Posts Tagged ‘jensons’

Life Is Good

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

A jug of wine, a loaf of ..oh forget it! A jug of wine works for us!  We check into our apartment on a hill, #13 Matteotti, and within the hour we moved funiture, unpacked, threw open the shutters and sash, and had christened a jug of tavelo- sangiovese grosso – nectar of the (italian) gods.

And like a puzzle piece looking for it’s fit, we are sooooo there.  Only wish the folk from 2 years ago who visited were sharing this moment.  But then, they are on our hearts as we gaze across the Val d’Orcia:  Ron, Mary, Tom, Alice, Carolyn, Jeff, Jeane, Kathie, Lisa and Andy….here’s to you, Cin cin!

Waking up to Tuscany

Trip to Cancer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Last year was an awesome year of travel; 22 weeks away from home and on the road!  The sights and tastes of the journey were incredible, awesome, priceless.  From Barnoldswick, England to Pisa, Italy,to Orland, Sweden the adventure far exceeded all expectations. And the people; oh the kindness of Raymond, Alessandro, Gunner and Dieter, Miranda, Giovani, Father Piernino, and many many others.

We returned home with some inklings that all was not normal, so doctor appointments started lining up. Sonagram, pap,biopsy, specialists, waiting, and then the day you have a date with an oncologist. How do you be cheerful as you walk in that door, the one at the very end of that long hallway?

But just like the adventures in Europe, the doctors, nurse-practitioner, staff and volunteers at Scripps-Mercy Hospital, Scripps-Green and RB joined with all my friends and family to hold me up in prayer. Betty and Mary and Andy babysat me after surgery, Donna cooked and Steve e-mailed updates. I was so loved and cared for that fear NEVER had a chance to take hold. Radiation zapped some strength, but not the knowledge that God loved me and had placed me amongst the most wonderful people in the entire world.

I need to get a map with some bright pins to mark all those special destinations I hold in my heart. Just not sure where to put the trip to cancer pin, cause  I don’t want to forget it…it too became a good memory.

Cinque Terre: Amazing x 5

Monday, April 20th, 2009

vernazzatownWe bid a sad farewell to Mary and Ron at the Pisa Airport (”Galileo Galilei”) and with a change of undies in a backpack, headed up to the Cinque Terre (5 lands).  There are 5 incredible towns clinging to sheer rock faces still inhabited by families going back many generations.  Tourists have found this unique site (thanks to Rick Steves, and we all carried around his tour book) with its train and trails connecting all five towns.

We spent the first night in town two, Manarola, and found it charming and approachable.  We even ate the local seafood at mealtime.  The next morning we ventured up to Vernazza, #4, and deemed it better than Toast in Cinque TerraManarola.  It took us awhile to find a room.  We ended up with a shared bathroom across the hall, which was ok by us as the town was filling up.  At least we had found a place. 

When we got back on the train and went up to Monterosso, the #5, it became our new favorite  It had delightful beaches and was more spread out.  We had a great panino and prosecco outdoors at a place with tables nestled snuggly on a rock.

padlocksWe took the train down to the first town, Riomaggiore,where we hiked the “Via del Amore” – a short paved path between the 5 towns – with breathtaking sheer drops to the sea.  Steve clung to the wall. 

Many proposals of marriage happen here.  The seat and the padlocks that couples bring in honor of this romantic occasion are to seal the deal.

Then, it was back to Vernazza for pizza on the waterfront, and on to Il Pirata Cafe for two Canolli – the best yet!

A little rain did not dampen the adventure.

Firenze

Monday, April 20th, 2009
All aboard!!

All aboard!!

candleinflorenceduomo

We conquered train travel by rolling down the hill from our apartment to the Buonconvento Station and catching a 2 hour train directly to Florence!

It was a little intimidating for at first, but along with the Jensons, we caught the train so that we could get closer to town and got ourselves to the Duomo. We found it amazing on the outside, but a real bore on the inside.

Steve and I continue to pray inside each church we visit, for a European revival of faith. Inside each church we also light a candle for my little church back home. All of the churches still have their altars banked with Easter flowers and it is very pretty!

We had made a reservation at the Uffiziand we were there at our appointed hour of 13:15 (they use a twenty-four hour clock everywhere). I think we managed to see what we wanted to see: “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and a painting by pontevecchiojewlryLeonardo di Vinci. The copy of the statue of “David” by Michelangelo in the public square was good enough, rather than face more lines to see the original.

