Friday, April 3

Thursday in Pisa

Why do Florentines bother to paint traffic lines when absolutely no one uses them? We took a day trip to Pisa on the Tuscan coast Thursday, but it seemed there was no direct route out of town! Traffic certainly is a free for all and the scooters winding in and around the cars can unnerve even the best of drivers! We did really got a kick out of watching 6+ scooters que up at each light and race off all at once when the light turned green.

It took us about an hour and a half to get to Pisa and our GPS didn't know its way around the little town unfortunately. Once parked, the open grassy courtyard layout of Pisa's monuments was a welcome surprise. We joined others basking in the bright breezy 63 degree sunshine. The boys chased pigeons again, I fed Morgan, and Ryan watched clouds fly by until pounced upon by our rambunctious boys. I loved watching my boys and their dad wrestling accompanied by hearty gut laughs of pure joy.

Isn't my man hot in them 3D specs? Oh yeah, baby! After our R&R, we struggled to keep that same joy while snapping shots of the leaning tower because the kids tired fast of posing. I'm glad we seemed to get some good ones though!

Then we headed out to find a piece of beach to comb. Camp Darby base is nearby and stopped in to check it out, grab some snacks, and inquire about beaches. We found a little spot of beach which was nothing notable but thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. Easton and McKay headed for the surf while Ryan and I enjoyed picking up shells. Morgan just gabbered on and on which was pretty funny and what I hope will become something we do quite often together. It didn't take long before McKay got knocked over by a little wave so we stripped him down. Show us your muscles, Easton!

The water wasn't all that cold but we ended up having to drag Easton away crying for the drive back to Florence before anyone caught cold. We hadn't brought changes of clothes but the boys didn't seem to mind riding home naked.

We were quite the little sight unloading our nakeds at the Florence apartment. Ryan dropped me and the naked boys at the apartment where an American lady jogging by got a good giggle. I got the boys dressed while Ryan parked the car and we met back at the Ponte Vechhio to head to dinner. We ate at Paoli, a delicious old Tuscan restaurant that was recommended to us by a coworker of Ryan's. As we sat down, McKay began a royal meltdown over every item on the table - the pillow on his seat, not being able to blow out the candles, having no spoon, wanting the bigger wine glass . . . and then Easton accidentally got hot wax from the candle on his finger and freaked out. I began to wonder if we were going to be asked to leave for all the raucous we were causing. But things settled and Ryan had the bistecca Florentine and I branched out and indulged a long overdue hankering for curry. That chicken curry was FABULOUS and even McKay and Ryan couldn't help licking my plate clean! I did enjoy the boys' pasta so don't worry about us not getting enough authentic Italian.

After dinner we rambled back to Piazza della Signoria and grabbed some gelato and tirumisu on the way home before getting the kids to bed, doing laundry and packing up for our two day Roman adventure.

Beyond seeing such breathtaking antiquities, my favorite parts of this trip were the moments I felt our family bonds being strengthened, memories created. I was always caught of guard by these moments because I hadn't planned or packed them into the backpack. From Ryan wrestling and spinning the boys on the lawns of the leaning tower of Pisa to him masterfully quelling McKay's meltdown at dinner, every day life is all about family and it's been going on for centuries. I am blessed!