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Trascorrere del tempo con la mia famiglia in italia

Spending time with family in Italy. Pistoia Market/Alessio's Fabulous Dinner/Boy Scout Dinner with 250 Italians

sunny 69 °F

This morning, I got up went downstairs and started to take the tea out of the cupboard where Rosita had shown me last night. I turn around and look on the table and she had set my whole breakfast out for me. There were teabags, silverware, milk, sugar, fruit and and these little pieces of toast that they get here in Italy. I took a picture, so you could all see it. It made me feel very welcome, so thank you Rosita. I know someone else who sets the breakfast up every morning for someone else. It's my mother in law Betty. Every morning she sets up breakfast for her and my father in law. Its really a nice thing to do. She also does it for me when I am there. But, nothing beats the hot water bottles in your bed at night. Rosita had gone out for a walk with a friend of hers. She leaves at 8:00am and returns by 9:00am. They try to find different places to walk each time. Upon her return we looked through some of her photo albums and I used google translate to ask questions. Now I know people are thinking that's hard, but it actually works really well when you want to communicate with someone. Clarisse came over at 10:00am and the three of us headed for Pistoia. They live about 10 minutes from the downtown part of Pistoia. On saturdays they have a big market in Pistoia. Going to a market, yes its one of my favorite things to do. It was very much like the market in Ventimiglia, but smaller. We walked around the market and around the town. Pistoia is a beautiful town. I have been here once before and got a tour of the town from Clarisse's father Giacomo. I can still remember the stories he told me about some of the buildings. Iain's mom and dad were also here for the tour. It was about 105 degrees outside and he wanted to show us all around his city. A bird pooped on my mother in law Betty when we were walking and Giacomo told her that was good luck. These are the things I remember. This time Clarisse took me around. As you can see from my pictures, the buildings are beautiful. There are so many churches all within a short distance from each other. One building which used to be a hospital has these wonderful mural figurines going along the top. There are 7 sections each section has a different meaning. The colors in them were beautiful. Pistoia has been chosen as the "Capitale Italiana della Cultura for 2017". Some of the buildings have this beautiful black and white stone as you can see from my pictures. I can remember Giacomo telling me years ago, the reason and I can remember being fascinated by his answer. If you want look it up and read about it.

We left the old town of Pistoia and Clarisse drove us back to Rosita's. I worked on my blog for awhile and Rosita and I talked with google translate. Then Clarissa came back and picked us up and took us over to her house. She has a beautiful house as you can see Alessio standing outside of it in my pictures. We sat outside in their backyard that backs up against an orchard. Alessio cooked sausage on the BBQ. We had a spritz drink that was delicious. He also had cubes of ham, balls of mozzarella cheese, and olives. Then he put some bread on the BBQ and heated it, then cut it up into small slices and put olive oil on it. Yes it was delicious. That could have been enough for lunch. We all moved from outside into their kitchen and had an even bigger meal. Alessio had made potatoes, beef and pork on the BBQ. They had salad along with it. It was all so good, thank you Alessio for such a wonderful dinner at lunchtime. Maria Giulia had learned a game where you challenge someone to try and persuade you to buy something. They all played it against each other and it was really funny to watch them, even though I didn't know what they were saying. She won many of the matches. Rosita and I walked back to Rosita's house. On the way back she took me inside her church, where they were having a celebration of "Our Lady of Fatima". We went inside the church where all these people were praying to the "The Lady of Fatima". I already knew the story of Fatima, but if you don't you should look it up. It is very interesting. When you are in a small church in a small town in Italy, it is very easy to see how religious the Italian people are. When you visit all the big famous churches, all you see are tourists, so it was great for me to really experience it. We continued walking through the small village that is next to Rosita's house. It is a quaint little area with your basic bank, restaurants, store and church. She said hello to people as we walked by. We came back to her house and I am working on my blog. I think she is pretending to rest downstairs, but something tells me she does not rest. Clarisse came back with her family and they took me to this beautiful area in Pistoia where there is an old villa and many acres of land. They have built a modern fountain right in the middle of it and then all around it are walking trails. It looks like a postcard you have seen of hills and houses in Tuscany. We walked down one of the trails for awhile, then I turned around and took a picture of the path. It was really pretty. Thanks to all of you, I got to see some of the countryside. We left the villa and then we headed for the Boy Scout dinner. Their children are all involved in the Boy Scouts. Tonight was a yearly dinner that they do to honor and appreciate the parents. The older scouts all serve the dinner to everyone. So yes, TONIGHT I HAD DINNER WITH 250 ITALIANS! It was wonderful. Luckily one of their friends who travels a lot and speaks English sat across from me for the dinner, so we had good conversations. It was a five course meal, all outside under this huge wood structure, that only had a wood ceiling, the walls were open. The first course was two pieces of bread, one with beans on it and the other with tomatoes on it. Next to that was a piece of cheese, a piece of salami and a piece of mortadella. The next course was a green salad with delicious tomatoes. Then the third course was two types of pasta, one with olive oil and the other a tomato sauce. Then came the BBQ meat. I have to be honest, I'm not sure what it all was, so I just had a small piece of sausage, of course Clarisse who was sitting next to me didn't have any and Rosita didn't either. I asked Clarisse what is all was and she looked at me and laughed. Alessio the BBQ man had lots of it. I think the last course was probably dessert, but we did not stay for that. We were there three hours and everyone was tired, including me. At one point the man in charge of the night was trying to get 250 Italians to be quiet and of course that took awhile. It was really funny. I am so grateful Clarisse that you brought me. What is more authentic then a Boy Scout dinner with your friends. It was wonderful. At one point Clarisse and I were talking about something and I told her something about me and she started laughing so hard she was crying. Again I fell asleep listening to these beautiful church bells and grateful that my mom has kept us all in contact with her family in italy.

