So, Italian school’s choose one week in Winter known as “white week” meaning “go and ski week”. This is not a holiday officially but a necessity for those of us Europeans who have to put up with snow capped mountains every year. So as a family of “two shoes”, myself excluded, we thought we should obey the rules imposed by the nuns, pack our ski gear and head north. Naturally we had to head to Austria at some point as this little country will always hold a piece of my heart. Here was the perfect opportunity to show it off to my family and to show off my German linguistic skills. I was recommended Bad Kleinkirchheim by a Austrian friend who said it was great for many reasons, these included not far from the boarder of Italy, excellent skiing and thermal pools, based at bottom of the slopes -schon!. Well apart from never being able to pronounce the actual name of the willage, it did not disappoint. Stunning place, family friendly – wunderbar!! Day 1 we woke up to snow, dumping snow. I have actually never experienced snow like it before, it was so heavy and thick and it didn’t ease for 2 days, just amazing! Being a fair weather skier I decided that the perfect place to go in such extreme conditions was the thermal springs and spa baths. Tony and the girls being “braver” than I decided to tackle the slopes and go skiing instead. So off I went for a day of pampering and relaxation. As I checked in with reception and was heading through the doors she announced “you realise it is nude”. ” Oh yes, of course” I said, feeling sick in the stomach and proceeded to put my belongings included my cossie into the assigned locker. What she didn’t announce was the next surprise of the day, that it was unisex. Well I was the “brave” one that day…let’s just say it was a day I will never forget. I saw many sights to entertain me for years, even though I kept my gaze down and never looked anyone in the eye. I spent 4 long hours there and although there were many times I feel very uncomfortable and scared, having the outdoor pool to myself for 20 minutes with snow falling on my head in a winter wonderland was an experience I will always treasure. The rest of the week was spent skiing together and it was just great. The girls had lessons in the morning and we all hooked up for lunch and afternoon skiing. They were skiing like pro’s by the end of the week and I was finding it hard to keep up with both of them. We were lucky to have our new Irish friends “the Brady’s” join us for the week, so most nights were spent with them trying to source those Austrian delicacies I remembered so fondly. Sadly they were not often found, not sure if it was just a lack of good restaurants in this particular ski town or if my taste buds when I was 22 were overcome by a love of Jagermeister. Who would know….but I am determined to return to Austria again soon and give eating another go. All in all fantastic week, sehr gut!!!
No matter where the Kingos are, we LOVE the Roosters. Grand final day was spent from 10am in the Fiddlers Elbow, downtown Firenze with Uncle Dave and Aunty Ruth. Generous support, in the form of Guiness, was given by Jim and Rory. Awesome fun, awesome game.
Wonderfully topped off by our fellow Chook loving friends the MacCallums who so very kindly sent us our PREMIERS 2013 tees…bloody legends!
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.
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!
So, 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!
Violet and I were at our local book store this week buying a birthday present.
Conversation went as follows:
Me: Can you please wrap as we are in the middle of moving house?
Sales lady: Sure, where are you moving to?
Sale lady: Florence, wow, why Florence?
Violet: Cause our dad wants us to be wogs for a while!
The day we were on the open top bus in London the tour guide went past the copy of a nude statue called David! The tour guide said that some people were so shocked they had a stroke!Then this happened at dinner while talking about what we saw today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VIOLET: Did you know that the statue we saw… some people were so shocked they went up and stroked him! Everybody else was laughing so hard and Violet was just looking really confused!
When dad asked which category to choose to write something on the blog for the first time I wasn’t quite sure I knew what 3 wogs and a skip was. I asked dad and he said that a skip was like another word for an Australian person. So then I thought that dad, Violet and I were the wogs and mum was the skip!!!!! Dad laughed at me when I said that out loud!?!
Anyway I thought that I would write on this category and I am doing it at this very moment…. The day dad had got home from his first day at the Italian consulate he said that the day we get our Italiano Passaporto we would be known a a wog…. an Italian citizen!! The very first sentence that I said was ” I don’t want to be a wog” and from that afternoon that was dad’s favorite Italian passport reply. Now that I have my passport I am known as Italian and according to dad a WOG!!! I don’t feel very different yet but I know I will when I have lived in ITALY for at least 3 months. Violet doesn’t really mind it but she hates her passport photo though, I don’t blame her, I mean I hate mine and who does like their passport photo.?. You are not even allowed to SMILE!?!
How do you start to pack up your life and move overseas….with a garage sale naturally
Why is it every child’s dream to have a garage sale? For Mima and Vi the idea of setting up shop and selling your stuff to your friends and any stranger of the street is the epitome of a fun afternoon. For me it is a little unsettling to put your old wares on display for all to sift though and dismiss as junk. I had to accept Vi’s comment of “Mum, your clothes are not very fashionable, people look at them but no-one buys any” – sad and true, I love that I can always rely on Violet to state the obvious.
Coming home to see the For Lease sign seemed to make everything very real. Little sad to let “The Chalet” go, it’s been a special place to live, our own big tree house overlooking the ocean. It is hard to believe we are swapping ocean views for Tuscan hills. The next lease we sign will be in Florence – Mamma Mia!!