Milan….

Not too much of it though…..we were only there for a few hours unfortunately.  It was never really on my bucket list of places to see but after being there it is definitely some place I would love to go back to and spend a few days.

In summer it’s a busy, bustling, vibrant, fun place to be!  In June they had just set up in the duomo piazza for a music festival of some sort.  According to the desk guy at the hotel this is something that they do each year for most of the summer.  Lots of people, lots of music and just plain old lots of fun.  People wandering around with drinks in their hands and all behaving!!  What a fun place.

Our hotel was in a great location, only a block or two from the main piazza and the Galleria shopping mall, which is huge!

We left Bologna around 1PM and were in Milan a couple of hours later.  The Bologna train station is new….and very boring!!  Very efficient though……once you figure out where to go….it’s all underground and our taxi was able to drop us off right at the escalators that took us down to our train.  Certainly not like other train stations I’ve been in, except for maybe St Pancras in London.  It’s pretty sterile with only one fast food type café on the bottom floor.  There are a number of different levels that the trains come in on….the TGV, or Frecciarossas come in on level 4 or something, so quite easy to find your track!

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this was pretty much what the entire station was like…..

I didn’t take any pictures from the train enroute to Milan….some countryside but also a lot of industry along the way.

We had a very nice seat mate…..it was a he/she.  Brenda and I were struggling with our luggage because you had only the overhead racks to put it on and lifting 50 pounds, or pretty damn close to it, was not an easy feat.  This lovely person immediately jumped up and lifted our bags up there like nothing!!  Luckily, they also helped us get them back down at the end of train ride.

The Milan train station is unbelievable!!  Iconic I think is what you would call it…..huge and absolutely beautiful!

Our hotel was a 5 minute taxi ride from the station…..the drive took us past the main historical centre area which was crazy busy but got us pretty excited about getting out and seeing as much as we possibly could in our few hours there.

Our first stop was at a café for a celebratory drink to start the next leg of our adventure.  Had a fun time with the waiters and bartender, who tried to make special drinks for us but failed miserably.  They had things like White Russians, Whiskey Sours etc. on their menu but the guy was hopeless, even with our help.  After tasting a couple that he tried to make we decided to stick to Prosecco….pretty hard to make a mess of that!  Another waiter came along and told us we didn’t have to pay for those first horrid drinks…yeah!!  They also had “apertivo” there, which means if you order a drink you can help yourself to all the nibblies they put out around 5ish…..sort of a happy hour but with enough food to make a meal.  Pasta, antipasti etc….

We had so much fun there time got away from us and when we finally headed another block to the piazza the duomo was closed for the day…..oh well, just another reason to HAVE to go back.  I’m sure it is just as spectacular inside as it is outside!

Read all about it here.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Cathedral  Who knew it was the largest cathedral in Italy!! (St Peter’s is in Vatican City….so technically not Italy!!)

We wandered around the piazza for a while…people watching, listening to the music and just generally enjoying the whole scene.

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Our next stop was the Galleria shopping mall….which is pretty amazing too.  Huge, multi-level with all the designer shops, restaurants and lots of bars and cafes…..where we stopped for yet another drink!!

We found a great little restaurant down a narrow street where we shared a delicious osso bucco (no pictures of the food….  😦  )  We kept an eye out for the size of the meals that were being served and decided that since we’d already had almost a meal at the apertivo bar we’d just share a dinner.  It was a good idea because the portions were huge and we had more than enough.

We spent the rest of the evening just wandering around listening to all the buskers, or street musicians, most of whom were really good!  Singing and/or playing cellos, violins….most were really good!

We of course had to see Teatro La Scala https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Scala .  From the outside it’s certainly not what I expected!  We actually walked by it a couple of times before realizing that was it….pretty non-descript building with no signs other than a couple of banners.  We were in the Piazza La Scala so knew it was there somewhere!! Some gala gala do appeared to be happening so other than sticking our heads in the door for a quick peek at the lobby we didn’t get to see inside the theatre…..another thing to do next time!!

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It was almost midnight by the time we headed back to our hotel….early morning for us the next day for the trip to France.

