Sunday, April 26, 2009

My first-ever trip to Italy!!!



There are so friggin' many amazing things to see in Italy -- I imagine not too many foreign tourists select a week on Lago Maggiore as their first choice. But, of course, I didn't choose this trip, It chose me.

By that, I mean that my husband was invited to a conference that happened to coincide with a school vacation for the kids. So I didn't have much choice but to take a week off and take care of the kids. Yet if I'd had a choice, I don't think I could have chosen better -- it was really perfect!


See if you can find Nico in this picture!

Riding around on the public boats all over the lake was just about the right level of adventure for a five-year-old and a seven-year-old. We could ride the boat until we felt like getting off, and wherever we got off we'd see something interesting!


Find Nico at Santa Caterina del Sasso!




My little boys learned to take photos like the tourist pros!

Of course, they preferred to just find a playground whenever possible.


Nico and Léo hopping on the scenic trampoline of Locarno.

That worked well since most of the town waterfronts seemed to have a playground. So we'd get off the boat, go to the playground so they could run and jump around for a while, and then when they were tired, we'd hop on the next boat and rest as the beautiful scenery floated by. (The kids also liked to watch the boatmen lassoing the dock to tie the boat on each time we came to a port.)



I loved the boating too, and not just for all of the obvious reasons.

You know how some people can read a page of baseball statistics, and normal people wonder how it could possibly be interesting to read all of those lists of names and numbers? Well, I'm kind of like that, only with the train schedule. (Hey, I just like to know where you can go! And when!) And the Lago Maggiore boat schedule was even better!!! It's just a little more complex than the Zürich commuter train schedule (since it doesn't repeat every hour), so it was kind of a fun challenge to figure out possible itineraries.

One person I met at the conference was actually fooled into thinking that I'm highly organized and efficient! LOL, just because I always knew when to catch the next boat! But it has nothing to do with organization, just a strange fondness for public transportation. ;^)

10 comments:

Sabayon said...

So I didn't have much choice but to take a week off and take care of the kids. Nah, you could have just left them a box of cheese crackers and popped in a movie. They'd have been fine.

I'm fairly fond of transport schedules as well, especially when you can hop on and off at will. It's like a little table of possibilities for your day.

C. L. Hanson said...

Nah, you could have just left them a box of cheese crackers and popped in a movie. They'd have been fine.Hahahaha!! You clearly don't know my kids...

I'm fairly fond of transport schedules as well, especially when you can hop on and off at will.Exactly! Next time I'm totally going to do the "Lago Maggiore Express" which is the same except that it adds a train trip through the mountains into the mix! :D

Holly said...

beautiful. Italy is my favorite country in the world.

mathmom said...

I approve of travel based on conferences. My first ever trip to Italy was to Padua, because that was where Michael's conference was. It's not on everyone's "must see" list, but definitely worth the trip.

I learned there that Italian physics conferences are much fancier than American math conferences. They had a multi course dinner at a Palladian villa and a concert by Claudio Scimone from I Solisti Veneti... Definitely an experience. Are European math conferences like that too?

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Holly!!!

Good choice! I can't wait to go back!!!

Hey Mathmom!!!

Hmm, it's a little hard for me to compare, but this one definitely impressed me. It was a week-long conference held in a charming hotel that was once a monastery (here's a pic of my kids in one of the courtyards), and they served us a three-course meal in the hotel restaurant every night. On Wednesday afternoon, they chartered some boats and took the whole group on a guided tour of the Borromean Islands (math trivia: the Borromean rings got their name from being part of the crest of the family that owns the islands). This tour included a nice apéritif on one of the islands and a dinner in a nice restaurant on another.

vjack said...

Wow! You weren't kidding about it being beautiful there. You certainly got some great photos.

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks VJack!!!

Yeah, it's amazing! We're definitely planning to visit there again sometime!

markii said...

amazing! you and your family are so lucky. :)

C. L. Hanson said...

Thanks Markii!!!

We had a great time!

BTW, I really like your "about me" on your blogger profile. You'd fit in well at Main Street Plaza if you're not already a reader/writer there... :D

Ian Smith said...

You and your family are very lucky indeed! We are going next year