double strollers and Sicilian market mornings

Please congratulate me.  I took both kids out in the stroller for the first time today!

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In order to do this, I first had to turn my stroller into a double stroller, which it has never been before in its life.  We got the City Select strollerwhen Lena was a baby because it can be a single or a double stroller.  We also thought we’d have two kids sooner or later.

Sure enough, we had two kids sooner.  Today is also Wednesday — market day in my town — and we’re out of fresh fruit and vegetables in this house.  Time for our first walk… and time for a double stroller!  I watched a YouTube video to figure out how to attach everything in the right places, and pretty soon after about 20 minutes of straps and buckles and an infant wailing and “where’s my phone?”, we were ready to go!

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We walked down the cobblestone streets into the main piazza.  A man with a truck full of fish had just pulled up and started yelling, “Pesce!  Pesce!”  After some discussion, I bought three swordfish fillets for dinner tonight.  The smiling fishmonger swore up and down that they were fresh from this morning and had never been frozen.  Hope he’s telling the truth!

You can see the faded beauty of this old town square as other customers after me line up to buy squid, octopus, and swordfish for their own dinners:

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We walked on, stopping only once for a potty break (oh my), greeting acquaintances as we went.  I received several enthusiastic wishes of “auguri!” (“congratulations!”) about the birth of my son.

Eventually we reached my favorite fruit and vegetable truck (which is where I go on Wednesdays if walking all the way up to the market is too much for me or for Lena).  Besides, I love the cheerful man at this truck, who knows us now and always throws a few extra strawberries or artichokes into the bag for me.

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After I made my purchases, it was time to head home.  As I walked I calculated that I was pushing approximately 90 lbs.  Here’s how I figure:

15 lbs of produce + 25 lb Lena + 10 lb Gil + 28 lb stroller + 10 lb car seat = 88 lbs

And then I got to the final stretch up to our house and had to push all of that uphill!  Talk about getting back into shape!

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And here’s our market bounty this week.  Zucchini, strawberries, 4lbs of oranges and mandarins, 4 lbs of pears and apples, fennel, carrots, pineapple, broccoli, artichokes, and kiwi.  It’ll last us about 5 days and then we’ll be very ready for market day again next week!

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All of this cost me about $25.  Do you think that’s a better price than what you can get in the States?  Sometimes I really don’t know whether I’m getting a deal or whether the prices are pretty much the same… except my produce comes out of the back of a truck!  What do you think?

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18 Responses to double strollers and Sicilian market mornings

  1. Katie K February 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Wow! Consider me impressed by your ability to push 90 lbs up a hill. Durther evidence that mothers are some of the strongest people on earth! I hope Lena and Gil enjoyed their time in the sunshine too and didn’t give you a hard time! : )

    If I had to guess, I think you’re getting better deals on produce. Food prices are higher now than I can ever remember them being; a trend I’ve watched as I’ve been living on my own (at least anecdotally and in Ohio, prices seem to have been slowly climbing at least for the past six years or so). I eat tons of CA mandarin oranges in the winter months, and for reference, a 5 lb box is $6 at Walmart and $7 at the local grocery store. “Exotic” stuff like kiwi and artichokes tends to be pricey, but for brocolli or carrots you can get pound bags for about $1.

    It’s funny to see you bought fennel! I’ve never cooked with it before but in the past month two different friends have raved about its deliciousness. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Alica February 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Congratulations on your first walk with two! :) That looks like a lot to push up the hill…don’t those cobblestones make it even harder? I think $25 sounds like a pretty good deal for all that fresh fruit and produce. Wish I had a market close enough to walk to!

  3. Johanna February 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Friend … you are amazing!! So impressed by you :) AND, that is definitely a good deal. I got a similar amount of produce in C’ville last night and it was more like $30!

    Love you!!

  4. Emily February 20, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    This is making me miss living in Italy more than I have in quite awhile. The markets! The ‘auguri’-ing! The piazzas! If my guy wasn’t Israeli and we didn’t think we’d end up there for a season, I would be pushing for a few years in Italy. Congratulations, indeed, on the three-person outing!

