Funny enough, I thought to myself that I would have this blog post ready on the first Monday we got back from Italy. Well! That Monday went by and so did the next one and then two more passed by after that! It became a next week goal and then a next month and… well… HERE IT IS, ready within the new goal of “sometime 2019”!! AND it’s only part of our adventure! It wouldn’t be “the mess” if I had any real plan now would it?!

This was our first trip to Europe and we went 6 people strong. For some reason, that was shocking to others. I suppose it’s pretty uncommon for large groups to go so far together, but I give it a big thumbs up. We are all friends. Some of us are married. Some of us are family. It was pretty easy to continually switch up our groupings and confuse the hell out of people that where taking the time to figure us out. They never did!

I suppose I’ll start with Cinque Terre because it was our first stop and decidedly the favorite. It might be the most impressive place I’ve ever seen, with the best food I’ve ever eaten, with incredible terrain to trek. Apart from being difficult to get to, and full of tourists like ourselves, I’m not sure what someone could find that they didn’t love. Really, try.

At several different moments I had to stop and think, “Wow, this is REAL. I’m here and this is REAL!” For example, we were sitting on a cliff, under a castle, the ocean off the cliffs edge, drinking local wine, eating pasta, and reminiscing about our day hiking between the near by towns. It felt like something you dream about and yet every bit of it was so accessible in this place. Thanks Cinque Terre for being unreally real.