Celebrate good times….(KC and the Sunshine Band)


For the past week, I have been surrounded by family and friends in a Tuscan villa- life is so good! After a year and a half in the planning, 11 of us gathered in a 7 bedroom villa at Barbarino Val D’Elsa to celebrate my 50th birthday. Tania and Murray extended the joy by getting married here as well.


Our welcome dinner.


View from the villa


View from the pool.

We have learnt about the Palio by going on a tour of the Caterpillar contrada in Siena conducted by the author Dario Costagno. Everyone was then well educated when we watched this horse race on Wednesday and cheered on the victorious Dragon contrada.


The crowd at the horse allocation at the Palio.


We had a day in Cinque Terre walking on the only path still open for tourists between Monterosso and Vernazza.  The other paths are still closed due to the landslides back in October 2011.






Michael looking towards Monterosso Al Mare.

We took long drives to towns like Montepulciano,Volterre and San Gimigniagno that perch on hilltops surrounded by vineyards. All are wall-rimmed to defend themselves from the 21st century.




San Gimigniagno


Walking through Volterre

Thursday was Wedding Day as we drove to a small octagonal chapel in Semifonte with a radiant bride and a nervous groom. The Mayor of Barbarino Val D’Elsa conducted the ceremony whilst we all witnessed the joyous event before returning to the feast that awaited us at the Villa.


The happy couple


The rest of us!

And finally today I have had the best birthday celebration by having a Tuscan cooking class with all my family and friends. (Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes). Maria, the villa owner, taught us girls how to make ravioli, tagliatelle and tiramisu. Deliziosso!



Tomorrow we will travel on different journeys as we either continue on in Europe or return home but we will always remember our wonderful week here in Tuscany. Ciao!



13 thoughts on “Celebrate good times….(KC and the Sunshine Band)

  1. What a wonderful experience you have all enjoyed together. Memories that will stay with you forever. After 18months of planning right down to the very last detail, and your fitness training, you have realised this amazing journey. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS Michelle and a very happy 50th birthday.
    So well deserved.

    Congratulations to Tania and her brand new husband. She looked stunning.

    Well done to you all – so lovely to see the family all together.

    Love Sue and Michael xxxx

  2. What a wonderful week to top off your amazing journey so far. Happy birthday and many blessings to you Michelle for the years to come. You so deserve this – all the time and effort that you have put into the planning, not just for your own enjoyment, but for eveyone else’s as well. This just sums you up my lovely – always thinking of how to bring joy into other lives. Love you heaps! Enjoy the rest of the journey! Love Gaye xxoo

  3. Happy Birthdy Michelle – I do not know when your birthday is – but I am so glad that you had a really great day. Your photos are looking like it is really tough going now – living the ‘good life’. Enjoy. Your messages and photos have just been fantastic. You must feel so proud of youself and with all the family with you is GREAT. Enjoy the rest of your holiday – I do miss the daily messages .. All our luv and best wishes from No.11. Toby is being well looked after so done worry about him!!! Dixxoo

  4. I’ve loved reading your blog Michelle. Hope you continue to write it as I look forward to each new chapter. You deserve a rest after all the planning, preparations and people. Do you have a few more days at the villa?

    • No we all left the Villa this morning and have gone our separate ways. Michael and I are currently in Verona and are off to the Opera in a few hours! Tania and Murray headed to Pisa this morning but may be staying somewhere else tonight.
      I loved having all the family (except Chloe who is still on tour in Spain) around me for the week. It was certainly a special time 🙂

  5. Happy, happy belated Birthday Michelle – keep on living life to the fullest! Best of health and wishes,
    Looking at your photos, you radiate happiness. Mum looking well and enjoying a class of wine – on ya Judy!
    Maggie and Heinrich

  6. Well Michelle! How amazing was your birthday celebrations? Keep up the great work I say!
    God bless to you all… xox
    Its certainly going to provide wonderful memories and an lasting impact and I admire you greatly.
    Happy belated birthday. I’m thrilled you and Tania are celebrating in style YOUR way. 😀 Yahoo!

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