Bike, Sweat, and Drink a whole lot more…

I’m not sure why it is taking me so long to finish posting about our VBT bike trip.  I can’t use a bad wifi connection as an excuse, nor can I blame the tediousness of blogging via ipad.  It could just be those lazy, hazy days of summer have made me even lazier and hazier than usual.

This bike trip was far more than just peddling my bony butt through Italy.  It was far, FAR more–it was a trip of self discovery.  (Voyage of self discovery SOUNDS so much better, but alas–you don’t “voyage” on a bike.  At least not intentionally. )

Here’s the big insight:  I learned, much to my chagrin (an SAT word that I so rarely get to use) , that I am easy.  I THOUGHT I might have moved on up to easy/moderate, but one  very long trek up a very steep hill brought me to my senses.  In fact, I got brought to my senses a whole lot faster than I got to the top of that damn hill (which in my mind, and probably my mind alone, was more of a mini mountain).

The true beauty of  VBT however is that you are able to design the trip that YOU want to take.  So, in keeping with my new philosophy of “if it’s not fun, I ain’t doing it”, whenever I encountered a steep hill I shifted — not gears, but from 2 wheels to 4.  I was humming that Lionel Ritchie song “That’s why I’m easy, e-e-ZEEE like Sunday mo-oo-r-nING”, while waving to my sweating friends as we zipped on by them, en route to the pool.

So, the biking photos you will see are all of flat lands, yet still lovely in their own special way.

The pine forest
On our way to lunch


Yet another beautiful hilltop town

Here’s Angelo, on “granny” duty.  Okay, so technically, I’m NOT a grandmother–I just ride like one.  And yes, I am smiling, because of my recent self discovery, happy in the knowledge that I have nothing to prove and that the van will be there when I need it.

Yet another great feature of VBT trips was no matter what your skill level, there was always SOMEONE you could ride with.  For me, on THIS trip it was my BBBB (that’s my “Best Biking Buddy, Beth” in text talk). Last trip it was sweet Victoria.  Here we are, ready to toss down some wine before lunch, after biking all morning.

Beth’s daughter, Susan (the baby of the group) was a biking superstar, going the distance every day.  She and Diane paired up and truly earned those serious biker outfits!

In addition to the biking, there are always special events.  One day we visited an olive farm, where we had a tour, snorted extra virgin olive oil and then had a fantastic lunch, cooked by the owner.   Best pasta EVER, fresh vegetables, beans–delicious!

The tour was called “Tuscany by the Sea”, so of course, there were more beaches to visit. The last beach had the “school locker”  type changing rooms.  THIS one had bushes.  And driftwood.  But the water was great–and the beach was not rocky.

I’m not positive what the sign meant, but I wasn’t going to mess with “waters not sured for unsafety service”!  But hey, their English is far better than my Italian, or Spanish for that matter, so I’m not poking fun. I’m just reporting what I saw.

Our evening in Orbetello was great fun.  First,a stop for what Franco insisted was the best gelato anywhere.  And it was indeed quite amazing.  The best part is you can get three different flavors at no additional charge  So, of course I did.  The next time you are in Orbetello, stop in at Le Logde and see for yourself!

Next, we experienced what the brochure described as a “romantic” cruise…see for yourself…are we not what you envision when you think of  “romance”?

Finally, a whirl around the city then dinner at Tony’s on the waterfront, where we enjoyed great food and a beautiful sunset.

Orbetello Fortress
Orbetello’s square
Tony’s restaurant at sunset
Sun, slowly sinking over the water
One more sunset photo

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I am intensely curious, with a spirit of adventure that is tempered by my very strong aversion to anything with potential to cause pain. I love travel, photography, reading, gardening, yoga, music and propelling myself through space (biking, dancing, walking, dancing while walking). I've never considered a lack of proficiency in any of the previous activities to be a hindrance, counting on abundant enthusiasm to make up for my shortcomings.

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