Friday, December 30, 2011

Update

Ciao a tutti :) 
Gosh, its been seven days since my last entry? Feels like forever.. Sorry guys. Just wanted to let you know that, my MacBook Pro decided to stop working.. Well, it all began with iPhoto, and than the other programs decided to follow.. Quite strange, I thought for a laptop that I purchased brand new 6 months ago. So, long story short, I haven't been blogging much do to my laptop not functioning correctly. 

I can't wait until my laptop is fixed and is back to working once again, because BOY do I have so many things to tell you all about.. It's been a busy week for me.. 

Just a few things to write about : 

Christmas in Italy ~ What is was really like~ 
Just around the river bend....A walk along the Piave, a river that goes for miles and what interesting creatures we saw. 
New Years in Italy ~ Well, that will be tomorrow.. 
Next week, Marco and I will be going to the mountains.. San Vito di Cadore to be exact. Looking forward to that. Don't worry, my camera still works, so I'll be taking plenty of photos. 



Fingers crossed for a fast recovery for my Mac~ 



Ciao 

Hugs 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nativity scene

I just wanted to share with everyone what my Father in Law made  for Marco and I for the Christmas Holidays. 

 A Nativity scene

Side View of the scene 
Do you see every detail he did to make the scene come to life? 

This took him several weeks to complete, everything is made by hand. What an artist. 


What an honor for me to receive such a nice gift from him. 

Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. 

xoxo 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

~Bittersweet

Today marks 6 months since I have left the US of A soil. 
I can't believe I've been living in Italy for 6 months already. In a sense time truly has flown by. 

Taking a break to think about these past 6 months, I've come to realize as hard as it is to live 9,000 miles away from my family and friends; I still think it was the best decision for myself and for my future. 

Seven months ago, I had no job, no medical benefits, and not a whole lot of confidence in myself. 

Fast Forward, eight months : 

I have two jobs, I'm writing my very own first cookbook, and also writing a children's book about The Adventures of Harley in Italy ~ (my 4 month old mini poodle pup that I rescued) medical benefits, and so much more confidence in myself than I ever have had. 

It's never easy making changes in life. 
In MY case, change was good yet certainly not easy. 

Bittersweet because not a day goes by that I don't miss my family. Pretty normal, I think. 
Looking forward to the day, when I will return for a visit to my loving family and friends. 
Until than, looking at pictures will have to do : 

My Mother and I 

My Brother Randy and I 

 Another photo of Randy and I when we were younger

 My cousin Domenico and I 

 My beautiful Mother, Grandpa and myself 

 Mom and I 

My Grandfather, Pretty Betty and I 


When I go back to California taking pictures with ALL of the family is going to be first on the list. 
I've left out so many people ( picture wise). 

This blog entry is dedicated to my family and friends. 
Miss you all and love you bunches :) 






Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prezzi Buoni

So, if you are a wine lover and need any more of a reason why you should come explore this beautiful country  of Italia. Here you go : 

Look at these amazing prices! 

You won't find a glass of vino for more than 3 euros. 

When I first came to Italy, I was shocked as I was used to paying 8 or 9 dollars for a glass of wine in California and in Alberta, Canada.  Also, you should know they have wine on tap as well.  

What a STEAL!!! Plus the wine here is delicious. 
Napa eat your heart out :) 


xoxoxo

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Places I love ~ PETS!

Dedicated to all the animal LOVERS out there, including ME :) 


Last Sunday when we went to the sea in Caorle;  we discovered a pet store like no other. 
PETS! is situated in the center of Caorle, and less than a minute walking distance to the sea.

Now, back in the states we have many pet stores that are franchises such as Petssmart, Petco, Pet Club. Very rarely do you see a family owned Pet Store or a Pet store with knowledgable, passionate people working there. I found the perfect store for Pets in Caorle. 

The store is charming and packed with supplies for every animal including dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and hamsters. PETS! has quite a selection of everything you need and with affordable pricing also. Which is a plus as times are hard with the economy and all. 

I'll let the photos do the talking :) 



This is the front of the store, decorated and ready 
for Christmas. 


