Friday, November 22, 2013

Driving in Northern Italy

I'm not the kind of person who likes to just go for a drive. I like to have a destination or purpose in mind. But that's what Will and I ended up doing on Wednesday. He had a class and got out early. It's been raining off and on all week and we had a patch of gorgeous sunny weather so I didn't want to waste it. Problem was, we didn't know what to do with ourselves. We thought we'd find somewhere to explore or a park along the way, but we kept missing them or we'd end up in small towns. So basically we went for an afternoon drive. Will was fine with that. I was grumpy about it.

But to be an optimist...
We got out of the house. We got to enjoy some sunshine between the rains. We got to spend time together.

driving in northern Italy
driving in northern Italy
driving in northern Italy
driving in northern Italy
driving in northern Italy

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Cards

This year I decided I'm going to make our Christmas cards. I don't know why. I'm not a crafty person so I'm a little confused why I'm doing this to myself...and the recipients of our cards. But whatever. I'm going to try.

Today we tried to get pictures outside with the Italian farmlands surrounding our town as the backdrop. But Will couldn't stop squinting. I want to show you a picture but he has forbidden it. He has a squint/angry eyebrows in Every.Single.Picture. He couldn't pull it together for just one shot. It wasn't even sunny! It was overcast! But I guess his delicate eyes are too sensitive.

So scratch that idea. Instead we took pictures inside with a tripod and the timer setting. Will was complaining about how many pictures I kept taking, but let's be real...he's the reason we had to take so many.

First, he did crazy eyes. Then, he did squinty eyes.

Next, came the faces.

We liked the left one, but the one on the right looked like a pregnancy announcement. We're not there yet.

We really liked these final two, but they didn't make the cut. We were looking at each other in last year's photo. Don't want to get repetitious.

If you want to be on our Christmas list, send us an email! We'd love to add you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Salsa Incident

I've mentioned in the "About Me" section that the way Will first got my attention was spilling salsa on my menu. Here's the story:

For Seester's 21st birthday she invited all of her friends out to dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant. I didn't know it at the time, but Will had pushed one of the other guys out of the seat next to me. I had no idea. Not that he's subtle, I'm just that oblivious sometimes.

The waitress put the salsa in front of me for the people on my side of the table to share. Will and Seester's at-the-time boyfriend had gotten into an accident on the way so we didn't get to the restaurant until late. I want to say close to eight or so. That means everyone was starving. We were all shoveling salsa and chips into our mouths as fast as we could. Will got a huge scoop of salsa and it plopped right onto my menu.

He immediately started making really silly "Ooooooo! Look what you did!" accusations. "I'm going to tell the waitress!" He wasn't ready for my wit. We fought about who had to clean it up, getting sillier and sillier, until it escalated into my throwing my napkin down dramatically onto the table and telling him we were going to take this outside. It was ridiculous and we were both cracking up. When I wasn't looking, he snuck his napkin over and cleaned it up. (HA! I won!)

And that was the start of how Ech fell for Will.

Seester's 21st birthday dinner

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Photography Skills

Yesterday's post was a big deal for Will. It was the first time he was the exclusive photographer. Normally he plays around and takes pictures of whatever he wants and I take the camera anytime there's something important or pretty. He was pretty nervous, but he did a really good job...minus these...

His explanations:
1 - "I missed the dog."
2 - "You said you wanted a picture of the windows! I got you a picture of the windows."
3 - No explanation, jus
t laughter.
4 - "I wasn't trying to get her butt. I was really trying to get the dog. And I did. So I'm not lying. Ha! No for real, I was trying to get the dog."
5 - "At least I got part of the dog!"
6 - No explanation, just points at the dog.
7 - "The baby was sleeping."
8 - No explanation, just points at the dog.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Festa della Zucca

Normally around Halloween Ech & Will go to the festa della zucca in Venzone. (See our first and second visits) We were really looking forward to going again and finishing our guests' visit with a festival. Unfortunately they cancelled it this year. After a lot of pouting, I buttoned up my lower lip and found another pumpkin festival. We were wary. Normally if it's just the two of us, we just go and see. This time we had guests and we didn't want to drive an hour away for a dud. But in the end we decided to roll the dice.

