Olallieberries in Cambria

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Hi everyone! Today we drove up from LA to Cambria, close to Hearst Castle. It’s cold up here! I can’t complain though, since we were burning up a couple of weeks ago and getting eaten by mosquitoes. We stopped in Santa Barbara and went to a place called Mac’s, which is famous for their fish and chips. They were featured on a show of Diners, Drive In’s and Dives. Mom got the fish and chips, and I got southern fried chicken and chips. Morgan got a meat pie 🙂 We went to the police station there, because one of our favorite shows, Psych, takes place there. It’s actually filmed in Canada, but the overhead and exterior shots of the police department are shot there. That show is hilarious!

So we drove along the scenic route 1 to get to Cambria. We walked around town and looked in a few cute home stores. We went to a place called Sow’s Ear, where we got comfort food like chicken dumpling soup (not as good as mom’s!) and pot roast, which was really yummy! After that we went to a famous dessert place called Linn’s, which has amazing pies! The olallieberry, which is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, is grown only in certain areas. It tastes so good! Morgan had the olallieberry pie, and I had Chocolate Raspberry Bavarian Cream Cake. It was delicious! We had our good share of food today. Tomorrow we are heading to Hearst Castle and Carmel. I really miss my Fluff 😦

Baseball and Fireworks

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Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve last posted!

We have been in LA since Thursday. We gave Coco to Melania for a week because it would be hard for us to leave Fluff alone in the house. I miss her very much! But we have been doing a lot and I know she wouldn’t have been very happy.

When we first arrived, we went to some of our favorite restaurants here: Red Onion (Mexican), In N’ Out Burger, and Hof’s Hut the next morning. I love Hof’s! The hash browns are the best, and their pecan rolls are to die for! We went there twice actually! We also went with the whole family to Lamppost Pizza, which is tradition for when we come to visit. The biggest reason why I love to come here is because we get to see our family and spend time with them.

We went to the Hollywood Bowl last night with all our family and some friends. 22 people in all! It was the Tchaikovsky Spectacular. They played some famous parts of Swan Lake, some movements of his 2nd symphony, and to finish it off, the 1812 Overture. They had fireworks to go with the 1812 Overture, and it was just amazing! It was very pretty and I love that piece. Unfortunately, my phone died right before the fireworks started (thanks iPhone for having terrible battery life), but my Aunt Kristin let me take a video on her phone 🙂 We celebrated Grandpa’s (and our cousin Josephine’s) birthdays with a picnic of food and cake at intermission. Everyone had a great time!

Today we went to the Angels Stadium in Anaheim to watch an Angels v. Astros game. We got a lot of food: Cracker Jacks, popcorn, hot dogs, pretzels, chili cheese fries (really yummy), peanuts, and Red Vines. It was super hot too, but I really enjoyed the game! We were nine or ten rows from the front row, behind first base. We didn’t catch a ball, but a lot came close to us! We left at the top of the ninth inning, and the Astros were winning. Whenever there was a home run, fireworks went off! In the middle of the day! I had so much fun. We said bye to Uncle Geoffy and Aunt Erin and Uncle Pete and Aunt Shelly, because tomorrow is our last day and we may not see them.

On Tuesday we were planning to take a drive along Route 1 and go up to San Francisco. It takes 2 days to get there, so we may stop at Carmel or Half Moon Bay or somewhere around there. We haven’t done this road trip before, so this will be something new for us!

Forte dei Marmi

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Ciao! We are now in Camaiore. We are visiting with some friends here. I probably have about 200 MILLION mosquito bites. Ugh not fun 😦

So, Forte dei Marmi is about 15 minutes from Camaiore. Two days ago we went there, and got some zoccolis (wooden shoes that are typical of the area). We also went to the beach there, which is full of people trying to sell things. Every five minutes someone would ask “Do you want massage?” or “Beautiful towels, look, molto bello.” We did get a few towels and Mom bargained with the seller. When at markets in Italy, usually you should bargain because they start the prices high. Mom is a great bargainer 🙂

