Monday, May 31, 2010

Italy day 6 and 7

It’s Sunday. Thomas is sick with a fever. We are mostly hanging out at the Villa. Juergen took Philip and Sarah for a bike ride around the wall of Lucca. I walked around with Jessica. Nicole stayed home with Thomas. We are also getting some laundry done.
Last night the hills were filled with fire flies. I don’t ever remember seeing fire flies (except at Disneyland). It was wonderful to see them flying. There must have been a million little lights. The night sky is also awesome up here on this hill. Did I write that there are 90 curves in the road to our Villa? There are! And it takes between 10 to 15 minutes to drive up here. You have to honk the horn about 10 times because the turns are often blind. I wouldn’t want to drive up here in the winter time! You can tell who the Italians are by the way they drive and how they use their horns. It helps to have a tiny car. We of course have a 8 passenger Mercedes Viano. It’s the next thing to driving a semi truck. I’m letting Juergen drive! If we die, it’s not going to be my fault! Besides, middle aged men like Juergen need to feel like they are James Bond now and then.
The city of Lucca is full of 1920-30 Art Deco Villas. Many have not been restored, but some have. I took photos of my favorite Villa today. It’s covered with sunflowers. Get a look at the iron work. Amazing! I’m totally impressed by the architectural details in this area. I am taking photos of the details in our Villa. Perhaps Juergen will give in and let me buy the old farm house in Bad Schönborn. I could make it look like a Tuscan Farm house. A little wood on the ceilings, a little terracotta on the floors, white stucco walls, iron curtain rods.
So we are having a slow day. I am aware of what a luxury it is to come to Italy and not have to rush from site to site. If we don’t see it now, perhaps we will see it next year? This is by no means our one chance. At least we don’t think of it this way. Germans get 6 weeks of vacation per year and Italy is our next door neighbor. I’m surprised it’s taken me 13 years to get to Tuscany, but I’ve been busy. I do think if we come again we need a better pool. Sarah said she wishes we were in Thailand. We just have a small splash pool . In Thailand she could swim all day. This really equals vacation to her, and Philip. I think it’s not such a great loss to the rest of us. Juergen and I are very happy to sit in the sun and read.

Day 7

We woke up and the valley was covered in clouds. You could not see anything. And it had rained pretty hard. I did 3 loads of laundry yesterday. Thank God I had Juergen bring the cloths in last night. I only thought a heavy dew would make them wet, I didn’t know it would rain. We have zero idea what has happened over the past week. We have not seen the news. Maybe that is why we feel so relaxed. Thomas still has a fever. I’m not sure we can go any place? On the other hand it’s so cold and wet at the Villa , we don’t want to hang out here. The care taker said he would bring us a space heater. It’s muddy and wet outside. I could be happy with my book but the kids would drive me crazy!

Juergen went shopping with Jessica, Philip and Sarah. He wants fresh bread every morning for breakfast. He came back with some prosciutto ham. Sarah eat half a package. I asked her to pass the ham, and I saw the price tag. 5 Euro for a small pack. It’s actually 32 Euro per kilo. Juergen was shocked! He thought he was paying 2 Euro for it. It was so much better then any ham I ever eat in Germany and now I know why!
I may try driving down the hill to post this blog myself. Juergen asked me to check the news while I’m out. Perhaps Germany is at war and we don’t know about it. I also want to go to a local garden center. I really want some tomatoes, peppers, and herbs from this area. I think I’ll also go to the food store and buy olive oil, olives, dried tomatoes and hard cheese. I’ll also buy a few bottles of the local wine. I want sweet red wine for cooking, and white wine to drink. I actually don’t drink but Juergen does. It’s nice to have some special wine to share with friends. I remember last year buying olive oil pressed by a man in Cyprus. It was the richest oil I’ve ever had. He taught us to mix it with fresh lemon juice, a little vinegar and salt and pepper. We cherished every drop of this wonderful oil. Nicole puts olive oil on everything now. She has a pretty sophisticated pallet. Perhaps she should go to cooking school. I would love to come to Italy for a few weeks and really learn to cook. I think that would be so cool! A few weeks in Tuscany, a few weeks in France. Maybe when the kids are older? I hope the sun comes out so Juergen can take the kids to the river this after noon. We will absolutely need to go on a tour tomorrow. Juergen turns 51 tomorrow. I hope it will be a good day!

I took the photo’s of Jessica in Lucca when Juergen was bike riding with the kids. I also took photo’s of her by the river. She slept well last night (finally). She and Nicole are with me to shop. The other kids will watch a movie and Juergen can get some reading in.

Day 7 part 2

Juergen took the kids to the river . I stayed behind to clean up. Jessica is taking a nap. Thomas said he feels better, so Juergen said he could go. I don’t think that’s too wise, but I’m not going to argue with him. I told Thomas he had to take a hot shower when he got back, and He has to travel tomorrow even if he is sick. When I was vacuuming up, the power went out again. I checked the circuit breaker and it looks ok. Maybe power went out in the whole area again? That happened the other day too. Someone is building a house down the hill. They probably had something to do with it? I think I’ve written it before, Italy is beautiful but technically a mess! I guess you could say it’s a right brained country, and Germany is all left brained. I’m very happy to visit this place but I don’t think I would enjoy living here. So anyway, I guess I have a few hours of quite. I think I’ll just take photos of the details I love about this house. If I could borrow the style…and add it to a technically perfect German house, well that would be pretty wonderful! We found out the women who owned this house died only 2 weeks ago. The family is still pretty upset. When you look around the Villa you can tell it was a family home. There are far too many details that make it a personal house. Photos on the wall, a collection of old toys, a collection of old records “Madame Butterfly“ by Puccini sung by Maria Callas. The owner had good taste. I can not imagine it was easy to live up here on this hill.

I think we will head to the coast tomorrow for Juergen’s birthday. I’m not sure what we will see or do but I’m sure it will be very nice! I’ll try to post one more time before we head home on Saturday. I’m not sure we will see Florence or Sienna? We seem to be drawn to the small towns and odd places that don’t get all the tourists.


Shelley said...

Looks like fun to me

caring for the garden said...

Happy Birthday to Juergen tomarrow. All my kids are getting to that 1/2 century mark or over it. Still, they will always be young in my eyes. Dad & I are so very proud to have such a devoted and God-fearing son-in-law as you are, Juergen. Congratulations on another year lived for our Lord and for for being a wonderful selfless human being. We love you very much. Happy Birthday.

Rick Moreno said...

I just had a chance to read the posts and wow! another great experience that I'm have no doubt you will have fond memories of. Happy birthday Jurgen, it seems like only a few days ago that I was there with you in Cyprus preparing a Mexican Fiesta for you. Hope you enjoyed the beach and your day. All my best, Rick