November 2013 happenings

For Nick’s birthday we  decided to check out some Italian hot springs at Villa dei Cedri. Italians LOVE their hot springs.  They believe they have healing qualities and should be indulged in frequently. None of the hot springs around are super hot though, I have been to one before and it was essentially a warm swimming pool. So I found this one that was supposed to be “hot” and more “natural”…it’s still man made, but it feels a little more natural. It had this glass green house looking thing where you would get in and out of the thermal lake (wouldn’t want to catch your death with a cold breeze!) and sit in lounging chairs quietly relaxing after a dip (yeah, my kids were not so good at the quiet part). We had a fantastic time though…everyone except Declan, who was not at all a fan of getting in the water and mostly stayed in the glass house, so we had to take turns taking Jonah (aka our little fish) swimming. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADeclan has been learning to walk and takes more and more steps every day. It could not be more adorable.

A few days after Thanksgiving we held a Thanksgiving dinner for some Italian friends. It was so fun to introduce them to something from our culture. Our friends Flora and Luciano from the pastry shop and Jonah’s Maestra Lisa and her husband Berto and cute little one, Kat. They loved it and even joined us in saying what we were thankful for this year. I am not sure that they ate the appropriate amount for Thanksgiving though. We Americans really like to stuff our faces for this holiday! Flora was married to an American and lived in the States for many years. She has expressed to us several times that our friendship is very special to her and helping Luciano understand American culture more, and thus understand more about her.


Jonah continues to be a great big brother and is so sweet with little Declan…most of the time.


Birthday/Thanksgiving dinner Italian villa style

This is my wonderful friend Rachel’s house, well just the living room (the rest is just as beautiful). Amazing right? Are you as jealous as I am??? It’s built into the rock of a cliff and has these secret tunnels that connect to all the other villas in the town (which there happen to be a lot of in Longare). It has beautiful frescoes and statues and an amazing garden. I drool every time I go to her house. This is the house you dream of when you find out you are moving to Italy (for most people it doesn’t happen this way, but for the lucky few like Rachel, they land a “villa” a real and true one.)

We were lucky enough to get an invite to Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Not only does Rachel have a beautiful house, but she is an amazing cook. I spent the day with her learning some of her tricks of preparing Thanksgiving dinner and helping her.


Since this year Declan’s birthday ended up on Thanksgiving, we brought some cupcakes and candles to celebrate after the big feast. So lucky little Dec got to have his first birthday party in an Italian villa with TONS of people singing to him. I mean really…you can’t top that. Sorry Declan, we set the bar pretty high!

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I can’t believe this sweet boy is ONE! It passes so quickly. He’s pretty much the cutest baby ever. The Italians always say “Che biondo! Che occhi azzuri!” (How blond he is, what blue eyes!). It takes us twice as long to get anywhere because every little Nonna has to stop and admire him. And he just eats it up. He smiles and coos for them and even seems to enjoy all of the cheek pinching. We love this boy!