Definitely a city to go back to one day.  So much more to see and explore.  In hindsight, I wish we’d spent a couple of days there but truthfully nothing I read about it had really piqued my interest enough…..live and learn!

Today is a domestic chore day around here…..grass cutting being the number one thing on my to do list.  The weather is supposed to be awful for the next few days so getting the grass cut before that is a must otherwise it makes it difficult trying to plow through long, wet grass.  I never understood why it took Ken so long to cut the grass!!  Now I know of course.  It’s the weedeating the edges, emptying the bag 50 times (otherwise too hard to get the grass out if it gets packed in there….) then blowing all the mess off the road and driveway….   Hahaha….I thought he was just slow!

I have spent a few hours the last couple of days putting old pictures in albums….many more to go but yesterday the kids did have a look through them, which is why I’m doing this.

I also made enough green pea soup to feed a small army.  My son went home with 3 containers and I still have another 4 and that was after we’d had it for dinner!!  I won’t be making it again anytime too soon!

Off to Bev’s for dinner tonight to visit with her little granddaughter Eleanor.  I haven’t seen her for a long time….not since she started walking so will be a fun evening.

Our “mis-adventure” in Lausanne Switzerland and the rest of our trip to France will be next…..we found out that it is VERY expensive in Switzerland!!

L.

 

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A Little Bit (?) More Of Italy

Really…..other than Milan….this will be the last of my Italy posts.  It’s just that there is so much that I’d love to share it’s hard to not go into great detail and post a zillion pictures.  Although the pictures don’t really do it justice….it’s really a spectacular country with so much to see!

Some of the countryside this time…..beautiful views, lovely and quaint small hamlets and hilltowns, fields and fields of sunflowers and vineyards…..

Caves….the Grotte de fasassi  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frasassi_Caves .  I have been to many caves and each and every one amaze me!!  Just incredible what mother nature can do.  Even more amazing is that the mountains have these huge caves inside them…..how on earth do they not just collapse on themselves??

The beaches….they are called “Blue Flag Beaches”.  Their idea of a sandy beach is a bit different than ours…..think rocks!  But they are beautiful unless you have to walk on them barefoot!!  The water such a pretty blue and even warm-ish.  Restaurants galore along the beachfront too.  Umbrellas and loungers rent for 15 – 18E a day depending on how close to the water you want to be.  http://www.italythisway.com/places/conero-peninsula.php

Loreto, not far from the Conero coast is a beautiful walled hilltown…..second only to Lourdes in France as a pilgrimage site.  The cathedral is beautiful….very medieval.  The stained glass windows are fantastic….

Some miscellaneous Le Marche pictures….towns, beautiful flowers, tree lined streets and churches….many, many churches, all different!

Lunch one day in the town of Corinaldo was in a restaurant that was actually inside the walls of the town!!  Very much like a cave…..very cool on a very hot day and terrific food too!

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And the mail……

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Our one day excursion into Tuscany….

Cortona on market day:

Montepulciano is famous for it’s vino nobili…..Brenda splurged on a bottle for us to enjoy with our dinner that night (40E!!!)  It was really good…… http://winefolly.com/review/montepulciano-wine-guide/  The Tuscan countryside enroute is so pretty….just like all those pictures you see of the vine covered hillsides with cypress trees lining driveways and roads. (Le Marche people use the cypress trees in cemeteries…..so they think the Tuscans are a little weird)

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an antipasti plate to go with our vino….

 

 

Sunflowers…..just coming into bloom as we arrived.  Hillside after hillside of them.  The oil is used for an additive to diesel fuel!!

Urbino….a fantastic town.  We had planned on doing Urbino and San Marino on the same day but found so much to see here we spent the whole day there!  Lots of great restaurants and a very nice museum….and of course lots of shops!!  All of which close for siesta so we had a very nice leisurely lunch while waiting for them to re-open.  We also took the little tourist train for a tour around the city and walls…..good to get your bearings and fun for 5E!  Great views of the surrounding hills.

