I adore my niece and nephew. Even though they are far away, I am ever fascinated by how they are growing into these little people. They each have their own personalities. Can you guess who is 'crazy' and who is 'cute'?
Kate is cute, yes, but she's totally crazy. She's this tough little girly girl - carrying around her purse as she scales furniture (or anything she can climb). Friends with everyone and without an ounce of fear. A social climber in the making? Perhaps. The Class Clown? Likely.
Will is cute and cuter. He's sweet and angelic. When you hold him you just feel this sense of gentle warmth radiating from him. He's very determined and growing so much each day. He's just now sharing his personality with us and it's amazing to hear about his accomplishments. I got to hear his laugh today for the first time and - uh, be still my heart! A baby laugh is too adorable for words. I have a feeling William will be studious, competitive and kind. A perfect gentleman? Definitely.
I adore them both with all my heart and look forward to seeing more of their personalities shine as they grown and learn more about who they are. To quote one my favorite people (Kate), "wuv yuuuuu" little babies!
Ahhh, the beach. It's thawed out here in KC, but I'm still wishing I was back here...on the Adriatic coast in Italy. The warm sun, waves tumbling the rocks, sand, salt water breezes are characteristics of this coastline. Follow it farther north and you'll find expansive sandy beaches with cabanas and palm frawn umbrellas dotting the shoreline. Abruzzo really does have the best of all worlds...mountains, vineyards and beaches. I miss all of it. I wonder if my sculpture is still standing? I like to think it's still there awaiting my return.
Do you know what it's like to be cold? REALLY cold? I mean, REALLY REALLY cold??? Your skin gets sucked dry and then it starts to get a burning sensation as it freezes. It's HORRIBLE.
The dogs don't even want to go out. Athena came in the house crying last night b/c she had snow packed in her paws and it must have felt like little needles jabbing into her skin. Poor thing. Buster started limping b/c he didn't want to put his paws down and Louise tried her best to tiptoe across the snow. All of them run in the house and try to get their noses warm by shoving them into blankets and dog beds.
Don't get me wrong...we all like the winter and snow, but this is different. 10 degrees is not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination. I just don't know how people live in this type of weather most of the winter. Definition of insanity if you ask me.
I just hope I can keep it together until the temperatures rise (about a week from now) to above freezing. Any more of this, and I'll go insane. Landlocked is one thing, landlocked and forced to be a hermit in your house a different thing entirely. Talk about winter blahs!!! We'd be really happy if someone could send some hot sunshine our way...to defrost our noses and toes.
It's been a while since I have posted about Italy, so I thought I'd share one of the highlights from our trip. Our last day in Tuscany, Mark and I went to Arezzo. Arezzo is home to one of my favorite markets in the world. The last Saturday of every month they have the most amazing antique fair. Alas, our timing was off on this trip and there wouldn't be a fair, but I wanted to go check out Arezzo anyway.
It was a Sunday and most of the shops and cafes were closed, and I was starting to get a little bummed when I realized that our last day in Tuscany would be spent walking around a rather empty town. Arezzo has more than one piazza, so we strolled through one...empty...kept walking, enjoying the old architecture and history on our way to the next when...as we turned the corner...we hear pumping music (how did we not hear it before??? acoustical secrets of etruscan builders I suppose) and what sounded like cars racing...we turn another corner to the grand piazza and there they were... parata di Fiat dell'annata...a parade of old vintage fiats!
In a word, WOW! It was amazing...all these shiny candy colored Cinquecentos against a backdrop of weathered neutral-colored ancient walls. It was just about the coolest surprise and made for a great finale to the Tuscany portion of our trip.
We checked out a few of the cars, then, the grand master blew his whistle, waved a flag and...they were off! Engines revving, horns honking (I might add the horns were just as colorful as the cars - some played the musical score from The Godfather, others played La Cucaracha, others a whimsical little 'beep,beep') they lined up and drove out of the piazza. In ten minutes they were gone and the piazza was dead silent again. We couldn't believe our fortune of just stumbling on such a cool event. I guess that's the best way to experience Italy...just let Italy come to you.
This last weekend was the last race of the 2007 season. It was fun and it was real, and maybe a little real fun. I still think that riding your bike in winter weather is a crazy thing to do, but it is fun to watch.
Now that it's over, I will miss seeing the same ol' cycling diehards and the energy of Roger's pumping music...what I won't miss is bundling up, standing outside in subzero temps and sloshing through mud and snow.
As Mark hangs up his cyclocross bikes on a really good season (he placed second overall and I'm really proud of his accomplishments), I get to 'hang up' the wool socks, long johns, turtle necks, mud/snow boots, gloves and cowbells (I still think I should get some kind of award for doing a stellar job of cheering him on while risking frostbite - it should be noted that risking frostbite is totally opposite my CA girl DNA). ;-)
I'm looking forward to having our weekends free and flexible for awhile. We can take a few months off from the bike scene and hopefully we'll find time on the weekends to relax, slow down and explore a little. At least we don't have to 'race' into the new year...and that's a nice feeling.