Saturday, May 28, 2005

Trip to Italy - Day 1

I thought it might be fun to go through my pictures of our trip to Italy and walk through what we did each day. It's been about a year, and I don't want to forget what we got to see. Also, Kerrie is still working on a scrapbook for the trip and I wanted to help her out by reminding her what all the pictures are.

Day 1 (see all pictures)
After landing at Rome's Fuimicino airport in the morning, we took a train into Rome to the central train station. Our hotel was a short walk from there. This is not an expecially nice part of the city, and our hotel was very basic -- for only 12o euros a night! This was our room --

After settling in our room, the first place we headed was towards St. John Lateran Bascilica. This church, not St. Peter's, is actually the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome and considered the Mother Church of all churches in the world.

Here you can see the "baldacchino" over the central altar in the basicilica. This church is a Patriarchal Bascilica, which among other things means that it's main altar can only be used by the Pope himself.

Near St. John's is a small site called the "Scala Sancta" or Holy Stairs. Underneath the marble stairs are wooden stairs that tradition holds were the stairs leading up to the Praetoreum of Pilate in Jerusalum and used by Christ during his Passion. Apparently during Lent people will walk up these stairs on their knees in penance.

After getting our first Italian pizza, we headed on foot down some streets towards the Coliseum. We were a little in awe of our first glimpse of it looking down one of the narrow roads between the basilica and the Coliseum.

Once we got there, we got a lot of pictures of the Coliseum and the nearby Roman Forum. We took a guided tour around the Coliseum and Forum which was entertaining and a little nicer than just walking around looking at ruins on our own. For example, one thing they point out to you in the Forum is the tomb of Julius Ceasar.

I think the last place we ended up visting that day was the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (Mary of the Angels).


see all pictures for Day 1

House & Home

Kerrie and I spent most of the day painting our decks -- we got two of them repainted and have one more to go. It was a nice day again today to be outside and working -- in the lower 80s.

Later in the afternoon, I thought it would be fun to look at some areas where they are building new homes. I don't think we actually want to move anywhere soon, but sometimes I think it would be nice to have a new home instead of this old one, that we have put a lot of work into. The downside is that most of these new homes have very small lots; however, that might not be so bad compared to having all these trees to clean up after like we have now. Also, almost anywhere that they are building new homes is further away from work than we are now. I also sometimes wonder if we would be better off buying the most expensive house we could afford -- because they appreciate so fast here.

After stopping by Target for some necessities, we had dinner at the Mongolian Grill and came home. Maddie was concerned in the car that if the new baby was a boy, that she didn't want to be a big brother. We had to reassure her that no matter what, she would be a sister.

Elizabeth wanted to watch "Elf" once we got home, so it's playing now.

Friday, May 27, 2005

And the winner is...

Re-painting the decks!  Yeah!  The excitement of Memorial Day begins!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Boys vs. Girls

I have spent the last two days hearing the following information from Madeline: "If the baby is a boy, it is a him. If the baby is a girl, it is a her. She is a girl. He is a boy." Over and over and over. If you have ever been around a two year old, you can imagine how annoying this repetitive conversation was becoming.

So today, I decided to take her to park after we dropped Elizabeth off at school. We went with another mom friend of ours and her three year old little boy. Maddie and the boy played great together for the first hour or so and then the boy had to go to the bathroom. The park bathrooms were locked (because they don't unlock them or turn on water in the water fountains until June 1st). So the mom told the little boy he would have to wait. He said "I want to pee in the bushes". So the mom decided that was the best thing to do since he was newly potty trained and she didn't want a mess in the car and he was willing to go in the bushes. Madeline was fascinated by the idea that one could go pee outside of the confines of a diaper or a bathroom stall. So Madeline has a fit saying over and over that she wanted to pee in the bushes too. I explained to her that she was wearing a pull-up and could go in it or we could go home and she could go in the baby potty but she could not pee in the bushes because she was a girl. She was mad but seemed to get over it and I didn't think too much more about it.

So then we leave the park because it is time to get Elizabeth from school and when I load her in the car she says "if the baby is a boy, he can pee in the bushes." "If the baby is a girl, she has to pee in a baby potty." Ahh, the disadvantages of being a girl.

If it's on the Internet, it must be true...

Hint for everyone... if you find a story that just might be too a little too outrageous to be true, check, that has an exhaustive list of "urban legends" and their veracity.

A hard day's work

At work we're moving offices, which seems to happen every year or two. The good part is we just have to shove our stuff in boxes and the movers come and move the stuff themselves. But the best part is they do this partially during the week; during which time nobody seems to come in to work because we don't really have anywhere to go.

So instead today we had a work party at a local park, where we had a barbecue. We also played ultimate frisbee where you basically have two teams and try to get the frisbee to the other end to score. The only meaninful rules are that you can't run with the frisbee, and if the team that is trying to throw it doesn't complete the pass, the other team gets it. I got tired out pretty fast playing this, but it was fun.

Another tradition of our team (and MS in general) is that we like to throw people into water. The park is on a lake, so we were able to carry a few people (somewhat against their will) and throw them off a dock into the lake. They get the opportunity to remove their cell phones and other electronic gadgets before being thrown in.

Tomorrow is still another "moving day" so I'm probably going to do some work from home and catch up on a bunch of stuff that I never have time to get done at work because there are too many distractions.

I have to figure out what project to take on over the Memorial Day weekend... there are so many things around the house left undone... The decks need painted; I want to put new trim, lights & doors in the hallway (and scrape the ceiling); there's a little bit of work left on the girl's updated "fort"; we could use a fence; or I suppose I could sit around and do nothing....

First Post

We're going to try to use this again to publish the stuff that's going on in our lives. We had tried to blog before, but lost interest. We'll see if we're able to keep this up or not. The good thing about this new way that we have it set up is that it is free.