The hike up Mt. LeConte to LeConte Lodge has been a tradition in Kyle's family for many years. While I only joined in on the tradition four years ago, it has become one of those events that I look forward to every year. It's a chance to unplug and unwind, get some exercise, breathe some fresh air, be outside, explore, enjoy each other's company and go just a little bit outside of our comfort zones (going to the bathroom in the middle of the night with bears on the loose is scary I tell you). To top it off, watching the sunset over the Great Smoky Mountains from Cliff Tops is, quite simply, magical. We've been a lot of places, seen a lot of sunsets...but Kyle and I both agree, this one still tops them all!Read More
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!! After taking an unintentional year and a half hiatus from the ol' blog-a-roo, guess who's back! Tell your friends!
Not much has changed since I last sat down to write one of these...oh wait, just kidding...yes it has! We had a baby!Read More
In honor of Kyle and I's five year anniversary this week, I thought I would share a little photo diary and travel guide from our honeymoon in Santorini, Greece! We spent time in both Athens and Santorini, but really, Santorini takes the cake. This place is so beautiful that it is actually, physically impossible to take a bad picture. All of your photos will turn out amazing. It's like a rule or something.Read More
Lake Como has been on my travel-wish-list for quite some time and when Kyle and I decided on an Italian holiday, I knew we had to go! In my vacation fantasies I had predetermined we would be staying at a beautiful, glamorous villa, literally right on the lake, with a pool accessorized by fun and colorful umbrellas, wooden boats and even a celebrity or two!
Well, lets just say that all of those criteria are actually harder to find than one would think. I did, however, narrow it down to two fabulous options: Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio or Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Tremezzo, both of which are luxury hotels meeting all of my qualifications (minus the celebrities of course - I would have to leave those up to fate). In the end, we decided on G.H. Villa Serbelloni. As fate would have it, the travel-booking-website-gods were smiling down on me and lo and behold there was a deal available through Booking.com! If you have not yet used this website, I highly recommend you search it before your next trip. They will occasionally offer special deals for luxury hotels at a fraction of the normal price i.e. make my dreams come true!
As you can see, the hotel was stunning! If you have seen the movie Grand Budapest Hotel, that is what this hotel was like! Originally built as a holiday villa for an aristocratic family in 1850, the hotel has hosted many illustrious guests over the years, including Roosevelt and Kennedy. Situated at the very tip of a peninsula, which juts into the lake, the hotel offered the most amazing panoramic views.
Getting to Bellagio itself requires quite a hair-raising drive through the mountainous lake area. The town, which is bustling with tourists, shoppers and artists during the day, is actually very quiet at night. We spent our first two days in Bellagio simply wandering the tiny streets, eating pizza for lunch and fresh fish for dinner, often enjoying an aperitif at a street side cafe, and partaking in the town's silk shopping.
Though we were there in mid-June, the weather was on the cooler side, but we still managed to enjoy the hotel pool and the lake. If you look closely at some of the pictures, you can see snow on the very tips of the alps (allow me to name drop one more time...ALPS) in the distance and yes, the water was cold! So, if anyone ever asks...yes, yes I have done the polar bear plunge.
On our third day in Bellagio, we took the ferry to Mandello del Lario to meet our guide for the day, Mauro. I had found Mauro's company, Lake Como Motorbike, through some research online and Kyle and I were so excited about this adventure.
First, Mauro walked us to the Moto Guzzi museum in Mandello. We were suited up and sent on our way on our Moto Guzzi! We followed Mauro all over the lake, taking the ferry from Varenna to the opposite shore and the town of Menaggio. We then rode through the mountains to Lugano, Switzerland and around Lake Lugano. We came back through the main town of Como, where Mauro showed us around and took us to the home he shares with Federica Campari, a local chef who had prepared an amazing lunch for us. After lunch, we headed to Lecco where we enjoyed gelato before ending our day back in Mandello. The entire experience was absolutely incredible and we could not have dreamed of a better guide than Mauro!
*Tip: The ferry's at Lake Como are the easiest and best way to get from town to town and the ride is stunning! It's a value play too - $16 versus a private water taxi quote of $400.
We concluded our time in Bellagio with dinner by the lake and Kyle even ordered up a beautiful sunset for desert.