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 😦

Italy

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Fauglia

Fauglia

We spent 2 days in Fauglia, the village that we lived in for a year, 3 years ago. I wasn’t really happy to go because it brought back bad memories but  I am excited to be five days closer to returning home. Here , in Fauglia, it is impossibly hot every night and that leads to sleepless nights. We arrived and were greeted by Frida, our favorite Golden Lab and Coco’s best friend.  They remembered each other immediately and were very happy to see each other again. and then we went to  La Gattaiola for dinner .  It is our favorite place in town.  The owner, Francesco, even had our Christmas card posted up in the bar there.  It has been a favorite place to dinne with our friends and family when they visit for almost 8 years now. I had a bean salad.Mom got arugula pasta and Maddie got ragu   .

The next day we went swimming and went to go meet up with some friends in Livorno.   Then we went to La Greste  and they always  let me try a lot of cookies, and breads  before we buy them. Then we got some hot dogs in foccacia from Pizzi Cotto, a local pizza joint. I used to help the family that owned the place, fold the pizza boxes when we lived here.  This was bringing back a lot of memories.  Some good and some bad. I think everyone else had a much better time here than I did. I still get angry when I think about having to live here for a year and be subjected to that horrible school we went to.  Yuk! I am sorry, I am just not a country girl, I am a city girl. I don’t like the bugs and the no AC and the lizards and snakes and mosquitos! “ I’ll take Manhattan”  thank you very much. But mom loves it here and she was very happy to do her laundry on the line. I think that is one of her favorite parts about being in Tuscany.

Then the next day we had lunch with Catarina and Coco went swimming with Frida. Overall, the visit was great, but the heat and mosquitos were not fun!

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!

Limone, Piemonte, Italia

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All of the photos here are from Limone, Piemonte

Ahh, a little crisp, cool, clean air in the mountains of Italy.  We had a 2 days drive through Spain and france and arrived in a little village in the mountains of Italy, Limone, Piemonte.

http://piemonte.italiaguida.it/en/storia/default.asp

It is a ski town, but is just gorgeous here in the summer.  It is a great break from the heat of Spain.  I have been waiting for Italian food and now we can indulge in all of our favorites over the next 10 days.

Morgan was able to visit a friend of her’s from school in NYC, that lives here part of the year.  It was also a great break for Maddie and I.  She stayed at her apartment and played all afternoon.

Coco and I have had great morning hikes each day in the hills.  It is so cool that I have needed a jacket!  I love it!

Georgio went to visit some vineyards a little further north of here yesterday, in Barolo.

Our friends that live here recommended this adorable hotel, L’ Artisin, and it was just perfect.  The owner makes the best coffee in the mornings and has a little breakfast out. It is very quiet here, we were the only guests staying here, besides Georgio, the night before.  We watched the stars last night from our balcony that looks out over the mountains.  The best part is that it was only 50 Euro per night!

We will visit more friends in Tuscany and Liguria in the next few days and cannot wait to eat at some of our favorite restaurants in our old village that we lived in.

Maddie and I felt a little under the weather the last day or so, so we are taking it slow.  Trying to enjoy the moment 🙂

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 🙂

Brilliant Barcelona!

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Hi everyone, for the past 3 days we have been in Barcelona. The first day when we got here it wasn’t very eventful because we drove 4 ½ hours from Altea and our room wasn’t ready, so they bought us lunch.  Mom has a chicken caesar salad, Grandma Nutt had farm chicken with guacamole and chips, Maddie and I each had chicken tenders with french fries and BBQ sauce ( so good that Maddie had them every day after!)  There was something like corn flakes in the chicken tender batter and it was all white meat chicken breast.  JUICY!  ALso, for an appetizer, we got Marina’s nachos which were guacamole with crab meat and chips sticking out of it and cheese drizzled over the chips.  Every day that we went to the pool, I had those nachos!  They were so good.  That night, mom went out to eat with Kelly and our friend Georgio who arrived in Barcelona when we did.

The next day we had the breakfast buffet which is the best in the world.  They have amazing crepes there and really good tea.  We are staying at the Hotel Arts, in Barcelona and it is one of our favorite hotels.  They have an amazing pool and it is near the beach and the food is really good here.  We also went to the Picasso museum for a little bit.  There was a really long line to get in.  Then we went to Happy Pills, this candy shop in Barcelona that we love. For the rest of the afternoon, we went to the pool and I swam for 3 hours!  That night they have movies by the pool for the kids and we ordered dinner and watched “Up” by the pool.

Then the next day we went to the breakfast buffet again and then to the pool, where Maddie and I practiced a lift, me flipping off of her shoulders and we did it!  I got completely out of the water almost every time.  Then we showered up, went to Parc Guell, and beautiful Gaudi inspired parc and then had amazing tapas at Tapas 24. My last croquettas de jamon for a while 😦

Today we are packing up and we are heading north to the French border to a town called Banyuls- sur Mer.

Adios Barcelona!  Until next time!

Restaurant Review : Tribus, in Benitachell, Spain

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Yesterday we went to Tribus. Tribus moved since the last time we went there to a local beach town because the restaurant there  because it was bigger. But not only the location changed, but the menu also. Instead of the Asian Fusion food  they became a gourmet diner with burgers. None of the old items were on the menu. It was very upsetting and I was disappointed.  But then we ordered the coconut shrimp, ( chips) thick cut fries, patatas bravas ( potatoes in a slightly spicy sauce), and golden nuggets that were very tender. I hadn’t eaten in a long time so I was longing for food  and I was very surprised at how good it was. Well it is Tribus, the best cuisine in the world after all! Then for entrees  Mom, Madison and Kelly got route66 which was beef, cheese pickles barbecue sauce , bacon and lettuce. Grandma Nut ordered the coconut shrimp again. I had the teriyakizilla which was a burger with tempura shrimp, wasabi aioli on the side and teriyaki sauce. It had the perfect amount of sauce and amazing flavor. I loved it. But the best news came when the chef, Neil Browning, said he would make us chicken lettuce wraps , my absolute favorite in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!! And even though it wasn’t on the menu at the new Tribus, ( it was on the old menu) he still made it!!!  My heart was filled with joy!!!The lemon grass flavor was so much more vibrant than I remembered. Then for desert we had  carrot cake, Fruit of the forrest berry cheese cake, home made lemon sorbet, and apple tempura ( another favorite of mine) that was specially made for us. Everything was amazing  I  am extremely impressed with Tribus. Yanina, Neil’s wife, who runs the front of the house is SUPER nice and she told us they even have challenges which they compared to Man V. Food, one of my favorite tv shows. They had a giant bowl of pasta with a giant meatball, a  4.4 lb burger, and seriously spicy chilly hot dogs. Tribus since its reopening in  February, have sold 900 burgers !! They are so polite and friendly there and  it is the restaurant that has my highest grade in the WORLD… A 11 OUT OF TEN!! It is a restaurant recommended for all ages, and a timeless classic. Tribus continues to surprise me. I wish Tribus were in NYC because it blows all restaurants there away.  If you are ever in Spain, you MUST go to TRIBUS.  On their website they even have a REVIEW from little ol’ me when I was only 9 years old!!! Just click on REVIEW or go to Reviews tab on their website, http://www.tribusbenitachell.com/, and you will see a 365 Days of Gelato Blog review by, yours truly.

Trust me, you MUST go there!!!!

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