About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fantastic Day

We woke up to sunshine this morning! Time for a bike ride. If only my gear was dry. I have it all hanging in front of a fan so it will dry quickly.

I went for a fantastic bike ride today. I rode my usual route towards Como. The Alps are completely white with snow. What a beautiful sight. The sun was out and it wasn't too cold. My legs were a bit tired, but I was able to do my 'regular' 40km ride to Lurago di Erba and back. My new bike rocks!

Pinarello FP2, photo by Katrina

I set the alarm clock to remind me when it was time to pickup Brandon, then sat on the couch to study the Italian driver manual. Its a good thing I set the alarm. It woke me up at the right time. I guess I should not study on the couch.

Brandon and I had an Italian lesson this afternoon. It went pretty well. We are working on some new vocabulary. I actually beat Brandon in a vocabulary contest. I think this is the first time.

Our little nephew Tanner had surgery today. He had his tonsils taken out. Poor little guy, but we know he will feel better from now on since he's had some problems leading up to this. We are thinking of you Tanner! Love you.

Our nephew Tanner.

We had pasta con pesto for dinner this evening. Tasty and one of our favorites.


We have travelled so much since we arrived in Italy last April.

We are now beginning to think about our next round of European trips. Have any of you been to Europe, and if so, what were your favorite destinations? If not, what would be the top 5 European destinations on your wish list?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rainy Monday

More pictures of my bike - photos by Katrina

We woke up to another rainy day in Vedano. The sun is supposed to return tomorrow. I hope it does. Katrina was excited about the rain. She's been waiting for an opportunity to wear her new rain boots.

I spent the morning cleaning up around the house and sweeping. We just swept the house on Saturday morning. Everything gets so dusty around here...and cat hair...don't get me started on that. Katrina spent part of the morning studying the Italian drivers manuel. I need to do that!

I don't seem to have the green thumb that I had in Corvallis. I've had to throw away a couple of plants since we moved here. We have seven plants right now and two are not looking all that great. Hmmmm? Maybe its because I don't speak fluent Italian?

I took a quick trip to Punto for a few groceries. It was sprinkling on the way there and on the way back.

The kids were selling Christmas cards when I picked Brandon up at school today. I bought 3 packs. Its for a good cause and the kids made them. On our walk home from school Brandon and I noticed that another circus is setting up in Parco di Matteotti, next door to our apartment.

I made pasta with a white walnut sauce for dinner. It tasted pretty good, but it wasn't out favorite. I also made asparagus.

Rainy Sunday

My new Pinarello FP2. Photos by Katrina

I was once again the last one up this morning. Brandon was playing on the computer and Katrina was painting when I got up.

Its a rainy and cold day in Vedano. No bike rides today. We decided to watch the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, since Brandon just finished the book.

By the time the movie was over, it was early afternoon and we were all still in our pajamas. A nice lazy day at home.

Late this afternoon I pulled out the model ship I started building back in June. It's been sitting on a shelf in our living room for a couple of months. I was able to glue a few planks to the hull of the ship. One side is almost done. This step is a long and tedious one, with each plank needing to be custom cut then glued in place. My goal is to finish the project before we move back to Corvallis.

I made bruschetta for Katrina and I this evening. I think we are really tired of Italian food. It just did not satisfy, and our favorite wine tasted a bit dull. I'm definitely feeling some Italian blues.

33 Week Gelati Count: 181
33 Week Wine Bottle Count: 37

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Saturday

I got up around 9am this morning. Brandon and Katrina were already up.

We spent part of the morning getting the house straightened up for our Thanksgiving guests, Mike and Jen.

Brandon and I walked over to see our gelato guy about getting a gelato cake for dessert. He is so great. He gave us a large cake for the price of a small cake. Then Brandon ordered a small cup of gelato and he gave it to us for free.

I've been limping around a little bit today, ever since I took a shower. Last night I was checking out the toenail on my small baby toe - left foot - when it just totally fell off. Or at least, 2/3 or it fell off. It didn't hurt at all. In fact, I wasn't sure what to do about the 1/3 that was left. I pulled on it a bit and it came off as well. So, I now have 9 toesnails. Obviously nails grow, but do they grow back after coming completely off? Anyway, it didn't hurt a bit until I took a shower this morning. I almost screamed when the warm water hit my feet as I stepped in the shower. Now it is sore, but I'm keeping it clean so it doesn't get infected. Did you really need to know all this..lol?

