More Travels (Another Photo Post)

Today I'm sharing another post filled with travel photos . . . this time ten places we've visited outside of Italy in the last two years.

1. Garmisch, Germany (July 2010)

Water fun while on a walk near our apartment 
(yes; that's a horse trough)

A view of the (mostly) pedestrian area we stayed in

Neuschwanstein Castle (just like the Little Einsteins!)

Zugspitze (with snow in July)

2. Paris, France (August 2010 and December 2011)

Julia trying to escape on our first trip

The girls look so little in this pic 
(I'm 29 weeks with A here)

At the Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors 
(again with the Little Einstein theme)

Agent E posing on our walk

Checking out the view from the Eiffel Tower 
(wait . . . weren't the Einsteins here, too?)

Second trip to Disneyland Paris

Hanging out with Pooh

3. Barcelona, Spain (June 2011)

Loved walking around here 
(such a beautiful and clean city)

Posing with my critters near the zoo entrance

La Sagrada Familia

Senior Agents at one of the many little playgrounds 
found throughout the city

4. Malta (June 2011)

The view as the cruise ship pulled in

St. Peter


5. Corsica (July 2011)

Agent A saying hi on our visit to the Tortoise Protection Center

Hey there, big fellow

Turtle party at the water hole

6. Nice and Eze, France (July 2011)

Waiting for our tour to start 
(with a view of the cruise ship in the background)

A nice view of Nice 
(you may roll your eyes now)

I don't even remember what this is supposed to be, 
but it was weird so we took a picture of it

7. Olympia and Athens, Greece (November 2011)

Senior Agents running through the original olympic stadium

Requisite vacation pigeon moment

Changing of the guard (yep; they do that here, too)

8. Ephesus, Turkey (November 2011)

The home where Mary (yes; that Mary) spent her final years 
(no pics allowed inside, unfortunately)

One of the cats of Ephesus . . . they were all over 
as we walked through the ruins

Momma posing with Agent A

My budding archaeologists

Agents J and A enjoying the carpet-making tour

9. Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt (November 2011)

At the Citadel

Agent A is clearly impressed

We could only take pics of this palace through the gate 
(and I just love what all three Agents are doing in this photo)

Hubby on a camel during the pyramids visit 
(Agents and I skipped this tour because of the distance/length)

Hey, it's the Great Sphinx! 
(more Little Einsteins . . . I can't help myself)

10. London, United Kingdom (March 2012)

Being silly at Harrods

A walk in one of the many Royal Parks

At the Science Museum . . .  free admission and totally awesome

Buckingham Palace 
(we are here to trick or treat . . . my last Einsteins tie-in, promise)

Julia picking flowers in Kensington Gardens 
(I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon)

No more big trips planned, as we are now down to a month and counting. Although Agent E mentioned the other day (completely out of the blue) that she'd like to go back to Rome. Hmm . . . maybe. I would love to someday see Australia and more of Europe, as well as spend time traveling within the United States.

Italian Vocabulary

We are preparing to make the move from Europe back to the United States after living in Italy for just over two years. Contrary to what I envisioned before we came here, I didn't learn much Italian during our time. However, some words and phrases will just stick with us (I think) because they are now just part of our everyday lexicon.

1. Andiamo. Let's go! Used a lot when traveling with the Agents and they start to walk at snail pace because they must investigate every. little. thing.

2. Basta. This means "enough" although depending on tone it can imply "yes, I've had enough to eat, thank you" or "alright, enough already, knock it off." I'll let you ponder how you think it might be used around here.

Senior Agents in Pisa (April 2011)
3. Bella/Bello. Beautiful, but also a standard greeting for babies and small children. Think "hey, sweetheart" or "hi there, sweetie."

4. Ciao/Ciao. Hello/goodbye. All the Italian lessons I read/completed always emphasized how casual this is, and that you should use the more formal salve/arrivederci with people you don't know, but that ended up being a bunch of hooey. Everyone uses ciao with everyone else.

5. Grazie/Prego. Thank you/you're welcome. It's just kind of automatic now. Prego is a form of the verb "to pray" and it is also used to allow someone to go ahead of you in line or otherwise yield to someone else.

6. Numeri/Colori. We all know how to count. Even Julia knows some numbers in Italian, although she often gets confused and switches over to Spanish. (Thanks, Dora.) We also tend to refer to colors in Italian all the time now. They're easy and one of the first things we learned and taught the Agents.

7. Parti del Corpo. Parts of the body. Agent A is at the age that we're doing a lot of "where's your nose? where are your fingers? where are your feet?" kinds of games. He's learning both the English and Italian words. Grandpap (my dad) will have lots of fun with this when we visit this summer. (My dad's father was born in Italy, outside of Florence, and both of my grandparents knew Italian. My grandmother spoke to my dad in Italian when he was small, but stopped after he started school. He still remembers some, though, and has lots of fun hearing the Agents say what few Italian words they know.)

Momma and the Agents in Venice (August 2011)
(Note: Same matching outfits as the above photo)
8. Permesso. What you would say to someone if you were trying to get through (e.g., behind them on a crowded sidewalk) and you were being gracious. (There are other words for when you really need to get their attention and being polite is not a consideration, but this is a nice blog so we won't go there.)

9. Topolino. In most parts of the world, Mickey Mouse is just Mickey Mouse. In Arabic and French, he's Mickey. In Polish and Turkish, he's Miki. Germans and Russians both refer to him as Mikki Maus. Yet, in Italy he is Topolino, which literally means "little mouse." No doubt, La Casa di Topolino (book and TV version) will continue to be a favorite at our home. (And at least one Senior Agent is bound to say, "Ciao, Topolino!" when we pose for photos on our trip to Disney this summer.)

10. Va bene. The Italian "it's all good!" Used in place of it's fine, that works, no problem, whatever.