Saturday, April 24, 2010

2010-04-24 Travel to Taormina, Sicily, Italy

We had a great trip to Taormina, Sicily. Hit a few road bumps with oversized luggage and not a large enough car, but ironed out the details and we were off and running, with Gary taking the lead with a mini-van with a four speed. The hills are CRAZY here, and our hotel is up on a CLIFF overlooking the city. It was SCARY driving up the cliffs, in the little villages and towns. The street signs are everywhere and you have to react quickly to get on the right track, but we did!

We wandered around town quite a bit, shopping and going out for dinner. Then home to get cleaned up, played some cards, and back out on the town. It was a great first day in Sicily!

Friday, April 23, 2010

2010-04-23 Our Last Day Exploring Roma

Laurie, Mike, Gary and I had a great time today, starting with Nino's superb tour of the Colosseum and St. Peters, amongst other places, and then our continuation of the tour with museums, government offices and street shopping. Even though it poured all day, we were not to be deterred, but kept our pace steadfastly. It was an amazing day! Benessimo!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

2010-04-22 Fun with the Piccolos in Roma

It was great to see Laurie and Michael pull in about 9:45 a.m. We went and had breakfast and then they had a rest while Gary and I looked around town. Then we came back and picked them up at 2 p.m. and went NON-STOP all day just sightseeing and shopping. We ended the night with an awesome dinner at Navone Notte near the Navone Piazza.

Che divertimento! Sono così felice che sono qui! (What fun! I am so glad they are here!)

2010-04-21 From Milano to Roma

Had a really nice train ride from Milan to Rome. When we landed, went to Daniels hotel, where the entire staff remembered us! They were so happy to see us; it was very nice! Then we walked the streets and went to another amazing Italian restaurant for dinner, then back to the streets. Of course, Gary had a double espresso (HOW does he SLEEP after that??!!) and we both had gelato! Walked the Spanish steps and through the many amazing streets. Io amo l'Italia! Pronti a partire tour!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Touring Milano with Lut!

Lut and I are like two old friends... we have so much in common and get along so well. It was great to tour Milan with her. We met at 9:00 a.m. for breakfast in the hotel, and then took a few underground trains to get to Milan. From start to finish it was an amazing day. We purchased a tour guide and map and managed to see everything in the guide in ONE day PLUS some more things! We had a great time shopping, although neither of us bought anything! We had lunch together, a fresh squeezed orange juice, and then headed back to the hotel.

At night, we all went to an amazing team dinner at a famous Italian restaurant. We had a seven course meal that was simply fantastic!


Touring with Lut on last FULL day in Milano

Lut and I started even earlier today - 8:30 a.m.! We met for a quick breakfast and then off we went on the underground to Milan center city. The soccer game is tonight - Barcelona v Milan - so there were soccer players and newscasters everywhere!

We shopped and toured the city again. We had a nice lunch overlooking the Duomo Plaza. Then we headed back for a sparkling water in the hotel lobby while we waited for Johan and Gary to return.

Lut and Johan left to drive to Brussels, and Gary and I met So King for another incredible evening out at Antico Albergo. This Italian restaurant on a quaint little one way street typical of the area was beyond belief. We started out with an artichoke salad, paste pesto, and topped it off with espresso, chocolate souffle and pistachio gelato! Lo amo Italia!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Milano, Italia!

I MUST be Italian because as soon as I hit Italy, I am so GLAD! I LOVE Italy! The sights, sounds, people -- BELLISSIMO -- everywhere you look... and the people... of course, sorprendente!!!

Gary and I toured Milan -- saw the cathedrals, amazing winding streets, shops, people... ahhh... Italy, "Come sei bella"!

Gary and I had an amazing Italian lunch -- bring on the grilled vegetables and fresh fruit! Had an amazing gelato -- there isn't ANY gelato that is NOT amazing here... and got chestnuts roasted on the street. With the musicians playing, we strolled all day until Gary's feet were falling off, then we returned via the 3-exchange train ride back to the hotel.

At night, we went to a nearby Italian restaurant and had some amazing risotto -- again -- La sua una buona cena (it's a good dinner!).