Turkeys do not come prepacked and ready to cook like they do in the US. Mike had to pull quite a few feathers out and break the feet off. At least this turkey did not have a neck and head like the one I saw in our neighborhood market this past week.

Mike and Jen arrived around 11:30 or so. Katrina and Jen took off for the Saturday market in Monza while Mike and I prepped the turkey. Mike had to pluck quite a few feathers from the turkey. He also had to break the feet off. At least we didn't get a turkey like the one I saw at Punto this past week. It had a neck and its head still attached.

When Mike was done prepping the bird, he gave a it a nice bath then I slathered it down for a nice oven tan.

Mike, giving the turkey a nice warm bath.

After the bath, we gave the turkey a good oil and butter rub for a deep dark tan.

Katrina and Jen returned about an hour after we put the turkey in the oven. They had purchased some olives and salami for a light lunch. This was followed by some Wii time.

Wii time.

Katrina and Mike each had recipes for cranberries and Jen was nice enough to bring two bags of berries with her from the US.

Mike and Katrina work on cranberries. Mike made one variety and Katrina made another. Both were excellent!

Checking on the turkey. It was smelling pretty good by this time. We sure wish we had a roasting bag. They don't seem to exist here in Italy.

Katrina makes the gravy.

Katrina set the table. Mike and I made mashed potatoes. It was close to 6pm and everything was ready.

We sat down to a nice traditional Thanksgiving. We were all quite proud of our accomplishments since each step seemed to be a bit more difficult here in Italy: finding a turkey, finding some of the ingredients, cooking a turkey in a small oven, etc. We did it and had a great dinner.

Later in the evening we enjoyed the tasty gelato cake Brandon and I picked out this morning, ending Thanksgiving with an Italian twist.

Cleaning up after dinner. Mike only carved half the turkey, so we had a lot of leftovers.

Jen and Mike relaxing after the big meal.

We are thankful for friends to enjoy Thanksgiving with in Italy. We are thankful for our friends and family. We are thankful for all that we have and for our health. What an experience these past 7 months have been.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tired of Italian Food

All three of us had a hard time waking up this morning. Katrina walked Brandon to school and I got ready for the day. Its wet outside again, so no bike ride for me.

I had to go shopping at Auchan to pickup supplies for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Its Black Friday in the US, but here in Italy it is just a regular day. No store specials. No long lines. No crazieness.

This is our local Vedano al Lambro post office. At an Italian post office you can: mail your letters, pay your bills and cash your retirement checks. The lines can be just as bad as they are in the US.

Brandon and I had to pickup Katrina at work, since I kept the car today. We were both feeling a bit gloomy. I am very tired of Italian food and mostly Italian restaurant options. Brandon just wanted to eat at home. I wish I could just enjoy some good ole American comfort food.

This evening we hung out at home. Katrina made stuffing for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, then we watched a couple of 30Rock episodes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Day - Italian Style

Color of fall in Vedano al Lambro - Giallo

We woke up to a cloudy and cold Thanksgiving Day in Italy. Actually, its not Thanksgiving here in Italy. Its a regular day of school, work and Italian lessons.

We plan to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday with Mike and Jen, here at our apartment. Mike found a turkey at a local butcher. We'll be having all the traditional food: mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, etc. The only things thing missing will be football and pie. Yes, we could bake a pie, but none of us like to bake. So, to add an Italian twist to our Thanksgiving feast we will be enjoying a gelato cake. Maybe they have pumpkin flavored gelato?

I visited BiciMania this morning to pick up a couple of things. My ears have been cold when I ride. I found a thin headband to keep them warm. I also needed a water bottle cage for my new bike.

It is drizzly, wet and cold this morning. I promised myself that I would ride any day this winter that was dry, but not the wet days. Being chilled while riding is acceptable. Being chilled and wet is not fun or tolerable.

This afternoon I spent two hours reading with Brandon's classmates...Matilde, Martina, Tomasso, Beatrice, Aurora, Camilla and Emilio. My own son didn't want to read with me today! I really enjoy reading with the kids. I always have one or two who want to stay inside during recess and read to me.

