Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thursday market in Brindisi, Cappuccino,the caves

                                             Entering the cave

                                                    looking out of the cave
                                                 Watching the womens world cup
                                               pottery from Grottaglie
                                                 Booba Beach

While still in California,but following the Brindisi happenings on facebook, I heard alot about the weekly Thursday market.We(the girls and I) were super excited to go because we heard the shopping was awesome. Jamie came to our apartment because she was going to drive us in Daniel's rental car. Did I mention Daniel was in Israel for a week ? We got there around 9:30 and shopped till around 12:30ish. Shopping was great,think swap meet but cheaper prices. Italian sandles for as little as $7 a pair, real leather and very cute. A well meaning shoe vendor saw me and nicely directed me to the "grande" section. I guess 9 1/2 is grande in Italy :)lol I was overwhelmed by it all and came home with a cactus:) Sarah bought 3 pairs of shoes, bracelet, and necklace. Johanna didn't end up going because she had a stomach ache, but we brought home 3 dresses for her :) Note to self,check the weather forecast and don't go on a day its going to reach 99 degrees :0 The next day I had an appointment for a tour of the downtown area, that got rescheduled that morning, but why waste a morning where I'm already up and ready??? Cappuccino time!!! Met Jaime at the Cafe and got our 1 euro cappuccino :) Basically thats $1.30 a cup. Now the only thing I ever ordered from Starbucks was the Chai Tea Soy latte because their coffee is too bitter for me. Of course Johanna and Sarah drank everything Starbucks had to offer, and when they both agreed that that was the best cappuccino they have ever tasted, I took their word for it, and for only 1 euro!!!! There are a lot of these "coffee bars" around and they are busy. Basically, you order, get served, drink quickly while standing at the bar, pay, and off you go. Of course there is also expresso but I will have to work my way up to drinking that. At this particular cafe there are tables outside so you can enjoy a leisure cup if you have time. On Saturday we headed out for The Grottoes of Castellana, to take a look at the underground caves found it that area. By the time we found the place we had missed the tour in English, so ended up taking the 2 hour tour in Italian. According to Daniel,our translator lol, a lot of information on stalagmites and stalagtites, and what shapes they kind of look like :) Being in Italy, you had formations that represented the Virgin Mary, three wise men and I think there was Jesus's face :) It was a fun,cool trip and got us out of the heat. Of course while we were waiting for our tour we did some damage in the stores. The kids picked up some mounted insects,we got various olive oils, and I got some regional pottery and amber earrings.It was a great day :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

zip line, beach and other good times

Havent ventured far out of town yet, just learining all the necessary and happening places around Brindisi. Saturday the weekend after we arrived, one of the boeing ex-pats put together an excursion to go Zip-lining. The kids were all for it, Daniel and I made it immediately known that we would take pictures, pay, and go for support :) When most people think of zip lining you think of going over the tropical rain forest, with the canapy of trees underneath you. Well in this case think of traveling about 40 minutes up into the hills of Italy, and having a zip line strung from one mountain peak/rock to another crossing over the land below. Having seen the line as we ascended, and verbalizing "That can't be it, it's too dangerous" two of our children decided they weren't risking their life, I wont say who backed out, but Sarah and Samuel said they had a great time,although they said after the heat and the 1 mile hike to come back across the line, they didn't need to do it again. Yesterday, Monday ???, I have no idea of the date,and barely can figure out the day (happens when you have all day everyday to do whatever) anyways, we went to Boomba beach with Jaime (new friend :) and her daughters. In Brindisi there is a strip of beaches, and I use the term beach lightly, think rocks with a small strip of sand. We can get to them either walking about 2-3 miles or by taking a 10 minute bus ride. I'm going to veer off topic here a little to talk about the common courtesies we take for granted in America, or at least I experienced in California, that are not found here, because we exerience most of these on the bus ride. There are no lines, it's push your way to the front. Young people will not give up their place on the bus for even 70+ men or women. Smoking is all over the place, and there isn't any thought to make sure your smoke doesn't go directly into someone elses face. Deodorant is optional :( Staring,pointing, and talking about a person as your staring and pointing is okay,don't need to guess if its you their talking about lol. Back on topic, the beaches are either public or private. The nicer ones are private and you pay a membership which guarantees you your assigned spot with an umbrella and 2 beach chairs. The locations also have snack bars,storage closets,showers,kayaks,floaties,lifeguards,bar and of course a coffee bar. They are pricey to join but if you go often enough you will get your moneys worth. The families went for about 4 hours and had a great time. Tried for the first time to take the bus home,and was told by the nice bus driver,who pulled over a cop to help with the translation, that we were headed out of town and needed to get on a different bus. Only the second time we have had an Italian local go out of their way to help us :) I hope after all the gracie's we said he will not hesitate to help other lost foreigners. Fun was had by all :) We got home showered,ate and watched the rest of Season 1 Supernatural(Samuel's DVD's)

