Traveling: A tower that leans

First things first…Italy beat Germany! It was glorious. Balotelli scored the only two goals, but in the last 4 minutes of the game, Germany was able to kick in a penalty kick. Luckily, they weren’t able to score again, and Italy won 2-1. July 1st is the final EURO 2012 match between Spain and Italy. Everyone is betting on Spain, but Italy defied everyone’s expectations thus far, I know they can do it again!

Balotelli after scoring the 2nd goal against Germany in the EURO 2012

Balotelli after scoring the 2nd goal against Germany in the EURO 2012

Now, back to today. Kurt and I take an excursion to Pisa and a Tuscan winery. We did Florence in 2010, so we want to do two things we’ve never done before. And for some reason, everyone’s first question when we say we’ve been to Italy is, “Did you see the leaning tower?!” Now we can answer yes! Pisa itself is pretty small. It used to be a port city, but the Mediterranean is now about 8 miles further out. It is pretty cool, being on the bus and suddenly, in the distance, you can see the tower. The area where it is isn’t very big. Besides some local shops and homes, there’s the tower, the basilica, and the baptistry. We elect to not climb up the tower, because we figure the only thing to see in Pisa is, well, the tower! Why climb 294 steps and be in the only thing you want to see? The basilica/cathedral is very beautiful on the inside. Ornate doors, beautiful alter and ceilings, paintings…but of course, it also looks like a dozen other churches I’ve seen in Europe. The baptistry is pretty boring, in my opinion. Great acoustics, though. Some lady goes into the middle of the room and makes some operatic sounds, which reverberate throughout the whole dome shaped place.

Pisa

Pisa

Kurt and Cristina with the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Kurt and Cristina with the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Oopsie!

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Artistic shot

After Pisa, we head to the winery. This winery is SO much better than the one in France! There is about 6-7 bottles of wine per every 6 people. I don’t care for wine much, though I did try them all. Kurt gets drunk. Some of them are really light, better than the French wines. They also give us all we could eat olives, bread, olive oil, salami, and biscotti. You are supposed to dip the biscotti in the dessert wine, which we do. Very strong! Not my favorite thing, though I do see plenty of others eating multiple drenched biscotti. The place itself is gorgeous, very rustic and exactly what I thought a Tuscan winery would look like. We sit by a family with two pre-teen boys. They are pretty cool and are a lot like us, loving to travel and wanting their sons to experience as much of the world as possible. They actually lived in North Louisiana at one point, going to LA Tech. They talk so beautifully about a Hawaiian and Alaskan cruise they took, that I know Kurt and I plan on booking one of those as soon as we can!

Tuscan winery

Tuscan winery

Tuscan winery grapes

Tuscan winery grapes

Tuscan winery

All the wine and olive oil you want

Tuscan winery

Delicious. Already recreated this meal twice since I’ve been home.

We get back to the ship around 3pm. We play some trivia and Kurt and I decide to play separately. Needless to say, out of everyone playing, I get the most questions right and win myself a 24 karat plastic gold piece of ship. One of the proudest moments of my life. We skip out eating dinner in the restaurant Blush and just eat hamburger’s at Guy Fieri’s burger joint on the Lido deck. Pretty good! And for those of you that know me, yes, I ate the whole hamburger. What is this, like the second one I’ve eaten outside of Cowbell in 15 years? We then go into the hot tub on the side of the 5th deck (which was more like luke warm) and watch the ship sail away from Livorno.

Lots of things checked off the bucket list today. Of course, my bucket list is to pretty much do everything there is to do in the entire world, so I still have plenty left.

2 thoughts on “Traveling: A tower that leans

  1. I really enjoyed this post! I’m pretty much the same way.. see all of the world that you can see while you have time. 🙂 I want to recreate your little tasting meal too!

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