Katrina had a 'Thanksgiving' pizza dinner with coworkers this evening. Brandon and I had pasta con pesto. Right before dinner, Brandon and I called my family in Colorado Springs to wish them a happy Thanksgiving. They (Heather, Rob, Dylan, my cousin Marty and his wife Heather and there son Josh, Aunt Lorraine, Mom, Dad, and Ashlie) were all at Heather and Rob's house for the day. Mom said that Heather (Marty's wife) was spoiling our dog Tasha. I have really been missing Tasha lately. I miss her had in my lap and her wet nose knudging my hand for attention. I'm thankful she has a good home while we are in Italy.

I spent the evening on the couch watching the Detroit - Green Bay game.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Mercoledi - C'e Nebbia

We woke up to fog this morning. The forecast says that the sun should peak out later today. I have hope since the forecast was correct yesterday.

I spent part of the morning cleaning up the house: vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and straightening Brandon's room up a bit. I leave the major messes for him.

Holiday decorations. We picked up the tree in St. Goar, Germany.

I went for a mid day bike ride on my Burley. I don't want it to get jealous of my Pinarello...lol. I chose a new route today, heading towards Villesanta and east towards Bergamo. Its a fairly flat ride compare to my normal route. I was able to put in 30km - 19 miles. It was pretty chilly once again, 7c when I left and 9c when I returned. I need to find a thin headband or cap I can wear under my helmet to keep my ears warmer.

This afternoon a thick fog rolled in again. I could barely see the street outside our apartment. When I picked up Brandon it was starting to sprinkle.

This evening we had an appointment to meet Olga at an AutoSchool in Monza. Our International Drivers License is only good for one year (March 2010) and the process to get an Italian license is lengthy. In Italy you have to go to driving school to get a license. Tonight we filled out paperwork and had to prove residency with several of the documents I blogged about recently. Then we had an eye exam and had to pay a very LARGE sum of euros for the process. We received two books (in English) to study with. One book is the driving law book. The other book is full of practice tests.

In 30 days or so we will receive the official paperwork to start taking lessons. We can then start taking lessons. We know we get some driving lessons, but are not sure about classroom time. At this time we can also schedule our written test. Once the written test is completed and passed, we can schedule a driving test.

Like I said, its a lot of work to get a driver's license in Italy. Let the fun begin...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Basic Pizza Dough

I've had a request for an Italian pizza dough recipe. I have not tried it, but here it is anyway:

2 1/2 tbsp fresh bread yeast or 1 1/2 tbsp active dried yeast
1 c lukewarm water
pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
3 - 3 1/2 c plain flour, preferable strong

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer

1. Warm a medium mixing bowl by swirling some hot water in it. Drain. Add yeast and warm water. Stir in sugar, mix, allow to stand for 5 - 10 min.

2. Mix in salt and 1/3 of flour. Mix in another 1/3 of flour.

3. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour onto a smooth surface. Remove dough and knead, working remaining flour in a little at a time. Knead for 8 - 10 minutes. Form into a ball.

4. Lightly oil a mixing bowl. Place dough in bowl and stretch a damp towel over top. Leave to stand in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 40 min.

5. Punch the dough to release air.

6. Pat the ball of dough out into a flat circle on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Roll out to size of pizza pan.

7. Place in lightly oiled pan, folding edges to make thicker edges.

This dough can be used for focaccia, breadsticks, and calzones. The dough may be frozen as well.

Brandon's Poem

Brandon wrote this poem in school. It is about his teacher, Ms Partridge and is written in the style of Michael Rosen, a British poet.

Ms Partridge

Our teacher
Helps people
Always looking for her red light
But when found

Red Light!!!
Tidy the Classroom!!!

Long blonde hair
Wonder if she uses a hairbrush?
Likes being funny
But watch out or

Red Light!!!
Tidy the Classroom!!!

Dislikes mushrooms
And people being impolite but

Red Light!!!
Tidy the Classroom!!!

By Brandon Eli Sloma

Monday, November 23, 2009


We woke up to cloudy skies and some fog this morning. I hope the forecast is correct and the sun comes out later.

