Wow. Well it has been about 3 weeks since I put up a post... my two-fold excuse is that I was too busy soaking up Venice, Cinque Terre and Tuscany with extended family AND I had no internet access. Well, okay for one day in Venice (our internet was down in Florence as well; just managed to get it up yesterday!).
So YES we have been busy and traveling and taking hundreds of photos. Instead of trying to recapture day by day stuff, I am going to post photo albums with captions to give you an overview aka 'picture book' of our fun over the last 3 weeks.
Here are the first round of photos: our weekend in Tuscany. Keith (Janelle's brother), Cindy (sister-in-law), Sam & Jack (cousins) landed at our place in Florence late on March 31. We made them dinner and played and drank wine until midnight then tucked them into bed. The first day we marched around Florence, seeing sites and depositing them at the Academia to see Michelangelo's The David (among other things).
The next day we went on a 2-day-1-night road trip to snatch some highlights around Tuscany. You know I love road trips, so it is no surprise I packed it full for them, we visited:
- San Galgano (famous outdoor church remnants, sword in the stone legacy)
- Petriolo hot springs (highlights: dressing by the car)
- stayed at an Agriturismo near Panzano
- ate at Dario's in Panzano (Chianti---this guy is a famous butcher and even trained Mario Batali in his early days!)
- visited Saturday market in Greve in Chianti
- enjoyed a cellar tour, long Tuscan lunch and wine tasting at Verrazzano winery
3rd day with us was Easter; we had Easter (Pasqua) bread and fresh squeezed blood orange spritzers, stove-top espresso, bacon/eggs/fruit for breakfast. We took them (at some times we were like ducks in a row---or a train hanging onto each other while weaving through crowds) to see the Easter Cart blow off fireworks by the Duomo. After the smoke and flying dove, we strolled across the Ponte Vecchio and in front of Pitti Palace, the cousins bought souvenir t-shirts, and since the 'La Specola' was open (zoology museum) the rest of the family attended and I went home to start cooking and hide eggs. (Important side-note: we treated cousins to one of our favorite going-on-a-walk-in-Florence treats: nutella on Belgium waffles studded with sugar crystals... ;).
When they returned, they enjoyed a chocolate-egg hunt of 98 eggs around our flat; after we relaxed and slowly ate a full-blown Italian meal.