Today was our first full day in Firenze. We started off our day with breakfast at a little place called Caffe Latte. I had a delicious caffe latte with a cake covered with homemade yogurt. It was very good. Then we were off to see some of the museums. We went to San Marco then to the Accademia where we saw Michelangelo's amazing David. The highlight of the day was going to the Duomo and climbing the 414 steps of the bell tower (Giotto's Campanile). The climb up was exhilarating and the view from the top was quite breath taking! You could see the city all around and the wonderful panorama. Is it possible to take too many pictures of the Duomo? All in all it was a pretty amazing day. Italian shoes, chocolate, cute guys and gelato how could you ask for more ;) Check out the pictures of our first two days here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timonik93/
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Goodbye LA, Auf Weidersien Germany and Ciao Italia!
After a very looooong day we traveled from LAX to Frankfurt (big long layover) and finally to beautiful Florence. The flight was good with not too much turbulence. Christine was very excited to get her very first stamp in her passport. After about a 6 hour layover we were on our way to Florence. We arrived around 7:30 pm local time. The weather in Florence was great unlike Germany which was freezing! (Well, maybe not "freezing" but you know me). The transition from airport to taxi was pretty effortless...no luggage lost. Our taxi cab driver was the very capable and cute Milco who despite all the rush hour traffic navigated us through the maze of minis, smart cars, yarises, and motorcycles to our hotel in the center of town, Soggiorno Magliani. It is very close to the Medici Chapel and Mercato Centrale. After getting situated at the hotel we all went for a walk around town to see Florence at night. We saw the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, walked along the Arno river and ate some amazing yogurt and kiwi gelato. Can't wait to see Florence again in the day light! I'll be posting pictures soon.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Apple Picking at Cedar Glen
Yesterday I spent a wonderful day up in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead. Megan invited me to go spend the day with her family and go apple picking. The day was beautiful and sunny and we had a great time picking many many apples. There were red, green and yellow ones. After our bags were brimming full we went back to the house. I think the last time I picked apples was when I was 8 years old... way back in the seventies!!! Later we drove to Big Bear and browsed around little curiosity and antique shops. It was a very fun and relaxing day. I'm so thankful for great friends! Check out all the beautiful pictures here: http://chiarapics.spaces.live.com/
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Miracles... big and small
On Saturday bright and early Grace, Jon and I hit the road to drive down to El Centro to see Timothy and Monica's new house. Yes, it has been a big and exciting miracle how despite all that is going on in the economy and housing market they were able to sell there house in Georgia, move to California and finally buy a new house. The Lord is good and we have seen his hand every step of the way. It was wonderful to see God's provision and faithfulness. After a great lunch together and helping them unpack the U-Haul truck it was time to head on over to Yuma, AZ. We enjoyed a yummy grilled dinner outdoors and enjoyed a fun evening together. Frank and a couple of Greg's friends joined us for the evening. It was very fun! Sunday after church and lunch we drove back to El Centro on our way home.
Monday evening after work a few of us drove over to St. Jude to see Abby, Michael and baby Kate. She is a tiny little miracle that is continuing to grow and get stronger every day. What a blessing and answer to prayer! We got to look at her through the glass window and see her get weighed, bathed and dressed.You can see all baby Kate's pictures here
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I watched a beautiful sunrise this morning... and thought about how with so many uncertainties and economic chaos it is good to be reminded that kingdoms come and go but the word of the Lord stands forever. He is our refuge and strength in times of trouble. This past week has been going by so quickly! In less than two weeks I'll be going to Italy on vacation...can't wait!! But in the mean time there is lots going on. Last weekend Grace joined me in what has become an October tradition for me...picking and juicing pomegranates. They were very big and extra juicy this year. We picked quite a few of them and got about 10 quarts of juice and still had some fruit left over. We all took turns at juicing. Even Jon joined us on Sunday afternoon! It's a messy job but the fruis tastes so good! I am making jelly from the juice and have already done about four batches and have a few more to go. This week we also had the bocce tournament finals which had a very exciting finish. You can see pictures of the tournament here. I feel very blessed to live and work where I do. Today the girls at work took me out to lunch for Bosses Day. I am thankful every day for each one of them and all they do!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
October has arrived with a flurry of activity. Little did I know that Thursday, just a few days after writing my last post, we would be welcoming baby Kate seven weeks early! We think we know how things are supposed to go but ultimately God is in control of all our lives. Abby and baby are doing well and we are all praying that everything will continue to progress well and they will all be able to go home soon. On Saturday, Grace, Jon, Adam and Asher all drove down to San Diego for the MCAS Miramar airshow. We met up there with Mom, Timothy and all the kids. What a fun filled day it was! This was the first time the kids had been to an air show. We were all wowed by the amazing civilian and military displays. This year we had front row seats right on the flight line. Everyone had their favorite part. Mine as always is the amazing Harrier. I was juggling my digital camera and my old trusty 35mm camera and of course took a bunch of pictures (click here) After the show we all drove back to LA to welcome Monica and her mom Margarita who were arriving from Colombia. We are all excited to have her here in the States for the first time. Sunday was a relax and recovery day, hanging out with the family, cooking and eating together and catching up with each other.