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I started walking again, officially yesterday, even though I walked all weekend because we were in ITALY. I mean: going for a walk. One of the really great things about Martin, who is pretty great in lots of ways, is that he always says yes if I ask him to go for a walk. And then we get to talk and laugh and have really great discussions to boot. Honestly, it's crazy that I don't do it every day; that's how rewarding it is.

In the midst of all our talk, Martin was telling me Things His Classmates Don't Know About. Apparently, a couple of weeks ago, in his art class, the teacher asked the kids if they had any questions, and some of them asked how to make GREEN. They didn't know they could mix blue and yellow together. Martin was completely boggled by this, and I don't blame him. Did they MISS ALL of lower elementary? Did they not play with fingerpaints? They're 8TH GRADERS. Crazy. And in another class, around the same time, it transpired that no one in his class knew who Jules Verne was, though they had all heard of, read or seen some of his works. Now he plays a game with his best friend in class: a yes/no question game asking him things/people/places that he knows. "Sometimes I throw him a bone," Martin told me, "and include people I'm sure he's heard of."

And this is the Information Age/Internet-Savvy generation? Hrm.

In other news, the radio silence here was because we were in Italy for 3 days. Or rather in Italy for approximately 1.5 days and traveling there and back again for the other half. Anders is working, holding a 2-week course in Modena, and we flew down to spend the weekend with him. We didn't get to Modena until dinner time on Friday, but we went downtown and walked around a little bit and ate dinner at a very fancy restaurant near the church. And on Saturday, we drove 2 hours and spent the entire day in Venice.

I spent a day in Venice when I was in high school; in the middle of a choir tour around Italy where the non-denominational church youth choir I was in sang at various military base churches and schools. We went to Pisa, Florence, Rome, Pompei, Venice, and Naples (not in that order). I was 16 or 17, and as with our last family trip to Italy in 2010 where we visited Florence & Pisa, I didn't really remember squat about Venice.

The weather all weekend was pretty bad: freezing cold, very cloudy and spitting rain most of the time. Saturday was cold and cloudy but it didn't rain on us at all, for which we were very grateful. One day in Venice is definitely not enough. We took the waterbus from the giant parking lot on the outskirts of town up the Giudecca canal (because we didn't realize it wasn't going to go up the Grand Canal, which is what we were expecting), and disembarked at San Marco Piazza. We walked around the town, admiring the architecture and the artist stalls and people-watching. We walked through the alleyways and over tiny canal bridges to the Rialto, and then found a lunch place and spent a fortune on food. We went into San Marco, and did the free 15-minute circuit of the church, but didn't pay for any of the extras like the treasures or whatnot.

There was a sign as you came into the church that said, "SILENCE. NO EXPLANATIONS INSIDE THE CHURCH" which both the kids thought was rather harsh, and they were also taken aback by the hieroglyphic admonishment against bare arms and legs inside the nave. I was, as always, completely fascinated by the unbelievable expanse of the mosaic tiled floor and ceiling. SO MUCH WORK!

We had paid for a 12-hour waterbus pass, so after leaving San Marco, we boated over to Murano, where the glass blowers have reigned for centuries. Every single shop on the island sells glassware. We paid a small fee to watch a glass-blowing demonstration, and went in a few shops, but everything was so expensive that despite my desire to acquire, we walked away with only a couple of very, very small items: tiny glass fish embedded in a blue glass marble. I would like to go back with a shopping-savvy girlfriend or my Mom and a couple of extra thousand bucks to blow. Everything was so pretty but I kept wondering how the heck I would get it home without breaking it. I already have a lot of little glass animals in my shadowboxes, but I could happily populate an entire glass menagerie if I could afford it. :)

I'm sure that if we'd had more time, we could have researched a little better and found some of the more out-of-the-way, not-quite-so-touristy areas, but...I suspect most of Venice is only geared toward tourist prices now. Still, it was really fun to see the town again. And weird to think that if you removed the power lines and electric lights and advertising (which was minimal in most places) and some of the relatively discreet trappings of the modern age, the city must look pretty much as it did in the Renaissance.

