- Fizzy Thoughts: June 2007

The Trip

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Itinerary for Italy, 8/28/07-9/25/07

In two months, my mom and I leave for our long-awaited trip to Italy. Along the way, we will be meeting up with Sue and Lance (HB's mom and her husband), as well as my friend Kate and her family. It's been 16 years since I've been to Italy. My mom has never been. Here is an outline of where we are going...

Tuesday, 8/28/07 leave SLO and fly to Naples

SLO to San Francisco to Munich to Naples. Whew.

Wednesday, 8/29/07 arrive Naples

We are spending the night at a hotel in Naples before taking a bus to Sorrento the next morning.

Thursday, 8/30/07 arrive Sorrento

We are staying in Sorrento for two nights and then taking the train to Rome. Of course, we will be going to Pompeii and soaking up some Sorrento sun.

9/1/07 arrive Rome

We are meeting up with Sue and Lance and sharing an apartment with them in Rome. We will be doing all the typical Rome things, (Coliseum, Forum, Vatican, Trevi Fountain...), as well as going to Tivoli and Ostia Antica. Kate and her family arrive on 9/5 and are staying in an apartment in the same building. On 9/8 we are renting 3 cars and driving to Tuscany.

9/8/07 arrive Tuscany

The 12 of us are staying in a villa near Pontessieve. We will be going into Florence, drinking wine, visiting Siena, drinking wine, checking out a nearby castle, drinking wine... You get the picture.

Saturday, 9/15/07 arrive Vanzo

Kate and her entourage are leaving for Sorrento and Sue, Lance, my mom and I will be heading north. We are staying in an apartment in Vanzo (about ½ hour SW of Venice) for a week. Other than Venice, I haven't given this week a whole lot of thought.

9/22/07 arrive Verona

On 9/22 we head for Verona, to return the rental car and say goodbye to Sue and Lance, who are flying home from Milan. Mom and I will spend our last few nights in Verona before flying home.

Tuesday, 9/25/07 leave Verona and fly home

Verona to Munich to Chicago to LAX to SLO. Let the jet lag begin.


Overwhelmed with books

I finally finished Beyond Ararat, which was a huge disappointment. I took a page out of Kate's book and wrote my review in the form of a letter. Only difference, I didn't send mine to the author!

Now I'm reading The Lost Continent, which is funny. Since it's a Sisterhood book, I need to finish it so I can pass it on. I also have another Sisterhood book waiting in the wings. And the book we have dubbed Too Much Dario that Kate wants me to read. And A Season With Verona for the July SlowTravel book club discussion. Ay yi yi.

Today is Hamburger's little bro's wedding. Which means no reading this evening. And last night was the rehearsal dinner. I gave up a night of reading to go watch people eat sushi. If I would have known sushi was involved, I would have thought twice about going. Yes, I've tried it. And yes, I can honestly say I don't like it. Any of it. So I ate my chicken and seaweed salad and listened to people rave about raw fish and wasabi.


Edith Piaf

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I saw La Vie En Rose today...and I cried through the whole thing.


Fishing goes Hollywood

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hamburger is channel surfing and stopped to watch the new intro to Deadliest Catch. Since it's changed quite a bit from the original, I was watching and trying to find the words to describe the drama? horror? whatever the hell they did, when HB summed it up perfectly: "Boy, they've really Hollywooded it up, haven't they?"


It's sum- sum- summertime!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A very summery song to celebrate the first day of summer!


Strength based blogging

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I think Barry, Irene and Andy would fit right in at DSS...they can spout all the right buzzwords.


Saturday in Santa Cruz

Monday, June 18, 2007

Too bad the Santa Cruz housing market is comparable to Morro Bay. Otherwise, Hamburger and I would have the house for sale and be packing our bags. Santa Cruz was seriously gorgeous this weekend. A bit of morning fog, as you can see in this crappy picture that is supposed to show the pier and the boardwalk, but the gloom soon burned off and left perfect weather behind.