Yesterday we went to the market and got our favorite pajamas and I got a cute dress too 😉 We went to Bocconcino, our favorite restaurant there. I had pizza Margherita, Morgan had mussels and calamari, Mom had pizza vegetariana, and we shared some bruschetta. We were in heaven! It was so yummy! I had chocolate cake for dessert (I know, not gelato, but I have had so much gelato I’m not sure I can have any more) and Morgan had cocomero (watermelon). We also went to this outlet shoe store called Paoli. You can get shoes that are super nice and well made for so little! A pair of suede boots that would sell for €400-500 in any other store might be €50-60 there. They have all kinds of shoes too! This was heaven for me 😉

Today we are going to go bike riding in Forte. We leave for Milan tomorrow, and the next day we go back to the US. 2 more days left of our European Road Trip 😦

Back Home in Tuscany!

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walking to pool w/ Frida

walking to pool w/ Frida

Frida

Frida

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pool girls

pool girls

IMG_1692On this day three years ago we arrived in Italy, and started our year long adventure. I still can’t believe it. When I came back I remembered so many things, from school to pool parties to long hikes down the property with my friends. Sometimes I miss being here, but then I see all the bugs and the lack of AC :/ . I appreciate that I have gotten to spend a year in such a beautiful place. Even though it was very hard, and at times I wanted to give up and go home, I am happy I did it.

We have spent a couple days here, which unfortunately isn’t enough. We have gone to the pool a few times and of course practiced our synchronized swimming 😉 . Frida (Coco’s best doggie friend) went in the pool too! Frida has a new friend that lives here with her– Mio! There were two other dogs that lived on the property as well, but they passed away (one of them passed away when we lived here).

We have gotten to go to our favorite places too; like the gelateria and a restaurant in town, La Gattaiola. My favorite thing there is the pasta bolognese. And of course, for gelato, I got dark chocolate.  My favorite 🙂 One of our favorite restaurants here, Lido, is closed for the whole month! We were very disappointed. I was looking forward to amazing bruschetta and gnocchi all’arrabbiata. Oh well, another year 😉

Yesterday we met some friends in Livorno that we haven’t seen in a long time. I can’t believe it’s been three years since we moved to Italy. Last year we didn’t come to Tuscany for very long, and we didn’t even get to see Caterina. We are going to see her today, for the first time in 2 years.

We are going to Camaiore after that. Then in 5 days we return home. I can’t believe this vacation is almost over!

Ciao Limone!

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Buon pomeriggio! Sorry it has been so long since I posted. We have been very busy the last few days and have had sparse internet access; we are in Italy, finally, now after just being in Spain!

So, in Barcelona, we had an amazing time! We swam in the pool at our hotel, and practiced our synchronized swimming routine 😛 . Morgan got pretty high on the lifts we did! We also had crêpes and yummy buffet food every morning at the hotel. This hotel has my favorite buffet ever.

We went back to Park Güell, which was built by Gaudí. There is a famous sculpture of a lizard there, and a lot of mosaic walls and sculptures (Gaudí is known for his mosaic works). We went to a tapas place on the last night, but we ate mostly at the hotel. I had chicken nuggets (btw, way better than Mc D’s) almost every meal!

We also got to go to the Picasso museum, which had a LOT of his works. There was a whole exhibit on his self portraits! I didn’t see any famous paintings of his there, but it was cool to see how his styles changed as he grew older. Picasso and Georges Braque started the cubist movement in the 1900s (I learned that in school 😉 )

After three days in Barcelona, we said bye to Grandma Nutt and Kelly and they went back to the US. We continued to drive up into France that day. We were not too happy the hotel was not too clean and wasn’t very comfortable. The next day we drove to Italy, a long drive. Along the way we stopped in Aix en Provence, which was so beautiful. Morgs got some cute espadrilles there. We looked around the town, and kept going to Italy. We arrived last night in Limone, Piemonte, Italy.  It is in the mountains near the French border.  It is beautiful.  I finally had my pizza margherita, Italian style!

