weekend links.

Look up! Look down! The churches are pretty spectacular here. We duck into almost every one of them. This shot was at San Giovanni in Laterano.

I've always been a huge Aden + Anais fan. Now these?! Love.

How about this for a teacher's gift?

I ate ribollita twice in Florence and now I want to have a really great recipe in my repertoire back home. It was so good. (Proclaiming I have a "repertoire" makes me sound much more together than I really am.) I'm starting with this one. Can't beat Ina.

I'm hearing so much about this kid toy. I think it's going to be on Parker's Christmas list (whether he knows it or not).

Have you seen this round-up of 27 Airbnbs you have to stay at before you die?! One is a SKI LIFT.

I'm making this monkey bread as soon as I'm home.

30 Things you Need by the Time You're 30. Some of these made me chuckle.

Have you guys heard of The Hatchery? I'm intrigued.

These ankle boots are awesome.

See you next week!


Food + churches.

Today I spent the majority of Anders' morning nap going down the rabbit hole of THE BEST PLACE TO EAT IN ROME THAT ALSO COINCIDES WITH THE GENERAL DIRECTION OF STEVE'S TOUR DE ROME AGENDA. He takes the tour seriously, I take the food seriously. If ever he pushes it too far I'm like, "You don't want me to run out of milk do you and then Anders starves and then where are we?!"

I really do like the places we're going. I can (and I do) appreciate a beautiful church. San Giovanni in Laterano for instance. The statues of the disciples, the symbolism, the floors, the ceiling. And then the history underneath San Clemente? You can't take a step in this city without stumbling upon something really, really important it seems. But, my expectations are still kept at a minimum. If Anders falls asleep in the stroller forcing me to plop down on a pew and guard with the stroller while the rest of them head downstairs to the base floor of some fabulous church lest we wake the baby (never wake the baby), then so be it. I may not get to see it all, but I get the extra piece of bruschetta and that last glug of wine as payment!

After checking Google Maps, Trip Advisor, and Steve's agenda, I came up with Da Enzo. Italian restaurants are funny. You can't judge a book by its cover, nor can you judge a restaurant's food by the interior of the place is what I mean. It can appear like a little hole in the wall, the ambience can be so-so, and bam! Here's a plate of sloppy burrata, diced tomatoes, a bowl of carbonara with the-perfect-thickness bites of pancetta and yolky sauce and it's delicious. That's true in places besides Italy but I find it's especially common here. Ambience can be whatever, but it really isn't a reflection of the food. Another example: Steve and I both had the most delicious bowls of barley soup yesterday at a roadside cafe that was no fancier than a 7-11 on the inside. A drizzle of olive oil in our soup and everything.

So I guess the moral of this story is try everything because you just never know. The other moral is try Da Enzo. The food is delicious.


day 1 in rome.

today steve played tour guide (this is where a large chunk of his work will take place... which is, in part, seeing various sights to develop a future class... more on that later!). we were up and at 'em early... take away cappuccinos, and apples and peanuts and yogurts packed and thrown under the stroller for the low blood sugar times. as well as extra diapers and sweatshirts and hats, all of which were shed when the temperatures rose later on in the day. the kids were so good. anders drifted in and out of naps, content in the stroller most of the day with cuddles here and there when he came out for nursing or diaper changes. it really couldn't have been such a successful day without their good spirits, thank you kids! meanwhile parker sometimes rode in the stroller, other times was on foot. when he got tired of being on foot, i'd distract him with song: "parker parker bo barker fanana fanna fo farker..." you'd be surprised at how well it worked. william and lindsey got to climb the scala sancta on their knees--what an experience! (read up on it. very interesting.) i think some teenagers would be all bored at this point, but they're both being good sports about being carted all around italy. it helps that they're not in regular monday through friday classes like the rest of their friends back home perhaps but we'll take it... anyway, we got to three different churches, an ancient aqueduct, and food without any meltdowns. hunts win today! high fives all around!

oh, and we ended the day with gelato from the frigidarium. good suggestion you guys. i got the frigidarium flavor. YUM.

more to come on the details of the day. probably a better post for steve to write! for now... bed!