We headed to the Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”) which is covered with jewelry stores! We consumed more gelato, tried cannoli, and had a waffle sandwich (fudge sauce, gelato and whipped cream) that was to die for. Hey, Italy isn’t only about wine and pasta! We got back to the train, and shared a copy of USA Today while we bounced back home after an amazing day.

Back To Pisa

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Not here for but a  minute…

We are taking the Jensons back to the Airport tomorrow and will be continuing on up to Cinque Terra for a day or two.  I do not know if I will have any internet service.

I am so glad to have had the Jensons here , and to have been able to show someone how special this place is.  I have enjoyed their company a lot.

Because we will be in a new town, it might be a few days until you hear from me.  

Be safe.

xoxo

Wine Tasting – Will They Kick Us Out Of Tuscany?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

caparzowineryWhat a great day!  Our awesome driver, Alessandro, picked us up on our doorstep and whisked us off to a day of wineries, meandering, and gorgeous scenery.

We visited the Caparzo Winery for a great, informative tour (with the cutest guy) and tasting!  All of the famous Brunello di Montalcino wines must age a minimum of 5 years and only contain sangovese grosso grapes from the immediate area!  Then we toured the Barbi Winery and indulged again.  We had a mighty fine lunch on their property including an awesome “bread soup,” taglietelle, and sausage with white beans.  We REALLY got winetastinginto this.

We were ferried to Montapulciano and dropped off at the top of the hill-city, so we could meander down.  Another unique, but totally Tuscan outing.  Steve didn’t have to drive and we were escorted via Alessandro’s Mercedes mini-van on rolling hills outlined in cypress and vineyards. Viva ITALIA!

Jenson’s Take Montalcino by Storm

Monday, April 13th, 2009

debbieronmaryWhat great fun, and how humbling to have good freinds join us here in Italy!!  We love having them here and their support in our explorations of Tuscany.  Great meals, great wine, and great fellowship.  They see things we don’t see, and explore things we might be a little timid to strike out on our own and do, and join us for Buon Pasqua!!  Today was Sienna, tomorrow is tours of wineries, and Wednesday is Florence!!  Praise God for the Gift of Friendship!!

Easter Italian Style

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Buon Pasqua!

What an Easter!  The taunting task of 4 services was not the walk in the park I thought I might be.  The tension of liturgy coming at me in Italian, in two different venues, sequestered in an organ loft that was lofty, and organs that had been around for over century.  Feeling the nudge to offer my services was my easter giving, it came back at me as maybe a way to fill the void of not being at Lake San Marcos – they have so much been in my heart this week.

The Maundy service was tense being the first one on the antique organ in the Duomo, but then Saturday night’s service started at 10 pm and didn’t’ end until midnight!

Sunday at 9 and 11 am were filled to capacity with easily 40 plus standing at the first, and maybe 100 standing beside the packed pews at the 11am.

wildboarThe town is bursting with tourists and family that have come back home to visit for the holiday.  We felt very lucky to find room at a restaurant we wanted to try after the first one was all booked.  What a meal!  I had homemade ravioli in burro as primo piatta, Steve had  zuppa di funghi, Mary and Ron had crostini .  For our secundo piatta,  Ron and I had roast chicken in brunello sauce and sauteed spinach with lemon, Steve had cingheri stew (wild boar).  Mary had boar in padetti noodles and a side of white beans.  A bottle of Rosso di Montalcino topped it off. 

gelattoWhile walking off our meal, several were tempted to have a gelato chaser to a great meal!

We are so enjoying having Ron and Mary Jenson as travel buddies!  So brave and so far to travel, but they immediately sensed how special this place is.

Tomorrow we will drive to Sienna and on Tuesday we will have a private tour of wineries and points of interest (we hired a private driver).  On Wednesday we will attempt an early train to Florence .  Thursday will be a quiet day, and then return Ron and Mary to Pisa for their flight home. 

They have been such support this weekend with all the organ stuff.

Our hearts have held our families close today as we celebrate loving you, and our Risen Lord from so far away. 

We have just finished a meal of bread, cheese with honey, bruschett, and Italian pastries, and, oh yes, more wine.  We were sitting around a coffee table listening to jazz and counting our blessings.  You are all at the top of my list!

Jensons Arrive!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Ron and Mary Jenson seek quiet respit in Montalcino to enjoy local cuisine,wine tastings and long walks with the Morales’ at their Tuscan Villa. They will be staying 6 days and using the Pisa Airport.