Saturday, June 25, 2016

5 Tarano, Italy

Our final home exchange of the summer was an idyllic villa in the middle of an olive grove in rolling hills an hour north of Rome. The sunsets turned the sky a hundred shades of red every evening and the only noise was a single cowbell ringing through the night. When we explored locally, it was tiny rural churches and four course lunches of the best pasta in the world. There was even a pizza oven on the terrace for us to try our hand at what we'd tasted in Naples.

Katrina: What do you remember about Tarano?
Jack: I remember we had a pool. And Nanna and Papa came and they brought me a froggy to float in the pool with. At first I said, "I can't float with it! This is NOT a good idea!" But then I floated in it and I thought it was fun to float all over the water!

With Patrick's parents joining us, we were an entourage of six venturing through the hills, into Rome and Florence, and through the vineyards of Chianti.

Katrina: What did you like to do in Rome?
Jack: I liked to see beautiful things. I liked the Colosseum but it broke a lot.

4 Southern(ish) Italy

We started the Italian leg of our trip in Naples. Noise, traffic, heat, grime. Vaguely reminiscent of India. Except instead of curries and naan, we ate nonstop pizza for a week. There was a popular place down the street from our AirBnB, and though they didn't speak any English and we don't speak Italian, they happily guided us on daily culinary adventures.

Naples was full of interesting neighborhoods to explore and a church on every corner. We also used it as a terrific home base for day trips to Pompeii, Vesuvius, and the Amalfi Coast. 

Katrina: Tell me about Pompeii.
Jack: I liked playing around in the leaves. Chugs liked crawling around in them. We had a great pretend home. We pretended that we were the people that lived there and worked there. So we had new houses. I liked the beer. We saw a theater. There was a pretend show. We took a pretend bath. It's an old town.

Katrina: How did we get to Positano?
Jack: We took a bus that I felt icky on. And Mommy was freaking out about the bus. It was our stop and we couldn't get off the bus. The doors were about to close. Mommy said stop. The girl in front of us said stop, too, to help us. She helped us. We got out. We went to the playground. And we walked to a restaurant.

Katrina: What happened after lunch?
Jack: We lost Daddy. But then we had some gelato, and got some medicine for me, and we saw cool boats in the water. It was hot. We met a man that was from Canada.

Katrina: What did we learn from him?
Jack: Where is the toilet!

Katrina: What was the best part of Positano?
Jack: I liked the pizza!

Working our way north, we departed Naples to spend a week in Gaeta: a completely adorable beach town halfway to Rome. It's just a little blip of land sticking out into the Tyrrhenian Sea. We spotted it on a map when we were plotting our Italian trip from Paris, and Googling yielded promising results. We found an awesome AirBnB with a private rooftop terrace walking distance from the beach--and between those two things, that was our week in Gaeta. Just us and the nuns.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

6 Jack's Top Ten: Provence

10.  Chateau des Baux de Provence

The catapult was threw the ball in the air.

9.  Keyboard at our home in Arles

I liked pressing the buttons to make music.  I liked being able to do it with Chugster (Charlie).

8.  Leading the way home

I liked being the leader and I had some help from the streets I already noticed

7.  Palais des Papes in Avignon

I used to not know what a courtyard is but I loved this one.

6.  The Camargue Races at Arena d'Arles

My favorite is when the bull jumped over the fence.

5.  Mousse au Chocolat at Le Menestral

The chocolate was moussy.

4.  Dinner at Fad'oli

The woman there was nice and she loved Chuggy (Charlie).  And she spoke English.

3,  Carrières de Lumières

Standing on the walls and people thought I was in the show.

2.  Place de la Republique

It was tall and pretty with a nice view.

1.  Date night and gazpacho with Mommy at Cuisine de Comptoir

It wasn't so was so so cold.
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