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Jul 28

Written by: Jeff O'Brien
7/28/2010 12:31 AM 

Vail to Monte Cucco...

@ the airport.

Shapiro started his adventure by driving Missoula to Boulder, CO where we dropped his car at our bro Alex's house. Lauri and I hit the road at 3am and picked up Jeff around 6. A quick bagel for porn exchange and we continued on to the airport.

Lauri dropped us off before 7am - our six harnesses and two gliders... (THANKS girl!)Time to schmooze the AA ticketing personnel. It was costly with all the extra gear, gliders cost $200, but we were thru TSA with little fuss. Stoked!


Killer cloud streets on the way to Chicago.

Chamonix? We woke to this scenery over France.

We celebrated with a couple of whiskies in Chicago on our layover before Rome. There were two hours of on plane delays with maintenance problems. I'd taken two Tylenol PM's, so slept through most of it. Also slept most of the ride to Rome. Easy overnight flight.


We woke to breakfast and EPIC mountains out the window. Might have been Chamonix... We were trying to discern. Daydreamed out the window over europe through the rest of France and down over Italy. Wide gray riverbeds drained the alps into the flats. We like square parcels in the states, they like smaller hodgepodge fence lines here. I like it too.

Passport control and customs took seconds. The passport officers glanced uninterested at my documents and waved me on. Customs was a joke. Outside in the mix was disorienting for a moment, Marcelo Chaves was there after a bit to fetch us. We rolled through the outskirts of Rome in Marcelo's care on the way to his girlfriend Mikele's house.

Marcelo and Mikele's wonderful shuttle to Monte Cucco.

We were overloaded with harnesses and gear, and I asked Marcelo how many harnesses I had to stack atop the gliders in order to fit all of us. At this point Marcelo said, "No, no. We are driving you to Monte Cucco (almost three hours away) and then returning tonight. Both Mikele and I have to work tomorrow." !!! What?! Mikele jumped in with a cooler full of drinks and classic Italian sandwiches and we rolled through the chaos of Rome. What wonderful hospitality! We didn't expect Marcelo and Mikele to go so far out of their way. Marcelo had procured old cell phones for us to use for retrieve while we're here. They are just amazing. We appreciated every effort.

The beautiful congestion through Rome's ancient relics turned to rolling farmland with mountains beyond. Jeff and I sat in the back with open windows and mouths staring at the scenery. Our hosts pointed out all the noteworthy towns and attractions.

Our place is epic. The view of launch is out the window. Across the street there's a field of sunflowers, a vinyard, and a picturesque hay field. There's a pool, garden, etc. We ate at an outdoor pizzeria as more and more familiar faces began to roll through town. We are SO lucky to be here for the experience. Davis and Belinda had stocked the place with groceries. Easy enjoyment with them. Ahhh...

Soon we arrived at Residence Albarosa on the south side of Sigillo (Monte Cucco) Just 2km down a dirt road from town. It's lovely, quaint, bucolic, etc. After we found Davis and Belinda, a quick espresso jump started us into unpacking and reassembling our gliders. Marcelo and Mikele headed back for Rome. We enjoyed the warm evening light on the surroundings as we chatted and worked.


27 comment(s) so far...

Re: Vail to Monte Cucco...

Wonderful pictures! I would love to go there one day. The sunflowers are incredible and I was so glad to see the bee pic. I haven't seen many honey bees this year and usually they are all over my sunflowers. Thanks for sharing. Have fun!

By Beth on   7/28/2010 1:00 AM

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Nice start, gentlemen. I'll admit to some jelousy! Safe travels, and make sure to drink a few espressos and Chianti (as wines go, the Italian dark hard liquor) for the rest of us.)

Buono fortuno in Italia!

By 3D on   7/28/2010 6:49 AM

Re: Vail to Monte Cucco...

Let's move to Italy as a family... you would not have to twist my arm. Just find me an Italian golf course, and we're there. Ahhh.. I LOVE that country!

Have fun and keep the photos flowing!

By Regina on   7/28/2010 7:30 AM

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I agree with Regina...let's move together as a family there :)...can't wait to see the sunflowers myself in 9 days. Great pics!

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