Mo Tab Inspriation

SOOOO – yesterday we my friend L.N., my husband, and I were driving home from seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in concert here, I was sharing about my recent post….ya know, the part about how I said I would to a triathlon…but didn’t. Remember?Β  WELL – it seems as though there is a women’s only triathlon in July (won’t be here this year) 2014.Β  Hubby recruited my friend and I – so, the goal is July 2014 I’ll do my first triathlon πŸ™‚

Picked up my currencies today. CHF, super pretty bills.Β  I’m sure there are laws somewhere prohibiting photos of money – so just google it.Β  One of the prettiest monies out there.Β  Random note – have to get a “European wallet”..my little USian wallet is too short for the extra tall European money!

The choir – small army.Β  Loved the concert, loved Come Thou Fount.Β  Sure, 10 years ago I probably would have thought this choir to be an “old people’s choir” – but I’ve changed that perspective.Β  They’re a disciplined, well-oiled machine and their dedication shows through their performance.Β  I teared up as they stood and sang their first song. Tears came again as they sang Come Thou Fount (my wedding march and a dear hymn) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPw7-QniaDQ is a video of it, but super more fantastic in person πŸ™‚

 

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long time

SOOOO – it’s been a year and a half!  What has happened…I really never finished my trip to Italy in Summer 2011..but it was fun and I made lasting friendships..hence my return March 2012!  And THAT, dear friends, leads me to NOW!

Scott and I celebrated 10 years this past March *woot woot*  Some days it seems like yesterday..others…whoa, am i cut out for eternity?  It’s definitely not easy, but I know it’ll be worth it πŸ™‚

This past May (though not a triathlon and 18 months later) I completed my first half marathon.  Started off with me ripping my bib off my race belt – Scott teased me about being a rookie the whole time.  No photos are logged because my bib wasn’t visible to log my photos 😦  Also, completion was not a record of a time, my dear husband got a leg cramp after about 1-2 miles..so we walked it in 3 hours…and…50 minutes πŸ™‚  However, my time didn’t log – for all we know, I set a world record!!!

After that, I stopped – pretty much all – gym going.  Didn’t shed an ounce this entire time either…so that’s moderately…majorly (nothing moderate about it!) frustrating. BUT, I figure…my lungs are probably healthier!

Well, June 1 rolls around and we take part in our second mud run, Warrior Dash. Totally fun, totally uphill!! http://www.warriordashphoto.com/ click Butler, OH Saturday and bib # 9969  Don’t know how long the link will be available, so good luck!

Anyway, there’ s more – I  shall log later!! My darling husband is competing in Ironman Zurich http://ironmanzurich.com/ – his first full Ironman – – why not be crazy and make it a destination!

You’re caught up.

Blessings to you and yours.

 

Italia 4

In Italy, they have these fantastic blinds – we need to import and market them here in the US – I don’t have a photo – but they’re metal and close out every OUNCE of light.Β  You could take a nap at noon and not even know it!Β  I think I slept until 9-10am the next morning.Β  I probably could have slept more, but I was getting hot and figured I should go socialize with my new family.Β  I was greeted warmly, went to the bathroom – had milk, hard “toast” and Nutella for breakfast.Β  ..this was my first of many struggles with the milk – it was super a super sweet thing to make sure I had milk, but it was served hot…I drank it as not to offend, but it wasn’t the yummiest! πŸ˜‰

After breakfast, freshening up, etc. Mr. G and I headed to the beach πŸ˜€

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  Β  Β  Β  Β 

Welcome to the Adriatic Sea πŸ˜€ Kind of full of seaweed, but fun to be there!Β  There’s some story I was told – people come to the sea for help with their breathing. Something about the iodine in the salty air helps.

Lunch

OH – but it didn’t stop there. Totally unaware that meals last forever..talking….various courses, I was completely satisfied after eating this up – I was, in fact, stuffed!Β  It was followed by zucchini, salad, otherΒ  yumminess in the form of hard cakes…roll me out of there cuz it was like Thanksgiving!
After lunch, I went back to the beach with my new little friend that I met during the meal (son of a friend of the family) – we played in the sand – he taught me some Italian in exchange for playing with him πŸ˜‰Β  We stayed at the beach (about 10 min walk down the street from their home there – similar to my family’s lake house) – went back to freshen up before the next event.Β  When we were chillin before dinner, my little friend and I played Pokemon.Β  I have no idea what I was doing, but he said I won πŸ™‚ I think he was being nice to the guest πŸ˜‰

