Monday, August 22, 2011

Viva Italia

What a trip. I got to spend the last week in Italy, visiting JR. I got greeted by beautiful weather and great food. We spend the week in Budoia, a small town about 1.5 hrs north of Venice, at the base of the Dolomites. Why I didn't bring my bike I don't know (actually I do, it is called bike fees). This area is a dream for any cyclist, Roadie or Mnt bike rider.

I spend the week focusing on running, napping and exploring the area by bike. On Sunday we took the train to one of the most impressive cities I have ever visited. Venice. Venice was built on a bunch of small islands, therefore the canals and all the bridges. How they built all of the churches and museums is a mystery to me, especually since some buildings were built in 9 B.C.!!! There are no cars in old town Venice, so everything is explored by foot or boat. Here are some pics that I took on our walk through Venice:

Shoes made with old bike tires :-)

The streets of Venice.

How did they built those houses?

The famous Rialto Bridge (I liked the smaller ones better :-)

Tiny walkways between the houses.

Aehhhh, what the...?

Giant crusie ships cruising through old town Venice on the Grande canal...crazy...only in Italy.

Mhhh...Pizza...luckily I am not gluten free...Italy is NOT the country to be in when you are gluten free...Pizza and Pasta everywhere :-)

The view on my run in the dolomites.

Icing the legs made us understand why nobody was in the water...FREEZING!!!

VESPAS everywhere!!!

My running route through the fields.

Lots of options to stop and eat grapes, peaches, figs, bell peppers, tomatoes...pretty much everything grows in this area!!!

Off course the week went by way to fast and Saturday morning it was time to fly back to the US. The trip turned into a 29 hr trip thanks to a poor goose that lost its life in our engine during take off in Venice. We lost one of our engines about 10 min into the flight, but luckily the pilot got us back on the ground safely. After standing in line for 4 hrs I got new tickets and was on my way. In Chicago we had a minor set back when the airplane lost its computer system while we were on the field ready to take off, so my arrival was once again delayed...Finally at 1 am Sunday I made it to Phoenix, but off course my luggage was that point I wasn't even worried anymore. I slept for 3 hrs and got up at 4 am to make my way out to Skull Valley to race the AZ Roadrace Championships, 68 miles in 110 degrees. I felt amazing until about mile 55, where I faded bad. It might have been that the 2 bottles of coke were wearing caffeine/sugar high came to an end 10 min too early :-) It was still a fun day and great practice!!! Next up: Trip to Des Moins!!!