Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Gelateria

Taryn was just as impressed with this gelato art as we were. We will be visiting Chocolate again!

Due Torri - we climbed it!

At the beginning of Centro, there are two medieval towers that stand far above the city built for protection and a symbol of strength. We should make a shirt that says "We survived Due Torri!" It's not for the faint of heart. I can't tell you how many stairs there are or how many times the stair cases turned but it was a lot! I do have a little fear of heights and let's just say I was shacking pretty good. But the view from the top was amazing! We hiked up on a very hot day and welcomed the wonderful breeze at the top. Tys and I took turns watching Taryn as the other climbed because there would have been no way we could have carried her up all the way and made it down. It was hard for me as it was just to walk down the stairs without falling. For 3 Euro- this was a great adventure!

And because Taryn waited patiently for both of us to climb, we decided she deserved a little treat. I just love that sticky face

Basilica di Santo Stefano

Outside the Piazza before we headed on our way

We walked into this beautiful -and oh my goodness bigger than we expected- basilica the other day. Tyson said being here and visiting these churches will make both of us happy. I love the art and he loves the architecture. We look forward to discovering all the churches around us. It seems like when we take a new route around the city we find another wonderful church that we put into the "we have to go inside that one" file.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Johns Hopkins University

Italian church

This is our small ward church bldg. The stake center is in Venice! That seems so far to us who come from the States! We had a translator but hopefully I will be able to pick up more than a few words here and there soon! Everyone was very welcoming and Taryn loved playing with another little boy at church- she even cried when it was time to go. She is quite the little social butterfly we are finding! Like in Thailand when a little primary girl came to say hi. When she trued to leave Taryn started crying so the little girl stayed to play with her the rest of the meeting. We are excited for the other JHU couple to come so our daughters (11 days apart) can play!

What we see every day

Empty Piazza Maggiorrie


Due Torri

The European month long August vacation is coming to an end and people are slowly coming back to the city. The city already looks different with many shops opening up, making it look a lot bigger than when we first arrived. Roughly 380,000 people live in Bologna. Of that, 90,000 of those are students of the University of Bologna and 202 are students of Johns Hopkins University. We are so happy that we were able to get all settled before the crowds arrived. We feel like with a week of Italy under our belts, we are getting the hang of things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We arrived!!!

It was hard, it was fun, it made us nervous, it made us excited! We were tired and sweaty, but we made it!


Loving the pasta here! Just sitting on the open streets eating dinner was a wonderful experience and watching the locals and tourists pass by trying to guess by the accents where they were from is one of our favorite past times.

It has been very hot here and there is no a/c except for the Bologna Center (JHU campus) so we go through a lot of water and had to buy another fan for our apartment to cool it down. We were told we arrived during the first of ten hottest days in Bologna! We live 20 min. walking distance from the campus (where our internet is for now) so we have to be careful how much time we spend outside with Taryn. But we are so happy that we live right next to a huge park which I would compare to Central Park in New York. I told Tyson before we moved here that I was hoping we would have a park I could take Taryn too! We really picked the best place to live! Our apartment is right by the bus stop we need to get to church- just a simple 8 min. ride!!! The park is close- we took a Sunday walk there. And there are two grocery stores near by! Coudn't have been a better location for us.

Gelato Please!

How happy are we to have amazing gelato not far from us? SO HAPPY. The first couple of days of being in Bologna we stayed in a hotel with no fridge. So we took advantage of this time to eat out and try to find great spots to eat. We ate gelato in the Piazza Maggiorie and loved it! Taryn couldn't get enough of my Fragola and Tyson was in heaven with his Pistachio. We are happy here!

Sei mese Bella

Our little love is 6 months old. Celebrated her 1/2 year mark in Italy eating Biscotti for the first time- don't worry, it's a special brand just for babies! She is loving her new eating adventures- even eating her toes! She loves vegetables and is enjoying her new porta-crib. And so is Mommy and Daddy. After 5 days of Taryn having to sleep with us we are relived to get normal sleep. I know, I know, baby sleeping with parents is a huge no-no. But when you stay in a tiny hotel with a huge amount of luggage in the midst of finding an apartment and then find a coch roach on the floor the first night in our new apt. you would do the same. We had even made her a nice bed on the floor- kinda looking like a big dog pillow before the incident. But I couldn't risk the creepy crawling things all over our baby. So we invested in a porta crib that we can take back to the states with us. So much happier now! And we all sleep better!

The Grand Palace

I have to tell the story behind this picture. See the girl on the left? She would not let me move! Once she saw Taryn she went crazy! All she wanted was to be near her and get a picture with Taryn. But Tys and I were waiting to take a picture with the guard. This girl grabbed me by the shoulders and was pushing and pulling me, trying to get me to turn around but I had to move forward to the guard otherwise I would have missed my photo opt. I was very forceful in saying "No" but she would not give up. I was shocked at her persistence and freaked out too. I finally broke away and jumped by the guard (hoping he would provide distance and protection) AND SHE JUMPED INTO THE PICTURE TOO! Oh well it's over now- as long as she got her picture and I got mine. Tys and I laughed AFTER it was over but at the time she was really scaring me- the first person to actually grab me and be forceful with me just to get a picture!

What a wonderful experience! I LOVED the Grand Palace! I agree with Mike who said "it's the one thing you HAVE to do while in Thailand." I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. And I do have to admit that I cried (more than once) because of the beauty. It reminded me so much of the beautiful Temples that have been built all over the world for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Each hold such a sacred purpose just like these beautiful wats (temples) in Thailand. We spent two hours just wandering in and out of each and visiting the Emerald Buddha- which is actually made out of Jade! This was our last adventure in Thailand before heading back to the mission home to finish packing. We were nervous and excited to start our new life in Italy!

***Make sure to look at the Ayutthaya post under the Tim Tam Slam post (it posted there for some reason!)