Dinner brought more yumminess and talking – what I’ve been missing for the past 16 years since we moved to AZ – just a bunch of family sitting around the table, munching, gabbing – just being.Β  I sat there for a while…a loooonnnngg while – then excused myself and had another Italian lesson with another new friend πŸ™‚ She taught me coccinella. Lady bug πŸ™‚ Farfalla. Butterfly. Fiori – flowers.Β  We hung out as the “adults” chatted it up πŸ˜‰Β  We played games on the cell phone, chatted – at 32 I can still hang with the kids πŸ˜‰

It was adorable because my hosts felt bad asking me to sleep on the pull out bed in the kitchen – to me it was just like being at home. Remember that lake house? Well, not too long ago, when Grandpa was still here – it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to have Grandma and Grandpa in their room, someone in the other bed, cushions on the family room floor with someone on them – someone on the couch, and someone in the “craft room” – it was cozy, familial. I felt completely at home here at the house on the sea – and it was a pleasure to sleep in the kitchen so the little family of mom, dad, son could sleep in the bed πŸ™‚ I think there were 7 of us that night πŸ™‚ I loved it!

When I woke up, breakfast of milk, toast (little 2″ by 1″ hard toasts)..and a treat of a croissant with chocolate or jam rolled up in it.Β  THEN, off to the beach again πŸ™‚

The whole bunch of us went out and sat under the umbrella, sharing lounge chairs.Β  I took a stroll with my new aunt, it was fun. She knows some Spanish – I know some Spanish..so, we were able to converse just a little πŸ™‚ We were looking for her friend who was to be at one of the nearby beaches – so, we went on a walk to find her. Gave me the opportunity to see other types of beaches….we were definitely at a family friendly one πŸ™‚

The rest of the day was filled with reading the newspaper, basking in the sun (though my new friends made sure I stayed in the shadow because of my skin πŸ˜‰ ), playing Sudoku..just chillin. I’d scooted to the top of the chair so I could share with Mr. G…..when it was time to go, he got up and FLOP..there I went – I could only laugh – how often does something like that happen – there I was just sittin waitin for further direction and CRASH – fortunately, the sand was soft and I didn’t get hurt πŸ˜‰

We headed back, had a quick lunch – then headed back to Padova.Β  I was able to be a better travel partner this time πŸ™‚Β  I saw the lagoon and soaked it all in.

Italia 3

So, by this point in the trip, my coleader and I were really getting to know the kids. Feeling comfortable, airline meal times became a bit of a potluck. Don’t like something? We’ll find someone who does! πŸ™‚

When we landed, we were all exhausted. For all intensive purposes – we’d been traveling for about 2 days. Granted – one day we were able to head home, but the excitement and anxiety about the trip was still there. We exit the plane, head into the baggage claim – I made everyone go to the bathroom. There’s no telling when the next opportunity would present itself! AND, as suggested at my training, I stood with the baggage while others went and grabbed bags that were marked with ribbon (we had a wonderful parent who found this awesome ribbon, so everyone had a piece tied around theirs.) After we collected our luggage – made sure everyone and everything was accounted for – we headed toward the sliding double doors. THEN – Craziness ensued. Italian being spoken – our tired selves trying to comprehend…I saw my partner, said “HI” and went into “leader/survival” mode handing out all of the papers I needed to hand out. Fortunately, I had a helper – turned out she became a good friend and she was the Italian coleader πŸ™‚ I would read off my delegate’s name, she would announce it in Italian searching for the appropriate family. After everything was handed out, it was time to go: “Andiamo!”

When we were on the curb, one of the dads came up to me and told me one of my delegates left their backpack in the baggage claim area and he would like it if i could go with them. Ever tried conversing with someone that has an accent….when you’re tired?? The adrenaline was wearing off – I figured Mr. G wouldn’t leave me, so I went with my kiddo. Fortunately, the dad handled everything – my major role was to keep my friend calm and reassure everything would be fine – the backpack would be coming – and it did, thankfully!

ADESSO, andiamo!

I was able to drive back with one of my delegates – we landed in Bologna and were on the road to Padova. Fortunately, one of the families were able to squeeze two more bodies into the vehicle. They conversed in the language of the land – my delegate and I sat there…taking in the scenery – which, resembled Ohio, comforting it was! After about 3 hours (with a stop at the gas station) we arrived – well I arrived at my new home, at least for the next 2.5 weeks!! I was taken to my room, shown one of the bathrooms – though mine was downstairs, and instructed to gather some things for the weekend. Now, what you don’t know is – because or our delay, we arrived in just enough time to head to our homes and then to the welcome party – and then I was headed to the sea. YAY!

