Sunday, May 31, 2009


From Milan we did a day trip the second day to Venice. We were getting a really good deal at the Marriott in Milan so we decided not to give that up. In retrospect, I would have liked to spend the night in Venice, I loved it!

We took an early train to Venice, my first of many train rides but this one had reserved seating and we had to sit backwards. I HATE facing backwards on anything moving so of course I got sick. After an hour or so we were able to switch seats (phew!).

We got to Venice in the morning and I was immediately in love! It was SO beautiful and I just felt like we were in a movie. We got a snack (pizza of course) and walked around a little. We started to make our way to St. Mark's Square but got pretty lost on our way. We ended up on some really great streets that were beautiful and uncrowded by tourists-- so great!

After we got oriented again we started at the Doge's Palace, it was also great, I loved the gold ceilings, just amazing. Then we went to lunch--amazing lasagna. After lunch we took a gondola ride (Aaron bartered the price down with his great Italian skills).

We ended our day with gelato, the Friari Church, another great walk through some side roads and then took the train back! We had a late dinner in Milan and that was day two!

I really loved Venice and if we do this trip again (ever?) I would like to stay a day or two.

So pretty!

Golden Ceiling in the Doge's Palace

Our gondola ride

I wondered what kids did in this city with only water and streets. Then we saw some kids playing with a kayak right outside their back door. It was a great little peek into Venice life.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Dear Kate and Riley,
Forgive me if, like I said, I self indulge a little and the next few posts are not going to be in letter form. I think it will be annoying to document our whole trip in terms of "mom" and "dad" so we're just going to be "me" and "Aaron" for the Italy posts.


We dropped off Zach in Utah and flew from Utah to NY and then from NY to Milan. I thought I was super prepared with my eye mask, ipod with white noise track (calming electric fan), and ambien courtesy of my "supplier". However, none of those things worked and I didn't sleep at all on the 14 hour plane ride!

We arrived in Milan at 9 am, took the train and metro and then walked the rest of the way to the hotel. We checked in, showered and were off. I'm not one to go on no sleep so it was a bit of a challenge for me!

We took the metro to the Duomo area in Milan and walked around the Duomo. It was the first of MANY churches we would visit but it was really cool. Then we went and got lunch, one of the more memorable meals, a DEEP FRIED calzone. I knew that I was going to have to get over my eating issues on this trip if I wanted to enjoy it.

We climbed to the top of the Duomo and got great views of Milan. By the late afternoon I was dying so we went back to the hotel and took a nap. Later we went out again to see the castle, walk around the Duomo area a little more and have dinner. We were so tired we headed back pretty early.

Milan was a good little intro but definitely not the most exciting city in Italy, better days were definitely ahead.
Me on top of the Duomo

Me getting very uncomfortable with an awkward street performer

In front of the Duomo

Inside the Duomo, the inlaid floors were awesome

Aaron at the castle

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We're Back!

Dear Kate and Riley,
Well we made it home from Italy safe and sound. It was the trip of a lifetime! Dad and I had an AMAZING time. It was so wonderful to be alone with him and to be in such an amazing romantic place. I loved hearing your Dad speak Italian (it all came back to him quickly) and it was good for me to just have to put all my trust in him that we were taking the right trains and going to the right places, and driving up the right one lane gravel roads! But he did a great job and I couldn't have asked for a better trip. And its a good thing too because after the bill comes for this trip I have a feeling we won't be going on another one for a LONG time!

What about Zachary? Oh, don't worry he was FINE. More than fine. In fact I think he was probably sad that we were back and he had to leave his pack of adoring cousins. I'll admit that it made me want to cry a little this morning when he called Aunt Amy mom and not me but we've got that all straightened out now and I'm glad he had a great time and we didn't have to worry about him at all. Aunt Amy and Aunt Stacy were WONDERFUL to take such good care of him for us.

So, with about 500 pictures to go through I think it will take me a while to post about all of this. I think I will have to do several posts so bear with me for a little self indulgence in the coming days. :)


And well, just because it would be lame to make a post with no pictures at all I will post some eating pictures, since there are SO many of those and they probably won't make the cut for the other posts later on...

My first (of many) gelatos. Notice that it is gone (I couldn't wait for Aaron to get out the camera)

Aaron's "wine". It was really just Coca Cola Light (seriously what happened to diet coke? Its NOT the same). I sort of wish I could see how much we spent on coca cola light, those babies were running us like 4 euros a CAN at restaurants (that's more than $5!). By the end of the trip we'd given up on them at restaurants, we just bought them at the grocery store and had them in our hotel room. When you are also paying for your water, we were easily spending $10-15 on drinks at every meal!

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day!

Dear Kate and Riley,

Well once again I've been spoiled rotten on Mother's Day. This year we took advantage of an amazing deal and headed out to Palm Springs with our friends the Hunts. Its sad when you go on vacation and get to stay in a place that is bigger than your condo. We actually realized while we were there that if we could get the same rate every night it would be cheaper to live in that big two bedroom two bathroom "vacation villa" than it would be to live in our house!

It was hot but perfect for doing exactly what we wanted to do all weekend-- sit by the pool. The place where we stayed had a baby pool, a water slide, a splash park and a bunch of big pools. Zach was in heaven. Aaron and Wade got to golf one morning (we mom's generously allowed it on "our" weekend) and Katelyn and I got to go to the spa one morning. It was heavenly and just what I needed, a vacation before our vacation! We have been too spoiled lately but that Marriott discount is just too good to pass up some weekends.

I am so grateful for you girls and for Zachary. All I have ever wanted was to be a mom and I am living my dream in real life right now. I miss you and wish you were here with me but the promise that I will be with you again helps me get through. Zachary brings so much joy into our lives every day. His sweet smile and hugs are my favorite. When I get him after his nap and he says "HI!" it melts my heart every time. Thanks for making me everything I've ever wanted to be.

Going down the water slide with dad. The first day he was nervous but the second day he would get done and say "more! more!" until Aaron took him again.

Our only group shot and I'm not looking! Oh well. Mother's Day breakfast at Don and Sweet Sue's

Zach and Tessa (or te-ta as Zach would say)

The splash park, also took a little warming up to but you can see he eventually got into it

I just had to have some proof that I was there!