Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Italian Guest-Blog from the Fella

I've abandoned her. I've left her alone with them, and more than that, I've taken most of her sources of help along with me. 

Ten long days ago, I (the Fella) and the folks we've taken to calling The Moms (aka Yaya and Gram on this blog) took off to Italy. It was a trip through my work that had been planned for a couple of years now. It was supposed to be our first trip sans kids--we were going to ship the young ones off to one of The Moms, and enjoy ourselves for eleven days. Then along came our little Hazel-shaped bundle of joy, and that plan no longer seemed pertinent. So instead, in a fit of shortsightedness, Jessa invited The Moms to go on the trip with me. Leaving her. Alone. 

Well, alone isn't quite right. She had Selena, and a few playdates. And school a few times for the boys (offer a pinch of incense to whatever deity you consider responsible for the provision of such fortune, a few days of school like oases in so much single-parenting desert). And drop-in gymnastics (someone get a Nobel Prize for the person who invented that). 

Anywho, tomorrow we hop on a long flight back to the States, commencing with a 2 a.m. wake-up call (ouch). We should be rolling into Denver around 2 p.m. tomorrow, bleary-eyed and craving home. Personally, I'm excited to see my family again--this is the longest I've been apart from any of them since Jessa and I started dating in 1997, I think, and it's not that much fun. I've bought them nice gifts and everything, and we've tried to FaceTime every day (thanks Steve Jobs), but at some point a guy just needs to kiss his wife and see his kids. Tomorrow shall be that point, God and Lufthansa willing (and the Germans are always on time). 

Anyway, here are some pictures of our adventures. I've taken to Hipstamatic like the hipster-wannabe I am, so that's what you'll get. 
 The Piazza di San Marco in Venice.
 Some random canal in Venice.
 The Grand Canal in Venice.
 This was taken from the Ponte dell'Accademia in Venice. Five years ago Jessa and I took the best picture we've probably ever taken there, so I knew I had to get back there and snap another one. That's St. George's in the background.
 The Piazza di San Marco again, at night.
 The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which does, in fact, lean.
 15 euros and about 300 stairs will get you to the top, where there's a nice view of the basilica and baptistry.
 The river Arno as it flows through Florence, taken from the Ponte Vecchio. Confession time: I don't really like Florence. Does that make me a bad person? So be it.
 Except for this: this is the Piazza di Santa Croce at dusk, when a goddess-voiced woman was singing classical solo pieces for tip money. I could have stayed there all night. That's her standing just left of center. She's amazing.
 This is on the drive south from Naples into Sorrento. Even though I'm a history freak, this is my favorite part of Italy. It's just so....ugh. Awesome.
 One of the hundred billion awesome views along the Amalfi Coast.
 There was a giant storm that day. The guide said he had never seen the sea so rough. I believe him. I caught this wave as it hit the sea wall and nearly took me out.
 Another view of the Mediterranean from the Amalfi Coast road.
 And another. I mean, come on. Look at that.
 Ridiculous. I thought we'd find Yaya renting a flat and buying a fishing boat.
 The Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum in Rome. It absolutely freaking poured rain, but it was still awesome.
 Another view of the Arch of Constantine.
 An interior view of the Colosseum. As I said on Facebook: Lest anyone be too prideful about human achievement, let them visit Rome.
 The Trevi Fountain. I think this is vastly overrated. Yeah, it's a fountain. It's pretty. So what?
 Another interior shot of the Colosseum.
 This was some weird cauliflower stuff at a street market.
 Artichokes for Jessa. She loves these things.
 This is up on the Palatine Hill in Rome, where you can roam ruins at leisure. I love it up there.
 I don't know what it is, but I love this picture.
 Here's the Forum. It makes you wonder if anything you do will still be standing so tall after two thousand years.
This is the view from the top of the Spanish Steps, facing west toward the setting sun. Tomorrow we too head west. I can't wait to see my kiddos and my sweet wife, who will undoubtedly feel bedraggled but look super-cute (unless Hazel just threw up on her or something).

Thanks for letting me guest-blog!

The Fella.