Tuesday, November 21, 2006

VHS Pep Rally!

Last month I had the honor of being asked to be 'the Cougar' for a Vicenza High School pep rally. Only a few teachers knew of my identity, so it was fun - but very strange - having total anonymity. More than once, I gave a student a slap on the back, and was returned with a look of "Who are you?!"
When my identity was revealed, the students all stood and clapped, so it was great to be so warmly recieved. It was a great experience, and I'm glad I got the chance to do it.
Those suits are hot! When I took of the suit to change back into my street clothes, eveything I was wearing was completely soaked in sweat. I have never sweat so much in my entire life!
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Friday, October 06, 2006

Piazza dei Sapori

Is there anything better than when local food vendors from all over Italy convene in one place to celebrate and sell you their wares?
It's possible, but you'd have to work hard to convince us.

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Piran, Slovenia

Last Saturday we day-tripped to the Slovenian coast to catch some sun, warmth, and water before the last few days of summer slipped into fall. The water of Piran was so clear and blue, and we had a great time swimming around while looking at views of the magnificent city in the distance.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ferie di Zocco

The Ferie di Zocco is like a county fair. They had all sorts of things, ranging from rides to food to plants to hot tubs. But our favorite was the tractors. They had the coolest collection of old tractors.
Our neighbors took us Friday night to sample one of their favorite foods: octopus. Unfortunately, my weak equilibrium and I (Jim) made the grand mistake of riding the tilt-o-wheel prior to sampling the bottom-living cephalopod.
Needless to say, I probably won't be eating octopus ever again.
Lamborghini. Niiice.

These two gentlemen were fun to watch, chatting it up Italian style. Notice the old John Deere in the background.

cute kid.

An old Ford tractor.
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A day of reckoning

Well, it finally happened. I (Jim) turned 30. Along with turning 30, 12 years of inactivity finally caught up with me in the form of 30 pounds over the last 6 years of my life. While I won't argue with the many people who have told me "30 pounds! You probably needed to gain 20 anyway!", it's the last 10 that I have an issue with. They have taken the form of a small bulge around my waistline.
Yes, I now have a spare tire.
So, the day after my 30th birthday, I decided to take up running, in an effort to shave down the tire. The first day was awful. Two minutes into my jog, I felt like I had a large sandbag tied to each foot, and a sack of bricks on my chest!
At this point I have been running for about a month, and it is much easier, although I still can't match my speed from high school.
Ahh, the folly of youth, eh?
A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
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Birthday surprise, Slovenia (canyoning)

For my birthday, Amanda surprised me with a trip to Slovenia for Canyoning.
What is canyoning, you ask?
The blogged photos give a pretty good idea, but it involves sliding down waterfalls and jumping into pools of clear blue Slovenian river water. (Note: Slovenian water is not a prerequisite for canyoning. But who doesn't like Slovenian water?) Our good friends Gil and Patti also made the trek, and were part of the grand surprise. We had an absolute blast! It was a great 30th birthday surprise for me.

We stayed in the cute town of Bled. Slovenians refer to the small island in the middle of Lake Bled as 'the island', since it is the only island in all of Slovenia.

In Bled, we did a little of our favorite alpine activity: luging!

At the little B&B we stayed, every other guest was an Aussie! We had a great time chatting it up over dinner, talking about cultural differences and beer. (It turns out that Australians don't drink Fosters. Who knew!)

A nice Slovenian apple tree.

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Real men wear diapers!


Mandy takes the plunge.
(Don't look too closely at her expression of fear.)

This guy is now paralized from the waist down.

Just kidding.
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Canyoning, Part 2


Patti twisted her ankle posing for this picture, but wasn't it worth it?!

I'm not really as scared as I look.
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Canyoning, Part 3

Go Gil!

Aren't we hardcore??

The clear emerald green water of the Vintgar Gorge.
(Amanda made us put that in.)
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Reality check

We know that from all of our blogging, it seems like we are living a fairy-tale European life. So, in order to create a more balanced image, we present a picture of some of the problems that plague us just like everyone else. This one is a common theme: semi-reliable cars.
Here I am under one.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Last weekend we went hiking with some friends to Pasubio. Pasubio is in the Southern part of the Alps, and the Italians dug tunnels into the rock to defend against the Germans/Austrians in WWI. The tunnels are now laced together to form a nice trail.
When we reached to top, we had a picnic lunch. Amanda and I brought typical American fare, with PB&J sandwiches, granola bars, trail mix, and beef jerky. Our neighbors on the other hand, brought prosciutto panini, sparkling water, hot coffee (with sugar and cream!), a block of chocolate, and topped it off with a digestive liquor. The Italians sure know how to eat!The crew before the sweating began.
A WWI canon.

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Pasubio Part 2

The reward after a hard day's hike.
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