Bongiorno!

The little town that we stayed in

Monday the 15th

Oh No! I was thinking as we climbed step after step up to our flat for the week. 52 steps in all! We had decided on a slightly older looking place to save $600, and I
wasn’t sure how cozy it would be but I was prepared to just continually remind
myself of the amazing beaches, food, weather, and beauty we would be
adventuring into.

We opened the front door at 11 pm after driving around the small cobblestone street, lost as can be.  And as I walked through the house, the owner ahead of me opening all the balcony windows, this amazing breeze raced through. I was totally smitten.
There was a little balcony just big enough to step out on & look at the
street 3 storied down. A clothesline ran from that balcony to the one in the
bathroom next door.

There were cute little wooden shudders on each window, beautiful stonework tile floors & long sheer curtains on the balcony in our room.

I could envision cooking in the kitchen at night with my glass of local Sardegnian wine, balcony doors flung open to the streets commotion below, listening to Zucherro from our IPOD.

I was in Italy! A dream come true.  Sure I had to climb 52 stairs 4-6 times a day
with a 7 month prego belly and a 28 lb. toddler on my hip, but in hindsight that’s God’s way of helping me out from all the 10 extra lbs. of weight I was gonna gain from pasta, pizza, cheese, and gelato daily.

We had 3 rules for this vacation that I was determined to stick to:

1 try a new beach every day

2 eat gelato every day

3 eat at a new restaurant every night

The first rules that our kids were in favor of, ever.

The favorite gelato store of all the ones we tried

In short we visited 7 beaches, learned 7 new things about Italian culture, and tried 13 kinds of gelato. The long better version is below.

Day 1 Tuesday: Calle Domestica

What I learned today (WILT): Bikini’s Rule

Women young and old wore them. Girl’s  up to A’s age and some older only wore
the bottoms of bikini’s. I never once saw a girl with a top on.

Almost all men wore speedos (much to Josiah’s dismay). I have never seen so many beautifully tan and not overweight bodies in my life. From the whole week I could count on 2 hands the number of overweight people I saw. How can they be so passionate about good fattening food and look so good?

I concluded they must all have stairs to climb to get home. Besides walking
around town a lot.

Gelato flavors for the night(G): Heidi- Chocolate,  Josiah-Coffee, kids had ice cream bars at the beach

Day 2: Wednesday- Plage Mesu

WILT: Killer wasps live in Italy

I felt a tickle on my inner thigh when I was laying and I swiped it. Then it happened! I was bit by a wasp, and it hurt SO bad. It continued to hurt for 2 days, after it swelled and got a hive over it. It was so painful, and the beaches were covered with them. They were mainly curious little critters buzzing around smelling everything and everyone and if you left them alone they didn’t bite. What I learned later on was to relax and go into the water if one was particularly pesky and not leaving me. We also didn’t eat near our things but saved our snack time for the beach bars.

Over the week I watched different people get bit by these guys and almost always  was a woman who had come with a man. She would instantly go in search of some sort of ice pack and then progressively get more paranoid and pissed off as the wasps
zoomed around. I watched as the men dealt with the fearful anger that
overcame there time at the beach and how certain men would “rescue” them from
reoccurring attack.

That is exactly what happened to me later in the evening when I got bit for the second time at Porto Cauli, in the nether regions again. They had some thing with that area. I later learned from my spreading hives that I have an allergic reaction to certain kinds of wasps.  And that is the main reason why I didn’t get pics of Portu Cauli this evening, cause I spent most my time in the water evading attack.

This beach was crowded but great for kids. It had a wide shallow area that I was totally comfortable with them playing in and out of the water while I lounged on the towel, watching them. Especially this little sand bug. She and the sand became one over the week.

It was here that I noticed I was the only prego WHITE belly,
and furthermore in a bikini!

 

 

 
Porto Cauli: (pictured on Sunday)

This was a great one with little rock formations off to the side with hollowed out “tubs” for kids to sit in. Vange and I played in the shallows while J took the kids exploring through the rocks and tide pools.

