Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Virtual Coffee {32}

Hello dear friends, and welcome to (this rather late) coffee. And since this is our first coffee together this year, also a belated Happy New Year!

I’m a bit sad today, because after three weeks together day and night the Husband is flying back to Italy. This is the longest vacation he has ever taken in his life, including our honeymoon, so it’s going to be hard readjusting to real life again (well, for him, since the kids and I are in Houston for another three weeks).
We’ve been busy, so we’ve made some really good memories and snapped about 2,500 pictures… no, I’m not exaggerating. He’s going to be very busy culling all the crappy pictures once he’s home!
Culling pictures like this one. Though we've been doing an awful lot of this since there's no Starbucks in Italy.

The kids have both managed to get sick in the last few days, but it seems they are on the mend now and we can resume our action packed holiday. Seriously. We’ve been to the aquarium, to the zoo, to the fire museum, to more playgrounds and indoor play areas than I can count, we’ve seen some friends and have many more to see still, we’ve eaten in all my favorite restaurants and discovered some new ones I didn’t know. 
yes, the fire museum.

We celebrated the Epiphany (celebrated by Catholics on January 6th , in commemoration of the Magi - three wise men, or three kings - visiting the Baby Jesus) with both the Italian and the Mexican traditions. Why the Mexican? Well, we have a lot of friends from Mexico and this falls under the category of any excuse for a party!

In Italy, the tradition is that a benevolent old lady/witch-type character called La Befana, who has no magical powers but flies on a broom, comes in the night and brings children candy or coal (depending on whether they’ve been good or bad) and maybe a small present. This is when people put up stockings in Italy, for La Befana, not for Christmas. And they’re not necessarily nice, fancy stockings, when we were little we used to use our own socks, or rather, we’d put out my Dad’s dress socks cause they were the biggest and longest socks in the house, in the hope that she would fill them up all the way (which, incidentally, she usually did).  

I look like an angel, but I'm really not

So happy to have stockings!

Not so happy about the coal (candy coal, but still look at her wtf face!)

this coal is pretty cool, and I can eat it you say?!

In Mexico, they have a cake called Rosca de Reyes, which is a round, bready type cake with candied fruit on top, where usually one baby Jesus figurine is hidden (although most of the time you find as many baby Jesuses as there are children present), whoever finds the baby Jesus has to have a party on February 2nd (Dia de la Candelaria or Candlemas day) – or alternatively take the figurine to mass for a blessing.

We found one of the baby Jesus but are exempt from hosting the party as we live too far away

Anyway, this is going to be a very brief coffee, as the Husband’s literally putting the luggage in the trunk as I type, but I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the past couple of weeks.

And when you’re done go visit our hostess Amy!

on the carousel at the aquarium. what? I like carousels and who can say no to riding a dolphin?

some sort of rescue operation going on in the fire museum playroom

sliding down the pole in full fire fighter gear (except the boots, he wouldn't wear the boots)

I had a mini internal freak out about germs when he put that mask on

we even ran into some real live firemen outside the museum and they let us get on their real live firetruck



  1. You must have posted that picture of Starbucks just to torture us who don't have one nearby? ;)  Enjoy the next three weeks!

  2. Fantastic all the stuff there is to do with kids in the States, huh?! It helps being in a country that doesn't have a negative birth rate :) Enjoy the next three weeks!

  3. gorgeous photos - as always!
    love the cake :)
    i'm having a giveaway with coffee this week to celebrate 2012 - bit late, i know...
    happy new year!!

  4. I know, mean of me, sorry!

  5. Happy new year to you too!

  6. The cake looks delicious. Enjoy the rest of your time in the states:)