Thursday, February 07, 2008

We're Back With a New Blog!

Arrivederci Bambino Balent blog!
Come on over and visit us at our new blog...
Balent Times

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Arrivederci Sicilia

Our tribe has spoken. After five years and four months on the island, we've been voted off Survivor Sicily. Tune in next season for Survivor South Carolina... A whole new adventure!

12 Hours Before Our Flight Takes Off

And Paolo gets into some poisonous mushrooms at the pet potty area outside the Navy Lodge. Paolo had explosive diarrhea, was foaming at the mouth and breathing heavy. Mom called Meagan in hysterics and Meagan rushed Mom and Paolo to the emergency vet in Motta (the same vet that saved Paolo's life when he was hit by the car!). We really thought we were going to lose him... again! Paolo is on an IV drip in the hotel room and should be feeling better in the morning... just in time to be put in a kennel that will go in the baggage compartment on three separate flights that will eventually get us all to Charleston after 26 hours of traveling. UGH! Poor Paolo!


Today I had my final lunch/playdate with Ella. After lunch we went to the park and she once again shamelessly hit on me. I keep telling her that I'm not ready for a serious relationship. I warn her that I don't want to break her heart but really it was my heart that was breaking when I said good bye.

Dinner, Beer and Pool

Last night we had dinner and drinks with Meagan at Days Inn Pub across the street from the military base. It's an Irish pub with excellent bruscetta and decent pasta. It's actually the restaurant my parents ate dinner the first night they arrived in Sicily so it was only appropriate to eat our final Italian dinner there as well. After dinner Meagan and I played pool until we were told no babies or beer allowed on the pool tables!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bina & Antonio

Last night we had a farewell dinner at Bina and Nino's house. Bina made homemade sciaciatta, pizza and cipolinas. It was delicious comfort food and just what we needed as the countdown to our departure from Sicily is just two days away now.

Today I spent the whole day at Bina and Antonio's house. As predicted, it was very emotional saying good bye to them. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say that it was excruciating to bid farewell to the people who helped raise me. I'm crying as I type this so I think I should stop here as I am at the community center and people are starting to stare!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Today is Epiphany, the Italian holiday that marks the end of the holiday season. On this day, Befana, the good witch brings candy to all the good boys and girls. This morning I woke up at Bina's house and had candy for breakfast and then my parents took me to see Befana and she gave me more candy. I wasn't afraid of Befana and didn't freak out when I sat on her lap. She is much prettier than Santa! It's been rainy and cold in Sicily for the past couple of weeks. Mom says that she's glad that the weather is crappy right now because it makes it easier to say good-bye to Sicily, but today the weather was gorgeous and we felt compelled to take one last trip up Mt Etna. It was the perfect day for such a trip.
When we reached the top of the volcano, we collected some lava rocks to take a little piece of Sicily back to America with us. Of course we asked the volcano God for permission first. We don't want any bad luck for taking without her approval.
Following Sicilian tradition, we made a little snowman and placed it on the hood of our car to watch it melt on the drive back down the mountain. We named the snowman Gufo which means owl in Italian. As we descended into warmer temperatures, Gufo lost his head and then slowly melted into a puddle.

Happy Birthday Dada!

Yesterday was Dad's 36th birthday so we celebrated the best we could for a family living out of suitcases in a hotel room. After we ate our "fancy" cakes, my parents went downtown Catania to celebrate Dad's special day with Meagan and Chuck and I got to spend the night at Bina's casa.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Sir Thomas The Tank Engine

Santa brought me a Thomas The Tank Engine DVD for Christmas and since we've checked into the Navy Lodge, I have not stopped watching the DVD over and over and over again. I am completely obsessed with choo choos right now. Thomas is slowly driving my parents INSANE with his "buffer up and share" song. They can't stop humming the catchy little tune and if given the chance they would love to strangle that cheeky little engine!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!

Mom came down with a nasty cold on New Year's Eve, so we were forced to cancel our party plans with Meagan and Chuck and stay in the hotel room so Mom could sip tea and eat chicken noodle soup. Mom was in bed and in a NyQuil coma by 10 o'clock. It was a really wild night! On New Year's Day Mom felt a little better so we met Meagan and Chuck at Applebees for a little post celebration. We didn't party like rock stars and we didn't set ourselves on fire lighting off fireworks like Uncle P.J. but we did wear our party hats and we did embarress Chuck by repeatedly blowing our party horns. Happy New Year! May 2008 bring you lots of happiness!