Archive for May, 2009

Time for Goodbyes

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Arrivederci Montalcino,
Just like Goldie-locks and the 3 bears, we  found Montalcino to be “juuuuust right”!  Not too big, not too small, but filled with  new friends, unique experiences, lovely customs, enthralling history, good food, fine wine, and now memories to last a lifetime.

Coming back from Roma and climbing the hill to our walled-city, “Friends” by Michael W. Smith was playing.  It is an all time favorite of mine, but now phrases like  “packing up the dreams God planted” and “Tho’ it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hand we know” have new meaning to me as tears streamed down my cheeks from under my sunglasses .

Yep, it’s time to pack and think about moving on.computeronterrace

This vacation was so much more than items to check off a list of things to see; it became home to us and we made some beautiful memories, some forever- friends, and shared it with some special people.  And just like a special recipe, all the ingredients came together ….juuuuust right.

Football Fever

Friday, May 29th, 2009

soccerbanner2Barcelona 2, Manchester United 0

soccerfansJust us 6 in Rome and 1000,000 of our closest soccer fanatic friends for the European Champions League Final (think SuperBowl)!

Mobs of chanting fans filled every imaginable street and sight (‘ cept the Vatican)  and were really quite charming and friendly to us.  No alcohol was allowed to be sold the day of the game, so only unbridled loyalty to their team fueled their enthusiasm.  Andy and Lisa nearly scored last minute tickets, but ended watching it, like most of the world, on TV.

Falling Leaves

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Waiting for Autumnfigleaf1….

figleaf2While taking in some of the Statuary in the  Vatican Museum, Jeane and I found out that a modest Pope of some years back, placed fig leaves, where appropriate, on healthy male statues lest some impressionable damsels swoon or be inspired to lustful deeds.  Sooooo, if Steve can collect knockers, I can collect fig leaves!


When In Roma

Friday, May 29th, 2009


When in Rome… fight traffic, heat and humidity, soccer fans, and take in incredible sights!

Jeane, Kathie, Andy, Lisa, and Steve and I occupied two apartments for several days seeing the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and much much more.  It was quite a contrast from our quiet little Montalcino, but to actually BE there and see so much history and beautiful art.  

Even saw the Pope on Vatican Tv and in person, did a Hop On-Hop off Bus, and alot of walking.  Cool evenings with a glass of wine and people watching.

Then it was seeing Andy and Lisa off to the airport and leaving Kath and J for one day on their own in the Big City before their departure.

We sooooo enjoyed sharing all of this with them!!!!


Roman Holiday

Monday, May 25th, 2009

chieftainThe clock is ticking on Montalcino and Italy.  We have been enjoying the company of Andy, Lisa, Jeane and Kathie in Florence, Siena, Montalcino of course, and now headed to Roma.

We have heard lots of horror stories about pick-pockets and gypsies so we go with some intrepidation. And to top it all off, the SuperBowl of Soccer is this week.  It has been so hard to find accomdations . 

We covet you prayers for our safety.  Did i mention we have a Heat Wave  90+ and humidity?

So we are off on another marvelous adventure!!!


Cooking Class

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

pastarollingCooking with AnnaLisa Tuscan Style

We all learned something about cooking, pasta, wine, tradition, and most of all hospitality on our day in Resta at the home of AnnaLisa. She shared with us her passions for the land, her wine, her home and the chapel on the grounds.

We cracked a few eggs, kneaded some dough, sliced and diced and made an awesome meal, that we enjoyed on the covered 2nd story terrace of her home.

annalisa2Our menu included foccacia, tagliatella, pinci, tomato/garlic sauce, an eggplant dish to die for and tirramisu .We all were delightfully  surprised on how fresh and wonderful it all tasted.

Several of us had had bad prior experiences with some of the dishes (I had never had an eggplant that I had liked, and most of us were not looking forward to the tirramisu).  Boy, were we blown away with how fabulous ,and amazing it all was. 

The time with her and each other was almost an out-of-body experience as we reveled in the tuscan gastronomic  experience!

Firenze And Family

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

florencefamilyIt was so great to rendezvous with Andy and Lisa in Florence! 

We have each enjoyed the sights of different ends of the country, we met in the middle for 3 days in this amazing city!

segwayWe had an awesome hotel and some “pinch me” moments, like seeing Michaelangeo’s David.  Our dinner on the Ponte Vecchio was a huge highlight for me, and I think the Segway Tour thru the city was for Steve (watch out for flying Debbie, as she bit the dust once again).

We met Kathie and Jeane at the Train station from their travels and headed to Montalcino!!!

Pillars With Personality

Friday, May 15th, 2009


“……everybody must get stoned…”

stonecornucopiaWe have visited a few Cathedrals, Duomos, Chapels.  After reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by K. Follet, the lives of those who tediously cut all the stone for decades (lifetimes) on end came alive for me. 

I have had fun looking for the fun they might have had expressing themselves, when block after block got too much. 

So how about inserting a family member or a self-portrait?  And then laughing, thinking about all the people to come who would wonder about the significance of that random block.  So you leave your mark and  then go  back to making the square ones.


Signs and Wonders…Contest!!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Traffic Signs Contest!
Just name the 3 signs and place your guess in the comment section.  First one to identify correctly will win a tasteful souvenir of Tuscany.  There is a fourth one as a tie-breaker (so do it also).  European friends, maybe you shouldn’t count as you see these every day.  And  then two just for you to enjoy!!! 

sorry, andy, I couldn’t get these spaced right!

[Andys Note:  Im back from my trip, so I can edit and fix these]







This little piggie went to market…

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

veggietruckThe market is a big thing in Italy.  No malls, no Costco, and not many people have cars, so the market comes to them.  We have our market in Montalcino on Fridays (8 AM to 1PM), Buonconvento on Saturdays and Siena on Wednesdays.  Vendors pull up in trucks, open the side panels and display their wares so all the locals can come to do their shopping. 

pigmarketMontalcino has about 3 food vendors (fresh fruit and vegtables and at least one large pig) and about 12 clothing vendors (purple is the “in” color this year).  Siena on the other hand probably had 75-100 clothing vendors. 

marketclothesNo real “deals” but a fun way to spend a part of the day. (Steve hopes to catch a deal on a leather jacket at the Florence market place)