I cannot believe it has been so long since I wrote on this blog! I feel like the last three weeks have slipped by so quickly. We have had so much going on, but the biggest event was the arrival of Grandma! My mother-in-law visited us for almost 3 weeks, and we packed all of it with some great activities and traveling. Here is a brief rundown of our time:
– We attended the Festa de Funghi (Mushroom Festival) in Budoia, which is literally right up the road from our town. So many mushrooms of multiple varieties, along with vendors selling wine, cheese, olives, and peppers, crafts, kid activities, and music were there as we walked through the center of town. I love Budoia anyways, so the festival was fantastic.
– We took Grandma to the market in Pordenone. Each town here has their own market one day a week, but I like the Pordenone, Aviano, and Budoia markets the best. Pordenone’s is the biggest, with all kinds of vendors. She found some lace for some crafting that she cannot find in the states, and I introduced her to Italian “caffe normale” or espresso. I salivate just thinking about it. 🙂 We take the market for granted, since we can go whenever we want, but as she took in the sights, I found myself appreciating Italy a little more than I usually do. Quaint is a very good way to describe our towns here, and I do not always look at it like I did when I first moved here.
– Our big trip was a road trip down to Rome and Florence. We went to Rome first, which is about a 6 hour drive from here. We stayed in a hotel on the outer part of the city, then used the metro, tourist buses and a lot of walking to get places. We saw the Vatican, the Colosseum, ruins, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and so many other things. Rome is a hectic and complex city, with so many people, crazy driving, and modernity and history living together.
After a few days, we drove up to Florence, about 2 hours from Rome. We stayed in a different apartment this time, since I could not book the one we stayed in last time. It took nearly a half hour, a lot of tense and scary driving in narrow streets, and a scratch on the van, but we found the hotel. Once inside, it was worth it – an apartment big enough for all 6 of us! I must admit, I did a fantastic job with accommodations. We took Grandma to the Santa Maria de Fiore chapel and duomo, the chapel museum, the old Medici palace, Ponte Vecchio, and around the city. My favorite was the Gucci museum with Lorelei – no words to even describe my joy in there. Florence is Andy’s favorite Italian city so far, and I think it was hers as well. All in all, our road trip was filled with good food and wine, a lot of espresso and walking, and such tremendous history and beauty.
– Grandma was able to see all the girls activities. She saw Anya play in her first soccer game, Lorelei in ballet lessons, and all of them at school and riding the bus. She even babysat so Andy and I could have a date night. We went to restaurants, showed her our little town, watched a lot of movie, and showed her our life. I love showing people our life, even the mundane and normal aspects of it. She just went home, and I hope she enjoyed her time here. The girls miss her already!
Besides all this, life has become busier and busier. I was filling in our calendar and showed Andy what October looked like – you can barely see the dates because it is so full. I think of my own mom and wonder how she juggled everything. I hope I’m doing as good of a job as she did and that my children appreciate all of it like I did and do now.
My last bit of news – I am on my last class for my master’s degree. THE LAST ONE! After this, I will either be tasked with a thesis or a comprehensive exam. But I am so close to having my master’s degree and am beyond ready for it. I must admit that I am a little scared, too. I will be done with school – and I still do not have a job. I want to work so badly and use my degree, but it is a challenge here. Andy says I need to keep focusing on the accomplishment of the degree and worry about the other stuff later…he might be right. I hope he reads that, because I do not utter those words often. 🙂
On that note, I am off to study some more. Until next time my friends…
P.S. my birthday is this month also. I still love my birthday and get pretty excited for it, but I will admit that as I grow older, the excitement is weaning. Brownie points to anyone who can guess what day my birthday is or how old I’ll be (no cheating, family)!