Ole! My Trip to the Motherland. (Espana Part 1)

22 Jun

Y’all, Espana. Who knew? It’s my new favorite country. (Sorry, Turkey.)

I’ll come back to finishing our Tuscany trip soon. I want to get Spain down before I forget the details.

LeAnn had promised to come visit us while we were in Romania and was trying to book a ticket on her Delta miles but Delta doesn’t fly into Timisoara (shocker, I know). So Patrick, being amazing and also kind of a genius, said, “hey, what if she flew into somewhere that WizzAir, the Hungarian budget airline that flies into Timisoara, flies. And then, what if Melissa met her there for a few days so she could get a much needed break from kids, Romania, and homeschooling kids in Romania.” (Seriously, have I mentioned how much I love this man?)  So after much protest and hesitation on my part, I agreed. Hahahahahaha. Just kidding. I was booking tickets before he even finished his sentence. Continue reading

Romanian Interlude- Gypsy Palaces, Moats and Bear Pits. Because of course.

5 Jun

I know, I know. I’ve been an absentee blogger. But really, is anyone surprised?

Okay Italy, I’mgonnaletyoufinish. But before I recap the rest of our trip there, I’m going to interrupt to write about Hunedoara Castle. Why? I don’t know, I just feel like it. After this, I’ll be posting the rest of Italy, a few more Timi things, some Madrid, and our Transylvanian road trip. I’m going to do all this in the next few days because on Wednesday I leave again, FOR ROME! WITH MOM! It’s going to be amazing.

After our Italy trip, we were feeling very travelly, so we decided to rent a car and go to a castle we’d heard about in a place called Hunedoara. It’s about a three hour drive, so an easy day trip. We picked up our rental at a hotel downtown, loaded up the kids and a bag of pastries from the neighborhood bakery stand and drove out of town.

You know those rare days when everything seems bizarre and strange and you feel like you might actually still be asleep and just dreaming everything? Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading


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