Month: October 2009

“A New Meaning of Halloween,” Hybrid Mom Blog, October 29, 2009

A New Meaning of Halloween Thursday, October 29th, 2009 Now that I have completed 9 weeks of reminiscing about my trip to Europe with Katie I must now get caught up with the fall.  Fall is a loose term in Southern California.  It’s certainly more in my head than by the signal of changing colors of the leaves.  I put out my pumpkins, etc. but it’s still 85 degrees.  Still one would never sit by the pool….it’s “fall” after all.  Speaking of pumpkins, I am in a quandary about Halloween. Now that two of my children are away at college and my 16 year old son has NO interest in my home made costumes, let alone carving pumpkins, what do I do?  It just doesn’t seem the same. I was always so into it.  Every year, starting in September, I would ask my kids what they wanted to be for Halloween.  I would either make it or get my mom to make them if they were too complicated for me to hack at.  I was really into themes before they had too many opinions. They were Donald and Daisy duck, Batman and Cat Woman…when the third child came along, they were Jasmine, Aladdin and the little one was Abue.  One year, they were, with their cousins, all the Power Rangers. The last year they were into homemade costumes they...

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“My European Adventure, Part 9.” Hybrid Mom Blog, October 22, 2009

My European Adventure…Part 9 Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 Ever have one of those mornings where you hit the snooze button one too many times?  I think we all unfortunately have and that is how we started our day when we had an early flight out of Rome.  We scrambled franticly and thankfully made our flight to Budapest. Katie’s and my trip to Europe was really brought about because my son Matthew (16) is a huge water polo player and his team was going to Hungary.  The teams there are known for their size and aggressive play, so his coach asked my husband (who is a doctor) to come along as a chaperon and be available if any stitching up was necessary.  My older son Danny was going to go along for the ride.  Katie and I thought it would be fun to have our adventure in Italy and meet up with them at the end of the trip.  So we set out and the boys were due to head out a few days later.  Well, it turned out only Matthew went. Michael got incredibly sick (swine flu?) and then pulled out his back.  He was a mess and had to cancel the trip.  Danny didn’t want to go by himself and besides he doesn’t know how to sew any stitches…ha-ha. We already had the tickets and even though we...

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“My European Adventure, Part 8,” Hybrid Mom Blog, October 15, 2009

My European Adventure…Part 8 Thursday, October 15th, 2009 The next day in Rome we started out early, our first stop being The Pantheon.  Wow, what a place! Built more than 1800 years ago, the magnificent Pantheon building still stands as a reminder of the great Roman empire. The building’s dome, more than 43 meters high is most impressive. It was the largest dome in the world until 1436 when the Florence Cathedral was constructed. At the top of the dome is a large opening, the oculus, which was the only source of light.  Originally a temple for all pagan gods, the temple was converted into a church in 609. The Pantheon contains the tombs of Raphael and of several Italian Kings. Its interior design contrast with the temple’s structural design, but the marble floor still features the original Roman design. We listened in on someone else’s tour with yet another great tour guide.  This is an amazing place.  The magnificence of everything is overwhelming and the close proximity of so many great things to see at one time is a travelers dream. Pantheon   Pantheon Dome http://www.youtube.com/user/HybridMom1#p/u/22/h0EfHDjM7d0 Next we headed to the Piazza Navona, one of the most famous and arguably the most beautiful of Rome’s many squares.  The large and lively square features no less than three magnificent fountains.  The square is built on the former Domitian’s stadium,...

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“My European Adventure, Part 7,” Hybrid Mom Blog, October 8, 2009

My European Adventure…Part 7 Thursday, October 8th, 2009 We started our first full day in Rome with the customary “included breakfast”.  The Locarno hotel had a beautiful spread with meats, cheeses, eggs and all the rest. We were seriously on our way to gaining some weight, but enjoying the decadence of these delicious feasts. We got a map from the front desk and headed out on foot to see what we could discover.  We had our Frommer’s travel guide and Katie’s knowledge and knew we had so much to see and experience. It was already incredibly hot and was on its way to being over 100 degrees.  Honestly you just have to hunker down and trudge forward!  There is an amazing surprise in Rome….there are many fountains from the grand ones to small ones on the wall as you are walking through the streets, they all have very cold fresh water.  Every one stops to fill their water bottles or cool their faces and hands.  We found out after inquiring with several locals that it comes from an ancient Roman aquaduct.   Is that amazing technology or what?  I was in awe and with the intense heat I took full advantage. Water Fountains The first place we headed to was the Spanish steps.  After following our map and winding through the streets we found ourselves on a very posh street with high end...

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“My European Adventure, Part 6,” Hybrid Mom Blog, October 1, 2009

My European Adventure…Part 6  Thursday, October 1st, 2009 Friday morning brought another scorcher.  Italy in August is a hot one!  That is why so many of the locals go elsewhere this time of year but we were committed to seeing as much as we could, so we headed out. We had planned to go to the Farmers market, before catching an afternoon train to Rome.  This was something I was really looking forward to.  The wonderful thing about Florence is you can walk to everything.  We wandered around a bit in the outdoor open marketplace that sells t-shirts, leather goods, replicas of famous paintings etc.  We each purchased a few souvenirs.  http://www.youtube.com/user/HybridMom1#p/u/28/NtHHihFGIf0 We then ventured into the large indoor market.  What a place….There were beautiful fruits and vegetables, every kind of cheese you could think of, olive oil, pastas, olives, dried peppers and so on.  The merchants were very friendly and many attempted to speak to us in English.  We asked a lot of questions and met some real characters.  I started to realize the great bonus of taking the flip video camera was recording these characters.  The three of us have watched them numerous times and are still laughing (or crying).  The butcher was really wild…the things he says in this video are outrageous…our mouths just dropped. http://www.youtube.com/user/HybridMom1#p/u/26/KCQivRxlu5k After walking the market for a few hours we were starving. ...

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