some thoughts.

travel does weird things to time. it feels like eons ago that we were in lake como, or that we were packing our bags and driving to jfk. i don't understand. my mom and dad left today, and i'm bummed. we still have a lot of adventure left, and i'm looking forward to it, but man was it nice having them here. and not just for the extra set of hands or the morning coffee! i just like being around them, and no matter how old you are, there's something comforting about having mom and dad near. why don't you guys turn around and come back???

florence was amazing. that city is so, so great. orvieto was so wonderful and after spending as much time there as we did, we so became part of the local scene, recognized faces, had our little routines, but it is a slow and somewhat sleepy pace so arriving in florence had me energized and ready to discover. it was only a few days (wish it were longer) but i feel like we got a lot accomplished (especially for having kids in tow!). 

we also made friends (you remember jora?! i forever miss her blog.) and what a welcome surprise it was. first we got together for a big lunch as a family, and then upon hitting it off, we hung out every day until we left. she is even lovelier in person, and i already miss her and her sweet family. they're keepers and i can't wait to see them again.

we're in rome now ready to take it all in, but is it okay to say i'm tired and hitting the sack tonight extra early? we arrived, i went to get groceries, came home and got in the bath with parker and anders (yes, all three of us) and didn't leave the apartment again. it's terrible, i know, but sometimes i need a slow day, even though we just arrived. i think the kids need that too. i sometimes wonder if all of this is a lot for parker, and if he needs tastes of home. slow mornings where he just can flip through a book, eat his apple slices dipped in peanut butter, race his cars around. since we've been here, there hasn't been as much of that as he's used to. i don't want him to get lost in the rat race of travel. there's always tomorrow.

now it's time for me to go to bed. more to come on florence with some of my recommendations. and if you've got some for rome, please let me know! (i especially welcome the gastronomy-centered ones. i'm not a seeeerious museum-goer but cafe and restaurant-goer, indeed.)



Assisi is spectacular. It's bathed in pink, the local stone that was used to build the majority of the city is the lightest shade of the color, so it is bright and beautiful and glows even more as the sun goes down. It's sprawling, on a sort of hill, so you're almost always going up or going down, which made me whip out the cheesiest of jokes: "Can't be a sissy when you're in Assisi." I bet I'm not the first to use that stupid line, though I should be the last.

We parked at the bottom of the city (town?), and walked up the street passing shops all along the way. We grabbed some paninos and fresh juices on our way up, pausing for a few moments to eat them. Grilled zucchini, pomodoro, stracchino cheese, and rucola on mine (some of that was Italian, some was English; I whip it out only when convenient and when I absolutely know that I know the word. Even so, I'll bet I'm getting some wrong). A crunchy focaccia outside, and she grilled it before giving it to me. It hit the spot, then up we went.

There are churches to pop in, shops to browse, and of course the enormous and beautiful basilica. Go downstairs and you can see St. Francis' garb, chalice, tomb. Walk around the city, and you're bound to pass his followers, in the same sort of robe you saw in the basilica only moments earlier. You get the sense that people come here with purpose, religious or otherwise.

As you leave the city you might be lucky to catch a sunset as we did. It was beautiful. Skip the cannoli (pictured above). While beautiful, it wasn't good. Grab some wine or gelato instead! Enjoy Assisi. It's magic.


weekend links.

Buon giorno! We're off to Florence this morning. Tell me any of your tips! (Il Mercato Centrale sounds like a must.)

A pretty great fall jacket.

I love this month of family meals in calendar form.

This cover album is interesting, very interesting. (Normally I love Ryan Adams, but after hearing some clips I'm not sure how I feel about this one.) Even so, further proof Taylor rules the world.

Lunar eclipse AND supermoon this Sunday!

Move over PSL, introducing the Toasted Graham Latte. Will you try it? (I, for one, love the cup doodles.)

A really terrible story where abuse is overlooked in favor of a common goal.

A judge rules: Happy birthday is public domain! (I never realized it wasn't!)

Toms are getting better all the time.

