Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Out-And-About Day!

Yesterday morning was just so gloriously sunny and bright and warm (well, relatively speaking anyway!), that you just had to get out of the house and enjoy it!! We had made plans last weekend that wound up not happening, so maybe flying by the seat of your pants is better(??) All I know is that we had a blast! I sent Thomas across the street for some euro at the ATM (and then sent him back for more, lol!), and off we went. I even drove with the window down - love it!!

We decided to stop first at the closest mall, which is about 3/4 mile from our home. I go there often, but Bella and Thomas don't. While Thomas went to get a cart (and the bags I always, always forget in the car!), Bella and I waited at the entrance. You have to bring your own bags or they charge you for theirs!

While waiting, we saw this...
Yes, this is a popcorn machine!!
The lid Bella is holding, also has a salt packet inside too.
Waiting for our popcorn.
It wasn't that great, lol. BUT...The Bella loved it, and it allowed for stress-free, no whining shopping, so it was soooo worth it!! Bella doesn't like to shop. At all. What's wrong with her????

After a couple of stores, we'd let her ride a ride. She's really too old for these but loves them like crazy. She rode around 4 I think, but I just took pictures of the horse.
So happy she could bust!
Slapping her horse to go faster.
"Ride like the wind, Bullseye!!"

We walked all over the mall and checked out all the stores. As is usually the case, when you have a wallet full of cash, you can't find anything to buy, lol! I did get some beautiful candles and a Hello Kitty plate for Bella. I saw many lovely things, but nothing really "spoke" to me. Which turned into a blessing later, but that's for later. After we walked all around and only had Emisfero left (which we knew we'd be buying groceries in, so we had to make it our last stop!), we decided to have some lunch.

A McDonald's opened up at this mall a couple of months ago. There are NO McD's in this area so it was a pretty big deal. I guess. I, personally, couldn't have cared less. Why eat crappy American food when there's all this yummy Italian stuff to eat?? But it had been a longggggg time since we've had it (just realized we've lived here just over seven months already!!!), so we decided to check it out!
Bella's Happy Meal
These meals have DESSERT INCLUDED, as well as a toy! Hello Kitty is one of Bella's new favs, so to say she was just tickled is quite the understatement!!! There are all kinds of choices (a large list for each item!) too: drink, entree, side, dessert, toy - Bella loved it all!
She ate ALL her popcorn and then proceeded to eat ALL her lunch too!
Her prize - you push the button and the ring pops out!

You know how when you go to a fast food place, the pictures look amazing, but the food you're served looks like poo?? Well....this was simply amazing. I really should have taken pictures of our lunches because they were JUST AWESOME, but we just dove right in instead!! I got a Big Mac and it was seriously so big, I couldn't get my mouth around it!!! And it looked just like the photo on the menu board!!! Thomas got some Italian chicken sandwich on some yummy looking roll. He said it was fabulous. They also have two different kinds of fries over here too. The only sad part was no angus mushroom swiss burger. I was soooooo addicted to those before, lol! (Right, Rachel??) It was a nice taste of "home", that was actually much better than home, lol!!!

Bella posing in the cut-out!

After all that lunch food, Bella still wanted a gelato! I actually was planning on squeezing one in too, but they were out of my coconut flavor and that's the best one at this place. And yes, I've become quite the gelato connoisseur! Bella had chocolate - as usual!
Definitely Bella Approved!
Good technique, wouldn't you say??

After gelato, we made our last stop at the mall and went to Emisfero to stock up on our Italian groceries. I don't know HOW I'm going to be able to eat non-Italian, boxed pasta again!!! I always buy the fresh, refrigerated stuff over here and man-oh-man is it gooooood!!! Plus the fresh bake at home pizzas, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, fresh olives, fresh cheese, bakery tarts, European chocolates and get the idea, *wink*.

They also have lots of other sections and I picked up some herb and flower seeds that were on sale. I plan on planting them in the next week or so. I'm still going to need some seeds from the States though, that I can't get here. Thomas picked out a puzzle to do, and Bella got some pom poms from the "dollar section". They have that at the front of the store, along with that week's specials. I always, always, always check it out because you just never know what you're going to find!!
Like this baby food:
Turkey...lamb....rabbit....mixed fruit....WHAT??? Rabbit??? Seriously??? That totally blew my mind until I saw the next flavor...
That's right, Readers...that's HORSE BABY FOOD!! Can you imagine??
Beef and poultry?? It's been a while, but do they have beef and poultry mixed in the States?? Gross out!! But still, like I said, you just never know what you're going to find and that's half the fun!! The other half is making sure you really stock up on your two favorite kinds of salami, lol!!!

