Friday, August 24, 2012

Outlaws...I mean Inlaws

August brought both sets of parents across the pond for a visit as well as Lico and Stephanie.  First Meek's parents came for just shy of week.  It was a crazy busy week as we took them all over: Milan, Como, Monza, Modena.  Then Lico and Stephanie were in Venice for the weekend so we headed over there to meet up with them.  Finally my mom arrived for a week.  It made the last few weeks of summer vacation simply fly by.  Here are some photos of their visits.

Lake Como.

Vinegar tour in Modena

Meek and his tasting some amazing vinegar.

Delicious white vinegar.

They even have a line of sparkling red wine.
View of the shed where the vinegar is kept to age for many, many years.

Grapes that will in many years become some amazing vinegar.

Around Modena.


Mini Duomo in Monza.

What a surprise we get to Venice and it rains!

Next day, it was hot a sunny in Venice.


Us, with Stephanie and Lico right behind.  On a boat over to Burano.
Walking around Venice.

Making fresh sauce for my mom!

In Burano with my mom.
Beautiful Burano.
We feel so blessed to have had Meek's parents and my mom come, visit and stay with us this summer.  It's not like we are within driving distance, so their willingness to fly over here just to see us means a lot!

Monday, July 30, 2012


Earlier this year we decided to take a trip to Croatia.  We'd heard great things about it and after doing a little research we learned that next summer it is slated to join the EU, meaning they'd switch to Euro and their prices would sky rocket.  I did some research and found a few companies that did boat trips along the coast.  We inquired about one but it was sold out for the one week we could go.  We ended up opting for another trip by the same company.  Big mistake!

Don't get me wrong, Croatia is beautiful and the people we met we wonderful, but the boat we ended up on was terrible! Add to that we got the one week of the summer with terrible weather, shocker since it rained nearly the entire time we were in London and Paris why wouldn't it rain in Croatia too?  That made for rough seas and forced the boat to go in a reverse route, which lead to docking complications at the end of the week when we arrived at one of our stops there was no room for our little boat so we had to go dock the boat at a remote town with very little in it.   Long story short we liked Croatia but the boat trip was terrible and we'd never do one like it again.

Day one, setting sail.  Excited for our week at sea!

The dark, stormy clouds quickly began to roll in.

Delicious sea food for dinner, the first night.

During dinner the rain began to fall.
Amazing white peppers, these were in every salad we ate, delicious!

Second Island we got stuck here for 2 nights because of the bora winds.  The surf was kicking up quite a bit at this beach the first day.

We went in, the water was warm, but the surf was too dangerous to really get in.
Meek going in for a quite dip.

We even found a Val's on this island.

That tiny speck in the water is actually a dolphin.

On the boat, weather finally clearing.

Just kidding, more rain that night.  Here is a huge solar compass.

Old church on some island, a slight break in the rain.

One night, on some island.
Swimming stop.  Funny, if we needed the one life raft, we wouldn't be able to use it.  But at least the recycling would be safe.

Watching the little fish swarm as we tossed bread into the water.

Near the end of our trip, the storms were finally gone and it was hot and sunny.  The way summer should be!
Yes, this really was our boat.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Paris Part 2

We decided we would climb the Eiffel tower as one of the thing we would do.  Little did we know that we would end up spending nearly an entire day waiting in line.  Over four hours standing in line.  The French could learn a few things about cuing from the British.  I was appalled by the number of people cutting the line.  It's really sad that some people have so little self respect not to mention the people teaching their children to do it.  After many hours of waiting we did eventually make it to the front of the line and up the lift into the tower.
Waiting for the bus to take us to the Eiffel tower.

Due to heavy traffic it took over an hour to get to the Eiffel tower.

Waiting in line.

Still waiting...

After over 4 hours we finally go to the front of the line!

Waiting for the elevator

No we did not walk I was feeling too lazy.

Up we go!

The isn't all the way up.  We did buy tickets to go all the way up but we opted not to for two reasons.  One Sarah's anxiety over heights and two there was a crazy line to go the rest of the way up.
Anxiety in full effect for Sarah

Looking up...
Looking out...
The two of us :-)
 The next morning we got up early to get to the Louvre.  Meek isn't really a museum person but he went because I really wanted to.  In fact I have wanted to come here since I was in high school.
Meek eager about going to the museum

We thought we would be early, oops so did everyone else.
Waiting in line, this line took only about an hour!

Sarah waiting in line to go into the Louvre.

Finally inside!

We got our tickets, used the restrooms and set out to see a handful of specific pieces.
We started with the Venus de Milo, I uploaded this photo to show just how many people flocked to see her.

Later we went to see Vermeer's The Lacemaker.  Not a large of a crowd here.

Later still we saw the Winged Victory of Samothrace (aka Nike of Samothrace).

She lost one of her hands, but it was over here.

I don't think I need to say what painting all of these people are waiting to see.

I went into the gift shop and this display reminded me of Egypt (only way over priced).

The inverted pyramid on the way out.

Our last stop before leaving Paris was this little import shop next to our hotel.  He we bought, Bisquick, fluff, Kraft Mac n Cheese and Cinnamon Toast Crunch to take back to Milan with us!