Blog, what blog?…Whoops!

Wow, it’s a good thing I do not blog professionally. Life gets in the way and this definitely has been put on the back burner. I know most of you keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram, so I tend to forget about updating my blog. It’s so much simpler to upload photos and let those tell the story of my travels for me, or maybe I’m just lazy? (ha) Plus, as most of you know after losing Presley I sort of lost myself in the mix of emotions. Now I am happy to report I have a new fur baby, Sir Winston PAW, whom takes up many hours of my day with kisses and cuddles. I like to joke and say this is Gods way of preparing me for (one day) having a child. Sir Winston is like a toddler, a ball full of energy and constantly getting in to things! He definitely keeps me on my toes.

So, enough with the excuses and let’s catch up! After my last post, I headed back home for a trip Stateside (yes, again), and ended up spending 2 1/2 months there. Bobby had accumulated enough leave to take an entire month off, so we were able to enjoy our time with both families over the Holidays.

Unfortunately for Bobby and fortunately for me, he also had a TDY in Las Vegas following his leave, so my Mother and I decided to take a short trip to the resort town. This was the first time I have ever been on a trip (aside from the beach) with just my Mother, and it was a blast. I think we should make it a “girls” tradition and do it more often. Bobby was able to get away from work a few of the days we were there, but even when he wasn’t, we made our own way traveling through innumerable casinos and sipping on Fat Tuesdays Daiquiris, while walking down the infamous Las Vegas Boulevard. We re-lived her trip to Italy, wandering through the Venetian and pretended we were paparazzi as we visited the Pawn Stars, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. We enjoyed the light show on Fremont Street and of course spent some time at the historical “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign taking pictures. While Las Vegas’ elaborate themed hotels and 24 hour casinos are enough to get anyone buzzing, my favorite part of our trip was sitting front row at the Jersey Boys Broadway show. Anyone that knows me well, knows I could spend hours sitting in front of a stage watching live Broadway performances, and this one by far is at the top of my list.

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On Bobby’s days off we drove over the Hoover Dam, and straddled State lines (Arizona and Nevada). We then made the drive through Arizona to see the sights of the Grand Canyon, and eventually ending our adventure in Flagstaff. While our time there was short, it was memorable.

To see pictures from our trip, click here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Las%20Vegas-%20Grand%20Canyon-%20Hoover%20Dam

I eventually said Goodbye to my family and made the trek back over the Atlantic Ocean, with my new ball of fur (Sir Winston) in tow. It was finally time to introduce him to the European way of life. He’s adjusted well, in fact, a little too well- I no longer need an alarm clock, as he wakes me up between 5 and 6 am every morning. I guess he is enjoying his Italian home as much as we do. When we first arrived back Bobby was still stuck in Vegas for several weeks, so we spent that time recouping and preparing for his return. Once he got back, it was full steam ahead for traveling. We spent Easter Weekend in Lugano Switzerland, eventually making our way back to Lake Como, Italy. This was Sir Winston’s first trip in Europe and he was amazing. There are many things I wish America would adapt from European culture, but the main one is their love for dogs. Winston was able to sit at the dinner table with us (yes in a real “table cloth and all” restaurant) as well as walk through stores with us, while we shopped. He proved himself to fit in well with our little traveling family.

Click here to see photos of our Easter weekend:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Facebook/Easter%20Weekend%20in%20Lugano%20Switzerland%20and%20Lake%20Com

Just a few short weeks later we made one last trip out of the Country, before Bobby had to leave for work again. We paired up with another couple and made our way to Austria. We spent time at Hoher Dachstein (an Austrian Mountain), where I made my way across the Dachstein suspension bridge and stepped down on to the “Stairway to Nothingness.” If you have never heard of either of those, the suspension bridge is 100-meter long bridge (the highest in Austria) with a 1,300 ft drop to the bottom of the mountains. The “Stairway to Nothingness” is a descent of 14 steps off of the end of the bridge, with a glass view bottom. Bobby is not much for heights, so he kept his heels planted firmly on the ground below.

