Sunday, June 30, 2013

A few favorite pix from Italy

We were so happy to see some of the sunflower fields were in bloom. We saw fields and fields of closed up flowers and I was so disappointed that we were not going to see them in bloom . . .  
BUT - - - we found some fields that were starting to open! Yipeeee. 

This one of the beautiful sunsets we watched from our Villa "Palazzo di Corneto". The tower you see in the distance is in the town of Pomarance.

We visited 3 different beaches this week. This one is Biodola on the island of Elba. It was lovely, quite crowded but really quite stunning.

This was by far our best trip ever with our children. They were very calm and loving.  

 This is the Roman Theater in Volterra. A great town to visit. You get the old Italian city feel with the history, culture, look and all but in a smaller less crowded version. 

 The driveway up to the villa was lined with the traditional cypress trees as you see all over Tuscany.

 The kids enjoying some watermelon and pool time.
The Villa was broken up into 4 apartments but only one other was being used and it was an older couple who was not around very often. So for the whole week we pretty much had the place to ourselves. AWESOME!

Dad BBQ'd salmon and asparagus for one of our several dinners at home. I think having lots of space and being able to have dinner at home and put the kids down on time was a huge plus for our family at this stage. Connor and Jess shared a room and went to bed at 7:00 and they did great! Then Chris and I would stay up and enjoy the evening either by the pool or at the dining table in the garden.

Jessy girl loved the water!

The perfect little spot on the steps going into the pool for playing in the shade. 

We took a day trip to Siena and played tourist. Walked the city, took pictures, ate panini, gelato and sipped vino in the sunshine.

We love driving in Tuscany, such beautiful scenery.  And Chris is a master navigator . . .  once he has been somewhere once he is like a salmon going back to it's spawning ground, he just knows the way.

 The day time view from our villa.

 A lovely rainbow out of our kitchen window. Could you imagine this being your view out of the kitchen window everyday!?!?!? Dreamy! 

Alfresco dinners. 

Another beach we visited on Elba was Cavoli. I will say this is my favorite beach ever and someday we will return and spend a week on this beach. It was a calm protected cove with beautiful crystal clear light blue water great for snorkeling (we didn't do that but will next time) and super warm water. This is where Jessy swam naked and happy with the fishes.

 I love this picture of the little naked buns sticking out of the sea :)

2 happy kids at Cavoli.

We did a quick stop in Pisa to view the leaning tower and have lunch in the square. 

I love this picture because Connor was happy and feeling better. He was actually sick most of the week. We finally took him to a doctor on Thursday and got him some antibiotics. Wow those things work fast. One dose and a long nap and he was a new boy. Thank you pretty Italian doctor lady who took us in with no appointment, never asked for insurance or payment and made our little miserable sick boy happy and healthy again. 

Stay tuned for more picture over load . . .  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

For Father's Day I gave Chris the day off from our darling children. I know lots of families spend it together as a family but we are ALWAYS together: every trip, every weekend, every day. So Dad got a little break from the kiddos. 
I took the kids out for the morning while dad slept in and then our babysitter Ashley came for the afternoon.
Dad and I spent the day riding bikes, enjoying the weather and some really good food and wine.

Our 1st stop was Bellevue Hotel for a quiet lunch on the sunny patio.
(Notice he is still wearing a sweater, it's June!)

The ribs were AWESOME and worthy of a Bobby Flay throw down! 

 After lunch we rode bikes to the harbor in Huizen it's just over 3 miles. Perfect distance to burn off a little of our ribs . . .  maybe ;)

We rode a very bumpy path down to some benches at the end of a peninsula. 

The view from our bench.

After a little while we meandered over to a charming wine bar for some Rosé and dessert.


Not a minute went by when we didn't think of these 2 silly monkeys.

No wonder they make all the kids learn to swim here . . . 
it can be pretty precarious with no rail by the water.
After dessert we rode some more. This time into Laren (about 4 miles from Huizen) for an art show. 

Man all that riding sure does make you hungry. So we popped into another wine bar for some nibbles. 
Delish. Then it was about time to head home where we fired up Dad's Father's day gift (an outdoor fireplace) and made s'mores. 

The End.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

NY Part 2

Part 2 NYC: 9/11 Memorial, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village etc.

We visited the 9/11 Memorial. It was a very moving experience and I think they did a great job on it. The flowing water of the memorial seemed very appropriate.  

Washington Square Park:
This is the sign posted at the fountain pictured below . . . 

Clearly no one cares what the sign says! Ha! New York.

Connor and Jess had their portrait done . . . it looked NOTHING like them. oh well.

On the plane.
We were in the bulkhead row and Jessica was a lap child (yes we are insane!!!!) Connor was a pal and gave up his seat for a bit so Jessy could have her own space. 

And this is what she did with her own space and her neighbors space . . . fortunately he was a father of 3 and extremely tolerant of our 2 crazy monkeys. 

And this is how Jessica spent dinner the 1st night. Sleeping under the table in the stroller, just the way we like her. Teee heeee (We love you Jess).

My smiley girl at Rockefeller Center. Cute as a button! 

I love this pic of Chris and Jess at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It looks like he is putting on her glass slipper at the ball. It's such a sweet sweet shot.

A bit later she decided to lay on the floor and scoot backwards for awhile, which she thought was pretty funny. Our visit to the Museum was very short due to poor behavior. In fact the last 3 museums we visited the kids were ill behaved. I think we are going to have to wait for Jess to get a bit older before we can really enjoy an art museum again. Connor on the other hand is a pro. 

Ahhhhh Pizza in the village.
My friend Marina AKA Yummy Mummy recommended Arturo's Pizza in Greenwich Village. It was AWESOME! I've also heard Jon Stewart sing it's praises. 

These 2 sillies love each other one minute and are fighting the next. I hope as she gets older there is more love and less fighting.