Today Morgan got to see her friend,  who goes to school with her in NYC and lives here part time and they are spending some time with each other now. Whew, a break from Morgan! Yipppeee!

Now I am resting in bed because I have not been feeling so well, so it is a nice break to not be on the road today.  More to come from Italy.  I am so happy to be here.  We will be visiting more friends in the next few days when we drive further south to Tuscany 🙂

Guadalest and Fonts D’Algar

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¡Buenas tardes! We are leaving Altea tomorrow to go to Barcelona, but we have had so much fun while we’ve been here! While Morgan and I have been practicing our synchronized swimming routines (where are those professional nose plugs dad?!?!) we have also been going to cool places in the area. I’ll start with Guadalest.

So for those of you who have read our other blog, www.365daysofgelato.com , we have been to Guadalest before. It is about half an hour from Altea, on a VERY windy road. I got very carsick, and so did Kelly and Grandma Nutt. But once we got there it was so beautiful. It’s an old town that looks down into a spectacular reservoir, with the bluest water I have ever seen! The town itself is not very big, just a few old buildings with shops that sell local produce and souvenirs. There is also, on the top of the hill, a castle that looks very old, but still intact. There isn’t too much to do there, but it is worth going to see 🙂

Then today we went to the Fonts D’Algar, some waterfalls very close to us. It was so beautiful there! The water is clean and comes straight from the mountains. It was very cold (about 64 degrees fahrenheit) but very refreshing! There was one waterfall that was so hard to get under because the water kept pushing me back! Mom got under though. I, who can’t stand cold water, loved it! These waterfalls look like the paradise you see in movies! I would go back there! We went to a restaurant after and got some chicken paella (which had bones in it 😦 ) but otherwise was very good. I took a LONG nap after that 🙂

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So we have another four-hour car ride in front of us… but I can’t WAIT to be in Barcelona! I love Barcelona and cannot wait to see new things there and I hope to study there next summer!

Enjoy the waterfall 🙂

¡Hola Madrid!

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¡Hola! We are in Spain now! We were in Madrid for two days, and now we are enjoying relaxation time at Altea. We have been coming to this house in Altea for 3 years now. I like it better than the villa in Italy because there are less bugs and the house is more modern (air conditioning, hot water doesn’t run out so quickly). There is also a lot to do here– not that there isn’t in Italy. We can go to the pool, or go into town and do different things there. We also visit some other places in the area; we’ll post about that later 😉

So. Back to Madrid. We stayed there for two nights, but we really only had a day and a half there. The first night we stayed in the hotel and had dinner there. We got ham croquettes, of course. SO GOOD! We were very happy with our meal :). The next day our friend Kelly arrived and got to tour the city with her! We hopped on a sight-seeing tour bus and went to a famous market, Mercado San Miguel.  It was similar to another market we went to in Barcelona. It was so cool on the inside! They had croquette stands, paella stands, seafood stands, a churros stand and many others! In Madrid they eat churros with hot chocolate. Take a churro, dip it in some hot chocolate and voila! Mmmm mmm mmmm it was scrumdiddlyumptious! I also had chicken paella and a croquette. I was very happy. We also went to the Plaza Mayor, an old square in the city center. Nothing much, but cool to see it.

We were really tired from the long drive the day before (only four hours, but still that’s pretty draining). We didn’t do much else that day. The next day we packed up our bags and Mom and I rushed to the Prado Museum. We looked for the paintings we wanted to see, which included Las Meninas by Velázquez, Adoration of the Shepherds by El Greco, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, Third of May by Goya, and some Caravaggio paintings as well. I was so excited to go see those paintings! We only had 45 minutes to go find the paintings we wanted to see, so we didn’t get to see much else. I wanted to make sure to see the paintings and artists I learned about in school this year.  It was really cool to see them in person. Mom was impressed with how much I knew about the paintings and artists.  It was fun for us to do a speed tour of El Prado. We got in the car afterwards and drove another four hours to Altea, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea.

Now we can finally relax and be lazy 😛