Pictures from our trip can be seen in this album:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Facebook/Austria

Also during Bobby’s short stent back in Italy, we spent time doing the one thing Italians do best- WINE TASTING!!! Saturday’s are meant for traveling along Prosecco road sipping on refreshing vino, and munching on fresh Salami and various Cheeses.

Photos here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Facebook/Vino%20Vino%20and%20More%20VINO

While I hate Bobby has been gone for work, especially during prime travel season- I did not want to pass up the opportunity to see more of what Europe has to offer. So, two weeks ago I boarded a flight for Sicily, not knowing what I was getting myself into! Day one started off on the Western Side of the Island, in a town called Palermo. I had heard so many amazing things about this area, however upon arriving I was quiet shocked. If you’ve ever traveled through Southern Italy, you may notice the influx of trash (Talk to the Mafia about that, it’s beyond our control) thank goodness where we live (Northern Italy) it is a lot cleaner! I found nothing “beautiful” about this area, with the exception of the Coastline. We spent our first full day in Sicily at Plait Mare, a private beach club. Which to me, was the only nice thing about our time spent in the Palermo area. Once we were scorched from the sun and got a good nights rest (and by we, I mean my friend Jennifer and I) we made the 4 hour trek to the Eastern Side of Sicily in the Province of Catania. Here we spent the day hiking the craters at Mt. Etna. We had all intentions of taking the cableway up and hiking the Volcano, however down pours and hail storms stopped us in our tracks. After an amazing 3pm lunch (pizza and cannolis in Sicily are SO much better, if that is even possible) , we gave up on the weather and decided to check out the small town of Taormina. We were able to capture amazing views from the Ancient Amphitheater, and walk through the Old Town. Taormina was by far one of those most beautiful, quaint towns I have traveled through in Italy.

Our next stop was the town of Milazzo. We only spent one short evening here, as our main reason for stopping was to catch the 3 hour ferry the next morning to the island of Stromboli. Stromboli is an island off of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and is home to one of the three active volcanoes in Italy. It is a very small town, consisting of a population between 400-500, and there did not seem to be much to do. However, we had a goal for Stromboli. We were making the 7 hour (partially nighttime) hike UP that Volcano to see the lava spewing…and we did just that!! Yes, I can now say the most craziest thing I have ever done was not jumping out of a plane (twice) or riding the white water rapids in Slovenia, it was hiking an active volcano. This excursion was not only the most physically challenging thing I have ever accomplished, but also the most rewarding. To sit at the top of that Volcano and watch bursts of hot lava spew out of its top, was the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed. I know, I know, I’m crazy and Bobby should probably up my life insurance policy, but where is the fun in life if you can’t truly experience it!?!!

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We ended our time in Sicily back on the Western side of the Island. What more can you  possibly do after an epic hike up an active volcano you ask? You spend the day going down what has been named “one of the world’s craziest” water slides! Citta Del Mare is the largest resort in Sicily, overlooking the Gulf of Castellammare. Located on the side of a cliff, this ultimate slide takes you right down in to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Talk about an awesome way to end a trip!!

Pictures of my travels in Sicily can be found here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Facebook/Sicily

I may have said goodbye to Sicily, but I am just starting off my Summer adventures in Europe. Less than a week after being home, once again I made my way to Austria. This time myself and two girl friends loaded up the car and headed to Salzburg for a weekend of “The Sound of Music.” If you are a fan of the movie, you’d thoroughly enjoy this trip. We went to a dinner show dedicated to not only the Sound of Music but the Sounds of Salzburg! As well as a 4 hour tour around Salzburg and neighboring towns to see the history behind the film. It may have rained on us practically the entire time, but it was worth it. THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!!

I have yet to upload and edit those photos- once I do, I will post them!

I was suppose to be going on yet another adventure with Jennifer today. She had a road trip from Northern Italy to Southern Italy planned, however I’ve had to cancel on that adventure. As of now my next stop is Lake Bled, Slovenia and then on to a girls weekend in Malta! This time, I promise to keep you all posted!

xox

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