La Giornata a Lucca

JEMIMA:

So the day in Lucca was FAB! I would definitely go back there as many times as my parents want to go. Why do they have to decide where we go all the time? I mean last night dad told me to shush so why can’t I tell him to SHUSH! Anyway we hired some bikes for only 3 euros an hour and went bike riding up through the shady trees and around the Lucca walls. Which had some incredible views. There was this beautiful garden that actually belonged to a house not just built to impress people. While riding under the shady trees for a bit, me and mum were singing the Sound of Music. ” Doe a deer, a female deer, ray, a drop of golden sun!”

After our 12 kilometer bike ride my bottom was sore and me and I guess everybody else was starving for some food. We found this really cute Ristorante in between 2 buildings. We all had yummy pastas except mum and I could say me weren’t very happy with our choices. So we shared around with Dad and Violet. Later on after our great lunch we walked around Lucca and me and Violet both got a souvenir that said Lucca on them. We decided we would collect  something from everywhere we go while n this trip. I am collecting small snow globes and Violet decided to collect cool magnets.

When we were walking back to the car, we passed this awesome gelato place where you do self serve. So you squirt your on gelato and put your on toppings and syrup on. It was also very delicious

. Then at the end they would weigh them to see how much it would cost. You wouldn’t  also choose how much you pay?!? It was a fun Giornata a Lucca! So going back there again. DECISION MAKER!

Lunch in Lucca

Lunch in Lucca

Lucca!!!

Lucca!!!

Gardens of Lucca

Gardens of Lucca

Cycling the walls of Lucca

Cycling the walls of Lucca

 

The Chores

So apart from lying poolside, eating melon and prosciutto and drinking Prosecco, week 1 did consist of several important chores. Obvious ones include finding a house, buying a car, opening a bank account and getting a phone all of which are vital to starting our lives here. We knew we had high expectations to secure such things quickly, however the quicker we could do this stuff the sooner we were back lying poolside, eating melon prosciutto and drinking prosecco. Our Florentine friends informed us we were dreaming and no schedule of this sort would come into action in one week, we must limit our expectations, get on Italian time and be prepared to breathe deeply.
HA! The Kingos are now here lead by chief organiser, Tones, schedule master and time keeper.

A little different to ANZ Avalon!

A little different to ANZ Avalon!

Scooter Girls

Scooter Girls

Banking Italian style!

Banking Italian style!

The waiting room in our bank!!!

The waiting room in our bank!!!

The new car, nice!

The new car, nice!

The Merc baby

The Merc baby

Tony's helpers buying the car

Tony’s helpers buying the car

Violet's choice of transport

Violet’s choice of transport

 

Scenes from a morning run

This morning I got up early, well, early for Italy, 6.30. I went for a run to the Frescobaldi vineyards. No, not even I, drink this early! I went for a look, so beautiful, so close. Sim and i will definitely be heading for a tour and tasting later this evening. La Dolce Vita!

Morning Run Montespertoli

Morning Run Montespertoli

Morning Run Montespertoli

Morning Run Montespertoli

Another stunning view

View from the driveway

View from the driveway

 

 

Our new, temporary home!!

We are lucky enough to be house minding a gorgeous Tuscan villa near the little town of Montespertoli. We are in the middle of the Frescobaldi Vineyards, just amazing. The house is surrounded by lush, green gardens and then beyond the garden are vineyards as far as the eye can see.
We have access to a large, shared pool, and the girls are finding life here a little like a dream. I would too, except I am actually working, believe it or not!

View from pool

View from pool

 

House Sitting

House Sitting

Garden at night

Garden at night

Pool Montespertoli

Pool Montespertoli

 

Buon Compleanno Papa!

JEMIMA:

So today was dad’s 44th birthday! Grandpa Tony! We had a great day and I am not sure if dad is expecting stuff for this evening? This morning I woke up and went downstairs with mum. It was CRAZY… Everybody was wrapping like mad and everyone was sharing one little roll of sticky tape and a pair of scissors. (awkward)  Finally we finished wrapping all of these presents, mainly all for the one big present. PRESENT TIME! The first present dad opened was the present I got him, I got him a Juventus soccer ball that I signed. On the ball I wrote Caro Babbo, Buon Compleanno, Jemima. Violet didn’t really get dad a present So she just wrapped up an apple and 2 oranges?!? WEIRD! She could of just given him a nice card! Mum got her OLD husband a coffee machine and the 4 best coffee capsules. The Elders gave him coffee supplies and ugo got him a Florentina soccer ball.

Later on we to this amazing restaurant outside with this beautiful garden. We had this amazing food and I said that I am defeniteley  going to go there for my  birthday dinner!(DECISION MAKER?)

It was agreat birthday for Grandpa Tony!

What a 44th in Toscana

Birthday kiss

Birthday kiss

Woke up very, very dusty after a wonderful  night of stunning food and wine with a group of the Elder’s friends at Cinque Vie. We gorged on an incredible array of beautifully fresh seafood and the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had. All was accompanied by crisp, light, local Pinot Grigio. The highlight was the mixed raw seafood plate of prawns, lobster, oysters, tuna and salmon. All was drizzled in amazing olive oil, and seasoned with a little pepper, so simple, so delicious.The bill arrived, and the damage???? Yes, only 40 euros each, crazy.

