Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gotta love the McD's in Italy

McDonald's in Italy got it right. The train station in Mestre outside of Venice has the bar inside the McDonald's. What a hoot! Does Ronald look happier or is it just me?

Italia - Aviano Swim Meet

We had a terrific time. Italy is like a postcard at every turn. Remember the scenes in Mary Poppins when Burt, Mary and the children jump into the chalk pictures? That's what it's like all over Venice and Verona. We were awed by the beauty of these towns. Stepping off the Ferrovia train into Venice, the grand canal directly before you. No more cars just boats to take you around the town. The basilicas, the piazzas, the palaces, the bridges.... We spent 2 days in Venice. The first day we rode the vaporetto taxis around the city, then we walked San Marco square, toured St. Mark's basilica with the horses and went to Murano Island to see the glass makers. The next day we walked Calle Bernardo, and ate at every little side cafe on our way through to the center of the San Marco area, rode a gondola with Marco as our gondolier and walked back over the Rialto bridge past the countless stalls of vendors. Abi's favorite was the candle maker and mask makers. N's favorite was the Beatles store, he bought John Lennon shades! B's favorite was a little side store that had the best pannini in Italy just for him. We all had to go back for one, the lady was laughing after our last trip back. (See the sandwich) We tasted a different flavor of gelato each day, oh wait, N had vanilla every time. We swam a little on Sunday at the Lignano Jr. Olympic Village pool for our meet, the reason we traveled to Italy. N had an amazing 100meter breaststroke race, he took 17sec off his last time & won by a touch. A won her heat in the 50meter freestyle. After a night of celebration and deep sleep we headed to Verona. Verona was amazing with it's Roman Arena, walkways from the 14th century, walled city streets on a point of land surrounded by a river, Duomo basilica, Juliet's balcony (where you are to "rub" Juliet's breast to have luck finding your true love) and the stitching machines. We even got the older sib's names stitched too by going from one store to the next. Aren't we clever. We stayed at a cute little hotel, Ventolosa Hotel in Bergamo on our way out of Italy and had a traditional meal. The trip was wonderful! And imagine no one wanted to go...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Well, it was a stormy-rainy night but the trick or treaters were out in mass. Mostly Spanish came to our barricades at the top of the street. The Spanish just love our American candy. All 10 families gathered to hand out our candy together. We potlucked, 3 crock pots full of warm yummy dinner, and passed out el caramelo or la dulce. It was a great evening even with the rain. Fun is fun however it's wrapping. A, JF and KC were the 3 blind mice, I only have a picture of 2 blind mice. N was Marty McFly from Back to the Future, he's standing on his board. Dad even had someone dress up like him! Too funny. The quote of the evening "Como se dice 'beat it' in Spanish?" Guess who I'm quoting? (We had some very persistent trick or treaters not in costume.) A went to Jams for the party, after treating, until 10 pm. They line danced and played games. We hung out with our friends. Halloween fun in Espana.