notes to self

If wishes were pennies and I could fly, I'd be very rich I'd be very high

Oct 30, 2009

Rachel Maddow

Recently some friends on facebook reminded me of a photo I took long ago (sometime in the 1990s)

Oct 20, 2009

Rome, 9/24 - 9/28

When we got to Rome, we were both pretty well exhausted, and there was a lot to do and see.

Mixed in with contemporary culture there is so much fabulous art and history everywhere I could not possibly absorb it all.

Of course while we were there we had to visit the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica.

Michelangelo's Pieta is there. Breathtaking!

We were walking along in a cute smallish foreign neighborhood, and suddenly came upon the Roman Forum, built over 2000 years ago. They are still excavating parts of it.

This beautifully carved pillar tells the stories of many conquests. I didn't take the time to examine it carefully.

Another beautiful pillar I wish I could examine carefully, experience closely, live with.

I wonder if the Oakland Coliseum shares anything besides the name?

This is one famous Roman fountain designed and built by Bernini. I was able to look closely at it, and it is incredibly beautiful. The figures are larger than life, and so graceful, carved of stone.

We stayed near Santa Maria Trastevere piazza. Every evening all the people would come hang out and stroll around. It was quite charming and far better than television.

This was our host in Rome, David, our neighbor's cousin. He let us stay in his apartment in the Trastevere neighborhood. A wonderful man, he is very enthusiastic about his chosen home, and knows a lot of details about the history and culture. Unfortunately, though, he could only be there with us the last night we were there. If I ever return to Rome, I would love to spend a few days with him, to see the city through his eyes.

One thing David hates about his city is the graffiti everywhere. I liked this little pig with wings across from his front door. It was a comfort to know I was not still really lost (as I often felt while I was there).

Oct 19, 2009


We visited Florence from September 20th to 24th.

Brian had rented an apartment.

On September 21st I posted to my blog, "
In an apartment in Florence, Brian's making espressos, the washer is spinning outside the door, and we're playing a song game. We're all singing songs featuring one word. It's so casual and comfortable. Vacation has kicked in, about a week ago.

We toasted his mother, Gail's, 70th birthday, and I emailed her this photo from my iPhone.

Florence overwhelmed me at first. I had never experienced anything that compares with the convergence of history, art and architecture, and contemporary culture, not even in Paris.

The Duomo from the top of the Campanile.

The Pieta on a wall.

Ancient Gold Doors

Piccolo Gay Bar

One night we came upon a rock concert/Mafia protest.

I was awed by this Midici Ceiling.

It was almost too much.
By the time we left for Rome, Erin and I were exhausted!

Oct 18, 2009

The Cinque Terre

We stayed in Montoroso al Mare on the Cinque Terre September 16th to the 20th. The above photo shows the view from our balcony of Hotel Porto Roca.

The Cinque Terre is a lovely area on the dramatic west coast of Italy, comprised of 5 small charming villages.

Brian and Jack joined us there.

We hiked between several of the villages.

And we enjoyed swimming in the salty sea.

Santa Margherita Ligure

From September 12 - 16 we were in Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera.
It was very relaxing.

Oct 12, 2009

Venice, Italy

From September 8 - 12 Erin and I visited fantastic Venice Italy. We took the water taxi from the airport to the hotel, and the only word for that experience: EXHILIRATING!

Venice is indeed fantastic, as if created for a fairy tale a long time ago, made into a movie set, and then here we are, in it! Absolutely beautiful.

Our friend hooked us up with her friends, Cathie and Diego, who is a gondolier.

Oct 1, 2009

Between May and September

Between May at the Oakland Y and September in Italy, many things happened.

In April I visited Linda Sue and Teryl in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. It was fabulous, but with my arthritic hip it was painful for me to get around on all those cobblestone streets.

Towards the end of May, Erin and I visited Monica and Kathleen in Seattle. Again, arthritis was aching. But Seattle is beautiful, and it was sunny and warmer than in Oakland.

June 3, I had my arthritic right hip replaced at Kaiser Hospital, Oakland. Despite dire warnings to the contrary, the Kaiser care was excellent, beyond my wildest imagination. I did a lot of exercise beforehand, and physical therapy afterward, but what a relief to get rid of that old thing.

In July, Michael and Kirsten came by for an overnight visit with their four adorable kids. I set up the tent in the backyard, and a few of them camped out there. FUN!

My long-ago Quincy friend, Arnold Mitchum, contacted me through facebook. In August he came to San Francisco with his band. They were great! And it was nice to see him again.