Lapland, Finland 2022

Read on to see what a wild and magical time my daughter, Ava, and I had in the Arctic Circle, which both challenged us and fed our souls.

Travel with Me–Explore Vietnam

Immerse yourself in a totally unfamiliar culture; a truly experiential vacation. A few highlights: In addition to visiting UNESCO sites of Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, eat lunch with a local family, ride on the back of a “cyclo” through city streets, be taught the nuances of noodles by former street youth, see the indescribable beauty of the Vietnamese countryside–and so much more!

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Venice Extension

After spending a week hiking in the mountains, 12 of us spent 2 nights in Venice! I was giddily anticipating this, because I had read that the tourist load was at 30% of “normal”, and of course we ALL read about how clean everything was after 18 months without tourists.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: The People

By the end of our second day together, we were best friends. By the end of the week, we were forever-friends. All 16 of us, plus Karl! I knew I’d have fun with this new job, but I had no idea my heart would get so deeply involved.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Our Hotel and Food

If you’ve had a good European breakfast before, you *know*. If you haven’t, you need to go to Europe. Just for breakfast. Then you can go home, because you have experienced Nirvana.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Day 6, Mt. Piano

Earlier this week, I found Heaven.
Yesterday, I met God.
Today, the Grim Reaper winked at me.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Day 5, Tre Cime

I tried explaining today’s experience to a friend, and all I could come up with was this … I was in heaven on our previous hike, but today, I met god.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Day 4, Strudelkopf Mt.

My thought as we were descending today was, “If I don’t see another beautiful thing, if it just rains for the rest of the week, I’m ok.” What we experienced today SATURATED me with awe; words can’t describe what we saw, and photos look fake.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Day 3, Kreutzberg Mt.

Each day, the hikes ramp up a bit in intensity and scope. Today, we were on the trail for 8 hours, round-trip, reaching an elevation around 6500’.

Hiking in the Dolomites with Ilse: Day 2, Lago di Braies

Today’s hike was a slow amble. Mostly a gradual incline, with maybe 2-3 steep parts. Getting our hiking legs warmed up for Day 3!

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