During the month of May, the brigade has had several training holidays, so Nate has also been fortunate to have several three-day weekends. We took advantage of his day off last Friday and almost finished all of our unpacking, then bought a BBQ and had people over for the evening. It was the first real entertaining we have done in our new home and it was a great time and really nice to feel like we are starting to make roots somewhere.
Saturday, we headed out bright and early for Slovenia, a country neither one of us knew much about and had no clue it was so close. With a group of about 9 we headed off on the autostrada for the eastern Italian border and arrived in Bled, Slovenia 3 hours later. What a beautiful country!!!!! We spent the day around Lake Bled, a relatively small lake, 6 km around, with an island in the middle and a castle. It sits in the middle of the Alps and there are several ski resorts in the area (all closed for summer now); the mountain views are incredible.
After enjoying lunch with everyone and strolling around the lake, Nate, his buddy Chris and I took advantage of the closed ski run to ride the summer bobsled that is set up down one of the mountains. It’s very similar to the alpine slides I have been to in Colorado and Minnesota, except that the car you ride is attached to the track. It was well-worth the 11 euro for two rides and the amazing view from the lift ride up the mountain. Nate recorded some excellent video of one of his trips down the track so we will see if we can post his “screaming like a little girl” ride on the blog somewhere.
|Lift Ride Up the Mountain|
|View from the Top|
|Nates ride down|
|That was fun :)|
|A little big for the cart|
Unfortunately, Nate and I could not stay the night in Slovenia with the others since we had already secured a spot for a wine tasting trip to Chianti, so we made the trip home and woke up bright and early again the next day to head to Chianti. We will return to Slovenia in the near future to explore more of the beautiful country and possibly do some hiking and camping.
The Chianti trip on Sunday, was part of an Outdoor Rec trip on base so we were able to sleep on the 4 hour bus trip down to the Tuscany area. We had a great time, though it rained for much of the day, and got to stop at three different wineries and see some beautiful country. Two of the wineries provided us tours of their cellars and we ended up buying some great wine from each. The first winery we visited, Castello D’Albola, owns a vast majority of the vineyards in the Chianti region and even has vineyards in other areas like France and Virginia. Since Nate and I have done some wine tasting in Virginia, we asked which vineyards they own and learned that our favorite vineyard in Virginia, Barboursville, is one of them. Small World! Not surprising, our favorite wine at D’Albola (Chianti Classico Reserve) tasted very much like our favorite wine at Barboursville (Octagon).
While we had a great time on the trip to Chianti, we were pretty beat by the time the 15-hour trip ended and we finally made it home. Nate returned to work on Monday and on Tuesday and Wednesday we attended change of command ceremonies for two of his friends.
|Change of Command Ceremony|
After another busy work week for Nate, we decided to stay home and relax a bit this weekend since we’ve been on the go since we got here. We enjoyed a nice weekend, going to the movies, BBQing and enjoying the sunshine here in Quinto. It was a good chance to rest up before our Memorial Day weekend trip to the French Riviera J More to come on that! Ciao for now!