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Friday found me meeting with two new friends :) For their privacy, I wouldn't want you trying to contact them lol, I shall refer to them by their first names only. Anyways, Hollie was a facebook friend since February when I joined the Boeing in Italy fb group. I followed her travels and wished, and still wish, that I will be brave and venture out as she has. I would post an occasional "like" or "comment" on her page. After having been in Brindisi for around 4 days, I sent out a fb SOS. Holly replied with a message and her phone number and the rest has yet to be written. After I left a voice message on a non-existant voice mail(the italian lady was trying to say that there wasn't a mail box for the number) Hollie called me and a location and time were set up to meet at a cafe, it was there that I met Roberta. Of course I had my side kick Johanna, and over the course of 2 hours?? we had all our questions answered. There was the most important question from Johanna "Where can I go to get my eyebrows waxed?" to my "Where can I get money from my Bank of America card" lol :) All were answered with patience and understanding. Both ladies had come to Italy with their husbands only and had to go it alone. I told them that if I had to stay in an apartment/hotel alone while Daniel was at work all day it would have been the shortest turnaround trip in history. They have my admiration for having done it alone for so long. The rest of the day was spent driving around finding the essentials:bakery,meat market,cheese place??,bank, and where to buy tickets for the bus and water taxi and least I not forget, THE BEACH. God puts people in your life at just the right time :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Italy First 6 days

The long awaited, living vicariously through me post :) This one will be anti-climactic. What does a family do when mom feels nauseous, they stay in the apartment until she feels better,at around 3pm everyday. And just to answer what some of you are thinking,I'm not pregnant haha Actually we got a lot of housekeeping and errands done. We went to the local Auchon(think Wal-mart)and stocked up on supplies Daniel didn't know he needed :) The family,minus myself(needed to stay very close to a toilet) drove around for 2-4 hours, depends on who you ask, trying to find a 4th of July party. European GPS is done by longitude and Latitude and apparently Daniel had the wrong coordinates. They gave up and had a lot of funny stories to tell of their time spent in the car. Around day 5 i started feeling better so we took the water taxi to downtown. That will defiantly be where the kids will be hanging out. Apparently the whole town hangs out after dinner. Its pretty cool to see people of all ages just coming to the promenade to get out and socialize. Think a nicer uptown Whittier with more shops and gelato/espresso bars and you can get an idea. Oh yeah put ages 13-80ish just kicking it together :) good times. Apartment life takes getting used to. Never lived in one, so am getting used to the sounds at all hours. The boys "Americano's" are pretty popular, whenever they go to the street to kick a soccer ball around they are instantly joined by the 3 neighborhood boys :) The Italian boys have even taken to standing in the street and bouncing their ball while looking up at our balcony. The girls are doing good. Sarah has pretty much put together all the Ikea furniture in the house and Johanna has taken up cleaning :) What would I do without them??? Have to go for now, trying to plan a day trip up the coast to Bari or Barletta :) Ciao