Monday, March 28, 2011


Sorry I've been MIA this week, just not a whole lot going on.  The weather was beautiful last week, so I was out and about trying to enjoy that.  The weather this morning..not so great.  It's overcast and was sprinkling earlier, hopefully it doesn't last too long.

Dan has been really busy with work, Operation Odyssey Dawn has kept this whole base hopping.  We have about 1200 soldiers deployed here for the mission.  I think it's neat seeing all the uniforms and different jets and planes here on base. It's more exciting. However, the work schedules....not so much.  It's like our husbands are deployed, but get to come home at night. They are working mostly 14 hour shifts, sometimes longer, also having to split night shifts as well. I just hope all this is over soon because we have trips planned for when family comes in April and end of May beginning of June.  If it's not over, hopefully things will be running smoothly and Dan can get the time off.

I went to Venice on Saturday, all by my lonesome.  Dan can't go that far away, he has to be within about 25 minutes away from base on his days off, but he decided to go in that day and work to try and get caught up on stuff.  I have a friend here who has a painting that I absolutely LOVE. When I went with her and her Mom last weekend to Venice we found the guy!  I was super excited because she bought her painting 2 years ago and he doesn't have a studio or anything, he is picks a spot by San Marco Square and sets up and paints.  I liked what he had when we saw him last weekend, but I didn't have enough Euro on me to buy anything and they were all smaller paintings. So, I went back and bought one :)

Here is a picture of my friends photo that I loved the first time I saw it.


It’s kind of hard to see with the flash, but since it was night time it was the best I could do with my point and shoot.  I love the blue colors, blue has always been my favorite color. This picture is of San Marco Square.

When I went to Venice he did have a small blue painting, it was a little smaller than half of this painting and it only had the left side of the painting on it.  I really liked it, but I wanted a bigger one. It was pretty small. He didn’t have any large blue ones, but said he could paint it for me and I could come back another time to get it. He did have a big painting, like this one, only different colors.  After lots of thinking and 2 phone calls to Dan, I decided to get it.  I figured that it would go with our apartment better. They are such beautiful paintings, you can’t lose, no matter what you get!  So, here is the painting I got, just have to get it framed.


It looks weird because I have it sitting up on a shelf, then there is another photo above it. Pictures of the painting just don’t do it justice, it’s so beautiful. The light hits it and the colors in it just come out so much more than in this photo.  I would LOVE more artwork from this artist, but only only does paintings of the one I bought above, a smaller painting of the square (the left side of picture above) and then across the water from the square there is a church, he also does that.  That’s about it.  He does these paintings in black and white, the color I have above and the blue color my friend has.  Maybe someday soon he will start painting other scenes so I can get some more!

Hope everyone has a good week!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nove, Italy

First, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my Step Dad, Scott!  I hope you have a wonderful day! I wish I were there to go out to dinner with all the family tonight!

Today a friend and myself went to Nove, it’s about an hour and a half away from here. I’ve been here a few times before, it’s one of those towns you will never get sick of.  It’s known for its ceramics and pottery.  A few places sell Tiffany and Co., Lennox, Williams and Sonoma, etc.  There aren’t too many stores there, but there are a few really nice bigger stores that have so much to choose from. 

The first time I went to Nove was with some friends and we went to the most popular store there, VBC.  I got a Tiffany and Co. ceramic basket thingy, I figured I could use it as a fruit basket.  Most things there, like Tiffany and Co products, have flaws in them and that’s why they are sold there for a really, really good price.  I got my friend a gift there today for her kiddo and I couldn’t find the flaw in this piece.  Now, the others had flaws and I put them back on the shelf and kept searching for one that didn’t/wasn’t as bad, and I have to say…I didn’t see any flaws with it at all, so I was happy.  I can’t post what I got for her because it would ruin the surprise, but it’s something a lot of people get here for their friends that are having babies. Maybe I will mention it in a blog once she gets it, with a picture of course!

Here are some pictures I took while in the store.  Pottery/ceramics galore!


