Friday, February 1, 2013

Here and There

(This post will be short and sweet, just a little update) 
2013!!  Wowza.  I remember in high school envisioning years after 2010, thinking we would for sure  be flying around in jet packs.  Maybe we'll be there by 2015? 2020?  Anyways, where do I begin!   Well, I turned 30 this month...  Another "mile marker" I had pictured taking place much further into the future when I was in high school.  We spent the day taking a drive up the mountains and having a pizza lunch at a restaurant in Alleghe.  Gino had a game the next day, so we ended up having a date night the week after.  One of the guys on Gino's team and his girlfriend were sweet enough to watch Lily for the evening while we enjoyed a spectacular dinner at Hotel Europa in Alleghe, on the lake.  It's a Michelin award winning restaurant.  If you're not familiar with the Michelin award, it's an award based on a star rating given to European restaurants and hotels.  Certified Michelin raters go in undercover and rate the food, service, experience. Afterwards, if they meet certain expectations/requirements, they get the award.  Needless to say, the food was great. 

The large brown building right off the lake.  Obviously looks a little different in Feb, but this is much prettier.
I would say this winter has been mild compared to MN winters and of course, Norway.  Even though we're in the mountains situated about 3,000ft above sea level, the temp has typically stayed above 20 degrees Farenheight.  We've gotten alot of snow, but not as much as I thought we would, living in a ski town.  Even now, in Feb, we're able to go for walks along the river outside our house on a clear, snow free sidewalk.  I can handle that!  The winter driving is another surprise to us. We thought that driving through the mountains in the winter would be unimaginably hard and that we would be using chains on the tires the whole winter.  Not the case! The few times where there's been a good amount of snow, the plows have been on top of it and clear the roads really well.  There doesn't seem to be much ice either, which is a relief.  As in Norway, they don't use salt on the roads, but gravel.  It does the job.  After one of the big snow falls, we took Lily out for her first sled ride! I think Gino and I enjoyed it more than she did, but she seemed content.

If you haven't seen on facebook or heard through the grapevine, we've got a crawler!!!  That was a big surprise this month, you can tell our excitement in the video.  We knew it was coming, but not this soon.  Now, she hardly wants to be held:(

Lily has quite the personality and is constantly on the go. She loves to play with everything especially items that aren't toys, eat, laugh, mimic sounds, and "pick out" books she wants us to read. She also likes to play peek a boo, dance, get tickled, and get surprised.  She's a happy, silly little girl.

Right before my birthday, on Jan 6th was the Epiphany, which we've heard of before but in Italy they also celebrate La Bafana. We think that this may be where the idea of "Christmas stockings" came from.  What do you think? Here is the description...
Tale of a witch known as La Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills the stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the bad ones.
According to the legend, the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions. They invited her to come along but she replied that she was too busy. Then a shepherd asked her to join him but again she refused. Later that night, she saw a great light in the sky and decided to join the Wise Men and the shepherd bearing gifts that had belonged to her child who had died. She got lost and never found the manger.
Now La Befana flies around on her broomstick each year on the 11th night, bringing gifts to children in hopes that she might find the Baby Jesus. Children hang their stockings on the evening of January 5 awaiting the visit of La Befana.
The whole week after Christmas, people started dumping their cardboard boxes and paper from Christmas off at a clearing across the street from our house.  The pile kept growing and growing and on the 5th there was a huge bonfire! That same night a lady dressed up like a witch knocked on our door and dropped off a little package of goodies for Lily.  She said in English, "this is for your daughter".  We were in shock to see this witch at our door at night but also that she was speaking strange!  After that, we asked around and figured out what was going on. 

Watching the bonfire
Today, we went for a walk at Sottoguda to see the ice climbers.  The last time we were there was in November, so it was quite a change to see all the waterfalls turned to ice and people climbing them!!  I could barely keep my feet from slipping on the paths and couldn't imagine climbing the ice.  These people are nuts!  We were definitely the weirdos with the stroller in the midst of all the cross country skiiers and ice climbers.  You can see in some of the photos, the ice had this blue tint.


Can you see one of the climbers in orange! CRAZY
 The hockey season is dying down. Lastnight was the last game before playoffs!!  They have about a 2 week break from games and start playoffs at the end of Feb.  I beleive they're in 4th place right now, but to be honest I don't have alot of time to keep on top of the hockey stuff with the little energizer bunny.

We're going to get out of here for a few days and see Florence.  The weather there is in the 50's, which will feel like Spring!  Hoping Lily can sit still and not freak out in the car.  It's a little over 3 hours to Florence and about an hour more after that to get to Pisa.  We're basically stopping in Pisa to take a picture of the leaning tower, then onto Florence for 3 nights and onto Siena for a day trip. Wish us luck!  Shouldn't be as crazy as the Rome trip (there was just too much to see and do with a then, 4 month old. 

Miss everyone and hope to see you in a little less than 2 months!

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