The week before they came was EXTREMELY hectic. Weds and Thurs consisted of a lot of running back and forth to the base because my dog got neutered. I don't know what I was thinking scheduling it that week. On top of that, Kevin was on 12 hour shifts. Along with cleaning, my Dad and Jacob requested sugar cookies (a 3 hour process).. plus I had all my laundry to do.. we had to go to the base to get all our bedding washed up since our tiny European washer and dryer hold about 2 bath towels. On Friday we had to pick up a van that we rented. Needless to say, by bedtime, we were both exhausted.
Their plane landed in Venice Saturday morning at 9. Jacob was the first to spot us and he was so excited to see us. He ran right up to me and gave me a big ole hug. I was really shocked because even though Jacob and I pretty much grew up in the same house, I figured he would make shy. Rosalie was the same way.. she didn't make shy at all either. She went right to my dad and snuggled up in his arms and just kept loving him. It was the sweetest thing.
We didn't have anything planned for Saturday originally because I figured everyone would be pooped, especially Jake. I know how hard flying internationally is on a child. I was wrong again! My parents took a nap when we got in and settled, but Jacob.. it was like he was on crack. Him and Kevin played hard for a couple of hours and then he INSISTED we go do something. We went to the town of Gorgazzo and walked around.. went up the mountain a lil ways to the "Chrome Dome" as Americans call it.. we went to the base and did a lil bit of shopping and Jake wanted to see the jets... went for Gelato and to BEFeds, a German pub for dinner.
Sunday we had to run to the base again in the morning because I needed eggs for dinner. That afternoon we headed about an hour north of our house to Venzone for the Pumpkin Festival..Festa Della Zucca. It's become a tradition of ours every year that we have been here. We walked around the medieval town, enjoyed delicious pizza, bought pumpkin beer, went into the church and crypt to see the mummies. We got home around 6 and I cooked dinner. By the time dinner was done and cleaned up it was pretty late.
Monday we grabbed a quick lunch on base and then headed up the mountains. It was the one thing Jacob hounded to do since he got off the plane. He wanted to drive up into the mountains soooo bad. lol. We drove up.. stopped at a pull off overlooking Aviano and then continued the rest of the way up. When we got to the top there was no snow laying :(, but it started to snow about 2 minutes after we got up there! We headed down the backside of the mountain to Lake Barcis. It's constant windy roads and Rosalie ended up getting car sick.. as usual. She made it to Barcis though without hurling her lunch. We walked around the lake and after about 10 minutes she started getting back to herself. We took the kids to a park by the lake and let them burn off some energy. We went back to the house.. as we pulled into the driveway Rosalie started puking everywhere. She had to get a bath and I had to get the car seat cleaned up. That is one thing she inherited from me that I wish she didn't. Her and I both get very car sick easily. After she was good to go, we headed back out the door. We went to the Italian Toy Store in Pordenone because my parents wanted to get Rosalie something else for her birthday. She ended up leaving there with a giant playhouse. Well, not technically.. it was too big so my dad and Kevin had to come back the next morning and pick it up. She also got a Hello Kitty doll baby and a baby doll crib. She was so excited over the new toys that it was impossible to get her to go to bed. She threw quite the tantrum. After the toy store we went to the go kart track so Dad and Kevin could race. We grabbed some pizza and gelato after that and called it a night.
Tuesday we headed to Venice for the day after Dad and Kevin got back from picking up Rosalie's present from the toy store. It was raining when we left Maniago, but by the time the train reached Venice it had stopped. We walked around and enjoyed the sights. It sprinkled off and on but nothing to whine about. We walked down the tiny streets and did some shopping. Rosalie came home with this adorable lil trinket box that is hand painted to look like a cat venetian mask. Kevin and I came home with 2 bottles of Grappa.. one that is in a handpainted bottle that says Venice with a gondolier.. the other in a cool red, white, and green bottle in the shape of Italy. By the time we reached San Marco Square it started pouring. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock and I must say, for once it was nice to be in a place that felt like "America". Our waitress spoke perfect English.. was so sweet and friendly. That's not very often in Italy. They don't care too much for tourists and Americans and they let you know that. All of our food was absolutely delicious. We left there unbelievably stuffed. When we got outside it was raining pretty hard.. so we went to the nearest water taxi and rode down the canal back to the train station. On the taxi, Rosalie was eating a nutter butter cookie. She shoved too much in her mouth and ended up choking. She gags on stuff all the time, but she has never choked. We ripped her out of her stroller and it only took one thrust from me and the cookie was out.. along with vomit.. that hit an Italian. At that point I was had enough and was ready to get back on the train and head home. Of course we just missed the train so we had to wait for the next.. and naturally it was delayed. We ended up being at the train station for about an hour.. which is a long time with a 2 year old and a 7 year old. We shopped a little bit and I found this adorable lil Venice gondola snow globe to go with Rosalie's collection. Jake also got her a Murano blow glass ladybug. It's cute!
Wednesday was suppose to be Rosalie's birthday bash... but of course it was pouring. We cancelled the bouncy castle for the day and booked it for Thursday. We still did cake and presents. She made out pretty good! Along with the stuff she got early, she got a cozy coupe car, tons of clothes, 2 American Girl dolls with outfits and accessories, a deluxe Mrs. Potato Head with extra outfits, tons of books, jewelry, shoes, and a my little pony. She LOVED her car.
Thursday we woke up to clear skies so Kevin and I went to the base and picked up the bouncy castle. The kids had a BLAST. Even the adults did too! We were all in it for most of the afternoon. That evening I took mom, dad, and Jake into Aviano for shopping and gelato. Jake said he needed it one last time before he left.
Friday morning they left Italy for Philadelphia. I'm so glad they got to come over before we left and Jake had such a great time. He kept asking to stay for another week and he kept saying oh he wished he lived in Italy! ha! The pictures I uploaded aren't anywhere close to the amount that I took!!!