Last summer, my brother and nephew took a father/son trip to Italy and did lots of sightseeing, exploring, and even took an Italian cooking class.

Paul (center) and his son Connor (right) enjoyed learning how to make fresh pasta and sauces from experts in Italy.

Paul (center) and his son Connor (right) enjoyed learning how to make fresh pasta and sauces from experts in Italy.

While their schedules were busy, we really appreciated them taking time out to find postcards to send to us, even when it meant several unexpected stops or delays to find a stamp and mailbox. It was so fun to hear from them as they explored new places together and see Europe through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy.

In Rome, they took a Vespa tour of the city and toured Castle Sant Angelo (Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum) along with the Vatican museums.

Connor pointed out that the Vatican has over four MILES of museums! Another favorite of theirs from Rome was the Pantheon, a truly remarkable structure [read more about Rome and the Pantheon here].

Another stop on their trip was in my brother’s favorite Italian City, Florence. Paul spent a semester studying art history there, and has told many tales of the city’s wonders. Connor told us that if we ever go to Florence we must see the Pitti Palace.

Paul’s list of must-sees is a little more complete (as you’d expect from someone who spent a semester there), and includes The David, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, and The Uffizi Gallery. Finally, Paul said a highlight of this trip was getting to walk on the Vasari Corridor.

On their trip, they also visited Venice. Looking at the gondolas pictured on the postcard one can imagine gliding down the canals of the city in the evening, perhaps returning to a hotel after a dinner out.

Paul pointed out the Venice has 120 churches because the city is made up of 120 islands, and each has its own church. Paul and Connor also shared some things to see in Venice, which include the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and the Tintoretto’s.

Paul and Connor returned to the U.S. raving about their trip and all they saw and did. Clearly Italy has a lot to offer and we look forward to getting back there again someday.

[well]When you’re traveling next, be sure to send us a postcard at Postcard Jar, P.O. Box 334, Crete, NE 68333. We’d love to hear from you![/well]

  • Have you always wanted to visit @thepioneerwoman lodge in Oklahoma? We’ve got a new blog post today with 12 tips to make your visit spectacular. Our website link is in our bio. And if the lodge is not open for tours when you can come, no worries! There are plenty of great things to see and do when you @visit_the_osage and @pwmercantile I’m Pawhuska. #pawhuska #pioneerwoman #drummondlodge #ranch #postcardjar #reedrummond
  • This is our first spring in Osage County, Oklahoma, and we are in awe of these trees!! It is a red bud and is the state tree of Oklahoma. They are everywhere around here and we love spotting the bright pinkish purple blooms among the green trees. So much beauty in nature. #redbud @visit_the_osage  @travelok
  • Sitting in our hotel room in Venice, we could look out across the busy canal toward St. Mark's cathedral. The fact that it's an island city makes it different from any other city in the world. Water taxis zoomed around, larger vaporettos chugged past, as well. Occaisionally, a cruise ship would glide past our window. Tourists from all over the world came to take in this spectacle, yet to the locals, who drive boats down tight canals with ease, this is what normal life looks like. The world is indeed a large, interesting place. Have you been to Venice? ⁣
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  • Seeing this photo takes us back to the the cooking class we took last summer on the island of Mykonos in Greece. We went to a woman's home, learned about Greek culture and history, and then prepared a meal using fresh ingredients from the garden in her back yard. Suffice it to say, it was one of the most delicious meals we'd ever had. But perhaps even better are the memories of the warm welcome we received as we entered her home and the glimpse into the lives of real people in another part of the world. ⁣
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  • Trust us on this: there is nothing that relaxes more than kicking back in a hammock in the shade on a beach in the Caribbean. Except maybe leaving that relaxing spot and getting back on a cruise ship for cocktails and a gourmet dinner. What do you do to relax on vacation? ⁣
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  • Near Valdobbiadene, in the heart of Italy's Prosecco region, is a bar with no bartender. You simply go inside, take the wine or beer you want from the fridge, and leave your money to pay for it in a box. We weren't sure who the owner of this bar is, or even who keeps it stocked. What we do know from the cards and notes they've left is that people from all over the world have come here and respected the honor system. It's amazing how honest folks will be if you just show a little trust. ⁣
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  • Ahhh...the Piazza del Campo in Siena! We absolutely loved our time here, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, sipping delicious Chianti Clasico wine and savoring the some of the best lasagna and pasta carbonara we'd ever had. While there, we noticed a number of people drinking some kind of orange colored drink. Our waiter explained it was a spritz of some sort. We asked if it were good. She shook her head and said that only the Americans seemed to like it. ⁣
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  • This barn at at @Calamus_Outfitters in @visitnebraska serves as a reminder that this really is a working ranch. The Switzer family has poured their hearts and souls into the land. We think it's pretty neat that they're willing to share this piece of the beautiful Nebraska Sandhills with visitors. Have you been to the Nebraska Sandhills? ⁣
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Making the most of midlife.