Nothing too exciting has been going on over here in Italia! Instead of Bobby working he has been in a class the past couple of weeks, which has been nice since he’s been home by 3pm at the latest everyday. However, that all ends today. Fingers crossed that he is put on day shift. I don’t think I could handle him working a crazy schedule like he did at Shaw just yet over here.
Last weekend we took a day trip to Padua (Padova) with two friends that also came from Shaw and their two kids. Connie (the wife) was going to plan everything we did, all we needed to do was show up at their house bright and early Saturday morning ready to ride…well her husband John had another idea…”Wing it” and winging it was what we did. We quickly learned, you can’t do that in Italy! Things here are too hard to find.. we walked in circles, studied the maps on our phones and ended up missing out on a lot because we didn’t have it planned out. In the states our streets are somewhat like a grid, eventually you will intersect with another familiar road…and while doing so you will pass numerous shops, restaurants etc..Here, not so much! We did stumble upon their massive Saturday Market which was nice. (The kids got some fresh fruit.) We also went to the Botanical Garden, which is the oldest university botanical garden in the world to have conserved its original location and its structure over the centuries (established in 1545).
We ended up in front of the Basilica of Saint Anthony just in time to hear the church bells ring for Saturday’s mass. It was amazing to watch the herds of people file in to the massive church doors. While mass was going on, we decided to take a stroll through the Anthonian museum. Here we saw works of art, pieces of sacred jewelry, fabrics, manuscripts…the list goes on. One thing that caught all of our attention was the shadow boxes of hair..yes hair. Braided hair, pig tails, pony tails.. we still do not know the importance of the hair in the museum but it definitely made each of us take a step back with a massive question mark above our head.
We “winged it” and ended up in a rather nice Ristorante for lunch in Padua. I tried rabbit for the first time, and no I didn’t order little bunny foo foo, John did. It was one of those nice linens, no children’s menu type of places..only problem, we had two kids with us! They ended up munching on some crispy french fries as their lunch, but I don’t think they cared. I think most of us (with the exception of Connie because she ordered a beef cutlet which ended up being a juicy steak) were disappointed in our rather expensive meal. To make up for it we channeled our inner child and walked straight to the Gelato shop afterwards.
We tried to see a few more sights (the butterfly arc, the planetarium) but due to GPS malfunctions (even with updated European maps, Garmin and Tom Tom have trouble finding the correct streets in Italy) and/or lack of English speaking exhibits, we threw our hands up and decided to end the day with a trip to the motherland…IKEA!!! Now, if you have never been in an Ikea then well..you are missing out but at the same time, you are holding on to your sanity. The parking lot was like the mall at Christmas time, we circled and circled until finally giving up and parking in another shopping complex… we walk over to Ikea only to find swarms of people in every square foot of this three story building..I have never been more excited and more miserable at once! I must admit while I did buy quite a few things, I could have done a lot more damage if I could have moved at least a foot or two in the store without someone else being right there! To put it in to perspective, Ikea is so massive, so popular and so busy that they have their own childcare service, a mini grocery/convenience store, and a cafe inside.
All in all I’d chalk our day up as an “experience.” What we saw was nice, but I know we missed out on a lot due to lack of planning. There is so much history here in Italy, you cannot possibly see it all in one day trip.
Here is the link to pictures from Padova
On another note, the Aviano Primavera Bazaar on base opens tomorrow and I could not be more excited. Vendors from all of Europe attend this 3 day event, selling their wines, cheese, hand carved furniture, porcelain, homemade soaps, chocolates, oils..I can’t even name it all! Needless to say I will be on base waiting for Bobby to get off of work tomorrow so we can SHOP!! (Hey, I’ve got quite a few birthday gifts to buy for..any maybe a few things for myself while I’m at it!)