Saturday, June 28, 2014

April 10, 2014– Pienza!

The Travelpod on this day was written by Lizzie. Words from the Travelpod are in italics and new commentary are in regular text. Enjoy!

Good Evening from Tuscany! Lizzie Here.

Today was the most relaxing day with the least amount of steps and the least amount of photos taken of the entire trip. Neither of us have 10k steps for the first time all trip. You will see why in my description and in the photos. Today was also the first day I did not wear any makeup – Winning!

We did get a few things done today like mail another package to ourselves of the things we have purchased so far and had our laundry done. Those are both wins.

Doug woke up this morning not feeling so well so we slept in. It was a real sacrifice for me. I hate sleeping in…all that rest. Sheesh.
(If you cannot tell, that is oozing with sarcasm.)We headed to the amazing breakfast around 9 am and we were not disappointed. We did bring the camera this time so you can see what we mean. We feasted.2014-04-10-01-13-18_IMG_14912014-04-10-01-13-29_IMG_14922014-04-10-01-11-04_IMG_14902014-04-10-01-20-56_IMG_1495

Then came back to our apartment, packed our dirty clothes and delivered them to Manuela who for 9 Euro a load will wash, dry and fold our laundry. Winning.

Then we did something I thought people only did in the movies – we laid in hammocks in the Tuscan sun and relaxed for an hour or so. 2014-04-10-02-42-22_IMG_15002014-04-10-03-00-28_IMG_15052014-04-10-03-09-03_IMG_15072014-04-10-03-00-39_IMG_15062014-04-10-03-09-38_IMG_1511

I feel asleep in the beautiful sunlight and I was loving my life. After a while we decided it was time to head to Pienza to find the post office and see the small city.

We packed a box (given by Manuela) and taped it up (also from Manuela) and headed to Pienza. It was a long 3 km drive up the hill to the beautiful, small, relaxing Pienza. We quickly found the post office on the main drag and found an awesome free parking spot inches away from the post office.

We walked in to find two postal workers who knew about 10 English words and THANK GOD Doug has been learning Italian for the past 6 months because he could semi-communicate with them. After 20 minutes and lots of hand gestures, we figured out the right forms, labeled everything correctly and sent our boxes ahead of us.

Feeling victorious we headed up to Pienza. It was a lovely, short, slightly uphill walk and then BAM! We were in Pienza. The town is so serene and small. We visited the local church which was commissioned by Pope Pius II in the 1400’s. 2014-04-10-06-12-32_IMG_15302014-04-10-06-09-53_IMG_15222014-04-10-06-11-40_IMG_1528

This church was built on the edge of a hill and is held up by 3 or 4 stories of stones, but it is sinking.


We walked though and could feel it slanting down and then we noticed all the cracks in the floor and walls. It really does seem like the church will break in half at some point. They have been shoring it for a long time, but it still continues to sink.


Outside the church:

As we walked down the streets, we noticed rings all along the buildings. At a closer look, they were uniquely decorated horse holders. People would use the rings to tie up the horses when they were running into the store to get some pecorino (sheep cheese famous in this town.)


Then we found an adorable cat in a plant pot. Doug got some photos of it and then I approached it and for the first time this entire trip, we met a mean cat. It hissed at me as I got close. Clearly, I backed off – Rude!2014-04-10-06-33-21_IMG_1542

2014-04-10-06-35-21_IMG_1549Then we found the “Via Dell Amore” and strolled down the short walk holding hands. So cheesy.2014-04-10-06-43-33_IMG_1555

It was quite the relaxing walk and perfect for what we needed today – seeing as we are both a little under the weather. (My throat has been bothering me and Doug is still coughing.) We walked around the city and hung out by some beautiful views. Then we grabbed dessert – a crepe for me and gelato for Doug.2014-04-10-06-52-39_IMG_15592014-04-10-07-01-01_IMG_1561

I could tell Doug was starting to feel bad so we headed back to the car and drove the long 3 kilometer drive home. We both took a great nap for 2 hours. Can’t you tell this is our laziest day ever?

Side Note: We really enjoyed Pienza. It was what we expected Sienna to be like, but was not. It was charming, quiet and MUCH less cars speeding around walls. It was also much flatter than Sienna. It is safe to say we preferred Pienza over Sienna. Sienna has about 60k people while Pienza has about 3k so there are less things to do, but it was right up our alley.
Back to the story…Then we woke up, enjoyed the Tuscan sunset and came into our little apartment to relax.2014-04-10-11-28-04_IMG_15632014-04-10-11-30-08_IMG_15652014-04-10-11-41-24_IMG_15822014-04-10-11-32-29_IMG_1567

It was dinner time (7:30 pm – 9 pm is dinner in Italy) and we had planned to cook in. We had purchased some pici pasta from the front desk earlier. When Doug felt hungry enough he got to cooking dinner. 2014-04-10-12-21-49_IMG_15852014-04-10-12-22-38_IMG_15902014-04-10-12-28-01_IMG_15942014-04-10-12-28-31_IMG_1596

I video chatted with my mom (special guest appearances from Uncle Mike and Aunt Carolyn) while Doug cooked. Such is the life! He boiled the pasta and made a “sauce” from olive oil (what else?!) and heated some left over pork from dinner last night. Then added some spices to the sauce (all provided in the apartment), threw in the perfectly cooked noodles and we had a fabulous dinner. Thanks Doug! You rock.

After dinner, I got back to blogging and realized we forgot to get our laundry so I headed out to find our clean clothes. They were being folded as I arrived so it was good timing.2014-04-10-13-03-53_IMG_1597 I brought our laundry to the room and noticed someone had come out of the “library” (a common space and free standing building on property) with hot tea! I was all over that. I headed in and made Doug and I some green tea. The tea helped my throat and helped Doug clear his lungs. It was perfect.2014-04-10-13-04-09_IMG_1598

There was some discussion about heading back to Pienza for gelato, but it was decided we would stay in. I am frankly surprised we are not getting gelato, but Doug is generally unpredictable. (quick note from doug -- like a loose cannon! Honestly, the 3 shops we went into had relatively simple flavors, most of which I had already tried. There was one shop where we got Lizzie's crepe that had an interesting ricotta cheese based flavor, but I think they were already closed -- I saw their hours while waiting for them to make the crepe)

Our plan for the rest of the night includes doing the dishes from dinner (I offered since Doug cooked), drinking green tea and watching a movie. It was the perfect ending to a slow, relaxing day.

I just looked at my fitbit and I do not even have 7000 steps! Ha! Oh well.
As I sit here and enjoy my green tea, I am reminded of how lucky we are to be here and enjoy Italy. This has been a great experience and we are so blessed in so many ways. Hug your loved ones. We love you all!
Love and Hugs, Lizzie

Lizzie Fitbit: 7,197
Doug Fitbit: 4,775

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