It wasn't as fun as the Venzone one, but it was still worth the drive. They had displays of medieval instruments and some booths even had people showing techniques of paper and candle making, calligraphy, and archery. There were lots of cute craft tables so we took our time browsing before finding lunch.

pumpkin festival
pumpkin festival
pumpkin festival
pumpkin festival
pumpkin festival
pumpkin festival

We finally tried our first café. I know, I know...terrible. We live in Italy haven't tried their coffee yet. I forgot to warn everyone that café = espresso. Oops. The look on Will's face was priceless! After a couple sugars it was much more palatable for him.

Italian café

Monday, November 11, 2013

PTSD Awareness

PTSD has been on my mind for awhile. I've been watching my husband for signs ever since he came home. He says he's okay and hasn't had any issues. But I still worry and I still watch.

I was happy to oblige when I was asked to share this post with you from American Recall Center:

To be honest. I would have shared it, even if I hadn't been asked. The post talks about symptoms and common treatments of PTSD. What I found interesting was that it also highlights the importance of knowing the side effects of prescribed drug treatments.

The post doesn't advocate or discourage any treatment. It simply gives information and states some facts you may not know. And as they say: Information is power. Go become more powerful.

Thank you to all the brave Veterans. Words cannot fully express my gratitude for all that you have done/will do.

Friday, November 8, 2013


This was our third trip to Florence. I still love the city and I still haven't spent enough time exploring it. We got there later than we meant to. The plan was to catch the train from a nearby town so we wouldn't have to deal with driving or parking in the city. But we had a little trouble finding the train station. We thought our GPS was screwing us, but in the end it led us to a free commuter parking lot across the tracks from the main lot. Score! We were dumb though and forgot to save the location.

We spent the first half of our trip shopping, eating, and shopping. Then I realized. Oh shoot! We're not going to have time to do everything. So we spent the rest of our day rushing from one spot to the next. I felt bad for our guests, but they were troopers and kept up.

Ponte Vecchio

Will and I finally saw David for the first time. It's definitely a sight to see.

David at Palazzo Vecchio
David at the Academia Gallery
David at the Academia Gallery

Yes, we cheated and snuck pictures. I wasn't ballsy enough to whip out my DSLR and take a picture (like some people). Will and I snapped quick shots with our iPhones and ran off guiltily.

It's as amazing as people say it is. I'm not at all an artsy person. But I sat, stood, and studied it from different angles. I can't even imagine having that vision in my head to create something so amazing. The details are insane, such as the veins in David's right arm are bigger than the left because that's how it would be if it were a real person standing the way the statue is standing.

It's one of those things you have to see for yourself to truly appreciate how beautiful and amazing it is. It definitely lives up to the hype.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Protests in Firenze

While we were in a Vodafone shop setting up a cell phone for our friends, a protest march passed by. I'm not really sure what they were protesting, but I think it was more than one thing. Some groups were chanting. Some groups were holding up signs and chatting with each other. Some groups were just walking and texting on their phones.

The polizia led and followed the protesters in case things got out of hand. They were pretty laid back though. They were chit chatting and laughing when they passed me.

I'm not a political person so I don't see a lot of rallies or protests. This one piqued my interest and I stood outside to watch the procession.

protest in Florence
protest in Florence
police in Florence

If anyone knows what this protest was about, I'm super curious and would love to know.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Things That Amuse Me

My favorite thing about visiting Pisa is all the silly poses. There was an Asian girl sitting on the ground, with her legs in the air, leaning back on one arm, and throwing up a peace sign with her other hand. I really don't think her photographer got much of the tower. They were way too close. And as we were leaving, I saw two teenage girls sneaking onto the lawn behind the tower to take pictures. As in the lawn right behind the tower. One of the girls handed her phone to her friend and immediately laid down on her stomach and cupped her chin in her hands. Cute pose...terrible positioning. The look on her friend's face was priceless when she saw her friend lie down. First a "Are you kidding me!?" followed by a "well...okay...we can try this...I guess".