A closer look to see all the different kinds of goodies for your animal. 
Let the shopping begin :) 

PETS! is not only a pet store, but also a boutique store. They carry many upscale items for your pets as well. So you have quite a choice when it comes to buying things for your animals. 


~A beautiful handmade collar ~ 


 Look at all the choices for your pets :) 


A great selection of ONLY the best dog and cat food. 

 Meet Jolie 
She is the "mascot" for the PETS! store
and boutique. A friendly, lively Chinese Crested Pup. 
Isn't she a beauty?? 

Did I mention the owners Silvia and Nicola are also the judges for the dog and cat shows? Yes, they have all the knowledge of every breed of dog and cat. My experience was a pleasant one when I visited last Sunday. And yes, it is a little far from Treviso, but definitely worth the drive. Besides, look at the amazing view from stepping outside the store: 

Beautiful view from outside the store door. 

If you travel to Northern Italy be sure to visit PETS! you won't be disappointed. 

PETS! is located at 
Calle di Mezzo 2 ~ Fianco municipio Via Roma
Caorle (VE) Italy

Hours of operation in the Summer 
Monday thru Sunday 
930 to 1230 and 4pm to 1130pm

Hours of Operation in the Winter
Closed only on Monday
930 to 1230 and 330 to 7pm


xoxoxo












Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vino

I thought this was the coolest thing : 


Wine on tap, anyone?? 


Why isn't there a shop like this is California?? 
What a genius of an idea. 



There are many different kinds of homemade wine here. You can purchase a 5, 10 or 15 liter jug and fill er up with vino! 

The prices are great also.. I believe the most you will pay for a liter of wine is 2 euros at this particular Wine shop in Treviso. 

Heres to another reason why you should visit Italia! 

Salute! 


xoxo


Tis the season

Along the streets of every town center, you will find people selling a variety of nuts. Peanuts, Walnuts, Pistachio's. You may even see an assortment of dried fruit sold by the kilogram. 

Tis the season for roasted Chestnuts and Young wine also known as in Italy 
Castagne e Vino Novello. 

Here is a photo that was taken  along the streets of downtown Treviso. 
You can see the assortment of nuts and dried fruits. 

This is my cousin Anna enjoying roasted Chestnuts in Treviso :) 

xoxoxo



  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Beach Boy

Here is a video I took of Harley, our three month old Miniature Poodle or Barboncino Nano in Italian enjoying himself along the shores of Caorle, Venice, Italy. 

He sure is a Beach Boy :) 

Can you hear the church bells ringing in the background? 


xoxoxo

il mare d'inverno

We went to the coastal town of Caorle last Sunday. I've always wanted to see the mare in the winter. 

The forecast called for rain, rain, and more rain, so to say the least we really lucked out. It was a gorgeous day on the sea. Not a drop of rain, nor was it cold. I was a bit surprised as I am always cold, but not on that day by the sea. 

It was nice to have the sandy, wet beaches all to ourselves. In the summer, you would never find that. I remember going to Caorle one day in July and there must have been at least 600 people on the beach and in the water. 

On this day, it was also Harley's first trip to the sea. What a beach boy he is. He loved it. He frolicked in the sand, ran his little heart out, even went for a dip in the chilly water. 

 Harley, sitting patiently for the piece of driftwood to be thrown

 He loved running back and forth between Marco and I 

I couldn't believe how many sea shells I found. 
Quite a variety too. 

Next time, I'll have to bring a bucket to collect some. 
I've never seen so many different varieties like these above. 

Harley, taking a break and playing with a shell. 

Simply gorgeous winter day by the sea :) 
This is a photo of The Church of the Blessed Virgin of the Angel on the sea. 

xoxoxo





Saturday, December 10, 2011

Il Panettone

           Of course, I can't forget the Il Panettone...
Il panettone comes in second to the Pandoro in my opinion. 
Panettone has Raisins and dried fruit inside, whereas the Pandoro is much simpler with no dried fruit. 

This one is for you, Marie :) 


Enjoy this special treat during Christmas season and New Years. 

Il Pandoro

One of the best parts of Christmas in Italia!

