From Poland to Italy to Portlandia


Dang. Just like that our last month of traveling disappeared into the past. I know it happened, I was extremely present, and yet it feels like lifetimes have passed since the beautiful farm house in Poland. That is where I left off, so let’s pick up there and see how far we get.


Country Livin’. Amen. A nice change of pace for Mike and I. Disconnecting from our virtual and ‘real’ reality was exactly what I hoped for. It’s amazing how connected we all are around the globe. The internet is a crazy thing. The lack thereof is the reason why it’s taken me so long to get this out there. So, to pick up where I left off, after Marcin drove us through the night, in the rain and the dark, we woke to this glorious sight.


Marcin’s friend was so sweet to lend us the use of the farmhouse for a week. We had to gear up to walk the property so here is a family pic of us with our sweet boots on. FullSizeRenderMikey, Tomek, Katherine, Mateusz, Max, Marcin, and I. Ready for adventure on the farm where we saw this awesomeness. FullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender.jpgWe met the neighbor, Adam, who was thrilled to have us visit. Thankfully, Marcin and Tomek could communicate for us. An immediate embrace and the offering of warm, strong beer made for an enjoyable time on Adam’s farm. Here’s the only picture we managed to snap of him and more of his farm. IMG_6187The farm was such a great reset for us. Finding uninhabited swim holes, cooking meals with foraged mushrooms, enjoying the delights of a fire and the endless starry nights, all with subtle hints of home was a great comfort. IMG_5338.JPGIMG_5580.JPGFullSizeRenderIMG_5375Our new friends introduced us to more new friends and we took a night to go explore where they vacation. FullSizeRender.jpgThese wonderful people took us into their lives and showed us just that much more beauty contained within Poland. They have a house here. IMG_6665.JPGJust stunning scenery everywhere we looked. IMG_5477IMG_5427IMG_5403IMG_5276

We found a boat too! Finally! Water! Not quite the kayak I was looking for, but beggars can’t be choosers. FullSizeRenderThis was the last country adventure we had in Poland. Such a magical time. Before we were to head back to Warsaw for one last night, we spent a night at a palace where Tomek’s great grandfather once lived. IMG_6174.JPGIMG_5600.JPG

Tomek’s uncle, Marek, was kind enough to meet us here where we talked with a historian who was able to explain some of the history regarding this place. Marek led us through a tour of statues representing some of the people from the past in Lochow. Again, quite the history lesson we received while in Poland. IMG_5590.JPG

After a brief stay here, we headed back to Warsaw for one more night. A beautiful sunset and dancing the night away with Tomek and his cousins, Marcin and Marta, was a perfect way to end our almost three weeks in Poland. Big, big, big thanks to all you beautiful people who took us in on our journey. We are so very grateful and will never forget the warmth and love we felt in Polska! IMG_5607IMG_5622


The last frontier. The last three weeks of our twelve week adventure has arrived. We had a loose itinerary, knowing we will fill in the blanks as they arise. Our first stop, Firenze. IMG_5631.JPGIMG_5665.JPGIMG_5638.JPGFullSizeRender.jpgIMG_5632.JPGIMG_5683IMG_5687Overwhelming stimulation everywhere! WOW! The food, the art, the architecture, the bustle, the old things, the wine!!!! Oh goodness, the wine. Being in the wine industry in Oregon, my love for Italian wines just grew, lots. What a nice introduction to Italy. We were able to meet up with Mike’s cousin Ryan and his wife Debbie for a fine meal at this lovely establishment. IMG_5694IMG_5696IMG_5697IMG_5701.JPGIMG_5698A brief two day stay here in Florence was a great first taste of what Italy has to offer. We started noticing this super cool street art while wandering the streets. After we found four different pieces, it became a game. So, we went on a ‘Blub’ hunt. Here are some of his pieces.

We wound up spotting 15 pieces of his around Florence. Needless to say, when we started walking around our next destination, Lucca, we were excited to see these.

IMG_5733IMG_5744IMG_5747This one we thought was worthy of our last Oregon love sticker. Thanks Blub! IMG_5799.JPGLucca was just a place on the map we picked because it was near our next destination. So glad we stopped. A cute, quaint walled city that was sleepy and chill. IMG_5710FullSizeRender 2IMG_5737IMG_5752IMG_5754IMG_5767Yet again, another successful night tour. Every corner we turned we were like, ‘Whaaaaaaat?!? Another cool thing to look at?!??’. A town filled with great surprise. Even these guys are coming to play for the city…IMG_5785.JPGDefinitley going to be a rocking good time. Sad to miss this. The only real bummer besides not seeing The Rolling Stones, was the distance we had to travel to get back to our B&B. The public transit in Lucca needs some help. The last bus heads out at 8pm, taxis are ridiculously prices, and sometimes you wait two hours for a bus that never comes. Despite the sweaty long walk to and from our room, Lucca was great. Next time we know it’s worth it to pay just a little bit more to stay inside the city walls. Lesson learned. IMG_5844.JPG

Next up: a tiny village that I still don’t know the name of. It’s neighboring village is named Ortonovo. It is here where Tomek’s mother and aunt have remodeled a little villa in this tiny village where we spent almost a solid week. Here it is. FullSizeRender 5.jpgYep. Not much going on up here. Lots of grapes, old men perched on their haggard folding chairs in front of the church, and the sound of bells. Lots of bells. Here is Grazyna and Magdalena’s beautiful home.

A little slice of heaven with three floors and a beautiful ‘patio’ to sit in and soak up these views. IMG_6321IMG_6322IMG_6324Ortonovo is the village on the hill. There are some pictures of that town coming up. The cute yellow house off to the right is where Mike and I stayed. Josephine is the neighbor who is also Polish, and has guests stay there on occasion. The last picture is the view from the top floor looking out the other direction toward the church. Just so cute! Here’s what our little house looked like. FullSizeRender 11FullSizeRender 2FullSizeRender 13We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the patio. IMG_6119IMG_5858IMG_5861Next mission: hike to the waterfall. IMG_5866IMG_5876FullSizeRender 4IMG_5885This waterfall was such a savior for the 90+ degree days. A beautiful gem within walking distance from the house. This is Tomek’s aunt, Magda. She was a hoot! Next mission: fill the wine jugs.

This place was crazy. I’ve never seen wine being poured like gas out of tanks. All for roughly $15 per jug. Unbelievable. I will say, that wine went down like water. So good! IMG_6179.JPGAfter a lovely evening filled with friends, family, food, and wine, the four of us decided to day trip it to Cinque Terre. FullSizeRender 22.jpgFullSizeRender 21IMG_5993FullSizeRender 15Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, and Vernazza were all that we could conquer in one day. Breathtaking views from each turn we made. Unfortunately the walking bridges are closed in most places due to landslides, but the one day train pass was perfect. To hop on and off as you please with plenty of times to catch the next train was very convenient. IMG_0249FullSizeRender 4IMG_6011IMG_6118A great day trek indeed. At this point, I’m falling in love with Italy. But wait! There’s more…. I will leave you here, with this gorgeous night sky and these beautiful buildings. I promise to work on the conclusion in the coming days into the transition home. Happy last day of August everyone. Much love ❤️


4 thoughts on “From Poland to Italy to Portlandia

  1. Absolutely fabulous. You have really captured the beauty of the places you visited. The colors are magical and memorable. Shannon you are a wonderful story teller. I want more👍 Marshall


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