Hope everybody got smooched at midnight!! We had a great time. Rach kicked off the day in style with a surprise visit to the day spa. I've never been before, it was awesome!! I hung out in a weird looking smock thing and drank herbal tea while people rubbed my feet and smeared odd-smelling goo all over me. I was also treated to a brutal fist fight outside the window of my relaxing spa pedicure room courtesy of one of Seattle's housing-challenged people and a horse carriage driver. I'm entirely serious about this. I heard everything, but couldn't get up to watch because there was paraffin wax all over my feet. I asked the pedicure lady to narrate the action for me while I listened to a long bout of loud cursing, yelling, a body hitting the ground, a woman screaming "HELLLLLPPPP MEEEEE," and three police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck arriving at the scene. All this while I relaxed to the sound of gentle new age music in my manly spa-smock with a lavender scented pillow on my eyes........best pedicure EVER!!! Also cool because I am now publishing for the entire interweb to see that not only did I enjoy my day at the spa, I would go again in a heartbeat!

We spent longer at the spa than anticipated and were running late for our New Year's Eve rendezvous in Portland with Tina, one of Rachel's long time friends. So I threw the Radar detector into the Jeep and raced to Portland making it in record time! On the way down however, Rach discovered that she had left her brother's house key in Seattle, a slight problem since that was where we had planned on staying the night and he was out of town. No biggy though, Rach's cousin and her husband agreed to put us up for the night which was very cool of them, they even watched our pooch while we went out to the bar. We did the New Year's thing at a country bar called Bushwhackers, pretty uneventful but still very fun and it was really great to meet the infamous Tina.

Wow, anyway, the reason I sat down to write this post was to announce our plans to go to Italy for spring break. I'm very excited, I've never been to Europe before. We decided on it the other night when we were eating at La Rustica. Rach simply asked "Wanna go to Italy?" I said" sure, let's do it!" And that sealed the deal. So, any tips, hints, advice or anything Italy-related that the blogosphere could offer me would be GREAT!!!

Oh, and I wanted to share this video of two old Italian ladies duking it out, god forbid if I see anything like this while I'm in Italy, I might laugh so hard that my eyeballs burst! Divertirsi!!


Anonymous Midwest Girl said...
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joanne said...

Nice old Italian ladies on the video! As they say in Italian, "Cammini lentamente e trasporti una borsa pesante" (Walk slowly and carry a heavy purse).

I agree 100% with Midwest Girl! Nice summary of cities and great sites. We LOVED Assisi, one of our favorites. And features St. Clare, the patron saint of television! Claire was so disappointed, but hey, a saint is a saint!

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

I went to Italy last summer! It was the highlight of my Europe trip. It was absolutely gorgeous and I'm so jealous you are going! I can't wait to make it back.

I hit Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Treme, Assisi, Vatican City, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, and technically Naples, but we hardly spent any time there.

Florence was amazing and a gorgeous quaint town with cobblestone streets and narrow passageways. They are known for their leather and glass works so you can get some beautiful goods there. Pisa was very cool to see in person, and had cheesy souvenir vendors for miles, great for gifts for friends and family! Assisi was so old you could feel history pouring out of every stone, and the city had an amazing view. I would definitely go there. Vatican City was huge and the museum was interesting, and St. Peters is well worth a visit - but be prepared to stand in line for HOURS, literally - you have to get there extremely early in the morning to wait a reasonable amount of time. Rome was also huge and busy with fantastic squares and street vendors, and seeing the Coliseum and Trevi Fountain and the Parthenon and stuff in person was beyond fascinating. I would definitely visit Pompeii if you are interested in that story at all; the right tour guide MAKES that visit and paints an extremely vivid portrait of the city. Sorrento was one of the most gorgeous cities with amazing clear blue water, black sand beaches, and wonderful views. Capri was also breathtakingly beautiful with AMAZING high-end shopping. We didn't spend a lot of time in Montecatini Treme or Naples, and we didn't get to see Venice, which I am dying to go to, so I am dying to go back. Make it a point to have a different flavor of gelato every day of your visit! It's so good. Also, the pizza is so different than what we think of when we buy pizza - if you get it from the right restaurant it's so fresh and better than anything ever. Let us know when you go - I want wine! :) I also brought back the most delicious cheese ever, kind of a hard-ish cheese like parmesan, with truffles in it. Man, just writing this is making me want to jump on a plane right now and go. I have a ton more advice and stories, like watch out for the gypsy women who throw babies at you in order to pickpocket you (although that might just be an urban legend since we never saw one). Sigh. I hate you.

You can see my pics at the link below, and maybe it will help you decide where to go (to jump to the specific cities click the link on the left):


ViajeraClaire said...

DON'T ever travel with your wallet in your back pocket....or anywhere else in sight! DO go to Assisi.....Florence for the art.....Amalfi Coast for the beauty....but limit yourself to just a cuppla places so you can enjoy it and not be nonstop travelling.....
Good on ya guys for going! Am I jealous?........green! You guys are great and deserve the break....Claire (watching tv as we speak, in honor of my saint!)

dad said...

That's wonderful that you're going to Italy. I trust there will be plenty of good stories and pictures on future blog entries. Have fun.