Sunday, August 10, 2008

Europe Trip-Pisa, Livorno

Yup! Still have them coming! Sorry, guys! Only a few more posts to go!!
July 13 (Sunday)-What a wonderful day (although it didn't start our as such) Super good breakfast with quiche!! It was great! We left PLENTY early from Pisa to get to Livorno (which is a city only a 1/2 hour away) to get to church on time...supposedly!! We, of course, got lost trying to find the church in Livorno and missed R.S. (which was first) Oh well. We wouldn't have understood it anyway. As soon as we got to church, my dad brought out 2 of his pictures that he took on his mission. This was his favorit area and he was desperate to find Giseppi Orlando, a guy he baptized on his mission 36 years ago! Good luck!! One of the pictures was a picture of the branch members and one of them was still here! He was teaching Gospel Doctrine!! It was great! He also told us that the Orlando family lives in the ward still but that Giseppi has to sometimes work on Sundays and wasn't there that day. That's crazy too!! Anyway, the Elders in the ward translated for quite a few of us Americans (there were 3 families) so we could understand. We talked about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis (he pointed out that anti translates to Manti...interesting). He was a great teacher and funny too. Sacrament meeting was great and Giseppi's wife came in with her niece, as the GD teacher told us! So I think sacrament was long since Dad wanted to talk to her so bad! Singing in Italian is so fun! I really felt the Spirit. They had great speakers (a young blonde mother and an older man-they just totally talk and talk without notes!) and fun ward activities planned. They seemed like a very close ward. So cool.
After Sacrament Meeting, we talked to Giseppi's wife (I can't remember her name!) and she invited us over for dinner!! She said it would have to be quick since they had to make a trip to Florence. But she would have Giseppi come home first and we could surprise him. So we followed her in our cars to her house and parked in a teeny-tiny parking space! Whew! Then, we went up to the very top floor of the building to their home. We found out he was a doctor so we were expecting it to be really nice...not so nice. But they did have an A/C unit, a piano, and a computer which Mandy said richer people have. She said dinner wouldn't be ready yet and we wanted to see the ocean (which they live right by) so we decided to walk down to it. We didn't go too far cuz Tiff had crappy shoes to walk in, but it was a nice walk. When we got back, dinner was all ready. She brought it out in courses (Mandy says they do that so you never know if you should save room or not!). First, it was gnocchi (potato pasta) and bread and always water or fizzy water. Next, fried chicken (kind of), cooked peppers and mushrooms. Next, quail eggs dipped in olive oil and pinenuts, and a zucchini quiche. Last, fruit cocktail with gelato on top (was really good!! I want to do that for dessert here!). It was ALL SO good!! And how did she make it all in an hour and from scratch???!! Amazing!!
Than, Giseppi came home! He just went around shaking all our hands and just all nice and happy. Then, his wife pointed out Mandy's missionary tag and he saw the name and looked at my dad! Oh, Wow!! He was excited!! He was talking so fast and giving us all hugs now!! They said that the missionary that baptizes you is like a 2nd father. That was so nice. He kept saying how important the gospel is and his family. He is active in the church, sealed to his wife and family in the Temple, and has a son on a mission in South Italy!! Every missionary's dream!! He also said that he was a doctor, but because he's Mormon he's been persecuted some and can't get promoted. So he works other jobs like in the jail and as a coroner. But he's not down about it and just knows that he's doing the right thing. It was so neat! We all got a little teare-eyed a few times. It was so touching!
This video is of their niece (I say it's their grand-daughter but it's not). She was so cute and reminded me of Brinley cuz she's 5 and talks a mile a minute!

Well, we didn't want to stay long since they had to leave, but as we were leaving they gave us girls roses...a nice gesture (the roses, of course didn't last, but it's the thought that counts!). So we left and drove along the ocean coast. Dad wanted to find the spot where he baptized Giseppi in the ocean. We found it! It was by a castle in really cool rock pools! PLENTY of sun-worshippers (thankfully no nudes, just speedos) even though it was cloudy!! It was packed with people all along the coast!!

We got back to Pisa in the evening and went straight to the Leaning Tower of Pisa!! I really wished I would've bought a leaning mug for a souvenier. I didn't take my camera with me, so this is a scanned picture of me and the tower. It was really quite the site to see! TONS of little shops selling souveniers and LOTS of nice, lucious grass (which has been hard to find!) which I didn't picture this spot to look like. The tower (built in 11 A.D.) and the Duomo by it do actually lean! It was built on marshy land. When they first started, they noticed it was leaning and stopped building. 100 years later, they started again trying to correct it and then stopped again. Even later, an architect was sure he could fix it and just put the top on trying to correct it. You can tell that they tried to correct it. It's quite a marvel. It was funny, when we were standing right by it, the clouds were moving by making it look like it was going to fall. Some people even jumped back thinking it was falling! The Duomo was cool with an elaborate podium made by Bernini and the arches and columns were striped black and white marble. It was such a nice day.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Your Pisa picture is hilarious!! Giant Missy saves the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over!!