I'm sitting here in the family room while Christer watches TV and Christine looks for travel information on the computer, and the only thing I can think about is these TERRIBLE TV commercials. Christer used to work for the military, and, as many of you know, when you live abroad for the US Government, you have special privileges such as American foods sold on the bases, and American TV. We still have the satellite box for the military television, and there is a base close to our house, so we're able to get reception and get US television. We get approximately 12 channels, (nothing like the basics at home) and the shows are never on at the same times (American Idol was on a day late, but the Grey's Anatomy season finale still hasn't aired). Because the military controls the television, all the commercials are military related and created, and let me tell you, they're terrible. When I say terrible, I'm talking a homemade sock puppet talking to the camera from a laundry basket encouraging soldiers to be good roommates terrible. This stuff is middle school TV production class bad. Here are some good examples for your enjoyment:
Every single commercial is like these. Sometimes they get crazy and try to rap or dance in uniform too. It's pretty special.
Today the drink man came for a visit, and this guy is probably the greatest thing since sliced bread. This super sweet, semi-English speaking guy comes every 2 weeks to drop off cases of water and soda, right at our house. We order these milk crates with glass liters of water (natural and mineral), and when we finish a bottle, we put it back in a crate to be recycled. Once a crate is full with empty bottles, we set it outside the gate like so:
The drink man comes every other week with whatever we've ordered, drops the crates right inside our front door, and then takes away all of our empty bottles to be recycled. We also get a credit for the recycled bottles, so everybody wins. No hauling 12 packs of soda or cases of water from the grocery store to the car to the house, which is totally awesome. AND, as an added bonus, he's super sweet and always goes inside to have an espresso with Elia and Ida. How cute is that?
I know you can't see everything in the truck, but notice how there's "Coca Cola" and no diet coke? They don't really do the whole diet soda thing here in Italy. So yes, I've gone over a week now with only one caffeinated beverage a day (GASP!). We have really good coffee though so it all balances out.
Christine and I took Jameson and Levi on a walk today through a teeny little village near our house. It's easy to get to and there aren't many cars, so it's safe to walk with the dog and the stroller. Have I mentioned the lack of sidewalks in Italy? Not only do we have super crazy drivers, but we also don't have sidewalks, so all pedestrian traffic shares the road with these crazy cars. Needless to say, we try to find "quiet" roads to walk/run on to avoid endangering our lives for a little bit of fresh air. Every single house we passed along our walk had a fence out front with rose bushes planted along the fence. Pretty much every house I've seen so far in Italy has a fence out front with rose bushes growing along it. It's the rare exception that you find a house without a rose bush, and normally they have some other flowering shrub planted out front instead. The roses are in bloom right now and some of them are so full and vibrant.
Jameson loves to smell the roses, which he does by putting his face up to a flower, sticking his tongue out, and then licking. It's so adorable you just have to laugh.
Tomorrow (June 2nd) is Festa della Repubblica, or the Italian holiday known as "Republic Day" to us Americans, which is basically like the United State's Independence day. It's the day that all the Italian people were called to vote on what type of government they wanted after the fall of fascism following World War 2. The votes favored for a Republic government and the ruling family of the monarchy was sent into exile. Because of this lovely little holiday, Christer has off of work and we're taking a long weekend to drive over to Tuscany, which is about 5 hours from here. We are staying in a villa in the town of Cortona, which is where they filmed the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun." Apparently the "best gelato in Italy" is located nearby and we're going to scope it out.
Yesterday I just happened to be in my room when the female bird flew back to the nest after her day of doing whatever it is that birds do, and I actually watched the male and the female switch places. The mom flew back, dad started getting off the nest, mom settled on, and dad flew away. I tried to snap quick enough to get a picture of both of them together but the dad flew away too quickly. Here's the momma bird about to get situated onto her little eggs.
Christer says this is the perfect example of "partner parenting," something I think he and Christine do an excellent job at. :)
Be on the lookout for some super awesome pictures tomorrow...I can't imagine anything in Tuscany not being photo-worthy.