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This month was the calm between the storms. With our Prague wedding finishing at the end of May and our Boston wedding starting at the beginning of July, June would be a time to rest, regroup, and take off to Italy for a few days.
Nah, I’m kidding. It would be a time to panic, stress out over the Boston wedding arrangements…and take off to Italy for a few days.
Here’s what I got up to in June!
- Prague, Čerčany, and Týnec nad Sázavou, Czech Republic
- Naples and Ischia (including Ischia Porto, Forio, Serrara Fontana, and Lacco Ameno), Italy
- Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
A lovely mini-moon to Ischia. Charlie and I are saving the big honeymoon for the end of the year (Chile and Argentina), but we wanted to take a short getaway in Italy first. Enter Ischia!
Ischia is an island off the coast of Naples, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite islands in Italy! Ischia primarily attracts Italians, and Neapolitans in particular, so the island caters to locals rather than far-afield visitors. For example, you won’t find souvenir shops on every corner — but you WILL find tons of mid-range clothing shops!
Ischia has a lot to do for a few days. Sure, there are beaches, but there are also thermal hot springs, mountains to climb, a gorgeous castle set on the sea, agriturismi dishing up stewed rabbit, and plenty of fabulous pizza. One of our favorite activities was taking a private boat trip around the island, which was a lot more affordable than you might expect.
I’m excited to write about Ischia. It deserves to be a major part of your visit to southern Italy. Don’t just go to the Amalfi Coast and move on — Ischia is really worth spending a few days.
Going rafting in the Czech Republic. Czechs LOVE rafting, and I’ve been looking forward to doing this for a long time. Four of us headed out to the town of Čerčany, rented a raft, and paddled all the way to Týnec nad Sázavou, a 14-kilometer journey. A fun day out, even if we had to drag the raft across a few weirs!
Lots of Prague fun. We are in food festival season and got to visit Žižkov Beer Festival, a pop-up Bubbles Festival, Latin American Festival, and Prague Ice Cream Fest. We had a barbecue at the container bar by the river, hit up some cocktail bars, and went to Tuscany Wine Night.
Strawberry season! Peak strawberry season hits Prague in June, and this year we gorged on more delicious local berries. This year I made the NYT recipe for Strawberry Spoon Cake, which was fabulous and buttery and disappeared INSTANTLY.
Flying business class to Boston. We splurged on business class flights to Boston for our wedding and this was the first time I’ve flown British Airways Club World (long-haul business class). SO nice. Flying is actually fun that way.
Enjoying our time in Boston. I’ve taken Charlie to Boston a few times, but only for day trips. It was nice to actually stay overnight — and in the heart of Beacon Hill! I’ve never actually stayed in Beacon Hill before, but it’s a gorgeous place and nice and quiet at night. (Don’t stay there in the winter, though — those steep hills are dangerous when icy.)
We took a ride on the Swan Boats, ate at outdoor restaurants in the South End, I visited the Sézane popup on Newbury Street, I took Charlie and his dad around the Freedom Trail (enhanced with stories from my early-to-mid-twenties, of course), and my mom and her partner Tom took us on a fun boat ride around Boston Harbor. It’s pretty cool parking your boat at the Barking Crab and walking on up!
Credit card fraud hell. One of my credit cards got compromised last month — but when I got the new one, as soon as I got it, the same fraudulent transaction happened AGAIN. Then it happened on Charlie’s authorized card on my account as well!
It turns out that some businesses are automatically sent your new credit card number when it updates. I had NO idea this was a thing. Sure, it’s convenient when you’re switching payment methods, but if it’s fraud, you can get charged again!
Anyway — it took some time with the card company, but they were able to prevent the new number from being sent to anyone. What a hassle.
Murray swallowed a rubber band. After some initial panic, we realized that we just had to play the waiting game and dig through his poop to make sure it made its way out (FUN!). It took about 55 hours. Oh, Murray Bear!
Getting caught in the ultimate hailstorm. Charlie and I decided to spend a Saturday out gallivanting around the city, and it quickly turned into dodging rainstorms. And finally when we got to an outdoor pub, the expected short drizzle turned into a HAILSTORM with massive icy hailstones as we shrank beneath an umbrella!
(I turned it into a funny Reel. I want to make more stuff like this.)
Not having good pillows in Boston. The older I get, the more I need good pillows in order to sleep. But I only remember to bring my travel contour pillow 50% of the time, and I foolishly didn’t bring it to Boston.
