun but actually quite a bit easier (anyone who has hauled teenagers around Europe will understand).

There was one bit of technology that we set up beforehand that made the whole adventure quite simple and easy.  I can't say enough good things about the Splittr App.  We put everything into this (our friend David, a management accountant was in charge of it which was an extra bonus) and then when we returned home we just settled up with one another. No worrying about restaurant bills, trips to buy wine, rental cars, hotels etc... we just took random turns paying for things and then "put it in the Splittr" (which became a sort of rallying cry at times I have to say).

We booked a house on VRBO for our first few nights, in the beautiful Tuscan countryside:

 The house was near Lucca, which was one of my favourite places:
Laundry in Lucca

Fresh Veg

The parting view from the wall in Lucca
 It was close enough to Florence that we were able to fly in and out of the airport there and also do a day trip in the city:

Love these bottles.

David! (The other one, not our friend the accountant).

I'm missing the food.
 We spent one day by the seaside near the country house:

 Then we moved on to the gorgeous Cinque Terre:
 The views from the hiking trails were so amazing:

I was fascinated with these terraced farms.

Hanging laundry, not just my specialty but a common activity the world over.

 The loveliest view of all:
If you ever get a chance to visit the Cinque Terre you must go.  The hiking between villages is a bit of a workout but it's fairly easy to see the whole region in a couple of days.
I'll be back with a typical domestic post soon,
Hope you've been well and happy!


  1. Thank you for all the beautiful photographs. I feel as though I am taking a trip to Italy myself. Living in the western US, I notice the lack of history. Nothing is old here. I love the images that show age, like those beautiful bottles in the doorway. Thanks for the morning inspiration!

    1. SunnyDay thank you for reading, and leaving a comment! It's so interesting to just see old things in Europe, I agree completely. Those bottles are so humble yet so beautiful. xx

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Ellie's friend, was thinking of her just yesterday XX

  3. Replies
    1. Hex thanks for reading, I hope you are well and enjoying summer XX

  4. Oh what a lovely post! It is lovely to "hear your voice" again Dani.
    Such beauty in every picture...your holiday sounds wonderful...and it makes me want to pack my bags!

    1. Thanks Hostess the Cinque Terre was really incredibly beautiful, such a rugged coastline and such old colourful villages, you would love it. XX

  5. Welcome back to Blogland Dani - I've missed you! Your holiday sounds absolutely wonderful and your photos are gorgeous. I'm not sure if I would like a group holiday - I think you have to pick your fellow travellers well, which you obviously did. However, some of my husband's siblings have gone on trips together and it looks like so much fun. We could have done a river cruise with them this fall, but the timing wasn't right for us. Hopefully we'll get another chance, they are a good bunch. Looking forward to some domestic inspiration from you soon!

    1. Patricia I have to admit I always thought I wouldn't like it. It's very key that the group is quite relaxed and also on the same page when it comes to types of restaurants, timing of breaks etc.
      We have some friends who've asked us on a river cruise but I don't know if I could manage it, I get terrible motion sickness on boats of all kinds. Imagine starting off and then being ill for 10 days! Thank you Patricia nice to see you too XX

  6. Italy one of my favourite places! People, food, things to see and to do and the shopping (hello MaxMara my old friend).
    Thanks for tip about the app, we do a 'kitty' ie put in an amount which covers the daily expenditure for food, coffee, drinks etc. Replenish as need be and everyone takes a turn of being Chancellor.

    Happy 150th anniversary Canada!.

    1. Anon that's a great idea and I have to say I wouldn't mind being Chancellor for a day. The food was wonderful but I wish I had come across some interesting shopping (e.g. MaxMara)
      Thank you! XX

  7. What a treat to see a post from you! Your trip looks marvellous. Italy is so very beautiful. That's a great app. Useful for life in general!

  8. I had been WAITING for this and I see I missed it...............my emails are piling UP!I am not looking at the computer on the weekends and OH MY GOSH..........I cannot keep UP!
    SO happy you had a GOOD TRIP.................and the BIRTHDAY GIRL??Was she HAPPY AS WELL?