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Newfoundland: Woods and Ocean

7 days, 3+3 hours flight, 2 suitcases, 1 hiking backpack, 2 cameras, 1 child carrier, 1 stroller, 2 car seats, 1500 km drive, 1 b&b, 1 cottage, 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 wonderful Canadian province.  It may sound the most stressful thing ever, but we did it and we actually enjoyed it (most of the times)! As planned in a previous post, our goal was to go on our very first family vacation and go back alive the four of us: yes, with two kids you really learn how to lower the bar.

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Zum Zum Zum We’re Going to Newfoundland!

Books, Guides, Toys

How to find a destination

In my family, there are some things we are very passionate about. I bet it happens in every family with kids: one day you just take a book from the library, watch a cartoon or a documentary, or somebody gives you a really nice toy. Your kid gets very passionate about it, and, as a consequence, you as well. Being a parent is fun because you become a child again. In some couples, like ours, I sometimes suspect we decided to have kids just because we wanted to play with their toys. Not to mention bouncy castles, which didn’t exist when we were kids, but this is another story. Some time ago we picked this book at the library titled Following Papa’s Song, by Gianna Marino. The book tells the story of Little Blue and Papa whale and their journey to their summer feeding ground. The illustrations are really beautiful and accurate, and the story explores father-son relationship with tenderness. It soon became a classic for us. We borrowed it from the library so many times  that we ended up buying it. This is how our passion for whales started. So we began to watch documentaries about whales, we became supporters of Sylvia Earle, we visited an amazing exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, and so on. 

"When I am big, Papa, will I still hear your song?" "Yes, Little Blue. If you listen closely, you will always hear my song." (Following Papa's Song by Gianna Marino)

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Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

Maple Syrup and I

Ask anybody in the world to name something about Canada. The majority of them will say “maple syrup”. Even if they don’t have the faintest idea what it tastes like. In Italy it is not that easy to find maple syrup: we usually know it from movies and comics. Topolino (the Italian version of Micky Mouse) is a big lover of pancakes with maple syrup, and I bet I’m not the only one who thought about it the first time I tasted it. My “maple syrup baptism” was when I was 19 during my first trip to Canada. I was traveling with my best friend, we were in Toronto hosted by a friend of a friend of a friend. One morning this lovely Canadian lady made use french toasts with maple syrup. Now, I have to confess I’m not really a big fan of sweets and sugary things. Probably, these french toasts were really really heavy, but the whole thing gave me a terrible stomach ache. So, let’s say the first experience was not that great.

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From Here to There

Road in Canada

In Italy I used to live in Bologna. From Bologna you are:

  • 35 minutes from Florence (by high-speed train)
  • 1 hour from Milan (by high-speed train)
  • 1 hour 15 minutes from Rome (by high-speed train)
  • 1 hour 25 minutes from Venice (by high-speed train)
  • 3 hours 35 minutes from Naples (by high-speed train)

not to mention:

  • 1 hour from Munich (by direct flight)
  • 1 hour 35 minutes from Paris (by direct flight)
  • 1 hour 40 minutes from Brussels (by direct flight)
  • 2 hours from Prague (by direct flight)
  • 2 hours 5 minutes from London (by direct flight)
  • 2 hours 15 minutes from Madrid (by direct flight)
  • 2 hours 25 minutes from Athens (by direct flight)

and why not changing continent?

  • 1 hour 45 minutes from Tunis (by direct flight)
  • 2 hours 40 minutes from Istanbul (by direct flight)
  • 3 hours from Marrakech (by direct flight)

just to name a few…

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Italians in Toronto: Stefano

Stefano and wife Mariangela

This week I’d like to introduce a new section of this blog. As I said in my first post, there is a new “wave” of Italian immigrants coming to Canada. Since we arrived, I met quite a few  and I hope I’ll meet more and more in the future. I’ve always been interested in the stories of those who decided to leave their country. That’s why I started to bug them all with emails with a little interview asking them to tell their story. I hope to share with you as many stories as possible. Here’s the first one.

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Things I Miss / Don’t Miss About Italy

Friends

I have been loving Top Ten lists since my husband bought me Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. It was our first date and I’ve been loving him since then (my husband, but also Nick Hornby, but in a different way). In this gloomy March day while waiting for a snow storm I'm having fun thinking about things I miss and things I don’t miss about Italy. Not necessarily in order of importance. Not necessarily a serious post.

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