The Hot Pot Blog


November 11, 2014

Sheep, Donkeys, Truffles, Mountains…and puke

sunset and animals and scenery Monta-2


As much as I tried to think about some nugget of deeper meaning or insight to tie into this post, really the only thought sprung to my mind was: we did it, we clucking did it (only I didn’t say clucking).


chicken-1


We made it to the famous Alba truffle festival, we went “hiking,” we stayed at an agroturismo and we did it all in one weekend with a puking toddler and an insomniac baby.


And as Chris and I high-fived each other over the crying babies while tossing back a glass of Barolo less for the experience and more to get rid of it before Shiloh could grab the glass, I realized that our pre-kid selves might have been horrified.

at the truffle fest-1


Pre-kids I wouldn’t have found myself sleeping in the crack between two lumpy twin mattresses on a sofa bed sandwiched by two restless children. The sheets would not have been covered in toddler puke. We would not all have woken up at 4am for a puke-necessitated shower. We would have sipped coffee leisurely the next morning at a reasonable hour rather than from a dripping mug as we ran around saying good morning to various farm animals.


sunset and animals and scenery Monta-12
Will and Daddy Monta-6
sunset and animals and scenery Monta-9


We would have eaten at fancy restaurants instead of making pasta on a cook stove in our bedroom two nights in a row. I’d like to think I would have worn something to the Alba truffle festival other than muddy running shoes and corduroys soaked from a backseat diaper change gone horribly wrong. Lunch would not have been a nutella crepe and half a rotisserie chicken eaten straight from the bag the chicken seller gave it to me in in–or maybe it would have–you really never know.


We would have actually gotten out of the car in the little town of Neive instead of lying through our teeth that this side trip was actually on the way home to Milan. We would have spent hours at the truffle fest instead of just minutes, trying wine and truffle-covered everything. We would have hiked for far more than 1500 meters before realizing we really weren’t up for carrying two kids down a trail into “the valley of death” on 4 hours of sleep. We might have visited a winery or two or three.


Day 1 on way to Monta-10


Chris would have driven like an Italian maniac through the gorgeous countryside instead of at less than 20 miles per hour while I consoled our nauseous toddler in his carseat.


Day 1 on way to Monta-2


sunset and animals and scenery Monta-20
Anyways. The point is, this was not a trip of luxury and leisure, but we made it all happen anyway and our kids had fun and we had fun. And it could have been so much more of a trip had we done it pre-kids but I know for certain that it would have also been so very much less.


We wouldn’t have gotten to hear Will say good morning to the sheep, we wouldn’t have heard him say “Bye-bye cows, we have to go now!” I wouldn’t have watched Chris carry our kids through a vineyard at sunset or watched Will and Chris share wine grapes straight off the vine. I wouldn’t have gotten to share one of the most gorgeous vistas I’ve ever seen with my little girl whispering in her ear that, as soon as she can walk, we’ll take her hiking for real.


sunset and animals and scenery Monta-3
Will and Daddy Monta-14

Will and Daddy Monta-7
Shiloh Will Mommy-2-2

Will and Daddy Monta-2
We wouldn’t have gotten to watch Will smack his lips and smile after trying fresh milk straight from the farm for the very first time. We wouldn’t have seen Shiloh devour as much of the farm’s sheep’s milk pecorino as I’d let her have. And those Lightning McQueen napkins placed especially on the table just for us…they wouldn’t have meant a thing.


sunset and animals and scenery Monta-18
Will and Daddy sunset Monta-2

Day 1 on way to Monta-12

sunset and animals and scenery Monta-13

Shiloh and Daddy Monta-4

sunset and animals and scenery Monta-1

One response to “Sheep, Donkeys, Truffles, Mountains…and puke”

  1. Tania says:

    Hi Dani, hope you’re finding your feet in Milan. Your photos and words are as beautiful and touching as ever. Making me pine for Europe.

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