Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hanging up my Wings

So I'm hanging up my wings for a while, while I figure out how to fix my knee and the cartilage that is no longer cushioning the joints I've been pounding together for the last 30 years. I assumed the orthopedist figured I was serious about running because I was in his office, the preeminent orthopedist to athletes and triathletes in the area. Then I looked down and remembered that running was something was I was planning on doing for the rest of my life. Now to figure out how to get there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's been too long!

It has been too long since I have shared some of my recent photographs! So long in fact, this picture isn't even recent! It's from our trip to San Francisco in August!! We visited Muir Woods just north of the city. It is a space that commands awe and wonder:

The most recent issue of National Geographic has a fascinating article on the Redwoods of California.

Of all the places that we visited in San Francisco, Muir Woods was probably my favorite. Jay liked it because it reminded him of the scenes in Return of the Jedi filmed in California's Redwood Forests. Ava enjoyed the magic of the forest as she looked for fairy houses! It truly is an enchanted forest!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The difference between boys and girls...

Apples and oranges. Mars and Venus. Get my point?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Roman Holiday: Last Day!

Our last day in Rome! As we walk to the Colosseum these are the sights along the way:

The Roman Forum is one of the most fascinating ruins to see:

I thought the Colosseum was more interesting on the outside than inside! This is one instance where we should have sucked it up and paid for the audio tour! You know those little phone things that all the tourists walk around with up to their ears?

Inside the Roman Forum. I loved how the ruins had wild flowers growing among them. I also loved how architectural detail was strewn about on the ground!

Market day in Campo de' Fiori:

This photograph depicts pretty clearly the narrow dirty Roman side streets. Rome is not a clean city.

Random act of doggy kindness:

Bramante's Tempeitto we found by means of a happy accident!

Now to pack up our bags for the trans-atlantic flight home! It was an amazing, busy, fun, crazy week! Stay tuned for an epilogue with photographs Jeff took on his mini-adventure!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Roman Holiday: St. Peter's and Sistine Chapel

Our first full day in Rome. Second to last day of the trip. Thursday. We rise early, skip breakfast (big mistake) and head to the Vatican. When you get to the Vatican first thing, there are no queues to indicate where to enter St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican Museums, or The Sistine Chapel. So you wander aimlessly until a line forms that indicates the attraction. You then join a line, any line, because you are a sheep. St. Peter's Square:

Pigeon photographed while attempting to find an entrance to anything:

Swiss Guard, who turn you away, because this is not an entrance in which you are allowed:

Well labeled Vatican Mail Box:

Wow! Unreal. Inside St. Peter's Basilica:

We climbed the 500 some odd steps and fought off the ensuing vertigo to get to the top of the dome:

Photographs are not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel. Although, people were snapping them left and right. In my opinion, no photograph can do it justice. The Sistine Chapel was more amazing than I could have imagined. The sheer amount of figures masterfully painted in the space is amazing. The Sistine Chapel was one of my favorite things in Rome. Cliche, yes. Awesome? Undoubtably. A hall inside the Vatican Museum:

There are lots of interesting paintings and sculptures in the Vatican Museum:

By this time we are hungry and follow the advice of the trusty guide book and seek out the highly recommended Dino and Tony's Trattoria. It was well worth the search. We entered Dino and Tony's and were seated by either Dino or Tony, I'm not sure who. He then noted the guide book in Jeff's hand and indicated that he was in it! I then somehow managed to communicate to him that I don't eat meat and he proceeded to bring us plate after plate after plate of delicious food. Did I mention that there is no menu at Dino and Tony's? You eat what they bring you. And you like it. You really, really, really like it! Jeff eating the pasta alla grigia (pasta with pecorino, pancetta, and black pepper sauce. Jeff will tell you this is the best thing he has ever eaten. Ever.):

After stuffing ourselves silly at Dino and Tony's we walked the streets of Rome. Which, honestly, we really needed, as we had just consumed 3000 calories easily, each.

I was well into my winged angel kick at this point:

Street Market:

Secret Square (as described in Lonely Planet Rome Encounter). "At Via del Pellegrino 19, you'll stumble across a dimly lit archway called the Arco delgi Acetare (Vinegar Maker's Arch). Wander through it and into a magical medieval courtyard, flanked by sorbet -hued facades, flower-filled balconies and ivy-clad staircases spilling onto the cobbled square."

I let Jeff touch the camera again! He took an amazing picture at dinner. Thinking back now, I'm not even sure why we ate dinner that day! Probably just to get a chance to sit down after all that walking!

Tomorrow's our last day in Italy. We still need to see the Colosseum and The Roman Forum...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Roman Holiday: In Rome!