G: J- Coffee and chocolate, H-Peanut Butter and Chocolate,    A/M/Vange- Coconut

Day 3: Thursday- Portixeddu

We drove farther through coastal hills and down through this little town . J was craving fresh seaside fish so we found a little restaurant by the port to try out. When the waitress asked us if we were from Spain and we replied with the truth, her jaw dropped open for almost 2 or 3 minutes. She was so excited, we must have been the first American’s to visit this little coastal town. We tried all kinds of fish, including an appetizer that had 5 different dishes including sea snails, crab, & calamari. J got the fresh catch of the day, and I had salmon.

Special note: M is snail eater, A is not.

WILT: Some stereotypes are true.

All women show their bra straps in various colors. Having them neatly hidden under the straps of a shirt or wearing strapless with tube tops was not a reality. Most wear heals every day, and so many walk little runt dogs on long leashes along with the above two. We could not deny that we were in fact in Italy.

G: J- Coffee & Chocolate, H- Chocolate & yogurt with strawberry, M & Vange- strawberry, A – Mint

Day 4: Friday- Porto Piaggi

J took M & A to this beach while V and I layed low at home napping and relaxing, and resting from some head colds we had caught at the end of our Germany trip. Later that evening he drove me by to see the great views at the top of the trail.

San’aressi:

In the evening we went to this beach, which was a little crowded also but we walked down toward the more quiet area. The wind was up so the kids could test the new boat J got for them. There was a mini sand bluff to step down to reach the water and Vange loved to slide down on her stomach.

WILT: Friday night is “out on the town” night

Since we ventured out to two beaches today and had not gotten the kids in bed before midnight the previous nights we decided to get them in bed on time tonight. But when we got back to the place, parked our car (the usual mile away), and started looking for food, we found a different ending. The first restaraunt we had in mind was a cute little one right down the ally way from our place with a patio outside overlooking the square. Gelato was close and the promised merry -go-round ride was close, so early bed was a guarantee. Until the restaurant said we couldn’t sit down because all there tables inside and out were booked. So we proceeded to another, wich was completely booked as well, and so were the next 4. We ended up at a restaurant that we had been to that was busy, but at least was not turning us away, after we waited about 30 min to sit down, we waited another 2 hours before getting our food.  There was a gelato store right around the corner from this place so I sent J to go get the kids treats while we waited for dinner. That tied them over for the next hour.

Finally I decided to take Vange back at 11:30 and feed her some cereal and put her to bed. J stayed and had them pack it “to go” and brought it back with the kids around
12. That whole time all restaurants were HOPPIN! I doubt there was anyone
eating at home this night. There were also great flea market tables all over including
all the streets  that lay below our windows, we heard passersby till 2 in the morning while laying in bed. So much for early bed time!

G: J- Coffee and Chocolate, H- mystery berry, A/M/V – strawberry

Day 5: Saturday – Porto Piscini

We decided to skip naps and leave early to drive to south Sardegna a little ways away from Iglesias. On our walk to the car we got the day’s gelato out-of-the-way since the kid’s would be in the car a little longer. This hilly bay area reminded me of S.F. with its many green areas mixed in with beautiful bays and beaches. It was refreshing. As we drove along the coastal town of Portoscuso Josiah was looking for a port restaurant with some fresh fish. I was thinking with just 3 days left there were two dishes I wanted that I hadn’t yet, spaghetti with marinara and Alfredo. I wondered who was going to luck out this time. We settled on a Spaghetteria restaurant that satisfied us both. I had spaghetti Bolognese and J had fresh catch of the day. I am not squeamish about killing helpless animals for food like some vegetarians are but looking at J’s whole crispy fish sitting on his plate with white eyes still in the sockets was enough to make me lose my appetite. Luckily I had already gobbled up my pasta.

But I managed to push that picture out of my mind and saunter over the local bar to get me and J some ready-made chilled coffee drinks for the road. I had been enjoying my cappuccino in the morning but was missing my “foofy” mocha flavored drinks.

WILT: Speedos, thongs, topless = YES, Prego bellies on the beach= NO

I not only noticed that I got stares because I was a foreigner but because I was pregnant. I the whole time while here I only saw two other pregnant women and they were dark and not as far along as me.  The way women stared and gossiped to each other right in front of me was a little irritating, especially day after
day. I just began to stop people watching so I didn’t notice. It also was a strange thing for them to see a family that had more than 2 kids and then one on the way. We only saw 1 and 2  kid families. The one time I saw a fam with 2 kids and a prego momma, they happened to be foreigners. Kids were not as prized and doted on as they are in India. Who couldn’t dote on this little cutie?