Have a good weekend!



a little update.


i began writing this post a week ago, then had to walk away from it multiple times because i just wasn't ready to write it, read it, post it. we're back in orvieto now--after a week on the amalfi coast--and have been for a little over a week. it was beautiful. the amalfi coast! it doesn't get much more beautiful in fact. i wish i could stop there and then post a bunch of beautiful pictures of positano from the water, undoubtedly one of the must beautiful vistas on earth, but our trip ended rather intensely. before you go any further, everything is okay now! now you can go on. 

on thursday evening, i felt anders' head as we went to bed and it felt a little warm. then, in the middle of the night, warmer. sure enough, he woke a bit out of it with a fever. that lasted about two days, with him continuing to nurse a lot and sleep a bit more than usual. nothing too out of the ordinary though sick babies tend to put me on high alert in the best of circumstances...and in a foreign country? even more so. on the third day, the day of check out and travel back to orvieto, he became very lethargic, was vomiting, and would not nurse at all. here we are on a bus to positano to catch a boat to salerno to catch a train to orvieto (several hours of travel altogether) and my baby was really sick. my fear was growing by the second as he continued vomiting and being nearly unresponsive. i began to feel so out of my comfort zone, so scared and desperate. experiencing all of this while on vacation so far away was really nightmarish. steve and i made the decision to go to a hospital in salerno with anders and send the rest of the family north on the already booked train back to orvieto. that was really emotional. we arrived at the salerno hospital by taxi and within a few hours had bloodwork done for him and an iv for fluids. he was hardly responsive upon arrival. add to that, we speak so little italian (our fault!) and the main doctor spoke so little english and, without going into too much detail, the hospital was nothing like what we expected or are accustomed to. it felt like nothing was happening fast enough, that everyone was calmer than they should be based on anders' condition (if they hadn't been calm, no doubt that would've made it much worse!), that i was in some awful nightmare, and how incredibly stupid and selfish it was of me to take my baby abroad when we have a hospital so close to us at home where i could find proper help for him immediately. it felt very surreal, even in the midst of it, and it felt like i was just floating through it all.

finally, an older doctor whose name i'll never forget walked in and had the most comforting presence, spoke great english, and hugged me as i stood there, fear all over my face. i said, "i'm really scared," he said, "of course. you are a mother." he was nothing short of an angel to us. i will be forever grateful to him. he was not overly concerned, he assured me that he will recover, and he gave the most wonderful eye contact as we spoke. we got a room in the hospital, while anders remained receiving fluids, and waited on results. 

in the end it seems to have just been a really wicked virus that he was having a hard time fighting. it was all made so much more intense and terrifying with the language barrier (even having to figure out his temperature equivalent in celsius--things you don't consider!), without working phones or wifi (a side note: they were working for a month--a must for me when abroad for this long--and then stopped working on september 1 when i had explained (i thought) that i needed them working through october.  we didn't have access to the WIND store in the big cities to get them working again and the hospital would absolutely not give access to their wifi.), with our family traveling north with no way to get in touch with them, with steve being told he would need to leave to find a place to sleep (there were zero hotels near the hospital, he checked! finally they allowed him to spend the night and after the three of us attempted to sleep in one child-sized bed, he slept on the floor on a blanket, bless him.), with the conditions of the hospital, without knowing how or when we were going to get home. words fail entirely to do justice to how scared we were. it was terrible. now here we are, over a week later, and anders is himself again. oh how i longed for him to be his crazy, energetic self again. i am so grateful.

i am leaving out so much. there's really no way to explain it all. the most important detail is that everything is okay now. i need to remind myself of that over and over again as i continue to go back to that day. i am incredibly grateful to the doctors who took care of anders and knew just what he needed. i've since emailed with the kind, older doctor (some blood results and such) and he has assured me, "your baby is good. his immune system is perfect. be happy." i will try to leave this behind me and take his good advice. not before i thank him a million more times though. 


weekend links (a day early).

On the go with my Rebekah Gough Jewelry.

Now I will rethink all future Instagrams because of this amazing account.

The most beautiful puffy blanket.

Oh the places you'll go. One Father's graduation present to his daughter. Sweetest.

This. The whole outfit. (Add a black hat, beanie or otherwise, and I'm set.)

