Monday, August 22, 2011

Taking mom to Verona

With my moms visit coming to a close we wanted to make one more big day trip! One of our favorite places to see is Verona and it is so close. So we packed everyone into the van and were on our way! I am quite sure that this was the day that summer decided to arrive in Italy, because it was stinking HOT. We arrived in Verona about lunch time so we picked a nice spot to eat lunch right by the Arena!

Although we have been to Verona before, we had never been inside the Arena. So after lunch we decided to make a visit to the inside of the Arena (ancient amphitheatre.) The Arena was built by the Romans and completed in 30AD. This particular Arena is the 3rd largest in Italy, after Rome's Colosseum and the Arena at Capua.

After seeing the inside of the Arena, we made our way to Juliet's wall/balcony. This is where the bronzed statue of Juliet stands. It is said that rubbing the right breast of the statue will bring good luck.

The letters to Juliet wall used to be full of letters, but now it is a wall full of hand written love notes. I think the concept of the letters is much more romantic, and more appealing than the wall actually being written on.
After the wall/balcony we made our way through town. We took lots more pictures and made many more memories. To see all of the other pictures visit my Facebook page!!

"This journey is my home."
~Muriel Rukeyser

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lake Barcis, Dinner Without Kids, and More Beach!

Still lots more to do and see while my mother was still here. However in all fairness she was warned that she was going to need a vacation FROM her vacation! :) With so much to do around here that is so close we had to show off the beauty of where we are living. So we took a short 30 minute drive up to Lake Barcis. Can't help but love the beauty and tranquility of Italy.

We stopped at a nice quite area in Barcis and got out to walk along the lake. The boys right away noticed how many fish there were gathered in the water in front of them. I think they were waiting to to be fed by the boys or be FED the boys! The boys would take off walking and the fish would follow them, then the boys would stop and turn around and walk the other direction and all the fish would quickly turn around and follow them. It quickly became a game for the boys to see how fast they could get the fish to all turn around and follow them.

If there is water around you can bet my boys are in it. It was so hard for them to not jump right into the calm lake. We had to promise them we would go back one day and let them swim and jump off the platforms. We however could not keep them out of the water completly. They had to get some part of their body wet, just to have that satisfaction of being so close to the water and getting wet. :) It was a bit colder than I think they thought it was, and maybe swimming wasn't such a good idea after all. 

After spending the afternoon awing over the beauty at our fingertips, it was time to get ready for dinner Italian style. By that I mean adults only no kids allowed. That is one thing I have noticed while living in Italy is that they don't eat out often and they hardly ever eat out with children. Usually it is our rowdy and obnoxious kids that are the only ones in the restaurants unless there are other Americans there too. Anyway we were so looking forward to taking my mom out to dinner this night and just enjoying the peace and quiet without kids. The place we decided to go we had been to on a tour when we first got to Italy, then a few weeks ago we went to this same restaurant with a couple that was getting ready to PCS back to the states. The atmosphere, location and food was awesome. So we couldn't wait to get back there and enjoy the evening.

Well the atmosphere, company, and evening were wonderful. The food I ordered was not so much.:( It looks yummy but this one of those times you don't judge your food on appearance. The fisrt course was deer meat wrapped in a crust. I usually would have passed on the game meat, but I was feeling in the mood to try something new, mistake number 1.
The second course was some kind of veal.....something I also have never tried (mistake number 2!)
Final course DESSERT! Think I was safe with this course, but after the first two, I really couldn't stomach the yummy part of the meal. It however was very beautiful even if it wasn't eaten.
Dispite the bad meal, the night was perfect. Wonderful company, conversation, and atmosphere.

When there is nothing else to do on a weekend, you can never go wrong with spending the day at the beach, especially since there are tons all within and hour or two. So this weekend we opted to try a new beach in Caorle Italy.
It was only about an hour drive but there was SO much traffic that it took about two hours to get there. The beach was called Baiablu Beach and was a lot fancier than the one we normally go to. They had cabannas, and massage huts. It would be the perfect place to have a romantic day getaway! :)

The beach itself was awesome, and not very busy. The boys could go way out into the ocean and still be able to touch and jump over the waves. The shore line was filled with seashells and the boys brought home buckets full of them. Another great day spent enjoying God's glorious creations!!

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters and teach some of us more than we could ever learn from books."
~ John Lubbock

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Day in Venice With My Madre and a Spectacular 4th at the Beach!

After spending Friday in Venice with my husband alone, I got to take my mother on Sunday for a girls day exploring Venice. Venice sure is a lot different when you are not having to constantly keep watch of three wandering kids. Might I add that this was my very first trip to Venice on my own, and I was quite proud of myself for handling it so well and I never got us lost. We took a morning train and were there by lunch time. We picked a nice quant little place outside along one of the canals. The food was good but the service SUCKED! Seems to be the way they are around these parts.

After enjoying a nice quiet relaxing lunch we walked our way to San Marco Square. We walked around, stopped at the Hard Rock for some teas, bought some souviners, and enjoyed the scenery!

It was a great day in Venice with my mom, and I never would have thought in a million years we would have been experiancing such beauty in Italy together! Thanks for the memories mom!

4th of July at the beach:
What better way to spend a spectacular holiday than enjoying the beauty of the beach and all of God's glorious creations. Since the 4th fell on a Monday that meant that the beach wouldn't be packed since it of course was not a holiday for the Italians. We all enjoyed our day at our favorite Italian beach.

I am afraid that with all the time we spend at the beach that we could very easily be raising three surfer boys! :) That's okay with it being an hour away it is a cheap way to spend a great day celebrating being a family!

"May your life be filled with relaxing sunsets, calming waves, and sand between your toes."

Monday, August 1, 2011


Now we get to check another country off of our "must see" list. Slovenia is only a short 1 1/2 hour drive and so we couldn't pass up the opportunity. My mom was still here so it was nice to get to experiance another "first" with her. Our first stop was the Postojna Caves, which have been open for over 188 years and are the largest and most visited caves in Europe. It is about an hour and half tour, but you are taken down into the heart of the caves by a train. You then walk for about an hour and then get on the train to be taken back out.

While on the walking part of the tour we learned (well were briefed) all about speleothems: calcite formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. To me once you saw one they all started to look alike. The average tempature inside the caves was 46-50 degrees, so a little nippy. However it was a fun experiance and now we get to say we saw caves in another country! After making our way out of the caves we decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants right outside the caves. It was a nice place and the food was okay but the service was HORRIBLE! :(

After lunch we drove the short 2 miles to the Predjama Castle. Although we probably have visited over a dozen castles in the last year here in Europe, they all are unique in their own ways. The Predjama Castle was built into a cave over 700 years ago, and is quite a sight in that aspect.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
~St. Augustine