a mountain lake and mountain drives

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our second (and last) day in the dolomites was spent mostly in two places: the most goooorgeous mountain lake (lago di braies / pragser wilsee) and our rental car. (a baby who naps for several hours in the afternoon …and sleeps well in a carseat… + a husband who adores a good roadtrip = lots of time in the car!) we were again blown away by the beauty and charm of this spectacular spot of earth, especially because autumn colours were around every corner, even all the way on the tops of the mountains - where pine trees had turned golden. we loved our time in the dolomites so much that we actually decided (then and there) to return next year for our anniversary trip!

^^ the view we woke up to from our hotel room balcony. ian was so thoughtful in the two places he booked for us to spend the night. this one had a separate room for moses, and this spectacular vista outside the window! ^^
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we were pretty stunned by this jewel of a lake. we walked the trail around the entire circumference and loved every second of autumn mountain glory.
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^^ how about that reflection?! ^^
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^^ can you spot the path carved into the mountainside? and a couple taking a selfie in a boat? :) ^^
^^ i couldn’t get over this gold and teal colour combo. ^^
^^ the lighting in this picture is pretty terrible, but i still love it. i adore my boys. ^^
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^^ most of the pictures above were taken from inside the window of a moving vehicle, but every once in a while we just had to stop the car to snap some photographs. ^^
we drove back past the val de funes – on the high road above the churches – and caught it at golden hour again. we popped out of the car to take some pictures of just us (while moses chilled in his carseat and we positioned the camera on self-timer on the top of the car!). three years of charian down – an eternity to go!
i love this boy more than ever and sometimes can hardly believe the beautiful life we share. he really makes my dreams come true, that ian wright.

the stunning dolomites

^^ i actually can’t believe this is real, or that i took this picture!! ^^

i think i found my new favourite place in europe. have i said that a lot of times before?! ;)

several months ago, i happened upon some pictures (on my instagram explore page) from the dolomites – the italian alps. i had never heard of this area before and i was blown away by its beauty in photographs. like i mentioned in my last post, i excitedly showed a couple of these snapshots to ian and said, “i want to go there!” he immediately started devising a secret anniversary trip and soon booked plane tickets to verona and a car to drive around the dolomites. he told me about his plan about a month ago, and i was so pumped to go experience this place, which just looked so magical!!

and it was even more magical – and stunning and gorgeous and lovely – than i imagined! our trip was really quick (we left friday night and returned sunday night) but it was jam-packed with mind-blowing beauty. for me, being in the mountains = being home – so this weekend just felt so good for my soul.

but i have to back up and say – just for documentation and full-picture sake – that getting to the dolomites was, for us this past weekend, a complete nightmare. the worst flight delay experience of my life. here’s how it played out:
we rushed to the airport after ian left work early, only to discover that our flight was an hour and a half delayed. an hour and a half turned into two and a half hours. with a one-year-old that is reeeady for bed, that’s kind of an eternity! :) but finally our time to board the flight came, and as we were in line to get onto the plane, an airline representative walked down the queue and told us, nonchalantly, “by the way, this aircraft is not going to verona.”
we were like, “say, what?!”
“verona airport will be closed by the time the plane arrives, so you are going to venice. coaches will take you from venice to verona,” he said. we quickly got on our phones to call the rental car company and the small b&b where we were staying that night, to try to figure out how to get the car/get in our room at 2am (the flight was now set to land – in an entirely different city than the one we wanted to go to – at midnight, and the bus ride was estimated to be about an hour and a half). we flew, got through immigration and customs, picked up moses’s car seat (which we had to check), found the group of passengers going on the coaches, and waited for what seemed like hours until they finally headed off to verona. the bus ride ended up being more than two hours long, and i sat smooshed in the very back row with moses sleeping on my shoulder (and waking every twenty minutes or so to cry … poor baby). we had to wait in a long line at verona airport to get a taxi, and got to our b&b at about 3:15am. the owner was so nice to wake up and let us in and ooooh man we were ready to drop right into bed!
woof. it was kind of awful. but! no complaints! because after sleeping in and picking up our car and getting on the road, the dolomites blew us away. and are so lucky to take an anniversary trip like this one!

on saturday we rode a chairlift up into the mountain meadows above the town of compatsch, and then drove to the two spots that intensely piqued my interest in the dolomites: the santa maddalena church and the church of st. johann in ranui – both in the val de funes. everything was just stunning. we had amazing weather and the golden hour driving to and spending time around the churches was, well, totally golden. the alpine air was crisp and delicious, the autumn colours were blazing, and the cowbells ringing in the distance made it all just so enchanting.

totally and completely worth the fiasco we experienced to get there!

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dolomites, you won my heart! and were a perfect place for us to celebrate our deep love and our rich three years of marriage.