I went for a 25 km bike ride on my new Pinarello this morning. It was a cold ride at only 8 degrees celcius = 46f. My toes were pretty cold by the time I arrived home. I made need to get some winter shoe covers for them. I felt a lot more comfortable this morning, but still need a lot more time on this bike before I race down the hills at full speed. This bike is very responsive, even when I don't intend it to be. I caught myself looking at scenery on my right and drifting pretty quickly to the left several times. That rarely happened on my Burley. I am amazed at how many cyclists are out riding on cold winter days. Its inspiring to know I am not the only one. I've seen several teams out riding on various roads and have heard that the winter training camps have begun.

Katrina had her last Italian lesson this morning. She was pretty happy about it. Although learning Italian has been very important in making our lives easier, the lessons have taken a lot of time out of her already busy weekly schedule. Now she will have two more mornings a week free. I am hoping Rosella will agree to combine my remaining lessons with Brandon's lessons. We are essentially learning the same thing right now and are doing the same homework, so why not have class together.


Rosella agreed that Brandon and I can do our lessons together. She even thought it would be better for us to work together. So, we will begin after school today.

Late fall in Vedano...looking out from our balcony.

Brandon and I had a good lesson this afternoon. We had three contests to see who knew the most vocabulary words. He won all three!!

C'e Sole e Lunedi...Molto Bello

We woke up to clear and sunny skies in Vedano this morning.

Katrina walked Brandon to school while I cleaned up the house a bit. When she returned I left for first 'real' ride on my new bike. Wow, it rides nice and is really different than my touring bike. Even though I know the frame geometry is slightly different and that the new bike is SO much lighter, I am still surprised at how different each bike rides. My Burley is smooth and sturdy for heavy loads and built for long comfortable rides. The gearing is setup for heavy loads with low gears for climbing and chugging along. The Pinarello has a shorter geometry for quicker turning response and more power. It rides comfortably, but is built for more speed than comfort. The gearing is setup for speed. I will need to go for several rides before I feel totally comfortable, otherwise I might break my neck on a fast downhill. Overall, I love the new bike and now need to figure out how to use each bike regularly. Its supposed to be sunny all week, so I plan to ride on any day that is dry.

Mi Bicicletti

Our good freinds, the Noel's, are moving to a new house today. It will be a bit strange to visit them in a new home. Katrina mentioned this morning that we have been there to help at each of their moves since we met them. Not this time. Their new house is on our side of town, a short bike ride away, so that will be convenient. Katrina will get to see their new house first, since she will be heading to Corvallis in a couple of weeks for business. Brandon and I will see it in February.

I stopped at Auchan to pickup a few things since I have the car today. It was a bit busier than usual, for a Monday. Some of you have emailed me surprised at how early they start Christmas here. One reason I can think of is: they don't have Thanksgiving to think about. We will all be working and going to school on Thursday. That will be a bit weird.

What is up with the Broncos?! They are playing as if the first six weeks of wins were given to them, because they sure aren't earning anything now. The look like a college or even high school team could beat them. Well, at least they will have six wins for the season.

Brandon had his classmate Amelie over for a playdate after school today. They played with the cat, went outside, then came in to play Club Penguin on the computer.

We spent the evening decorating our Christmas tree. Normally we wait until after Thanksgiving, but this year we decorated early.

Our Christmas tree. Not the greatest picture, but I'm sure Katrina will take better shots and post them later. We left all of our ornaments in Oregon. This tree is decorated with silver ornaments from IKEA and ornaments from our many European travels.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Umbrella Fun

We spotted these backdrops near Piazza dell Duomo and Heather thought it would be fun if we posed with our umbrellas. Katrina took pictures while we posed. Several people walked by and looked, wondering what we were up to.

IKEA Sunday

We woke up to a grey and drizzly morning in Vedano. Our goal for the day was to shop at IKEA early, before it became too crazy busy.

We arrived at IKEA around 10:30am. The store was very busy, but not crazy yet. We needed to shop for reading lamps for Katrina and Brandon, as well as some Christmas decorations for our tree. We have some ornaments we have picked up on our travels here, but that is all. We didn't bring any Christmas decorations with us from Oregon. We found some great ornaments and decorations. I'll post pictures when we put the tree up next weekend.

Unfortunately it became more drizzly as the day progressed. I had hoped to take a bike ride this afternoon. Instead, I worked on cleaning up the kitchen and watching a movie on TV.

We decided to put the Christmas tree up at Brandon's urging. We also put up a few decorations, but didn't decorate the tree yet.

Brandon wanted to play Settlers, so we did. Its not often he is willing to play games.

