Monday, June 11, 2012

'mini moon' part 2

Part 2 begins!
On our second day in Lipari we decided to explore the island ourselves - on the scooter! We drove around the entire island (10 km) and took in the beautiful scenery and the breathtaking views.

Oh hey Mt. Etna!

When we were done with our drive, we headed back into town for some grub and then back to our hotel for some sun!

For our last night in Lipari we thought it would be fun to eat at the restaurant at our hotel. Since no restaurants open until 8 pm (and we were ready way before that), we took some time to enjoy delicious drinks overlooking the water while we waited. Check out that view!

8 pm finally arrived and we headed up to the restaurant. We had the choice of sitting inside or outside (who wouldn't sit outside and enjoy the beauty of the island?!), and the waiter let us have the best table with the best view! It pays to be sweet :) We started our meal with an appetizer of ham and mozzarella ( SO GOOD!), and then moved on to pasta ( I stopped here), and then Jordan moved on to a grilled swordfish steak. The food was delicious, the view was unbelievable, and the wine was heavenly! We finished the meal off with a glass of sweet Malvasia - THE Aeolian wine and then headed downstairs for a nightcap from the sweet bartender. We enjoyed our drinks (amaretto sour and scotch on the rocks - I'll let you figure out which of these drinks was mine) outside on a bench by the pool. What a glorious evening!

And like all good things, our trip had to come to an end. We spent our final day in Lipari laying out by the pool, reading books, relaxing, and enjoying our time together. We had SO MUCH fun and if any of you are looking for a place to vacation, I would whole heartedly suggest this place!

Miss you and love you all :)

'mini moon' part 1

Hi everybody!
Just wanted to let you know about the little vacay that Jordan and I recently took. We called it a mini moon which is essentially a tiny honeymoon! We borrowed Eric's scooter for the trip (because he's in America coaching a football camp right now) and started out early Wednesday morning. We scooted up to Malazzo - a 2 1/2 hour drive . . . on the autostrada . . . on the scooter. Not one of the best experiences I've ever had but it was worth it to take the scooter instead of the car. Since we were on the scooter, we had to pack light - tank tops, shorts, swim suits, and flip flops is about all we could bring! There's only so much room on the little scoot scoot! When we got to Malazzo, we bought our ferry tickets, hopped on the ferry, and headed for our destination - the Aoleian Island of Lipari! The ferry is pretty crazy because it's not like any ferry I've ever been on. It only opens up to let cars in on one side- sounds perfectly normal . . . until it has to dock . . . and it has to back in. Pretty intense. This also means that when cars/trucks get on the ferry, they also have to back in. Thankfully we were on a scooter so we drove right in and turned around and parked. Easy peasy! The ferry ride lasted about 2 hours and it was really nice. We had cappucinos and ringos and we sat up top in the sunshine! The water was perfectly blue and it was neat to see the islands (there are 7 islands total) getting bigger as we got closer!

Their version of lifeboats . . . The Titanic should have had these!

When we finally arrived in Lipari, we rode off the ferry, stopped to get gas, and asked the attendant if he could point us in the direction of our hotel - Hotel Carasco. He gave us excellent directions and we followed the signs until we were there. Let me just say that our hotel was INCREDIBLE! To get up to the actual hotel you have to drive up a steep road on the very edge of the water, and when you get to the top, it's one of the most beautiful places you'll ever see! Ivy/moss/vines cover the bottom part of the hotel, the pool is humongous and gorgeous, and you can walk right down to the water and swim in it's crystal clear goodness!

After we checked in, we scooted into town (which is adorable!), had lunch, stopped by the store to pick up some snacks and drinks, and headed back to the hotel. We laid out by the pool and then headed down to the rocks to jump in the water and cool off. The water was so see through and so beautiful and soo cool! The only problem with it was that it was infested with little purple jellyfish! How rude of them to invade our space on our mini moon! Luckily we brought our acquasocks and goggles so we could see them and avoid them.

