Happy Birthday Nicholas!

Today is Nicholas’ birthday!  He is twelve!  I brought a singing card from home with me – I think he was surprised to get one considering we haven’t yet seen a card store.  Maybe they don’t exist here?  Nicholas spent most of the day hanging out.  The activity of the past week caught up to us a bit, and I needed some time to prepare for classes this week.  We then walked around Florence this afternoon and went to the Santo Spirito cathedral for mass at 6pm.  (The mass was in Italian.)  The cathedral piazza is right next to our apartment building.  The outside of the cathedral is really plain – google it as I haven’t yet taken a picture…  but the inside is beautiful.  It was designed by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi who is famous for building Florence’s Duomo.  There is a crucifix in the Santo Spirito cathedral made by Michelangelo.  It is currently on loan to a church in Naples, but it should be back in a couple of weeks.  After mass we went to dinner for Nicholas’ birthday at a restaurant called the Golden View that overlooks the Ponte Vecchio.  Our waiter brought him a dessert with a candle and sang Happy Birthday to him in Italian.  A birthday in Florence is a pretty good birthday!

Last night the boys played in a soccer game for the Club Sportivo Firenze 1998 team.  Thomas was asked to play with the older team since they were short a couple of players.  I asked the Mount students to join us, but it coincided with Florence’s only English mass which happens to be at the Duomo.  I guess I should be comforted by the fact that my students chose mass over a soccer match!  They promised to come to a future one.  I am very fortunate to have a great group of students here!  

I took a few pictures of the boys warming up (see below).  Their game was played under the lights, and they played 9 on a side on almost a professional sized field.  They just moved in the goals to the 18 yard line from where they are pictured below.  The team they played was really amazing – they had some ridiculously good players.  The passing was crisp and accurate.  All the boys were fast, and their foot skills were very good.  And they play VERY physically.  Hands on your opponent’s waist while defending is typical – pushing and shoving is accepted to a much greater degree than in the US.  Nicholas played defense and did well.  The ball was in our defensive end most of the time.  The opponent was just better – Nicholas’ and Thomas’ new team lost 3-0.  Thomas actually had the only shot on goal in the second half.

One of the funniest moments at this game was when they announced the team over the loudspeaker at the beginning: “DiPhilippi, Mezzini, Lorenzo, … , Pietro, Bellini, <long pause>, EeeNoff, <another pause>, EeeNoff.”   

The soccer stadium


The boys warming up – Nicholas and Thomas are the two players at the left in this first photo.



2 Responses to “Happy Birthday Nicholas!”

  1. Tim & Amy Says:

    Happy Birthday, Nicholas !

  2. Grandma Says:

    Happy Birthday, Nicholas!!!!
    Love Grandma and Grandpa

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