we drove for about 3 1/2 hours
during that drive
steve and i talked about how different
it was when we traveled through europe
all those years ago.
17 years ago,
there were no iphones, ipods, ipads
to keep my kids quiet and busy in the car.
we didn't have the garmin AND the gps
on our phone.
we used an old fashioned map
to travel throughout europe.
there was no google
to research hotels and "what to do"
when we got to our destination.
and we had NO money.
we didn't even have a credit card.
yet, during the 3 years that we lived in germany,
we traveled all over europe.
and we have such wonderful memories
of those trips.
i would pack picnic lunches/dinners.
we would fill gas tanks
and store them in the trunk of the car
because we couldn't afford the european gas.
the military gave us gas ration cards
to use at certain ESSO stations throughout europe.
and we would drive.
stephen propped in his car seat
in the middle of the non-back seat of steve's
old two seater.
me in the front navigating
with maps and guide books.
we drove to italy, france, denmark,
amsterdam, poland, prague,
austria, switzerland, england.
we would drive to our destination
and then started looking for a place to stay.
sometimes we lucked out
and found a cheap, clean, comfy place
sometimes i slept with one eye open.
it's so different now
traveling through europe.
we don't have to exchange the deutsche mark
for italian lire or the french franc.
we can afford to fly and stay in a decent hotel.
i no longer pack picnic lunches.
we didn't even use a map in italy!
i'm not saying it's any better.
the first 3 nights in tuscany
we spent at a marriott in barga, italy.
we arrived after dark,
and when we woke the next morning,
the view was beautiful.
we relaxed at the hotel
in the morning and let the kids
swim in the pool.
later we drove about 45 minutes
a beautiful walled city.
it was pouring rain
so we didn't get to
really see too much of the town.
we had a great lunch
and then drove around lucca
in search of a bookstore.
(the entire trip i was a bit obsessed
with finding books from each place we visited :)
the next day we headed to pisa.
about an hour away from our hotel.
i was surprised by how much i liked pisa!
we had a nice little lunch and walked
around the town for a few hours
buying the kids "leaning eiffey towey's"
as griffin calls it.
after a great day in pisa,
we headed back to the hotel
and sat downstairs in front of
the kids read books, played games
and we ordered dinner right there.
club sandwiches and french fries
for the kids..
(a nice break from our daily pizza/pasta)
steve tending to the fire
while i eat my tuscan beans with
olive oil, sage and
a piece of tuscan bread.
and wine of course.
the next day we packed up
and headed out.
the kids loved the hotel here
and didn't want to leave.
originally we were supposed
to be driving to rome from there.
steve and i talked a lot about
it being not only too much of a drive,
but we loved tuscany so much
and wanted to see more of it.
we would drive past this very old bridge
in barga each day.
as we left barga..
we pulled over to take pictures
and to take a walk across it.
unfortunately for us, the town was having
a celebration that night and the bridge
was being prepared with fireworks.
i loved that bridge!
off to the chianti region
deep in tuscany!