Also, keep in mind, this was my first time to Europe..I went in to use the bathroom…looked around. “Where do I flush the toilet?….I can’t go and NOT flush!!!” SO, I didn’t…I waited….I managed to pack my suitcase for the weekend…and we were off to the welcome party.

The delegates mingled, we were treated to some awesome homemade Italian food – real food after traveling was amazing πŸ™‚Β  And, I had to go to the bathroom. Surprised? Come on – it’d been since the airport! Like, at least 5 hours! SO, I was directed to the bathroom…noticed this..this odd thing in the wall…push it, FLUSH! OOHHHHH! Now, I could flush the toilet at home πŸ™‚

After some chatting, making new friends, watching both delegations mingle, it was time to head to the sea. The Adriatic Sea – YAYAYAY!!! Me, Mr. G…and the energy I had left – headed to our destination.Β  I tried to be good company.Β  As an interpreter, I know it takes a lot of brain power to digest words, process them, make sense of them, and respond…as the sun set, I found the darkness swallowing me up and my eyelids got heavier and heavier. Fortunately, Mr. G understood this, but we kept on chatting. About what, I have NO idea.

We arrived at his place where I was greeted by his wife.Β  I was welcomed with a piece of cake and some water. Shown to my room – changed, used the bathroom, and CRASHED! By this time, it was probably about 11PM in Italy – 5PM in Ohio..I’d been up for….roughly, a little less than a million hours πŸ˜‰ Close to 36.

Said my prayers…I’m in Italy!!!

Italia 2.2

Sooo….after we gathered on the flight in Philly, we could rest easy – right? Well….that was until someone had to go to the bathroom. It’d been a while, so – it was allowed. I told the kid (running out of ways to keep them anonymous!) he could try – see, the problem was that they were serving dinner at the time…so, he went, tried to tell the lady he had to go – she told him to go back to his place. As soon as she approached my row (I was one in front of him) he climbed over her..she yelled something at him in what we believed to be German…then he went – bladder relieved, but now stuck on the other side coming back. Fortunately, it was easier to wait on that side instead of the other side, right!? We’ve all been there, I felt for the kid.

Well, in the middle of all of this, they came by and passed out drinks and all that jazz. I was holding his drink so I got skipped. Fortunately, my sweet seat mate wasn’t thirsty and gave me her water.

Fast forward to a time when it was dark on the plane – same kid that had to pee – was very animated πŸ˜‰ FUN, but animated. Kid in front of me had enough “Amanda, can you tell __________ to shut up!” I pass the message and get the response, “Am I really THAT loud!?” Kid in front of me: “YES!! YOU ARE! SHUT UP.” It was pretty quiet after that πŸ˜€

Italy day 2.1

So, we arrived in Philly and everyone was hungry by now. Fortunately, my mom travels a lot and was able to clue me in on where the big food court was. When we arrived, the Philadelphia Eagles (mascot) were there promoting healthy living. My co-leader went to get food, then it was my turn. I came back to find the delegates had those blue stretchy exercise bands – one of them loved tormenting his peers by hitting them with it. Nice, right!? πŸ˜‰ The same kid ended up winning an exercise ball. The kids also managed to find a pole that was decorated with balloons – where the balloons there when we left 2-3 hours later???? HA! nope.

I felt somewhat bad for these 2 men who were sitting there – we ended up taking the tables on each side of them – so, 11 of us piled up our bags right there – on the other hand, I wasn’t very sympathetic cuz they could have moved to allow us to make our home base in one spot – THEN, one of the kiddos…he couldn’t find his backpack. YIKES! Fortunately, it got found after some searching – was on the bottom of the pile; he didn’t remember moving it there though – so when he looked to where it was, he assumed it was stolen or lost.

After a few hours in the food court, we proceeded to our gate. After some sitting and exploring, they decided it would be a good idea to blow up the exercise ball. Fine – don’t hit anyone. Some time passes and one of my kids comes over, “Amanda, they just hit some guy”…WHAT!? So I ask someone to come over and explain – the hit the same guy. Twice. “What’d he do?” I ask. “He just laughed. He was stupid just sitting there” –Eee gads, ok – maybe we should explore other modes of entertainment.

