Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I spent a busy three-day weekend (Pentecost Monday, anyone?) that drove all thoughts and possibilities of blogging out of my mind.
More on the weekend later. Before I go on to new and exciting activities, I have to finish telling you about Italy...not that there's lots to tell.
But I do have pictures!

No festival would be complete without a dorky mascot and this thing was nothing if not complete. So, the minute we got off the bus, we were all herded along to join the giant fuzzy...whatever it was and get a group photo taken. I cleverly avoided this by whipping out my own camera and playing Ofiicial Group Photographer and Archivist.

If you look, you can see Mal in a bright blue sweater and Alex nearby with a long pink scarf.

We spent most of the morning tramping around the village, going from workshop to workshop. I was a tad grumpy, as I'd gotten assigned a group of 6th graders from another school, rather than the group my twins and their pals were in. And this group of 17 kids already had two adults with them and didn't even need me..grumble, bitch, complain, etc... So, I couldn't take any pictures of my girls.

Instead, I took a few of the landscape, which was a nice one. In this region of Italy, the roofs are all covered in slate. Very pretty!

The little metal hooks on the roof are to keep the snow from falling off in big chunks and crushing people....

As I said in my previous post, there were about a thousand kids there. And all of us ate together in an enormous tent. The din was deafening, but the food was quite nice. Only the italians would serve 1000 kids a starter of al dente pasta with fresh tomato sauce, followed by a veal stew (sort of like the French blanquette de veau). The dessert was an ice cream bar -a "gelato della panna" that was SO good!
And drinks? There was local apple juice for the kids and bottles of wine for the adults. So civilized these Europeans.
Now that I think about it, I suppose I AM a bit European...but I'm not European enough to be comfortable even drinking a smidge of alcohol at mid-day on a school trip. I stuck to water. Guess my Nebraska roots were showing. ... which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Here's a picture that Mallory took. She used her DSi camera mode and took about 300 pictures, many of them blurry, bless her heart. But the ones that were in focus were quite good!

After our idyll in the Heidi-esque mountain village, we piled back into the bus and descended into the valley to go explore the ancient town of Aoste.
Well, "explore" is a big word...we only had one hour of free time!

It's a pretty interesting place- the area has been settled since pre-historic times, of course, but it really got on the map when a Roman colony was established. It was called Augusta Praetoria Salassorum. T
This (pic below) was the eastern gate to the colony at the time. It's called the Porta Praetoria and was built in the 1st century BC. It used to be faced in marble, but that's long since gone and carried off for other projects...

Very cool!
Seeing all the Roman ruins (the town has tons. lol) almost made up for the suffering I endured. No, my iPod never did come unblocked during the trip. I had to endure the whole trip with no decent music or podcasts. Mallory lent me hers for a bit, sweet child. However, , while I don't mind Fall Out Boy and Green Day, it's not the stuff that's going to get me through six hours on a bus...

So, that's it for Italy. Tomorrow you get to hear about yet another Ren Faire.

I'll just add that progress is being made on our new room! As I write, JP and a pal are installing the radiator. The floor will go in after that's done.

Also- Alexa just phoned and asked to stay an hour later at school. It seems that a tv crew has come to do a story about Savoyard being taught in French schools and her class is being featured. It's supposed to air on TF1 in a week or so. (TF1 is a big deal! From Wikipedia : "TF1's average market share of 25-35% makes it the most popular domestic network. TF1 is the largest European television channel by its audience.")

So, that's all kind of exciting!


oreneta said...

well that was all very cool...though I am sorry you had to hang with other people's kids after six hours on the bus, at least the food was good.

Joy said...

Is it weird that I was oddly thrilled with the photo of the roof?

The day sounds interesting and fun, although it would have been much better for you to have toured with your daughters after all the traveling.

Beth said...

O- Actually, all I ate was the ice cream bar (129 calories of pure NOM!). The kids said the pasta was good, though. The veal stew did not go over well with my girls, though. We're not veal-eaters....

J- Thanks! I loved the slate roofs. I wish my house had one. So full of character!
I really would love to travel with my family back to Italy and be able to go at my own pace. It was so rushed!