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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Half Marathon

Back in May I coerced my parents into doing a half marathon with me. We trained all summer, going on morning walks/jogs through the streets of our little town. The hours we spent training were just as fun and memorable as the hours we spent this morning participating in the actual event. The weather was perfect, the autumn-colored wine country we walked through was absolutely stunning, the excitement of the other two-thousand runners was contagious. (Just a random fact - 68% of the runners today were women. How 'bout that?)

We even had our own personal cheer section right before mile 5. Thanks, Scott and Rachel!

And, I just have to say... my parents are awesome! They are the grandparents of 27. And, today they completed 13.1 miles. I was so proud to be on the course with them today. Definitely a moment saved among the most precious of memories to relive.

** There is a really good story behind why I had to catch a ride to the finish line at mile marker 9, but that's a story for another day... sure to be told soon, though.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Stop: London

When I booked our tickets to Italy on a mid-summer day, I noticed the flight plan option that would give us a five-hour layover in London. We decided to go for it. In hindsight, I'm not sure we would have made the same decision. 

We landed at Heathrow on very wet pavement, ominous gray clouds, and continuous pouring rain. Since we couldn't connect with an earlier flight to Rome, we bought roundtrip tickets on the Heathrow Express and made our way directly to Paddington. Without an umbrella or proper rain-proof jackets, we wandered the streets of this section of London until finally finding a little hole-in-the-wall cafe. We enjoyed the warmth and cover from the rain, while eating some delicious fish-n-chips. It was good. But, I have to say, not nearly as good as the little fish-n-chips place I've known since childhood, in Sausalito.

After lunch, we wandered some more, hoping around the next corner we'd finally find a street with awnings or some sidewalk covering of some sort. No such luck. We should have bought an umbrella at the train station. We went from wet and annoyed to more wet and more annoyed. Clearly not the best first impression of London. Even though we still had a couple of hours to waste, we decided to waste it back at the airport, where we could dry off and gather our happy spirits back together in time to arrive in Rome a few hours later.

London, I promise we'll give you a second chance, someday.

Well, at least we got an extra stamp in our passports.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back home

(where we stayed for our first week in Sicily)

To say that our trip to Italy was wonderful would be an absolute understatement. There is so much to share. As soon as I've had a chance to sort through approximately 600 photos and 200 videos, I promise to bring you all the good, the funny, and the totally unique glimpses we enjoyed while in Italy. It is a vacation never to be forgotten.

Much more to come very soon....

Monday, October 5, 2009

The land of my Heart

image credit:

Yesterday afternoon, while watching a movie with Marc and my parents,  I found myself transported back to a moment almost nine years ago. I was sitting on a plane, looking out the dark window, with fearful tears that the land I was leaving would be left behind, never to be visited again. I decided in that moment to leave (at least a piece of) my heart there, desperately hoping that my heart strings would pull me back for future visits. Yesterday, as my mind went back to that moment, my heart was filled to overflowing with the most incredible feeling of joy and excitement, knowing that in mere days I would set foot in that same sacred land, discovering again how it captured my heart the first time. Things to look forward to - reunion with a dear friend, a big Sicilian wedding, a toast (in Italian) by yours truly, gelato, real Italian food, walking the cobblestone streets, the sounds, the smells, the sights, and sharing it all with my Love.

Leaving tomorrow! Incredible pictures and surely some hilarious stories soon to follow.... Ci vediamo!