Some Florentine Miscellany

This many biscotti should last us for a while (or so we hope).

Just a few things that have been going on here recently:

More Italian cookie favorites

  • Our favorite snack in Italy (well, outside of gelato) continues to be . . . cookies! We’re talking the kind you can find at the supermarket – they are tasty, affordable, and w-a-y less sweet than U.S. cookies. We usually enjoy two or three for dessert in the evening but have been know to nibble them during the day if the desire arises. Some favorites are pictured above (don’t know their names), and we have also been enjoying different flavors of biscotti.
  • WenYu and YaYu’s FAFSAs are done and submitted for next year, and they and Brett will finish up other financial aid paperwork when we’re together in December. Brett carried along our financial information on a thumbdrive for just this purpose, and even with all the time differences, multiple questions and so forth he and the girls finished everything up in a few days. This is our last year of filling out the FAFSA for WenYu; after this we’ll have just two more years to do with YaYu and then we are done with the FAFSA for good!

    Candy Ninja and his sidekick, Bubble Gumby!

  • We loved the several Halloween pictures from Japan our daughter-in-law sent (yeah social media!). She made the kids’ costumes this year from an idea she found on Pinterest. Our grandson was a candy machine (his costume won first prize at his school!), and our granddaughter was a gumball machine. So cute! Neighborhood trick-or-treating is not a thing in Japan, but they go to friends’ homes and parties to celebrate, and our son always carves a pumpkin with them.

    The money bag with its expanding collection of coins.

  • We’ve been saving coins and bills along the way for our grandson to help him start a currency collection. By the time we get to Japan he’ll have some assorted Argentinian pesos, Uruguayan pesos, all sorts of Euros, some British money (thanks to our long layover in Gatwick on the way back to the U.S.), Indian rupee, Hong Kong dollars, and Australian and New Zealand dollars (and of course American bills and coins). We’ve also managed to pick up the odd coin here or there, like a five peso coin from the Dominican Republic (?????), and we plan to help him find a book when we’re in Japan where he can keep and display his collection. You can find a book for any sort of collection in Tokyo – the fun part will be the hunt!

    The remainder of our Florence souvenirs.

  • Earlier today we did some planned shopping and bought ourselves some gloves as well as a beautiful spring green stovetop espresso maker that we’ve been admiring in the window of a small hardware store we pass almost daily. The gloves are cashmere-lined lambskin. Brett got a black pair, and I got two pairs: black and bright purple. They should last us for years.

    This is a copy of Michelangelo’s David that stands in the Uffizi courtyard – the original is in L’Accademia.

  • We are going to take it easy again tomorrow because we will be up early, early, early on Sunday morning to begin four days of Operation Museum Overload. Sunday is a free day for national museums, so we’re going to head over to L’Accademia and get in line early. We’ll be back in line again early Monday morning at the Pitti Palace where we’ll pick up three-day passes to see it, the Boboli Garden on Monday and finally the Uffizi next Tuesday.

8 thoughts on “Some Florentine Miscellany

  1. Tamara R / My Retirement Project says:

    Yes, we were surprised to see Halloween decorations in Japan when we arrived in early October. We had no idea it had spread that far!

    Love, love, love the gloves! I bought a pair in Italy as well when we visited, and they continue to wear beautifully some 12 years later, so I think your investment will pay off!

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    • Laura says:

      Halloween in Japan started as a pure marketing ploy; there would be these little sections of cute Halloween stuff in department, but it took off there. Christmas was the same way – started out as a marketing device but now it’s a thing there with distinct Japanese traditions and customs.

      Everything we had read said if you get nothing else in Florence, get gloves. And get them from the Madova store. I wish I could have bought several more pairs of them – they’re just luscious. And the colors! They had a pair in my favorite green, and I tried them on but couldn’t actually see myself wearing them so got the bright purple instead.

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  2. Kay says:

    I can’t remember but do your grandchildren speak mostly Japanese right now?

    Also I love when cookies are way less sweet! Those look delicious.

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    • Laura says:

      Both grandchildren are bilingual and can speak/understand both English and Japanese. Our DIL speaks Japanese with them and that’s the primary language used at home, but our son speaks only English to them, reads to them in English, they watch movies in English, and our grandson goes to an international school where English is the primary language. So, they are comfortable in both languages (our son is also bilingual).

      We have greatly enjoyed how much less sugar/sweetener is used in Italy and also in France. When I think of U.S. cookies, cakes, ice cream, pies, etc. now my teeth ache! I think it’s one of the reasons Europeans are, on a whole, less overweight than Americans. They walk more, and their food is healthier with less fat and sugar.

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  3. Laurel Hill says:

    Love the coin bag and collection for your grandson…brilliant idea.

    My favorite nosh in Italy were the fennel flavored taralli (wine crackers). I’ve bought a few from supposedly Italian stores in the US and they’re just not the same. And I quickly ate the ones I carried home from the duty free shop in the airport. 🙂 And I also noticed their sweets aren’t overwhelmingly sugar, which is a great treat.

    Yes, yes, yes to the gloves. I wanted five colors but couldn’t imagine what I’d wear them with. So I settled for a beautiful blue. I love your purple ones!!!

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    • Laura says:

      At seven years old, our grandson LOVES money (the physical item) so this seemed like a no-brainer for us. We will figure out what it’s all worth before we give it to him because whatever the total is, it will seem like a million to him! I’m looking forward to finding a collection book in Tokyo! You can find the most amazing things in there.

      When I saw the gloves in my favorite green I was so excited, but then couldn’t actually imagine wearing them anywhere (they made me look like I was dressed as The Joker LOL). But the purple ones are lovely and will add a pop of color during the winter. I got a pair of black as well because they will go with everything. I still wanted more though!

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    • Laura says:

      We think he’ll like it – he loves money (having it) and I think once he finds out how much it’s worth he’ll be very careful with it. It’s been easy for us to collect, just coins here and there so it never has really affected our budget. I’m really looking forward to hunting down a book for the collection with him.

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