The last two weeks have been busy and fun. In addition to Siena, San Gimignano and our cooking classes we have seen a lot of Tuscany and made many memories. Some of the highlights are...
We rented a villa (great off-season pricing) in a little village, San Sano. We each have our own bed and bath. Quite nice since normally we are sharing one room. San Sano has a small park with a sculpture of a frog drinking from a bottle of Chianti. We love it!
We are about an hour from Florence and we headed there 4 days. Lots of time on the winding roads listening to the new One Direction cd. FYI, Grandma is going to arm wrestle Taylor Swift for Harry!
On the weekend morning drives there have been a lot of men and dogs out in the woods around us because it is currently wild boar hunting season. One night on the way home Celeste and Anthony caught sight of one of the lucky survivors foraging on the side of the road.
Two of our days in Florence we hired guides to show us around. First Fadi took us around the city teaching us about the Medici family, the architecture and the history. Then Helen, an artist herself, took us through the Uffizi and the Galleria dell'Accademia. What a wonderful day spent with some of the greatest works of art in the world and a knowledgable guide. Boticelli, Michelangelo and Da Vinci - we could spend so much more than a day with you! We are looking forward to the Sistine Chapel and Pieta in Rome even more now. What genius.
There are feral cats everywhere in Italy. This is true for big cities and small towns. The girls have "adopted" the cutest little local girl and have so much fun feeding and watching her whenever we are home. She must be a very typical Italian cat because she loves not only milk, but proscuitto, salami, lasagne and pizza. The girls named her Smuckers. The best thing is that she seems to have taken to them too. She is always at the back door and stands on her back legs to peek in the window at us quite often. Saying good-bye tomorrow will be sad. Tonight is very cold and they have made her a little bed with one of our beach towels from Spain.
Grandma has taken us all out for dinner a few times this week. Gotta love it! The best night was when we went to a special restaurant that Anthony and I had first eaten at 16 years ago when we came to Italy, just after we got engaged the week of Christmas. Trattoria Angiolino was a great night back when it was the two of us and again when we returned with the crew.
In between we did a lot of shopping and eating and school work and card games. We watched movies and went to several little villages nearby, saw lots of holiday lights and had a memorable two weeks together.
Tomorrow we are off to drop Grandma at the airport in Florence then make a quick trip to Pisa on our way to Pompeii. We will be in Pompeii for 4 days. There is an exhibit back home right now on Vesuvius at the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Many of the girls' classmates and friends have been. Nina's teacher from last year, the wonderful Mrs. Dupree, is going to have her class pose questions to Nina that they still have about the topic after their visit to the museum and see if she can find the answers at the real site. Nina is so excited to be a part of Soaring Hawk again even for just a bit!
It's been nice to have a home base for 2 weeks, but in the morning, here we go again!