We left the home of our friends in Milan on Monday morning and headed to the airport to pick up our rental car for the drive to Siena. The weather had turned rainy but we didn't mind since we were traveling. We stopped at some rest areas along the way and at one they were selling these "Pinocchio" jars full of lego-like blocks - aren't they cute and colorful!
We made a mistake in our directions - not really a mistake but we followed a sign for Roma (Rome) - the direction we wanted to go - and it turned out to be the wrong Roma road! Roads on maps don't seem to have numbers, or if they do, you can't find the numbers on the actual road signs - so driving was an adventure!
Eventually, we found our hotel - behind these very impressive gates! The photo to the right is a view from behind the hotel - what a beautiful landscape. The rain had ended around Firenza (Florence) and the light was lovely. (Remember, you can click on any photo to see a larger view).
We were so glad to be out of the car at last that we decided to stay at the hotel for dinner. The food was delicious and I had the most amazing dessert - a "chocolate muffin with cinnamon pear" - basically a hot chocolate cake with molten chocolate - yum! The meal was so rich and we were so tired that we went right to sleep. I woke up after a while and couldn't get back to sleep, so I pulled out the Gypsy and did some designing for a while. It was nice that the Gypsy does not beep or make noises - I could do some designing without disturbing my sleeping husband.
I welded some titles into frames and also tried doing some of the full page designs that I like to make (paper lace). It is a bit trickier to do these on the Gypsy than in Design Studio - you need to pay close attention to the "x" and "y" coordinates to line things up properly. I think there are some software updates that are coming soon that will make these easier to do ( the Gypsy I am using is an early release).
We saw an amazing display of very old illuminated manuscripts in the Duomo. I never realized how thick the gilding is on the page. This photo was taken through glass so I hope you can get the effect.
Here is another floor tile pattern from inside the Duomo. I am fascinated by all of the intricate patterns - this one is actually rather simple compared to many we have seen. This may very well end up as a Design Studio or Gypsy file that I will share sometime after I return to the States next week.
I was on the lookout for some unique paper items and I found this store in Siena. I bought some cards and bookmarks and some beautiful hand made marbled paper. I plan to try cutting some of it with my Cricut and using it in a few titles for my scrapbook pages.
What would a trip to Italy be without a time out for a bit of gelato? We enjoyed some delicious cold treats in one of the many squares - in front of yet another church!
The Gypsy has been a great travel companion so far - it is useful for getting some titles done while still on vacation and it is also a nice diversion - sometimes I like to make designs just to relax and I don't need to pull out the laptop to do this.
One thing I have noticed as I create more and more files is that it is very important to be thoughtful in the way you name and save the files. I haven't found a way to collect the files in folders. They seem to appear in strict alphabetical order, with numbers before the letters and there is one interesting wrinkle.
If you use a Capital letter at the start of the saved file name those files appear in one list that is then followed by the titles that began with a lower case letter - so there are actually two alphabetical lists. I hope that this may be changed by an update so you can keep groups of files together in folders. So far I have about 50 files, but as the list gets longer and longer it will be harder to find the files quickly.
We have a lot more sightseeing to do in the next few days - where will the Gypsy go next?
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Have a fabulous weekend,