Our last full day we did a wine tour with Marco’s Way  http://www.marcosway.it/  …..we should have done this the first day!!  He is pretty much the only guy in this area doing tours like this but he was wonderful and would highly recommend him if anyone heads that way.  Lots of great info about the area.  We did a couple of wine tastings, olive oil tour and tasting, cheese tasting at a local family farm and of course lunch….many courses or fantastic pasta, quail, rabbit, chicken and local salumi and cheeses.  All this with the beautiful Le Marche countryside as our backdrop from every location.

This is really it for Le Marche Italy pics…..Milan next!  But I was only there for a short period of time so unfortunately not a ton of info or pics to share on it….but another great city that I WILL return to someday!

I had a fun day with my granddaughter yesterday.  We read and looked at old pictures of her Dad and Auntie in the morning then we went to meet her Daddy for lunch.  After lunch it was bit of time playing Dora the Explorer games on the iPad (I had just as much fun as she did!!) then a movie and some popcorn.  So nice to be able to spend time alone with her….that doesn’t happen too often with any of them.  They’re so different when they’re on their own…..

L.

Last Of The Leftovers!

Turkey, turkey and more turkey……and ham too!

Yesterday I made my turkey stock for soup, to be used at a later date, and a turkey pot pie, which we had for dinner last night.  Turkey is really the best bang for your buck when you think about it!  I think I paid something like $12 for mine….it wasn’t that big, just over 12 pounds, hence the ham too, but it fed 10 people for dinner on Sunday, two people for dinner on Monday and three last night.  AND….chopped up turkey for turkey salad sandwiches!

I’ve got a couple brussel sprouts still lurking but they’ll be gone today and just enough leftover pumpkin cheesecake for dessert tonight.

Brenda is coming for dinner.  She’s been busy the last couple of weeks getting her Mom’s apartment cleaned out.  Her mom is 90 something and in hospital again due to a fall.  She’ll stay there until they can move her into a care home…..she’s just too fragile now to be on her own, even with daily care workers coming in.  The fall caused cracked vertebrae in her neck.  It could have have been a lot worse.  The best I can offer Brenda right now is dinner….one less thing that she has to deal with when she gets home later.  We’re having butternut squash soup that I made a month or so ago…..

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I made a lot and froze it in containers with enough for two….including the bacon bits to sprinkle on the dollop of cream for the centre.

 

…..she’s one of the few people I know that likes it!  We’ll have that and the turkey salad sandwiches tonight.

My little granddaughter is coming to spend the day tomorrow.  She’s so much fun and the easiest one to take care of…..she’s pretty self-sufficient and usually keeps herself occupied with whatever she finds.  Lately she’s really gotten into books….this is a good thing.  One book that has peaked her interest is my coffee table art book.  One picture in particular is her favorite……

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LOL……I’m not sure whether to laugh or be concerned.  I will just laugh for now but every time she comes over she has to get that book out and find “her” picture.  We’ll see if I can get her interested in some of the other artwork in the book tomorrow!

Ken’s birthday has come and gone on October 6th.  He would have been 67 this year.  My kids each “celebrated” by having something their Dad loved for dinner.  My son had a big juicy prime rib steak and my daughter had a piece of keylime pie.  I can’t remember what I had!  We weren’t big on presents for birthdays…..a card and some of his favorite treats was what I usually got him.  Cashews, pistachios, licorice allsorts and of course something chocolate.  I did buy some cashews and promptly ate all of them!!

Fall has really set in now….it rained again last night but has cleared up nicely this morning.  I’m hoping for crisp, sunny days…..I can handle those.

L.

It’s Been A Long Time

I can’t believe where time has gone!  I’ve meant to post many times over the last few weeks and then have gotten sidetracked with something else.

We had such a great summer and fall…..until today!  Cloudy, grey and rainy.

My life has become rather routine these days….nothing terribly exciting.  This is not a bad thing though.

I’m not working anymore…..I can’t say that I’m sorry about it.  The little bit of daily work that I was doing has now all gone out to the other office to do….they were getting paid to do it but because of some balancing issues they still wanted my part done in the local office.  It’s all been sorted out now and they get everything couriered out to them.  I miss the people though….it was a fun place to work and it got me up and out early those couple days a week.  I’m certainly not going to be looking for another job any time soon….I really do enjoy being retired!