The Modern Family cast recreates shots from our favorite shows. I love the I Dream of Jeannie one.

Jimmy Fallon and Ariana Grande do musical impersonations. They are so good. (The Aaron Neville one, LOL.)

And THIS DRESS (the rainbow one!).

This DIY headboard is amazing.

I like this food artwork. I think the soft pretzel one is my favorite. Or the kitchen strawberry pie.

Have you ever gone digging through some of the essays on this blog? They're really great.

As an aside, thanks for reading and following along. I'm always so glad to check in with you all! Hope you're well.


italy in ten.

1. none of this is actually our living quarters while we are in italy. that would just be silly. this is our friends' home (and where the locanda is; i've mentioned it before!). if we managed a three month trip abroad and this was our digs would you stop reading? i wouldn't blame you. i would stop reading and it's my blog.
2. more to the point is that these friends have taken pity on us pathetic americans who roam the streets of orvieto every day, and invited us into their home, and pool (more than once now) because they are kind and gracious people.
2. we've all now eaten fresh figs from their tree (as seen above) and they're delicious despite parker looking really angry while eating them. hopefully we've left enough figs for sylvia and lodovico to eat too.
3. steve is quickly becoming really accustomed to his afternoon wine by the pool overlooking the umbrian countryside and he may never return back to work again. work trip? huh?
4. meanwhile, i'm taking up wine making and art on the side.
5. only some of the above is true.
6. for some truth-telling? italy is so, so beautiful but has also presented its share of challenges.
7. without naming any names sibling. fighting. is. reeeeeal. (and so is parenting!!!!)
8. so is having a just beginning to crawl all the time baby in only semi child-proofed places. insert that emoji with the big teethy "oh shit" smile.
9. none of this is really a surprise to us, or, if it is, shouldn't have been. if so, jokes on us!
10. is this one of my more random posts? i'm really, really, really tired (been a rough few days, more on that later!). suffice it to say, we love it here, but traveling is also a true undertaking and my hat is sooo off to those who make a life of it!

that's all for now.


to market, to market!

The market in Orvieto is every Thursday and Saturday mornings. I'm not sure what time it begins, nor am I even certain when the earliest I've arrived is (being on a different time zone than everyone back home has made me oddly unaware of time altogether). But when we go ambling down one of the many alleys towards Piazza del Popolo on one of these mornings, it's always there in full force already. 7:30 am? 8:30 am? The Italians are there, as they have been week after week since we've arrived. It'll be hard to imagine the hustle and bustle that takes place here once I'm back in Massachusetts. It'll hard to imagine all of it, these streets, the cappuccinos being ordered at Montanucci, the boats cruising by Positano, once we're home. Like some other world we're living in altogether.

The market here is great. There are farmer's markets back home, of course, but I don't go to them hoping to more-than-fill my canvas (of course) bag with organic romaine and cucumbers, tomatoes and string beans. You'll pay a pretty penny for that. I go for the people watching, the coffee, and maybe a specialty item or two, even if it is a bit of a splurge--some local honey, or a small bag of granola. Here in Orvieto, this is where we buy the majority of our produce, sometimes our cheese, a bag of almonds the size of which I've communicated with my hands and maybe added, "five euro?" It's where, it seems, the whole town gets their fresh produce, even clothes or linens or a random kitchen supply, flowers, potted plants, fish and salami. You'll see an old man weighing apples with an ancient scale, and you're pretty certain he's been here two days a week doing this very thing since the beginning of time. 

The peaches are to-die-for. I don't leave the market without at least four and then, two days later, when they have the slightest give to them, I cut them up and eat them plain or with yogurt and granola. I wish I could give you all one. Some tomatoes, different sizes, some still on the vine, always make their way home with us usually to be made into a caprese later on. And then salad fixings, apples. I stop by the cheese truck and there's testers of each kind out in a little plastic dish. I pick a hard and salty pecorino romano and eat it plain with eggs in the morning or with pieces over a vinegary arugula salad. The almonds are perfect for those emergency hunger-is-getting-the-best-of-us-but-we've-got-to-catch-this-bus times. The market. We like it there.