Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today's field trip took us to the coastal town of Trieste.  It is in Italy near the border of Slovenia.

We made our first stop at Miramare Castle built in the mid-1800's for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximillian.  The location was bee-you-tee-full!  Right along the water with peaceful views out across the gulf (this really far away picture we took later in the day from Trieste's downtown gives you perspective on the castle and its proximity to the water).

notice anything different about this one?

We went to a slightly older castle, too.  This one, San Giusto Castle built in the 1400's, was much higher than sea level--on a hill overlooking the city and sea (and what a walk it was to get there!).  As we walked across the battlements around the castle we saw this pretty view.

Cory was excited to see the all the swords and guns at the Armory museum in the castle.

 Ted and I admired the ornately carved wood at the doorways

We also enjoyed traipsing all over some of the Roman ruins around the castle.

Cory was a little miffed that this Roman amphitheater a few blocks away was all fenced off--no traipsing here.
After all the walking around the city, it's always good to find a gelato shop--the big ice cream cone is usually a dead giveaway.

Another successful adventure for the Gatlin Family!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good-bye Summer

As we welcome a new year of school and say farewell to summer, I thought I would post a few of my favorite pics from the past two months.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Air Show

A few months back we watched the Thunderbirds perform an Air Show in Italy.  Later that weekend the children choreographed their own show in the yard for us.  We filmed the show, and I am just now getting to post some of the footage.

Once again I took advantage of the iMovie software on my iMac and created this fun little project.  FYI - I don't start from scratch, they have some pre-made templates that make it really easy.  I just have to decide the words for the titles and the specific clips to wedge into the template.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Piancavallo Adventure

Here's a fun movie of our day at Piancavallo.  We took the kids on a toboggan run down the mountain (all the kids asked to go again and again...even Lucy).  Then we spent some time at the "Rampy Park" which is a zip-line and ropes adventure course.  They have multiple skill levels and the three older kids all enjoyed their first taste of ropes and zip line fun.

Dad enjoyed making this cool movie with his iMac!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vive Les Maries

I hesitate to go into too much detail on the wedding, because in many ways it was your typical wedding.  However it was also unlike anything we had experienced, so I will attempt to describe the event.

So, the first question, is why are we going to a wedding in France?  The bride was one of my BFFs many years ago when we lived in Kansas.  She met the groom at a French conversational group over coffee.  While the groom has grown up in America, his family is from France, and they planned the wedding in the town where his parents still keep a home (they too live in the U.S.).

As you can imagine, it's difficult to plan and coordinate a wedding in another country.  So, that explains why we were picking flowers last minute from the wildflowers around our gite for the flowergirls to carry.

Did I mention that Julie asked if my girls would like to be flowergirls?  These two said yes!

The wedding was in a beautiful old church in a neighboring town.

Julie's mom walked her down the aisle (her dad had to cancel his trip last minute after breaking his hip--bummer!),

and her sister, Heidi, was her bridesmaid.

It was a typical Catholic mass (in French--no idea what they said),

but I must say the crowd was not what I expected--I don't have any good pictures, but I was surprised how casual some people were dressed, and I mean not business casual mind you...guess I needn't have worried that Ted didn't bring a suit or sport jacket.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom greeted guests outside the church under a white umbrella that translates "Long Live the Married" (see title).  They then boarded this horse drawn carriage that would take them to the reception.  The horse drawn carriage was a surprise for Julie--one that she was thrilled about!

After the wedding we headed to the parents' garden for a cocktail reception.  Champagne, fancy hors d'ouvre, mingling...

Then we went to say hi to the horse.

Julie, who is a huge animal lover, stole some time away from small talk (in French) to find something to feed the horse.

We (the wedding party, our family and another family) went to the chapel where the groom's parents had wed (see previous post) and took some beautiful shots in the late afternoon setting sun.  It was lovely.

Then we arrived at the dinner reception.  This little shindig started at about 8ish.  At each table was a bottle of wine bought the year Jean-Marc was born and saved for his wedding day.  Now how cool is that?  Courses were slow and in between each there was some sort of game or entertainment--not professional entertainment.  One of the kids later described one part as, "remember that guy who sang real badly?"  But it was all fun and entertaining.

First course--appetizer:  some sort of dill mayonnaise dollop, basic greens, shrimp with caviar, salmon, and young pigeon.  The kids were stoked (not really).  Some sort of sparkling wine (if I remember correctly).  The children were served coca-cola and a local carbonated lemonade (that helped a little).

Second course--fish:  salmon, scallop and sole in a rich creamy sauce.  White wine.  Still, kids are loving it--at least the rice krispie treats we brought in for emergency rations.

Third course--meat:  filet mignon with a creamy mushroom gravy, bacon-wrapped green beans, potatoes, roasted tomato.  Red wine.  The kids would have eaten the beans, but by this time (and by time I mean probably 10 o'clock or so) they've escaped with the four other kids to play UNO.

Fourth course--cheese:  this was a buffet set up with several local cheeses.  Comte cheese, blue cheese, cheese with a line of ash in the middle, yogurt like cheeses.  Champagne.

Fifth course--dessert:  again, this was a buffet set up.  Served at about 12:30 with an after dinner liqueur.  The bride and groom stood near the table while some sparklers shot out--ooh, ahh!

The kids had waited expectantly for this course, but by this time none of them were too interested in eating.  Lucy had long before fallen asleep in my lap!