G: J- coffee and chocolate, H- Nutella, A- mystery berry, M-Pulla (something blue), V- strawberry

Day 6: Sunday- Portu Cauli

We moseyed out of the house a little past nine am to try a “Pasticerria” for some fresh croissants and coffee. We discovered that not only street cleaners have Sunday off but most shops were closed too. It was still cool and  a great time to take pictures of
the town with few people out and great morning light. We ended up in the square
chasing pigeons eating a hodge podge of food we collected along the way. We
ended up finding our much looked for pasticerria on the way back just 1 minute
walk from our door. After returning back home for an early nap we decided to
return to Portu Cauli apon request of the kids. So I had my second chance to take pictures this time, with no waspbites. We had great fun.


WILT: “Solo Mare” – not just ocean

We learned about this island phrase as we were reading about the many “Agriturismo’s”, which were speckled like freckles just inland along our drives. There are little farms that open up for lunch or dinner and serve a very limited menu with what is freshly picked that day. We wanted to go to one but ran out of time. But we did enjoy stopping by the roadside stands about every other day to pick up fresh nectarines and different kinds of tomatoes, YUMYUMYUM!

For dinner we went to Pizza Efis. We saw this little pizzeria takeout scooter zipping around town and we discovered Saturday night that they are a 2 minute walk down our street. Vange and M got their own Margherita pizza (just like every night before) and A branched out and got prosciutto on hers. I got “Genovese” which I thought was a 3 cheese with pesto. J got tuna pizza, he just can’t get enough fish. After mocking and turning my nose up at his, I discovered mine had tuna on it as well. It also had a few other differences I wasn’t counting on, including the base being red sauce with globs of pesto on top. It was not at all what I expected but still good.

Later that night A & J had a postponed birthday date where A was supposed to take him out to an old fort in our city for his 33rd birthday a few weeks ago. So she took to an old castle ruins ground within walking distance of from our flat. A seems to love history, especially if it has to do with castles, kings, and queens.

G: J-Chocolate, H- Chocolate & Nut & Chocolate chip, kids had popsicles at the beach bar

Day 7: Monday – Plage Mesu

We got a late start to our day today so we returned to Plage Mesu. Josiah enjoyed taking the kids out on the little boat. He could take them  300 feet away before it got deep. The kids took turns playing in the shallows playing “passenger and puller” in
the boat. Vange followed them around then came and contaminated my water with  sand. When I told her no drinking “indian style”. She defiantly grabbed a fistful of sand and shoved it in her mouth. Such a crazy kid!

Her and I played in the shallows together. The last 20-30 minutes she sat on my lap and we dug up rocks out of the sand and made “ebenezers” and counted them.

We ended up getting pizzas at a restaurant on our street. A got sausage pizza. The sausages were more like pepperoni than the balls of American sausage. I got the same with “pecorino” cheese, which is a local cheese.

While I waited for the pizzas on the patio street J took the kids for one last merry-go-round ride. When they came back they had cotton candy in hand. We finished off our evening with our last gelato from our fav place. I tried Limon gelato and even though it was very good I defaulted to my favorite combo. We sat and ate them on the square, watching the hoppin night life.  Even though it was 11pm there were tons of little kids out running all over. Licking our last licks we thanked God for such a great week!

our morning cappuccino hub right around the corner

A dreaming of wedding dresses while ogling this Italian dress shop, the middle was her favorite

on the walk to the car

G: H- Peanut Butter & Chocolate, J- coffee & chocolate, A- Berry, M- mint, Vange- coconut

Ciao!

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7 thoughts on “Bongiorno!

  1. Wow! What an awesome experience! Lucky! My diet would totally go out the window if I ever went on a trip to Italy! Did you ever get to try the spaghetti with marinara? How were they? I imagine the pizza must be the best ever!

  2. Thank you for sharing your impressions of your first visit to Italy! Brings back memories! Italy is such a wonderful country and I am always looking forward to my next visit!
    I enjoy reading your impressions of life and they add flavor to my life, thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share!

  3. What a great read! It makes me want to go to Italy too! Thanks for sharing. Love the pic’s too. This would be a fun scrap booking project.

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