Lots of yard work got done with all the good weather.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to cut my grass.  It does look pretty good now though but not sure I’ll use that weed and feed or turf enhancer again.  Paving stones are all in at the side of the house, grass seed around them is finally spouting and thickening up.  Still more work to do over there but I’ll get to that next summer.

Had a great mini-vacation with the old girlfriends a couple of weeks ago in Naramata.  The house we rented was absolutely gorgeous.  Tons of room, fantastic views out over vineyards and the lake.  Lots of fun, lots of laughs and of course…..lots of wine!!  I was so glad I went but it also made me a bit sad that I’d missed so many other of these little getaways with those guys…..oh well, you can’t go back can you so I will just make sure that I go forward and not miss any more if I can help it!!

No other trips planned for the fall.  Kind of nice to stay home and work on some of the things on my project “to do” lists.  There are lots and my biggest issue is staying focused on one of them at a time.

I’m sure everyone was bored to death with my trip posts from June but for those that weren’t I’ll carry on with the next installment soon….a bit more Italy and then on to that bike trip in France!!  Seems like that was ages ago now.

L.

Where Does Time Go?

I’ve not posted for a while….so just checking in to let people know I’m still here!

My life seems to be rather mundane these days.  Nothing terribly exciting but I seem to be busy enough doing something….just what I’m not sure of.  Because we’ve had such a fantastic summer (no real rain since the beginning of July!!) I’ve spent a lot of time outside.  Getting my yard cleaned up and organized and also just sitting on the deck reading, doing sudokus or, the biggest waste of my time, playing solitaire on the iPad!

Oh well, I’m retired right?

No holiday plans except for a girls getaway coming up at the end of this month.  It should be a great time.  We’re heading up to Naramata for 4 days….that’s our wine country.

India in February is my next biggish trip.  Biggish because it’s going to take forever to get there but it’s not a long trip…..only 2 weeks.  It’s a long way to go for such a short period of time but you’ve got to grab those deals to bucket list places when they come up.  It’s a tour of course….not brave enough to do this one on my own….nor would Ken and I have done a trip there on our own.

Going to our annual “Bard on the Beach” play tomorrow.  “Much Ado About Nothing” https://bardonthebeach.org/2017/much-ado-about-nothing/  Then Wednesday Brenda and I are head to Perestroika – Angels in America Part 2  http://artsclub.com/shows/2017-2018/angels-in-america  I was a little worried Part 1 would be a little depressing but no way…..it was a great play so we had to make sure we got in Part 2!

See how boring things are around here? Not anything exciting enough to really post about.

Had a fun dinner the other night at Brenda’s.  We ate too much, drank too much and laughed a lot.   We also talked a lot about our future plans…..those 5 years plans and how our original ones had changed.  Our houses….when to sell, where to move if and when we do.  Men!!  We both decided (very early for her….) that life was actually quite good without that complicating things.  That said, we both miss doing those “couple things” and companionship…sometimes!  We’ve both got grown children living at home (hers is in the basement suite) and decided that it was not a bad thing having someone around.  Serious stuff but we’d had enough wine that we laughed about a lot of it…..

My next post I’ll get back to my trip….a little more Italy but not too much because I’m sure it’s not terribly interesting for most people.     I loved Milan and definitely want to go back and spend more time there….some serious shopping could be done!

L.

 

 

More Food In Italy….

I should have just posted from my journal….although that might have been a bit TMI!

We really ate well…..the food markets are the highlight of the week in town!  Besides the food, lots of people just congregate in the piazzas…..kids and adults on scooters (seems to be the latest craze there), the men while the women shop etc.  The cafes also get crowded with the shoppers stopping for a coffee, or if it’s close enough to noon an aperitif or a glass of wine.  It’s a fun, festive atmosphere.  Parking can be a bit of a challenge though and often rather than trying to get as close as possible we’d just grab the first spot we came hoping that we didn’t have a big hike, or worse still a big uphill hike to get to the market.  Not that the walk didn’t do us good…..an excuse to be able to eat and drink all that we did!

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The house from the driveway….behind us was the olive grove and off in both directions were the hilltowns which at night were so pretty all lit up.

