Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A ride, the Antinori wine center, and Viola's Christmas show.

Lots of pictures from today and yesterday, so I will let the captions do the narrative.  For the record, after today's ride, 19,633 kilometers ridden this year, leaving 367 for my 20,000 kilometer goal.  I am feeling pretty good about making the goal now, and will taper off some of my mileage when life dictates that I have less time available, like today.

I had a nice two hour plus ride today and with a little creativity, I linked
a bunch of different roads for a new loop.  What a pleasure it is to have so 
many options to be able to do this.  This picture is from above Fiesole riding
toward the turnoff for Monteloro, around 8 kilometers ahead.

Another slightly different view from the same spot above Fiesole.

Yesterday, after Viola's school concert, I accompanied Kate to the 
Antinori wine facility around Bargino.  A very rainy day, Kate drove
out there to pick up a rare bottle of wine for Nicco's Christmas present.
I have ridden by the new facility many times, but never actually gone
up the road to check it out.  It is a beautiful, state of the art, modern piece
of art.  I loved the spiral staircase, which had the radius of the staircase
decrease as it climbed 4 levels.  Try to figure that out without a computer, 
which is what I was thinking, as for the first 8 years of so of my Architecture
work, I did not use computer drafting.  Anyway, quite a beautiful staircase.

Here is Kate at part of the tasting area waiting for the special
bottle of wine to be brought out.  It is a very small run, from a 
specific vineyard in Bolgheri, and they only do around 2000
bottles every two years.  Kate was only able to get a bottle due
to a friend in Florence being an old friend with the person 
who runs the enoteca at Antinori.

My favorite view of the staircase with some of the Chianti hills
in the background.  Most of the facility is below grade with views
stepping with the hillside as you see here.  Newly planted vineyards
in the middle ground are actually on top of part of the building below.

Yesterday started with Viola's school Christmas concert, which was 
simply beyond cute.  Around 25 - 6 year olds singing Christmas carols
in English, as they are all working on their English now.  Viola is at an 
age where she just glows with happiness in a situation like this.  It makes
me feel so good about the decision to be here while they grow up.

A sign of the times - as the concert started, I took this picture of the parents
all with their camera / phones recording the event.  I always remember the 
quote from Steve Jobs when convincing Sculley to become president of Apple
which involved leaving Pepsi.  "Do you want your life to be about selling sugared
flavored water, or do you want to change the way people live."  When I see a scene
like this it really emphasizes how Apple and smartphones have changed the way 
people live.  Amazing change in a few short years.

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