Travels

On my way to Verona for VinItaly.

On the Intercity train to Bologna. Super convenient but, as you may have guessed by the name, it’s the milk run train…stopping at every town along the coast. From Bologna it’s the non-stop Frecciarossa (red arrow) train. 

On my own this time…no mini vacation in the city of lovers since I’ve had to leave John at home, working. There’s still a long list of things to be done and they’re all still “priorities” and some “high priorities” especially since my parents will be here on Saturday, just a few days after I get back from Verona.

I have not been of much help lately since I’m now spending most of my time on the wine business. I’m just recently back from St. Petersburg (Russia) and in June I’m off to London. There may be a few more trips in between….for now all my travels are in this part of the world but maybe in the 2nd half of the year I’ll get myself to N.Am. Until then there’s still an open invitation to friends and family who want to travel to visit us!

Tiziana

 

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The bedrooms have a name

We’re still undecided about a name for the house. We were almost set on Kestrel House, since our birds are back, but we realized that Italians can’t pronounce and don’t know the word. So the search for a house name continues.

But the guest bedrooms have names. They’ll be called Sunrise and Sunset.

Here’s a photo of tonight’s sunset taken from bedroom “Sunset”. Enjoy!

Tiziana

sunset

 

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It’s Spring in this part of the world

My heart goes out to those of you still stuck in frigid weather. This year must have been a real endurance test.

Here, it’s been the complete opposite….winter never really happened. Yes it rained and the weather cooled but cold never came. Great for us since we were able to work on the house non-stop but, apparently, not so great for the farmers since cold winters are important for eliminating damaging insects and pathogens that can later affect the crops.

Seems like “normal” weather patterns are a thing of the past pretty much all around the world.  It’s not good but we may as well enjoy what we get when we can.

Like savouring the season’s first ice cream at a beach-side ice cream parlor;

our 1st ice cream of the season

our 1st ice cream of the season

our 1st ice cream of the season

enjoying a ride on a new bike (yes, that’s John coming up the hill);

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sitting out on the patio relaxing, listening to/playing music;

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admiring the beauty of trees in bloom…

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Tiziana

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We’ve moved

Yes, we did it! A little later than planned but on Jan 31 2014 we left our rented flat in Fermo and moved into our new house.

It’s been a week already. It’s still a mess and will probably continue to be a mess for a while but IT’S HOME.

We have a kitchen, a bathroom, a bed, heating and hot water…more than enough to survive. Meanwhile, the work continues. It’s a little easier now that we’re actually living here – no more back-and-forth every day, no more packing and unpacking tools, no more worrying about lunch and where to go pee….

We’re dreaming of breakfasts out on the patio, dining al fresco and music under the stars. We’re not there yet but it’s not that far off.

-Tiziana

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The transformation

This gallery contains 34 photos.

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Never again in the winter

Montreal may be beautiful in the summertime, but in the winter it’s not so great. Polar vortex or not, it’s miserably COLD.

I know I said it before but this time I mean it – I am not coming back to visit in the winter. Why would I?!…I left minus 25C in Montreal and came back to plus 15C…

Don’t get me wrong, I had a good time. It was great seeing family and friends (although I did not get to see everyone); going to the movies (although I had hoped to get to see more than 1 film) and eating a variety of foods (thanks Gale for being daring and coming out for Indian with me). But I didn’t dare venture out, walk around and “take in” the city for fear of losing some of my extremities.. 

Surely I’ll be back. Not sure when but definitely when the weather is a little less extreme.

Until then, maybe we’ll see you here.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

-Tiziana

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It could have been a disaster

Last week was almost a right-off. We spent 3 days trying to protect the house and the rest of the week trying to regroup and re-prioritize what’s left to be done.

Up until last Monday, we had almost summer-like weather. Everyday we marveled at being able to work outdoors in short sleeves in November…ah, this IS ITALY…so we thought…and then on Monday it was payback time. We went from “summer” straight into “winter”. OK no snow but so much rain and winds that would blow away anything not nailed down.

Until Monday the house was still window and door-less so when we arrived in the morning we were devastated to see most of the plastic sheeting we had put up to block off the openings almost all blown away. And, what was left mostly in tatters.

Our worry was water getting in and getting under the subfloor. If that happened we would have to take it all up…

Luckily the rain had just started and not too much water had gotten in and the installers were coming in to put in the doors/windows.

Most of the windows were put in on Monday and a few more on Wednesday. They’re not all in and they won’t all be ready before Christmas but the installers offered to put in temporary glass panels until the rest of the fixtures are ready to be installed…not a bad compromise.

Even with the windows in we still had a water problem. The rain wouldn’t let up. It rained for 3 days non-stop. Because the external walls need work – bricks replaced and pointed – we started getting water coming through the walls. We were able to put up some new plastic sheeting around the most critical parts of the house on Monday and Tuesday but it wasn’t until Thursday, when the rain finally stopped that we were able to put up the rest of the protective wrapping.

The house now feels like a tent and John started calling it the condominium because it’s wrapped up in a “condom”. It might look weird but it is fully protected!!

Here’s a photo of part of the front of the house. I didn’t take any of the rest of the house but you can imagine what it might look like!

all wrapped upIn the end we were very lucky…no real damage…no disasters…just a few days with not much progress.

-Tiziana

 

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