Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Varese - June 18 - our last travels home

My and Corey's room in Varese.  The window that opens, out to the bell tower, without a screen as usual, is not visible in this photo, but is right to the right.

I headed out on my farewell run this morning, and headed back to Villa Panza where Massimo and Chiara's wedding was held.  Such a quiet and beautiful run.

This is heading up the street by our place. 

I did a double take when the GPS directed me to turn on this "street" - but so glad it did!

 This is an empty monastery right next to our B&B.  

The three little bears, fast asleep.

 Looking out the window/door of the balcony off the kitchen this morning as we prepared to leave.

 Perking up when the Chociolato Cafe was located.
 One of my little travelers, ready to go!

The kids take airplane safety seriously! 

After a couple hours of delays, we departed 2 hours late -- which made for an exceptionally long flight.  I was sandwiched between Gia and Caden, which afforded me to the opportunity to play pillow throughout the flight '_'  This is looking down at my lap.

We flew to Atlanta, but unfortunately missed our connection due to the delays, so re-booked on the 8 PM flight, which has been delayed to 9:25 PM.  UGH!   We arrived at MSP Airport in Milan at 8:30 AM this morning - or 2:30 AM EST, so by the time we make it back to the Bend at 11 tonight, and then take a cab home, it will have been nearly a full 24 hours of travel!  The kids are champs!  Just the proof I was after to get everyone on board for traveling back to Australia in December... :)

Hanging in Atlanta...dealing with time zone challenges as we wait for our triple-delayed flight '_'

Monday, June 18, 2018

Varese and Lake Como - Happy Father's Day! - June 17

Our B&B is right across the street from a Catholic church with a beautiful, LOUD and punctual bell tower.  There are worse ways though to wake up at 7, 7:30, and 8... :)

 Both the kids room and ours has these little window/doors that open to look out over the church.

A basket of breakfast goods were delivered around 8.  Very sweet start to the day!  Strawberries, yogurt, cereals, milk, croissants, pear juice, orange juice, cheese, salami, prosciutto, butter and two types of bread.  We ate the fruit and cereal and packed up the bread, meats and cheese, plus the pear juice, for our trip to Lake Como.

We set off for Lake Como and traveled about 25 of the 45 minutes when we realized our GPS was taking us through Switzerland - and we didn't bring our passports.  We were able to get there staying in Italy, but it added an extra 30 minutes to our trip '_'

Once there, we miraculously found parking not too far from our boating company (Non solo barche di Luppi Ricardo) and set off for a perfect day of boating.  Despite being a Sunday, the lake was not too busy, so we swam off the boat a couple of times and spent time just drifting and picnicking.  They day could not have been better.  Lily made the comment that she never wanted this day to end.  Here are some of the photos, although honestly, none of them do it justice.

This picnic of bread, meats, cheeses and apricots from our breakfast basket was so simple and perfect.  Everyone loved it!  Proof that less is more :)

 We headed down past Bellagio.  So many fond memories of being here by car ferry with Lily when she was a baby, and with the Alexanders a couple of years ago in the rain.  Sigh.  I love it more every time.  Especially from our very first time when we got salmonella back in 1999.

We all swam, but someone had to snap a photo! :) 

 This boat/car was bizarre.  We were so tempted to make some waves to see what would happen...

New boat driver in town.

 And another new driver...

 What a life!

 Happy Father's Day!!!

Back on shore...

We dropped off our wet suits at the car and walked around the town a bit before stopping for...gelato of course!  Never in my life have I seen so many expensive cars.  Sadly, George Clooney was not one of the drivers of any of them!

 Giglio = Lily

Our quaint hotel in Varese - beautiful!

My view from where I am typing this.  There is a common walkway for our neighbor, who I happened to see walk by.  She struck me as another elegant Italian woman, with her hair swept up loosely.

When I went into the kid's room to ask them to get ready for dinner, I spotted our neighbor across the street, feeding, brushing, and petting the stray cats.  She also fed the pigeons. It was really heart warming watching how deeply she cared for the animals.  I couldn't stop watching.  Caden called me a stalker :) but then joined me at our kitchen table to watch her walk by to verify that it was her :)

After making sure she returned home safely, we headed out for dinner just a short walk away.  The food was sooooo good!

This was an interesting homemade noodle called cavatelli. 

We strolled to a nearby park afterwards that had this great zipline that really ricocheted up when it reached the end.  So fun!

We walked to get our last gelato on this visit, and then headed home, all of us wishing we had a few more weeks!

Goodnight Varese!