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Archive for May, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Running with Abbie

This picture sums up the trip for me. Kids running around. Balmy sunny days. No plans or agendas. My only regret - it was too short. Rather than one week, ideally it would have been one month. But then there’s always next time :)

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Friday, May 29, 2009


Yep - there was a lot of ice cream this trip :)

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Becky & Lola

Lola fell head overheels for her big cousin Becky. And Becky as usual had all the time in the world for the little ones, reserving a special place for Lola.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

La Magione

I rarely like photos of myself but am rather pleased with this one. Nice job hubby!

God it felt good to be back in Italy. My Italian came right back - much more so than my French which somehow never ceases to surprise me given how much longer I’ve studied French. Communque… it was great. I got to be the interpreter for the week and loved it!

I should say a couple of words about our villa - La Magione. I suppose most Italian villas are like this - ie wonderful with stunning views - but ours really served our situation well. Three sets of bedrooms linked together with ensuite bathrooms, was perfect for our three families. It also had a very cool modern take on Mediterranean decor and a pool with a children’s area. I would strongly recommend it.

Also the fact it was situated in handy reach of Siena and Florence right up against the Chianti wine region meant it was perfect for our short day trips.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009


Our Tuscan vacation was more than I ever could have hoped for. This scene sums up most of our evenings, eating, drinking wine and catching up whilst keeping an ear out that none of the kids was any where near the pool!

In the mornings we’d head out to a local town/village and have a stroll about, stop for lunch, eat way too much, then drive back home so kids could nap and we could jump into the pool! Evenings we ate in - just easier with 6 kids under 11 running around exhausted!

I can’t begin to say how great it was for the cousins to spend that time together, for me to spend that time with my brothers and their lovely wives. It was good timing for everyone and so everyone put their best foot forward. It was amazing really, when you think of it how well we all did get along. My brothers and I haven’t spent that much time together for years - but some how it all just worked.

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Friday, May 22, 2009


Our last day we went to visit Tim and Jackie and Abbie and Becky. Becky is growing up so fast at age 11 already. I can hardly believe it. But she remains the same sweet-natured, gentle girl I remember from her childhood. Abbie is more mischevious and has a wonderful sense of fun. She’s a cutie pie too. I don’t think my kids have had so much ice cream and popsicles in their lifetime as on this vacation - but that’s what they are all about eh!?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

London’s Eye

I have to say I’m a big fan of the London Eye. It made for the perfect day trip for the kids. Not too crazy and we managed to get in a fair few trains and buses on the way there and back from Simon’s. I think Oliver may have lost it if we hadn’t managed to get on a double decker!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lolie & Sam

Lola and Sam in the bath - priceless. Lola’s language has already come on in leaps and bounds this week, she’s chattering away and is quite the bossy boots - following each declaration with an affirmative “OK?!” Can’t think where she get’s that from!

Sam is an old soul, with rock star looks. Quite the one to watch…

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oliver & Alex

One of the great things this vacation was all the time the cousins got to spend together. During our short UK trip Alex and Oliver got to catch up a couple of times and really clicked. Even though Alex is a year older than Oliver he’s a really sweet boy who was able for the most part to endure his younger cousins less patient demands. It’s amazing the difference actually between 4 and 5 years old, and Oliver is not even 4 - which is always so unbelievable to people because he’s so tall.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

England my England

Our Europe trip began with a trip to visit Granny in the UK. The flight over was great - kids slept most of the way, watched movies the rest of the time. Nice. Once we arrived we spent most of our time pottering about the Bedfordshire countryside looking at scenes like this one. You forget what an awesome job the National Trust has done in preserving so much of what makes England so wonderful. Unfortunately the motorways endless expansion seem to be taking care of ruining the rest.

The National Trust actually do vacation rentals now - what a way to spend you vacation - some of the places you can rent are spectacularly beautiful. We may do that next time. Staying at Mum’s was great - but four of us in one room takes a lot out of you!

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