The Barbarians Take Tuscany!

4 May

After a whirlwind two days in Venice, we were ready to relax and take things a little bit slower. We settled into our farmhouse, sent the kids outside to explore and made a plan for the day. I had A-Mason race events organized for the big cities- Venice and Florence. In between though, I had done little more than just read some background on the towns and area around where we were staying. We decided to make this day Fortified City on Hill day. Rick Steves, who as everyone knows is my spirit animal, recommends Volterra as his favorite hill town and blasts San Gimignano for being too touristy. (Although Rick, and you know I love you, whose fault is that? Europe has no more back doors!) We decided to try both out and see what we thought. Continue reading

Under the Tuscan Sun (c’mon, this title was just begging to be used)

25 Apr

The farmhouse that we stayed it near Florence deserves it’s own blog post. It was that good.

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Day Two in the Floating City, then Onwards to Tuscany!

23 Apr

Me: “Did you know that Venice is sinking?”

Patrick (in a German accent) “What is it sinking about?”

We woke up in our little Jolly Camping trailer somewhat refreshed. I say somewhat because sometime in the wee hours of the morning, Lucy woke me up with bloodcurdling screams followed by terrified sobbing. She ran into my room to tell me…that there were four ants in the bathroom. FOUR ants. Oh, the humanity. Continue reading

Behold, our young Poet Laureates

20 Apr

In homeschool today, we learned about poetry. Have you ever tried to explain poetry to five-year olds? Anyways, it was mildly successful because afterwards I gave the kids the task of writing a poem together. They did a decent job and enjoyed it so much that they wrote two more. Here they are for your reading pleasure. Continue reading

The Masons Take Venice

18 Apr

Thursday, April 9

We woke the kids up around 4:30 so we could get to the airport and catch our 6 am flight from Timisoara to Venice. We were thrilled a few months ago when we found that with one of Europe’s discount airlines, WizzAir, we could fly to Venice for about $17 per person. Umm… yes please.

We were a little nervous, though, about whether Italy would be miserable with three small children. There was so much we wanted to see and enjoy, would they allow that with their tiny bladders, quickly exhausted legs, and lack of appreciation for Renaissance art? So I formulated a plan and put it in motion two weeks before we left.

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The Kids Are Alright

31 Mar

IMG_1286

In our preparations to move to Romania, my main stress and anxiety revolved around the kids. How were they going to adapt to the move? Would it hurt Finn to be away from school for six months? Could I homeschool without wanting to strangle my children? What will they eat? Will they be okay?

Sooooo, I may have been projecting.

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Storming the Castle

23 Mar

We’ve been in Romania for a month and a half and figured it’s probably about time we visited a castle. We told the kids last week that we’d be going and they spent all weekend looking forward to it. A classic Lucy quote: “Wow, I mean, I just can’t believe that all that stuff from fairy tales- princesses and castles- it’s all real!”  I didn’t want to crush her by telling her that this one was more of a fortress and although it had passed through the hands of many royal princes, it probably never housed princesses in the way that she imagined. Poor Lucy, she’d already had her hopes dashed on Friday night when we were walking home from the symphony and she looked up at the Wishing Star and whispered “I wish that I’ll be able to see a real unicorn someday!”

So we rented a typical tiny European car this morning and squished the kids in the backseat. Continue reading

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