Posted by Daniellecand 11:51 Archived in Italy Comments (1)

Visita la mia famiglia in Pistoia

Visiting my family in Pistoia

overcast 65 °F

Today Iain left for the airport at 7:30am. I stayed at the apartment until 10:00 and then headed for the Nice Riquier Train Station. I have decided to go and visit my family in Pistoia. I have not seen them for 6 years, since I was here in Cetona, Italy. I did not tell anyone I was coming here except Iain. I wanted to surprise my mom and my sister. I downloaded google translate and headed off. I don't want the reason I don't visit to be that I don't know the language. I had emailed Clarissa, my moms cousins daughter and she sent me back a quick response to yes they would love to see me. Rosita her mother is my moms first cousin. I would be staying with Rosita. So we all know that I don't know too many words in Italian. Rosita knows more English, than I know Italian. When I was here 34 years ago, I stayed with Rosita's mom and dad in Lucca. My friend Janice and I had a wonderful time with them. They did not speak English, and I did not speak Italian and we made it work. The train ride down was extremely pretty since the train stayed by the coast almost the entire trip. I first went to Ventimiglia, changed trains, then went to Genova, changed trains and then went to Via Reggio and changed trains there. My last stop was Pistoia where they live. All along the coast, I saw all the coastal resorts and beach town people getting ready for the start of summer. They were raking beaches, setting up lounge chairs, fixing carnival rides for kids and just overall cleaning up for which I'm sure, is their busiest time of the year. As the train was entering the station from Pistoia, I saw Clarissa and her youngest daughter Maria Giulia waiting for me on the platform. Now, how nice is that. I thought I would be looking for them when I got outside. I thought that their youngest daughter was the middle daughter. She probably thought I was crazy. I could not believe in 6 years that Maria Giulia could be that tall. Clarissa is now teaching English at a school over here. Her English is perfect. Thank goodness! They looked wonderful and they drove me to Rosita's house. She has lived in this house since 1968. Her husbands family has owned it since 1938. Rosita looks the exact same as she did 6 years ago. People in Italy don't age. She lives in this beautiful Italian style house. All the floors inside are tile and they have a beautiful dark wood staircase that is unreal. Rosita's father made the staircase and all this beautiful furniture that is in their house. I took some pictures of it, so you can see how pretty it is. There are family pictures everywhere. Alessio is Clarissa's husband and they have three children. Their two oldest kids, Mateo and Marta went and stayed with my sister and her family in DC for two weeks. Now I am trying to convince them to come to San Francisco with us. Rosita prepared a wonderful dinner for me and yes you guessed it, fish. Now if you know me you know I don't eat fish. So when I got in the kitchen, Clarissa asked me "Is there anything you don't eat"? I said fish and they couldn't believe it. Clarissa doesn't eat meat, so even though that made me feel better, I still felt bad. She had made beautiful appetizers that I did eat, I took a picture to show you. They were delicious. Rosita made pasta with pesto for me and we all sat down for a great dinner. There was salami, mortadella, salad, eggplant, green beans with a delicious tomato sauce (yes I ate the green beans and they were delicious). She made a wonderful cake for dessert. It was a great meal. After dinner I called my mom and said hello and then told her I have someone who wants to say hi. I put Rosita on the phone. We were all laughing and my mom thought it was great that I came. We then had one of Marta's friends take a picture and I texted it to Leslie. She was also surprised I was here. We sat around for the rest of the night talking, then Clarissa and family left. Thanks to all of you, I felt very welcome at your home. It was a great night for me. I was tired from my trip, so I went to sleep, upstairs in this Italian tiled room with this huge armoire that I think is from a long time ago. I fell asleep listening to the church bells ringing.

