Brian is my older brother and is married to Jamie.
Adam is my younger brother and is married to Laura.
The six of us (including Carrie and me) ended up meeting in Cinque Terre, Italy, a couple of days before meeting up with the rest of my side of the family in Vernio (Tuscany).
Cinque Terre is a series of 5 towns on the Northwestern Coast of Italy.
These towns appear to just cling to the craggy hillsides.
They do this through an amazing series of retaining walls, terraces, and joined homes. There are walking paths between the towns.
It’s long been on Jamie’s list to visit Cinque Terre, and for most of 2003/2004, the town of Manarola (one of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre) was the screensaver for Carrie’s computer (I didn’t know at the time that Manarola was in Cinque Terre). Carrie had set Manarola as the background screensaver (on purpose) as a see-it-and-you-can-achieve-it kind of thing.
We stayed in Corniglia, which (although we also didn’t know it when we booked it), afforded the best views of the town of Manarola.
So being in Cinque Terre in 2011 was the realization of a lot of dreams of people in our group of 6.
And it was worth every bit of effort it took to get here.
Aside from getting to spend a wonderful couple of days with my brothers and sisters-in-law, the hiking between the towns afforded some amazing views of the Italian coast, and fun interactions with locals.
It also gave us opportunities to catch up and chat (since we hadn’t seen each other for over a year), as we walked between the towns.
We rented an apartment, which allowed us to cook dinner together.
In the building we rented, there was a rooftop balcony, so the 6 of us sat on the balcony and had a delicious meal of pasta and wine – Brian and Jamie even shared their wine from Tomassi winery, which I think may be my favorite wine from our time in Italy (so far).
The sunset meal we shared on the roof of our building in Corniglia is, without a doubt, one of my favorite sunsets ever.
If Cinque Terre is someplace that you have thought about visiting, definitely make the effort to come here. It is every bit as beautiful as the pictures make it out to be.