Wednesday, May 9, 2018

On Being Tourists in Our Own Town

Tuesday, 8 May, 2018

One of the cornerstones of our now 11 years of retirement has been a concept first proposed to us by Jason Johnson in 2008.

Back then, Jason was our QB with our Serie A Catania Elephants American football team. As of yesterday, he is an Emmy winning photographer and still a good friend.

Congratulations on your huge award Jason!

What Jason gave us as an extremely sound principle of travel was to be a tourist in your own town.

We get so excited about flittering around Europe's major cities that we sometimes forget about the wonders that are all around us in our neighborhoods.

With this in mind, we opted to further explore our interesting surroundings in Venegono Superiore and Vedano Olona.

Of course the morning started
with a cappuccino at a pasticceria
in Venegono Superiore

We both settled for a much smaller and I'm sure somewhat healthier pastry than this one.

But still, DAMN!

The fruits on top would have been "Oh so good for us."

Too expensive, too big
and WAY too rich

Laurie liked the silver tea sets
at our morning pasticceria

Our bill came to five Euros and, in an effort to lighten Laurie's load, I paid the tab with a bunch of her Euro change not paper money.

That led to the following exchange.

Lady at the Cash Register: "Arriverdverci!"

Me waiting for her to count all the coins: "Sta bene?" (Is that enough?)

Lady at the Cash Register: "Non c'è bisogno di contarlo, non sei italiano." (There's no need to count it, you're not Italian.)

Ah, the joys of day-to-day dealings with our new Italian friends.

A little walking and a stop at an ATM for Laurie led us to another Venegono Superiore pasticceria.


A simple café and a miniature
tiramisu were permissible

I said,

There are now at least three high quality pasticcerias in Venegono Superiore that we know of that are all outstanding from what we've tasted.

Laurie got her first look at our Venegono Superiore Public Library today where we checked out a couple of DVDs and took advantage of their foreign language book trade counter.

If you leave a book, you can take a book. We had two with us and the swap was on!

When I asked the librarian if the DVDs were due back in a week as I thought, she winked and said "Sì." She then went on to slyly explain that if I returned them in two or three weeks no one would be the wiser.

Ah, the joys of day-to-day dealings with our new Italian friends. 

Not really sure what this marker
by the roadside is trying to tell us in
Vedano Olona

Can you make it out?

Laurie entering Vedano Olona's
Chiesetta al Lazzaretto
built in 1577

Popes John XXIII and Paul VI

With these two Popes to greet us and each other, I'm guessing that this is not the original door to this small church.

It is a small church indeed

Blessed Luigi Monza

Monza was a local priest born in the Varese Province's city of Cislago who is on his way to eventual sainthood for his good works in the area.

Laurie just lit 
yet another candle

The tall one on the left

She liked the embroidery

She loved this hand work too

We walked in the woods for a bit.

Wild berries ripening on the vine

Some nice blossoms too

If you have followed this blog over the years as Paul and Mike have back in California, then you know that we like to wander randomly in European cemeteries to see some always interesting statuary art.

Today we entered the Vedano Olona Commune's Cemetery.

A HUGE Alpine Feather

An Alpini Memorial at the
cemetery's entrance

The Alpini are Italy's mountain fighting Special Forces that did much of their battling in the nearby Alps, thus the Alpini moniker.

The Alpini wear COOL hats!

The Prayer of the Alpini

REALLY cool hats!

We entered . . .

Saints Alive!

WWI Casualty

Lots of above ground statues

Pray for me

This mausoleum was for
priests only

Sitting patiently for years now
with no end in sight

A music lover

A Herald Angel

This angel would point the way
IF she still had an index finger

She believes

Ancient cemetery door with
a high-tech security lock

An Alpini is buried here

Intricate artwork

Ivy covering is always a
nice touch, if you ask me

It was Tuesday, so in the evening we had Skorpion practices but not the usual ones, we had an addition.

Our first U19 practice started
at 5:00 p.m. under sunny skies

This group will eventually play in a 9-man, full contact league starting in September. We had 11 players show up this evening for the 65 minute workout that stressed tacking techniques vs. dummies.

It was a good introductory session for them as they all play for either our U17 or U15 Flag teams where no contact is allowed.

Thursday night we will review tackling with them and introduce basic blocking drills to these young Skorpions.

At 6:30 p.m. it was time for the
U17 and U15 Flag teams to practice

Both squads had spirited workouts but dark clouds and the sound of distant thunder were approaching.

At 8:30 p.m. both the Seniors
team's practice and the
DELUGE started

The lighting and thunder were all around us but never got closer than a seven second count thus telling us that the lightning was about seven or more miles away.

We all got soaked to be sure but we got some good work done on primarily our running game given the conditions.

We only have one more practice until the flight to Sardinia Saturday morning for the game against the dangerous Cagliari Crusaders.

Reading Is FUNdamental

Well, THAT was different

A scorching satire based on the premise that Adolf Hitler suddenly, mysteriously and inexplicably comes back to life in 2011.

He will try to regain his long lost power but has a lot of catching up to do with the vast improvements in technology since he end of WWII.

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