Friday, September 2, 2011

The Texas of Italy

Good Morning!
Hopefully you are just waking up - and I have just disembarked my ship - and am headed to the Texas of Italy.

I don't know if I am offending any Texans.
Or any Sicilians.

Let me know if I have. (Apologies in advance.)

I don't know much about Sicily. I thought it was its own country too - you know like the Vatican, and Monaco. But apparently, it is still Italy.

But I hear that Sicilians like to be known as SICILIANS. Not Italians.
Is that true?

They have serious Sicilian pride.
They could be their own country.

Like Texas.

They sell shirts here that say
"Don't mess with Sicily"
I wonder where they got that idea?
(Just kidding, they totally don' least I don't think they do...that would be weird, since they speak Italian here).

If Texas ever secedes, I bet they would totally form an alliance with Sicily. They get each other. Texas and Sicily are each other's boys. They've got each others 6's.

Okay moving on. I am talking WAY too much about a place I have never been. Will report back on the accuracy of my assumptions.

You know where else I had never been?

A year ago today I walked through the customs office of St. Petersburg, Russia.
Russian customs is very serious.
So you do what you are told.

And once in Russia. You don't really leave your guide.
We had two full days of tours.
And a night at the Ballet.

St. Petersburg was my mom's favorite part of Russia.
But mine was seeing Swan Lake.
Kind of awesome to see a real Russian Ballet.

I also loved the way my books described St. Petersburg - too far east to be considered real Europe, and too far west to be considered real Russia. It is a place of its own.

A huge grouping of islands full of crazy waterways and canals.
They call it the "Venice of the North" - I kinda believe it.  I will check out the real Venice in a few days, and confirm the comparison.
Every night between 2am and 5am they lift the bridges over all the canals so the big ships can get through.
If you aren't prepared, you get stuck on whatever island you are on. And you just have to WAIT. This doesn't really pause a problem for most people. But then there are the teenagers who are out at the clubs. With 2am curfews.
You miss the boat.
You have a lot of explaining to do to your Mammochka. (I googled that).

We visited the Hermitage.
Which, don't judge me, I had never heard of until we were there.
But apparently it is Russia's Lourve. You aren't supposed to go to St Petey's and not see it.
So we did.
I wasn't too impressed at first.

BUT THEN, I saw all of the ninja turtles.

Michaelanglo, Donatello, Raphael, AND Leonardo were ALL THERE.
Not JUST Mike and Leo.

The 9 year old in me was way impressed.

Even freakier - was the way they had these pieces displayed. You could walk right up to them. Just not any closer than maybe a foot away.
There were guards.
But it was just you.
And the art.

And a lot of windows. I dont know if that is exactly the most effective way to preserve the masterpieces. But I wasn't about to question the Russians.

Thankfully - mine will be preserved forever on this here bloggity blog...
(like that segue? mad skills i tell you)

(click for larger)


  1. i suspect your assumptions on the similarities are correct. and pretty sure i thought sicily was a country. ha.

    russian ballet. wow. what a treat!!!

  2. I've been to St. Petersburg too and my tour guide told us the same story about the teenagers at the clubs and the bridges. Wonder if it was the same one... :) Our tour guide also told us "please hurry, but take your time." Those Russians!

  3. "been around the world and i i i, i can't find my baby.." it's not just the b52's that can play your game.

    looks like you had and are having a blast. so glad for you, and for all the memories you are making. i'm also jealous, but whatev.

    i'm at home packing up my house, living among boxes and chaos. now your jealous.

  4. I love your comparison with Sicily and Texas... cracked me up. Maybe that's because I'm neither Sicilian or Texan.

    Wow, you are seeing amazing things!! Thanks for sharing the photos so at least I can pretend I'm there! :)

  5. you are killing me with the texas/sicily comparisons. also, russians do not know how to preserve passports. this i know.