I finally visited Italy this year. It was an amazing trip. I spent 3 days in Venice, 4 in Florence, and 5 in Rome. Florence and Rome could have used a week or more on their own. Florence was really cool, especially because I watched Davinci’s Demons.
Many of the historical names and facts were interesting to see in context. The Medici Palace was very largest and ornate. It amazes me how much effort Italians make to blend the historical architecture with new buildings. I also found that the pizza somehow tastes better there and there is a gelato shop on every street corner.
I wouldn’t be much good a blogging with the infrequency at which I keep up this site but I think I have an new theory. While I was traveling on holiday in France and Spain I thought about how my grandfather would have loved to be on just such a journey. When he retired, he read all sorts of books about the world and would discuss them with me but never got to travel to the places he’d read about.
When my grandfather passed away, I remembered all the years growing up on the farm with his guidance and support. I’m really not sure how much history about our family or information vanished as family members passed away. I felt it would be nice document my memories before I am no longer able to and thought you might enjoy stories from a small Vermont farming community.
I don’t plan to sit down and write a novel, but as I remember something from my past I will share it and how it affected my life.
After a rough first season this spring, the summer season is looking promising for the SVSL Xtremes. We have 14 committed team members and very strong teamwork at practice this evening. Our first game is against the Maneaters this Thursday at Twin Creeks Sports Complex at 6:40pm. You can check out the team site on GameChanger for details about upcoming games and results.
So I received a job offer in San Jose and they want me to start in 4 weeks. I’ve been so crazy trying to figure out if I should make this move. I have always enjoyed my visits to California but this would be a move all the way across the country.
It will be a 7 day drive from Rochester to Columbus to St Louis to Oklahoma City to Albuquerque to Flagstaff to Las Vegas to San Jose. The route is about 200 miles longer than going the northern route but I avoid two major mountain passes (Cheyanne and Tahoe) that might be having snow the second week of February. This route would also take me through some of the southern states which I’ve never seen and might consider adding a day just to get to see the Grand Canyon.
I have a cousin in Las Vegas and friends in San Fran so at least I know there will be familiar faces along my journey. I’m sure there will be more to write as I make my plans. I’m excited and unsettled at the same time but am jumping in with both feet.
Ask a dozen people what “market” means and you’ll get several different answers. But where do you draw the line between advertising liberty and just plain exaggeration. I arrived in Boston last night for a week of training. I’m staying at the Courtyard Marriott on Tremont Street. I was excited to see they listed a 24-hour market in the lobby when I made my reservation. Having stayed in Toronto, San Francisco, and Philadelphia that have urban markets like DiBruno Brothers Deli, a market would be a great feature.
After checking in and getting to my room I had some time to relax. The room is very nice; wonderfully decorated and very clean. The parking garage out the window isn’t very exciting, but I’m not planning to sit by the window and watch the sunset. The bathroom is very large with a walk in shower and steamy hot water, mostly steam all the way to the “H”.
Feeling refreshed after the drive from Rochester to Boston, I decided to go down and get some dinner and pick up some breakfast items at the market. As I stepped off the elevator I saw a sign for the “Market” but there wasn’t an arrow in either direction. I quickly realized that the “Market” was a closet next to the sign. As it turns out they took a small closet, installed shelves on two walls, and a bottle cooler on the third.
Most of the items didn’t have prices on them, but I wasn’t really prepared to explore the neighborhood at 9pm, looking for a grocery store, so I picked up a couple minimal items to get me by until the next day. As it turns out, there are several stores within 3 blocks of the hotel. I suggest that the Marriott marketing folks should be required to do all their shopping at the “Market” and see if they realize where they went wrong.
The Conservatory has a special holiday display of San Francisco buildings as models with running trains and great tropical plants. The de Young Museum has a few interesting exhibits but the Academy of Science offered far more interesting displays about nature and science.
Alamo Square happened to be along my walk and I stumbled across the houses that seem to depict San Fancisco in numerous TV shows and other media.
Houses on the hill
The North Bay is a very vibrant and quaint collection of communities. Mill Valley has an amazing mix of local shops. The hot chocolate at The Depot was delicious but the chocolate brownie was more chocolate than flour and melts in your mouth. There is a great comedy club to check out on Tuesday night. The Bay Model in Sausalito is a great way to get the birds eye view of the pacific, bays, and watershed. There is a great little restaurant in Tiburon called Sam’s that sits right on the water with a gorgeous view of the boats and San Francisco in the background. Hiking in the redwoods at Muir Woods would be a great way to spend any Saturday. I would have liked to go all the way to the beach but I had other things to see. Maybe next time I’ll take the whole day: breakfast in Tiburon, hiking in Muir Woods, and lunch at Mill Valley. I have a number of pictures from the walk to the Marina district and the North Bay on SmugMug.
Golden Gate Bridge
I had a great time browsing the Asian Art Museum. They are having a special exhibit about Afghanistan but I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. Photography is allowed in some galleries so I captured a few images and put them in my Portfolio. You should check it out if you’re in San Fran.
Asian Art Museum
My vacation is off to a great start: flights on time, nice hotel, great people. I found a nice little grocery store, on McAllister, around the corner from my hotel, The Inn at the Opera, on Fulton Street.
I hope to have some pictures up later in the week as I explore the city with my camera.
We lost 2-1 for our first match but we had a great time as a team. The games were close and we are learning to be a team. HotShots on Univeristy Ave has five sand courts and three hard courts. It’s the only place to play indoor sand volleyball. During the summer many people play at Charlotte Beach. Tuesday night we play pickup games on hard court at HotShots ($4/person) at 10pm if you want to join.