The few days between Mike's last final and our trip back home were packed. A few day trips, showing family around Bologna, our "lasts" of doing just about everything in Bologna. Our last Saturday we spent in Tuscany, visiting the beautiful city of Lucca and then taking a quick jaunt to Pisa for a few hours.
Lucca was amazing. It is a very small medieval city with the large city way still intact. Radiating from the wall are probably a dozen ramparts, many of which have play ground equipment or benches. I was taken back by how lush and green everything was. I'd put Lucca on a top ten best city to take a toddler to for sure.
After exploring the city a bit, we rented bikes and a little bike seat for Ada, and rode around the wide, tree-lined city wall—the wall has a road that goes all the way around. A loop only takes a few minutes. The view is incredible from on top. The girls stopped and played at a playground and let Ada get her wiggles out (ha. They never seem to be "out" at all . . .) and the boys rode in their gear down to Pisa. We met them by train.
|Our visitors getting ready to ride with Mikey.|
|On top of the city wall|
Then we made it to Pisa. The boys beat us with tons of time to spare, even though our train ride was under 30 minutes. They took naps on the grass while they waited.
The day was beautiful. The weather was perfect and everyone was happy. We grabbed a mediocre pizza near by, but to have a view of the leaning tower while we ate may have made it worth the price. The rest of the afternoon we relaxed and moseyed around the impressive sights. Ada loved being able to run about and make friends with other tourist (she stole a ball, someones shoe, and a bracelet. We've got to watch that little thief!) It was so leisurely, so perfect.
On the walk back to the train station with Mikey (he gave up his bike so his brother and sister-in-law could make the beautiful Tuscan countryside ride back to Lucca together) we talked about Bologna, reminisced about all it did to strengthen us and form us into better learners, better spouses, better parents and better disciples of Jesus Christ. A friend asked me last week in what ways I changed while I was there. I think I'll save that for another post, but much of what I have to say came from the walk we took back to the train station, holding hands and talking together. I think I'll always remember that walk back. It was beautiful and frozen as a piece of serenity in my mind; serenity I needed stores of before the flurry of packing and cleaning and moving and flying and unpacking and adjusting came on.
I'm beginning to miss Italy.
|A view from walking back—the Arno river and Santa Maria della Spina.|