 

Our house was really well equipped, which is a good thing if you are planning to do a lot of cooking.  We didn’t think we’d eat in quite as much as we did but due to the lack of restaurants in our immediate area.  It was fun though…..we all enjoyed the prepping with our glasses on wine close at hand.  Not sure that it was porcini mushroom season but someone at the market had beautiful ones…..we bought a few and made a great risotto one night.

We’d bought a lot of fruit one day thinking we have it for breakfast every day…..the melons were so delicious and peaches, firm and so flavourful….they even smelled like perfume!  One night Rae, who is the baker of the bunch, used up all our fruit that was slowly starting to ferment and made a great crumble dessert……this was after we’d finally figured out that there was a plug for the gas stove….it was rolled up and tucked under it!  We’d been using matches to light the burners and couldn’t figure out how to get the oven to work!  Just by chance…..dropping something under the stove….did we discover the cord and plug!  Good thing we did because besides the dessert we did a leg of lamb, eggplant parm, bruschetta etc.

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Having dinner at home was one of the best times of the day…..just sitting around, chatting, laughing, going over all our adventures for the day and also catching up on phone calls or facetiming home.  One night a friend called, after a few glasses of wine I think….the only problem was it was evening for her and 4AM for us!!

Enough food I think….next I’ll post about places we went.  Le Marche is really a very beautiful and diverse part of Italy.  I would definitely go back again.  Other than it not being touristy in some areas and having the amenities that go along with that…..not a bad thing for us….it made for a great relaxing, laid back part of our vacation.  In hindsight, we should have done our planning so that this part came after our bike trip and the hustle and bustle of Paris.  Something to think about for the next one!

Today though back to reality……looking at the pictures kind of takes you back…those “ah sigh” moments.  The grass needs cutting…..what was I thinking when I put that moss control and turf builder stuff on it????  It’s still a bit sad looking with black patches (dying moss) and bright green new grass popping up in clumps here and there.

I’m surprising myself in that I really don’t mind cutting the grass…..kind of one of those therapeutic type of jobs.  I should have fired my grass guy a long time ago….it would have caused much less aggravation when he didn’t show up when he was supposed too!  Next on my agenda will be weed control…..we’ll see how that works!

I also managed to finish the walkway at the side of the house that I started last year….it’s terribly crooked but oh well….it’s in now with grass seed around it that I’m hoping will sprout soon.  The soil is so dry and dusty I’m not sure it’ll take root.  I’ve had to water it a couple times a day because it’s been so hot and sunny.  We’ll see.  These were never my jobs before and I can’t say I’m doing any of it the right way but it’s getting done and I guess that is what counts.  Being retired certainly has helped in doing all this…..pretty sure this just would never have happened if I’d still been working.

L.

Ah Italy….Some of the Food!

I don’t know why but we seem to eat so differently when we’re away.  Because we’re on vacation I think it’s the concept of keeping the food prep simple and fun.  Often this happens because you don’t have all the same “stuff” in your rental kitchen that you do at home….knives are often the issue.  That wasn’t the case this time which made prepping everything more fun as opposed to fighting with a dull knife or as happened once having only a bread knife period!  You also don’t want to spend half the evening doing clean up either, so the less dishes, pots, pans etc. used the better!

Also because you’re not there for a long time you tend to buy only what you need for a day or two and of course with the markets there everything is farm fresh.  It’s fun to shop at the markets….just looking at the displays of produce, cheese, meats etc. makes you hungry!

One off my favorite things in Italy is the porchetta….it’s the crackling that makes it.  Probably so bad for you but hey…..everything in moderation, right?

 

There is always at least one porchetta guy at the markets.  Depending on  the space they have it’s usually a whole pig that is on display.  They lop off hunks of it along with a good bit of the crackling…..it’s absolutely delicious hot or cold, as long as the crackling is crispy.  You throw a few pieces of it into the bun with the pork and it’s fantastic.  That and a salad and some local wine made a great dinner one night.Al

Al fresco dining is great…..during the heat of the day at lunch we’d move the table under the mulberry tree (yes they are trees, not bushes…) and enjoy the food and views.  Not so much the sticky mulberries that would fall off every now and again.  In the evening the house was our shade and again we’d sit an and enjoy the food, the wine, the views and the company!

