Thursday, April 17, 2008
I had the amazing opportunity to go on an outing (without kids yahoo!!) with the club I belong to-ACES (Aviano Community Enlisted Spouses). It was to a quaint, beautiful vineyard about 2 hours away to the Vicenza area.
It is an organic vineyard, owned and operated by Aldo and his wife Sarah and their children. We were treated to a tour by Aldo and his canine companion (see picture below) through the muddy, green fields. It was very interesting and I learned a great deal about wine, which most of you know, I love!
After the quick tour we were shown the new wine cellar (beautiful) and then treated to wine tasting from some young wines in french oak barrels. I have never been on a wine tasting trip before so this was a special treat! Then we were sent inside their home for a delicious, authentic 7 course Italian meal, complete with wines paired with each course. Everything was DELICIOUS and I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from Aldo and had a wonderful time getting to know each other. He is quite the character and wine drinker! A man after my own heart! His dear wife cooked the meal mostly herself I believe and was working so hard on serving us with help from their friends visiting from Alaska and Aldo was sitting with us freely pouring his wines and singing us songs accompanied by his neighbor and playing his guitar. It was a true Italian experience! And I must add that Aldo is a true Italian, although he speaks fluent English with a French accent. He spent many years in France, Spain, Canada, and the states before buying his vineyard.
The meal ended with a sparkling champagne he also had made, which was named after his mother who had in total had 9 children that she escaped to France with during the war, and carried grenades in her apron to keep her children safe, and went across the borders to smuggle food back to feed the children. Sounds to me like she deserved her own champagne! Although Aldo mentioned she was very angry when he told her he named it after her. That's an Italian woman for ya!
After our fabulous meal we had the opportunity to purchase wines, which of course I did and I put it away and told J not to let me open it until my family comes to visit in May. We will see how I do!
Then we loaded back up onto our little bus (thank goodness for having a bus driver) and headed home.
I had an amazing time and loved getting to know Italy a little bit more. I hope to take an visitors we have there as they were such a welcoming and wonderful family.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
J, Aunt Marsha, and B playing the slide in our backyard.
Aunt Marsha holding C. Like the "poor me" look on her face? She is great at looking pathetic!
Aunt Marsha playing karate with A in the backyard. No, he didn't need the protection of his helmet from Aunt Marsha, he had just gotten done with a bike ride.
Grandma hanging out at the castle garden.
Grandma and Aunt Marsha enjoying their day in Venice.
Thanks for coming to see us Grandma and Aunt Marsha! We loved having you and miss you already!
Here are some pictures from our recent trip to Trieste. It is a city built on the coast of the Adriatic sea and is very close to the border of Slovenia. The city is built into the rocky cliffs and is breathtaking.
We took J's grandma and Aunt Marsha there while they were here visiting us. It is only about a 90 minute drive from us.
We ended up eating a delicious lunch when we got there and then toured a castle. The castle has been restored and is beautiful! It was built for an Austrian naval commander, as the city used to be part of Austria, and is decorated in a naval theme. The castle has a fascinating history, which includes being occupied by the Germans for about 12 years.
Our pictures are as follows...
1. A view of the city and the Adriatic Sea, from the walk to the castle.
2. The outside of the castle.
3. Aiden at the small courtyard garden and fountain.
4. Another view of the castle.
5.The staircase adorned with intricately carved wooden statues.