Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Now for That

So, way back on April 26th, when we were still on our Europe Vacation, we were able to go to Meran, Italy!

I got to go to Italy!


We made a day trip out there so we could say we went to Italy on our trip.

Thomas really did try to fit everything in for us that we asked for, what a great travel guide. If you need one, he's really expensive, but does a great job (wink). I'm just glad we're friends...

Anyway, we left Igls, Austria early to avoid traffic on the way to Meran, Italy.

We were cruising along just fine until we came to a complete stop on the highway... a packed highway... with no way to get out of the traffic.

I don't know how long the wait was, but it was actually kind of fun... really.

People were just getting out of their cars and walking on the highway. The road was blocked on both sides. There had a been a car fire so they stopped all traffic. We actually had some pretty great views of the mountain while we waited. I finally joined the others and got out of the car... I felt so rebellious... tee hee! Marc and Thomas made it feel more so, because they were hesitant to get out with me. So, we did what tourists do when they are stuck on the highway in another country...

We took pictures!

Don't worry, we were still in the car when the ambulance, firetruck and emergency response flew by.

After our long and entertaining wait we were off for more driving. I kept dozing off so I missed all the castles that were in each little valley going through the canyon so Marc took a picture of a couple of them for me. I saw did see them all on the way back home and seriously, they were amazing. I guess kingdoms really had to be every few miles, it was amazing! Castles everywhere!

Marc and Thomas finally got to the point where they would stoically say, "Oh, look, another castle." It was hilarious how often they actually said it, because there really were so many castles I lost count.

 When we got to Meran I was so excited to take photos of all the beauty I saw! It was also really awesome because there was a festival going on, which meant local food vendors, local musicians, and locals everywhere! Oh, and there was even a flee market! I loved Meran, Italy!

I wish I would have got a picture of the treat Thomas bought for us to share, it kind of reminded me of an apple turnover like my mom makes. It was good and it was fun to have bought it from the local street vendor.

We walked around to see the sights, enjoy the local crowds, browse the shops, eat some real Italian gelato and peruse the flee market.

Spring was definitely in Italy!

This picture makes me laugh because it looks like Marc has an antenna growing out the top of his head... it's a lamp post.

I post this photo for 3 reasons:
1) Marc took it  
2) he was taking pictures of my backside all day long so I thought I should post at least one for commemoration  
 and 3) this is the only one that didn't look like an elephant in boots...

P.S. I don't know who I am giving the dirty look to.

I'm telling you! I loved the cobblestone streets we continued to see in Europe. They just have so much character and style!

This picture makes me laugh because this dog was HUGE! I mean HUGE! So I asked to get my picture with him. I knelt down because he was above my head when he was standing... then the owner made him "sit" for the picture...


So much for the comparison...

Marc usually tried to stay a ways from me so I didn't embarrass him too much, so I would make sure to call his name and tell him to pose for a picture every once in a while so that he couldn't get away with it for too long...

I just think things are pretty

I went looking for toys to bring home for the kids in this cute, little Pinocchio shop.
I had to get a shot of Marc standing next to their mascot.

I loved how every country we were in, the streets in between the shops, were packed with tables and chairs full of people socializing and eating outside. It was nostalgic for sure.

 I just love bridges... especially when they have either Marc or flowers next to them (smile).

This is one of my favorite shots from that day. This is the one I took just as we were heading back to the car to get our swimsuits.

Ya, one of the reasons we came to Meran, was not only was it close to Igls but it has a natural hot spring fed pool.

We had so much fun there! I was just glad everyone had a swimsuit on...

Hey, I've heard things about Europe...

Besides, it was bad enough when we saw an over-confident Italian in his speedo. Trust me, there is nothing funnier than a real Italian, who looks like a real Italian walking around in a swimsuit that doesn't quite fit who thinks he's strutting his stuff for the ladies. Marc, Thomas and I had a good laugh... I would shudder, then laugh, shudder, then laugh, and so on.

It was a family place so I was glad to have not been exposed to too much exposure.

Marc got a picture just before we left the pools.

After swimming we went and got dinner at the local Italian Cafe and had some great Italian pasta and great conversation. We mostly joked some more about the Italian guy in the cute little swimsuit. He has no idea how famous he is...

After dinner and one more gelato we were on our way back to Igls.

Marc was so excited when from the road we could see the Dolemite Mountains. I never even knew what the Dolemites were until that moment. He was so happy and was trying to take pictures from the back seat. I was in the front so I tried to get some shots for him with my phone...

Then I remembered I have a cool camera with a cool lens and Marc handed it forward to me and I got some better shots through my window:

Then I just started taking pictures of everything from my passenger window.

On the way back we had to stop for gas and when Thomas came back out from paying for gas he had a little surprise for me, it was a Kinder Egg! What is a Kinder Egg... oh, we have a love/hate relationship. They are so cool! They are chocolate eggs with surprises inside. But, Sister loves to watch the endless YouTube videos that all these people put on of them opening Kinder Eggs and seeing what surprise is inside.

This was one thing I just had to try for myself and had to bring back for Sister. That was actually her only request was for me to bring home a bunch of Kinder eggs for her.

Thomas made me so happy and I recorded me opening it so I could show it to Sister. I snapped a couple scenes from the video so you could see what it looks like and the toy car that was inside.

I had to set it on my legs so I had a free hand to open it with. Marc eventually ended up filming for me.

I know it doesn't look like much of a car but I was trying to make it look like it was driving on the road... you know, trying to be that cool mom...
We got back to the hotel at 8:30 but it was still light and we wanted to walk along the path that Thomas had run on the morning before, so I took my camera and got some fun shots of Igls.
The cherry blossoms were in full bloom.

The favorite picture of the night was an impromptu goofy picture that made us all laugh. A lot.

But the thing is, there was no train to make it look really funny, so...

I added one, for full effect!

Now that's funny!

I didn't take anymore funny ones, but I love what I did get.

This one's my favorite of the night. Just a simple wooden gate going to someone's secret garden

We walked until it was almost too dark and then we went back to the hotel and talked and had soda's and ice-cream and some funny conversation and just fun.

On the way home that evening Marc had plucked me a branch of white lilacs because he knows they're one of my favorite flowers. I took a picture of them, but I can't find it anywhere. The cool thing is that I kept it pressed in my Europe journal.

Yep, we still have a little romance left.

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