5. Sam, Jack, Caleb and my activities. While our cousins were here we enjoyed many games, including cards (chicago rummy, nerts, and presidents), army guys in one way or another, and various games with thes rubber bouncy balls that did not break anything somehow in our frontroom. We played ball tag: essentially peg the other person. These all lead to laughs in the end---whether it was a ricochet to the face, or a hard ball to the stomach. Lots of fun!!!
4. Duomo. Our climb of the dome is what comes to mind when thinking of the Duomo. It had amazing views, and a beautiful lantern (big structure on the top of the dome). The climb between the domes, made me think of the book that I read "Brunelleschi's Dome". It explains the ingenious design, building, and mysteries of the dome. Truly amazing, this dome is the largest dome in the world made without using modern day steel. It has resisted cracks even through major earthquakes, and the cracks that show now are only in the plaster, or only caused by what it was not made for: traffic. The constant vibration has now been banned for mthe streets around the Duomo, and made a pedestrian area.
3. Venice. Our trip to this sinking city, at least for me was very exhilarating. We walked around, and saw a ton of churches, squares and glass shops. We visited the island of Murano, where I got to help blow a little candy from glass. We also visited the Rialto bridge where I bought a goal keeper jersey, and we saw the markets. It was very interesting to see this peculiar city, with it's canals, various styles of boats, palazzos, and people. We saw the Peggy Guggenheim museum, along with various other sites unique to Venice.
2. Cinque Terre. Our trip to this string of 5 cities was filled with fun, sun, and hiking. We stayed in Riomaggiore, and hiked, maybe a train or two... to all of the other cities. Riomaggiore with it's restaurants, and main stretch of shops. We also visited Manarola with it's recycled crucifixion scenes on the hill, and a pretty marina area. After Manarola was Corniglia, a city with many beautiful views, and terraces. Then there was Vernazza, with a tower and fort, along with a slightly larger marina area that many shops and restaurants. The last city was Monterosso, with a sandy beach, however not as rich in culture, and there was not a ton to it. Nearby was another city not in the five, called Fegina, which was similar to Monterosso. Overall, relaxing with beautiful views hikes, lizards, and cacti.
1. Vander Griend family visit. For the first two thirds of the month our cousins, along with our aunt and uncle, were here. We went with them to Cinque Terre, and Venice, and spent time with them in Florence. Much of the month of April was centered around their visit, which was a lot of fun and full of games, and a lot of good weather.