This morning, after getting to bed at 4am, i awoke to a birthday morning with the Elders. My gorgeous family bougfht me a Nespresson machine and a new soccer ball, nice!! The Elders sorted me out with many, many coffee pods and a Fiorentina foootball.

The feast started again when James dropped the Kingo girls and me to ANOTHER beautiful Tuscan restaurant just outside the lovely town of Impruneta, Il Battiebeco, www.ilbattibecco.it . What a lovely, lovely way to celebrate a birthday.

birthday happiness

birthday happiness

 

La Dolce Vita! Drinking start early here!

La Dolce Vita! Drinking start early here!

 

Il Battibecco Happy 44th!!!

Il Battibecco Happy 44th!!!

Birthday with the Elders

Birthday with the Elders

Il Battibecco Garden

Il Battibecco Garden

Il Battibecco Garden entrance

Il Battibecco Garden entrance

Ciao Elders in Firenze!!!

The day in centro

The day in centro

Gelato time!

Gelato time!

Waiting for lunch

Waiting for lunch

JEMIMA:

So, the first few days in Italy have been AMAZING! On Saturday we got off the plane and picked up all of our bags from the thingy that shows all of the baggage. We were going to get a trolley but we didn’t have euros to pay for one. ANNOYING! so we ended up carrying  2 bags each… Well, for dad maybe 3 seeing as there was the computer?!?

When we walked out of the door we straight away saw Uncle Jim (my godfather), he picked me up in the air so high I didn’t quite remember where the ground was! We were walking to the car Jim said ” Now in Australia this  is a pedestrian crossing, but in Italy these are just white lines on a road!” It was quite funny at first but then I realised what he actually meant.

The next day we practially swam in the pool all day same with the next day and the next day and the next day was Jazzies party!The pool is really nice… Lots of sun…BIG… and very very clear underneath.

I have had sooooo much fun and have made friends with the next door neighbours,Gabby and Giovana. (Joo-vana) But I am really missing Australia! Still have more to look forward TOO!

 

Kingos arrive in London

Image

The girls chlling in the flat

The girls chlling in the flat

So, after 28, not so fun, hours on Qantas and BA, we arrive in good old London! We arrive at Heathrow beyond knackered, we all look strung out as if we had just walked out of a club at 7am…not pretty!!

We arrive at the immigration queue. There were two sections, one for the sad losers from outside the EU, very, very, very long, and one for us EU Passport carrying legends, very, very short. Sim admitted, finally, it’s great being married to an Italian!!
Thanks to the advice from our host at our London apartment, www.airbnb.com, rather than the Heathrow express at 19 quid each and then a bus to the flat, we hired a private car from www.justairports.com, 40 quid for all of us…bargain!!!!!! So, no lugging luggage through the tube, just air conditioned comfort all the way, just the way the Kingos love it.

So. after an hour’s drive through lovely London traffic, we pull up outside our flat in Bermondsey. Sim looked at me, not impressed at all, as, across the road was a bunch of police cars, fire engines and many, many dodgy looking ferals, all watching on as their squat had just been burnt down by fire!!!

We were greeted by our very lovely host, Sarah and shown to our beautiful, spacious and very comfy two bedroom flat, a smile began to appear on all our faces, finally. The last time a smile had been seen on any of our faces was taking off from Sydney many, many hours before.
We showered, headed down the very cool, very groovy, very London Bermondsey Street for a walk, a pint and some dinner. We found ourselves at the Garrison, a self described “gastro pub”…bloody delicious, all Kingos ate and drank merrily, some more than others!

Our first evening was a joy, London was very welcoming, warm, light and full of joy. Sleep took over very quickly.

Jemima’s Festival of Farewells

mali thaiSo, my first farewell was the soccer farewell… Well I guess it was mine and dad’s seeing as he is the coach, but I like to call it mine!!! We all went to Lucky’s in Avalon for pizza! It was really fun playing around on the street and especially when Pia went up to random people telling them that she was a UNICORN! She even turned her hand into a horn with her magical powers because after all she is a UNICORN! We played tip for quite a while until people started giving Reecy (the shortest person in the team) piggy backs?!?  Overall it was a great way to start my Festival of Farewells!

The second one was the one with my friends at Mali Thai, everybody enjoyed it, it was really fun and everybody was laughing non-stop. Everyone made me a really cool poster which had 8 envelopes stuck on it with everybody’s name on one of the envelopes. Then when I arrived I wasn’t allowed inside because everyone was still writing letters to put in their envelopes and it was freezing! We took loads of cool photos and everybody enjoyed mixing their ice-cream together at the end! It was really AWESOME! But it was sad to say goodbye to each other, especially when they are such a great bunch of friends, the people that were invited were Claudia, Connor, Sophie, Sofia, Layne, Tash, Lilli and Sasha!