Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
We took a tour of the Colosseum which at first was a little disappointing. The guide gave us a very quick bit of info outside, some more quick info inside, and then said we had 10 minutes to look around. 10 minutes!?! Luckily, we figured out how to take the tour of the below the floor area that just opened two weeks ago. That was a great tour!
Really good mushroom pizza (from the only restaurant that we repeated.)
One night we decided to cook at home - a pasta meal, of course. We had fettucine, gnocchi, and tortellini with meat sauce and pesto. We also had a salami and cheese tray, foccacia bread and lots of grated parmesan. I thought Cori and I did a great job and it was one of the better meals of the week.
(Oops, my picture got turned sideways)
We ate LOTS of gelatto. At the end Chris and Frank wanted to try to estimate how much money was spent on gelatto but I told them not to. The number would be too high and ruin the memory of all that tast gelatto. It kept the kids happy and motivated to keep moving!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Pantheon has a big hole in the roof and small drains in the floor. Here's Olivia below the domed roof. We'd like to go back now that we've read and heard a bit about the Pantheon. We were uninformed when we happened upon it.
We did make it to the Trevi Fountain where the kids threw coins in and the adults drank a beer. A nice way to enjoy the scenery for all.
Tyler giving in to jet lag at dinner:
All of us at Piazza Navona:
I'm sure you've noticed by now that there are no photos from the game. Turns out you can't buy tickets to the game at the stadium. No problem - Chris and Frank ran off to buy tickets at the box office down the road. It was closed. No problem - Chris and Frank found out you can buy tickets at the Lazio store across a bridge and down an alley. You have to have a passport. No problem - Chris has his with him. You need one for each ticket. Big problem - but perhaps they don't check ID at the stadium. Chris and Frank go back to the stadium entrance to check it out. Big problem - they were checking an ID for every person entering. Don't you think the guidebooks could have mentioned all this!!!
So, no Roman football but a nice afternoon at Piazza Navona and a bit more sightseeing that included the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. (Photos to come in another blog.)
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Here's Olivia after her first plate of pasta. I can't believe she ate the WHOLE thing!
And here's everyone with their first gelato. Emily tried "After-8" mint and vanilla for the first one. I guess we'll have to see how many flavors she tries as well.
We are heading off to mass in Italian in just a little while at the San Clemente Basilica around the corner. Marcy is most excited!
We had to cancel our Girl Scout hike last weekend because our guide got sick and I do not know where the trails lead. I ended up leading the Juniors and Brownies by myself because for some reason no moms stuck around the meeting this time! But it went well. I set the Brownies up to make Halloween masks and left them to their imaginations and the task. I was so impressed with what they came up with. And since I was busy with the Juniors they really did it all by themselves - I didn't cut, glue, or even give advice!
Here they are revealing their true identities:
The varsity girls played in an all-star game on Sat against the AIS-Astana boys. The team combined girls from AIS and girls from Tien Shen (another international school-our big soccer rival) and a couple of Tien Shan boys. The girls won 4-1! Here's a photo of all three teams (AIS-Almaty in blue, Tien Shen in black and green, and AIS-Astana in red.)
It was fun to coach the girls and I look forward to it again in the spring. (And maybe I can sneak Emily on the field again.)
A couple weekends ago there was a tournament on Almaty of local and regional Kazakh teams and the rugby group went out for some practice and to enjoy some games. Here's Emily playing in a game of keep away:
The first game we watched was the women's national team which I thought would be cool for Emily to see but it was BRUTAL!!! Hitting and tackling and yanking of hair and pulling down shorts and just plain nasty (one of the English guys with the group assured me that in a pile there would also be biting and spitting and scratching going on.) I told Emily to stick with touch rugby.
Here are the women duking it out. The Kazakh national team is in red.
At one point three women were down at once. Medics came on the field and two got up pretty quickly but one was down for quite a while. We saw her later on the sideline with cotton stuffed up her nose and a big bandage. I couldn't resist getting a photo.
The men's Kazakh national team played as well. (The men's games were rough but didn't seem to have the same vicious undertone as the women. It's a fun game to watch and I can see how fans get passionate about a team.) One of Emily's coaches is #8 on the end. He really likes Emily and is often taking her aside to teach her some rugby moves.
It was a fun day and good to learn a little about a sport I never paid much attention to before.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Here they are before the dance. We think Madeline looks particularly beautiful and very grown up (and of course Austin looks handsome and grown up too!)
Next we went to a nearby park. I thought it might just be some pathways with trees and a few statues but there was quite a scene hidden back off the road. Here's a picture of the building at the center of the park. I have no idea what it is or what it is used for but very bright and interesting:
At one point all the birds took off at once while Olivia and Marcy were in the midst of them. Scared the heck out of them and I managed to catch there reaction:
Lastly, we came upon a wedding in another section of the park. Wedding here are a really big deal with several venues being used throughout the day for photos and dancing and food, etc. The whole wedding party will travel through the city in decorated limos and cars in procession. It's almost like a funeral procession - everyone stays together with headlights on. Except you'll see about 10-15 on any normal Saturday drive. This is the wedding party we happened upon. Non-wedding members were all just standing around watching:
From closer to home, this was the view out the library window last week. This field is between the school and our neighborhood. Apparently the man who owns these cows and goats (and sheep you can't see) takes them for a "walk" often. He walks in front and they all just follow behind:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Check back again later this week for more updates from Almaty!
Here is Marcy practicing some of her moves. She definitely has much more style and grace on the ice than she did last year.
My ulterior motive of letting Emily play did not quite work out. I managed to come up with an excuse for her to play in one JV game but later was told in a round-about way to not do that again. The athletic director was also told not to let me do that again. There are strict rules that you must be 12-14 to play. Regardless, Emily at 10 outplayed all the other players on both teams to the point that the Kazakh referee who speaks no English came to shake her hand after the game. She's a big fish in a small pond here but still one heck of a great soccer player. (Like I said, don't mean to brag but...)
Here she is before the game. She got the only uniform that was left which was an extra large. she wore shorts under her shorts just in case they fell off!!
Emily and Coach Mom