I have to go to work today 😦  .  I really shouldn’t complain see it’s only a couple of of hours two days a week or so…..but really I’d much prefer to sit here and carry on with our Italy adventure…oh well.  More soon.

L.

 

How Annoying….

I just finished a big post…..because I haven’t posted for a long time…..and I lost it!!  Argh.

I was using the iPad, which I really don’t like very much.  Not sure what happened to it but oh well…..it wasn’t a terribly exciting one anyway.

Trying desperately to get back into some sort of a routine around here….it just all seems to fall apart during the summer and when I get back from vacation.  I have a hard time not wasting time!!

I’ve been working more than I planned, but after this week will hopefully get back to just the 2 days a week that I started out with!  It’s only a couple of hours in the morning but I’m pretty useless after that so not much gets accomplished.  I think I’m more productive in the morning and by the time I get home it’s after lunch, so in my head it’s too late to start anything but I’m really getting good at playing solitaire!

The weather had been great.  I do try to get yard work done when it’s not blisteringly hot ( I’m no complaining because I love summers like this) but at the rate I’m going I’ll have my yard done when I’m ready to sell in a few years.  I’m also getting a little obsessed with my grass…..who would have ever thought that!

I’ve been busy but not doing things on my to do lists, which I guess is OK because I am retired…..I keep telling myself that and it’s working since I’m not getting much done.  That excuse does get a bit old though after a few months…..

Had a great visit with my friends over in Sechelt…even did a tour boat trip one afternoon.  Very beautiful up the inlet…..lots of spectacular scenery and gorgeous vacation homes.  Also had a visit with another friend, who has had a place up there for a few years but moved up there permanently in June.  This was the first time that we were able to get together.  Had a great lunch and afternoon catching up and talking about their upcoming trip to Europe in September.  They’ll be spending 3 weeks in Puglia, which is an area I was in a few years ago.

I hope to get back to posting a little more regularly than I have been…..getting back into my usual morning routine….I will, definitely, I will……

L.

Ah…..Italy!

There might have to be a few parts to this…..just so much there to talk about!  Food, wine, people, beautiful countryside, beautiful villages and towns….the list just could go on and on!

We tried to find where the local farmers markets were each day and then plan our outings based on that.  Le Marche, the area that we stayed in, is not the tourist mecca like so many other parts of Italy.  As a result it’s kind of a catch-22 situation……you don’t get the touristy type services (ie lots of restaurants) and at the same time because there aren’t that many tourists, there really isn’t the need to have all those restaurants, shops etc.  Not sure this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Their economy does struggle, which worries some people, but then we talked to others who were more than content with their way of life….sometimes a lot of work but so worth it to them to retain.  Very interesting!  Siesta is also a big part of Italian life in Le Marche…..just about everything closes around noon and reopens late afternoon, 4:30-5ish often, depending on where you are restaurants and cafes!  We learned to do our “shopping” earlier then search out one of the restaurants that was open and have a long leisurely lunch!

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The Sunday market in Arcevia!  Not many food stands….mostly a market for household goods, clothing (including polka dot bras!!), tools, etc.  They don’t have any of the big box stores nearby so the weekly markets enable people to get what they need without having to drive for miles or hours.  Some of the clothes and shoes were pretty darn nice…..lots of scarves!!

The market in Gubbio (Tuesdays) was the best ever…..we remembered that from our last visit here so made the trek (a good hour or so drive).  It’s a huge market with lots of everything……beautiful fresh produce, the porchetta guy and clothes and shoes galore!

What surprised me more than anything was the number of young people in these towns.  Young as in their 20’s.  A lot of these places have only a few hundred people so it seems incredible to me that so many of the younger people remain.  They work in the shops but more often than not they work on the family farms and vineyards.  On the outskirts of many of the towns there are some large industrial complexes as well (tires, farming/vineyard equipment, cement works)…maybe that too keeps them close to home.  We’d see them in the cafes and bars in the evening (having a glass of wine, not beer!) chatting and visiting with their friends as well as all the oldies that would come out for the evening passagiata.

