Hill Climbing

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hi All,
Again to address the first important questions:
John: Becky read your email and responded through Laurie's email. Love to all.
Steph: mom is covered with mosquito bites not a rash (and so are the rest of us).
Don Varnell: regarding Serena, please let her know our cell number: 366-951-4298
Please send her an email and tell her we booked a train for 10:00am Monday Sept 10th which arrives at noon and then we will take the boat to the Rialto stop and arrive around 12:30 to 1:00pm and we will call her on our cell phone when we get to the Venice train station. You will be very proud of Karen as she has been walking for hours with no pain up and down hills and enjoying the wonderful Tuscan views.  Also, Karen has been very frugal with her shopping (other than the leather coat) her ring is not gold but it has real Tanzanite stones at an awesome deal.  Miss you tons and thanks for all you are doing for mom (ditto from all the sisters) and enjoy the Western game.  Thanks Lynne, Sandra and Norma for your great responses.  Jack and Sheila, enjoy your trip to Enland and Scotland.
Bill, we have difficulty getting email through the internet (with the exception of Laurie's) so we won't be checking email.  Hope it is cooler in England than here (at +35).  Love you!!

Don Bolen - I know you are enjoying your family but just let me know you are well :) Laurie

Yesterday, we took a tour to Sienna an enchanting Medieval township that was built on 3 steep hills which we were constantly climbing up and down.  In the center of town is the Piazza De Campo, a huge square built in the 12th century.  On special days there is a horse race all around the square which 20,000 people attend and we are glad it wasn't the day we were there.  There are no rules for this race and the first horse to cross the finish line wins with or without a jockey.

The Cathedral was magnifent and for all of us who are Catherdralled out this one was the best yet.  The interior was Renaissance style with striped marble columns.  The ceiling was painted as though 3 dimensional.  There were sculptures by Michaelangelo and Bernini.  The entire floor has inlaid marble pictures which is usually covered up except for September and October so we were very lucky to see it.  Sienna claims St Catherine as its own saint.  They have 4 patron saints and they are all men.  St Catherine however, was the one who convinced the pope to move from France to Rome.

After Sienna we travelled to the picturesque Medieval town of San Gimignano. We had fun trying pronounce it and said "Jimmijano".  It's high walls and narrow street are typicial of Tuscan towns.  The view was to die for.  It has 7 Medieval towers left from the original 70 which were built by the wealthy - the higher the tower the more wealthy the owner.  They used to defend the town and provide a safe haven in times of seige - they would climb up and pour hot oil on the enemy.  When black death (bubonic plague) devastated the population in 1348 this town's power faided and they came under the power of Florence.

There are lots of grape vines and olive trees around.  Some of us bought some Italian olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and wine.

We arrived home weary and sore to a lovely dinner made by Karen of Chicken Cacciatore which was absolutely delicious.

Love and miss each and every one of you,
Dianne, Karen, Becky and little Laurie

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Sandra on

No need for pics when your blog is so detailed... well done! Honestly, this blog is just so thorough, detailed and interested and thoughtful since those close to you can all experience a tiny piece of what you're enjoying! Too bad about the mosquitoes though- sigh. Big xo to you mom!

Jack and Sheila Baker on

Hi Karen and sisters
We loved San Gimignano (which ,I Sheila, still have to get Jack to pronounce for me bc I get tongue-tied) and Sienna as well. The catheral in Sienna is spectacular we agree. We will be leaving for the UK on Fri., Sept. 14 in the am. Hope we get to see more of your blogs and pictures before we depart. We are really enjoying this way of keeping track of your travels. S&J Baker

don Bolen on

All is well Laurie. We are in jellystone.

Don Bolen on

hi Laurie
All is well. having a bast! We are staying the night in Cody Wyoming.We hit some great roads today. We dropped 5000 feet in 10 miles on one road. smiles all around.
Miss you and love you!!!

Bill on

England Checking In. Good to see all is well. Wow 35c. Sent Laurie an email with more info about my great time in the Lake District.

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