Travelogue: Monte Grappa
Sometimes our family fun days wind up being a little more challenging than we'd like. Early in September, I planned a fun trip to some caves about an hour from our house. Christopher wanted to go to a large WW1 memorial 2 hours away first, so we changed the address in our GPS app and headed off towards the memorial. What could have been a half-day of exploring caves turned into a 10 hour ordeal that left us crawling into bed at 11pm that night. Also, we never made it to the caves.
Here's what I've learned from our trip.
- Christopher cannot function without his smart watch. We had to turn the car around to go home and get it so he wouldn't panic about missing his updates, counting his steps, seeing his text messages appear on his wrist and whatever else the damned thing does.
- It only takes stopping 5 times plus a combination of phenergan and dramamine to combat motion sickness for me and Evie. And that's one way.
- It's entirely possible to get tired of listening to children's podcasts for hours on end. Yes, even the ones created by NPR.
- When you're on the way to a large war memorial and you see another large war memorial, you might as well stop and look at that one too. So we did. It was huge. Evelyn saw a lizard while we were there, so that was neat for her.
- If you're heading up a winding, narrow mountain road and nobody is coming down, there might be a surprise waiting for you at some point. For us, that surprise was an unmanned asphalt grader that completely blocked the narrow, winding mountain road ahead of us.
- Christopher is a pro at reversing backwards down a narrow, mountain road for 2 kilometers. Also, our back-up camera has proven to be worth every penny.
- Narrow, mountain road mishaps add at least 1 hour to the itinerary.
- The correct mountain road had 28 switchbacks. Counting switchbacks can take the place of listening to children's podcasts.
- Counting para-gliders is fun too, and we saw at least 23 gliding around in the air above the towns that rest below Monte Grappa. At one point Evelyn wondered aloud how they get in the air. We resolved to Google it once we got home (no googling while riding in the car because...motion sickness).
- Somewhere around switchback 17 we saw a woman run off the side of the mountain with her paragliding parachute. AWESOME! No need to Google that when we got home.
- Usually when you see road signs cautioning you to look out for animals, you never see them. After sign after sign telling us to look out for cows, we were excited to see and hear cows all around us. Cows wearing bells around their necks were grazing along the mountain and hanging out in the road. I'm pretty sure the cows were the highlight of the whole trip for me.
- When we finally arrived at the memorial, the fog had rolled in and we couldn't really see anything. Luckily, Evelyn yelled "I've always wanted to stand in a cloud!" So she gets to check that one off of her bucket list.
- Christopher gets to check the Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa off of his bucket list too.
- The Sacrario Militare del Monte Grappa holds the remains of close to 23,000 soldiers who died in WW1 and is really incredible. I wish that we had arrived a little earlier in the day before the fog rolled in and blocked the monuments from view.
- The check engine light is definitely not something you want to see come on in your car when you’re winding your way through 28 switchbacks heading down a mountain. Our check engine light didn’t get that memo and glowed a brilliant orange the whole way home. (Took the car into the shop this morning. It’s the O2 sensor.)
- The highlight of the ride home was the beautiful full moon that greeted us as we descended down the mountain and changed from an orange hue (a “honey moon” according to Evelyn) to a bright white.
WHAT. A. DAY.