Sunday, 18 September 2011

Our weekend

A few days ago, I received GOOP's newsletter. It was edited by guest Julia Leach of Chance, who shared her typical routine on a Fall weekend. I found it fascinating mostly because it gave me a feeling of old times, when I could sleep in on Saturdays and then go gallery hopping in the afternoon before heading for supper in hip places.

The newsletter got me thinking about how my typical weekend now is. During the week both my husband and I have little time to spend with our son, so we deeply cherish our family time together during the weekend. Yet especially when kids come in the picture household chores and errands can easily become a plague. We thus all make an effort to make sure that these are kept to a minimum so that weekends can be filled with fun activities.

Back at home in Canada, Fall weekends are the last chance to fully enjoy the outdoors before the long and cold winter comes. We take advantage of this period to go apple picking, to watch the Fall foliage in nearby forests, to go pumpkin picking close to Halloween, and to take as many walks as possible. Here in Italy, most families who live in the city will try to flee to the countryside or the beach until late October, in order to make sure that the kids enjoy the fresh air as much as possible before the winter time. Leaving on Friday night for the countryside to come back on Sunday night has indeed been my typical weekend activity when growing up. It has been my parents' expectation that we would do the same while we are here. Even though we love the countryside, bucolic weekends in the countryside can easily turn into work camps, and all the traveling we have done recently has not put me in the best predisposition to get out of town for a couple of days every week.

Since my husband will be traveling for work starting next Friday, this weekend we decided to stay in Milan, and these have been our discoveries and explorations.

SATURDAY 9:00am: Lazy morning
My son slept in and came into our bed around 8:30am. I find it amazing how children can be immediately up and running after waking up, but that is definitely not the case for me! I was grateful that my husband took the initiative of reading a book to my son so that I could get an extra hour of sleep. Finally, we all woke up and had breakfast. It was nothing fancy but on top of my list is to make our weekend breakfast a bit more special, maybe with fresh croissants from the bakery around the corner. After breakfast, we hung around the apartment. I still had to get few things organized and my son enjoyed being at home and playing with his toys after his first week of school.

SATURDAY, 10:30am: Getting dressed, weekend style
I will quote Julia Leach here, because I could have not said it better myself: "Saturdays are all about being comfortable and just polished enough-you never know who you're going to run into." Since the weather is still quite warm, my weekend uniform are skinny jeans, simple tees, sneakers, aviators, and my faithful Louis Vuitton tote (you may remember it from this post).

SATURDAY, 2:00pm: Outing to the park in Monza
After a quick lunch, we had planned of spending the afternoon in the park of Monza. You may have heard of Monza's Formula 1 circuit, but you probably do not know that the two are one and the same. Monza has a vast urban park, within which one can find the famous race circuit. Monza's park is one of the "milanesi"'s favorite destinations in the summer, because it is quite close to the city (it took us 20 minutes to get there) and it is generally not crowded. We spent our time biking around in a funky pedal car, and we then got a panoramic train ride. We explored the small playground and ended up at a giant inflatable slide that I am sure was my son's favorite attraction! On the way back, we got an amazing view of the upcoming storm and we spotted few beautiful lightenings in the distance.

Photo: Osteria della Vongola Strafatta
Photo: Paperblog

SUNDAY, 3:00pm: Crayola hand-painting workshop
On Sunday morning it was raining, so we had to get creative. Luckily a nearby store had organized a Crayola hand-painting workshop for kids, which my son really enjoyed (without getting too dirty).

Crayola's hand-painting workshop

SUNDAY, 4:00pm: Elephant parade in center city
Afterwards, the rain stopped and we all headed for center city. Our first discovery was the Elephant Parade, which has arrived in Milan from Copenaghen on September 16. Indeed, my husband had brought me one Isaac Mizarhi miniature from his most recent trip there, and today he got me a new one to go with it.

Miniatures from the Elephant Parade
Lush's robot bath bomb

We then made a stop at the Lush store on Via Dante, where we stocked up on bubble bath products. My son is looking forward to try his lavender and camomile bath bomb, cutely disguised as a robot.

Risotto according to the tradition of Milan with chunks of saffron
We made our longest stop at the Imaginarium store in Piazza Cordusio, not because of they toy selection but rather because of the reading corner. My husband was delighted that there were both English and French books on display and entertained my son for almost an hour. We ended up at the Risotteria of La Rinascente, just in time to avoid the pouring rain and to regain our energy with pizza and risotto "alla milanese", one of the best in town. Next time, my son said he wants to eat at the sushi bar.

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