Monday, April 12:  The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Today I woke up to find that it was raining again. That wasn’t exactly encouraging, but got up eventually. Once everybody finished, I walked down to breakfast. I grabbed all of my food, but left the croissants until my mom chose first, because it was her BIRTHDAY!!! It took a while, but she did come down sooner or later. I didn’t give her a present because Robert and I already bought her chocolates in Sorrento. After everybody ate and drank, we trotted upstairs, grabbed our bags, and trotted back down to the car. We then hopped in the car, and drove to Pisa. Once we got there, my dad parked his car at a Pam grocery store, and we popped up our umbrellas and walked out. It wasn’t long before we reached the courtyard, so we walked through the gate. And lo and behold, the LEANING TOWER OF PISA!!! It looked just like the pictures, and I liked all of the little arcs around it. My dad said it was Pisan Romanesque style, and I really liked it. I wanted to take a picture so that it looked like I was pushing the tower, so we walked to the corner a bit away to take it. It turned out great, and was kinda funny. We then circled around to look at the base, and could see it tilting. After that, I realized that I didn’t see any cables supporting it, but then thought that they must be on the inside of it. Our next stop was the Pisa Duomo, right next to the tower. Our dad bought tickets, and we walked in. It was very dimly lit, but was also very pretty. Near the altar there was a huge golden mosaic, and shined like the one in Maggiorie Church. Afterwards, when everyone finished admiring, we went to have Pisan Pizza in Pisa. It was at a little diner and I ordered a individual cheese pizza. My mom had a chicken sandwich that she hated. Next, we got back in the car to go to Lucca.

It was a very scenic drive past the quarry and up the mountains, but wasn’t very long. We knew when we got me to the city because of the huge walls. Our dad parked in a lot, and we walked through the huge gates into Lucca. After that we walked up a staircase to the top of the wall, where you could walk around it. It was a very pretty view, and I enjoyed walking on the bike path with grass and trees. My brother brought out the football (soccer ball), and we kicked it around. But our parents pushed on, so Robert put it away. Then we came to a swing set, so I tried to see if Robert would catch the moldy pumpkin while he was swinging, and it didn’t turn out that great (SPLAT). My mom wanted to look around the town, so we then got off the wall and started walking. There wasn’t much to see, but a few churches we didn’t go in. But we did stop in a little place with crepes. I ordered a nutella and coconut crepe, and it was delicious! My brother got the same thing, but got sick of all of the chocolate after a while. That was our last stop, so we walked back to the car and drove home.

I finished my work, and shortly after we walked down to dinner at the Latini. Since it was my mom’s birthday, she could order whatever she wanted off the menu. She ordered some sun-dried pomodoro (tomato) spaghetti as a pasta, and a fancy steak for a main course. In between the courses there were some veggies, which I tried. I ordered the ragu with meat sauce. My dad wanted to tell the waiter it was her birthday, and we had fun picturing Mom with a dorky sombrero and the whole staff singing a high pitched, fast version of “Happy Birthday”. But the meal was slow because the place was packed, so Robert went to our room to grab some cards. My mom taught me how to play Solitaire, and I won the first time! After we ate, the lights dimmed and our waiter brought my mom a big cake with candles, and everyone in the restaurant sang happy birthday the normal way. My mom then blew out the candles and the lights turned on. The waiter took the cake away and brought her four slices of different kinds of cake and some desert champagne. There was chocolate, berry, some kind that looked like cottage cheese, and orange cakes. My mom ate some of each, and shared it with us. I ate all of them, except for the cottagey one. My favorite was the berry, but the chocolate had coffee icing, which was also good. But what I thought was really cool was that we got to taste champagne because it was a special occasion and because the laws were a bit different in Italy. Soon we were all stuffed and walked to go to bed. I wonder what we’ll do tomorrow?