Excuse me, where can I piss myself?

Right here on the counter? Or over there by the fridge?

<<cashier looks startled, laughs, then rushes to tell her coworkers what the idiot American has just said>>

And so began our Thanksgiving weekend trip to Tuscany.1

We've been so fortunate to have so many good vacation trips while living here in Italy, but sometimes there's the rare miss.  This weekend trip mostly falls into the latter category.

Beautiful view of the yard at our B&B
This may seem obvious, but there's a substantial difference between a relaxing summer holiday to Tuscany with your partner (as we did in 2012), and a full-on family and dog adventure at the end of November.
Getting cozy in our room for the weekend

For starters, romantic dinners-for-two become feats of strength at rustling 3 small children into eating their Thanksgiving pizza and french fries.

And the entire purpose of the trip was to spend a couple days relaxing in amazingly awesome Saturnia Hot Springs, an idyllic location we've been telling the girls about for 2 years.  So early Friday morning, armed with bathing suits, and floaties, we loaded up the car and drove the 45 minutes from our B&B out to the springs.  Upon arrival, we found out they had closed them for maintenance after unusual flooding, dirty water, and some b.s. about preserving nature.2  Bah Humbug.

Not to be deterred, we quickly spend some time with our favorite travel agent, Google, and found another set of thermal hot springs with some promise about an hour and a half up the road, the Bagni San Filippo.  This place turned out to be pretty awesome actually and we spent the better part of the day hiking around and warming ourselves in the wonderful, free thermal baths.

Thus restored, we were pleasantly surprised to find the trip back to our room was going to be significantly quicker due to avoiding the winding mountain roads and made a plan to return to San Filippo the next day.  The moderating effects of Tuscany Thanksgiving Weekend were quick to strike again, however, in the form of an unannounced road closure which caused us an extra hour+ drive back through the hills to our lodging-- pretty much ruling out a return trip the next day.
Patrick has found his happy place.

The girls found theirs in a kid-sized mini-pool.
The BoB shows its mettle on the uneven terrain-- right up until the tire went flat :)

Emerald green rocks we discovered on our hike.

Day Salvaged.

Patrick at the great white rock

Panoramic view of the baths

Saturday, we tempered our ambitions a bit and spent some time exploring the local town of Sorano and the Fortress of Orsini.  The fortress turned out to be mostly closed for the season, but we did find a nice park and a friendly elderly lady named, Fosca, but by early afternoon had made the decision to wrap up our trip a day early and get back to the relaxing confines of our house.
Kylie does a good job capturing the mixed emotions of the weekend.

Patrick just remains unfazedly happy.

After loading up the car and saying our farewells to the terrific proprietors of the B&B, they instead invited us in to their home to have a snack and we ended up spending a few hours chatting with them (Italian-only), playing with their cats, and kids running around the yard- and it turned into quite a nice little afternoon.

So there's our Thanksgiving weekend-- some disappointments, and some bright spots as well.  Either way, we are now happy to be back in Napoli a day early, enjoying cornetti, espresso, and setting up our Christmas decorations :)
This is what you do with ornaments, right?
Setting up the girls' little tree.

Stella is happy to observe the festivities.

"Oh yay, baby Jesus is born!"
Little Ornament Chaser.
Almost got it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1. The difference in pronunciation between ordinare and orinare is subtle but very important! (eg. Where can I order food? vs. Where can I piss myself?).
2. For some reason, it was encouraging to see multiple Italian cars drive up and also be unaware of the sudden closure

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