A Tuscan Christmas

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Well, January 2014 is here and it’s time to make resolutions we won’t keep and snuggle up under blankets to beat away the cold. Before moving forward, let’s reflect on something fun- CHRIIIIIIIISTMAS! This was my first Christmas to not be with my family at all and that of course made for a rough spot in my year in Spain. Fortunately, I got to tag along with a co-teacher to stay with a family in Siena, Italy whom she’s known for years. I’m so thankful that someone opened their home to me, a total stranger, on a big holiday and treated me like I was family. Even if I couldn’t fly home to my own family, it was still comforting to be with a family.

Enjoying spritz in Siena with my host, Marta.

Enjoying spritz in Siena with my host, Marta.

My week in Tuscany was so relaxing that it’s just plain crazy. We would sleep in until 10 or 11 each day, wake up without an alarm, make a pot of tea and sit around the kitchen table just chatting until we were ready to move on to the next part of the day, whatever that may have been.

"A house isn't a home without a cat."

“A house isn’t a home without a cat.”

Walks through the countryside were made with the neighbor’s dog and even in the dead of winter, the views were splendid. SO MUCH GREEN. Seriously. How is it even possible for so much greenery to be thriving in December?

This was when Marta said, "You will now see the most beautiful tree in the most beautiful field." She was right.

This was when Marta said, “You will now see the most beautiful tree in the most beautiful field.” She was right.

The food was beyond amazing and perfect and I think I gained at least 7 pounds from eating so much. Each meal was just so simply prepared and yet full of flavor. I’m fairly certain I consumed at least a quart of olive oil, the good stuff too, it was foggy, green, and heavy and served with everything. Oh, and pasta.

The table was beautifully set!

The table was beautifully set!

So much time was spent relaxing that I breezed through 2 books and we watched several movies as well. I didn’t know what day or date it was throughout the whole trip, other than Christmas day of course. Sometimes you can forget how nice it is to escape to the countryside and forget the calendar. We get so wrapped up in our day to day lives, work, errands, and moving forward in life that it’s nice to escape all that and just flow through the day at leisure.

A warm fire, good book, pjs, and a purring kitty, could you want more?

A warm fire, good book, pjs, and a purring kitty, could you want more?

The best part of Christmas day is all due to the technology from Apple as I was able to FaceTime with my family while everyone was gathered at my grandparent’s. Everyone had eaten breakfast, which is nothing but home made to-die-for goodness, and played Dirty Santa. My family is nothing if not comics so every year, the game gets out of hand with siblings and spouses secretly plotting to steal and swap post game and it’s the highlight of the holiday. Who knew people could get so competitive over a tool kit or houndstooth ball cap?

Please notice my cousin Doug holding up a decorative snowman. Someone didn't get what they wanted...

Please notice my cousin Doug holding up a decorative snowman. Someone didn’t get what they wanted…

 

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