Posts Tagged ‘Family’

13th January
written by bob

Hello Friends!

Our apologies.  It has been WAY TOO LONG.  4+ years too long!

I’m going to keep this post short.  Suffice to say, a decision was made back in May 2014 and we did not end up moving to Singapore (a future blog post) and, instead, ended up moving back to the US and the great state of Colorado!

Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado skyline with the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the background.

Life is pretty busy at the moment with full-time work, part-time contract work, Miss G’s schedule of hockey & swimming, and making time for our love of skiing/riding in the nearby mountain resorts.

I will attempt to make a better habit of writing more blogs in the future.  It kind of fell off our radar once we moved back to the US as all of our friends and family were back here.  However with all of our NEW found “European” friends and followers may made while abroad, I (we) need to blog more so they can keep up with our new adventures.

That was the original intent of our blog; to keep friends & family abreast on what we were up to and how our lives were going while living abroad.  Our travel has not ceased since moving back and I will detail that in future blogs for you all to enjoy!  Please feel free to comment and let us know what you all have been up to as well.  We’d love to hear from you!

Bye for now, my friends.

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10th March
written by bob

A family vacation. That sounds good. Wait, a family vacation in Positano, Italy along the Amalfi Coast. Ahhhh yes, that sounds incredible! With Grandma, Aunt Holly, Katherine, Miss G, our au-pair Jess, and myself, all enjoyed this seaside paradise.

It was fantastic! Who wouldn’t want to vacation here?

Positano is simply an amazing place to visit!

Positano is simply an amazing place to visit!

If you have never been, we highly recommend it. We love Italy! Just make sure you are ready to do some walking AND some stair climbing! You will certainly get a workout in Positano! This past August in Italy was great; weather, food, wine, and family. This was the first vacation that we pretty much HAD to book our accommodation EARLY! We started looking in April/May for a place and at that time, there wasn’t a lot of places left. Positano is THAT popular! Our criteria for a place…large terrace, 3 bedrooms, and in town. We finally settled on Villa Balda. The terrace alone makes this place worth every penny! See for yourself, Villa Balda has everything you could need, a HUGE terrace, 3 large bedrooms each with its own full ensuite bathroom, a sitting area, dining room table, a large laundry room with washer, TV area (if you cannot live without although we never watched it), and an incredible, modern kitchen (with dishwasher). We enjoyed cooking from the kitchen (thank you Aunt Holly & Grandma) on two occasions as there are a few small markets nearby in order to take in a dinner on the terrace while enjoying the sunset view of the sea.

Arriving on a Saturday evening in Mid-August, we had pre-booked a walking tour of Positano first thing Sunday morning with Christine Cuomo owner of . A local in Positano for the past 8 years, Christine was extremely knowledgeable about the history and way of life there. She introduced us to local shop owners who have been pillars in the community for many years including Pepito’s. Incidentally, Christine married a local Vincenzo Cuomo, a qualified sommelier and they have created “Discover Wine Emotions”. You will learn about their wines (DOC & DOCG), the unbelievably flavourful dried meat, and excellent cheeses. We enjoyed this experience tremendously and would highly recommend both.

Looking for great, long-lasting clothes? Head over to Pepito’s (at Via Pasitea 39). This family run shop has been tailoring great, linen designs for the past 50+ years!

Us in Positano, Italy.  I just love Miss G's dress.

Us in Positano, Italy. I just love Miss G’s dress.

You might be thinking that linen isn’t that stylish or fashionable and to that I say, “You haven’t been to Pepito’s!” Pepito’s changed my perception. Their clothes are fantastic and the linen is superb. Both men and women can easily find something they like. Try something on and you’ll soon realize how incredibly soft their material is. While I wanted a large selection of the men’s clothes I found, restraint from breaking the bank was a constant forethought.

We spent LOTS of time at the beach. Positano beaches are covered with rentable lounge chairs and umbrellas. Prices range from 8€-20€ depending on which beach you decide to visit. There are a few beaches off the main beach where you can catch a free boat shuttle to them. Typically, each one has a restaurant right there at your finger tips on the beaches. So one day out of our seven, Katherine and I ventured out on a free boat and enjoyed a kidless day, snorkeling and soaking up the sun. The temperature of the water couldn’t have been more perfect for swimming. I even climbed a nearby cliff and jump from a couple different levels into the blue water below. It was AWESOME!

While in Positano, or Italy in general, it’s impossible not to enjoy the food and wine. Of course we ate at many different restaurants and the food was great. One place in particular, that we had an amazing dinner was a restaurant called Next2. Wow! From the moment we sat down, the restaurant’s ambience dictated the how the rest if our evening transpired.

Dining at Next2 was simply amazing!

Dining at Next2 was simply amazing!

The service was absolutely exceptional! And, the food, was simply incredible! We enjoyed a couple great bottles of Italian wine with our dinner, Classico Rosso Futura Reservi and Classico Rosso Futura. Then came dessert and it was SPECTACULAR! I’m not really one for peaches but when it comes with vanilla bean ice cream layered with thin, crisp, square pastry and topped with drizzled raspberry puree, sign me up. Delectable! If you choose to enjoy an evening at Next2, be sure to speak to Michael; he will take exceptional care of you along with the rest of his staff. On a side note, it was so good we enjoyed Next2 twice while in Positano. It’s that good. PERIOD.

Another fantastic restaurant was Hosteria il Pino in Priano a town just 10 mins up the road. Owned by Mr. Baldaserra, whom also owns Villa Balda. If you stay at his villa he will provide free transportation to/from his restaurant so you can enjoy an evening with fresh fish, pasta, a lemon shrimp risotto, and a fabulous wine, Francesca, named after his daughter and produced from the grapes harvested from the property. The first thing you notice at Hosteria is the absolutely spectacular view; one of the best on the Amalfi Coast!

Sunset view from restaurant Hosteria il Pino in Priano.

Sunset view from restaurant Hosteria il Pino in Priano.

Hosteria offers a picturesque view looking back at Positano and its nearby islands with even seeing Capri in the background. How amazing was that? In addition to incredible food, Mr. Baldaserra also produces his own olive oil which, by the way, is just as incredible as everything else you will enjoy at Hosteria il Pino. You will not be disappointed! To top our evening off (besides sipping Lemoncello), there was an amazing sunset view while we enjoyed an amazing dining experience!

One of the best days we enjoyed while on our honeymoon in Bora Bora, we renting a guy and a boat, literally. So, why not do it again while on the Amalfi Coast? Through one of the booths at the pier, we were able to set up a boating day with our own agenda touring the seaside along the coast. Our driver, Andreas, was great! A local, he highlighted the points of interest along the way including hotels, grottos, celebrity houses, amazing castles, turrets, and great swimming/snorkel spots complete with caves! We basically had the boat for 6 hrs that day and, with that, towels and drinks (coke, water, beer, Prosecco) were provided. Along the tour we stopped for lunch at a seaside restaurant that only seemed attainable from the water. Judging from the number of boats anchored in the small bay, it’s a popular place. With perfect weather that day, the private boat tour did not disappoint us. It was another incredible day!

We rounded out our vacation with a side trip to Capri, a view of Mount Vesuvius, watching the procession of the Black Madonna during the Festival of Our Lady of the Assumption complete with fireworks, and enjoying the incredible evenings on the patio at Villa Balda where numerous bottles of wine met their fate. Positano was, for us, an amazing place to visit – life is simple, the people are so friendly, and, of course, the food and wine, to die for! This was one family vacation that will not soon be forgotten.

Grazie, Positano!

Au revoir, mes amis.