Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Italia, ciao bella!

How is that for a blogging hiatus? That's what happens when your in Europe for three weeks and come home, to your new home, filled with boxes. Craziness! Well we are back, mostly adjusted to Eastern standard time once again, and loving every minute in our new home! Three weeks in Italy left me with a ton to write about so I thought I'd break it down into categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:
  • Paris, Venice, Florence, Tuscany...AH-mazing. There's something so amazing about the European culture. The history, the thought that these amazing cities were built thousands of years ago without any modern help. Amazing.
  • Food! It literally felt as though we were eating (and drinking) amazing food non-stop. Thank goodness we were walking everywhere or else I may have needed to purchase another seat for the plane ride home.
  • Family. What are the chances that 10 people can all arrange their schedules, and make it to ITALY together. Our first night together in the villa resulted in 11 wine bottles, and a bon-fire (don't ask.) Good times were had by all.
  • Experiencing Europe with little man. He has his first little passport (adorable) and already has more stamps then mommy did at age 25. If theres one thing we learned, it's that everyone speaks "baby." Nolen was making friends everywhere we went. 3 days into the trip he was happily announcing, "Ciao, Ciao."
  • Tuscan cooking school. Amazing experience, delicious food, great new friends (not to mention a hot Italian instructor!)
  • Our private Chianti region wine tour. Tuesday found Mr. A, myself along with my sister and her husband. MomMom offered to babysit so the parents were off, beginning our wine tastings at 10 am. Things we learned: Brunello is just aged Chianti (Brunello, means brown, so think brown Chianti.) Good balsamic vinegar should only have 2 ingredients and should NEVER include Caramel or coloring. The Italian version of Moonshine is called Grappa.
The Bad:
  • The stairs of Venice. Every other minute we found ourselves at another bridge filled with steps. Steps, stroller...not a good mix. Mommy and daddy now have biceps the size of Texas.
  • European meals. Most don't begin until 8pm. Then they last for hours, and hours, and hours. I do have to say, Nolen was a trooper for most of these.
  • Highchairs. We found that about %50 of restaurants offer high chairs, where do all the babies sit?
  • Time changes and babies...he didn't get the memo on the return trip home. Our days have been starting at 3am, oh my!
The Ugly:
  • traveling 24 straight hours, ALONE (Mr. A had to get back to work) with a 1 year old. Truth be told Nolen was a rockstar, for the first 19 hours. After the 10 hour flight from Munich he was done. Screamed all during the landing, screamed all the way through customs, screamed as we waited for our last flight home. We were "that mom." That mom who is sitting and doing nothing as her baby screams. I wanted to put a sign up that said, "we just traveled for 19 hours people!"

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