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Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: August 2016

I can’t believe our European summer has come to an end. It feels like it’s really flown by, but when I think about all the places we’ve been and all the things we’ve done, I’m amazed that we were able to squeeze so much in. Especially while traveling with a growing baby that has now spent 1/4 of her life on the road!

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Over the last 3 months, we’ve tread back over some tried and true travel trails by visiting Rome (at least 6 or 7 times by my count), driving the Amalfi Coast a second time, re-visiting Albania, and getting our beach on in Naxos, Greece.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t see anything new though. We explored and fell in love with the Franco-German region of Alsace, pigged out in Lyon, found more soul-stirring beaches in Lefkada, Greece, and discovered some new parts of bella Italia.

 

Surely, the most spectacular #beach I've ever set eyes on ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‘€ #portokatsiki #Lefkada

A post shared by Shelley and Naia (@travelstained) on

 
And while there was no doubt that our European summer was gonna be fantastic, I’m most amazed by how well our little traveler adapted to life on the road. It hasn’t all been easy, but for the most part, she met every new travel challenge and experience with joy, excitement and fearlessness.

TRAVEL
We spent the first part of the month camped out at a friend’s house on the edge of Rome, while they were vacationing in Greece. While there, we visited the nearby town of Anguillara, Agri’s old hometown, Cerveteri, and spent the day at Passoscuro beach. We stayed there for a full 10 days, the longest length of time we stayed anywhere for the full 3 months of our travels.

Is it any wonder that it’s also the only place where my previously sleeping through the night, but all of a sudden, waking up all night baby, slept for longer than 5 hours in a row. (Like I said, it hasn’t all been easy!)

It was a welcome respite from the intense pace of traveling we’d been setting, and a great opportunity to reset and recharge, while visiting with friends and family in Rome. Of course, we couldn’t sit still for long, and we spent most of the rest of the month in the car, road tripping through Italy.

Our road trip through Italy was a bit of a whirlwind, with time spent in the north, middle and south of the country. In the north, with Padova as our home base, because it’s where Agri’s sister Ana lives and works, we visited Modena (famous for balsamic vinegar), Mantova, Parma (where parmesan cheese is from), and Sirmione.

In Tuscany, we stopped into Foiana della Chiana, Cortona (of Under the Tuscan Sun fame), Montepulciano and Orviete, before passing through Rome on our way down to Salerno and the Amalfi Coast.

Every time I visit Italy, I’m aghast at just how MUCH there is to see in the country, and just how breathtaking it is. There’s something about the quality of light there that makes the most humble things look incredible. Add in the gorgeous landscapes, magnificent architecture and mouthwatering food, and it’s no surprise that the whole country is literally crawling with tourists all the time.

We spent the last week of our European summer in Naxos, Greece. Sure, there are a million different Greek islands to explore, but in the end, we stuck with the tried and true. After 3 months of travel, something loved and familiar, where we could truly relax, was exactly what we needed. And relax we did.

INSTAGRAM
OK, so I officially admit that I’m now a few months behind on Instagram. What can I say? I’m slow like that…but I’ll catch up eventually. I think.

The top 3 pics in August were all from Cinque Terre Villages. And no wonder, they’re just so damn picturesque.

 

 

 
And the most popular video:

Mommy, I'm all ready to fly to Greece ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท #littletraveler #daddysgirl @agr1nho

A post shared by Shelley and Naia (@travelstained) on

 
COMING UP IN SEPTEMBER
So, we survived our 11 hour long-haul flight from Rome to Seoul. I’m definitely a Korean Air convert now. The service was as good as on our flight to Rome, and the whole experience was as painless as an 11 hour flight with an 11 month old could possibly be.

We’ve been home in our apartment for the last 48 hours now, and while it felt incredibly alien and strange at first (is it possible to forget where things are in your own apartment?), we’re getting settled and appreciating being in one place again.

As for our little traveler? She somehow seemed to know we were done traveling, sleeping off her travel hangover with a whopping 16 hours on our first day back. Little does she know, we’ve already got another trip in the works. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned…

How was your summer? Did you get out and about? Share your travel stories in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. It did sound like a whirlwind summer of traveling for you and your little family. To have a home base away from home while on the road makes it more comforting. Your sister Ana looks very happy with all of your company. Well, the more the merrier ๐Ÿ˜€

    The Korean air flight attendants look like they are having a lot of fun with the baby, lol. She doesn’t seem to be mind carried by strangers. Maybe she was born to travel ๐Ÿ™‚

    Winter has just finished in Australia and the weather has just started to get a bit warmer. Over the past months I’ve been hiking a lot. No where near too far from where I live in Melbourne. Maybe an hour’s train or tram to a nice park or reserve to hike the weekends away ๐Ÿ™‚

    September 10, 2016
    • We are having the opposite here, with the weather finally cooling down a bit, to make it more tolerable. I wasn’t here, thank god, but apparently there was quite a heat wave this summer. I, too am hoping to get out on some hikes this fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It was quite a whirlwind of a summer, and we were so impressed with our little Naia Bear. She really handled everything very well (aside from the not sleeping through the night). And yes, she must be the most extroverted baby ever – she’s always smiling and laughing at strangers, and doesn’t care at all who picks her up or carries her. I swear sometimes she even forgets her parents exist. :p

      September 12, 2016
  2. Your little one is totally adorable!๐Ÿ˜Š Happy to read about another awesome year of travel! Cheers!๐Ÿ’›

    January 4, 2017
    • Aww thanks Tricia! She’s definitely made traveling all new again. All the best for 2017! ๐Ÿ˜€

      January 12, 2017

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