Where do I even begin? I've already had an amazing time here and done so much. It certainly feels like I've been here longer than week! (Although, of course, it also feels like I got here this afternoon...)
I've settled in with the family and, though I did already know this, they are just lovely. They have made me feel so at home and communication has gotten a lot easier through the week. Already I find it easier to listen to conversation - I'm still not very good at butting in with my opinion but I am getting better at quickly answering questions (a good sign, I like to think!). Here's a couple of things I've got up to so far (besides drinking coffee...I'm officially addicted).
After an early start, Wednesday morning began with a lesson in English with G, which we do every morning. In the afternoon we walked around their town, picked up C from the asilo (like a play group) and then after dinner with their nonno (grandfather) we went for a walk at Lake Maggiore.
It was a beautiful warm evening (once it had stopped raining), and we walked for a while and fed the ducks before stopping off for a gelato across the road.
I picked fragola (strawberry), because when it's properly made it is delicious (okay, I admit it - I got flustered, panicked and just picked strawberry). I'm dying to try some other, proper Italian flavours though. By the time we got back to the car it was nearly dark, and I was exhausted!
The next day it was ridic hot, and in the afternoon I went with the girls and Mamma B (along with her friend Monica and her two girls) to visit a beautiful church on Lake Maggiore.
You find the Santa Caterina del Sasso down a long winding flight of stone steps that lead you to a cliffside overlooking the (extremely blue and dreamy) lake. On the way back up the steps may make you gasp for breath, but it is completely worth it.
Then, early on Saturday morning, the four of us (Mama B, the girls and me) left for the mountains. They've a house up there and it took us about an hour and a half in the car. After nearly an hour into the journey, they appeared. The mountains. They. Were. Enormous. Because of the odd weather we've been having (rain to sun to thunderstorm, and Mama B has been insisting that this is not at all what their summers are usually like), there was this amazing fog that hung over the giants.
To get to the village we drove through the mountains and up the side of the mountains, on long windy roads with incredible views. Though we arrived at about 10 in the morning, it wasn't until 7 in the evening that you would even know what the house was surrounded by!
This weekend has passed in more of a blur than the week (we're already back at home!). Walks in the fog, coffee outside a hotel, spotting a fox and two deer in the forest, the comfort of a log burner in the house (it gets damn chilly up there!) and the crepes with Nutella that we bought from a stall in the village last night. It has been a fantastic weekend!
No doubt I'll have more to tell soon - right now I can barely keep my eyes open, and I need to be awake tomorrow because G and I are going to a water park - eek!