If you asked Tony or I, "What is one of your favorite things to do," we would both reply, "Hiking."
We haven't had the chance to live near mountains since we've been married, so, needless to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, we really miss mountains.
So, we decided to spend as much time as possible in the Alps on our road trip. We wanted to teach Graham to love the great outdoors, too, so we slept in barns in the mountains and enjoyed as much fresh air as we could.
In the end, I think it's safe to say that if you asked Graham now, "What is one of your favorite things to do," he, too, would reply, "Hiking."
We were actually pretty surprised with how much climbing and walking the little guy did. We made it to the top of two pretty good-sized trails. Other hikers noticed him. We would hear them talking to each other saying, "Whoa! That kid walked all the way up here!"
Our hearts swelled with pride.
You see, Tony loves being in the mountains so much that when he was a good little Catholic school boy, he chose Saint Bernard, patron saint of alpinists and skiers, as his confirmation saint. Since then, he has dreamed of crossing the Grand Saint Bernard pass between Switzerland and Italy where Saint Bernard built a hospice for weary travelers a long, long, long, long time ago.
|Um, yes. The altitude combined with pregnancy left me feeling a bit woozy. It's the first time I've ever experienced any sort of altitude sickness. I mean, I was raised at 6,240 feet! You would think I could handle it.|
They've been raising St. Bernard dogs (you can guess their namesake) on this pass for quite awhile, too. The dogs were, and still are, used to find and rescue lost travelers.
Tony has always wanted to meet these dogs.
For him, the whole experience was a wonderful dream come true.
He got to stay in the hospice, hike the trails where Saint Bernard once walked, and teach his son to love the great outdoors.
It just doesn't get much better than that.