Below is a picture of the basket I bought the first time I went there. You can see that the weaves in it aren’t perfectly straight, but hey, it gives it character!  I can’t find this online anywhere, so I don’t know how much it retails for, but I got it for 21 Euro I believe.




The second time I went to Nove was with Dan and we got a serving set from another store there.  It’s Ralph Lauren and we got a pitcher, 1 serving bowl, 1 big salad bowl, a 15 inch round serving plate and a soup bowl that has a lid with a ladle, it’s too cute. There was also a large serving plate, but at the time they didn’t have that in stock, so we bought everything else and figured we could get it later.  Those 5 items were 71 euro, at that time, less than $100USD.  They gave us all of our items in boxes and they were sealed with plastic, ready for shipping.  The boxes had a label on them with the USD prices adding up to over $500 USD!  Good deal!  I went back today to see if they had the other piece and the place was closed down. Not sure if they are renovating, or what, but their signs were even gone.

This is one of the items we purchased last time.


We haven’t taken them out of the boxes yet and probably won’t unless we use them.  I would hate for them to get broken in the move!  But maybe we will bust them out for Easter Dinner since Debra, my Mother in Law, and her friend Wanda will be here. 

Now, on to what I bought today!  At VBC I got a salt and pepper shaker


While in VBC, all the other people in there were Americans. I ran into the Major in CE here at Aviano that works with Dan and also some ladies that are stationed up in Garmisch, Germany.  The ladies from Germany told us of another store right down the road that I hadn’t been to get.  It was very nice and that’s where I got my other stuff.  I wanted to get a big serving platter because that’s what I was missing, but needed to find one in white.  VBC had only cream colors.  So, this is the one I bought at the other store. It’s pretty darn big, you can’t really tell in this photo….Heavy too. It was 18 €


A cute little pitcher for gravy, baby! (7€ )


Veggie platter (14€ )


I thought this was cute. A bowl for chips or whatever you want to put in it! (15€ )


Side view


A picture of everything I bought at the second store


The pictures don’t do justice, they are simple, but I love them.  I f I ever decide to get out my Ralph Lauren set, I will take pictures and post them on here. If you haven’t been to Nove and are around this area, you have to go, you won’t regret it.

My weekend has been pretty good so far, I hope yours is going just as well!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Not too much going on here. Sorry things have been so quiet. Dan got home from his TDY last weekend, had lots of homework to do so we didn't get out to do anything on Sunday.

It did start raining on Sunday and didn't stop until early this morning. Many things here are flooded and the roads get so bad when it rains like this. So many pot holes and the mountain highway by our apartment has water flowing from underneath the pavement. It's crazy. As I'm writing this the sun is out from behind the clouds and right in my face....first time in days, not complaining one bit.

We are getting excited for family to come visit, we still have a little over a month, but it will be here before you know it. Then we have more family coming in June. It will be so much fun to show them around and also see new things.

Hope everyone is have a great week :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What was that?

I think I hear footsteps...the wood floor creaking...wait I don't have wood floors. It's just Eddie snoring beside me :) He's such a silly cat.

Dan left this morning on a short TDY so right now I'm sitting here listening to the dogs bark outside, because they are always barking and Eddie snore. Exciting huh?

Last night I watched an episode of Ghost Hunters, when I lived in the states this was a weekly thing, every Wednesday night. My Step Dad would also watch, so whenever it was on or shortly after we would call each other asking what the other thought of that nights episode. Well, if any of you watch this show, you know that sometimes they aren't very scary and other times they are. Well, last night I happened to get a scary episode and it was freaking me out. They went to California to the Preston Castle which used to be a reform school for boys. Anyone see this one? Pretty freaky. Go figure, the night before Dan leaves the episode is actually a scary one. I wrote something on Facebook about this and a lady from the states that I used to work with told me that I should see the Italy episode of Ghost Adventures. I looked up the info online and they went to the island of Poveglia, which is between Venice and, very close! The island was used for the isolation of plague victims and as a plague pit in Roman times. A mental hospital was located on the island, but it is said that the doctor tortured and killed many of the patients. Tourists are forbidden to visit the island. Freaky, huh? I will have to watch that when Dan gets back. Make him watch it with me :) He shakes his head at the whole thing and finds my reactions to the show interesting, so at least he will be entertained either way.

