Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lago di Garda

Or Lake Garda.  We headed there after church with our friends and spent a few hours enjoying the lake and celebrating Ted's birthday!!  Here is the proof in pictures.
The wake from ferries made a few waves for playing in

So many rocks, so little time

Jumping off the dock!

All the kids

At dinner--some look ready for bed!  We got a very late start on dinner--after 8 (not really late by Italia standards).  The adults were still at the table at midnight.  Luckily, the restaurant was part of the hotel where we stayed, so the kids could go to bed.

Ted and Jeff
Good times.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


While we had visitors we took a fun day trip to one of our favorite places:  Aquileia.  The weather report indicated rain on the mountains here but beautiful at the coast in Aquileia, so we opted for beautiful.  You've seen pictures from here before, so I'll try not to belabor the blog with hundreds more.  Here's how our day went:

A little bit of geocaching does a body good...

Checking out the mosaics and the crypt (with bones!!) in the Basilica...

Hanging out with a new buddy while we walked the path of the Roman canal and looked at ruins lining the path...

Grabbing a gelato snack on the way to the beach...

Enjoying the sand and the water with friends...

And a bonus air show while at the beach...

To quote our buds, what an "awesome-sauce" kind of day!

Friday, July 20, 2012


While a friend was visiting recently, we made note of many things that are different in Italy--being sure to note that it wasn't necessarily better or worse, just different.  Which reminded me of a few pictures I've taken of things here that are different.  In that spirit I bring you today's installment of Different.

We definitely lament not being able to run to the donut shop on Saturday mornings for a fun treat.  So one Saturday, Ted went to the pastry shop (Pasticceria) instead and came home with this package:

They definitely take a lot of time to wrap and present their products.  Hope you weren't in a hurry.
 Luckily, it's worth the wait.

Gelato can also be purchased in larger quantities to take home.  It comes looking like this.

And you can pick and choose the flavors you would like.  Stracciatella, nutella, caffe, limone, melone, vaniglia, menta, fragola...

Kind of fun, no?  Definitely different.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dardago Geocaching

Middle of the week days off are perfect for treasure hunting.  That's what we did on the morning of the 4th of July just outside of the adorable town of Dardago at the foot of the mountains.  And we have the pictures to prove it...
Somewhere along this wall we found...


 With the help of this...
 we made our way through the woods

then we scaled up a steep slope
 to this hazy view (way down there is our house somewhere, right?)
 and another successful find!

 Of course, all the while I took a few pictures of the kids here and there... 

 Lastly, we made our way to this little church in the middle of the woods, where we found a 3rd cache
and saw a cave above in the rock face
with our binoculars

 We also enjoyed looking at these bugs everywhere in the woods.  

Eventually one even landed on the iPad for a fun picture.

And there you have it--our geocaching adventures continue.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


We've seen our fair share of re-enactments living in Boston for several years, but an opportunity to see a Roman and Celtic re-enactment was something new!  Aquileia, a town about an hour's drive from our home, was hosting just such an event called Tempora.  We decided it would be worth the drive to see it, even if we could only come for a few hours.  

We arrived in time to see the Roman legions form up and begin to march through the streets.

Along the way, we passed some Celts--a motley looking crew, no?

Eventually, they met officially--there were some words (none of which we could understand, but it was definitely a heated discussion), and some posturing.

And then, somewhat unceremoniously, the Romans walked past.

After this display, we headed towards a demonstration area where we were able to watch some Gladiator demonstrations.

This was pretty fascinating, and the announcer gave a lot of information about the different kinds of gladiators, their weaponry, armor, etc.  Unfortunately, we could only catch a word here or there, and didn't really know what he was explaining, but the fighting demonstrations were entertaining nonetheless.  

A quick lunch break (at the same cafe we had cappuccinos at, Mom and Dad Nikkel), and then we were off to explore the Celtic camps.

Here we met with some of the re-enactors, and they were all very kind and informative--and this time we were able to hear it in English!  Oh how nice...  We learned so much.

We tried on some of the helmets--bronze helmets were the usual, since iron was a more valuable metal

We listened to explanations about the weaponry...
yes, those are Roman ruins behind us--pretty cool

And the finer arts, like weaving

We were also shown the lesser known intricacies of Celtic hygiene--from combs, to toothpaste, to mirrors.  If you're curious, ask the kids what they might have used to brush their teeth if they didn't have access to the usual combination of egg shells and bicarbonates.

Where's Waldo?  Can you spy this gentleman, and the gentlemen in the pictures above demonstrating the shields as weapons in the pictures of the groups of Celts at the top of the page?

There was much more scheduled to happen later in the afternoon and into the late evening, but we were content to call it a day after a few hours.  Besides, we have our own Roman legionary at home...