Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wedding, Airline Flights, Skiing, Spring & A Camper

The last few weeks have been busy. There has been work to do, a new associate architect in San Diego, my daughter Callie's wedding which involved a trip to San Diego and terrible airline connections. The wedding was beautiful as was my daughter, I'll post a reference to the pictures when she gives it to me. The trip home a mess, traffic jambs on the 5 from Carlsbad to LA, rush to the airport, Midway auto rental seems a great company, they drove me right to the airport when I told them I was late rather than make me wait for their shuttle also gave me an upgrade from the basic car I reserved to the top of the line Toyota Avalon, well actually they probably gave away my car, but hey I'm not complaining. Then of course the BA flight was way late in leaving so there was no need to rush. Arrived late in Heathrow had to take a bus to Gatwick, BA doesn't make it easy to find the right bus, you are pretty much left on your own to find your way. Then of course missed the next flight and had to stay over night in a hotel. BA paid for it and dinner and breakfast, and somehow I got upgraded to business class. I could have stayed all day in the business class lounge, very nice. In some ways the trip wasn't so bad it's just that I left on Wednesday and got home on Friday.

Now it's Spring here in Belluno, we had a big snow one morning last week, the whole town was covered with a few inches in the morning and by night time it was all gone. I want to make one last ski day or two so we will try tomorrow, no one wants to go but me. Oh well I'm making them go anyway. And finally we have committed to buying a camper, found a good deal and gave a deposit so we will pick it up this week. We have spent countless hours looking on the internet and were getting tired of it all, but finally the one we think is perfect for us turned up and we got a good deal on the price.

So now we will enter the world of camper touring, autocaravans, they call them here. It's funny in some ways I've wanted one since I was about 14 taking a vacation with my family up through the Owen's Valley in California with a small travel trailer. The first motor homes which were really just a trailer mounted on a truck bed, were going by us and I thought that must be the totally perfect way to go. I've found out that in Italy and France there is an organization that has gathered a list of farms which let campers stay free for one night. I'm anxious to try that, as it seems an inexpensive way to get more in touch with the countryside.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blog Links

I will put a link on this blog to anyone who links to here, unless it's totally offensive. Mostly I'm just returning a favor. I don't tend to read other blogs that much, just don't have the time. But it does seem that there is a wealth of good stuff written on many of them. Maybe if I had more time, but then one tends to get too buried in the internet, too connected online and not enough offline. Probably my two little ones are getting to know the back of my head better than the front. Random thoughts I guess.

Finally, if you link to me and I don't link to you then send me your link and I will link it. Or send me an email and I will link you. One good link deserves another.


Today is my wife Luisa's birthday. What has happened to birthdays, they used to be so important and what a difference between the way they seem to Italians vs Americans. Even on my birthday many of the Italian relatives, all mine only by marriage, call me some even give gifts. But on the American side, it seems most people are too caught up in the day to day struggle to remember. What makes the difference, I don't know. Are Americans more self centered or is life just that much harder there, or is it the difference in attitudes about family in general.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Today a Message

Today, Luisa and I went skiing, the weather was perfect, the snow ok. I think I'm a good skiier which at the end of the day today almost proved my downfall. Luisa was tired so she rested while I took one more run. I went down a black run, the snow was slushy and full of bumps, things were great, my skiis love this kind of snow. I sit back and a let the tips ride up a bit just do nice turns through the slush and mush. At some point I'm going pretty fast along the edge of a narrow run, I'm having a good time. When all of a sudden something goes wrong. I loose it, I can't turn, I'm heading towards the edge of the run out of control. There is only one thing left to do that's sit down and hope for the best. I see a big orange fence with a smaller one in front of it. I think ok, I'll just crash into it. I do. I stop. Then I look down I'm over the edge of a very steep hill full of big trees. My skiis tangled in the two fences, my body a few feet down the steep slope. I can't get up, I'm stuck in the fence and on the edge. Someone stops, asks if I'm ok, yes I say but HELP! I hand him the end of my ski pole ask him to pull me up, another guy arrives, one of the workers skiing down with a shovel. He grabs my other arm and the two of them pull me up. Then the nice guy who works there takes off my skiis and gets them out of the fence. I finally get up and thank everybody put on my skis feeling embarassed about the whole episode and ski on down.

I tell Luisa the story when I see her, she's a bit angry with me saying I take too many chances. I say you're right, and maybe God sent me a little message, a warning to watch what I'm doing.

Tonight I'm working at the computer, Luisa brings me a glass of wine. I think that's such a simple pleasure and so nice.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bruschetta Salad

Here's a quick idea invented by Luisa tonight. Make a nice salad, her's had lettace, a few odds and ends some boiled egg, chunks of cheese, and tuna. And she made a dressing of prepared pesto thined down with olive oil. Toast a large slice of fresh bread. Rub the toasted bread with a clove of garlic, drizzle olive oil on the bread add a little salt. Then top with the salad, more olive oil and the some of the pesto sauce. Salt and Pepper to taste. Good!!

Giovanni's Frist Ski Race

Up until Friday he insisted he didn't want to race, but then he changed his mind. So this was the last one of the season for his ski club. After the races they put on a nice BBQ for the families.