Sara Lynn


Sara Lynn

North America » United States » California November 1st 2017

It’s hard to believe that it was only 2 short years ago (to the day - November 1) that Sara and I walked into Rome on the Via Francigena.In our many visits to California to visit Brian at school, we typically would “add-on” a few days somewhere else in California and go bike riding. This lead to discovering the fact that the Spanish (ruling Mexico at the time) established a series of 21 Missions in California, from the Mexican border all the way north to Sonoma, to colonize what was then called Alta California from 1769 to 1... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany September 14th 2015

This day's ride was exactly what I thought/hoped bike riding would be like in Tuscany. Lots of hills (but not too steep) with beautiful scenery all around. We started out by receiving a bit of rain, enough to stop, put my rain jacket on for awhile and then move on. I was thinking to myself, I hope this will not be an "Ireland Day", but it cleared up rather quickly. The highlight for me came towards the end of the ride. 10k outside of Montalcino, is the Abbey of Sant'Antimo. I arrived after a gently sloping downhill in time for the 12:45 Gregorian Chant service, lovely to listen to. I then enjoyed the ride uphill to Montalcino ( so much so, that I contemplated doing it again the following morning, but couldn't because our schedule was ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pienza September 13th 2015

Our ride from Pienza today was a loop ride highlighting the towns of Montichiello, Bagno Vignoni and San Quirico. We departed under threatening skies but the "forecast" said the rain would not start until late in the afternoon. Yeah, right. I made it as far as our first scenic stop in Montichiello and met up with Jim, Marilyn and Bryce. We walked around the town and started to feel raindrops. Jim, Marilyn and Bryce decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel in Pienza. I decided to press on. The rain started in earnest with a little thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. I made it to Bagno Vignoni where the trip leaders had planned a picnic for today in a park. Plan B was to eat the picnic under ... read more
Bagno Vignoni

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pienza September 13th 2015

We leave Cortona heading to our morning destination of Montepulciano, famous for their wines! Up until now, I have not seen any vineyards. Although I have passed through lots of farmland, they have been primarily plowed over fields of wheat with some sunflowers. Now I start to see the vineyards. Arrive in Montepulciano. I leave my bike with our guide Mark and walk the town utilizing my guidebook that I had downloaded onto my iPhone. It's nice for me to have a gudiebook to point out the usual items that I would walk right past. My afternoon ride is an extension ride that our guide Pierre mapped out for me. While the ride was rewarding with steep climbs to beautiful vistas, it had some very off-piste sections (gravel). The town of Petroio was particularly charming. I ... read more
Clock in Montepulciano

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Cortona September 11th 2015

After a moderate descent leaving Torgiano, our ride today started with a steep uphill that took us through the town of VILLANOVA! The town is nothing to write home about, but I just did, except for a photo. We then descended to Lake Trasimeno, famous for Hannibal's victory over the Roman army in 217 BC. We rode along the coastline of the lake stopping in Pasagnano. At this point, I had been riding with Mark, one of the tour leaders. We had a very nice chat over lunch. He is American, but as a youth lived in both Africa and Italy because his father worked for the UN. He is married to an Italian doctor and lives on the coast of Tuscany. I left Mark, who needed to stay in Pasagnano and make sure everyone was ... read more
Cortona-the only way is up

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Assisi September 10th 2015

Our ride today was a loop ride, with the planned highligh being Assisi. We leave the hotel at 9 AM, the "arrows down" time. Experience Plus sends one of the guides out early in the morning to draw chalk arrows along the route. We are not allowed to leave early because of the risk of riders overtaking the "chalk arrow drawer" (This would never be a problem in my case, but I go with the flow.) Our first stop is Spello, where I visit Santa Maria Maggiore to admire the chapel painted by Pinturicchio. I meet up with Bob and Kay from Seattle and we decide to do the extra 7 mile ride leaving from Spello around Mont Subasio to Assisi. It also promises to add some elevation gain to my day. It is a mostly ... read more
Ceramic bench in Deruta-yesterday

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Torgiano September 9th 2015

I awoke at 7:30 without feeling any jet lag effects - Italy is agreeing with me. I headed out after a quick breakfast to explore the Central Historic area of Perugia. The Primavera Mini Hotel was less than a five minute walk to the "main drag" know as Corso Vannucci. I was first attracted to the many shops along the pedestrian only streets, but told myself, "I must be strong - I have touring to do." First stop - the Duomo, which is distinctive for two things: 1) a beautiful fresco on one of the columns of La Madonna delle Grazie and 2) the wedding ring of the Virgin Mary (kept out of view behind a red curtain and up two flights of stairs.) In the same piazza as the Duomo was located my next stop, ... read more

Europe » Italy » Umbria » Perugia September 8th 2015

Benvenuto to my trip blog! This first post is to let everyone know that I have arrived in Italy without mishap (yet). At 7 PM last night, I took the good old C & J Bus to the airport - many thanks to Naira for the drop off at Pease! My Alitalia flight departed at 10:50 PM nonstop to Rom arriving at 12:50 PM today. There were no delays and it was the most pleasant international flight that I can remember. No crying babies, etc. The plane seemed brand new, and for those of you who know of my germaphobe tendencies, I can report that I only needed to use 2 of my wet wipes! I amused myself waiting for the flight by reading an entertainin article about fanny packs that VJ had passed on to ... read more

North America » United States » New Hampshire » New Castle September 6th 2015

I have the suitcases out and it is time to start packing!... read more

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