For dinner that night we decided to head to one of the restaurants in the guidebook; Filippino - the most famous restaurant on the island according to the book. It's an elegantly quaint restaurant situated on a covered terrace with wrought iron lamps and white tablecloths. Jordan and I shared a pasta to start and then we each ordered our own 'meal'. I chose fried shrimp . . . a typical choice for a typical southern Texan. Boy was I surprised when it came out! TINY shrimp that had been fried with the shell on. Seriously?! After peeling half of my shrimp, the waiter finally came over and told us that we were supposed to eat the whole shrimp, shell and all. I tried to explain to him that where we come from, we peel our shrimp but he didn't seem to understand. Haha I think he felt embarassed for us but we just kept on peeling :) We enjoyed some delicious Italian wine with our dinner and when we were finally finished, we headed back to the hotel.
Side note: The pictures from the restaurant are dark because the flash on my camera is broken :(

And so concludes part 1 of our adventure

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Superbowl here we come . . .

Hello all!

In case you haven't heard . . . the Catania Elephants are in 1st place in the IFL! I'm so excited for them!!! Whoo hoo! This is great news for us because it means that the team's first playoff game will be at home and it also means that we get 3 weeks off! Yippeeeeee! Jordan and I are trying to plan a mini honeymoon vacay during this time . . . . Greece, Malta, Italy . . . the possibilities are endless :)
The last game that the boys had was so much fun for so many reasons!
1) They played at a new field near the airport! The green grass was plentiful and the fans were closer to the action!
2) I had James, Adam, & Ciba's girlfriend, Monique, to keep me company! The boys and I went and got snacks before the game so we had a regular Italian picnic before halftime!
3) Jordan played great! Breaking tackles left & right and heading to the endzone for touchdowns . . . I'm a proud wife!
4) The elephants have officially taken the 1st place spot (even though they still have 1 more game to play in the regular season). Go ELEPHANTS!!!

Jordan checking out the grass!

Me & the hubs!

The new field the boys are playing on!

James, Jordan, & Adam after the game

Coach Denver, Federica, Claudio, me, & Jordan
Claudio thought this picture would look great on the blog :)

Eric & Jordan celebrating after the game

Some of the guys on the team! What would we do withought our Sicilian family?!

So, if you noticed in some of these pictures, I CUT MY HAIR!!! haha. It was getting really long & tangly and it was getting difficult to wash it in the 5 minutes of hot water I have in the shower . . . so, Jordan and I walked down the street, walked into a beauty shop, and I got my hair cut! I brought a picture of Reese Witherspoon to show the hair stylist, and that was about all I had to go on. Nobody in the entire shop spoke English so I pretty much crossed my fingers and hoped for the best! Jordan was sweet enough to stay with me the whole time and give me a thumbs up every now and then! Turns out, she knew what she was doing because I really like it! After I got it cut, we came back to the apartment and Jordan helped me dye it with a 5 Euro box of hairdye that I bought at the store! Look at me, so independent since I came to Sicily haha. It's my new summer do and I'm pretty excited about it!

One more game until the playoffs! I feel a Superbowl in our future . . . Go Elephants!

Hugs & Kisses to all

Fun in the Sun :)

Just wanted to share one of our adventures that we had with Jordan's brother, James, and his friend, Adam, last week! We thought the boys really needed to see Taormina & Castelmola because they're both so beautiful, so we decided to head out there on Friday! We started the day at the beach down by Isola bella (a small island off the coast of Taormina that you can walk to). Instead of sand on the beach, there are little rocks that you have to lay your towel on top of. Very weird, but it works nonetheless! The scenery down by Isola bella is GORGEOUS! Beautiful, see-through water, and lush green grass on the island! Jordan and I decided to stick to laying out, but James & Adam decided to brave the water (it's still a bit chilly and there tend to be a lot of jellyfish in this area! yikes!).  After a couple of minutes, that was all the boys could stand so they joined us on the shore. We wanted to make sure we got to see the city so we left the beach and headed up the mountain!

We made sure the boys had a granite at Bam Bar (the best granite in the world!), saw the greek theatre, and experienced some authentic Italian food! After touring the city of Taormina, we climbed in the car and started the crazy drive up the mountain to the city of Castelmola! The roads are quite tiny and sometimes they hang out over the edge of the cliff . . . creepy! When we finally got to the top and parked the car, we had a couple hundred steps to tackle before we actually made it to the top of the mountain where the castle used to be! The views are beautiful and we would have spent more time up there if a storm hadn't been heading our way!

