Liguria (Italy) presentation for Italian class

Here is the presentation I put together for my Italian class about the Ligurian region.


Liguria from everyAugust on Vimeo.


planning for Italy 2014

Summer 2012 was a ..... learning summer for me.  I traveled to Ireland and Russia (both places on my list) and after each trip I decided it was time to go back to Italy.

I admit it.  Italy is my favorite place to travel.  Someone asked me why recently and the first thing that came to mind was the food.  But it was more than that.  It was the way lunch lasts for three hours.  Or the way strangers become friends.  The way Italians talk with their hands and every story is an adventure.  How there is an open bottle of wine on the table and sunflowers at the market in summer.  There is something about Italy that feels like home. Something that made me decide my summer 2014 trip is going to happen in Italy.

I have a few more plans.  Like I hope to stay in Bordighera, the home town of a friend of mine in the Italian Riviera.  I am taking Italian for the next two years so I can speak, or at least understand, some Italian when I go.  I am thinking of going for 3 weeks in the beginning of June.  I want to rent an apartment and am not sure if T or my sisters will be joining me.  I hope all of them do!  I get lonely when they are not around.

This trip is two years away, and I can't wait to go.  It looks like I will mostly be in the Ligurian region and on the Italian Riviera.  I might take a few trains rides to visit some surrounding towns, but mostly I am just looking to enjoy la dolce vita.



Eating crow

Do you remember that bet I had with my Dad about who could lose 25 pounds first?  Good! Neither do I .....

Still reading?

I lost that bet.  You can read about it here, all the way back in 2009.

I guess I can be comforted that at least it took my Dad a long time to lose those 25 pounds, and I was right, he did plateau, but in the long run, he beat me.

I am actually really happy for him.  25 pounds is a lot and it only means he will be healthier, which is a good thing.

So how are we going to celebrate my loss?  With food of course!  I get to take out the group who was at the original bet.  I wish I would have won.  Then I would be twenty five pounds lighter and the winner.  It is like my dad had a double win.

There was a second bet and I hope to win that one, but we will see.  My Dad is on an eating right and exercising kick. There is a good chance I could be eating more crow next year......


Remembering Summer 2012

I am really looking forward to Fall 2012.  I miss eating soup and that crispness in the air.  Summer is hanging on with a vengeance here in Southern California and I have no idea if we will even have a fall season.  But I keep waiting.  Hoping it will happen soon.

It's kind of funny because I think summer is my favorite season.  I love all the food that shows up in the farmer's markets in the summer.  I love BBQing all the time.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE how light it stays.  I love biking, going to the beach, mountains, running and camping and almost all of that happens in the summer.

But, I am ready.  I am ready for fall and to start thinking about snowboarding and winter. 

So anytime you're ready SO CAL.... I would be happy to let the summer season come to an end.


Best Wedding Cake EVER!

Best cake ever! 
That's right, it was donuts.  And they were amazing!

I don't go to a ton of weddings, but I have been to a my share and I like the way couples are making the day special to them.  I have been to the wedding with cupcakes instead of cake and even to one that had an ice cream sundae bar.  Hands down, the donuts instead of cake has been my favorite so far.

This past weekend T's youngest brother Jay got married in Richmond, Virginia.  You might remember Jay from my trip to Hong Kong.  He is the pilot that lives there and he and Andrea (also in my Hong Kong adventure)  decide to tie the knot in her home town of Richmond, Virginia. 
The moment
I can't even image trying to organize a wedding from half way around the world, but they pulled it off and it was great to celebrate with them, meet Andrea's family and friends, and see some Virginia. The ceremony was at the Byrd Park Pump House.
The bros
I found a house to rent in Richmond that was awesome on VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner).  We shared it with T's other brother Kanan and his wife Siska and daughter Amaryllis and with their mom.  Renting a house was such a good idea.  It gave us a kitchen and living room.  Everyone stopped by and we would hang out in the house, kitchen, back patio, living room, basically everywhere.  Everyone but me and Amaryllis (the three year old) drank coffee so the coffee pot was always going or beer was being opened.  The house was such a good idea, and for four days it became a home.   The picture of the brothers above is after the wedding.  T is close with his bothers and it was great that they got to spend time together.
The married couple
The wedding was short and beautiful (my favorite kind) and afterwards Jay and Andrea were so happy and excited.  Everyone was so happy for them!
Kanan and Siska
Here is another happy couple, T's brother Kanan and his wife Siska.
Reception tables
The reception was in a friends backyard and it was perfect.  There was finger foods, an open bar, and the DONUTS!  Early on no one touched the donuts but the kids soon started asking if they could have one and then it was game on for donuts.
Donut time
Here is Amaryllis feeding T a donut.  Amaryllis is T's niece and she loved him.  She called him Uncle Storii the first day (his name is Torii) but soon got his name correct and would wake up every morning looking for him yelling "Where's Uncle Storii!".  Basically T spent the trip hanging out with his niece. It seems like they were always together.  He said he was trying to win favorite uncle and when we left I am sure he had!

I had a great time in Richmond celebrating Jay and Andrea. It was great to see everyone and raise my glass to people I love.



Running Richmond, VA

Richmond run w Jay
That drum pounding in my head, it's my heart beating.  The squeezing in my chest, those are my lungs fighting for air.  The cramp in my side started 5 minutes ago and still I push on.  This morning I went running with my 6'3" brother-in-law and I immediatly started feeling the agony of the 10 inch diffrence in our height.  Even now, hours after returning, my lungs still feel like I'm breathing through water.  My run today, it worked me.

I'm in Richmond for this bother-in-laws wedding actually.  I love to run in new cities and he offered to take me this morning.  The bride-to-be was going to join us but at the last minute decided she had too many things to do.  Totally understandable.  What with a wedding tomorrow and all.  So Jay and I headed to Belle Isle to get in a morning run.

I was stunned by the beauty of this place.  Having never been to Richmond, or the east coast for that matter, I loved coming across all the bones of our country.  In CA I think of our bones as the California Missions.  Here in Richmond, running around Belle Isle, we passed old bridges or a single wall of an old brick building.  I felt this sort of nastalga.  Kind of like what I imagine europeans feel when they see old castles.  A sense of pride for the people who built this country.  Or maybe I was just so grateful to have a reason to stop while I was running with Jay!

I usually run before the sun comes up but today we went out at 8am.  There is something to be said of running when you can actually see things.  The world is a beautiful place, and this place, Belle Isle, was worth seeing even if it was at a fast running pace.
Richmond run w Jay
A suspension bridge is the link to Belle Isle.  It hangs between two overhead roads and crosses the James River.  Above you can see Jay already ahead of me.  I caught up to him after this picture.  Below you can see some of the James River.  We don't have places like this in CA and I was immediatly drawn to the place.
Richmond run w Jay
Something about the way the light bounced off the rushing water while the muted sounds of cars overhead filtered through the scene that made me smile.

Jay and I ran around the isle and across to the other side.  We ran along the river and even tried to cross back to the island across some boulders crossing the river.  We made it to the other side, but then didn't want to risk poison oak crawling back to the trail.  We agreed to run to the suspension bridge and sprinted the last bit.  Jay of course left me in the dust and I couldn't talk when I finished my sprint.  I kind of wanted to throw up actually, but managed to hold it together.

We walked the bridge back to the car and started our day.  The sun was shining and Jay is getting married tomorrow. Life is good.
Richmond run w Jay