Trip of a Lifetime
Well, we only have 16 days to go as of today. My son's posting reminds me of how much we'll miss our family and friends while we're gone. Little Ali, now nearing 15 months old, will probably seem to have grown tons by the time we come back. Come to think of it, we'll probably have grown by the time we come back, with all that pasta and pizza, though we're planning on doing a LOT of walking.

This will be the first time James and I will have spent 24x7 in each other's company too. I'm not sure if I should be scared or excited. After 25 years of marriage, we have never had that luxury. In fact, of late, James has had to spend so many hours finishing up his last project house, that I rarely see him! It has gotten me really looking forward to the break. I get 5 weeks of his attention, and he, mine.

Now we're down to 16 days, and the panic is beginning to set in. I have a lot of things to do to finish preparations. I have to finish the arrangements for a house sitter (for only 1 week), make sure the bills will be paid while we're gone, notify banks, lose 20 pounds, check the will, hug my son, lose 20 pounds, hug the family, make lists, cross things off lists, lose 20 pounds, make another list (cuz I lost the first one), buy camera batteries, make a list for James, lose 20...You get the idea.


Italy in 04

Well, since I have the ability to post on this particular blog, I will.
I find it a rather splendid idea of taking a bit of a celebration in Europe together. I don't feel like it is a vacation- I don't think something that lasts quite as long as five and a half weeks could be. I think that the entire trip is much more than a vacation, and more of a mid-life-glad-to-still-be-with-you-ps-thx-for-not-divorcing-me kind of thing.
It is truly uncommon for such a long relationship these days, seeing as most of my friends do not have two parents that are blood related to them. Takes guts and real love, the messy kind, to get through the kinds of things you go through in 25 years.
So I tip my glass to you, my parents, because you have done what I hope for all my life- to love and be loved in return, while shining in God's eyes (No divorces).


Yes I will miss you. What kind of silly question is that? Heh, parents these days...

Great Friends

Amazingly enough, we've managed to talk some friends into meeting us in Italy for a portion of our trip. Bob and Patricia DeWitt are hooking up with us for the Tuscany/Umbria week and then on down to the Amalfi Coast and ending up in Rome for a day or two.

Through them, we were able to find out that another couple, Jerry and Sara Gamache, were also going to be traveling in Italy at the same time celebrating their 25 years of wedded bliss (same as we are). They'll join us for the week in Tuscany and then continue on with their itinerary.

The six of us have set up a monthly Italian dinner evening where we discuss our plans, try out our favorite Italian dishes, and generally work ourselves into a dither about our upcoming travels. We exchange our tidbits of info we've managed to gleen from travel blogs, Rick Steves' books or classes, maps, articles, and other such travel treasures. After our last one, I told James that we needed to keep meeting as a group even after our trip is completed. Maybe we can all plot next years trip (hint, hint)!

Anyway, only 30 days to go. What a great trip, with good friends, and fabulous food!

The Italy portion of our trip: 1. Venice; 2. Verona area; 3. Cinque Terre; 4. Florence; 5. Tuscany/Umbria area; 6. Amalfi Coast; 7. Rome
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I had to re-do this blog

I had to re-do this blog because I couldn't get the old one to post correctly. I managed to copy out the old posts (most of them) and copy them here, including Bob's "Y Am I Going to Italy" which is a hoot.

I hope others of you will post as well.

Stay tuned. James and I leave in one month. We'll be posting on this blog occasionally throughout the trip. We plan on getting a cell phone when we're there, and we'll be sure to post the phone number so those of you who need to get a hold of us urgently can do so.

Only 30 days to go as of today! Yahoo!

Y I Am Going to Italy

This is a good question that I will make up an answer to on the spot though it will not be the real answer because I don't know the real answer. That will be determined far in the future as I look back from my perch on a high mountain-top, called Mt.Perspective. The not-real reason is that the Ochs asked us to go and since we had time to go and a slight inclination for adventure, plus someone very near and dear to me decided to lay enough money on us to pay for the whole trip, we said, "okay!" It seems like a good thing to do because there are no decent pizzarias here in Seattle and the gelato is inferior as well, not to mention a real paucity of medieval architecture and sun-wrinkled peasants wandering around.

It is our hope to get an audience with the Pope as I have a few questions for him I have been saving up for a long time, such as how long does it take him to iron that hat? Also, if he wears white, and we know good guys wear white, why do all his friends wear black? Anyway, if he is too busy we thought we would do something equally important like rent a motorcycle and slalom at 100 m.p.h. through the flocks of sheep, pigs, chickens, hay wagons, wild boars, and the above-mentioned wrinkled peasants that cover the hilly, winding Italian roads around every blind corner. My wife may not do this as she has some important shopping to do in the quaint Tuscan villages where you can get a great deal on imported Chinese items. Also she has a sharp eye for over-looked objects d'art that the locals may have missed like Da Vinci manuscripts stuck in the back of a pasta cookbook or a Michalangelo that is being used by an ignorant peasant as a butter churn. This alone would make the trip worthwhile.

So these are a few of the reasons we are going to Italy, not to mention it will be exciting to be where history has been made. Because by the time we are there the Prime Minister of Italy may have been replaced - three or four times!


I found some good things regarding the weather during our stay in Italy. has an excellent site showing the high, low, and averages.

When we're in the Florence/Tuscany area, the average high temperature is 79 degrees and the average low is 57. Another site said the minimum average temperature of 57 was taken at sunrise (, and showed the average maximum at 82. This site took the averages from 1992 to 1996. I believe the other site spread the average over 30 years. Either way, we'll probably see warm weather.