Saturday, July 11, 2015

Family vacation in Italy

Bounjourno!!!  After 9 days in Italy, this is what I kept wanting to say when greeting someone back in Abu Dhabi.  So strange!  Well,.... where should I start?  From the beginning I suppose :-)
It was "old school" so to speak when we had to take a bus to our airplane and the boys had to get right next to the plane and up the stairs.  There was quite a change in temperature so my camera fogged up!

Six hours on the plane and less than an hour after that, we were already digging into some Italian cookies and biscotti.  YUM!!!
And somehow or other, Graham managed to get his hands on a motorcycle helmet!
Onwards to our hotel in a little town called Stresa (in a car, of course).  The hydrangeas were in full bloom.  So lovely!
Some friends recommended this little town, so here we are!
Of course, the boys decided to take their naps now:
The view of Lago Maggiore here is spectacular!
I can't get over how big these hydrangea blooms are!
Bobby posing.  I'm sure this won't be the last one!
Here's their form of beach - it's actually rocks/pebbles and not sand.
The boys loved it because they got to collect rocks and throw them into the water!
Ahhh... our first taste of gelato in Italy!
It was rather warm and humid so the gelato was melting fast!  Thankfully Charlie lets Mommy help :-)
And YUM!!! Love Caprese salads!  Love how they put the whole blob of mozzarella cheese on the top!  I told Bobby that this plate would satisfy my craving for a whole week.  That was such a lie.  I was onto my next Caprese salad less than 24 hours later!
And we ordered orange juice since we are so spoiled getting them fresh here in Abu Dhabi.  Weirdly enough, they served it with a packet of sugar:
There was a little playground across the street from our hotel.  Perfect for the boys!  Graham loved the merry-go-round:
And I later discovered you can actually drink out of these public water taps.  We didn't try though, just in case.  I really didn't want to ruin our vacation too soon, if you know what I mean.
Okay, okay, enough with the hydrangeas but I just can't get over how pretty they are and how huge the bushes are!
And traveling all these miles out and I see some Arabic writing on a plaque - mentioning how the city of Stresa had named this part of the lakeside "Fazza" - which identifies a person always willing to help others and passing time with them.  It is the pseudonym of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammel Al Maktoum, Crown prince of Dubai.  What a small world!
And here's Graham with a mime.  It was the boys' first time seeing one.  Charlie was a bit afraid so only Graham took a photo with him.
Onward into the city for new discoveries:
Love the little streets of these little towns, although the cobblestone is not so good for Charlie - falling not once but twice today! Neither were the mosquitoes.  We were familiar with the local pharmacy pretty quickly after day 1!
The discovery of lemon soda was a good one especially after a hot day:
And we also tried Limoncello as well for the first time - on the house from the restaurant.  I think it was particularly yummy because it was served in a frozen shot glass :-)
And also a first with a shower like this one.  Small but efficient:
We were averaging 2 gelatos a day!  So glad Graham can eat his gelato without getting it all over his shirt.
I bet you can tell which one was Charlie's shirt:
It's too bad Charlie always goes for chocolate as it seems to be the most difficult to scrub off!  This one particular store did make it look pretty though:
And ahhh... pasta galore along the streets!
I miss the biscotti so much there and funny enough, I did actually find some today at a fancy grocery store here.  But for AED 23 a bag, I convinced myself that I would just make some.  Will keep you posted on that!

Okay, family vacation - to be continued...

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