I love love love Audrey Hepburn. And now that we've made it to Rome without incident (Ok, maybe there was one little incident that involved us walking 3 miles pulling our luggage through the streets of Rome. But somehow, it wasn't so bad, at least the streets were lined with people cheering for us.) I can share this with you:

We spent our first afternoon in Rome wandering through the historic district. Our cheeky Lonely Planet Rome Encounter describes Piazza Navona, "extravagant fountains and spritz-sipping poseurs in shades: Rome's most iconic piazza..." where the Fontana dei Quattro Fuimi, by Bernini is found. After I got past the author's constant attempt to be hip and witty, which I found annoying at first, I read some actually funny one liners and we found that sticking with his restaurant recommendations were by far, the best food we had. Detail from the Fountain of Four Rivers:

I found Rome to be a bit dirty and certainly crowded, but the sites are unreal. It is one thing to sit in an art history class and see slides of historical places, take notes, and read about them. It is completely another level to stand in front of a structure that dates from 120 AD.  The Pantheon is amazing:

You can pay the gladiators outside The Pantheon to have your picture taken with them. Or you can stand 20 feet way and shoot them with you 100-200 lens, but then they accuse you of being paparazzi. But, if I was being shot with a zoom lens like that, I might feel the same way. But, your husband may have wandered into the Pantheon without you, and then the gladiators might start hitting on you. Maybe.

Looking into the Pantheon:

Lots and lots of walking, much to see:

Have I mentioned the walking? Along the Tiber River:

Now to find dinner... which is easier said than done, based on the fact that Rome has this weird way of numbering buildings on streets. The numbers follow numerically down one side of the street and then seem to continue way back down at the other side of the street. We ended up walking by so many things and then having to turn around and go back! It was well worth it to eat at Da Baffetto! Somehow, we managed to get in without having to wait in line! Well, we did have to share a table with two other people, but that seemed to not be out of the ordinary to anyone but us. The pizza was simply amazing! Tomorrow we're up early to see St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel!!! 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roman Holiday: Giro d' Italia Stage Four

Today's adventure takes us with the Giro from Padova to a mountain top finish! Our gracious host Willem, has arranged for Jeff and Mick to ride in team cars with the race. I will be riding in the Santini Car in the parade in front of the race. It is interesting to note, that on this day, Jeff and I will have two very different experiences of the same road and same race. I am quite looking forward to enjoying the back seat of the car all to myself and seeing the sights as we go. 

The race begins in Padova. It is market day in the square, so one side of the square looks like this:

And the other side of the square looks like this (the parade cars are all queued up to preceed the race):

It is incredible that every day the race exposition went up, functioned as a race village, and then came down to travel to the next day's start location. The same for the the finish area, barriers, and everything that has to do with the race. It is quite a study in logistics. Mick and Thomas chatting in the race village:

Padova behind the race start:

The racers start the neutral portion of the stage in town and have a rolling start as they head out of town. Looking out of the starting corral:

I enjoyed how compliant the spectators were with the sponsor's hats. I couldn't bring myself to wear mine!

Paolo Bettini kept turning up everywhere! He is a beloved, famous Italian cyclist. Mick with Paolo Bettini: (Click on the link to learn more about Bettini!)

I loved these little mechanical bicycles. Although the vendor would mysteriously pack up his wares and slip out of sight every so often.

I couldn't get enough of the variety of vibrant fruits and vegetables at the produce stands:

Jeff was so excited to ride along with a team car! There were two teams willing to take Santini guests in their vehicles. Jeff chose a team that he thought was going to make a move for the stage win that day. Mick got the other car. As we dropped Mick off with the Lampre team, we learned he was going to be riding in the number one car! That's the car that goes ahead if one of their riders is in the break-away! Jeff had gotten a seat in his team's van. They were going to be taking a short cut to the top of the mountain to hand out water bottles. Upon learning this, Willem decided we would not tell Jeff about this until later! Bad luck! Willem securing Jeff's spot in the Diquigiovanni van where he would spend the rest of the day bombing through the mountains with two men who didn't speak english:

Danielle's artsy photograph:

The view looking out the rear window of the Santini Car:

Leaving Padova:

The view out the front window of the Santini Car:

Sights along the race route:

(Do you watch the Tour de France on tv? This guy is famous!!! I'm not sure, but it looks as though he's actually secured a sponsor. Has he sold himself "to" the devil if he has actually sold himself "as" the devil?) My favorite photograph of the 600 I took on the trip:

More sights along the route:

Ansel Who?

We make it to the finish line and watch as the race leaders approach the finish:

Legging it out to the finish:

Lance! Lance! Over here! After finishing the riders have to turn around and go back out the finishing stretch:

The peleton and Pink Jersey approach the finish:

My favorite car in the parade:

An amazing and once in a lifetime experience! Our deepest and sincerest thanks to Santini, Willem, Mick, And Thomas for guiding us through these past couple days of the Giro d' Italia. Tomorrow morning we take a train to Rome! Fingers crossed!!!