Well, sadly, our vacation had to end. We got home and into our own bed around 1:30 in the morning Thursday. We both had a nasty cold coming on so that was not fun. I thought I would just say hi today and post a few of our pictures with a few stories about them. I only got one chance to go for a run and that was in Florence along a path that was just perfect for running. It just happened that the other days that we wanted to go running we had to be somewhere early and didn't want others waiting on us.
Today I had a 5k race and I have to say that was rather unpleasant with a bad head cold and jet lag!! Kristi and I have now completed 5 of our races. I can't believe we have our first ones to do in person together coming up soon! Carlsbad is our first one in person we will do and it is April 7th.
Ok, let's get to some pictures. I will put a few in and then tell about them.
I think I already posted a picture of the Rialto Bridge in Venice but I just love the picture so here it is again. This picture was taken from the back of the boat we were taking a canal tour on. It was a great tour. The next picture is a little place right on the canal but deeper into Venice where we were waiting on Kyle and Wendy to join us for aperitivo. I love this ritual where you go have a drink with friends before dinner. Italians traditionally eat their dinner later than what we are accustomed to here in the US. The aperitivo time is generally from 5-7 pm or so, maybe a little later. It usually consists of a drink with friends and some sort of salty snack like chips, peanuts or olives. The picture of the beer is in a place in Venice where we had our new favorite beer, Ichnusa and I had octopus for the first time. We had some little snacks like cod (baccala) or octopus or tuna spread on toast. It was so delicious.
Venice was the place we got lost the most!! GPS is not so perfect there with all of it's tiny little streets. The first day Ginger was going to meet us at a restaurant and she got stuck basically going in circles in what Kyle termed the Venice Vortex. The funny thing was none of us knew where we were so we couldn't tell her how to get to where we were!! We were all deprived of sleep also so that made it even worse!! I feel like we were lost in Venice quite a bit!
Now, onto Florence.
The first two pictures are the running path in Florence. It goes on for miles and is a beautiful tree-lined path. The next 3 pictures are from our food tour in Florence which was awesome! We had pretty much the best salami I have ever tasted in this tiny shop/deli. You can see it in the 4th picture. It is called Alimentari Uffizi. It is owned by a man with his own farm so he makes his own sausage and cheese. It was beyond amazing. I have no words for it! Oh, I learned a word they use in Sicily for this, Bah! It means, I am speechless, I have no words!!
The other picture is at a wine bar or Enoteca and that is part of their wine cellar. It was amazing. We had so much yummy food there. We had a truffle spread with burrata cheese on bread that was to die for! We learned about and tasted different years of balsamic vinegar. We also went to a dessert/chocolate place and had some tastes there. The food tour was my favorite thing in Florence this year!!
The next picture is fagioli soup at a place in Florence Chris and I like to go. It looks like refried beans kind of but it is so yummy!! I love soup! The next one is a different place for aperitivo in Florence in a little tiny place off the beaten path. The bartender was working on some new drinks so he made them for us. They were awesome! The last one is sunset in Florence on our last night!
Next up, Rome!
The first several pictures are from when we drove west of Rome with Tino and Sigal, our friends in Rome. They took us to this place on the sea where the guy who owns it goes fishing at 3:00 in the morning and then comes back and cooks what he caught that day for the restaurant. The picture of the fish on a platter is what he brought to us and we had to clean it and take the heads off ourselves!! It was so good. We also went for a walk along the sea.
The next 3 pictures are at a place by the Vatican that we went to after we finally got out of our Vatican Vortex (We went in loops with a bunch of high school kids and couldn't get out! We saw the Sistine Chapel 3 times!!). Anyway, this place was called Dino and Tony's. They did not speak any English and there was no menu. We just kept saying Si to everything. We got tons of homemade wine, antipasti, pasta and Chris had meat also. They brought us two pasta dishes each, a white sauce like carbonara and a red sauce. We also had Tiramisu. Then they brought us sweet wine, espresso and after meal drinks. It was so much food we couldn't believe it!! It was a really fun experience and Dino was waiting on us. He is about 75-80 years old!
The last two pictures are of a fountain in Piazza Navona near our hotel and a place called Ex-Circus that we went to for aperitivo one night. We actually decided to order a panini because we were hungry and were going to just skip dinner but the two ladies working did not speak English and obviously did not do the cooking either. They couldn't figure out what we were trying to order even when I showed them on the menu. They took the menu to the kitchen to see what to put on our sandwiches. It was comical. They also had a black cocker spaniel looking dog that just roamed around the restaurant and came to our table to just hang out some. Anyway, we loved it!
Ok, I know that this post has gotten really long so I think I will save our Sicily adventures for the next post because it needs a post all to itself! We met Chris's family and it was such an amazing time, but we will get into all of that next post!
I hope you have all had a great week!!