Those Boston pillows were awful — the kind of down pillows where your head just falls into them and your neck has no support. I didn’t realize how bad it was until four days in when my entire body was hurting. Get a good travel pillow, people!
Blog Posts of the Month
Best 14-Day Croatia Itinerary — Wow, was this post overdue! I’m so glad I finally wrote it — and made it as good a piece as I could, even including little extensions in Istria and Montenegro.
28 Fabulous Things to Do in Naples, Italy — Naples might be my new favorite city in Italy. What an incredible place!! Too many people falsely see it as dangerous (unfortunately Facebook comments got out of hand on this one…), but those who have spent time there recently know what it’s actually like.
This Month on Patreon
On the Adventurous Kate Patreon, I publish exclusive content and never-told stories that you can access for $6 per month. We also have a private Facebook group and members get free access to the Book Club each month.
This month, I shared two pieces of content — my downloadable 36-page guide toward traveling in Croatia for two weeks, which is for sale on the blog post and they got for free, as well as another downloadable Croatia guide I made as a lead magnet, and a wedding photos preview.
This month is going to be a heavier month to make up for last month being on the lighter side. I feel like breaking down the best seaside destinations in Italy and which ones are best for which people.
Book Club This Month
Our next book club will take place in August — on Sunday, August 13, at 7:00 PM ET. We will be reading In the Shadow of the Mountain by Peruvian author and adventurer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado.
“Endless ice. Thin air. The threat of dropping into nothingness thousands of feet below. This is the climb Silvia Vasquez-Lavado braves in her page-turning, pulse-raising memoir chronicling her journey to Mount Everest.
A Latina hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately, she was hanging by a thread. Deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she’d suffered as a child, she started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent—the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains and death’s close proximity—woke her up. She then took her biggest pain as a survivor to the biggest mountain: Everest.
‘The Mother of the World,’ as it’s known in Nepal, allows few to reach her summit, but Silvia didn’t go alone. She gathered a group of young female survivors and led them to base camp alongside her. It was never easy. At times hair-raising, nerve-racking, and always challenging, Silvia remembers the acute anxiety of leading a group of novice climbers to Everest’s base, all the while coping with her own nerves of summiting. But, there were also moments of peace, joy, and healing with the strength of her fellow survivors and community propelling her forward.
In the Shadow of the Mountain is a remarkable story of heroism, one which awakens in all of us a lust for adventure, an appetite for risk, and faith in our own resilience.”
You can sign up to attend the book club here. Hope to see you there!
Fashion Find of the Month
I jumped through a million hoops for an outfit this month — and it was worth it! I’m a huge fan of the French brand Maje, and for months I’ve been eyeing this matching pink openwork top and shorts combo. This month, it went on sale. HUGE sale. FINAL sale.
Here’s the thing — despite the fact that there is a Maje store literally in Prague, almost nothing goes on sale there. And despite THAT, they don’t ship anywhere in the Czech Republic (!!). Yes, they have an EU site, but it only ships to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Luxembourg. (They also ship to Germany, France, and the US on country-specific sites.)
I went through EVERY option. I could ship to the US, as I was about to head there, but US prices were much more expensive. I could order the outfit from Farfetch, which ships Maje clothes to the Czech Republic, but there was no sale there.
I actually considered taking the bus to the next store — Leipzig, Germany — for the day, but they didn’t have the outfit in stock.
Then a few friends in different countries kindly offered to receive the package and send it on to me. I took my friend Ali in Berlin up on her offer. I shipped it overnight to her, and had FedEx pick it up and send it to me the next day.
It fits, it is fabulous, and I am READY for the Barbie movie!! But I probably won’t go to this much trouble for an outfit again!
Side Projects Update
This is the month that New Hampshire Way, my New Hampshire site, went from making a not-quite-enough-to-live-on-income to a yeah-I-could-live-on-that-income. How? High season, baby!
This is the first time I’ve had Mediavine ads running during high season, and the difference is STARK. New Hampshire might technically be a year-round destination (well, except for mud season in the spring), but I am realizing the sheer difference in numbers for summer travel.
The good news is that this traffic surge should continue through mid-October for fall foliage season before quieting down again. I need to figure out how to maximize it in the meantime.
Most Popular Reel on Instagram
I want you to know that I have been making major changes on Instagram lately, posting lots of fun Reels about different travel and life content. I would love to have you follow me at @adventurouskate! And yes, I am on Threads too!
