The Beginning of the Long Summer

Do you remember exactly when winter began? I don’t. Autumn weather seemed to cross an invisible boundary sometime in November. The rains turned colder, the days shorter, but I can’t remember thinking, “Today, right this minute, is the beginning of winter.” I do remember that it was relatively sunny during December in Sonoma County, and I remember that it was raining on the morning of January 18th when we boarded our plane and headed for Italy. It was cold when we arrived and got even colder over the next few months. In April, the cold eased, though not the rain. All the way through May and June we experienced cool, rainy weather.

Even though I can’t remember the exact moment that the long winter began, I can remember the precise moment that summer began.  It was at 11:45 a.m. on June 29th. That’s when our flight from Dublin arrived in Dubrovnik. (For those of you who are a little sketchy on your geography, Dubrovnik is a city in very southern Croatia, just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy.)

Although it was raining and about 58°F in Dublin when we left, I dressed for summer, much to the amusement of those around me at the airport. When we landed, it was 82°F and clear skies. I thought it might be oppressively humid, but it wasn’t. After more than 6 months of winter/spring weather including lots of cold and rain, I was so ready for sunshine!

And Dubrovnik didn’t disappoint. Not only was it sunny and warm, we were greeted by magnificent views and crystalline, turquoise waters. Summer had arrived in a big way.

View of Dubrovnik from the hillside above

A lovely old ship parked in front of our new house

We arrived at our home-exchange apartment in the small community of Zaton Mali, just north of Dubrovnik. Although the house was a little on the funky side, it was 10 steps from the bay with lovely views from the bedrooms and sweet outdoor lounging areas.

Beautiful turquoise waters in front and greenery all around. A gorgeous place to spend a few weeks.

The front garden where we will sip many a drink and have many a conversation.

Our lovely little breakfast spot in the back.

On our first evening in the area we were invited out to dinner on a nearby island. Our home exchange host, Zeljko, sent one of his employees to collect us in a boat and bring us over to meet him on his catamaran. We had a welcome glass of wine and then went to a tiny, family-run restaurant that we would never have found on our own.

Enjoying the sunset from the little boat on the way to the island.

For us, the summer promises to be as long as the winter was – a little over six months. Our travel plans will keep us in warm climes until we return to Sonoma County next January. Even though we have now experienced six weeks of summer weather, that first day was memorable and sweet, and clearly a portent of more wonderful summer weather to come.


6 thoughts on “The Beginning of the Long Summer

  1. Every once in a while I check in on you guys! What a rare and wonderful experience. Glad you’ve caught up with summer! Love, Ann

    • Hi Ann, We hear you’re on an adventure of your own with kids and grandkids. Looking forward to that part of my life, too. So lovely to hear from you. Glad you’re checking in with us now and then!

  2. We check your website every now and again and get caught up with your adventures. This year will be one you will remember for a long time and we just love reading your comments. We could identify with much of your stay in Ireland since in many instances it is very similar to Scotland. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. You could publish a book of them. We were so entranced that we tried to get a house exchange in the Dingle area, but no luck… they didn’t even reply!! Enjoy the rest of your travels. Jim and Eirlys.

    • Hi Jim and Eirlys, How lovely to hear from you again. Don’t quit trying for home exchanges in Ireland. It is SO beautiful. How is the Ashland season shaping up this year?

  3. We’re are having summer, no doubt – way hot here, up to 100 several days in a row. Thanks so much for the travelogue and pics. Have been watching the Olympic Games. During the water polo finals between Italy and Croatia, the announcement said that Dubrovnik, as a city, has the tallest male population anywhere in the world. Notice any difference? Croatia won, probably because most of their team was 6’9″ tall and very very strong. Hope all is well. B

    • It’s so funny that you mention 100°+ temps in Sonoma County. I wondered if it was crazy to try to be in Italy during August. That is what I had always heard, but even Florence was in the 90s and pleasant at night. Here at Lake Como the temperatures are in the 80s during the day and down into the high 60s at night. It is a wonderful place to spend August.

      I didn’t notice remarkable tall men in Dubrovnik, but I did notice VERY tall young women. They were at least 6′ to start with and then you add 4″ heels… My, my! We saw lots of kids playing water polo anywhere there was water around. They start them early in that part of the world. I’m not surprised they won. We thought Montenegro might have a chance there, but perhaps their star is still rising. Good for Croatia.

      Thanks for checking in so loyally. Love hearing from you.

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