Posted by Daniellecand 00:20 Archived in Italy Comments (2)

Iain's Last Day in Nice

Iain walked to Villefranche and back

overcast 69 °F

This morning we got up and Iain decided to walk to Villefranche and back. Our friend has done the walk and said it was beautiful. I decided not to go, my knees are sore from all of the walking I have done. I stayed at the apartment, doing a load of laundry and cleaning up. Iain leaves tomorrow to go back home. He has been over here for one month and we have done so many things and been to so many places. It was so nice to have him with me. I have spent this second semester of my sabbatical with family and friends and it has been so great. I never would normally get the chance to see these people and spend this much time with them. Iain said the walk was good. It was 6.9 miles. The weather was a bit cloudy, but he enjoyed it. I saw some of the pictures he took and they are really nice. We stayed at the apartment until 5:00 and then headed into the old town. We had dinner at a wonderful restaurant again recommended by friends. The food was delicious. We then headed back to Wayne's to listen to music. They have a great band that plays from 8:00pm- 10:00pm. We walked home after that. We both have had a wonderful stay in Nice. We loved walking around the different neighborhoods and feeling like part of the community, even though we don't know French. The old town part is wonderful and so is walking to all different markets and on the esplanade. It really is beautiful looking out on the water, clear blue. Iain's month certainly went by fast, but we did quite a few things. We really enjoyed our time on the cruise with our friends, and seeing Croatia and Greece. The history is fascinating and to get to see the Ancient Olympic Stadium and Olympia in general was a place I always wanted to go. I really liked Slovenia, and our tour guide has already emailed me and has said anytime we want to come and stay there we are welcome. He will be reading this, so Andrej you are wonderful, thanks so much for our day at Lake Bled and Vintar Gorge. Two of the pictures I took with that day are featured in Travellerspoint featured photographs. You can see them if you look on my website or go on to Travellerspoint.com and see the featured photographs. Iain thanks for keeping me company for the month, its so nice to have someone who likes to travel as much as I do. I see us doing this often when we are done working. Thanks for also telling me to do this trip and supporting me. I love you!

Posted by Daniellecand 00:21 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Monaco

sunny 65 °F

Today we decided to head for Monaco. Iain has never been there and we thought it would be a great place to go. If you have ever been there then you know it is a place for very wealthy people and of course the rest of the general population. We walked down to the Port and again for only 1.50 euros each we took the bus all the way to Monaco. The drive was beautiful as it goes along the coast through all these really pretty towns. We got off the bus at the bottom of the Palace. We walked up to the Palace which is a really nice walk up the hill. When we got to the Palace we took pictures, looked at the guards and the views from all sides of the Palace. We then walked down to the gardens and up through the museum of oceanography, which used to be the institute of oceanography. It is a beautiful building. We walked through some of the narrow streets in the town that are at the top by the Palace. We stopped for lunch at an outside cafe called "Bar Express", it was delicious. We then walked to the Cathedral de Monaco. It was beautiful inside and had all these tall columns and beautiful ceilings and windows. We then left the Palace and walked back down the hill into Monte Carlo. We bought an all day bus pass and just started taking the bus around. There are many streets and buildings dedicated to Prince Albert and Princess Grace. It seems as though everyone here really loved them. We went down by the port and all along the water. We got off there and walked a bit. We got back on and went all up in the hills of Monte Carlo, where you can see all these beautiful houses and apartments. They must cost a fortune, and yes they do. We saw a real estate office at one point and the cheapest place was 6.2 million euros. We eventually took the bus to the main casino in Monte Carlo. The Casino de Monte-Carlo is a beautiful building. We walked into the lobby part and took some pictures. We could have gone into the main casino by showing our passports and paying 17 euros each, but we decided against it. We walked around for awhile and went into the smaller no entry fee casino that is next door. We both lost money on the slots, not a lot which is a good thing. I only like to win, once I start to lose I give up. That is also a good thing. We then caught the city bus to the bus stop for the 100 Nice. We caught that bus and made the trip back to Nice. When we got to the Port it was 7:00pm, so we walked down to a restaurant that was recommended called La Barque Bleue. It was delicious. The chef made the pasta at a little station right by where all the tables for seating were located. I watched him make our pasta dishes. It was very good. On the way out, I specifically went over and told him how great it was. We walked back to the apartment after dinner.

Posted by Daniellecand 07:00 Archived in Monaco Comments (0)

Bus Tour of Nice

sunny 70 °F

Today we decided to do a bus tour of Nice. We walked down to the port and eventually figured out where the bus stopped. We took the bus around the city two times. We did stop in some places. We wanted to see parts of Nice that you can't see walking around the old town part. The bus tour did just that. It took us up to where Hopital de Cimiez, to Musee Matisse, along Bd de Cimiez to Musee Marc Chagall. It also went. along Bd Gambetta. It took us to the Arenes de Cimiez where we saw the Roman Ruins way up on the hill. It is just part of the neighborhood and blends right in among all these beautiful houses. I wonder if all these people think about the history that is living next door to them. The bus also goes along the Promenade des Anglais. We really saw so many beautiful buildings, Iain did a video of all the different apartments in Nice. It is really good. It gives me an idea to do a video of all the places I have been this year in my travels. Another project I need to do.

We walked back to the port tonight and had dinner at an Indian Restaurant right along the Port, opposite all the big yachts. The restaurant was
Le Raja and the food was really good. We left there and started walking up the hill that goes all along the promenade. We walked down to the other side and then walked through the old town in past Couers Saleya. We walked through the old town to Garibaldi and got tea at one of the cafes in the square. We then walked back to the apartment. We love walking around the old town. I walked 6.2 miles today around Nice.

Posted by Daniellecand 06:59 Archived in France Comments (1)

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