Saturday, June 5, 2010

San Francisco

Jameson woke up at 4:30 this morning (yes, 4:30) and went down for his nap around 8:30 am.  Consequently, we got off to a bit of a late start, but we made it to all our stops nonetheless.  

Our first stop of the day was to San Francisco.  No big deal.  We drove the whole way.  We really went to Assisi to visit Saint Francis' Basilica, but Tucker kept referring to Saint Francis as San Francisco when they were visiting earlier in the week, so we were jokingly calling it San Francisco all day.  It was about an hour drive to Assisi, and, again, lots and lots of steps and hills to get to the town center.  Assisi is one of my favorite towns I've seen so far in Tuscany.  It was absolutely beautiful.  

Friday, June 4, 2010


Okay.  If you haven't read yesterday's post ('Hail and Monks and Nuns, Oh My!'), you need to go do so.  If you have already read it, here is the video I tried posting last night of the singing tourist:

Last night we sat out on the patio with a family from Washington DC staying a couple rooms down from us.  They (Jeff and Kelly) are traveling with a 3 month old (Olivia), and a 3 year old (Tucker), and both of their children are adorable!  Jameson was already asleep last night, but Tucker sat out with us pretending to be our "waiter" for the evening, though all he really did was force crackers upon us.  Christine got smart and held on to her same cracker for over an hour.  Every time he tried to pass them out, she just showed him that she hadn't finished her last one.  One smart chica.  This morning when we were getting ready to go, we opened the doors (because it was so nice out) and hear Tucker say "Mommy! I want to go see if Jameson is awake yet!"  We were already off to a much better start than yesterday.  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was a cool 74 degrees outside; Absolute perfection!  Jameson and Tucker played with the bugs (which Jameson pronounces "butt") while we got things packed up and ready to go for the day.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hail and Monks and Nuns, Oh My!

Today we took a day trip over to Siena, about an hour away from our villa in Cortona.  It was overcast and drizzling when we left, but we were hoping the weather would clear up by the time we got to Siena.  These were our first views of the city:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Golden Sunshine

This morning we packed up the car to head on our extended weekend road trip to the beautiful area of Tuscany.  Jameson had a meltdown about halfway through the trip (2 hours into it) and we had to pull over and get him out of the car to calm him down.  Poor guy...we were driving right through his nap time and he was just cranky and tired of sitting still.  Christine gave him an apple to munch on after our little break on the side of the Autostrada, and after a few minutes of quiet, I look back, and this is what I see:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mister Drink Man

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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I've Got a Master's in Recycling

All of this blogging about life in Italy and I've failed to introduce a member of our family.  Meet Maddy.  Or Madilicious.  Or Buddha.  Whichever you prefer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Venice Vice

I apologize for the shorter-than-usual post and poor quality of pictures today.  My battery was running low the entire time we were in Venice, and I am super tired, so even though it's only 9pm, I'm going to make it a quick one and hit the sack early tonight. (Also, make sure you click the "read more" link to see the rest of the posts.)

Our original plans for today were for Christine and me to go to Venice so she could show me the ins and outs of the town and give me a really good look at the city.  She's been approximately 40 times (yes, 40, that's not a typo), so she really knows her way around and can give a lot of detailed history as opposed to just seeing the touristy stops.  Christine still wasn't feeling well, it was rainy and cold outside, and Jameson went down for his nap at 9am because of his party hardy ways at the barbeque last night, so our plans were messed up from the beginning.  All 4 of us ended up going along for the hour drive to the sinking city, and though it wasn't our original plan, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

In 1880 the population of Venice was around 180,000 people.  In 1950 the population had dropped to 150,000, and is now currently down to under 70,000 people.  It is just so expensive and inconvenient that the pros don't outweigh the cons of living in the city anymore.  Christine said she tried to convince Christer to live in Venice for part of the time that they were here, but he wasn't too fond of that idea because of the 2+hour commute to work he'd have everyday.  The tourism industry didn't start to pick up and invade the city until the 1980s, and ever since the city just hasn't been the same.  It is terrifically beautiful to visit, but it is also so desolate and barren that it kind of makes you feel sad.