Il Pandoro 


And only for 3 euros and 10 cents. In California, I was paying more than $20.00 for the Pandoro.. Well, it was worth it to me. If you haven't had this delicious treat, I suggest you do. Go to your local, Italian specialty shop, they should have it in full stock for the Christmas season. 
Let me know what you think, once you've tried it :) I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Venice in December

Last weekend, I had my cousin from California come for a visit. 

We decided to take her to Venice. Last time, I was in Venice was in July. Not sure why, I don't make it a once a month habit of going as it's only a 30 minute train ride. 

Some would say the weather was ugly as there was no sunshine. The sky was filled with dark, grey clouds, and in the afternoon the fog came in. Now, I must admit, the sunshine and blue skies are beautiful but I loved Venice also with the darker skies, and crisp, winter air. 

Something about watching the fog roll in on the city built on water was magical and mysterious. 
The streets were quiet, and there weren't as many tourists which was refreshing. I was able to actually explore and see all of the beauty and natural wonders without being pushed around with the thousands of tourists who usually flood the streets in the summer. 


 My cousin, Anna with Harley. It was Harley's first trip to Venice too ;) 

 I love looking at all the different buildings with different architecture styles. 
Do you notice the hanging laundry? 


Everything is better with a touch of flowers 


 This is the first time that I've ever seen fish along the canals. 
So many of them, too :) 

 Venice ~ The most romantic city of them all ~ 


Harley in Venice ~ 
 A beautiful day 
 Anna enjoying the panorama from Ponte di Rialto 
Ponte di Rialto 
 This is probably my favorite picture that I took on Sunday. 
I love the contrast and colors of each building, and of course the flower boxes. 


Lastly but not least, our history/tour guide Marco :) We walked around the entire city from point A to point B, never used a map, or got lost, and learned so much more about Venice with his knowledge. 

xoxo





Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lovely ART in Venice

Lovely ART in Venice
I guess it is true what everyone says : Venice is the most 
romantic city of them all. 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Farmacia

There are so many differences when comparing California to Italy. 
One of the BIG differences is in the Health System. Now, I must admit, I like the way the health system is ran over here in Italy far better than in California. Maybe, I've just had really bad luck with some doctors at Kaiser in California or I've been quite fortunate with the medical field here in Treviso. I did have one great doctor in California and was sad to hear that he would be retiring in a year or so when I was still living in California. Maybe, he will come to Italy for a visit when he retires. 

I have a personal private doctor here. He even gave me his personal cell number, just in case I have an emergency or need advice. 

VS 

Kaiser, you can call the 800 number and be on hold for hours just  to talk to an advice nurse. 

Another BIG difference is the Pharmacy VS Farmacia 


Each city in Italy is filled with Farmacia's. There isn't a Farmacia in the hospital. You can find them next door to a hospital in a separate building, but not inside the hospital. If you are in Italy and in need of an over the counter drug such as Nyquil, you won't find it in any supermercato, you must buy any type of drug or medicine in the Farmacia. That also goes for your pet's medication. Oddly enough, the Farmacia carries all the drugs or medicines for animals too. I found this out when last Saturday, we took Harley our new pup to the vet for a check up. Turned out Harley had worms, go figure from his previous living conditions, anyhow, the vet wrote a prescription and I was told to take it to the Farmacia. That is so interesting to me. I wonder if the pharmacists in Italy must have a great knowledge of medicines for animals as well as humans?  Hmmm.. 

I think it is a great idea to carry all of the medicines and drugs in the Farmacia, instead of a grocery store. I know sometimes, it can be a pain in the butt, as you would have to go to two separate places to buy  medicine, BUT there probably isn't as many problems with children, teenagers, and even adults overdosing on Nyquil or other drugs that can be bought in the supermarket in California. 

Italy is an ancient country and it's been around far longer than America. I certainly think America should start catching on and do as the Italians do. 

Oh, did I mention the health care is free here in Italy? If I hadn't had benefits in Kaiser, I would have been charged 600 dollars for a 30 day prescription of a medication that I take. Here in Italy, I pay 2 euros for one month. What a difference.