We had so much fun with James and Adam while they were here! We dropped them off at the airport last night and they're headed back to Kansas City! We're so glad we got to share some of our experiences with them and that they were brave enough to venture out to Catania to hang out with us :)

Love you all!

Adios to the Pistolero

Hey friends & family!
As you might have already figured out by now, our dearest Nate has headed back to the states! What a sad day! We got back from Rome early Wednesday morning and Nate left for Ohio late Wednesday night. Eric, Wes, Jordan, and I  (& some other elephant players) went with him to the airport to say goodbye and see him off! It was a tough night for sure. Nate was sweet enough to leave some Mount Union gear behind so Jordan and I wore it to the airport in his honor. Hopefully we will be seeing him soon . . . maybe in Houston :)

Ciao ciao

Thursday, May 24, 2012

When in Rome . . .

Hello everyone! We had an excellent past weekend and I'm excited to tell y'all all about it! After our 10-12 hour bus ride from Catania to Rome . . . I'm not sure exactly how long it was because we tried to sleep for most of it . . . . we arrived in Rome! Between the 4 of us (Wes, Eric, Jordan, and I) we had packed a ton of snacks - pringles, pasta, grilled chicken, spicy nuts, chips, chocolate almonds, fruit, hamburger patties, dr. pepper, etc. When we finally got off of the bus, we snacked a bit (it was still pretty early), and I hung out/put make-up on/brushed my teeth while the boys stretched and got ready for their game. The game was very exciting! About 2 minutes before halftime the elephants were down . . . until Jordan returned a kick for a touchdown! Whoo hoo! I was so proud! Unfortunately, this stroke of luck seemed to anger the gods who immediately sent rain down from the sky :( At halftime I found my rain jacket (I checked the weather before we left!) and then was very kindly invited to sit on the elephant's sidelines underneath some cover so I wouldn't get so wet! Yippee! Let me tell you, it's so much fun to sit on the sidelines and be so close to the team! I loved it! In the end, the elephants pulled out an impressive victory over the Lazio Marines to make their record 8-1 . . . still in first place, baby! Jordan's brother, James, and his friend, Adam, had been in Florence the days before the game and were supposed to make the trip down to Rome to see Jordan play. Unfortunately, the trip took longer than they thought so they showed up as the teams were shaking hands afterward. Oh well, at least they get to see the game this weekend!

After the game was over, Eric & Jordan showered and we hitched a ride from some friends of a teammate back into Rome. We arrived at our hotel which was quite nice, put our stuff down, and headed to the store to get some supplies. After our shopping was done, we headed back to the hotel for a short nap and then got ready to go out. We settled on kebabs for dinner and then walked to a bar that Eric had found on the internet. Let me just say that walking through Rome at night is pretty awesome . . . ancient builings being backlit makes for some pretty gorgeous scenery. When we finally arrived at the bar (Scholars), we discovered that it was an Irish pub . . . and that it was full of Americans! Whoo hoo! We made lots of friends - some Houston folks, a fellow Baylor alum, a loud irishman, and some study abroad students, and we even sang karaoke . . . 'Friends in low places' by Garth Brooks never gets old :)

The next day we woke up and headed out to do some sightseeing. The boys really wanted to see the Colloseum and the Roman forum so that's where we went! We got a guided tour of both places and it was pretty incredible! Even though I've been to both of these places before, I definitely learned some new information!

Our second day in Rome was just as much fun as the first . . . except it rained. We managed to see the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain before the rain really started, and we saved the Vatican/St. Peter's Basilica for last! The boys really loved our first two stops, but I loved seeing their faces/hearing their comments when we walked through the Vatican museum and the basilica! Incredible! Even though I've seen it before, I still think it's so unbelievable! After our tour guide was done showing us around, we decided to pay the extra 7 euros to make the trip up to the cupola of St. Peter's basilica. OH MY GOSH! WHAT AN AWESOME CHOICE!!! Although it was a long and arduous journey to the top, it was well worth it! Being able to have a 360 degree view of the city of Rome is something that I will never forget!

That's all for now!
Ciao Ciao!