1. Italians sure know how to live. They drink lots of wine, walk lots of places, and take lots of siestas. Oh! How we should follow their lead, don't-ya-think?
2. We stayed here one night. Central Tuscany. Amazing.
3. We went to a traditional Catholic Italian wedding and celebration. It was fabulous. After the ceremony, there was a huge celebration (just like our wedding receptions, only bigger and better!) There was a long table with mounds and mounds of meats, cheeses, crackers, breads, and various forms of Italian antipasti. We were totally full before we were forced to partake in a traditional 7 course sit down Italian wedding dinner! That was followed by an evening of lots and lots of dancing and lots and lots of grappa.
4. We learned about an Italian tradition of the friends and family members making "rhymes" for the bride and groom. This was in place of our traditional toasts. Very fun.
5. The music played by the DJ was almost ALL american classics! We heard: "I Will Survive", "Space Cowboy", "Dancing Queen", "Summer Loving" (from Grease), "Surfin' USA", etc. It was a kick, and so many of the Italians who didn't even speak English could sing a long every stinkin' word!
6. One of my favorite part of the trips is that we re-met someone that provided us with a special memory on our wedding day, 10 years ago. I have told the story a million times about a woman who was at our ceremony who had brought a little baggie of rice and threw it at us as we were walking out of the church. This was so refreshing to us because it is such an American tradition, and there we were thousands of miles away without any family, much less American traditions to speak of. Anyway, we were in the middle of telling this story when Jonathan looked at the woman across from us and said, "wait a minute, were you at our wedding?". And sure enough - it was her. Wow! I had always longed to meet her again and tell her just how special her small gesture had meant to us. Needless to say, after all the wine and grappa consumption, I think I probably told her time and time again over the course of the evening!
7. We went to this wonderful, amazing, incredible medieval Italian village nestled deep in the rolling hills of Tuscany. What a treasure it was.
8. We met this photographer in a little shop and bought a couple of photographs. (I didn't have any luck getting into his actual website, I'm not sure what's up with that).
9. We also bought a piece of art from this artist. The piece we bought isn't on this site, but it is a long vertical painting of a Tuscan hillside with a winding path and villa. It is sooooo cool.
10. Lastly, for those of you who know about the Dylan saga - I just want to report that she is all better now. Feisty as ever. She had a rough time while we were away with a terrible stomach virus and a double ear infection. She was inconsolable for hours and hours at a time and would not eat or sleep. I ended up trying to come home a day early, but it took me 40 long, long hours to get home. Quite a journey, I should say. When I got home, I got the cold shoulder for at least an hour! She would not look at me and would avert her gaze and bury her head away from me every time I tried to talk to her. It took me hours and hours to get any sort of smile or giggle. She's a feisty one, that girl! All is well now, though (except that Holland now has the terrible stomach virus).