Now the kids want to go to Rome.
mood: content
music: Gotye—Eyes Wide Open


I love how much your kids seems to appreciate the opportunity to really travel and experience the world and its cultures. The U.S. seems to have become so horribly Disneyfied -- kids just want to go someplace familiar, populated with plastic statues, where they can buy stuff mass-produced in China. Blech. I'm so grateful to my parents for taking me to parks and historical sites all through my childhood, and I bet your kids will be similarly thankful as they grow older.

(Green? SERIOUSLY?!? What are they teaching kids in school in Sweden?!?)

Well, it probably helps that Disney is HORRIBLY expensive...keeps us away, though we DID make it to EuroDisney once.

Re Green: I KNOW. :O


So glad you are walking again! It's been my exercise and therapy for almost two years now and I wouldn't give it up for the world.

And Venice - we only ended up with just over a day there because of flight delays, but that morning the city had flooded because of rains overnight and then by nightfall it had all subsided. It was fun to walk all over the city on the little elevated walkways and then to go back and take an "after" picture when the water was gone. Definitely my favorite memory of the city. Sure wish I could just "jet on down" to Italy for the weekend! :)


I heard about the floods...crazy! My walking is sort of hit or miss, still. I seem to want to walk when the sun is shining, and not otherwise...

I love glass blowing. When I was in elementary school, every year there would be a glass blower coming by demonstrating his craft. He'd bring some small items for sale as well and one year my eye fell on this beautiful little tree he had made. I loved it so much I just HAD to have it and scratched together all of my savings to buy it I think. For years it sat in a special box as I didn't dare putting it out in case it would break as it was very delicate. Ofcourse one day, I was in highschool by then, something DID fall over and a branch broke off. My dad had a collegue at university fix it but it's never got it's original charm back heh. It's been back in a box for the past uhm.. 10 years I think but I do plan on putting it out once we move to the new house and I have a proper spot for it again. :)

Me, too. I could watch glass artists all day. :)

I think the thing about the millenials (the name that often gets used for the generation of kids born in the information age) is that they know how to look everything up so they don't bother actually remembering anything. Now, how to make GREEN would be something you would think you wouldn't forget or would have just discovered in practice so...

I would love to hear the questions Martin comes up with for the game with his friend. I might not want to know how often he gets them wrong though!

Millenials! I never heard that before. How true about the being able to look everything up. I find myself doing that, too. Memory, shmemory. Who needs it when you have Google?

Sounds like fun, though brief, in Italy.

WOnderful that Martin loves to walk & talk. Cherish those times. These kids grow up and move into their own lives so quickly.

I hope that I may begin to walk daily again soon too. I have been walking some, and the week before last Autumn, Dylan, & I walked most days. Having someone to walk with definitely improves ones possibility on consistency. Maybe I will walk today!?

I'm already dreading the days when they move away. UGH. How do parents DO it?!


Remember Venice?- I didn't and you had to dig out photos to prove I was there with you! However, I was sure that the bus only drove by Pompei and the guide talked about it- but we didn't stop....maybe you have a photo to prove otherwise? I would like to know that I actually was there!
ENjoy the walks and talks with Martin- he will have wonderful memories of those times too. I look forward to joining you on the walks in only a couple months! Love, Lizardmom

I have photo proof of pompeii. :) we drove by herculaneum.

From Megsie

Okay. The GREEN thing freaked me out a little. I only know what my kids know, but it makes me want to give a little quiz to my college students. I am afraid of what I might find. Many of them don't know how to write a complete sentence, so the whole mixing colors thing? Well. You know where that is headed.

Italy sounds divine even in the rain. I am so glad you had fun.

I am glad you wrote. I was missing you!


Re: From Megsie

Orange, too. I agree, it's freaky. It seems so fundamental!

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.

Test, just a test

Hello. And Bye.

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