Last summer, my husband and I took a trip to Italy. Milan was our last stop, and we weren't there for very long. We had one evening and one full day, and then our flight left the following day to come back home. We walked 16 miles in our day in Milan, trying to see as much as we could. We also stopped for gelato three times. Gelato has to be one of the best parts of Italy!
We started by touring La Scala Opera House, one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
Then we visited the Milan Cathedral, the largest church in Italy. You could even go up on the roof, where - believe it or not - they showed movies on Friday nights during the summer.
Next was the Sforza Castle. The white things on either side are exhibition areas for the upcoming Expo 2015, which Milan is hosting.
Then we spent a lot of time just wandering around the city. We happened across this church, the Santa Maria della Grazie, where da Vinci's Last Supper is. Unfortunately, the tickets were all sold out for the day. So we just kept wandering and ate some more gelato!
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy.
We finally had a good snowstorm a couple weekends ago - which actually resulted in our first snow day of the school year. I took advantage of the unexpected time off to go for a walk in the freshly fallen snow. God did a great job of decorating the world with snow and ice!
My husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Florida over New Year's to visit friends.
We spent some time wandering through Lettuce Lake Park, which had a boardwalk around a lake. It was so beautiful (and wonderfully warm, after December in Michigan!). We also made a friend - everyone should see an alligator on their first day in Florida!
We spent New Year's Day at Universal Studios. And we headed straight for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We saw the part of the park that had Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. It was amazing!
The Three Broomsticks, where you had to enjoy a butterbeer!
My husband and I took a trip to Italy this past summer, and eventually I'll show you all of our pictures. :) We spent the most time in Florence, so I have to split those pictures into several posts. I shared our pictures of the Ponte Vecchio a few weeks ago. These are our pictures of the Cathedral (Duomo in Italian), which is huge. The square surrounding it isn't big enough to allow you get a picture of the whole building.
In the pictures we had seen of this building before our trip, the marble always looked black and white. Turns out it's actually Christmas colors! If you look closely, you can see the green and pinkish-red marble.
This is the bell tower, which is attached to the cathedral.
It's surprisingly light inside. The dome was beautifully painted. We also happened across a high school choir on tour that sang a song. The acoustics and echoes were unbelievable. What an awesome, worshipful moment!
It's hard to choose a favorite season, but I think fall may be mine. The air gets crisp and cool, there are cider and donuts to eat, and walking becomes noisy because of the crunchy leaves. The best part of fall, though, are all the beautiful colors on the trees. God's paintbrush is certainly busy during this season! Here are some of the pictures I've taken of the amazing fall colors this year.
In our trip to Italy this past summer, visiting Pisa was a must. My engineer husband is fascinated by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and rightly so. It's hard to comprehend just how much it leans - no matter how many pictures you've seen or books you've read - until you're standing right next to it. Seriously, how is it still standing?
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the bell tower for the city. It is in the same area as the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Campo Santo (the cemetery). The leaning tower leans because it's essentially built on marshland. Which means that all of the surrounding buildings lean slightly, too. It's just not as obvious. This picture shows all four of those buildings. The Baptistery is the round building. The Campo Santo cemetery is the low building in the left-hand corner. And the Cathedral is the building with the silver dome.
The Leaning Tower is hollow inside, with a spiral staircase surrounding the hollow center. The grooves on the staircase are worn on different sides, depending on the lean of the tower. You can definitely feel the lean as you are climbing the stairs and standing on the top. When you reach the top, you can see the bells. This bell is hung straight, but because the tower leans so much, one side is touching the wall.
This is my favorite picture of our trip to Pisa. This is the Cathedral, with a Leaning Tower photobomb. :)
This summer, my husband and I were blessed to be able to visit Italy. We saw a lot of places while we were there, one of which was Cinque Terre. This was a place we discovered on a National Geographic calendar and decided we must see in person. There are five cities (cinque means five) along the Mediterranean coast. And when I mean along the coast, I mean they pretty much are the coast. For the most part, we traveled by train between the cities (three minute ride, tops), but we also hiked between two of the cities. The day was warm but windy, and the views were absolutely breathtaking!
Earlier this summer, my husband and I took a trip to Italy. We had a wonderful time, and we came back with nearly 2,000 pictures! Don't worry, they won't all make it into Saturday Snapshot posts. :) But I'm sure quite a few Italy pictures will be coming your way over the next few weeks.
We also went to the country of San Marino, which is just 24 square miles and is completely surrounded by Italy. The capital city is up on a hill, which gives you stunning views. The clouds were just rolling in as we got there, which created one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip.
Walking along the path between the towers made me feel like I was in Narnia!
Later in the afternoon, it cleared up and we could see all the way to the Adriatic Sea.
Last weekend, my husband and I had a chance for a mini-vacation. Friday, we went to the zoo. Then we joined my mother and brother at a rented cabin for the rest of the weekend. It was a very relaxing little getaway.
The wallaby hopped across the path not three feet away from us!
Grizzly bear from a distance
Feeding time for the seals!
These are pudu. They live in South America, they are the world's smallest deer, and they are absolutely adorable. Look at the little antlers!
Polar bears are my favorite animal, so I was happy to see this guy outside!
This was our view from the cabin.
My husband and I went out for dinner last night, and stumbled upon a hot air balloon festival. What a great surprise! We saw several hot air balloons launch. Then when it got dark, 13 of the balloons gathered in the field and had a "glow." People could walk around right by the balloons and talk to the pilots. It was an awesome and unexpected evening!
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.