Friday, November 30, 2012


On Wednesday and Thursday, we took a little girls trip to Munich. I've never been to Germany before - except the airport - so I was really excited. The weather was AWFUL - freezing and snowy and rainy....but we came prepared with rain boots, umbrellas and hats, so we still had fun walking around and seeing the sights, which was mainly....the Christmas market! Let the Christmas market season BEGIN! Their market had just opened, and was very popular, so we spent a lot of time there buying ornaments for our trees and drinking Gluhwein and eating pretzels and sausages with mustard. We also spent a lot of time in the German grocery stores, looking at all the things they don't have in Italy. We stocked up on German chocolate, beer and clementines (most of which you can probably buy in Cortina, but....), and practiced our German, which was very mediocre. Turns out that Munich is only four hours away from Cortina, so we'll be going back, maybe in the spring when it's not so cold and gray!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

Here's a few photos from our Thanksgiving dinner last night, if you'd like to see. Last year, our turkey was 40 pounds and this year it rang in at 32 - needless to say, the wings and legs needed to be cut off to fit it in the oven, and then the rest of it turned out very well! Apparently they do not have small turkeys here (I asked for a 20 pound one, and this is what we got).

Everyone brought something to the dinner so we had tons of food - besides the huge turkey, there was mashed potatoes with three different kinds of gravy, two stuffings, squash with walnuts and gorgonzola, Ryan's famous and costly green bean casserole - and - being in Italy, we had to get a little creative. We had carrots with brown sugar instead of sweet potatoes and a cherry sauce instead of cranberry, which they don't have here anywhere, except for in the woods, so says one of the Italians who ventured over. We drank prosecco and ate and ate and ate, and then had tons of dessert - pumpkin cheese cake, chocolate pie, butter cake, lemon bars....My friend Stacy made all the desserts and she's 6 months pregnant so she went a little overboard. Everything was so good AND we played Charades after dinner, so I felt very at home (especially when some of the boys complained about it, and then gave in, just like my dad would do).

Overall, Thanksgiving was a huge hit and now...on to Christmas! Ry and I went for a walk this morning through town and everything was being set up for December 1, when the Christmas season will officially begin!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Bear(s) Went Over the Mountain

Yesterday was Derby Day here in the Dolomites, so Audrey and I headed up and over the mountain and down to Alleghe for the game (we were actually going to visit our friend Natalie, who is now in Alleghe with her fiance, but we saw some of the game while we were there too).

Image via Alleghe Hockey (which is why they're about to score on us)
 Derby Day is a big deal here - every Italian who follows hockey in Cortina, Alleghe and Belluno was crammed into the rink. The game ended up tied at 3-3 at the end, so they went into overtime. If we go into overtime, we get one point, even if we don't win, so Audrey and I were standing there, whispering to each other "20 seconds until we get one point!! 10 seconds until we get one point!!" We got the one point.

Unfortunately, the previously mentioned fiance of our friend Natalie, ended up scoring a very dramatic goal with two minutes left in overtime. Oh well. We got the one point. And that is just one of many things we're thankful for on this Italian Thanksgiving Day!

And now....on to the cooking!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're sending lots of love back home this Thanksgiving day! (And a little bit of jealousy....) We aren't celebrating until Sunday so we still have three days to wait!

We hope everyone has a fun and yummy day - even all the way over here, we are so thankful for our friends and family back home who Skype with us, email us, and keep us in the loop from thousands of miles away.

Stay tuned next week for pictures from our own celebration.....including the 25 dollar green bean casserole which will be making a come back this Sunday. xo

Friday, November 16, 2012

And a Few More....

Back by popular's a few more picture of our trip to Rome earlier this month.

The Victor Emmanuel monument, which was very close to our little hotel

Rainy streets in Trastevere, our first night

Great view of the Colosseum

Walking around the Forum....

More Forum

A beautiful ceiling in the Vatican Museum - which we saw a lot of

A map from the "map room" in the Vatican Museum....we were trying to look for Cortina!

Even MORE walls and ceilings!

