Our Trip to Umbria

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We had a bit of a stressful day yesterday so my wife and I relaxed in our favorite way… by watching an episode of House Hunters International.  OK, so that’s my wife’s favorite way but after 26 years, I’ve learned to go with the flow.  (Just racking up the husband points. I’m sure they’ll come in handy one day.) Last night’s episode was set in the Chianti region of Italy.

It has been a dream of ours to one day own a property in Italy. We are looking at all the options – and there are so many beautiful areas in this country – but right now I favor the Umbria region, just south of Tuscany. Back in 2012, we spent an amazing vacation in Umbria and fell in love with the rolling hills and the quaint towns and villages that populate the area.

Traversing the roads was quite challenging as you might tell from the footage included below but the views you got when you reached your destination always made you forget the risks taken to get there.

The first time I drove up to our rented house, I jokingly asked the innkeeper if anyone had ever driven off the side of the road. I didn’t expect to get an answer in the affirmative. But I did. Because we were to drive that road for the next two weeks, I chose to withhold that information from my wife.

Our time in Umbria remains one of the highlight vacations of our lives. All the charm of Tuscany with 1/3 of the tourists (of course, your mileage may vary.)

Click here to see a small snippet of video we shot while we were there.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd. 

 

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How Are Things in Bora Bora?

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I spent much of the day marveling at some remarkable underwater images that I was transferring from 35mm slides to a digital form for a customer. The colors of the tropical fish, coral reefs and other marine life that she captured were dazzling. Makes me wish I had spent more time underwater.

I did do some snorkeling once back in the 70s… in Bora Bora of all places. My employer at that time rewarded me with a paid vacation to a destination of my choice. Being in my 20s, I choose the remotest place I could think of; a location that I would probably never have a chance to revisit. In hindsight, I should have done a bit more research. There’s not a lot to do in Bora Bora. I quickly fell into a pattern.

I woke up, had coffee on the deck of my thatched hut overlooking the lagoon; then I got into a dugout canoe and paddled myself through what I found out later to be shark infested waters (which is a story for another time) out to a neighboring uninhabited atoll. I sat on a rock, read the paperback I brought with me, and then paddled back to the main island in time for dinner.

I did that for 4 days straight.  I think the other people where I was staying took notice because on the fourth day as I canoed up to my atoll (in my mind, I took possession of it), one of the other guests was already sitting on my rock. Being an astute observer, I couldn’t help but notice that she was female and topless. She waved and held a snorkel high above her head.

“Do you know how to use this?” she shouted out. “Not really,” I replied, “But I’m a quick learner.”

Then, in what remains as my most clueless moment ever, I took the snorkel from her and went swimming. When I came back to the atoll, she was gone.  But the fish sure were pretty.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.