ticino to tuscany and home

It has been a little too quiet here on Home Schwiiz Home for the last month. Even though I returned to Zürich on Thursday, April 20th, a whirlwind of unpacking, guests, and repacking for a week in Italy has kept me away from here.

One of the Lindt gold bunny balloons. It was nearly 40 feet tall.

One of the Lindt gold bunny balloons. It was nearly 40 feet tall.

First, I should let you know that I managed to fly home from LAX on Swiss Air without sitting on any chocolate. It was another nice direct flight filled with a lot of sleep and some not-so-bad airplane food. It is so nice to be back with Martin again!

The day after I got back, and had mostly unpacked, we had the pleasure of hosting friends from California, Morgan & Stephanie, who arrived just in time for dinner after an epic six week vacation trekking in Nepal and skiing in France and Switzerland. It was nice to have an excuse to try a new restaurant in our neighborhood and get to spend a whole Saturday sharing our new city (and all its best souvenirs and sweets) with the two of them. It was fun to help others find treats for friends, taste test more Luxemburgerli, and enjoy a sunny spring day.

Morgan and Stephanie headed out for Frankfurt and home Saturday evening so we had a quiet Easter. We packed for Italy, listened to ringing church bells, watched a few movies (Giant and Quantum of Solace) and devoured two chocolate bunnies. Actually, Martin’s goldhase made it onto the train to Locarno the next morning, but not much further. (See the slideshow below for those pictures.)

IMG_1345Early Monday morning we took the train down to Locarno. The trip is so scenic that the nearly three hour ride goes by very quickly. By late morning we met up with the caravan of vans and cars from the Virtus Locarno track club and headed south through Lugano, skirting Milan, and along the Italian coast to Marina di Pietrasanta. I’m told it was a beautiful drive, but I slept through most of it.

Marina di Pietrasanta is a small beach town about 45 minutes outside of Pisa in Tuscany. The town itself is small and there wasn’t too much to see or do except join the track club for morning workouts, run past beautiful groomed villas, walk on the beach, and eat. Mostly eat. I bet we spent four hours a day eating. A lot of pasta. We had 3 courses + dessert twice a day. A lot of eating. Too much pasta. Luckily, we burned a few of the calories off in training (at least Martin did). You can read more about the training part of the trip on Martin’s blog. In particular, it was nice for him to have a coach and consistent training partners the whole week.

The whole week was also enjoyably relaxing for me also. I’m happy to be a happy groupie and, for the most part, the sea air really improved my spring allergies so I was happy. If we return next year we would like to take a car so that we can explore more of Tuscany. The highlights this trip for me were: (1) Pisa, (2) driving through Carrera on the return trip home and seeing all the marble quarries and slabs, and (3) watching 6 hours of royal wedding coverage on our tiny hotel TV. It was a fun trip, and now it is nice to be home. Here are a few more pictures of the week…

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