Do you remember what you were like at 8 years old? I remember some things, but I don't remember if I was a difficult child when it came to doing my homework at this age. We've been struggling a bit with Brandon and his school work. He complains that he has to do it, even though he gets very little on any given day. He hasn't been doing his 'best work' and needs to be continually reminded to put some effort into it. Why do we, adults and children, fight so hard to not do things that we must do, only to make it more work and time consuming that if we just didn't complain to begin with?

32 Week Gelati Count: 175
32 Week Wine Bottle Count: 34

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Play Rug and New Bike

After getting to sleep late last night, our wonderful 8 year old decided it would be funny to wake us up at 7:30am today. We were not happy and could not get back to sleep.

Katrina wanted to visit the Saturday market in Monza to look for some boots and a few other things. Brandon wanted me to take him hunting for a play rug - one with roads - for his room.

We dropped Katrina off near the market then headed to the toy store. Wow! Christmas is in full swing here. The parking lot was full and cars were parked out on the street. We found some play mats with roads, but they were pretty cheap and made out of foam. We decided to head to IKEA where I knew they had play rugs. IKEA was the even more busy. We had to park far away from the store. We found the rug and were able to pay quickly in the credit card only line since most people here use cash. Brandon was anxious to get home and play cars on the rug. On our way home Katrina called and asked us to pick her up, so we ventured back into Monza.

Brandon playing on his new rug.

After lunch at home, I drove Katrina down to the art store in Monza. She wanted to shop there this morning, but it had closed for lunch by the time she got there. I drove around the block a few times until she returned then dropped her off at home so I could head to BiciMania. I was there to pickup my new Pinarello FP2. I guess this will be my one big souvenier from Italy. I'll post pictures tomorrow, but here is the catalog picture for now.

Pinarello FP2

Katrina and I started watching season 1 of 30Rock. Mike loaned the DVD's to us. What a funny show! We watched two episodes this evening.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pinarello FP2

After two nights of fabulous sleep, last night sucked. I did not sleep well at all. When I did sleep I had weird dreams about peanut butter sandwiches and model trains (not together).

Its a cloudy gloomy morning again in Vedano. Once again, the forecast calls for partly sunny skies. I guess we'll see if the sun got the memo this time.

I drove Katrina to work again today. On the way home I stopped at BiciMania to pick out some pedals for my new bike. Yes, I bought a new Pinarello FP2 road bike. I pick it up tomorrow afternoon. I guess I need to get my lazy butt off the couch and start riding again. I haven't been out for a ride since the week before our Tuscany trip.

Pinarello FP2

Brandon went to play at Hugo's house after school today. He was pretty excited! He doesn't have as many kids to play with here in Italy, so any playdates are a big deal. Most of the children in his class live all over the surrounding suburbs, not in our neighborhood. Most of the children in our two buildings are older.

I picked up Brandon at Hugo's house. He had a great time playing with Hugo. We picked up Katrina at work and headed home.

This evening we watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where is the Sun??

Once again we woke up to clouds, a little fog and a little rain. The forecast keeps saying that the sun will come out, but it hasn't so yet.

I had a pretty good Italian lesson this morning. Katrina's lesson was short because she had to leave for work early.

I spent the afternoon at Brandon's school reading with his classmates. I love it! They are very interesting children. It look forward to getting to know each of them during the rest of the school year.

Once again, the sun never made an appearance today. It has been fairly warm, in the low 60's, but I guess the sun never go the forecast memo.

Brandon had his Italian lesson this afternoon. He has such an amazing memory! He gets is and keeps it in his head. For me, Rosella has to keep pounding away until its stamped in my memory.

We had a midterm conference with Brandon's teacher, Ms Partridge, this evening. Brandon is doing well with his school work. We had a nice talk with her while Brandon read and drew pictures in the hallway.

This evening I made gnocchi with mushroom and shallot sauce. It was very tasty, especially with a glass of red wine.

7 Months in Italy

We woke up to another foggy morning. Its supposed to be sunny and in the low 60's to today.

We just got a message than an old friend of Katrina's will be stopping by for two nights in mid December. He and his wife will be in Italy. Our second official visitors!

I spent part of the morning sweeping and mopping the floors. After Katrina returned from walking Brandon to school she decided to do some painting. I like to see her paint!

