We spent all of November road tripping through Italy. We drove from North to South, starting in Milan. Early in the month, we spent a couple of days in the Dolomites. We were there in between seasons; the summer crowds long gone as the fall chill had started to settle in. Later on in the year, when the snow becomes heavily packed, another wave of tourism will attract skiers and snowboarders from all over Europe. Some stores and shops were open, but they seemed to mostly serve the year-round residents. We wound the car through tiny streets, warm lights from local taverns spilling out onto the pavement.
We rented a cozy room with an even cozier kitchen. The season must have become colder faster than anticipated, because the heat didn’t work in our place. But we didn’t let that bother us. We just hunkered down beneath huge warm blankets.
We had aims of hiking - the Dolomites are known for their incredible hikes with rewarding vistas - but the weather had other plans. Freezing cold rain quickly changed to snow and we spent our nights in our chilly room snuggled together with the lights off watching the snow fall outside. Long, cyclical movies of snow steadily falling, illuminated by the streetlights.
Growing up in the Bay Area in California, I haven’t had many opportunities to see snow fall. Most all of my experiences have been after meeting Tyler. He taught me how to snowboard after all! Weather is still something that rivets me. I will often applaud and cheer for lightening, I'm in awe at how rain can make everything glisten, and snow is a rare and treasured gift.
The next morning, this was the view that met us as we left the Dolomites for Venice. Crisp mountain edges dusted with snow, the trees still showing their radiant fall colors. It was a marvel to see, truly marvelous.
There are so many of these memories that we created, so many it’s hard to recall them. Sometimes I lay in bed at night playing a game with myself to see if I can remember all the cities, all the meals, all the rooms we stayed in. It’s a brilliantly challenging game to play, and it always leaves me feeling grateful. It reminds me that time can be fast or slow, depending on how you look at it.
This particular memory though — the way the church reaches up from an island amongst all the beautiful colored trees, the way the fog was rising from the fresh snow. The smell of the air, cold, crisp and stinging my nose. Tyler pulling over the car every couple of minutes so we could go outside and experience what we were seeing. No photograph could ever perfectly capture the real experience, but I’m happy I have this one to remind me.
Here are some additional photos from the Dolomites that I love: