Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 8 in Europe- Assisi

    On day 8, we woke up early for a hotel breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon and croissants with Nutella! It appears most of Europe has a Nutella addiction.
Hotel Europa
After breakfast, we loaded back on the bus and rode for about 2.5 hours to Assisi. We stopped at a little shop that offered free samplings of native wines and foods. I let Clay try the strawberry wine, I thought it was delicious, he on the other hand...let's just say I don't have to worry about him being a drinker.
Strawberry Wine

Italian Olive Oil and Spices
There were also cheeses, sausages, truffles, olive oils, chocolates and spices. We also tried some of the truffle spread with cayenne pepper on a cracker. It was ok, but I am not really a fan of truffles. Clay bought a giant chocolate bar. Several people bought some oils, wine and sausage to bring home.
    Assisi was the most gorgeous town I have ever visited.

making wishes at Assisi

Assisi was gorgeous

Assisi Landscape

We walked through the town and stopped to have a delicious lunch at Ristoranti Pizzeria Monaci. Clay and I split a lasagna and it was amazing! The others at our table had pizza.

Walk Way to the Restaurant

First real Italian meal, lasagna

Margherita Pizza

    After the meal, we went to the basilica of Assisi. We were led on the tour by one of the female resident friars.  It was peaceful and gorgeous.

The walk back up....

Shop owner making fresh sausage

After a long walk back to the bus, we got more gelato....chocolate again.  
We hopped back on the bus and headed towards Rome! The hotel was very modern in design but they didn't believe very much in ice or air conditioning. Tomorrow we Rome!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day 7- Florence, Italy

Eurostar to Florence, yes we are still tired.
    After waking up late on the train, we had to rush to get dressed and semi-presentable. There wasn't much time to fix hair or anything! We unloaded the night train in Milan and rushed quickly to the Eurostar so we could board and continue on to Florence.
    Florence was a very historical and beautiful city. We walked through street markets and shops. There were so many street performers and if you stopped to watch, you were expected to pay.
Streets of Florence

  We did a bit of walking and decided it was time for lunch. Clay and  found our first gelato, YUM! Then we grabbed some pizza, a chocolate croissant and the gelato. You can't be in Italy and not have some pizza.
Our first, of many, gelatos 

 After a quick leather demonstration, we did a little more walking through street markets and to see the famous Ponte Vecchio. That was truly breathtaking.

   After 6 hours of walking, on very little sleep, We boarded a bus and headed to our hotel. We were staying at Hotel Europa. We all unpacked and freshened up a bit and headed down to supper. 
This time we had penne marinara, salad, pork loin and cake.
   The resort room itself was pretty spacious but the bathrooms were tiny and the hair dryer was kinda crazy. We hit the bed soon after supper and went right to sleep!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 6, con't... Paris and a Night Train to Florence

         After finishing up at Disneyland Paris, we had to meet the others in downtown Paris to meet in front of the Opera. We had a scheduled tour of a perfume factory, where we all received a free sample. It was way too smelly for me and gave me a headache.  Afterwards we headed to Matmatre.

We had to buy passes to take a tram up to the top and explore the streets.  We didn't have much time to look around. Clay and I stepped in, took a few pictures

A view of the city from atop Matmatre

and then headed back down (we took the stairs) to grab something to eat. They told us to buy some snacks for the train as well. We hopped into a little cafe and got a hot dog, some fries and our last French crepe. The crepe was not near as good as the one from the Eiffel Tower but it was still good.  These folks believe in their Neutella!

That is some big jars of Nutella.

We met up with all of the groups and loaded the bus to our night train. The night train....The bathrooms for changing were super tiny, there were no showers. It was difficult changing into pjs on a moving train.

Clay's Pals

There were 6 people to a cabin and it was quite tight! Clay got put in with us so we stuck his young butt on the top bunk! We all finally settled in and tried to sleep because we knew we would hit the ground running once we reached Florence in the morning!

 Prepping the cabin for bed

                                                                                                 Time for lights out