Thursday, October 22, 2009

Transitions and Travel

It has been awhile since my last submission. The summer here in Seattle was Spectacular. One of the driest on record and it hung in there quite nicely until about October 8. Some years it is over by mid September. Had a pretty busy summer with lots of new faces from all over the world and many returning guests. It is so nice to have people return and being able to hear what is new in their lives.
As far as what is new with us hear, I had the opportunity to join friends at a Villa Maddalena in Tuscany for 10 days in mid September. We traveled with two close friends from Seattle and met up 10 others from either the Bay Area or Puerto Vallarta. We had such a great time, except for looking for parking in some of the towns. We had all but two dinners in the house and had some great meals. Fortunately we had some excellent cooks and I didn't mind at all be relegated to sous chef, dish washer or taker out of the garbage or recycle. The village that we stay at was in Montisi which is about 12 km north of Pienze, 40 minutes southeast of Sienna and 2 and half hours north of Rome. It has 350 permanent residents and we were fortunate to be able to attend their community dinner and futball awards on the Saturday night we were there. They had tables set up down the only street through town for at least 3 blocks on both sides and served a five course meal to 540 people from one community kitchen that was actually under a portion of our house. The futball dignitaries at in a portion of our house that was for the foyer that a harpsaccord had been sitting in that was moved into the living room. The food was good and the atmosphere was great and people were wonderful.
We enjoyed day trips to Sienna, Monticino, Montipulciano, Sinalunga, Pienza, San Gimignano, Cortona, Asciano, Orvieto, the outlet mall and a couple other towns that I can't recall right now. Pardon the spelling on some of the names. The weather was perfect and not to crowded anywhere. It is hard to have a trip planned for a year and a half out and have it be over so quickly. One of the highlights was my brother and new wife were over in France and Italy on their honeymoon and were able to work it in their schedule to stay in the nearby village and have dinner with us the last night. Even walked down to the cemetery after dark that had all of these lights on the walls and headstones. It sits just out of the village a few hundred yards in an olive orchard.
Look forward to having the opportunity to being able to have an experience like that again in some other part of the world.
Upon return, reality struck and I was informed that the sewer backed up on the Emerald Room that morning. I have bad dreams about the dang sewer lines, but the one within the foundation is cast iron and not supposed to back up, just the clay ones outside the foundation that are subject to some root invasion. It is a 100 year old this year.
I also replaced the fence behind the Carriage House and the lattice fence under the birch trees on the patio with a 6 foot iron fence that in styling resembles the short one on the wall that encircles the house. I think it looks much better. I just now have to get jasmine to grow on it starting next spring.
Will try and post more often. Let me know if you read this and are interested in hearing about anything in particular.
Ciao
Daryl