I wasn't quick enough to catch all the hilarious poses, but here are some of the ones I did catch:

tourists at Pisa
tourists at Pisa

And my all time favorite...(This was taken on our visit from last year.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Torre di Pisa

If you've ever been to Pisa, you know there's really only one thing to do there...visit the Leaning Tower. Will and I have visited twice now and still haven't been up. It's just not something we really feel the need to do.

But if you want to go to the top, here's how it works. Face the tower entrance. Then turn to your right. You'll see a building down the path on the left. In there is the ticket booth. The church is free to visit, but you still need a ticket. At the ticket booth, let them know which buildings you want to visit (the church, the bell tower, the baptistery, monumental cemetery, the Opera Museum, and the Sinopie Museum). There are guards at every entrance. They scan your tickets, so no cheating and marking off extra monuments on your ticket.

Your tower ticket is good for a specific time, so make sure you're in line and ready. We held our friends' bags for them because they don't allow bags or containers in the tower. You can check your things in the cloakroom if you don't have anyone to hold your things for you.

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Baptistery

I think I said this last time, but Pisa is good for a pit stop to see the Leaning Tower and maybe the nearby buildings. It's not really a destination spot. We stayed at Camp Darby so we drove down, checked in, went to see the tower, came back, and relaxed the rest of the night to be refreshed for Florence the next day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

In-House Rivalry Results

So I bet you're wondering how Sunday's big Ech & Will rivalry game went. We had been looking forward to the Seahawks v Buccaneers game since they first announced the schedules. The first thing I did when I woke up was shove Will in the back. He slapped me back. I slapped him back. Then a flurry of slaps broke out accompanied by trash talk. When we calmed down, we put on our jerseys and went about our lazy day of video games and Doctor Who (Will is finally getting around to watching it. At first he was only watching it because he was tired of not understanding what I was talking about. But now he's hooked. He just met the 10th Doctor, who I love.)

Here's our pre-game faces. Excited. Happy. Loving each other. Excited. Loving our teams. Excited.

He wore an old school Dunn jersey. I wore a new school Lynch jersey. Yep, we love running backs.

But then all hell broke loose and I got super salty super fast. The Buccs had an amazing first half and dominated. Yes, I can appreciate their talent. But I was (still am) PISSED! We are one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl! HOW IS THIS HAPPENING!?

So this is our half time thoughts:

My Hawks had a good second half and tied it up. I couldn't sit still the whole second half. I'm pretty sure I held my breath all through overtime. But my Hawks came through with the win. I'm so happy! A win is a win, no matter how dirty.

Will walked away and took some alone time when I tried to get a post-game picture. Understandable. I would have handled it a lot worse than he did had the roles been reversed.

As mad as I am that my team didn't destroy his team as predicted, I'm glad it was an entertaining game to watch. Edge of your seat kind of entertaining. Will is still a little salty today. I wore my Beast Mode shirt. I brought him an FSU shirt to wear since the Seminoles won big against Miami (Wooooo yay!) We had a blast watching that game too. My Ducks had a bye this week so I put on my FSU shirt and cheered for the Noles.

I wish that Bama would mess up so UO and FSU could go to the BCS Bowl. That would be pretty awesome.

So that was our weekend. We were lazy, played a lot of video games, watched some awesome football, and trash talked each other.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shout Outs and Trash Talk

Eminem gave Russell Wilson a huge shout out in his song "The Monster". I love it! Will and I are super excited for his new album.

Will and I are already starting our trash talk for the big Seattle v Tampa Bay game. He even took Monday off so we can stay up late to watch the game together. There's going to be some awful screaming and cheering going on at our house. GO HAWKS!