Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Always dreamed of being a caver and imagined what it might be like to climb through small tunnels in complete darkness, getting mud all over yourself in the process?


Well, here's your chance to see how much fun we have.

Alfredo, a member of our spelunking group, has put up these photos of our wonderful beginner caving course which lasted from the end of September till the beginning of November 2005. Enjoy the views and the pizza dinner! Soon, you'll want to don a mechanic's suit and various caribiners and climb up and down ropes in dark caves as well!

-Jackie della grotta

Stelle in Italia

Two weeks have almost passed since Corrie and Cassie arrived in Italy. My parents, who arrived three days later, just left Italy on Saturday and are now back in the states, no doubt beginning another busy work week. I share Corrie's feelings about the whole period of time, in that it passed by so quickly yet still holds a series of lasting memories. It seems every visit of friends and family to Italy is like that: an intense, short period of time punctuated by laughter and togetherness, and the making of new memories.

So much happened over the distance of two weeks that it's hard to write about it all in one huge blog entry. I hope to blog in segments, when I get time. Our wonderful wedding lunch (ANOTHER wedding you say? Yes, as our friends Laura and Raffaella put it: "the best things in life come in threes"), with all of Antonello's family and our friends here in Italy, was sparked with sunshine and good humor--meaning plenty of practical jokes and crazy dancing (handkerchief games again?) to liven up the night. Two days in Ferrara and Venice with Cassie and Corrie were spent wandering around romantic Venice by lamplight, searching out Santa Maria delle Grazie like little lost pilgrims coming to pray. Ferrara, instead, was a city of culinary delights: from free apertifs at the gelato parlor to curly bread and fancy cakes to take home.

And my parents and Antonello and I will always remember our last day in Milan, the car breaking down right in front of Piazza del Duomo ("Look! There's the Galleria!") and an evening wandering through Milan's streets and piazzas, staring up at the duomo inside and out, and eating dinner at a Tuscan restaurant in the chandelier-lit Brera District.

Yes, Italy this time meant seeing many things by starlight, as the sun sets so early in late autumn. From Cingoli's blue-hued streets to dinner in Montecosaro before Corrie and Cassie parted, starry-eyed Italy welcomed these Americans everywhere, through rain and sleet and snow.

More details soon! Hope to post some pictures too (I know, rare for me).