Thursday, March 24, 2011


Oh Genova, what do you bring. Never have been north of Camp Darby so this was an experience for us all. The roads were very windy as we made our way to the cost. Lots and lots of tunnels which the kids loved and every second of it was amazing. Once we got to the coast the views were just breath taking. Again pictures don't do any of this justice it's a MUST see if you come out and visit. We didn't go into the Centro of Genova, just went down to the water and played a while. Maybe next time we'll get into the Centro to check it all out.

This is Marble. Real Marble. I know, Crazy right? It was awesome! All over the coast there were huge rocks that had marble in them. We found several pieces to bring home with us. Think we can make anything out of them???

After playing a while I of course wanted to take family pictures of all of us and there was a perfect sitting rock right in front of an awesome view so why not use it right? Would have been great to get a family picture now that I think about it but huh, wasn't thinking about it then I guess.

We couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, the wind was warm, the kids were happy and we loved what we were doing. I couldn't imagine living on the Upper Western Coast of Italy, seems like a great place to live! Friendly people, crazy streets and awesome views! Will most definitely be going back there some day!

So, What's Next????


Have you ever wondered how to take pictures of Lightning? I have, and guess what, I figured it out! I can't wait to do it again! It was amazing sitting outside in the warm breeze at Camp Darby and watching the bright flashes in the distance! Once I decided to take a picture of one, I couldn't quit taking pictures! The only reason I quit was because my battery on the camera was almost dead and we still had a whole day of travels to do. So hear you go, Lightning pictures taken by ME!!! :)


So on a last minute decision we ended up going to Florance for the day! It's only a 3 hour drive so it wasn't too bad and we stayed at Camp Darby for the night so that helped alot. Getting to Florance was easy. We've been down that road a million times before and knew what it was like. There was no snow this time so that was a bonus :) Once we got into Florance however the GPS decided it wanted to take us the "scenic" route. Man it's kinda neat when it does this but I swear it needs to know how big our van is because there's no way it was going to fit down some of those streets it wanted us to.

We finally made it to the Centro of Florance and found a great parking spot right along the river. I was worried we weren't going to find things once we got out of the van but it's hard not to miss the churches and Italian culture all around you.

One of mine and the girls' favorite stores was this bridal shop. Now when you think of Italy I guess it's safe to say you think of Florance. Everything was done up for the tourists and it just felt safer there for some reason. These wedding dresses were in the windows of this little store and they were done up with flowers and sashes of Green, White and Red (the Italian flag colors). They were beautiful dresses. I didn't look at the price tag or go into the store but if we go there again I'm definitely going to take a look :)

Of course when you are in Florance the MAIN thing you have to see is the Pizza Del Duomo, the Cathedral, the Baptistry, and Giotto's Bell-Tower. We were using a map to get around and when we stopped to look at the map and see where we were I turned right and saw this....

I'd say we found what we were looking for! We started walking around it and saw the Baptistry. This door is is called Ghibrerti's 'Paradise'. It is a series of ten panels depicting stories from the Old Testament. It was beautiful!

Walking around the church was incredible. It is HUGE!!! The pictures sure don't do it justice but they are the best I could get.

After walking around the Church we decided to head to the famous Bridge that is made of shops. You can't be in Florance and Not see that. On our way we saw a carousel so we let the kids have a ride. It only cost 1 Euro each, the cheapest one they've been on since we got here!

On the streets were all kinds of performers like always. I've never seen sidewalk painters yet though so this was neat to see. It really looked like the picture, he did a great job!

Once we made it to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge there were a ton of little shops, mostly jewelry. Prices were high of course but tourists pay it so why not right. It really is amazing to see. So far out of everything we have seen in Italy, this is the place that reminds me of Italy the most. It's a must see if anyone is ever going to make it to Italy.

Locks of Love were hung everywhere they could put them! We'll have to get one hung up before we leave.
Florance, A must see place and wonderful atmosphere of Italy.

Aviano and the Outlet Mall

Ok, it's been forever!!! Brandon has made it home safe from deployment (back in November of 2010) and it's only taken us 4 months to actually get out and see new things! Several things factor into this reasoning....1, we were waiting to pay off most our debt so we had money to go do stuff...2, we have been so busy with both our jobs and school for the kids we haven't had the time.....3, it's just been nice having him come home every night after work (amazing how much you miss that when he's gone). So we decided on our 4 day weekend we were heading out, not sure to where but we were going. We planned on staying the night up in Aviano so we went up there and since we didn't reserve a room they didn't have any available so we spent some time in the PX (which I remember being a lot cooler then that) then we played on the parks a bit and then came home. On the way home we almost died as Brandon says "hey lets check out that outlet mall" while I'm in the far left lane of the autostrada passing two semi trucks! So what do I do, Slam on the Gas and jerk the wheel and make it to the exit only to notice that it's a round about going the opposite direction so I slam on the breaks and slow down just enough to make the turn but send everything flying in the opposite direction. I'm quite sure that's not going to happen again! EVER!!! He wants to see something like that again he'll just have to wait and we'll come back to it.
And you know what, this was the WORST outlet mall that I've ever been too. In the states aren't the outlet malls usually cheaper in some aspects? Like you can go to a Skechers store and you can get BOGO's, or the Nike store is having a 20% off sale or stuff like that. Here, I don't think I saw one thing that was UNDER 100 EURO!!!! Even the super cute kids clothes and shoes were outrageous prices. Everything was way too expensive or our blood so we just looked, took a couple pictures and left.