25 December 2016

A Message

Cheyenne and Jack would like to say:
(aside from wanting to tell me to stop making them pose for a picture!)
Whatever you believe,
However you celebrate,
Wherever you are and,
Wherever you may be from,
Be kind to animals
(Being kind to each other might not be a bad idea either). 
 Lots of other wishes and messages can be found over at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami

17 December 2016

Sure is Pretty - Sundays in My City

I won't complain much about the cold since some of you are experiencing much more frigid temps and snow.  Still, I thought it would be warmer here!

We moved to a house this week and just a couple blocks behind the house is this great area to take the dogs and let them roam off-leash (which technically isn't allowed here but lots of people do it so...).  I showed it to you on my first bike ride.  Here are some more views.

Frosty in the morning!
Thankfully that is not snow!

Loving the freedom after a month in the hotel.

Possibly the first time he has ever been allowed to run off-leash (he is 9 years old).  Clearly he absolutely loves it!
It gets dark fast and early!

I've been taking the dogs there most every day and it definitely beats leash walks around the block!  Plus, it seems it's always a nice view there :)

For other pretty views check out SIMC posts at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami

11 December 2016

Frozen Spider Webs - Sundays in My City

I thought it would be warmer in Italy. I realize this is northern Italy but I had a vision of a very mild (read: fall-like) winter.  I was wrong.  It's freezing...actually, below freezing.  Yesterday it was also very foggy.

When I was walking the dogs yesterday morning I noticed a frozen spider web.  I decided I wanted a picture of it so I went back for my camera.  Then I noticed them everywhere.  I was fascinated.  I hope the spiders are somewhere warm!

Every fence and railing was covered with them.


Actual ice...just goes to show how strong these things are!

I'm sure I've seen frozen spider webs before but yesterday felt like the first time.  It looked like something brand new to me. I saw them again this morning (it's even colder today).  I was so busy looking at them that the dog and I missed the cross walk to cross the street and had to turn back!

Have you seen anything lately that must have been there all along but you just noticed?

Check out more interesting finds over at Unknown Mami's Sundays in My City blog hop.

28 November 2016

Trial Ride - Sundays In My NEW City

We're moving!  Well, I found a house and we move in 2 weeks (because it takes 10 working days to get the electricity turned on).  Housing here is a little different than in the Netherlands.  There we waited 7 weeks to move into a house I looked at the 2nd week we were there.  I kept thinking I needed to look around more.  Here, housing goes fast and I didn't want to do another 7 weeks in a hotel with dogs! Plus, there I had use of a car and could spend time looking around.  Here I can walk or ride my bike (car won't be here for another few weeks) so I relied more on other people's knowledge.

I found a house that met all my requirements (no stairs (the old girl doesn't do well on them anymore), fenced yard, biking distance) and took it.  So on Sunday I went for a trial bike ride to see how the route to/from work would be.  It's not the most scenic ride since it's mostly through residential streets but there is a pretty stream that I get to cross and it's an easy, flat route.  And, my house is right next to a bakery (I'm going to have to bike everywhere!) :D

This is behind the hotel where we're staying. I have to go to the back to put my bike in the garage.  One of the prettier buildings nearby.

More commutes and sights and maybe a bike ride or stream crossing over at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami

20 November 2016

Welcome to South of the Alps - Sneak Peek at Vicenza - Sundays in my NEW City

South of the Alps is, obviously, different than North of the Alps.  Lots of people stationed here have previously been stationed in Germany (North of the Alps) where everything is meticulously clean and orderly and well-manicured.  It's not like that here.  So Welcome to South of the Alps is what you hear a lot when discussing the differences here.

I took the bus into downtown Vicenza today for a look around.  I meandered aimlessly (and slowly meandering seemed to be the standard pace of people) about and took pictures of random things.  I present them here without comment since I don't know what any of it is yet.

Hope you enjoyed this first visit to Vicenza.  I'm sure there will be more and, at some point, I'll learn what stuff is :)

To visit other places around the world, check out Sundays in My City over at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami

14 November 2016

First Pizza

Of course we've all had pizza before!  But I promised the dogs that they would get pizza for dinner the day we arrived in Italy. Well, we arrived today and so they got pizza (I had some, too :D).  I'll write more about the trip later but just know it, again, involved a mad dash through the airport to make our flight despite arriving 3 hours early; but this time the flight crew was much nicer!  The dogs did great and we all arrived safe and sound.

The dogs got half of the tiniest slice plus some regular food. These are very small plates, not very large slices of pizza!

Jack had his pizza and half his food gone before Chey even got to her plate.

They both ate the pizza first!  And they both ate it so fast I didn't have time to snap a picture of them eating it :(

I stuck my head out the window to see if I could see the Super Moon (it looks like a regular-sized moon to me) and Jack had to see what was going on :)
I somehow managed to stay awake all day despite a hacking cough (mine) that didn't allow me to get much sleep on the plane.  So I'm going to go to bed early (I always go to bed early!) and hope for less coughing and more sleeping. 

01 October 2016

My First Home Away From Home

When I was 16, my wonderful parents agreed to let me go overseas as a foreign exchange student.  I was originally slated to go to Italy but then there was a problem with the Italian program (meaning the American side and Italian side were having some sort of disagreement) so I was reassigned to the Netherlands.  And now things are coming full-circle again.

The first family I lived with in the Netherlands (in my program you lived with three different families so that you got a diverse experience since no one family is representative of how everyone lives) lived 3 houses from the dyke on what was a huge orchard.  I've been back to visit them several times while living in and visiting the Netherlands. 

This last visit, I walked around the grounds and seriously have no memory of it being such a beautiful place. How did I miss that? It's on a canal (they used to have a boat there) and the mother still has a wonderful garden and works to bring back heirloom varieties of some of the original orchard trees.

It wasn't exactly easy living there all those years ago.  The kids were a lot younger than me and no one in that village went to my school (my other two families were close to the school) so it was rather lonely.  I had very few friends and they all lived much closer to the school.  I had no confidence in my ability to learn the language and so I struggled with it (one day, after months and months and months of living in the Netherlands it was as if a switch flipped and I realized I could speak Dutch). Plus, you know, I was a moody teenager.

I have a much better relationship with that set of parents now that I'm an adult.  They are really very lovely people and I enjoy visiting them.

You can see the dyke here; keeping out the Ijsselmeer. It really isn't very high. 

She really does wear these when working in the garden!
To think of how many homes away from home I've had at this point... I'm glad I get to keep visiting this one. I'm also glad I get to see it now as a beautiful place with lovely people.

What is your first home away from home?  Have your feelings about it changed over time?