Instagram Recap: December
December flew by because I was counting down the days until my family's arrival in Milan. It began with all the usual things...
I took a trip to Parma, where I admired the ceiling of the baptistery.
Typical December weather for Milan: 40-50 F with just a slight chill in the air. For the first time in my life I didn't have a white Christmas, but I can't say I'm disappointed to have avoided the -50 F temperatures that the midwest U.S. has been experiencing.
I've since worked through the difficulties of baking with an ancient gas stove, and Greta and I put together this masterpiece of Frosty the Snowman - complete with a real carrot nose.
And more cupcakes... I'm starting to think I should just open up an American bakery somewhere in Italy.
I still can't figure out how this is done. I circled this person four times and stared in what was probably a slightly rude manner for a few minutes, and I'm no closer to discovering the secret of Levitation in an Italian Square Using Only a Pole.
Milan's massive Christmas tree arrived in Piazza del Duomo in late November and it was all decorated and lit up by December 1. Every town I visited over the holidays had some sort of big tree in their main square, but Milan's was definitely the largest.
The adjacent Via Dante was lit up as well with shimmering ornaments.
And finally, the family arrived, bringing with them my much anticipated Kindle. If you don't have one, I can't recommend it enough! Especially for traveling!
In the last week of December, we devoured dinner after dinner of delectable pastas...
... and a few glasses of wine...
... though Ben was always on the lookout for a beer. I don't think the Italian brews quiiiite reached the Wisconsin potency he's used to, though they do make up for it with their espressos.
We snooped around cathedral roofs in Milan...
... and admired Venice by boat (and later found ourselves lost in its dark, twisting alleys, but let's just admire this photo and assume a fabulous time was had by all!)
In Florence, we stood in awe of Michelangelo's David; at least, I did - everyone else thought his hand was grossly out of proportion and my sister cynically declared that any Michelangelo works we saw probably weren't even done by him, but rather by his apprentice "Johnny."
We strolled through Florence at night...
... usually with copious cups of hot chocolate which, if you've ever had hot chocolate in Europe, bears more similarity to chocolate pudding (definitely not complaining, they're delicious!)
We spent a gorgeous, sunny day at Pisa which was only mildly interrupted when Ben tried to crush Celia and I with the tower...
... and we finished off December - and 2013 - in Rome. Five years ago, I stood by the Trevi Fountain and tossed in a coin. They say that if you do this, you are destined to return again. It must hold some truth, because my 18 year old self never would have imagined that I'd be back in Rome someday - on the five year anniversary of my first visit, no less!
Happy New Year!!!!