Thursday, September 30, 2010

update from Italia

Well, we've heard from Anisa. She made it safely to Italy. After a LONG flight (8.5 hours), and not much sleep they got there to find their little Mercedes bus that was to take them to the town of Orvieto.

There are 2 parts to Orvieto. The lower part is newer and the upper part which is the older part. They are in the Upper part and she said it's beautiful. She said "mom, you know when you see pictures of the narrow little brick lined roads in the pictures, it's just like that! It's beautiful!". She really likes her apartment. She is in a building with 5 apartments. She has 2 roommates, and so far thinks they're really nice.

They have visited the Orvieto Cathedral, the underground city, and the tombs. She's eaten liver and authentic pizza and has had a lot of wine!

She said the cars there are tiny. Fiats mostly. When they were building the roads, they were meant for horses, and now that they have cars up there, they have to be small. She said she's taking lots of pictures of them cuz they're so cute.

She's slowly learning a few words and phrases in Italian and says the language barrier really stinks. Hopefully that will motivate her to learn a lot!

Well, that's all I know for now. This week is a free week for them. I think they start classes next week. She is also doing an internship and found out that she might get the chance to do a paid internship....if that works out, I'll be sure to report! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010


Yep, this post is all about Anisa. First, I'll catch you up on an event she had at school. :)

They had a dessert showcase where they showed off wedding cakes (styrofoam cakes, decorated with real frosting/fondant). Plus, they shared other desserts with family and friends. There were some yummy desserts and a few that were not so great. :) Anisa made brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, and some little lemon tartlets cuz she knows I love them. :) heehee Here are some pics of some of the desserts and cakes that were displayed. Anisa's is the green and white cake. The big blue cake is the Corpse Bride theme and they had little skull cookies that were so cute. The Daisy cake was done by a super cute woman who we talked to for a really long time. :)

We went to Chevy's for Anisa's last American (mexican) lunch. The girls got their usual burritos, Travis and I both got new stuff for us. I got asparagus/mushroom enchiladas and they were delicious! :) Anisa wanted to get the fried ice cream for dessert, but she was so full she had decided not to. Then the waitress came by and said they were doing special $1 fried ice cream SCOOPS. Ah, that was perfect. So, Anisa got her fried ice cream. Here are my beautiful girls..

And now, to the big news. Right now, as I type, Anisa is about an hour out over the Atlantic ocean on her way to Italy. I know she's not asleep right now, but I hope she gets some sleep during her 8.5 hour flight. She will arrive in Rome, Italy at 8:45 a.m. their time which is 7 hours later than us then will have a 1.5-2 hour bus ride to Orvieto. So we are expecting a skype call at about 4 a.m. ugh... She met her roommate already and said she really likes her A LOT! We'll see in about a week. :) There were only a few little tears shed at home before we left, and luckily that was it. Once we got to the airport, her 2 friends arrived and they all got checked in, I took a quick picture and off they went through security and onto their big adventure. I'll try to keep this updated as much as i can with pics that she posts on facebook. :) Here are her and the guys...Chef is missing, but I'm sure there will be pics of him posted soon. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First day of Fall My foot!

Today is the first day of Fall, and it was in the 90s. That's just not right, but it's a great day to stay inside with the AC on and update my blog! :)

Aaron was here for about a week and a half. We finally got Anisa up to the top of the Washington Monument. On the walk to the monument, we stopped to feed a friendly little squirrel! We took PB&J's into the city for snacks, and he appeared to like it very much. :)

While we were waiting for our time slot, we ran across the street to take pictures of flowers. Aaron apparently dared Anisa to hit his water bottle while he was drinking, and of course, she hit it and water went all over him. So, he picked her up and was gonna throw her in a bush, and she was screaming "NO! There is a spider!". He almost put her directly into the spider web. It was so hilarious we laughed so much!

Our time slot came up, so we got into line to get on the elevator to the top. There was an adorable couple behind us. She was from Australia and he was from the UK. We talked to them a little bit. When we got to the top, we took pictures from all the windows on all sides of the monument.

We have been looking for a purse for Anisa to take to Italy. One with a flap that goes over the zipper. Well, they're hard to find with both a flap AND a zipper. Anyway, there was this lady with an adorable purse inside the monument. I told Anisa..."check out that cute purse and it looks like it has a flap over the zipper....I'm gonna ask her". So off I went to talk to this woman who probably thought I was a stalker. After I explained to her that we were looking for a purse for my daughter she showed us her little bag and all the pockets and told us she got it at the Container Store! Of all places!!!! Anyway, we planned a trip to the Container Store the next day. We got there and looked at EVERYTHING, and finally got to the bags. We found the purse and decided to get it for sure. As we were getting ready to leave, we had to make a trip to the clearance section. We got there and there was the same, identical purse...same color and everything. We thought, oh someone probably just put it there, but NO. It was missing a clip inside and was marked down almost half price!!!! :) I love deals, and Anisa has a cute little purse!

