Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm No Longer Alpha Dog

Too many hours at work and some rainy weather has allowed my dog to wander around the house all day sleeping and moving around my shoes. So it's no surprise that with me not home much any more, he basically doesn't listen to me.

Case in point: why did I bother spending money on this....

When right in front of me he climbs up here and makes himself at home? No amount of me telling him 'Bed!' got him to move from his sunny spot.

In addition, he now climbs up on other people's couches. While enjoying a glass of wine at my friend Jo's, Tucker decided that he should have been the one on the couch and I got in the way. Seriously, he just climbed up on top of me as if I wasn't even there.

Alpha Dog, I am not.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I've Got Nothing

Sorry folks, I've got nothing this week. For everyone who has been telling me that I'm having too much fun and don't work enough - thanks for making my life miserable. The usual ten hour work days have now stretched into 12 hour days AND I had to cancel my cycling vacation to France. (Yeah, I know that doesn't make you feel sorry for me)

And for that, you just get a picture of my dog sleeping. He's been sorely neglected this week. Thank goodness for Kate, the dog walker.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I was traveling for work this week and was lucky enough to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law.

They have this wonderful retreat in their yard which made it easy to relax after a few brain draining long days. I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and fun this week. Sadly, we also found out that our younger cousin passed away this weekend. It was quite sudden and unexpected. And because of that - I urge everyone to not sweat the small stuff and embrace your family and friends while you can.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tucker swims!

If you know my dog, you know that he hates water. He doesn't like to get his paws wet, avoids swimming pools and refuses to go out in the rain. So imagine my surprise when he voluntarily went swimming this weekend!

The weather was very hot in England and the fur coat was a little much for my boy. What I really think happened is his competitive nature took over and he couldn't sit back and watch Stan and Alfie play fetch without him. Here Tucker is cheating and standing in the shallow water to steal the precious stick away from Stan.

It's a mad scramble in the Thames for a piece of wood!

Tucker goes solo and takes the prize. I'm so proud of my boy! Next time, I'll try to have the real camera at the ready.

Also, I'm traveling for work next week. Most likely no new posts until I get back. I know you'll be sad......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


After a couple of days of cycling and with the threat of bad weather, I convince Dave that we should check out Milan for the day.

Dave studies the tour guide on the train so that he doesn't feel bad about missing a possible day of cycling. Really, there are a few things to see in Milan!

First up is the castle. We read the history on a few information boards and this building dates way, way, way back. It is absolutely enormous and at one point was the center of Milan as the King's fort and stronghold.

Just trying to get the scale of the structure and not doing a very good job.

Look ma - no hands! Okay, so not funny. Looks Greek to me...

Parts of the castle that have fallen off or were taken down as the structure was expanded throughout the years.

Dave and I didn't do much in Milan. We just walked around and ate. I probably stood in front of this pastry cart for 10 minutes trying to decide what to get. Analysis paralysis!

Decision made!

Dave poses in front of the Duomo. (Check out last July's Bella Italia post for more info). The cathedral is enourmous and can hold up to 13,000 worshippers.

I think the lion ate the man hiding underneath the shield.

Up close and gothic.

The cathedral has 3100 different statues placed among the exterior. My favorites were the gutters. You can't just have water pouring out of any old orifice. To me, this one resembles a cartoon hound with wings.

A storm was brewing in the north (turns out it rained where we were staying so good choice for us to go to Milan!) and the dark clouds made an eerie backdrop to this lone statue.

This guy has an arrow sticking out of his chest and the cupids below him are crying in woe. Where are all the freaking happy statues?!!?!?!?

Each one of the pillars has a statue on top of it. Did I mention the 3100 different ones? I'm not afraid of heights but I will admit, the thought of working on the pillars on top of the roof makes me a little queasy.

Another spout for rain water. How would the 'burbs look if all the neighbors had these on their houses?

And finally, sweating on top of the Duomo. Unfortunately some construction was going on so we didn't get to see quite everything but it was enough. A must see for anyone in Milan.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lake Lugano

After another lovely ride (not really as I was dropped like a stone, it wasn't pretty) we went to the little town of Lugano to wander around and shop. Since it was situated next to Lake Como, it was quite the ritzy little town. For a village with only a couple of streets, I was amazed that it had a Cartier and a Hermes shop.

To be honest, I was more amazed by the sausage shop. I think the hanging sausages are bigger than my dog!

It wouldn't be a blog without another dorky photo of me. I'm gaining all my weight back so everyone can just stop yelling at me. I'm eating fine!

It wouldn't be a quaint Italian town without old men playing big chess.

The gardens around Lake Lugano are beautiful. Perfect for ice cream and strolling.

A Dr. Seuss tree.

And while you are strolling, in case you wondered what the temperature is, you just check the thermometer located in the center of the park.

Need to know if the weather is going to change? Check the barometer! The other two sides displayed humidity and the time of day. I guess that makes it fairly easy to stand around and talk about the weather. :o)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lake Como

Oscar and the family were kind enough to take us into Lake Como one night for pizza. Unfortunately, no George Clooney sightings were to be had.

Hopefully, you can see the scale of Nathan's calzone. Just look at the size of his head and that should help. :o)

My pizza spawns well past my place setting. You can see four glasses in front of me and the pizza just keeps going. I almost finished it.. almost...

A statue of Volta, the man who invented the battery. He is wearing a tie as Lake Como was sponsoring 'tie art'. Kind of like how Chicago sponsored the cows.

Church in the center of Lake Como. Again, enormous. The archways hide the old baptism pools. How many people were they baptizing at one time??

Group photo - My friend Dave, Nathan: a teammate of Dave's from California, Shawn and Kyle - Oscar's amazing kids. At school, Kyle speaks Italian, at home they speak English and he is taking Latin, German and French classes. Amazing!

A photo of Lake Como as the sun sets. Sorry for the poor photo quality but I forgot that I could reset my camera to night time photos. Oops!

You can take a tram up the side of the mountain. Oooohhh.. the lights are pretty..... the rest of the photos didn't turn out so well. Too busy eating my ice cream. :o)