Friday, June 29, 2012

until september

The Alps... are they one of the seven natural wonders of the world? They should be.

Our trusty nissan rental never failed us....we logged over 930 miles.
Sadie was having a hard time focusing as we tried to stuff as much info in her brain as possible durning this trip.
We became experts at "pack, unpack, pack" as we visited a different hotel each (and every night).
I blogged, and blogged, and blogged.
We were in awe at the color of this lake...
and this waterfall that fed into it.
Flowers everywhere as spring bloomed in France.
There's a reason the French as so well known for their bread and pastries. They seriously melt in your mouth.

Some French architecture.
We "hiked" the alps...ok, it was a half  mile, stretch your legs thing, but it totally counted.
View from the trail.

This is the last picture I took on our trip.  My camera battery was almost dead, and to be honest, so was I.  Blogging about our whole adventure was a lot of work, but it was important work for me.  Without sounding cliché, it really was a “once in a lifetime” experience.  Sadie will only be seventeen once.  Gregg and I will only have this opportunity to spend so much individual time with her once. In the next few years, a lot can, and probably will change.  Drew starts high school in August and Sierra starts junior high. Gentry is growing so tall and starting to loose her “little girl” look.  When my kids were all babies, days sometimes felt like months. Now I’d give anything to slow down the clock.  I’ve lived long enough to know, that as my life moves forward, year by year, my happy memories of the past are something I sometimes long to relive.  I am so grateful for all of those happy memories, and especially the ones we’ve created this past two weeks.  I have to remind myself also, that there is so much to look forward to…..with that said my friends; I’m taking a blogging break.  I have other things that need my attention.  I’ll be back in September, hopefully with new adventures.  Until then, I wish you and your family a wonderful summer filled with all the things, and more importantly, the people you love.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

a change of scenery

Tuesday, after leaving Pisa, we headed up the coast of Italy traveling along the Mediterranean.   Sadie wanted to visit a little village called Manarola. What a contrast from the busy, fast paced cities we’d been to so far.  No one here was in a hurry, and all the locals seemed content to sit and visit (or knit).  We loved it.

          After Manarola, we continued along the coast, driving on these unbelievably narrow roads (like the one below) and moving across the mountains with our windows down as we listened to the constant, happy song of the birds.  We rarely saw another car, and it was a much needed day without the pollution and cigarette smoke that is almost impossible to get away from in the bigger European cities. 
Our last destination tomorrow......The Alps.

Monday, June 25, 2012

not another museum

 Monday morning we left Rome and drove to Firenze (Florence).  Imagine Rome, but on a smaller scale. This was our ninth day of travel, and also the day.  You know the one.  For our family, it usually falls somewhere in the middle of a trip.  That day when you’re getting tired, and suddenly you’re all starting to bug each other just a little.
        So, anyway, Sadie and Gregg were pretty much cultured out, but Florence is home of the Uffizi art museum which, among other works, houses Botticelli’s, “The Birth of Venus”.  Don’t worry Dad, I did get to see Venus, and she was absolutely beautiful.  Afterward Gregg and I had as lengthy discussion about what makes art art, and why certain people appreciate it (me) and other appreciate things like hunting (Gregg). And I told him that even if touring a gallery wasn’t his thing, and he doesn’t really “get it”, it’s o.k.  Kind of like how I don’t get why getting up at the crack of dawn, dressing up in camo, and trudging around in the wilderness to “scout animals” for hours sounds like fun. By the end of our discussion we were both laughing and Sadie commented, “Wow, you guys really did marry your opposites!” To Gregg’s credit, I think the city of Florence has a major Freudian thing going on, and if I don’t see another naked man statue for a couple of years, I’ll be o.k. with that.  Tuesday we continued up the coast of Italy and then made a short stop in Pisa. 

yep...that day

More tomorrow from our stop in a city called Manarola......Our very favorite day so far.