  5. Rachel February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Congrats! And I think you’re getting a deal on all that delicious produce, and even if you aren’t you ARE because you are shopping outdoors out of a truck in Italy! Which is pretty awesome!

  6. Tiffany February 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    90 pounds?! Go, Mama!

    I think $25 is comparable to what I would pay, depending on the season and sales. But you know you’re getting fresh and local–awesome!

  7. Christina February 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Your surroundings and little town look so beautiful. Your description of your shopping expedition made me miss Scotland. We lived there Z’s first year of life, and 2-3 times a week I put him in the stroller for shopping, and then pushed him and it all back home. I miss those days — there was a leisurelyness to them, in spite of all the physical work.

    Christina

  8. Joy @ Caspara February 21, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Wow, congratulations are definitely in order! Stroller rearranged?! Pushing 90 lbs uphill?! Three weeks after giving birth?! Good job!
    The bounty looks wonderful, too! Reminds me so much of my favorite aspects of life in Spain when we were stationed there.

  9. Lucy February 22, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Wow, that is quite a feat! Thank you for this glimpse into your life with two. The produce is lovely, and I think the prices seem better than here in the US. The produce is probably much fresher, too! Can’t wait to be part of that little strolling outing!

  10. Poppy February 23, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Strolling through the markets and choosing
    ‘Prelibato’ supplies for dinner;
    Gil and Lena join in the musing,
    Making every meal a winner.
    –Pai

  11. maggiej February 23, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    I lived in catania for 4 yrs as a little girl and went to the base school before transferring to the local school to perfect my italian (still fluent decades later :) and that is where we started to eat fennel. my favorite is still just cut up into a green salad with oil and vinegar. here i always have to tell the cashier what it is.

    Come sono belli, i tuoi bambini! How beautiful they are, your babies!

  12. Meg February 23, 2013 at 4:50 am #

    Hooray! for you. As it’s been well stated, you did something amazing and totally ordinary too. That’s what being a mother is. I hope you never lose sight of the AMAZING when the ordinary over shadows. You do important work! Love you lots <3.

  13. Heather Miller February 26, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Congrats on getting out of the house – really!!! I am so impressed. Every trek out of our house includes a screaming infant too.
    $25 for ALL of that? Wow. I do think that’s a great deal. We live in Chicago, though, so we pay for gas to haul all our food here. I can’t wait for our local markets to open again – come on spring!!
    Keep up the great work! Looks like Gil’s thriving.

  14. alli March 1, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    Such an interesting post. The idea of shopping from the back of a truck sounds fun compared to our big box stores here — although I’m impressed how you do all of that with two little ones!

  15. Aunt Kathy March 1, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    Important work! Amen.

  16. Jen March 3, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    You are getting good prices. I have backed off from buying eggs, milk, and produce at our commissary here. I find even when shopping with the Euro, it’s still a better, or similar price.

    And, you can’t beat the quality locally. I buy local organic milk and eggs (about 1 Euro for 1 L of milk and about 1.15 for six organic eggs). I shop around for produce. The commissary produce is icky.

  17. Brie April 24, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    So happy to find your blog. I searched for city select and came across this post. I live in China, with a toddler and we are hoping to have another baby while on assignment here. I was wondering how the stroller would do on less than ideal terrain and your post answered that (:

    I look forward to reading about your life abroad and comparing it to what we are experiencing here in China.

    We also have produce and fruit vendors nearby, although ours are out daily. I think we pay about the same amount of money as you are in Italy…for me, it is slightly cheaper here than it would be in the states for the same bounty.

    • Becca April 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

      Wow, Brie, I am so glad to hear from you. What an interesting life you must lead in China! I visited Beijing with my family years ago and found it completely overwhelming. I’d love to go back and spend more time. Please chime in as you read along; I’d love to know what your reactions are and what strikes you as unique or different.

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