That's about all that's going on my way. Went to a stampin' up party today, made a few scrapbooking pages and a few cards, good times were had by all. Dan will be back on Saturday, so I will be hanging around until then. I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Ferrara, Italy

What a great weekend to be in Italy, the weather was amazing all weekend!  Yesterday Dan and I went to Ferrara to check out all there was to see.  It’s about an hour and 45 minute drive from here, all highway too.  While we were on the highway we saw signs for Bologna being only 50km away, so that kind of gives you an idea of where we were at.

The town of Ferrara has many places dating from the 14th and 15th Century and because of it’s beauty and cultural importance, it has been qualified by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

The drive there was beautiful, but the closer we got, the foggier we got.  When we arrived it was starting to clear up, still a bit hazy though.

This was driving through the fog


Looking down the streets of Ferrara


An old Church we passed going to the main square


Many of the bikes had baskets with flowers in the them. I thought they were cute.


This is the main cathedral in Ferrara from the 12th century. It's a 3 tiered marble facade, combining Romanesque and Gothic styles. The upper level is a graphic representation of the Final Judgment and heaven and hell.


Absolutely Beautiful


This is the City Hall.  It was renovated in the 18th century, was the earlier residence of the Este family.


The building you see at the end is the castle


Inside the Cathedral


Tower in the Square by the Cathedral


There was an antique market going on in the square. Lots of good looking wood tables, stands and chests.  There was a chest we really liked, but it was over 1500 Euro!


This is the outside of the Castello Estense.  It’s surrounded by water and has a drawbridge as well.


This picture I took while coming out of the castle, we were walking over the drawbridge.


More pictures of the castle from the outside


Looking out from inside the castle


The kitchen in the castle


The dungeon!  Had to go down some narrow stairs, the duck through the little doorways, which were probably only 4 feet tall.


This was in one of the holding cells they had.  It was a small room with a toilet in the corner, which is what you see below.  Apparently there is a story to go along with the dungeon. In 1425 the Duke, Nicolo III d'Este had his young second wife and son beheaded down here because he found out they were lovers. And I guess that inspired Robert Browning to write a poem, "My Last Duchess."


This door was very short, maybe 3 feet tall.


Painting’s and Ceilings within the castle


We came to the part to go up in the tower. So, that means lots of stairs.  They weren’t that bad though and the view was worth it!


This picture is gross. Naked men rolling around with their heads in each others groins and butts…can we say ewww?  Click on the picture to enlarge…see for yourself.


They had angled mirrors so you could look into them rather than looking up at the ceiling…pretty nifty.


While we were getting ready to leave the castle, we heard drums coming from the street, so rushed over to a window and saw a parade.  I got a video, but it’s shaky and not very good, but I will post it anyway so you can see how neat it was. It was a band with drummer, followed by a court of some kind then men with flags.


We walked through the rest of the castle and exited through a courtyard within the castle.  When we were leaving, this band and court that just paraded through the streets was entering the courtyard. So, we stayed and watched.



Band entering courtyard in castle



Walking down the streets of Ferrara, headed to the park


2 older gentlemen on their bikes carrying on a conversation. I thought it was too cute.


We found the park. Surprised at how green everything was


Cute Hello Kitty bikes


This is another park we found on our way back towards the square


This was a little confusing to see here in Italy.  We saw it on our way in, so on our way out, I figured I would snap a photo.


Dan and I had a lot of fun here, we thought it was a neat town.  We parked in a designated parking lot, Dan said he saw online that it was the cheapest in the town. It was 0,70 for the 4 hours we were there. Not too shabby!