What I failed to mention was: or layover (due to re-routing) was 7 hours. Fortunately, they’re self-entertaining. Unfortunately, not always the best choices for entertainment! A few moments after I learned of the man getting hit (I’m sitting against the wall facing a plot of phone booths – I can’t see them, but I can hear them!) A woman comes over, sort of fast. My co-leader was off talking to someone she knew – my thought “Oh, crap – she’s gonna yell at me for not keeping my kids in line!” “HI! I was in CISV when I was a kid – I’m passing through from England to go to a friend’s wedding.” My coleader shared she had an “oh crap” moment too – fortunately, we weren’t in trouble! πŸ˜€

Since we’d parked in an open space out of the way, there were people sitting near-ish. One kind man seemed to get a kick out of watching everyone. I would glance up every now and then and he’d have a smile on his face – probably could have been a dad to me. He had the “kids will be kids” type of thought, which I appreciated. It’s hard to be “perfect” 100% of the time. Well, after ..or before..somewhere along the way, they decided to play tag on the moving sidewalk. The same moving sidewalk that we were on and I heard, “Amanda – so-and-so got his shoelace stuck!!” Fortunately, so-and-so passed me and said he just yanked his shoe out, so he was safe. Maybe at this point I should have intervened…but I was a little more attentive – and the place was pretty empty, so no innocent bystanders would get sucked into a game of involuntary tag.

Now – as a side, we had coloring books, cards, games – we had stuff – BUT, 7 hours is a long time. So, I kind of kept my ears open – assessed the situation to make sure the innocents would be safe, and let them do whatever. They gathered and checked in on their own – and I can report, other than the one casualty who got hit twice by the ball – everyone was able to dodge our chaos that we brought to the airport that day with much success!

Mia vita in Italia! giorno primo

Whew! I don’t even know where to start, really! It’s been almost a month since my summer adventure ended, I can’t believe it!

I (this will mean the delegation, my co-leader, and me πŸ™‚ ) was supposed to leave on Wed, June 22. Well, we arrived at 1:30PM…that was the plan, anyway! As we were walking out the door – literally suitcases loaded and going out the door (we live about 30 mins away from the airport) I get a call from one of my parents saying our flight was delayed. We (husband and I) decided to head there anyway, we were going to stop at the McD’s for a bite. Well, while at McD’s..I get a call we’re heading to the airport anyway – then, it dawns on me..I don’t know if anyone called my co-leader! NO one had, she was already there. Fortunately, she’s cool so we just met her ASAP.

Well, after we arrived, our parent who was in charge of travel plans is on the phone with our travel agent – delayed more. So, what do you do when you have 11 bodies AND parents at the airport? Of course! You sit down and play cards. In the moment, I was not very “caring” because I did not take into account all of the other passengers as we plopped down in the common area πŸ˜€ I was wanting to go through security to get it out of the way…time kept on ticking…ticking….there comes a time when you know you won’t make it for your connecting flight. See, we were supposed to fly to Philly, then to Brussels, then to Bologna. Somewhere along the way, our flight from Philly decided to have “mechanical problems” and we were delayed until the next day.

My husband had already taken Wednesday off to drop me at the airport – fortunately, a wonderful family put me up for the night πŸ˜€ They took me in, fed me, gave me a bed – gave me ice cream πŸ˜€ On the way home from the airport, the vehicle in front of us hit a bird! There were feathers a flyin’ everywhere!

Take 2…wake, eat..head to the airport at 730. Check baggage – OH, that was something to note – we’d checked our baggage before our flight was cancelled so somehow they got it back for us and we went to pick it up. We had this awesome plan to wear bright colors so we wouldn’t lose anyone in the airport – most of our outfits didn’t get recycled πŸ˜‰ Now to Thursday. Guess what!? Another delay. Fortunately, just an hour.

Baggage checked – not to security. Our plan was to send my co-leader first, she would “catch” the kids, then I would come behind scooping up stragglers along the way – OR, calming friends if they got stopped by security. We made it through pretty well – until it was time to gather your stuff on the other end. One of my ducklings had all sorts of stuff in their pockets – little candies/cough drops – handfuls of stuff! When I made it through and got myself together, this poor thing was trying to gather everything in his hands. He’d get most together, then drop something – repeat. I grabbed something big and scooped up what I could so we could get out of the way. Eventually, all 11 of us were on or way to the gate.

We took advantage of pre-boarding – OH, I almost forgot – as we were waiting during baggage check, we saw a friend I work with and her husband! We ended up being on the same flight πŸ˜€ AND, my co-leader saw her lacrosse coach, she was on our flight too!!! When we boarded, I smuggled my friend and her husband on with our group – hey, she’s pregnant! SO, fortunately, our youngest is 11 – you need an 11 year old to “qualify” for “traveling with young children.”

Boarded, got drinks..landed in Philly ok.

Time…ZOOM

Gee whiz! Time sure does fly! I know I’m not a loyal poster, but that’s just cuz I don’t have tons to say πŸ˜‰ I should have looked at the last post before I started this one….oh well!

