Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Catch Up

So Angela, Vito and I are back in Putignano, Italy at Angela’s mother’s house in the countryside, one of our usual summer destinations. We arrived on Thursday evening, and have not done much beside watch World Cup soccer since then. It has rained almost every day and really hasn’t been very summery whatsoever, so it has been difficult to get out, especially without a car of our own, but the down time has allowed me to read, reflect and rest a little. The cool weather, however, is a nice contrast to what we will return to in Doha in August. Two of Vito’s cousins are staying with us in the countryside, so he has been busy with them every day and hasn’t demanded much attention from his parents, which is a nice relief as the he and I have spent almost all of our time together over the past four weeks.

To start with, Vito and I left Doha, Qatar about one month ago and, after being retrieved by my parents from the airport in San Francisco, California, we have since fished with grandpa, camped in Big Basin State Park, spent a day on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, flown to Colorado to visit my brother and his family, watched a San Francisco Giants baseball game, and visited with family and friends. Our crowning achievement was a return trip to San Francisco to pick up Angela when she arrived on the 3rd of July. We stayed six more days with my parents in Roseville not really doing much of anything, and then left to continue with the next segment of another summer adventure.

We left our hotel near the airport at 3AM, returned our rental car, and checked-in for our 5:50AM flight. We flew from San Francisco to Newark, New Jersey and then, after three hours in the airport, caught our connecting flight to Rome, Italy. In Rome after not really sleeping much on the flights, we took a train from the airport to Termini Station, stored our luggage in the depository there, and walked to the coliseum, which is something that Angela had promised Vito we would do. By the time we arrived, the coliseum was swarming with hat vendors, Roman soldiers and tourists, so we didn’t have time to wait in the long line that was snaking around the ancient fortress, and then stopped for lunch before heading back to the station to take a train south to Bari. From Bari, we caught one final train to Putignano where Angela's sister met us. After about one week in the countryside, we left this morning for Pisa.