Tuesday, November 15, 2016

our last days in Italy

Next Monday we fly back to the US, and our 12 weeks stint in Europe will be coming to an end. Highlights have been our trip to the Netherlands, connecting again with my dear relatives and friends, and the other great visits from and to friends. Lucky us, we have build some great memories here! It's also been a time that Tessa started to draw a lot, give her some paper and markers and she will go at it. We will miss the people  here, the amazing food (really can you ever eat enough fresh pasta and fresh cheese?), Tod speaking and understanding Italian (he knows more than he let me believe), and scenery in Lombardia. I won't miss Italian drivers though, seriously they drive me crazy.

Tessa, when you are old enough to read this blog, you might remember there were some days your parents were sad here in Italy, because the newly elected president of the USA does not share our values and has made statements that are very mean and very offensive to people. You stated that you could be president, and I have hope that your generation, and the current younger generations will make their marks on a better and more peaceful world.

Ciao ciao for now, we depart with some random pictures of our last weeks here in Lombardia, northern Italy.

Agriturismo is great! At a working farm here near Varese,
where you can also have lunch and dinner

hard to resist...have been eating tiramisu almost daily
time to go back, and lose some weight

on an awesome hike near Lecco with friends

could some one be more happy than visit a
dinosaur park, even on a foggy day?

gotta study my map where to go next

a trip with friends to Leolandia, Thomas &
Peppa pig house where the favorites

even the freeway provides gorgeous views going north

Villa Real at Monza Park, a huge park where you can spend hours

Tessa learning all about stick man at school

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Local dates and visiting dear friends in Switzerland

While Tessa is enjoying her school, Tod and I are jumping on the occasion to explore some places together on his days off.  Having a great lunch is always the center of those dates, but we manage to be active some times too. One morning we climbed up 1500 feet to Brunate (the path started next to our apartment in Como), then took the Funicolare back to the lake.  Last week we visited the old town of Bergamo, and enjoyed wondering around inside the old city walls, and eat amazing pastries that we had not seen here before (yes, that was before we had a big lunch..)

With our dear friends Ana and Christian relatively close by (4.5 hrs drive to Neuchatel in Switzerland), we 'hopped" over for a weekend, get to celebrate, meet some of their friends, and as always enjoyed their company. Too short, my friends, we have to meet up again somewhere! Fun to see signs in Italian, German and French during that drive into Switzerland.

looking down to lake Como

you gotta "earn you lunch"

one of the many old and pretty buildings in Bergamo

entering through the old city walls

fun and artistic storefronts

feed me a donkey

ah, the joy of sitting in a restaurant without
having to run after your 4 yrs old 

love how Italian offer a digestiva on the house after meals,
this one was home made

Ana, we are missing you in our pictures!

deserted downtown neuchatel on a Sunday morning

getting ready for the Halloween party at school
with little choices close by, I got creative with a needle and fabric

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Update from Italy

We are living a regular life, except it's in a different country on a different continent. Since the last blog post, we have moved away from Como to a small town where Tessa goes to a bilingual school full time. She loves it, gets to wear the school uniform (well, better said, the school colors, as we couldn't get any official school clothes till early December), and gets fed a sumptuous lunch with 4 courses! On the days that Tod doesn't work, we two get some time to explore around, mostly we eat our way around. I will for sure miss the Italian food when we are back in the US.

Very lucky me, I have some awesome friends from high school and university, who come to visit us, and I got to spend a girls-only weekend away in Milan. Jeannine and Marieke, you are the best!

Weather is changing, it's getting cooler (still in mid teens in Celsius), but if you look how Italians dress up, you might think it's winter. When I walk Tessa to school and drop her off, all her class mates dress as if they are ready to go skiing, hats included. We just show up in a fleece jacket and sneakers. Tod says that Italians start dressing like that on a certain date, no matter what the temperature is. Fun to notice these cultural differences.

the ladies in front of the Duomo

we stayed in the cute canal Navigli district


photo taken by marieke

photo taken by jeannine

photo taken by marieke

photo taken by marieke

photo taken by marieke

photo taken by Marieke

photo taken by Jeannine

excellent pizzeria in our little town

my morning ritual after school walk

view from our 1st apartment in our new town

you see these self help 'kiosks" for milk, medicine and here flowers

our final apartment in Italy, we live on the ground floor of a very nice designed house