SINCE the last post, I’ve not really been training hard for a triathlon – things got switched up a bit. Instead, I’ll be spending some time in Italy though CISV. Myself and another leader will be taking 9 kids to Padova, Italy – while there, each of us will live with a different family. After about 3 weeks, we come home and await our new Italian friends to come and live with us. The idea is promoting peace through gaining an understanding of others through experiencing their culture. If you get super curious, a parent set up a Facebook page CISV Padova is the name..I think πŸ™‚

Aside from that, I’m finishing my 2nd year as an interpreter in a school. It’s a blast, but it’s tuckerin me out these past two days!

Moving on from triathlons and on to mud runs… my friend at work, her husband, me, my husband – we’ll be doing that on September something. Should be fun.

Anyway, that’s my brief update – planted a garden – keeping the neighborhood cats out is the biggest challenge, but so far so good.

Italy, prepare yourself :)

YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! My dear sweet Buppee said ok….as long as I assure him he’ll be able to go to his Rev 3 race at Cedar Point in September. Shoot – that’s an easy trade πŸ™‚ SO – super excited. One of the students is a student I currently see every day at work – I look forward to getting to know him better as well as the other students I will have the chance to meet.

Any ideas for a mini-camp for 11-12 year olds? I’m definitely going to pull from my scouting background for that one. Also, any sites to see that you’d suggest that are near-ish Columbus? I will keep you posted about as much as I can – YAYAYAY!!!!

Racing to Italy, Maybe…

Hello!

I haven’t posted anything recently because I’ve had nothing to post!

I’ve not been the most faithful about going to the gym 6 times a week – though a week hasn’t gone by that I haven’t gone to the gym. YAY! I’m up to 50 lengths with no floating device!!! Even if there ends up being no tri in my future, I love swimming and am improving πŸ™‚ I’ve looked into some girls only tris; the entry fee is more than my husband’s race fees! (Reason being – half the fee goes to the Susan Komen foundation(s) ) I haven’t started working on the bike or the swim..so I should probably consider doing that and incorporating weights.

On a typical day I’m able to go directly to the gym after work, do an hour on the elliptical, then join my husband in the pool. He was talking the other day about making his cardio come first because he’s experiencing fatigue after the pool – so that would allow me to add in something else too. Plain and simple – after I get wet, I don’t want to sweat again…it’s like a second bath AND I don’t want to change from work clothes to gym clothes to swim clothes to work out clothes..then to night clothes, or whatever – mainly convenience is what drives me πŸ™‚

Umm..I finished my article for the Spring RID VIEWS and have submitted it – it is currently in the editing stage. It’s kind of stinky because I had to delete a sentence about God – that’s the world I live in I guess. I tried to be vague – actually, I won’t post the article because I just cut and paste some of my blogging blurbs, edit them – helped it fit together a little more..and there it was. After it’s published, I’ll try to figure out how to attach the link so you can see the finished product! It’s fun cuz, although I didn’t go for the fame..and fortune, lol – but I’ve been very blessed for the experience to Ghana πŸ˜€

As I’ve stated before, I’m unable to make a repeat trip THIS year due to funding – however, there is something else in the works. The classroom teacher that I work with everyday is involved with an organization called CISV – Children’s International Summer Village. Check out their website at cisv.org and the Columbus chapter is columbususa.cisv.org no www – tried that, you get a Weebly error πŸ˜›

Anyway, I have the opportunity to be a leader of Interchange. The long and short of it is this: some kids are selected to go from 2 different countries. The first country goes to live with a counterpart in the other country and then they switch – like an exchange program for the summer. I would be living with an adult and then that adult would live with me. And Scott. Therein is my hangup. My poor husband is an introvert and supports me in any way – he’s supported many of my crazy adventures in the almost 8 years we’ve been married – but he’s not quite sure about having a 62 year old Italian man living with us for 20 days….the expense of it, and the weekend vacation we’re to take him on, and the whole comfort of it all. If Scott says ok, it’ll be my job to “chaperone” – which it would be anyway, so no skin off my nose.

I think it’d be an awesome travel opportunity – I was thinking about being a camp counselor – there ya go πŸ˜€ I love to travel – and I love being “enculturated” as opposed to just being a tourist. SO, fingers crossed he says OK!

It would involve me going to a weekend of training, running a weekend “mini-camp” and planning a “typical” family weekend vacation..but they’d be doing all the same stuff on the Italy end, an exchange of time and love for other cultures while promoting those ideals among the youth. I’ll keep you posted!