This month’s most popular Reel is about the Peter Pan Afternoon Tea I did last summer at Aqua Shard in London. This is a fabulous afternoon tea — the food is delicious, the theme is on point, and the location is magical, making you feel like you’re flying above London.
You can watch it here. Put it on your list for your next London visit!
What I Watched This Month
Okay everyone — Somebody Somewhere is my new favorite show. You will LOVE THIS SHOW, which airs on HBO.
This show is about Sam, a forty-something woman who returned to her Kansas hometown to take care of her dying sister. The show begins six months after her passing and opens with Sam meeting a new friend, Joel. The two of them are misfits who hit it off instantly, and he introduces her to a new community.
Some people call this a “coming of middle age story.” More than anything, it’s about found family and building an unconventional life in a midwestern small town. It’s created by comedian Bridget Everett, who stars as Sam.
This show is gentle, small-towny, and wickedly funny. It’s filling the hole that Parks & Rec left in my heart. And I love that it stars a 50-something plus-sized woman and a cast of average-looking people (including queer characters that are actually well-rounded). I can’t recommend it enough. There are only 14 25-minute episodes.
Below Deck update: This month, Charlie and I finished Below Deck: Sailing Yacht Season Two — and I can now say this is THE BEST SEASON OF BELOW DECK EVER. Don’t watch it for your first season ever — save it.
This season has EVERYTHING — a competent crew that can handle a genuine emergency! A scary boat crash! An actually great chief stew! Some really weird guests! A hookup between a boss and his employee on the FIRST NIGHT! Chaotic bisexuals! An STI scare! Hilarious cuts to Captain Glenn watching alien documentaries! AND A SCANDAL THAT YOU DON’T FIND OUT UNTIL THE REUNION!
Charlie and I have now had enough time away from Captain Sandy and Malia after the MARITIME LAW scandal of season five that we’re ready to go back to the Med. We’ve started Below Deck Med: Season Six and I’ll report more on it next month.
What I Read This Month
Aftershocks by Nadia Owusu (2021) — Nadia grew up living between cultures — daughter of a Ghanian father who died when she was 13 and an Armenian American mother who abandoned her when she was two; living her life between Italy, Ethiopia, Tanzania, ending in New York; a stepmother who weaponized a secret; trying to find her way in the world. Her life’s biggest moments are characterized as earthquakes — hence aftershocks.
This book is heavy — but if you give it the time and space it deserves, it will be rewarding for you. You get so deep into Owusu’s head that if I met her on the street in New York, I would turn and walk away because I felt like I knew too many personal things about her.
On the surface, her life story is so sad. But it is genuinely, beautifully told, and she has a unique voice that I’d like to hear much more of. (And honestly, it kind of reminded me of how much better Matthew Perry’s memoir could have been if he had had a decent editor.)
The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe (2021) — The most famous couple on the Titanic was the Astors — John Jacob Astor, 47, who perished in the wreck, and Madeleine, his pregnant 18-year-old wife, who survived. This fictionalized novel tells the story of their courtship and all-too-short marriage.
First off — I swear I started this book before the whole Titanic submersible thing happened! Total coincidence. I was really interested to dive into the story of this 17-year-old who married an incredibly wealthy 46-year-old, especially since it was billed as an epic romance.
Ultimately, though, I feel like this book didn’t have a plot. It was very “this happened, then this happened, then this happened,” without any narrative arc. Madeleine and Jack had a perfect, flawless relationship in this book without so much as a disagreement or moment of uncertainty (really? She was 17 and he was 46! Was she REALLY that mature?!). And then they got married. And then they were happy. And then they got on the Titanic. Okay.
Coming Up in July 2023
I’m posting this one third of the way into the month. The beginning of the month was all about our Boston wedding! After the wedding and a week in the Boston area, we headed to London for a few days to see Charlie’s family before heading back to Prague.
Beyond that, this is gearing up to be a very busy summer (I’m seeing I did not learn my lesson from my packed-to-the-gills summer of 2022). Charlie and I have two short trips — first, a drive down into Salzburg and Tirol for an appointment that we’re turning into a mini getaway, then a quick trip to Copenhagen.
At the end of July, we head to Dubrovnik to begin a Croatia and Montenegro trip for my 39th birthday. You know I’m always happy to return to these two wonderful countries, and this time I’m looking forward to visiting some new places — including Durmitor National Park and Perast in Montenegro, and Cavtat and the Elafiti Islands in Croatia.
What are you up to this summer? Share away!