A view of Piazza del Popolo

A little duck pond in the Borghese Gardens

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Ryan has a tough game on Saturday night against Brunico - they're #1 - but we won on Thursday so we might be making a come back....

Friday, November 9, 2012

When in Rome: Part 2

So. On Tuesday morning we woke up and figured out the Metro system! (Actually Ryan figured it out while I looked on). We took the Metro to the Vatican to tour St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. It was a beautiful day and the tourists were out and about! We got mixed up in several different tour groups, but it didn't really matter that it was so crowded - we spent the whole morning walking around looking up at the ceilings in the Basilica, Museum, and Chapel!

After a quick lunch right outside the Vatican walls, we took the Metro (again!) on a little sporadic adventure to Piazza del Popolo. I had wanted to see the church there, which I read was one of "Rome's most overlooked churches"...but of course - it was closed! We ended up at a Leonardo da Vinci museum that Ryan really wanted to see (I had no idea he was a fan) and that was interesting, and then we walked in the Borghese Gardens for an hour or two before heading to the Borghese Gallery to look at Bernini sculptures and beautiful, beautiful walls (no pictures allowed though!).

That night we had a thrilling Roman dinner - cacio e pepe, which is a Roman specialty that I've never seen anywhere else and was dying to try, ossobuco, and fried artichokes. YUM. We ate in a great little restaurant near our hotel with tons of locals, all of whom were there when we sat down at 9 and were still there when we left at 11.

The next day we booked it over to the Santa Maria della Vittoria church to see another Bernini statue, St. Teresa in Ecstasy (I seem to have a taste for Bernini these days). It was great and the church was so ornate and beautiful, but very small and plain on the outside. It was one of my favorite things we saw. THEN we popped in to the Cappuccin Crypt to look at bones. Literally. The Crypt has the bones of over 4,000 friars who died between 1528 and 1870 and they are arranged in patterns all over the walls - skulls, thigh bones, shin bones, pelvis bones.....(Ryan was thinking that I was crazy at this point, but it was actually quite cool).

Then, with sore necks and aching feet, we headed back to the train station, hopped on the train, and fell sound asleep. Overall - great, great trip!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When in Rome: Part 1

Well, we made it back from Rome last night. Our trip was a whirlwind of museums, ruins, restaurants, walking, and espresso. Here's a few pictures from the first two days, if you'd like to see:

We took the train and arrived around 3:30 - after walking to the hotel (successfully) and checking in, we left and took off for Trastavere, a neighborhood across the river. No time to spare! We started at Santa Maria, the local church. There was actually a service going on so we listened to the singing for a while before heading back out (into the rain).

We walked along the narrow streets and found a little place to have a drink. We decided on Negronis because we don't have those in Cortina and neither of us had ever tried them.

We ate dinner at a local pizzeria, Dar Poeta, that was recommended by two people....but we found that there were more Americans than Italians inside! BUT - we outlasted all the other tourists and students, and by 9 pm, the Italians were pouring in. The pizza was delish and totally different than what we have in Cortina! We shared two and then went to get hazelnut and pistachio gelato next door before heading home for an early (ish) bedtime.

We started Monday at the Colosseum....enough said. The first picture here is our first view of it, from down the street...we just loved how it was peeking through.

Then we headed over to the Forum and Palatine Hill. We walked through the ruins and did a tour from our guidebook.

Then we took a quick trip over to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin to see the Bocca della Verita, which was fun and silly:

Then FINALLY to a little wine bar for lunch, where we ordered a Lagrein which is from our own Trentino-Alto Adige region! And had some absolutely delicious antipasti (which we had a lot of throughout the trip).

So that was a loooong morning. We walked back to the hotel to regroup and rest a bit and then headed out AGAIN! This time - the Pantheon.

Then on to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps (we were very, very busy...but we did rest on the steps for a while):

Then we ended our first day with a fantastic dinner at a little place in North Rome called Ristorante il Gabriello, where we ate antipasti, little raviolis in a creamy sage sauce, homemade pasta with lobster, shrimp and calamari, steak with different types of was one of our favorite parts of the whole trip!

And finally we fell into bed after the busiest day of our lives!
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow....