Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kenzie's string class played at our local store for the holidays. This is a clip of her duet with her teacher

Remembering Mom's visit

My mom left for home today. We had a wonderful month long visit. It does not matter how long she stays, it is never long enough. We saw so much of Sicily...Cefalu, Palermo, Taormina, Siracusa and so many other fantastic places. We toured, cooked, shopped, and laughed. Today, I am lonely.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving visitors

We had visitors for Thanksgiving. Jeff, Annie, Abby, Thorbin,(German foreign exchange student), Chris, and Lynda,(Mom), all made the long journey to Sicily. We saw many historical sights, including, Greek temples and amphitheaters. We even visited the two small villages where the Godfather movies were filmed. You can see Jeff and Chris sitting outside the famous bar from the movie. We ended on a high note, Jeff's birthday. Most of the group left on the 28th of November. Mom is here until mid December. More updates to come.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snow on Etna

This is the view of Etna from our front balcony.  It is a rare occasion when you can see the top.  Usually most, if not all, of the giant, active volcano is covered by clouds.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Birthday travels with Kenzie

Matt surprised me with a trip to Tuscany for my birthday.  Mackenzie and I traveled to Pisa, Siena, and the beautiful Cinque Terre.  We had the best time!  On my birthday, we ate dinner at an outdoor cafe on the Piazza del Campo, or outdoor public square in Siena. I dined on asparagus risotto... it was fantastic!  I had traveled to Siena during a high school art trip, and it was good to be back and see the city through adult eyes.  We took the train from a city called Spezia, to the Cinque Terre,(five lands).  A series of five villages along the sea which are a part of the Italian rivera.  It was truly a magnificent journey.  I hope to return and explore the villages more deeply.  Many people were hiking the distance between the villages along trails which have the most breathtaking views. We packed a lot into only two full days.  Mackenzie was a wonderful travel companion.  I am including photos below from our adventures.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Valle dei Templi

We made a trip to Agrigento and the Valle dei Templi this past weekend.  It was the most fascinating place.  You can read more about this destination, which is a world heritage site, here  The temple you see in the photos is the temple of Concordia and dates from 430 B.C....Wow!  It is also the most intact of the temples.  The archeological site is about two hours from our house.  We can't wait to take our visitors on this journey.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer in Sicily

We cannot believe that the summer vacation is over.  Time flies when you move to another country and start anew.  The kids have started school, and seem to be very happy with their new school and friends.  Our neighborhood has its own bus which picks up the 15 kids in a Mercedes minibus.  They go to school in style.  Jordan has made the journey to Spain.  He will spend the next week touring, and then will begin his studies in Sevilla.  We will miss him.  The house is slowly coming together, and we are adjusting to a new way of life here. We have not had much time to explore lately, however, I have attached a few photos from our adventures.  We attended a medieval festival on the grounds of a medieval castle.  It was fantastic!!

Flame dancers at a local medieval festival

The long walk up the medieval alley to the castle

Matt and Riley having a morning pastry in Catania.

This is a typical shrine found on almost every block.
Most often it is Mother Mary...usually candles are burning.
A beautiful site.

A typical street scene.  This one in Catania.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our new home

This is the view of the front of our new home. Fairly large, with way too many steps.

Master bedroom

Our street

View from one of the terraces in back
Back view...notice Lilly on the top terrace

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Matt, Jordan and I made a day trip to a really charming city about an hour away from base. The main attraction was the fantastic flight of 142 steps (see Jordan at the base). The steps are volcanic stone with beautiful colored tiles. Each side of the staircase is lined with stores, restaurants and the like. The town is known for its beautiful ceramic work.
We also visited the Duomo not far from

the stairs.

The walls were old but well kept.

Matt felt the need to hold this one up.