We just got home from a weekend in LA to celebrate Jay’s grandma Mildred’s 100th birthday. She’s such an amazing person—funny, full of incredible stories, and still extremely present, even after living in this crazy world for 100 years. It’s hard to even wrap your head around all that she’s lived through: the depression, too many wars, the population of the world growing from 1.6 billion to close to 7 billion. Wow.
Happy birthday Grandma Mildred. Here’s to your 101st year!
We’re home now and I finally have enough brain power (post jet-lag) to upload some more photos. So I just posted a bunch more photos over here (on Flickr) of the final day we spent in Lake Como, and the 10 nights we spent in Tuscany. We stayed at Jay’s dad’s first cousin’s place in the hills of Massarosa. They’ve lived there for 15 years and have a beautiful b&b, with the gorgeous view you see in the photo above. We did day trips from there—to Lucca (ancient walled city), to the beaches of Viareggio; to Florence, to the hill towns north of Lucca, to a local winery, and to Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo).
Since I last posted, we’ve traveled from Amsterdam to Italy. We met up with Jay’s parents in Milan, and yesterday we drove up to Lake Como. I actually did the driving! It wasn’t bad—Jay’s a great navigator, and we only kinda got lost once and almost went to Switzerland!
We’re spending three nights here before we head down to Tuscany. We’re staying in the little town of Tremezzo, which is on the west side of the lake. When Jay and I visited here in 2000, we stayed in Varenna, which is on the east side. There are some lovely little towns here on the west, but unfortunately the main road running up along the lake on this side runs right through the towns, so there is a constant din of traffic. We’re going to head to Bellagio and/or Varenna tomorrow on one of the boats, so it will be interesting to see if they’re still as quiet and peaceful as Jay and I remember from our last visit.
So I’ve posted some photos from the last day or so you can check out (see photo set on Flickr). They mostly include some views of the lake, and our visit to the Villa Carlotta botanical gardens, which are right down the road from where we’re staying:
Villa Carlotta is the most famous public villa of Lake Como, in particular for its centuries-old 70,000sqm botanical gardens. . . . It was built, as a summer home, by Marquis Giorgio Clerici, an important gentleman from the Spanish and Austrian Milan.
The gardens are very beautiful and varied–including bamboo, pines, azealas, citrus fruits, hidden pathways, arbors, etc.
Before I get way, way behind, I wanted to post something about our camping trip we took in June to Cape Disappointment State Park. It’s at the very south tip of the Washington Coast, right on the Pacific Ocean / Columbia River junction. Jay and I spent two nights there (too short!) in one of their cabins and had a great time exploring the park and the many beautiful hiking trails. It’s the area where Lewis & Clarke “found” the Pacific Ocean, so there’s all sorts of historic information, including a museum / interpretive center.
On Sunday, since Mary was out of town basking in the Hawaiian sun, we celebrated mother’s day with Jen, John, and Colin. Seattle gave us one of those ‘oh so beautiful’ days, where you forget about the grey and clouds and soak up the vitamin d. We went out to Discovery Park and had a picnic, then hiked down to the beach. Here are a couple photos from the day:
If the photos look a little fuzzy, they’re supposed to be that way! I took them with my plastic Diana lens with my SLR camera–my new favorite camera set-up. I’ve been posting a lot of photos recently at my photography website (www.anastasiafuller.com) taken with this lens. I’m really loving it, and loving experimenting with it.
visiting the Louvre, the Rodin Museum, and seeing all the amazing art in Paris
meeting and talking with the fine art photographer Tim Rudman and his wife, Ingrid Rudman, at Lake Myvatn in Iceland; then running into them again, two days later, in a totally different part of Iceland and having another great conversation
Olympus Spa (Lynnwood, WA) – where I spent 6 hours of my 38th birthday!
all the hot pools of Iceland: Myvatn Nature Baths and the “swimming pools” of Husavik and Reykjavik
None of these things would have been the same had I not shared them with friends, family, a cranky cat, and “strangers” met along the way. Mostly none would have been the same without Jay (I love you!). Looking forward to more adventures in 2010 and beyond.