We have just returned from an unforgettable week in Tuscany. Luckily we were nowhere near the devastating earthquake and actually didn’t know about it until the text messages checking our safety started coming through (nice to know we are loved)!
We left Abu Dhabi last Friday flying with QATAR who claim to be a 5 star airline and for the kids they definitely were. The kids meals were great, the entertainment system covered all ages and they got given a backpack with wallet, sunglasses, drink bottle, pencils and activity book to keep them amused. I loved the fact that they were just as excited over the second bag as they were the first. We flew 40 mins to Doha then had a 2hour wait which flew by at the indoor playground then a 5 hour flight to Rome. In a true reflection of the nature of my children Lachie curled up and slept the entire way while Charlotte announced in no uncertain terms that she would not be sleeping. She did however sit happily in her seat making up stories and singing to herself.
By the time we arrived in Rome and picked up the hire car… brand new BMW (budget would later regret that decision) it was 11:30pm Abu Dhabi time and with no sleep Charlotte had reached her threshold. She went from happy and giggling to crying for 5 mins before falling into a deep deep sleep in her car seat. Poor Lachs wasn’t feeling well, we have discovered with travelling after about 9 hours and lack of sleep he is sick… so the poor boy vomited a few times on the 2 hour trip… there’s one way to get rid of the new car smell!
We found the village of Pereta easily as we had borrowed a friends Italian gps (much easier then trying to read maps in the dark). Most cars don’t go into the village because of the narrow alleys but we were told it would be alright to drive close to our alley, empty the car they park on the village edge. One tight corner and a nice scrap down the edge of the brand new BMW… hmmm 2 hours old and the pride of German engineering nil, Theil boys 2!! The comprehensive insurance was the best money we ever spent!
We stayed in the village of Pereta, built in the 10th Century with a population of about 200. It was a picture of how we imagined Tuscany to be…. stone archways, narrow cobbled lanes, friendly people and breathtaking scenery. The place itself was small but cosy and had everything you could need- toys and games for the kids, drawing stuff and a welcome basket with everything we needed for breakfast in the morning.
The week flew by exploring local villages and towns Scansano, Siena, Pisa and Porto.S. Stefano to name a few. The amazing old building didn’t do much for the kids but they enjoyed chasing the pigeons in every old town square much to the amusement of other tourists! They also had a ball playing in local parks, picking wild flowers, collecting firewood (not really necessary but fun), watching the 3 wheel trucks, discovering Italian hot chocolate and eating there body weights in pizza, pasta and gelate!
The weather was perfect and apart from one rainy morning we were comfortable in jeans and a tshirt, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and fresh air. Living in the desert you forget how green trees are when they are not sand coated!
We knew the flight back was going to be a nightmare, we left Rome at 11pm then had 3 hours in Doha before the 40 mins flight back home. What we didn’t for-seewas both Clint and I waking up with head colds and nausea that day. The kids were actually really good, a little hyper before the flight out of Rome as they hadn’t slept but thats better then whining. They both slept the whole way, played happily in the Doha playground and then Charlotte was perfect on the last flight. Lachs however had reached the magic 9 hours and was sick again but perked up as soon as we were out of the airport and into the fresh air… which took a little longer then expected as the customs guy tried to tell us we had the wrong residency visas and had to leave the country for 6 months. Luckily another guy sorted it out!
Our week was fantastic but getting home was also wonderful, the kids (and us) all had an afternoon sleep then after a hugs play with the friends they went to bed early. It is now 10 am Easter Sunday and they are still sounds asleep. I have had to put the aircon on so the eggs don’t melt!
A view of the village
Our Petera house- check out the narrow lanes
Doorway to our house
Bubbles on the balcony- look at the amazing view
Outside the village
Hot chocolate heaven
Morning tea in Porto S Stefano
Gellate in Siena
Lala picking wild flowers
Family shot Siena