Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Joe and Jules' amazing place

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Monday, September 14, 2009

We arrived at Jules and Joe's place (Rancho Relaxo) in the rolling hills of Tuscany close to Siena and were welcomed with a delicious feast cooked by Lu – the boys mum - for dinner! So much yummy food.. we LOVED it. The house (or houses as there are 2 next to each other) are beautiful old buildings that were once a hospital many moons ago. They have been done up beautifully, I guess farm house – style. We spent the evening sitting around chatting and having a few drinks.. nice! For the 1st time in forever we had our own rooms – WOW!! But not only that, we had our own HOUSE!!!!

We were supposed to head to Naples in the morning with Jules and Zoe because they had something to get to the next day, but they found out it wasn’t till later so we would leave the next morning instead. So we got up and enjoyed the serenity of 'Frosini’ (that’s the name of the property).. Ahhhh… We went with Jules and Zoe to get some food supplies in a nearby town as 2 men were coming to discuss solar power things with Jules and Joe. We all had massive, delicious lunch - salami, cheese, amazing tomato pasta, a raw meat dish (which I didn’t try..), sausages and wine. YUMMO!! In the afternoon we went into Siena with Jules and Zoe as they had a few errands to run. We had a look around the centre and saw the main Piazza where the _____ horse race is run twice a year. We had another giant tasty dinner, and helped pluck the chook and guinea fowl which Joe seasoned to perfection. We played a bit of Guitar Hero (Metallica for anyone who wants to know), and then went spotlighting with Jules – we saw a lot of deer, wild bores, a fox and hares, and he showed us other beautiful old houses on the property.

In the morning Megg and I went and saw Joe’s 18 dogs – 4 were the same as Maxi and he even has a sausage dog!! We left for Naples at about 11.30, but hit a rock at some point in the drive way and got a gash in oil tank. We didn’t realize until the car started beeping a lot about 10 minutes down the road, but saw the trail of oil we had left behind once pulled over… o oh… There was no car to borrow and no hope of getting a hire car until Monday, so Jules decided we didn’t need to go until Tuesday (Yay more time at Rancho!!) We got toed back to the house by one of the guys who works on the property and had another killer for lunch (I can’t explain how delicious all the food is here – AMAZING). After lunch we went into Siena with Jules and Lu to do some food shopping at a giant supermarket and I bought a new mini laptop (Exciting!! Computers at internet cafes really don’t like me and refuse to let me Skype with ease so now they can get stuffed because I don’t need them anymore). We had schnitzels crumbed by yours truly for dinner (along with a lot of other tasty food of course) and played monopoly into the night (and just so you know I won – HA suckers!!!)

Megg and I had a crazy big sleep in, but managed to get up in time for another big lunch (mmm…). The two of us went for a walk in the afternoon up to one of the old houses Jules had shown us, and around some of the property. We had a great lamb roast for dinner, and after I learnt to play poker for the 1st time.. I even won a few hands - it’s actually not that hard!!

Next day we woke up to rain.. lots of rain! Joe was going to sit us in a hut t o look out for animals for him to shoot, but the weather never cleared up, so after yet another delicious lunch (we had an amazing onion pasta – Genovese I think it was called.. I’m going to have to try and make it one day!), Jules took us for a drive to see big old church ruins (we just drove around the ‘road closed’ sign and up to the building.. it was raining and we didn’t want to get wet ok?) And then we went to the chapel close by where there is a sword stuck in stone.   More fantastic food for dinner, and then played poker into the night, drinking, touching our toes because Megg can’t, singing along to Paul Kelly and laughing… Good times.
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