Ciao Ya’ll!

It’s another hot summer day in Italia and we’ve got every pedestal fan in our house on full blast..central air, who needs it!? I wouldn’t trade these days for the world! I was just looking at the calendar earlier today thinking “wow, we have been here almost FIVE months” Can you believe it? Time is flying by. I miss mia famiglia some kind of crazy but I can honestly say that I have yet to have the full out “I want to go home meltdown” that most were expecting within our first few months here. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed with myself. I proved you skeptics wrong 🙂

Earlier this week we decided to drive to our neighboring town (Caneva) and check out Castello di Caneva. This Castle is perched on the mountain side and can be seen from just about any main street in our town. The “trip” was on a whim, so we were in Bobby’s (manual) Scion and I am pretty sure I held my breath the entire way up the mountain side (not to mention the top half was gravel and his car is lowered). Once we were up there, the view was breathtaking.

Image

Last week was also my first experience with celebrating the 4th of July on base. I have to admit, even though we weren’t out on the Skiff watching the fireworks from the intercostal waterway at Topsail Island, we still had a good time. We started our evening off by grilling out at house (wine included) and later we met with all of our friends and their families at Freedom park. The base had numerous vendors giving away freebies as well as fair like food and a fireworks show to top off the night.

You can check out more pictures from the 4th here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/July%204th%20in%20Aviano

And more of our view from the Castle here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Viva%20Italia

I can happily report that Bobby has not had to work the past three weekends. Can I get a Amen? So yesterday after sleeping past my alarm (for 40 extra minutes! Whoops) We headed to the train station in Sacile and made our way to Venezia (Venice). After an hour long sweaty, STINKY, and packed train ride, we spent the next 6 hours weaving in and out of alley ways, crossing over bridges and detouring through squares, taking in every possible square inch of the city’s historical beauty. Now, I have been to Venice once before with a friend, but this was Bobby’s first time and I must say I was just as much in awe as he was. Since we’ve had our bellies full of risotto, anti pasta, pizza and just about every possible noodle you can think of, we decided to have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. This is probably one of the only places you will go to in Europe that serves ice in their drinks, ketchup with fries and has “American coffee” on their menu. They also had “iced tea” listed as a beverage option, but I’d put money on it that it doesn’t taste like Bojangles’ Sweet Tea! Even with the hot temperature, sore feet and tourists in every direction, yesterday was one of my most favorite days so far. We didn’t have a “plan”, we didn’t purchase tickets to see the inside of any of the main tourist attractions, and we surely didn’t have a map…we choose to get lost in between the canals, walk in circles and fully immerse ourselves in our surroundings. I think I could go back to Venice every weekend until our tour is over and still feel just as satisfied with my “trip” as I did the first time.

I have added our pictures from yesterday to my Venice album. You can see them here:

http://s1342.photobucket.com/user/MrsTEAvery/slideshow/Venice

Last night I also went to a friends “bachelorette party.” Which only means one thing, next weekend we will be attending our first wedding in Italy! I could not be more excited. It is taking place at an Agriturismo (in other words, they grow their own food for their restaurant..they are an agriculturally-based business on a farm/ranch) the place also has horses, vineyards, camp sites, and our “hotel” is an old Lataria (Italian dairy shop). Last nights festivities ended up taking us to an Italian dance club called Papillon. Now I know what you are thinking, how can you really enjoy the music if you don’t understand the lyrics… American pop culture is widespread. Even the Italians who do not speak a lick of english still listen to American music. So at the club I’d say a good 80% of the music was songs we knew…It was a blast! The club was completely outside… one “side,” which was pavilion style, was set up for “hip hop,” while the other side was completely open to the night and more “Pop and techno.” The entire thing was surrounded by walk ways, raised dance floors, two in ground swimming pools , and even included stripper poles! (No, there were not strippers- just the poles for people to dance!). Now if you know me, I am not a beer drinker. So going “out” can get expensive for me due to ordering mixed drinks…well add in the fact we are in Italy and WOW it gets pricey. No matter what drink us girls ordered, it was always 7 euro, so just over $9 per drink (and these were not big cups). Needless to say, if you go out in Italy, you “pre game” at home unless you are trying to break the bank! haha. We also saw Lady Ga-Gas doppelganger, Italian style! Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera on me to snap a quick shot for proof!

On another note, Bobby and I went to a local winery that we pass every time we drive to base. (Bessich Winery) One of the wines we tasted, called Picolit, is a region specific wine here in Friuli-Venezi Giulia. This wine costs 12 euro a bottle here…in the states it goes for $180-$230 a bottle! Can we say living in Italy has its perks? We also tried (and purchased) a bottle of Bianco, which is a sweet white wine made of scuppernong grapes. However, the bottle does not have a label. The gentlemen doing our tasting for us explained that since scuppernong grapes are not native to Italy they are not allowed to label the bottle. (Italians are hardcore about staying true to their region and their wines) This particular wine tastes like a Duplin wine but 10 times better. If you plan on visiting us, we will most definitely take you here for a tasting. Unfortunately, if you are planning on shipping wine back you may think twice about it. I asked about fees for shipping because I had heard that it was costly, I just did not know HOW costly! To ship 12 bottles of wine (from this particular winery) costs 192 euro, that is just shy of $250! So while you are here, take advantage… BOTTOMS UP!

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