While Aaron was here, we also made a trip to Rehoboth Beach, MD and Lewes, DE. It was the first time Aaron had ever been to the ocean. The water was warm enough for the kids to go into, but they had to be careful because of the rip currents from the hurricanes blowing through. After playing on the sand and in the water for a few hours, we went to Dogfish Head brewpub for dinner then off to visit/meet my second cousin, Dottie! She is the best!!! She loves squirrels, birds and bugs, just like I do. She is selling her house here to move to Florida to be with her man, so I'm glad I got out there at least once before she moves. I hope to get to see her again before they head south.

We also took Aaron to see the groundhogs at Fort Belvoir. One day I was out there and I saw 5 of them! That day we searched high and low and they were all hiding....then we FINALLY saw one. He was eating acorns in a little park. He was so adorable!

Aaron had to leave on Wed, and the kids always play on the rocking chairs while we wait to say good-bye. It was hard for them to say good-bye, but I think they're getting a little better at it. They didn't cry quite as much.

Today we went to a little town called Occoquan for brunch and shopping with my friend, Rhonda. We met in Santa Barbara and now her husband is stationed out here, so we can hang out together sometimes. Unfortunately, like Renee, because of traffic they both live about 40 minutes away, but we can manage to see each other sometimes. We ate at a place that overlooked the Occoquan River and looked in all the tiny, cute shops. I found a wooden chicadee and some car coasters…not super exciting, but still fun. J

This week, we have to make sure Anisa has all her last minute stuff done before she leaves on Monday! Exciting and scary for all of us.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Lots of new stuff

Well, I'll start with the oldest and go to the latest stuff that's been going on here.

On the 1st of Sept, the dance team had a Lock-In at school. Basically, they spent the night at school. ;) Anyway, one of the moms who had volunteered told me I should stay too. I had been thinking about it, but putting it off, so I said OK! :) One more mom stepped up too, so there were 3 moms, plus the coaches, plus 16 teenagers! It was fun. We had run of the entire school, and it's a BIG school. They ate, played hide and seek, watched a movie, laughed, screamed, ran through the halls, pushed each other on rolling chairs and in trash cans. Here are some pics...

Aaron is visiting from Wisconsin one more time before Anisa goes to Italy. That's coming up in 2.5 weeks! We've been slowly, but surely, getting her stuff ready. A lot of it, we can't do til the last minute..mainly the packing part.

This past Sunday, we were supposed to go on a bike ride with Larry and Jan, but they have some remodeling going on in their bathroom, so instead, we went to Great Falls, VA. It's in McLean, about half hour away from here. Unfortunately, everyone else went that day (Labor Day weekend) and it took us 2 hours to get there. It was cool, tho. Once we got there, we hiked on the rocks, looked at the little fishies, and took pictures. Here are some of them.....

On Tuesday, Sara started school as a Junior! She asked us if she gets a 4.0 this year, would we buy her a car. We said YEP. Now, watch her get a 4.0. :) heehee Anyway, one of her favorite friends, Hannah, spent the night and they watched Time Traveler's Wife, then got their beauty sleep and got up, got ready and I took them to school. Sara said she likes her classes, teachers and even has friends in a lot of her classes (she didn't have many friends in her classes last year). Here is Sara and Hannah. Aren't they beeyooteefull?! :)

Anisa, Aaron and I planned to go into DC to see the butterflies and try to go up the Washington Monument. Luckily, I talked to Renee that morning and she decided at the last minute to bring Ava and go with us! Miss Ava starts school next week, so this really was her last chance. We saw the butterflies, bugs, skeletons, live fishies and "real but not alive" animals. Here is Ava trying to talk one of the butterflies into landing on her. Poor kid. She only wanted ONE butterfly to land on her and actually, one did, but nobody got a picture of it because he landed then took right off.

Travis is visiting Philly, New York and Baltimore this week, so he's been gone for a couple of days which I think is nice, since I never get a chance to miss him! :) He'll be home on Friday, and I think we're planning a trip to the beach this weekend and HOPEFULLY getting to meet a cousin of mine...actually a second cousin. I'll tell you all about it next week! :)