Saturday morning we started the day with the obligatory surf check at Steamer's Lane. HB checked out the surf, I checked out the old lighthouse building, which is now a surf museum:

It wasn't open yet, so we didn't see anything. And the waves weren't doing much of anything, in case you were wondering. So we headed off to the boardwalk to catch the train:
The train left from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and went backwards down a one-way street, terrorizing cars along the way. Okay, maybe not, but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be driving down that street. After we cleared a path through boardwalk traffic, the trained cruised through the streets of old Santa Cruz, stopping traffic with old wigwag signals. From there, we went through a very, very, very, dark 1875 tunnel that is about a 1/4 mile long. It was pitch black in that train as we went through the tunnel...until the bozos started playing with their cell phones and cameras. After that, the train chugged up into the hills to Roaring Camp, passing through the redwoods of Henry Cowell State Park, along the San Lorenzo River, across Highway 1 (where the traffic stops for the train) and over some very old bridges. The trip took about an hour, and then we had an hour to explore Roaring Camp (it can be done in 15 minutes) before boarding for the return trip. Which was almost downhill all the way. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

After we got back to Santa Cruz, we walked around the boardwalk. We had plans to ride the Giant Dipper, but the line was long and the crowds horrendous. So we parked ourselves at an outside bar with really bad margaritas and even worse service. After more walking around, our traditional dinner at the Las Palmas Taco Bar, and yet more walking around, we finally decided we weren't going to make it to the 9pm fireworks (in celebration of the boardwalk's 100th year). Besides, I was peopled out.

Sunday, on the drive home, we stopped at Moss Landing to walk over the dunes to see the ocean. HB had heard there was a good wave there, but had never seen it. The beach looks almost identical to Morro Bay's Atascadero State Beach, minus our rock, of course. There's even the power plant in the background, except it's missing a stack. I've always thought Moss Landing was a butt-ugly town, but it does have a beautiful ocean view.

Oh, and HB said he had weird dreams Saturday night. I was actually riding with him on the back of his motorcycle (hell must've been frozen over), and we had Elmo bungee-corded on the back. When we got to wherever we were going, Elmo was gone. Luckily, we found him a few feet away in the parking lot. Poor Elmo.


Delphi, Greece - Summer 1990

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm working on a post about the book expo I went to on Saturday. In the meantime, stare at this...


Mmmmmm, chocolate

Monday, June 04, 2007

On Saturday I went to a bridal shower for my sort-of soon-to-be sister-in-law. I say sort of because she's the fiancee of my boyfriend's half-brother. It wasn't bad for a bridal shower. I didn't have to play any silly games, and I got to hang out with the cousins (technically, they would be the sort-of cousins-in-law). By far, the best part of the day was the chocolate we had for dessert. Truffles from the Truffle Garden in SLO, and Casa Don Puglisi chocolate from Italy (by way of the cheese shop in Paso). Both were amazingly good, especially with the red wine we were sipping.


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thanks to Jessica and Shelley, there is a nifty new website:

This is a sister website to Readers Without Borders, where you may have noticed most of my book reviews live these days. I love the idea of traveling books, especially since I already pass on most of my books (much as I love them, they are darn heavy when it's time to move!). And unlike bookcrossing, which I used to be more way involved in, at least this way I know the books are going to an appreciative recipient. I'm looking forward to being a part of this community of readers!


Incidents in the Rue Laugier

This morning I read Anita Brookner's Incidents in the Rue Langier. This isn't a book I ever would have chosen on my own, but I swapped a bunch of books with a friend, and this one was in the pile.

After her mother's death, Maffy discovers a mysterious notebook and a silk kimono. Baffled by how these items fit into her very reserved mother's life, she invents a story explaining how her parents met and came to marry.

The small blurb on the cover claims Brookner is "funny, vivid and devastating in her observations." Hmmm. Vivid, yes. But funny? Maybe they read a different book, because I was at no time amused. Depressed is more like it. This was a grim book, focused on the perceived proper behavior of an earlier time, as well as duty and unrequited love. It was a quick read, but I can't say that I enjoyed it.


Recently read

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I just finished A Year in Provence, and I now understand why Peter Mayle is such a popular writer. And I'm ready to go visit the Luberon now. Just not in August, and don't expect me to eat pate.

Kate, you'll be finding this book on your desk next week. I think it's perfectly designed for you to read. Each chapter is a month, so it's easy to pick it up and read a month and then set it down for awhile.


Nobody move! I've dropped me brain...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Yes, we saw Pirates of the Caribbean. #3. And I don't care what the critics say, it was good. Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. But good. At nearly 3 hours, as soon as the credits rolled we were out of our seats and headed for the door. And today I learn there's an additional, and possibly important scene, at the end of the credits. Figures.

Since Hamburger's birthday is today, we went all out last night. Dinner and a movie. Yeah, yeah, we're party animals. We even had popcorn (to go with HB's mandatory box of Duds). We were behind a young girl in the snack line. She marched up to the counter and stated "I would like the biggest size of popcorn you have." Now there's a party animal.


The Best Novels You've Never Read

New York Magazine has an article listing the most underrated books of the last 10 years. And boy did they call that one right. I've read one. Out of 61. Which book, you ask? Winner of the National Book Award by Jincy Willett. I recall liking it, but it's been awhile, so that's all I remember.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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