After we paid for our goodies and unloaded the car at home, I still had itchy feet to do something. With Carnivale starting, I wanted to go back to the PX and pick up some of the glorious masks they were selling there. The woman who makes them, makes them all by hand - every single bit, every detail, and they are sooooo spectacular! And I knew we'd wind up wandering around seeing what's new as well. If you think we could leave without checking out the toy section with Bella in tow, you can just forget about it!!

While there, we found this:
A new bike for Bella!!
It was getting late in the day, and colder, but of course she got to ride for a good while. Not nearly enough to satisfy her of course, but you know how that goes!! It's cold and rainy today, so she's not to happy about it. Hopefully the sun will come back out soon!!

Here are the masks we bought:
This was a "freebie" that Bella got. That's what happens when you have an adorable, outgoing kid who charms the locals with her foreign language skills!!! Brava!
Her fancy, feathered mask. She loves the color and that it's "on a stick"! You thought she was dramatic before?? Oh.My.Gosh!!!
Thomas' jester mask
My crappy photos do not come CLOSE to showing off the detail work or beauty of these masks!
So cute together!!!
My mask! The black feathers in the front, look green in certain angles/light. It's awesome!! And no, I'm not wearing it because I hadn't done my "face" and because my allergies were not making me look particularly fabulous. So tough nuggies!
This HUGE mask is meant to be hung on a wall, not worn. It matches Thomas', so when he's done playing with his, I'll hang it up next to it.
Click to enlarge photos!
Don't you love it???
This is why I said it was a "blessing" to not find anything really at the mall, because we had plenty of euro to spend on these!!!

More about Carnival:
From February 27 2011 to March 09 2011


"The Carnival of Venice is the most important and magnificent of Venetian celebrations, a much appreciated cocktail of tradition, spectacle, history and transgression set in a unique city, a festival that attracts thousands of people each year to the city from around the world.

The carnival has ancient origins, a celebration that greets the passing of winter into spring, a period in which everything is apparently connected, including the illusion of the more humble classes becoming similar to the powerful, since everyone is disguised behind a mask.

The Carnival of Venice officially began in 1296, when the Senate of the Republic authorized the carnival with an edict declaring the day before Lent as a day of celebration. After a break of almost two centuries, the traditions of the carnival were recovered by the Municipality in 1980 and since then the event has been held with great success each year. Each year has a different, underlying theme for the carnival, which is developed under various points of view, from one of culture to that of pure spectacle.

For two weeks St. Mark's Square, the theaters, streets, squares and public buildings become the protagonists of numerous initiatives and shows: actors, acrobats, dancers and musicians bring a celebration atmosphere to the city for a few days, which is similar to that of the XVII century. Anyone wishing to sample aristocracy during the carnival can go to the Venetian palaces which host masked balls and gala feasts in costume. The city is home to various fashion houses where you can hire splendid period costumes, wigs and masks.

As well as Venice, carnivals are also held inland, for example in Mestre, Treviso and on the Brenta Riviera, where you can take part in the beautiful allegoric carriage parades, which only take place during the last weekend of the carnival."

I think next year we will stay a night or two in Venice, so we don't have to travel for the events and have a place to "crash" when we need a break from the crowds. It's just toooo cold and crowded for me to deal with this year. Google it and you'll see some incredible photos!!!


I actually won an award for one of my cards this week!! Yay!! It was for this card. I was so surprised and thrilled! I don't need to win all the time, but it's been since December and I've done a lot of challenges, lol! Thank you Paper Players!!


I've received this award several times already and twice this week! Makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside!!! Huge thank you's to both Andrea and Lena.


I hope you all have a fabulous week!


Rita said...

Wow! Everything from popcorn, McDonalds, gelato, and horse baby food to new bikes, cool masks, and the history of the Venice Carnival! What a journey in this post--and fun! Love those masks! Thanks so much for sharing your interesting day!! :):)

Christina said...

am tired just reading that! Looks like a fabulous time and yes I realize this means I should be there.

LindyLouMac said...

What a busy weekend! I love the masks for Carnevale. We were planning to go to a procession in a nearby town this afternoon but it is puring with rain, so not going to stand out and get wet as well as cold. :(

Stephanie Faris said...

