Sunday, April 1, 2012

What a month!

Arc de Triomphe
 Whew!  I can't believe March is over.... February seems non-existent too.  We've been busy to say the least.  To catch up from my last post over a month ago, Nate took me to Paris the weekend before Valentine's Day as a late birthday/ early Valentine's Day celebration.  It was the first time either of us had been there and we absolutely fell in love with the city!  We stayed in a hotel only 1300 ft from the Eiffel Tower and spent our days strolling the streets of St. Germain des Pres, taking in the sites, and indulging in the delicious French cuisine.  We visited Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo in the Louvre and marveled at the arched ceilings and beautiful stained glass in Notre Dame, meandered through the Luxembourg Gardens, and enjoyed an evening ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower enjoying a sunset view of the city the whole way up.  It was a magical place made only slightly less enjoyable by the below freezing temperatures (9 degrees!!!).  We kept ourselves warm with several stops for cappuccinos, croissants, and crepes... to die for!  And of course vino :) We have obviously decided that we will return again soon... hopefully in warmer weather. We still have so many more places to see, having only scratched the surface and at only 60 Euro a person to fly there from Venice how could we not go back?!

Breakfast :)
Amazing stained glass in Notre Dame
Love in Luxembourg Gardens

Sunset view from top of Eiffel Tower

The Louvre

Notre Dame
Passing of the guidon
Less than a week after our Paris trip, Nate's mom and step-dad arrived.  We showed them around Vicenza, visiting some of our favorite shops, wineries, restaurants, and other nearby towns.  Unfortunately, it was a very busy week for Nate as he prepared for his Change of Command ceremony and I was busy with training at the hospital (no job, just Red Cross Volunteer) so they set off on there own to see some of the other major sites in Verona and Venice. After a great deal of time and preparation, Nate's Change of Command occurred on time and went very well, with us hosting a reception immediately after and celebrating in downtown Vicenza that night.  He is now the Commander of Easy Company for 1/503rd and I am now the new FRG (Family Readiness Group) Leader for his company... go figure!  We spent our last evening with Nate's parents back at Ca'Bruzzo (previous blog) winery sampling wine from the barrel and eating a delicious meal paired with the wine.  It's a beautiful place and the owners have become good friends of ours.

The New Commander


Less than a week after Nate's parents returned to Iowa, he left for another training rotation in Germany.  I must say, I'm starting to feel like I never spend more than a month with my husband before he has to leave again:-P  This rotation lasted 3 1/2 weeks (blah!) but thankfully, I was also very busy with FRG trainings, meetings, and social events.  Even better, we have had some unseasonably warm and dry days in March, so I followed the Italian's lead and planted some flowers, zucchini and tomatoes.  Now that Nate is back, warmer weather also means that the grill has been fired up and we are once again enjoying evening walks into town to our favorite gelato shop :)  Spring is here!
Pictures from the outdoor market in Vicenza