Catching Up: A Summer to Remember

September 23, 2019

Hello friends, happy fall! I took the summer off from blogging to take time to recenter and focus. It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging regularly for almost ten years. It seemed like a good time to hit the pause button and reflect on the future direction and life in general. It was nice to take 8 weeks off, as a recharge of the batteries was in order. I spent the summer with my family and kicked it off with a trip to Europe.

Part of my goal as a Mom this year is to try and fill up our lives with big, new happy memories after the passing of my step-dad. To say it has been easy to deal with is far from the truth. Often, there are still days of profound grief, but I felt like going was a huge part of healing. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to the chickens for a couple of weeks, but the trip was worth it. This time we spent time in Italy, Switzerland, France and England.

We started off in Rome and spent the most of our time in Italy. Traveling North every few days, we saw Siena, Florence, Pisa, Tuscany, Venice, and Lake Cuomo.

The beginnings of Rome where Greek, Egyptian and Roman cultures collided.
Exploring the Vatican. I really think you need at least a week for this place alone.
St. Peter’s Basilica was preparing for a large mass as we explored. Seeing the Sistine Chapel (no photos allowed) was surreal.
The Colloseum

We all threw coins into the Trevi Fountain. Just one of course, with our backs to the fountain with our right hands over our left shoulders. We will return.
A delicious dinner in Rome.
Siena’s Cathedral- Duomo di Siena is a medieval Roman Catholic church dating back to 1215.
The Piazza del Campo of Siena laying down dirt in preparation for the Palio di Siena horse race.

Street of Siena
Pisa’s Cathedral and of course, the Leaning Tower
Pisa’s Cathedral looking from the adjacent baptistery.
Of course, the obligatory holding up the tower pic!
Dinner in Tuscany at the farmhouse used in the filming of “A Room with a View”.
This was my favorite pasta from the entire trip. It was so simple yet so amazing!
The Piazza della Signoria in Florence Italy.
The replica statue of David is in the Piazza above, but we were lucky enough to gain access to the Galleria dell’Accademia and viewed David. Breathtaking art by Michelangelo.
We took a water taxi into Venice and enjoyed spending time in St. Mark’s Square in Venice. We also enjoyed a gondola ride in the canals.
The Bridge of Sighs, where the prisoner’s saw their last glimpse of fresh air prior to sentencing. Most never even got to trial and perished in the prison.

Colorful homes on the island of Burano part of Venice.
Our last stop in Italy was part of the day in Lake Cuomo.

From there we crossed the border into Lucerne, Switzerland. We spent a few days in the Alps at a lovely lakeside vintage hotel.

We arrived in Lucerne and enjoyed a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne upon our arrival. Here is our lakeside hotel from where we could easily walk and tour the city.
We took a cog railway up to the top of Mt. Pilatus. All along the way there were pastures for cow with cow bells ringing as they grazed. It was like a scene from the book Heidi.
Up above the sky on the way down from the summit of Mt. Pilatus. Some say that Pontius Pilate is believed to be buried here.
We took a large aerial tram down to a smaller base.

And finally into trams of four for the final descent. That afternoon we ventured out for horse drawn carriage rides and a visit to a farmhouse where we snacked on assorted cheeses and dairy products from the cows.

Next we traveled over to Paris and then finally off to London.

The towers of Notre Dame still standing.
An eagle eye view of London from the London Eye.

I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with this post about our trip. Of course there is more for those of you that would like to check it out. It’s on my Instagram.

We returned home mid-July. The chickens were so very happy to see us all as well as Sara, our Miniature Schnauzer.  Surprisingly, the veggie and herb garden was still plugging along. I had planted plenty of things, not knowing if they would survive.  I am happy to share that the tomatoes and cucumbers did not disappoint.

It was also a time for me that I took to put the finishing touches on my third book project. I’m excited  and can’t wait to share more.  This project particularly, warms my heart as it is truly a culmination of inspiration and daily living. It will release early next spring, just in time for chick season.

So in a nutshell, I think we are all caught up. I hope you had a fantastic summer and as we enter into fall and the days grow shorter, I’ll do my best to pop in and say hello and am grateful for those of you still interested in following along on this blog.  It’s nice to be back.

XO  Melissa


Author/Blogger/Freelancer-Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.



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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.