Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall is Here

The colorful view from our home today. It was a beautiful day today - warm and sunny, a nice change from the past week. We set our clocks an hour back last night and happily gained an extra hour of sleep today. The only unfortunate thing was that I had to go to work today! Boo...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where to Find Ribbon in Milan

These were the invitations we sent out. We have Yi Leng and Matt to thank for picking these out at Michaels. That was already half the job done, especially considering how I can turn into a blubbering indecisive mess in front of a wall of choices. Yi Leng actually lugged a box all the way to Copenhagen and passed them to me when we met up there.

They're actually Martha Stewart boxed invites. Not bad, right? We loved the flower cut outs and the paper quality was nice. The printing took forever because it just wouldn't line up right with the printer we were using. I think Stefano was starting to get real annoyed.

The bows were something we added. Looking for ribbons in Italy wasn't exactly an easy feat. Stefano had no clue. Ribbons?! The selection at Carrefour was paltry. There weren't any craft store superchains as far as I could tell. I searched online (again not easy since I had to search in Italian) and found the existence of the 'nastroficio' store (that's like saying 'ribbon-ery'). Wow. Finally I came upon something that looked promising. It took me a subway and tram ride, then a long walk in the sweltering heat to get there. But boy was I excited when I got there. It is a manufacturer's wholesale store with shelves of ribbon, tissue paper and paper bags. So if those are the things you're looking for, this is where to go. We also ended getting all our bomboniere supplies here.

Via C. Tacito, 6

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mom and Dad Visit Italy

I'm back! And it's time to quit reading blogs and start writing. I figured I really have to write everything down or risk losing the memories.

I would say the wedding events kicked off with the arrival of my parents to Italy, and the started building up from there. It was the first weekend in September. We had spent the last couple days cleaning and scrubbing down the house (hey, gotta have a clean house for our guests) and various trips to Ikea for items such as bed, comforters, duvet covers!

Then early Sunday morning we woke up and headed to Malpensa. I was so excited to see mom and dad. We got home, got them settled in, then we were off to the supermarket for groceries. They were very impressed with the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Dad took a picture of mom next to a giant wheel of Parmagiano Reggiano. ;-)

For lunch we had pasta with Stefano's mom's pesto. It was a hit. Dad suggested that mom make it at home too. hehe. After a nap it was time to visit downtown Milan. It was the three of us since Stefano had to pick up a friend from the airport.

We visited the usual suspects - the Duomo, Galleria, Via della Spiga, Piazza della Scala.

At one point I decided I REALLY needed a gelato as a pick-me-up. Mom and dad said, no thanks. And I said, 'Are you sure??'. To turn down gelato? So I stood in line and bought a cone at Grom just up the street from La Scala. Gave mom a taste and her eyes grew wide. Turned out they had never had gelato before and that 'ice cream' in Italy is not just that. They were happy tasting my cone but the very next day and for the rest of their stay, they made sure to stop and get gelato as a snack. haha.

Unfortunately the beautiful day was marred by an incident that happened on our way home. We were at Cadorna waiting for the Metro train to arrive. When the train arrived, we made our way towards the open doors. Mom was in front, and I stepped back to let dad go ahead of me. At that moment, a young lady pushed into my dad. After a few seconds, she turned and left saying 'niente (nothing)' to her companion and then they both ran off. It all happened so quickly; I didn't have time to react. After we entered the train, my dad told us that she had stuck her hand down my dad's front pocket where he had his wallet. Luckily my dad was still alert, albeit the jetlag, and he grabbed her wrist before she got to his wallet. He had held on tightly to her wrist but finally let go so we could get on the train and that was when she ran off. I was incensed. The nerve of her! She was one of those gypsy girls that you always hear about and that explained the scared look she had on her face when she turned around. Thank God my dad was able to react quickly enough. Grrrr!

During my parents stay in Italy, they visited Rome, Florence and Venice using Milan as the home base. I regretted not being able to take them but I really wasn't able to take any more time off from work. So instead I booked the lodging and drew up a detailed itinerary complete with maps and transportation instructions plans for them.

And on the weekends when they were at home with us, Stefano really spoiled them with a whole breakfast spread setup in the mornings. We cooked most of the time for them since they had to eat out when travelling. They got to try sarde al forno, branzino in salt shell, and various other simple but delicious Italian dishes - fast and easy dishes that we usually prepare. In the end, they really appreciated Italian cuisine. Not once in the 3 weeks they were here did they eat anything but Italian and they enjoyed it too!

The visit turned out great and I hope they will come and visit us again soon.
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