Fall Fun

It was far too beautiful a day to stay inside and do school so we went to Lago di Barcis for a picnic and a nature study.  We tried to find a place to eat, but this guy wouldn’t leave us alone.  He followed us everywhere!  He would stand there looking around for us and then he’d come flying on over.

IMG_7846

We couldn’t find safe place to eat, so we picnicked in the trunk.  They probably enjoyed this more!IMG_7842IMG_7844

Even after we finished eating and started our hike around the lake, he continued to swim along side us for half of the length of the lake. In the end, we grew quite affectionate toward him until he glided upon some fellow ducks and decided they were better company.

IMG_7852

We stopped to throw rocks in the water.

IMG_7851
Love his backwards shorts!

IMG_7850

Benjamin is looking so grown up.  This is the “cool bridge”.

IMG_7853IMG_7855

We hiked around the entire lake.  It turned out to be a much longer walk than I had anticipated. I don’t know why I thought it would be a quick walk…this is the only bridge and it’s on the very edge of the lake!

We found the coolest mushrooms I’ve ever seen.  We loved studying them.

IMG_7857

IMG_7863
This was our favorite!

IMG_7864

The view of Barcis from the other side of the lake.

IMG_7862
These two were so cuddly today 

IMG_7858

The base had an event for Fire Prevention week.  They offered grilled burgers and lots of fun for the kids.  It made for a great day!

We got to watch them put out a fire in a burning car.

IMG_7865

They had an obstacle course for the kids. Her favorite part of the day was spraying the fire hose on the burning fire.  It was really cute.

IMG_7871
The cutest firemen ever!

IMG_7878IMG_7879IMG_7881

IMG_7882
You can see Clara spraying the hose on the left

We got to check out the fire engines. Ben is still obsessed with big trucks.  They also had a smoking trailer for the kids.  It was smoky inside and they had to find their way to the balcony and climb the ladder down.  I guess I failed to get pictures.   We had to drag Benjamin out of there.

IMG_7867

We also made it to our first Boy Scout activity this weekend.  It was the Fall Boy Scout campout.  It was a great little campsite at a large park just about 30 minutes from our home.  The boys went crazy on the playground and thoroughly investigated the forest.

They had a three-legged race to find rocks…

IMG_7896
This was hilarious to watch!

IMG_7898IMG_7897

Walked a tight rope…

IMG_7899IMG_7903IMG_7902

And learned to start fires…  He had SO much fun with all of those boys.  And the great thing is that most of them are also involved with the homeschool group, so he will be able to get to know them pretty well.  IMG_7905IMG_7904

The best part was that I got to  home alone and Derek, Benjamin, and Clara stayed up in the tent overnight.  It was quite glorious to have the evening to myself though I didn’t sleep anyway because I was worried about the kids being too cold. Oh well…suppose I’m quite used to being “nocturnal” as Benjamin would say.

IMG_7891
Clara flipped over the sleeping bag and tent!

Our First Visitor!

My brother Adam, an amazingly talented artist,  came our way for a quick visit before he soaked in all of the art history Italy has to offer.  We met in Venice for the day.  He took in the museums and I wandered the alleys with the kids.

IMG_5252

If you want to experience one of the most miserable experiences of your life, take the big water bus.  Otherwise, the water taxi is totally worth the splurge.  Venice is one of those cities where you will blow through money faster than you could ever imagine.  I think it is best to mentally prepare yourself and enjoy your time.

IMG_5223IMG_5226

We were so lucky to have beautiful weather all weekend because it had been raining buckets for months!

IMG_5230

While wandering through Venice with the kids, we looked at the fish, chased bubbles, enjoyed gelato, and watched the gondolas row by.

IMG_5236

I think every kid in Venice logged time with the bubbles.  These guys must make a killing.

IMG_5242IMG_5241IMG_5239

We all dined at this lovely spot right outside of the hotel for dinner.  The hotel was wasn’t fancy by any means, but with a five minute walk to Piazza San Marco, the location couldn’t be beat.

IMG_5257

IMG_5258
Our hotel

I left Venice with the kids as soon as possible as it is not a bit child friendly.  The crowds are insane, it’s just too much walking, and a bathroom is impossible to find!  My brother enjoyed another day getting lost in the alleys.

The next day, we showed him around Maniago, Lago di Barcis, and drove through the Dolomites.

20160507-_DSC2429

We enjoyed a coffee while the kids played at the playground.  Sister will always find a place to relax.

20160507-_DSC2430

20160507-_DSC2431

20160507-_DSC2433
Piazza Italia in Maniago

The last day of his visit we took  a day trip to Piran, Slovenia. Slovenia’s coastline only stretches 27 miles. Piran is located at the very tip of a narrow peninsula.  It’s old town is one of the best preserved historical towns anywhere on the Adriatic.   20160508-_DSC244020160508-_DSC2444

20160508-_DSC2439

20160508-_DSC2450
Tartini Square named after the violinist Giuseppe Tartini

We enjoyed lunch and a good bottle of local Slovenian wine in the square.

20160508-_DSC246020160508-_DSC246820160508-_DSC2463

The kids had time to run around the square.

20160508-_DSC2454

We strolled through the old winding alleyways.

20160508-_DSC245820160508-_DSC247820160508-_DSC247920160508-_DSC248220160508-_DSC2457

We climbed the bell tower for spectacular views of the city and Tartini Square.  From up here we could hear a choir practicing on one of the balconies down below.  We never did figure out where the sound was coming from, but listening was treat!

20160508-_DSC248420160508-_DSC248520160508-_DSC248720160508-_DSC248920160508-_DSC2499

20160508-_DSC2505
Hello down there!

20160508-_DSC251220160508-_DSC250720160508-_DSC2506

Laskos under the sun at this seaside cafe — does life get any better?!?

20160508-_DSC252120160508-_DSC252020160508-_DSC251420160508-_DSC2522

20160508-_DSC251520160508-_DSC251620160508-_DSC2517

Looks so inviting!

20160508-_DSC2523

We capped off our time in Piran with a gelato stop.  Benny was served his first ice cream cone.  He felt like such a hot shot.

20160508-_DSC2534

Looks like we missed another day of rain in Maniago and came home to a  beautiful rainbow.  We had a good visit with my brother and now he’s off to explore Italy’s endless treasures.

20160507-_DSC2435