This guy hung around with us most evenings while we were in Lucca. Friendly kitty, not adverse to a bowl of milk or a piece of fish. We didn't know where he went during the day, but was there to great us in the morning and again at night. Nice to have a pet around.
I have over 400 pictures from this trip and my brother must have over 500. I'm waiting to get his, and will then post on Flickr or similar for overall viewing.
We stayed in a villa in Lucca which was at the top of a large high almost mountain - so it was cool at night. This is the view from the outdoor eating/pool/hanging out area. Can you believe this view??? I must have taken 20 pictures of this - in the morning, at dusk etc. We're talking grape vines and olive trees, surrounded by lavender and sage and rosemary plants.
This was the awesome pool - which we spend quite a bit of time in and around. It had underwater viewing windows and I got great shots of my brother and nephew swimming around. They tried to moon me thru the window but I didn't see it (darn).
The house itself had been an abandoned house/barn - which was in such a state of disrepair that I couldn't believe the pictures. It took them 8 years to restore it, with tons of red tape from local bureaucrats - but that's Italy....right?
Again, I took tons of pictures of the house, because it kept changing colors in the different lights. It glowed in the morning light and was cool and calm in the evening. It was wonderful at all times of the day. We slept in the houses but hung out by the pool which had a huge common room with full kitchen and pool table.
This outdoor shower was surrounded by rosemary bushes. You know where I took a shower everyday and maybe more than once a day. I loved this shower.
A row of buildings in Lucca - love the colors.
My sister walking up a street in the city - no cars allowed in this city so we walked or rented bikes to get around or to sight see. The city is surrounded by huge walls, and you can ride on top of them and go all around the city.
Random window seen on our last day in the city - Friday. And when packing up that night to leave early the next day...we found out that my computer had been stolen. Yes sirreee - stolen right from the villa. I had to go to the local Carbinieri office and put in a stolen computer report. Have you ever been in an Italian Police office? It looks just like you'd think - all painted sickly green, with a Cross on the wall, and articles stating what a good police office this is. The officer had more little metals on his chest than a 5 star general. It was just classic. Of course I'll never get it back, and spent the night changing credit card log on numbers - just in case I had them listed on my computer somewhere.
It's always something...but it was just a darn old computer. Hopefully pretty well backed up but we'll also see about that when I get my new one at work.
We left on Saturday morning and drove to Rome but stopped in Siena for a quick visit. The famous horse race, the Palio, had been held the previous day - so the crowds had thinned out and we had a chance to see some of the city with minimal crowds. The flags are flying on this street because this is the section that had won the Palio the previous day. At least I think so, even tho Wikipedia says different...
ALL the streets in this city go up and down, great for the legs but hard in the 90+ degree heat. We stayed in the shade as much as possible....
A view of the roofs as we were leaving - I want to spend more time in this city, it's so beautiful.
We got to Rome that evening, here is a picture of the famous Bernini Trevi Fountain - the "three coins in a fountain" one. I love it, it's a great place to sit and watch Rome go by....
And we stayed in a gorgeous villa on the outer limits of Rome - an amazing place with a Romanian couple who house kept the place. I wanted to move right in - it was that luxurious.
The living room - all marble floors and high ceilings.
Everyone watching the World cup that night
My brother-in-law Abdul came over that night with a home made Afghan feast - which we all love (and love him) He is truly one of the kindest, most honest people I have met in my life. My sister is 14 years older than me, and Abdul is about 12 years older than her...so he's not of my generation but more of an uncle to me in a way. He and Stef got married in 1969 - so it's been a while. (note: my folks got married in 1949, Stef in '69, me in '79 and my brother in '89 - and we didn't plan it that way!)
Here are mom and Jody looking at one of those living statues that are on the street - looking for a bit of a handout. We saw a live statue of liberty, and a sphinx and a few others. I was planning on showing you the statues, as well as some additional famous fountains but blogger has decided that I am at my photo limit for this post - so no go!!
We made sure to hold hands with mom on all the streets - hoping to stave off a face plant. It worked...one of us held onto her at all times as she stumbled her way on the cobblestones. She was a good sport, but the heat got to her as it did to us all.
So...here I am home, jetlagged, but happy to be home.
Maybe more pictures when I get them from my brother.....
Happy Animal Wednesday!!!
PS: as for KJ's questions...
Did eat non stop? - I tried not to...but it was hard
Did you like Italian men? ah yup...didn't see one that was hard on the eyes.
Did you sketch? - Nope...well maybe once but nope....
Relax? yup - lots
Drink red wine? - mostly white and very little, I'm a lightweight when it comes to wine
What did ms em do - she frolicked in the garden, sniffing the lavender, she tried to look italian, she ate pasta, she slept in, she flirted with cute guys, she bought a gorgeous leather purse.