Is that a Nesquick candy bar in the McDonald's happy meal??? It's quite an improvement over the crappy animal cookies they used to put in happy meals.

Bella is adorable!!! And obviously spoiled, as it should be!

Nikki Bond said...

Loved all the kids would seriously LOVE that popcorn machine too! My oldest daughter practically lives on the stuff! LOL...oh...and she doesn't like shopping either...I'm with you.."what is wrong with her?"!

Congrats on your award for your card too!....It is defnitely deserved it!


Deanna said...

What a fun day you had! I'm with Bella - I don't like shopping either. But occasionally it is required and can even be fun.

Those masks are absolutely gorgeous. Amazingly beautiful.

Congrats on your awards. What a talent you are!


Loved sharing your day. Bella is just getting prettier by the day if that is possible. I loved the masks...I bought one when I was in Venice with music notes on it and ended up giving it as a gift to a friend when she kept bragging about it. The baby food info was gross. I loved the Carnival history lesson that was very interesting. I featured my valentine card from you on my Sunday Project 365 entry. My picture came out pretty good with my new camera. I even gave you a link plug.

AliceKay said...

I enjoyed this post. Lots of pics from your fun-filled day. That popcorn machine was cool.

Looks like Bella had a lot of fun...from popcorn, to horse rides, to Happy Meals, to gelato, to masks, AND a new bike. :) (lucky kid)

Those masks were absolutely beautiful. My friend from Mobile, Alabama, would probably love seeing them. Her Mardi Gras parade was last night, and I caught part of it on the city's web cam (when it would work). Did you know Mardi Gras was started in Mobile and not New Orleans as most people think?

Congrats on winning the challenge and the award. Hope you're having a great Sunday.

Kristina P. said...

One of my friends just returned from a 10 day trip to Rome. I am so jealous. We could really use one of those popcorn machines here!

family of 4 on the move! said...

I so wanted to go to the Venice carnivale this year but we have too many other things going on right now. Maybe next year!
Looks like you all had a great day though and I am so jealous you have lucky lucky woman!!

Mimi said...

What a fun outing. I love the masks!

Hugs & love,

slommler said...

Thanks for taking me with you on your trip to the mall!! What fun! And some great pics too!
Those masks are awesome...and that festival sounds so enchanting!!

Dreamer said...

oh wow! i felt like i was there too!! i want popcorn and the happy meal, too, Jeannie! hahaha! ^_^


400 Wakeups said...

YAAAAYYYY!!! An Italy post!! First of all, before I forget, I just threw up a little in my mouth regarding the whole horse baby food. Oh, Mr. Ed...I am so sorry that the Italians are eating you. Now, the next time you go to McD's, you MUST take pictures. (I can't believe I just insisted on photos of McDonald's food, but I did). When were in Rome, we kept seeing ads for their Big Mac - which is served on ciabatta bread. It just looked so much classier. Unfortunately, Neal flat out refused to eat McD's in Rome...or anywhere else, for that matter. It looks like the 3 of you had an amazing day - full of food, fun, and BEAUTIFUL masks!! You just don't see that kind of craftsmanship at the BX here. However, I DID buy some boy shorts at Ft. Bliss that say "Booty Camp". Hahahaha...which I could actually wear for Carnivale. Let me know what seeds you need and I'll make a seed run. I'm home for the entire month of March so I'm free - just trying to keep the air in the car tires and the critters out of the attic. Such is life during a deployment, si?

Intense Guy said...

My goodness - you really had a full day there - did you squeeze in any stamping too? :)

I wanna see you wearing the fabulous mask!

Lynn said...

Those are awesome masks!!! Sounds like yall had a wonderful time and I know you were so ready for it too :o) Bellas bike is a beauty and I bet she is gonna want to ride it everyday lol

Heatherlyn said...

Hi there! Hope your week was fantastic!

Those masks are beatuiful!

It figures that you have to go out of the country to get decent food at McDonalds!

Send some of that sunshine our way, K?

babyrocasmama said...

Those videos are PRICELESS. And the masks? BEAUTIFUL.

I cannot say the same thing about the horse meat baby food, though. LOL

JoeTacoma said...

I love watching the Bella grow up.

scrappysue said...

those masks are AMAZING!!!!!

LadyStyx said...

The masks are simply gorgeous.

The only place that makes an acceptable swiss and mushroom burger is Red Robin. None of the other places get it quite right. Although, if you don't mind a bit of a soggy, greasy burger.... Bob Evans comes close.