...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Pasta: Life's Greatest Quest. (Week 1: Italy)

This is a happy picture to start off this blogging post. The people in Italy are so friendly!

If you haven't been to Venice - you should go.
And don't put it off, because the entire city is sinking.
Seriously. At a rate of 2 1/2 inches a decade.
So go.

'Twas dark by the time we arrived in Venice that fateful eve.
Actually, eventful is probably more the word.

'Twas dark by the time we arrived in Venice that eventful eve.
We felt like super sleuths for finding our hotel. I think U2's song 'Where the Streets Have No Name' is about Venice.
We felt like athletic champions when we finally reached our room after climbing many many stairs. This was the first of many times that Dad almost passed out from carrying too many bags up too many flights of stairs.
But we had an amazing view and even a singing guitar man on the street below us.

We also had banana juice drinks left in our room for breakfast. This is why we pay for a B&B, I tell you, this is why we pay. It was all for the banana juice. Breakfast in a banana juice.

I think Venice was actually one of my favourite places. Only downside was the swarms of tourists. Go home, people, go home!

It actually is this crazy bizarre city built on little islands and with water, water and more water. (I know you know this, but it's truly amazing. )

The locals just have boats outside their houses. This is because it is ridiculous to pay 100 Euros for an hour long Gondola ride. Eeek! So, instead we used public transport - the Wassertaxi!

Our addiction to Italian coffee started here. It was here that we learned you take your coffee standing up at the bar if you're a real Italian. (We are not real Italians but we like to pretend) They come in for their morning shot, swig it down and off they go.
I like it.

We caught a plane from Venice to Rome. But we almost missed it because we wanted to have pizza one more time in Venice.
We then had to run for the plane. It's yet to be confirmed but Mum may have taken her shoes off to sprint.
(It's a proven method - I do it often).

Rome was crazy. We had been warned NOT to drive there and I'm SO glad we didn't. It's dangerous enough just being a pedestrian (more running involved).

Very cool to see the Colosseum, Catacombs and the Vatican. And I really liked seeing the Sistine Chapel (although the magic is a little lost when you are squashed amongst many tourists in a room that seems smaller all the time) (Go home people, go home!)

We were in search of the perfect pasta and one such night was previously mentioned in a blog here

(This is a photo of the man we'd like to forget. If anyone wants his address I found it in my pocket the other day...)

But whilst in Rome we were mostly left with an empty feeling where pasta fulfillment should have been. (Don't worry - there is a happy ending to this story).

Dad and Mum did try to lose me after we had been through the Vatican. They could have told me they wanted some alone time but instead I felt like that little kid in the supermarket all over again.
(hmmm...has that actually ever happened to me? Or am I assuming other people's experiences?)
Several people offered to take me home but I knew my parents would need me eventually. Did they think they could find their own way home? Ha!

After Rome came Florence and Pisa. We spent a night in classy accommodation in Florence. Well, it was supposed to be classy. We came back to our room later in the evening to find liquid dripped from a spot on the roof. And the room smelt rather like...umm, urine.
We called the owner/manager and he admitted he'd been having some issues with plumbing upstairs but assured us it was only water.
We assured him it wasn't.
He assured us it was.
We assured him it wasn't.
He then picked up the towels that were under the drip and smelt them. He paused and simply said: "Could be."

The happy ending to our pasta story came whilst we were in Florence. We had amazing pasta not once, but twice in one day. Good thing I'm going back to Florence this weekend...pasta here I come!

Pisa really is all about the Tower. However, it is a very cool tower.

With much pleading I then persuaded Mum and Dad to take a detour through Cinque Terre.

(They look like it was a hard choice for them eh?)

They are five towns built into the hillside/cliffs along the coast from La Spezia. They are colourful and bright and beautiful and amazing and I will forever love this area because this is where I first had pizza covered in pesto. Also for the forementioned reasons. Oh, and because I got to dip my toes into the Mediterranean!

And then we took a train to France. But that is another story. For another day. But I shall leave this post with a few fond memories of Italy.

  • Don't try and sell my a fake Prada bag. No, I don't want a fake Prada bag. Seriously, I said no. A fake Prada bag? Thanks, but no. Hmm, let me think about it.....NO!

  • In Rome I took my shoe off to find...a belly button ring IN my shoe. Now, it wasn't mine - as to my knowledge, my belly button is not pierced. The stories it could tell if it could talk. Who is your owner and why are you in my shoe?

  • What architect thought it would be a good idea to put the toilet in the shower? Seriously. It was more than one hotel room that our toilet was almost directly under the shower. Who does that?!

  • The engraving on the wall outside the Accademia Gallery in Florence. People wait for hours to get in here to see the Statue of David.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Am Not Your Friend. A Tale of Friendship.

Good night, my little friend (3). Have a good sleep.

I am not your friend.

What? I think we are friends.

No. You are the Au Pair and I am your kind (child).

