Saturday, September 10, 2011

Catching you up on our travels......

Hi everyone

I finally have time to sit and write a decent blog for you (with photos too!).  So to catch you up on some of my highlights I will probably make this one a long one, I suggest a wine or cup of tea/coffee as you browse.

Italy - Verona
Last year I saw that movie "Letters to Juliet" which is why we went to Verona.  I fell in love with the idea of visiting the courtyard to leave a letter of my own to Juliet - the scrapbooker in me just has to have a letter from a Juliet Secretary to put in my scrapbook.  So when we got there I insisted we all rub Juliet statues breast for luck - photo in previous blog - and I wrote a letter which I posted while visiting the courtyard.  I gave a small donation to cover postage for the reply I hope to have once I return home.  Vaughan and I bought ourselves a Italian handmade leather wallet and purse at the maket in Verona too.

Italy - Desenzano
We camped for two weeks in France eating crossaints and pastries galore before heading to our first campsite in Desenzano.  It was beside a beautiful lake which we all loved swimming in.  The camp also had a great pool too and we ended up getting the kids masks with snorkels and floaty things (a boat for Dylan and a ring for Kathryn).  Our campsite was under a couple of big old trees which was great because with it being so hot, shade is VERY important to campers.  We made friends (thanks to our kids) with the family camping directly beside us who were from Czechoslovakia as I mentioned on facebook.  The parents spoke not a word of English, but their eldest son (Lukas) did and that was an absolute Godsend.  We offered them our tent (which was going to end up in the bin) and in return they offered to pick us up stuff from the shop when they went, bought over a bottle of Italian Strawberry wine to share, and even got up early to say goodbye to us the day we left.  I hope our paths cross again.  I was very glad to see the end of the camping part of our holiday because I wanted air conditioning and clean feet (the dust was the worst).

Italy - Venice
We were very impressed with Venice; the skiny alleyways that snaked their way through 3 or 4 storied buildings either side then suddenly opening up into a Palazza with ancient and spectacular churches, with a man singing Opera to the crowd seated on the church steps.  The shops of amazing masks and glass works were breathtaking.  We made it to the Grand Canal and decided that being tourists meant we should eat lunch right there.  So ordering in true Italian style a range of pizzas and pastas proceeded to eat.  Kathryn, unfortunately, choked on her first mouthful of pizza.  She quickly indicated to me that she was in fact unable to breathe and I grabbed her, spun her round and performed the hymlic on her.  Finally she threw up the longest piece of mozarella cheese you can imagine and we both burst into tears infront of a throng of people (who quickly realised they were staring and moved on).  It was a horrible experience that neither of us will forget and haunts me at night, although it has not deterred Kathryn from eating pizza (expect perhaps for that first day or so after).  We then got into a Gondola (100 Euros thank you very much) for a surprisingly quick 15 minute float through some tight canals listening to our Gondola Driver yell out at fellow gondola drivers as we past by them - but I suppose you do these things for the experience.

Italy - Tuscany
It certainly was nice to get to our Villa in Tuscany leaving the dust behind, but unfortunately not the mosquitoes who have eaten us alive for the last couple of weeks.  At least at the villa we have clean feet, a large swimming pool and apartment complex completely to ourselves.  The lizards and frogs and ants have kept the children thoroughly entertained.  It was about day 4 or 5 at the villa, Cassa Rossa, that I realised that I was missing you all, and home inparticular, very much.   And not having internet access was very frustrating.  However, a couple of books later and a week of an amazing view and silence (when the children were trying to sneak up on the lizards to catch them) we were all looking forward to the next stage of our adventure - ROME.

A gecko drops by to eat some moths
Our impression of Italian water fountains
Fabulous people in a fabulous location

Sunset from the pool at our Villa, Cassa Rossa
Next blog coming up shortly!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Athens to Paros...

Really sorry that we have not blogged many times while we have been over here.  It has been very tricky without our laptop, so if you are planning to come over here BRING YOUR LAPTOP!  There is free WiFi all over the place, but not many internet cafes.

We just spent the last couple of days in Rome which was amazing, but too hot and the kids got totally over all the walking.

We are now on our way to the Ferry terminal to catch our ferry to Paros.  We are staying at Margaritas House - very appropriately named I reckon.  I hope that we all get lots of beach time, I still need to work on my tan, and the kids need to build some sandcastles.

We have enjoyed not camping, but miss the rental car.

Rubbing Juliets Breast for good luck!

Lakeside in Desanzo

Venetian mask

 Beside the canal in Venice

blog from Dylan...

In Italy while we were camping I went down to the lake beach by myself one morning.  I saw a freshwater Crayfish.  It was black, dark black and it nipped my fingers when I tried to pick it up.  It was about 20cm long (not a fisherman's tale!)

It is really hot here, I get to eat ice creams, about nearly five a day!  My favourite flavour is dark chocolate.

I found two dead frogs in the swimming pool, in Tuscany.  I swim almost everyday in a deep pool, I do canon balls and dives into the deep end all by myself.

I saw a lizard jump up the steps to get away from me.


blog from Kathryn...

The Eiffel tower was great.  It was huge and it was very pretty.  I liked looking down from the high heights at the view.

I did not eat any snails or frog legs because we couldn't find any cafes or restaurants that served them.

I did get to see a green snake slither past me when I was at the pool at the villa in Tuscany.  I have seen over 100 lizards and I even caught one, which was easy because it went into the pool.  It was fun when that happened.  It was a baby.

Greece has lots of beautiful ruins and I really like them.  One ruin I saw held water in it, although it doesn't anymore.

We went to the Vatican Museum in Rome yesterday and I loved the pictures on the ceilings.