The Journey to The Dolomites
I planned my trip to have a few days of buffer so I wouldn’t embark on the most intense week of exercise I’ve ever endured on no sleep. Anyone who knows me knows that I NEED sleep to function, I am not one of those I sleep five hours a night people.
So I departed Phoenix Wednesday evening and flew direct to Frankfurt. My flight with Condor was fantastic. (I had never flown Condor nor heard of them prior to this trip) I then had a 4 hour layover in Frankfurt before flying into Venice. I arrived in Venice around 11pm and had only 1 hour to get my bag and get to car rental before they closed at midnight.
I booked my car with points via Chase/Hertz and when I arrived at the desk – the woman informed me they gave away my car and there were no other automatic cars left.
Ummmmm…what now? The desk next to Hertz was still open (Europcar) and they had one automatic car left. I grabbed it and off I went to my hotel that I’d booked the night before due to its free parking and proximity to the airport.
The next morning I catch a ferry to Venice where I plan to spend the entire day exploring. Venice is amazing and the next day, I catch the ferry back to my car and depart to Verona.
Verona was lovely – the most beautiful little city, so much history, just breathtaking. After covering the sites I hop back in the car and head to Lake Garda.
This is the MOST beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I can’t believe it’s real and I can’t believe I’d never heard of it until I was researching places semi near Venice to see. (You don't need much more than a day or two in Venice)
I stay in a town called Torbole at the Lago Di Garda Hotel which is adorable, modern and right on the lakefront. I get in a few mile walk, grab dinner, and pass out back in the room by 9pm. Jet lag is very real and I need sleep before I embark on the reason I came to Italy...
The Ranch retreat!
The next morning I have breakfast at the hotel and depart for….
DAY 1: At the Ranch Malibu’s pop-up in the Dolomites
I arrive at Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano around 12:30pm. I get checked in and before I know it, the team is there to take my measurements and tell me what the rest of the day looks like.
First off, the middle of the day is a terrible time to get measurements from someone BUT hey, it will only make the end results Saturday better…right?
We all meet in the library for an orientation on how the week will look and depart on our first hike of the trip. This is a short, two hour jaunt to get us warmed up before we have our first vegan chef prepared meal.
The hike goes by pretty quickly, we are all in great spirits but you can tell people are nervous for the next day. There are 21 people in my group which is pretty sizable.
We get back to Rosa Alpina, take baths/showers (they provide Epsom salts for us) and reunite an hour or so later for dinner which is served at 7pm.
Dinner is AMAZING.
The vegan food was one of the things I was most looking forward to and it does not disappoint. (Mostly because I will never take the time at home to prepare ALL vegan locally sourced meals - I own a business and life is busy, that just isn't in the cards)
Also if you aren’t familiar with The Ranch – there is no alcohol, no caffeine, no sugar, no gluten, no dairy – the diet is strict so you can detox from your normal life.
We all wrap up dinner and I immediately get to sleep by 8pm.
Day 1: 6.7miles in the books =945 calories burned.
A tap tap at the door at 5:30am and it’s go time. I wake up a few minutes before 5:30 feeling rather rested and very excited.
I get my pack set up, get my hiking clothes on and we all meet downstairs for an hour of stretching followed by an incredible breakfast.
We hop in The Ranch vans and head to the start of hike 1. This hike was tough for me. I hike often in Arizona but this was a different kind of challenge. Quickly our group starts to thin out – leaders of the pack – middle folks – and the folks at the end. The great part is that there are guides no matter which part of the group you’re in and the trails are clearly marked so you can’t get lost.
Two hours in we are granted the famous Ranch snack of six almonds and sea salt. We all grab our almonds and continue on.
Every hike is four hours.
We survive the hike and retreat to our rooms until lunch which is served daily at 1pm. Two days out of the trip you take your lunch with you on trail but more on that later.
After lunch is my daily massage which is absolutely necessary after how intense the second day of hiking was. After lunch I have to hustle to get dressed and downstairs for the first of three fitness classes. The first class is a circuit training class, second is either arms or abs depending on the day and the third is always yoga. I do the circuit class and abs class and dip out avoiding yoga. Yoga bores me and I'd rather rest and reset before our dinner at 7pm.
Day 2 = 10.14miles in the books =1641 calories burned.
2 workout classes = 596 calories burned.