Little Apes (pronounces aa-pay, which means bee in Italian) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaggio_Ape , are in abundance and the best way to get around on the many narrow little roads.  We seen a lot of “souped” up ones driven by the young guys racing around in the evenings…..no Ferraris for them!

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lots of little “apes”…..the kids spiff them up with fancy paint jobs and race them around the streets in the evening!

 

 

They really do have their priorties right……family is probably the most important, or maybe it’s the food…..it would be a pretty close second for sure.  Everywhere we went all food, even just a pizza, is served with care.   Most places the servers are very attentive….not for tips, which are not the big thing there like they are here….round up the bill and that’s it.  You never get just a glass of wine or a coffee, it will always come with a little cookie of bowl of nuts or olives…..sometimes a few little pieces of cheese.

The place we stayed was fantastic! Here is the link to the rental through airbnb  https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/1480738?guests=6&adults=6&location=Italy&s=1BFHm4CJ Huge….especially loved the big kitchen with lots of room…AND the best part, good, sharp knives!!  The white stove at the end of the table has now been replaced by a lovely 6 burner stainless steel gas stove.   The ground floor was still somewhat in it’s original state….the barn.  We had fun looking around down there finding all the old troughs, stables, storage areas etc.

Italy is all about food to me….buying it, preparing it and then the best part….eating it!  I was going to try to get lots of foodie pics but unfortunately often I’d remember the picture halfway through the meal!

Food and cooking…..and wine of course….seemed to be on our mind all the time!!

All of us prepping away for dinner was one of the best times of day…..and then of course eating whatever we’d prepared and sitting around talking about our day.

I could go on and on……and will in the next post.

L.

 

 

A Sad But Happy Day???

Yesterday was the celebration of life for my friend Heidi that passed away in October last year.  Why wait 9 months to have the COL?  Because her husband wanted it to be at her happy place, which is in Point Roberts WA where their cottage is.  Such a pretty place…..she spent most of the summer there every year.  Winter was not the time to have it and yesterday was a gorgeous day…..warm, lots of sun, just what she liked.

After the service at the cemetery, where the ashes are, we all headed to a little local restaurant that was right on the water.  Beautiful garden, beautiful view….kids and dogs running around….just what she would have wanted.

It was sad because she’s gone. Such a great tribute to her by many people….family, friends, neighbours.  She will be remembered as a kind and giving, generous person….and for some of her quirks such as shopping!!  Happy because of all the good memories and lots of laughs.

I know her husband waited until now so all would be just perfect for her but such a long time for him to get some closure.  He said it was hard especially the last few weeks putting all this together…..those things that you’ve slowly started tucking away at the back of your mind all come back bringing that emptiness with it.  He had lots of help from lots of good, close friends which got him through all this.

A bunch of people went back to the cottage after which was nice.  I hadn’t been there for years….Ken was still here then….I’d gone down for the day, for a girls day.  Heidi made a great lunch and we talked and laughed for hours….was a really nice time.  We were going to do it again….but life got in the way and it just never happened.

I think Mike will be OK now.  He’s got a bike (motorcycle) trip planned in the next couple of weeks with some buddies which he’s looking forward too…..you need things to look forward too.  There is no going back so the only way you can go is ahead and you’ve got to make the best of it and take any opportunity to do things or get away or whatever that comes up.

Today for me is a yard day…..I hope to finish the bark mulch and get a bit more of the moss sprayed.  I just did a small patch the other day with the dish soap and water and it’s working!!  So happy about that, except of course I’m going to have to rake all that up and will likely have a few/many bare patches to reseed.

We’re heading into a bit of heatwave here for the next week…..I love it!  Highs up in the mid-30’sC (95ishF).

Tomorrow is the last baseball games of the season and our wind up party.  It should be fun.  I’ll miss it but I’m not that into it that I’ll be joining another league as many of the other do.  Once a week for a few months is good enough for me for now…..maybe next year I’ll get into it a bit more but this was a good start.  Lots of great ladies so tomorrow should be a lot of fun.  One of the best things about this league is that the total cost for the season was $15!!  That includes the wind up party…..not a bad deal at all.

L.