Cinque Terre: The Land of the Giant Asparagus

Beginning of the blog, and I’m jumping in with a post about a trip already and not going in chronological order which is strange for me. My OCD is fighting it but it is 12:00AM and I am lying in my bed in Florence and damn is it comfy. Plus I have to battle my dislike of coffee once again in the morning while chatting at Astor for free ice coffee day. Maybe this time in Italy will defeat my hate for the taste.

Today, no coffee was in the schedule, though I needed it at our 6AM wakeup call and early departure from the train station out to Cinque Terre. Twenty-nine brave souls decided to withstand the rainy day and make it a spectacular first training trip for me and the others along.The only little trip up was a one hour train strike – but my group missed that because we decided to hike! The flowers were blooming, it wasn’t that crowded, we had beautiful views, and I discovered, as you can see in the picture, the largest (what looked like) asparagus I have ever seen.Maybe they can fry it up in the largest frying pan in the world – I know its somewhere on the Italian Riviera. Overall, our travel to the five lands was gorgeous, despite the rain, but it did make things a little bit slippery.

Which brings me to my travel tip of the week -wear the right shoes.

Ironically last night this was also the case when stomping out into the rain after dinner and it seemed that most of us chose the wrong footwear. And we agreed that in Italy, shoes are one of the most important elements of an outfit.

If you’re traveling even outside of Italy, though they’re heavy and awkward to pack, make sure you have a pair for everything you’re doing. Walking in the rain, get rainboots – yes they’re heavy and sometimes uncomfortable, but you’ll thank me when the cobblestones turn to rivers and your toes are warm and dry. Hiking? Some people on those trails the other day were wearing flipflops and sandals.  Cinque Terre may be a national park, but it’s definitely not “a walk in the park” sneakers or hiking shoes it is. Going out? Sneakers won’t do it. Bring a pair of something that the bouncer won’t point to and shake his head.

Being prepared when you travel is much better than having too little. Pay the extra baggage fee if you have to. Your feet will thank you.

Today though, our wardrobes and shoes were pretty decent, and we made it down to the beach with plenty of time to spare for a nice Pina Colada in the rain. No complaints. Those drinks are like instant happiness regardless of the time, place, situation. I wish Astor was having Pina Colada day instead of coffee day. Immediate sellout fo sho. Until they smarten up, I’ll add a dash of coffee to my cream and sugar and call it a day.

Buona Notte – Let your shoe choices guide the way.

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