Calabria, part one

The day after my mom arrived we packed up to go to an apartment we rented in small town in the neighboring province of Calabria. After driving 3.5 hours we arrived in the sleepy beach town of  Lido La Torre. The apartment we rented was 200 meters of the beach and had beautiful views of the water.

Lido La Torre is built on a little cove and had two small, sandy beaches. There was a nice restaurant in walking distance of our apartment as well. When we arrived in the early evening, we unpacked a bit and then Umberto and I went off in search of a supermarket. When we got back it was already late, so we had an easy dinner at the apartment (hot dogs and chips for the kids, tomato salads and mozzerella for us) and played with the kids on the beautiful patio before heading to bed.

Both kids woke up early despite late bedtimes. We hung out around the apartment, playing on the patio that the kids loved until we went down to the beach around 10. The kids loved the beach! The water was clear and calm. Around 12 I noticed Raffi was getting tired and took him back to the apartment for lunch and a nap. Felicity also took a long nap!

After naps, we went back to the beach until 7:30 and then went back and got ready for dinner. The first night we ate at the restaurant near to our apartment called, La Torre. It was good but half of the menu items weren’t on the menu. The first thing I ordered was a pasta with pumpkin blossom flowers, which they didn’t have. The waiter suggested pasta with zucchini, which was very good. I also had a spicy Calabrese salad which was tomatoes with fresh local peppers. My mom had linguine with clams and Umberto had a calzone. The kids had pizza. We all liked everything we ordered.

Once we got back to the apartment we played outside on the patio a bit until the kids were exhausted and we went to bed ourselves.

Rome

My mom is here visiting so we’ve been busy non stop since last Tuesday. When she arrived I met her in Rome where she landed. We spent the day in Rome, without kids and met a friend of mine there.

It was blazing hot in Rome but we tried to make the most of it by taking lots of drink breaks. A good portion of the morning was spent trying to track my mom’s luggage, it got lost when she had a very connection due to a delayed flight in Chicago. Eventually we got that under way and went out to see the city.

We walked to Trevi Fountain first, took pictures and threw the obligatory coins in the fountain. After Trevi, we were already feeling the heat so we stopped in a cute wine bar on a side street for our first Spritz of the day.

After hydrating, we continued on our walk to the Colosseum. I’ve seen it a few times but each time it is amazing how big  it is. It’s breath taking.  It’s my favorite sight in Rome and maybe all of Italy. It’s such an amazing structure. After the Colosseum we found a cute Spanish tapas bar for a quick bite and more drinks, Sangria. We ordered two small sandwiches (brie and rucola and mozzarella and tomato), fries (thick cut spicy potatoes) and fried cheese balls. We relaxed in the a/c at the tapas bar and had another round of Sangria before heading back out into the blazing heat.

We walked a bit more, to a few piazzas, did a little shopping and then found a cozy bar for the last drink because the heat was getting to us. After relaxing with some water and coffee, we took the train back to the train station. We shopped around the train station for awhile before hopping on our train to Naples. We were back by 9:30 where a very happy Felicity waited for her grandma.

Today is Raffaello’s baptism!

We spent most of Monday at home, inside. I needed a day out of the sun and heat after Sunday and the previous afternoons at the pool. The kids played, ate lunch and then napped/quiet time until Felicity begged to go play with her cousins. After my nail appointment (at home), Umberto was home so I took Raffaello and went to pick up some groceries and shoes for Raffaello’s baptism. We got back around 7:30 which led to late dinners and bedtimes for everyone.

Off to Rome today to pick up my mom from the airport!

Climbing Vesuvius

Today a friend wanted to cross off one thing of her Naples bucket list before moving back to Germany, so we went on the adventure of climbing Mt.Vesuvius with three little kids in tow (her two and Felicity). We left in the late morning, stopped for lunch on the mountain and continued on up.

Eventually, we made it the beginning of the path to the top of Vesuvius. It’s a very dusty, rocky, uneven path. It took us an hour or so to climb the path with the kids. It wasn’t the easiest, but the kids did really well considering it was hot in the sun. We bribed them with lollipops, ice cream and talks of a dragon cave at the top.

Coming down was a bit easier and the kids perked up once they got some cold drinks at the bottom and were in good spirits until we got back to the car. It was such a fun day and I am happy to have spent some time with a friend before she moves back to Germany.

Before heading out this morning the kids had fresh “graffe” (donuts) and played outside on the terrace. Raffi’s new trick is to “smile” when we say “cheese”.

Beginning of the Weekend

Does it really count as a weekend when you’re not working? We had a nap free day for both kids, but it was good day. The kitchen for our new house finally arrived (we ordered it way back in February) Saturday morning. The kids and I watched the guys set it up for awhile before getting ready and heading out for the morning.

We left later than normal and today was hotter than it’s been so our time at the playground was cut short. We stopped on the way home for some things at the grocery store. Anywhere we go with the double stroller creates such a frenzy. Everyone’s so interested in it.

After we got home, Felicity went to her grandma’s and Raffaello stayed with me while we made pizza for lunch. I tried to get him to nap multiple times but eventually it got too late so I gave up and packed up our bag for the pool. We picked up Felicity and spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool. After the pool, we read books and played at home.

The pizza I made for lunch was so good and simple to make. I used a premade pizza dough that I picked up the bread store (I know this would be impossible to find in the US). It’s made at the store and sold by the weight. It’s perfect for thick but light pizza. After beating down the dough, I put some olive oil on the dough, covered it in grated cheese (I used what we had in the fridge- Aurchietto, grated in the Thermomix) and topped it with fresh tomatoes and fresh rucola.

Dinner was rigatoni pasta with friggitelli  peppers and tomatoes made by Umberto and grilled zucchini and eggplant that I tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried mint.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday

A simple title, because that’s what it is. Friday. Today was Raffaello’s last day at daycare until September. Felicity and I spent the morning checking out the public library and I was surprised at how nice it was. We will be going back in the future. There was a children’s area, with games, coloring and books of course. We spent easily an hour there.

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Before going home we stopped for cappuccino and juice. It’s become our morning routine. I’ve tried cappuccino from many “bars” around town and so far, I prefer the bar closest to our house. They make a thick, foamy, hot cappuccino. Too bad the bar seems to be a “men’s bar”, there only seem to be men that go there, especially old men. This seems  the case for almost all the bars in town? Where are women supposed to go? I don’t care though and continue to go.  Southern Italy can be very stuck in the 1950’s.

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Once we got home we left again to go pick out the favors for Raffaello’s baptism. We tried to hurry it but it was late and Felicity was hungry. We finally made the order and went to my in-laws for lunch around 1:45. We hung out there for awhile and eventually decided to pick up Raffi early from daycare and go to the pool. 

We had such a great time at the pool. It was the first time I have taken both alone and it went fine. Felicity knows her limits in that pool, which makes me a little nervous for a different pool but I think she’ll learn quickly. There’s one end of the pool that is shallow and the deep end is over a barrier. She doesn’t go over and often finds friends in the shallow end to play with. I had to watch Raffaello like a hawk there. He has no fear and tries to leap into the too deep water. We brought buckets and shovels and both kids were entertained until the pool closed. 

Raffi really needs a different color life vest!

Happy Friday!

Welcome!

We have moved to our own domain! I am so excited to have my own domain name to keep this blog going and growing.

The Blonde American was an obvious choice because that is always what I am called here in our small town in Italy. I’m the only American and one of the few blondes. Welcome and hope you stick around!