I decided to drive Katrina to work today. I needed a few things from Auchan and was more interested in getting it done during the day than this evening. I stopped at the Monza BiciMania to look at bikes. Nothing new to see...still dreaming about the Pinarello.

Picked Brandon up from Aikido and drove over to ST to pickup Katrina at work. We are having burgers and fries for dinner this evening.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thicker Fog on Tuesday

We woke up to fog again this morning. Its a bit thicker this morning. The forecast says the sun will come out...we shall see.

Mike and I went to see Bad Lieutenent last night at the Monza Cinema. If you haven't seen it, don't. Don't go to the theater. Don't rent it. Don't even watch it for free. I left the theater feeling as if I had wasted 2 hours of my life in Italy. Words cannot describe how bad the writing and acting were.

I had my Tuesday Italian lesson this morning. Katrina did not have a lesson today. She has a tea to attend with the Benvenuto Club.

Rosella was late for my lesson this morning. I found out that she has been staying with her mother while she is in the hospital. I told her we could cancel Brandon's afternoon lesson, but she insisted on keeping it. My lesson went pretty well, although she 'scolded' me for not studying. I admit I haven't studied.

This evening we visited Auchan. Katrina needed a new cell phone for work and we wanted to buy a Christmas tree before the selection became limited. Christmas is in full swing here in Italy. We even had a catholic priest come to our door to give us a Christmas blessing and an info card for all the services in December.

Foggy Monday

All three of us had a hard time waking up this morning. We had already woken up at 6:30am to see our guests off. They had a plane to catch and didn't want to get stuck in rush hour traffic. After they left, we went back to bed.

Brandon was a little emotional on the walk to school today. He was sad that everyone had left to go home.

Katrina and I drove over to the Auchan mall to get some passport photos taken. We needed them for yet another Italian ID card - the Carta D'Identita. We need this card so that we can start working on getting an Italian drivers license.

So, to date we have the following ID cards to live in Italy:
1) US Passport
2) OR drivers license
3) International drivers license
4) Codice Fiscale
5) Permesso di Soggiorno
6) Carta d'Identita

In the next several months we will add one more to the list, and Italian drivers license.

All the ID's needed to live in Italy (International drivers license not shown)

Mike came over for dinner this evening. Mike and I are going to see a movie later tonight. It's English movie Monday at the Monza cinema.

Dinner tonight was great. We had beef burritos with real cheddar cheese (thanks Carolyn and Laurie!) Yum!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Venice and Back Home Again

We had another light breakfast at the hotel this morning, packed up and left our luggage in the office while we headed out into Venice one more time.

Ok, either HP has cut its advertising budget...or they are focused on a new target market.

Brandon, Heather and Carolyn

Another canal picture

Carolyn stopped suddenly on the bridge. We all thought she hurt her hip or put her back out. She was ducking out of a picture.

The sun was out for a short while.

Our goal today was the Peggy Guggenheim Musuem. Along the way we stopped to take pictures, shop and sightsee.

Laurie, the serious (and fashionable) photographer

Gondola on the Grand Canal near the museum.

The Guggenheim museum exhibits modern art in what was once Peggy Guggenheim's home here in Venice. Artists include: Picasso, Braque, Dali, Ernst, Pollock, Klee and many others. As with most museums, no pictures are allowed. They did allow pictures in the gardens.

Virtual water fall sculpture

Ok, Brandon thought this was a great sculpture...can you see why?!

Our upside down reflections on a sculpture in the garden.

When we were finished at the museum, it was time for lunch. One last meal out before we head home. We stopped at a cafe in a large piazza for lunch. Brandon was able to run around and play while we waited for our food to be served.

Lunch in Venice before heading home

An interesting 'staging' canal for gondolas

After lunch we made our way back to the hotel, picked up our luggage, rode the vaperetto to the train station, rode the train to Mestre, then drove home. Laure rode with us. Carolyn and Heather drove the rental car.

We arrived home around 8pm with a bag of McDonalds for dinner. It's the only drive through restaurant we know of here in Italy. Its funny, Italians make fun of McDonalds and its food, but the place was packed. The drive through line snaked out into the street.

Carolyn, Laurie and Heather spent the evening packing and getting ready for an early departure. Its been fun having visitors.

31 Week Gelato Count: 175
31 Week Wine Bottle Count: 33