Well I've been off and on here for the last few weeks. Life's just so busy and I've just been so overwhelmed with everything that I really needed to take a break in ready journals, writing in mine, even emails have been overwhelming me so some of the places that I could I went to daily digest. After this week though, life will slow down a bit for me!! Wahoo!
So as you all know we went to Italy this past weekend. We stayed on post in Vecenza at the inn/hotel there! We had a suite, which was sweet! Seriously it was HUGE! It was so nice that we were not all on top of each other! Truly such a blessing! I'm going to send them a Thank you card and let them know how much we enjoyed our stay there! Our drive there started off late. Chad was up about 10 minutes after his alarm went off, he said he woke me up, but I can say I do not remember it at all. I do remember my alarm clock going off and me thinking I'd just lay there for a few seconds and then get up...but well that did not happen. My alarm was set for 4:30 and at 5:20 Chad was out of the shower and woke me up and I jumped out of bed! I got dressed and woke the boys up! Emma was the last one for me to wake up. I got her nursed, diaper changed, and dressed, we grabbed our bag with our shampoo, etc in it, pillow, blankets, etc and we were off. We were on the road by 6 am. Traffic wasn't bad anywhere. Chad and I were both pretty tired though. He hadn't been driving long and asked me to drive. I drove for what I thought was an hour, but was only 45 minutes and told Chad that we either had to stop and nap or he had to take over driving. He opted to take over. I felt terrible but I just couldn't. He got more sleep than me so he was definately more rested! (I was naughty and was on the phone with Emily until almost or right at 2 am! :X She's a really BAD influence I tell you! LOL J/K) So anyways...we stopped quite a few times to stretch, bathroom breaks, and gas. We got there about 2 or 3. We stopped at the bank as I had a check to cash so we had some extra euro on us, then went and checked into the hotel. After that we walked from the hotel over to ITR and talked to them about taking the train to Venice. They were really nice. The girl printed off times for us and told us where to buy bus tickets (at the hotel!!) how much everything was, and gave us a few hints and tips on Venice! Then we went into the PX to kill time and just check things out. While in there we ran into a friend we had lost contact with! We had been at Ft. Riley together back in '97-98. We moved to Baumholder, Germany. The husband arrived Feb '99 (so a few months after Jordyn and I did), she (and their daughter) was coming that August after she was done with college classes she'd enrolled in. He spent almost every weekend with us and after Jordyn was dx came up to the hospital quite a few times. After Jordyn died we ended up losing contact. We'd moved and unknown to me not long after they did too! They moved to Vecenza! They've been in Europe for 9 1/2 yrs and in Italy for 6 of those years! They're leaving in late spring, so we're wanting to take another trip down there before they leave. Their oldest daughter is 11 now and they have another little girl who's 2 1/2! It was so great seeing them! Sunday, before we left we had lunch with them and got all caught up!
Ok so anyways..Friday night we went to eat at a resturant that had been suggested to us by our friend here who used to be stationed down there. It was their favorite. The owners were so nice. The food was really good! Just a great evening! Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast, and headed to the bus stop. Got on the train and off to Venice we went. It took us about 30-40 minutes and we pulled into Venice! It was so exciting and wonderful! I cried many times! LOL I LOVE Venice! LOVE IT!! It's beautiful! It's everything you think it'll be and more! It's really, really, really big! I was surprised at just how big it is! I KNEW we'd not be able to see all of it in one day, but I thought we'd get to see more than what we did. It was just so big! What we did get to see though was wonderful and I'm glad we were rushing around trying to see everything! Venice is a city that you need to take your time in and just enjoy it. We bought souvineers. I got me a Gucci purse!!!! :) LOVE IT! We bought a Canvas Painting, which is just beautiful. The kids all got souvineers. Jacob got an awesome Pinnocio puppet, it's wooden with all the various strings. Jack got a really cool toy. I don't know their official names, they're popular here in Germany. His is also Pinnocio, but you pull a string and his arms and legs shoot out. I got a small one for Emma too! We also bought the boys wooden Gondola's, to be put up, and we bought Emma a porclein doll. I bought 3 birthday presents (I can't say what they are because at least one of them reads here and sometimes another does too!). We had real Italian pizza for lunch. It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!
Everyone had a great time, except for Emma. She HATED it. She hated being strapped in her stroller. She has no use it seems for the beauty of Venice! LOL She's only 5 1/2 months old, so she's forgiven!
I know the boys highlight was in the middle of St. Mark's Square. They have pigeon's everywhere and people selling corn to feed the nasty, disgusting, disease carrying birds. (BTW I DO NOT LIKE Pigeons LOL). If you look in the previous entry you'll see them landing on them. We had some college students who happened to be from Kansas! (Even if they do go to KU..boo..I'm a K-State girl!) It was really great. They took pics so I could get in there and let me tell you Christy found something worse than feeling like you're confined to a small space. It's called a freaking pigeon flying up onto your head and sticking it's disgusting claws into your VERY curly hair. I was absolutely freaking out. (I think I shared one of my freaking out over pigeon's picture! LOL). Chad and the boys loved it, I did not! I was fine watching them, taking pictures...but not joining them. Emma was definately mesmorized by the birds. That was possibly her highlight of the day!
Once we decided we were done and ready to head back, we got on a Water Taxi. Jackson fell asleep for the 30 minute ride back to the other side of Venice. We were all awake on the train ride home and Emma was as happy as a lark! When we got back we were all hungry so we headed to a resturant that was recommended by one of the employee's of the hotel. It was great! We were in the only ones in there. The food was FABULOUS!
Oh and the Italians...in love with Emma! They kept saying "oh Bella, bella" aka beautiful! Her eyes always grab people..they're a beautiful color of blue and they're absolutely stunningly HUGE! Then just add on how beautiful she is (yep I'm totally biased, but still it's the truth!).
When we got back to the hotel, we made out the couch for the boys (which they thought was oh soo coll!), and they passed out! I did too! I was exhausted! I was laying with Emma, wrote out my postcards that I got for a couple people and that was it. I was gone and didn't wake up until 9! Chad said that Jacob was the first to wake up between the two boys and Emma and he woke up at 8:50, Jack woke up a few minutes later.
So we met our friends for lunch at the DEFAC (Chow Hall). Then just talked and hung out for a bit. We got gas coupons and then went to the shoppette to pick up my friends wine that she'd gave us money for! We picked up 3 bottles for ourselves too! Of course we have 5 bottles yet to be opened. I really want a wine rack and that's the next big purchase I plan on making. I want a nice one! We finally headed off post a little after 3 pm! We stopped for gas (no gas stations on post), filled the tank up we were off! It took us 8 hours to get home. We were all tired and hit the bed with delight.
Since we've been home Emma's trying a new trick...she's trying to crawl. She got up on her knee's on the floor tonight. I started crying. She's growing up too fast. I can't believe she's already 5 1/2 months old, it feels like she was just born, yet at the same time like she's always been here!
Well, I am super tired and have to be up and out of here by 8:40.
I'll be turning my alerts back on next week. Life will be settled down around here more, so I should be able to keep up!