Saturday, November 29, 2014

3 busy days with rides, Thanksgiving dinner, and more fun.

It's been a few days, but I have been kind of busy and part of the busyness involved buying (finally) a smart phone.  At least for this old man, it is a learning curve to figure out how to use much of what is available on it.  I am using it for my camera now on rides, and part of the learning is how to tell when I take a picture, then the best way to download to my laptop, which I use to post on Facebook and write the blog.  Well, I am getting there, but it has eaten up much of my spare time, which with it being Thanksgiving weekend, there has not been much of.  That's all of the excuses.

I managed to ride on Thanksgiving between helping prep cook and helping to set up for the party.  Emily and I co-hosted a party with Kate at Kate's apartment, and it was great.  Emily did much of the cooking, but Kate did quite a bit, and I helped when allowed.  It was a very nice meal and party.  Being in Italy, Thanksgiving is one of the times of year when you really feel the difference.  In the US, it is such a big, nice holiday, but here, no one really knows it is happening, or what the meaning and purpose of the holiday is.  At least there is no Black Friday with big box stores here, but I do miss the wonderful spirit of Thanksgiving that permeates the US.  Oh well, we had a nice day with mostly Americans at the dinner, which was super good.  Even the Italian men - 3 husbands, 1 boyfriend - got into the dinner and were happy doing two plates with everything on the plate.  It seems to be anathema here to mix foods on the same plate - hence the operative / primi / secondi / contorni / dolce, all on separate plates.  So, seeing the Italian men get into the meal was fun.

All three rides were great, but none real long.  Only a little over an hour on Thanksgiving, then a little over 2 hours on Friday, then 3 and one half this morning with the team.  After today's ride, I have 18,438 kilometers in for the year, leaving me with 1562 for my goal.  On the team ride this morning, almost everyone was asking how many kilometers so they all seem to be following my goal and progress, which is fun.  The bad news is I was not selected for the Maratona di Dolomitis in July, so I may check into the granfondo Stelvio, on an iconic pass in the dolomites, which does not have a limit on participants.  The Maratona is such a big deal that over 60,000 people pre-registered for an available 12,000 places.  Well, one of these days.  I just hope I still have the energy to attempt the long course when I am selected.  I will keep trying, at least that is the plan for now.  Ciao.

Jean Lu has been visiting Rebecca for the last 3 weeks.  We have
ridden together 4 times, and he had been borrowing Rebecca's cold
weather riding gear.  He did some shopping and now the have
matching booties, gloves, and neck warmers.  

The squadra this morning, minus a couple not in the picture
at the cafe break in Montelupo.  Great ride.

The final climb of the ride yesterday, Montefanna.

Yesterday afternoon's ride, here on the way to Monteloro.

On Thanksgiving, we co-hosted a big dinner at Kate's apartment.
Here is a shot of the kid's table - not much eating going on,
but lots of fun and playing, which is what being a kid is all about.

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