Welcome to our new site for our 2017 Adventure.

Our friends Ann and Jeff Ryan asked us to travel with them to Spain, because we had experience there and could show them lots of interesting places. Also, because we have enough Spanish to get by.
As we were planning the trip, we mentioned it to our friends Cindy and Jim Koby, and we asked them to join our merry band. So the six of us are set for a great adventure in Iberia.
After the Spain portion of the trip, Beth and I are going to Italy, for the first time. So we are excited about the whole trip. Especially sharing some places and experiences with our friends.

Here we will share our photos, videos, experiences and adventures with you. Thanks for coming along.

Blog Posts

Italian misjudgement

June 7, 2017 Rome and Florence, two legendary cities on most traveler’s lists. Our list as well. Now near the end of our visit, we’re glad to have seen them, but wish we had done it differently. The season is the problem: not just the unusual heat, but also the usual crush of summer tourists. …

Now I get it!

We reserved a rental car for our visit to Florence, Tuscany, Italy. I was reminded at the time that practically no available insurance covers rental cars in Italy and Japan. i have used my credit card program for automatic coverage on rentals in other countries. I’ve driven in several countries and many states, cities and …

Fourth of July.

4 July 2017 Being outside the US for July 4th is a little odd. So we decided to visit a small bit of the USA here in Italy. Just outside of Florence, about 20 km, is the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. The resting place of some 4400 US servicemen, and 4 servicewomen. We caught …

Food and Wine

Wine Country Tourism – Fabulous Food






Cheeses, lots of cheeses. Everywhere is Spain, there are local cheeses. But the one that overwhelmingly means Spain is Manchego.
Queso Manchego is available throughout Spain, but its production is tightly controled. From Wikipedia we learn:

To be designated as queso manchego, the cheese must satisfy the following requirements:

  • It must have been produced in an area that is restricted to designated parts of the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Toledo that lie within the La Mancha region.
  • It can be made only with the whole milk of sheep of the manchega breed that are raised on registered farms within the designated area.
  • The cheese must have been aged for a minimum of 60 days (30 days for cheeses weighing up to 1.5 kg) and a maximum of two years.
  • The cheese must be produced by pressing in a cylindrical mold that has a maximum height of 12 cm and a maximum diameter of 22 cm.

Manchego cheese can be made from pasteurized or raw milk; if the latter, it may be labelled as artesano (artisan). The only permitted additives are natural rennet or another approved coagulating enzyme, and sodium chloride (salt).

Manchego is often served with sliced cured meats or cured sausages. And it is a small step from there to Tapas.
Tapas are essential to Spanish life, it seems. Tapas, and their cousin Pintxos, (basically tapas on a small slice of bread) are served everywhere: fancy restaurant, neighborhood bar, convenience store, etc. There are tapas streets in many towns, small areas where there are just small bars that serve wine, beer and tapas. And they are packed with people enjoying a truly movable feast. A copa de vino and a tapa at one bar, then move on to another bar. Rinse  and repeat. A truly wonderful way to spend an evening with friends.

Wines and Wineries

A page devoted to Spanish wines and our experiences touring Ribera del Duero and La Rioja.


These maps and illustrations will show you where we are.



History of places we’ll visit

Altamira Cave Art