Ok. Good night, my little kind (child). Sleep well.

No, I am not little.

Ok. Good night, my kind (child). Have a good sleep.

No! I am a big kind (child).

Ok!! Good night, my big kind (child). Go to sleep.

Good night.

MLF3's final words before bed.
Have been working on a blog of the Italy-France trip but it's taking a while, especially since Blogger deleted half of it today. (Scum!!) But it's coming....
Also, an excellent exciting birthday present was received (actually I had lots of lovely ones) but one in particular should show up in a photo or two sometime soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Blue Wax Crayon

Oh Little Blue Wax Crayon.
Where did you come from? And how did you return?
It was only 2 days ago that you took wrath out on me. I discovered you in the bedroom of a little girl, hidden underneath the special woolen floor rug. You had made such a mess.
Your waxiness was everywhere - the floor, the rug and for seemingly miles around.
I scrubbed. I removed your crayon-ness to the best of my ability.
I washed. That rug will never be the same, but it is on the path to recovery.

And now, it seems you will have your revenge. For although I surely threw you into the pit of despair, the rubbish bin, you have returned. In the same place. On the same floor, and your waxiness is everywhere, yet again.
Why did you choose me? And how on earth did you get out of the pit of despair.
It does not seem fair.

I will scrub. And I will wash. I will remove every ounce of proof that you were once there.
Oh Little Blue Wax Crayon. I will survive. You will not.
I have thrown you into the pit once again and this time you shall never return.
And you have only yourself to blame. I tried to warn you.

Farewell Little Blue Wax Crayon.

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Know You've Made It When...

So we're home from our Summer Adventure of Italy and France. And we survived. And had beautiful weather. And saw way too much stuff to fully take in.

And I got home to discover...

wait for it...


MLF3 has been including me in her pictures of the family.

You know you've made it as an Aupair when...you're pencilled AND texta'd in the family portrait drawings.

This is what I've been working for. I think this is the top of the proverbial mountain. This is why I get up in the morning.

I think.

Anyone got any other 'you know you've made it when...' moments to share?

Oh - and blog of 'Kylie and Dad and Mum's Amazing Excellent Adventure soon to follow....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Esmerelda, Is That You?

Just in case you didn't know...the Eifel Tower is HUGE. I never knew it was so big. It towers (no pun intended) over the rest of Paris by a mile (or something like 300 something metres). Tomorrow I have the full intention of climbing to the top!

We're staying in a crazy quirky hotel in the absolute heart of Pareee. Unfortunately they decided to use jack hammers in the absolute heart of Pareee this morning.
Dear Construction Men, please do your thang in the outskirts tomorrow morning.

We have a wonderful view of the Notre Dame from our window, from the Hotel Esmerelda. There seems to be a old lady living in the reception room of our hotel. Last night she told me she owned the hotel.
She might be right....she is there all the time, sleeping in the chair. Sometimes I feel the need to go and shake her, just to check she is still with us.
And I think she may be Esmerelda. Even though the original Esmerelda was Victor Hugo's fictional character - somewhere back in the 1830's.....there is still a chance. This lady is rather old. And everyone needs an inspiration, even Victor Hugo.

Today we joined the throng of tourists and sat aboard an open topped bus and saw some of the sights this way. I had an overwhelming urge quite a few times to spit my chewing gum on the heads of people walking along the pavement. Would this be wrong? Why do I get these thoughts? Where do they come from? I'm not a bad person. It's just...tempting.

I saw the Moulin Rouge today. And a few locations for the film Amelie....I may have even seen Amelie running down the street. Still an unconfirmed sighting though. Again, a fictional character but....

I also saw some bad guys get chased by policemen on bicycles.

Exciting stuff. Paris.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cheers Franceso!

We're in Rome.
And we just had dinner with a crazy man.
I was late. We were going out for a quick dinner.
He introduced himself and sat down with us. It was my fault, really. I caught his eye when we both clapped for the singing guitar man.
But I think he was a little crazy. He spilled Dad's Coke on his lap and threw Mum's fork at her white shirt. Or he just helped Mum and Dad do that themselves.
Not sure.
He wanted to swap addresses with us and we gave him a fake one.
He gave his compliments to Dad when he found out about the 6 children.
We also have an outstanding invitation to his house in southern Italy.
This may be taken back when he finds out about the fake address.
Not sure.
He bought us a lovely bottle of champagne though. He can't say cheers to himself.
I know a surprising amount of Italian when he can't speak English.
His poor cousin on the next table spent half her evening translating.
Got a great photo of him and I which I may perhaps share at a later date.
We wanted to meet Italian people in Italy. I guess that was him.
Not sure.
I ate a plate of mushrooms for dinner. I had my heart set on mushrooms AND Jerusalem artichokes but the were all out of artichokes. Something about it being Rome.
Not sure.
Thanks Franceso for a lovely bottle of champers.
And for wetting my Dad's pants and ruining my Mum's shirt.