Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remembering Italy . . .

Since Italy has been on my mind lately, I decided to stroll down memory lane and select a photo of the month from my 2005 trip to Siena. Feeling a bit adventurous one day my friend and I decided to rent a car and drive the Chianti loop to Castellina and back. This month's photo is one of the beautiful scenes we saw along the drive!

Here are more:

Here's one of the SMART car we rented for the day. Do you think they knew we were tourists! :)

The funny thing is we didn't even care about the big dorky sign, we just had so much fun driving it around! I've since spotted two SMART cars being driven on the freeways of Los Angeles. But somehow they seem so much more cuter when they are seen being driven on the Roads of Italy . . .


  1. Oh my stars! You know they are my favorite cars - and what about those pictures hey?

    Oh my! I really love Siena and the area around there. :)

  2. Hi Leslie, those SMART cars are too cute! I've enjoyed seeing the ones that you and Girasoli have posted! We had such a blast driving around and stopping at every vantage point we could find to take the time and really appreciate the beauty of the region (a definite benefit to having a car). SMART cars Rock!

  3. Wonderful photos that really capture the distinctive beauty of Italy!

    Believe it or not, I've seen a Smart Car parked close to my office here in NC. They are so cute!

    Also I wanted to tell you about an article I saw last night. The Nov. issue of Bon Appetit magazine has an article about chocolate shops in Madrid - they list about eight places with wonderful chocolate and other sweets. Yum! I just checked the website and they don't have it on there yet, but I bet they will eventually post it. Don't know if you have a sweet tooth but just in case you do...

    Hope you're having a good week. Big debate tonight!

  4. Lovely photos, I love Siena! I've stayed there twice for several days at a time and never became bored.

    And I love SmartCars, we're seeing more of them around Ottawa. I sure could have used one in Italy last month, instead of the monster BMW!

  5. Hi Annie, thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you, I think SMART cars are very cute.

    Thanks for the tip on the article. Yum is right! I'll look for it at the book store so I can add the addresses to my Pocketmod. With eight places in Madrid listed, I'm sure I will be able to find at least one of them while I'm exploring the City. Very cool!

    I just saw the debate. I actually thought that Palin did better than I thought she was going to do, but then again I had a very low standard of expectation. :) I thought she didn't answer questions, gave useless catchy phrases, didn't defend McCain's positions, when she couldn't answer a question she talked about what she did in Alaska, about energy, what she did as Mayor and tried to connect to women (ie., soccer moms, etc)! Paleeze! Answer the dang question and be specific!

    I thought Biden did a great job. He made sense and talked more "straight" talk than she did the entire night! Biden on the other hand had complete command of Obama's agenda and articulated them very well. He was actually debating (not performing) and answered the questions! I loved how he put a stop to the repeated "Maverick" labels to the point where I don't think I heard her refer to it again. As far as I'm concerned Biden won the debate!

  6. Hi Sandra, thanks for your comments. I totally loved Siena too. The best was sitting in one of the cafes facing IL Campo and just watching all the people going by.

    I really enjoyed that post about your BMW monster. My favorite entry was of course the Spello post! :) I think you did really good for your first time driving. You can ask for a SMART car on your next driving adventure! They are so much fun to drive.

  7. Kathy, I agree that Biden won even though she didn't babble like she has done in interviews.

    She seemed very scripted and robotic to me. And I hate when people evade questions like she did...."I don't want to talk about the economy, I want to talk about energy."

    So yes, she can memorize stuff and deliver it, but I saw no evidence that she can think on her feet.

    And I've heard nothing from either her or McCain that sounds like anything will be different from the Bush years. This maverick stuff is smoke and mirrors (and I agree with you, Biden did a great job pointing that out!).

    When she said something about defending women's rights, I had to get up and leave, it made me so mad!

    I wonder if they are going to let her do anymore interviews?

    TGIF! Hope you have a great weekend!

  8. Hey, your lovely comment made my evening. :)

    That';s a new designer from New Zealand called Erica. I have been using her swirly black frames and her bakcgrounds a lot lately.

    Then I found her postcards and thought - what a fun way to add a touch of journaling!

    Gosh I'm enjoying making these. :)

  9. Hi Annie, I really wanted her to babble but like you said everything was scripted for her. And as much as she claims to be a maverick, I think she was told to follow that script. So whenever she didn't know the answers or how to respond to Biden's comments against her running mate, she didn't adress it and went back to her script. Her cutesy comments didn't do anything for me, I wanted to hear her articulate in specific terms what their positions and plans are and she didn't told the American people squat!

    And to say that past is past and they represent change is beyond rediculous. The past is what got us here and McCain was a big part of that past, so where is the change! Sorry, but I'm not buying their copy cat chants for bringing change to Washington. It is going to be more of the same.

    I loved what you said about wanting to get up and leave the room when she mentionined defending women's rights! :)

    It was interesting that when Biden had that moment about talking about the loss of his first wife and that whole experience and saying that he does understand what it is to be a single parent and relating to the struggling middle class and wondering how they were going to pay for the rising gas prices or their child's tuition, and it was definitely not scripted on his part but an honest response to statements she made about her sitting down with her family . . . what did she do! Nothing! She didn't know how to respond so she talked about something else. I thought that was a mistake (one of several she made) not to acknowledge or show some kind of compassion or response. It would've been the natural thing for anyone to acknowledge and she didn't. Why, because it wasn't in her script and she didn't know how to respond.

    I think it would be a mistake to allow her to do more interviews! So, you know that I'm hoping that she does! :)

    TGIF is right! Whoo hoo! Have a great weekend Annie!

  10. Hi Leslie, I'll have to look at Erica's blog more closely over the weekend. I actually did a flyer using my scrapebook software for a fund-raiser that I volunteered to help organize and looking at your beautiful designs have really helped me to develop my designs. I'm not quite there yet, but thanks to you I'm learning a lot from your designs. It's a lot of fun!

    Have a great weekend Leslie!

  11. I agree, the cutesy folksy stuff seemed fake to me. I just read this funny description on the Daily Kos:

    "The Palindrone. Pull the string and out comes the canned reply. Don't interrupt or she'll lose her place."

    And you are exactly right - she could have scored some points by showing any compassion for Biden after he teared up about his son. But no, she ignored him and just stuck to her script. It made her seem very cold!

    And I didn't like all that "there you go again, talking about the past." We HAVE to look at the past - that's how you learn from mistakes! She and McCain think the past was a-okay so they don't see any need to look at it!

    Biden was impressive! I think Obama did a good job by picking him. Looks like most people agree with us that Biden won that debate!

    Oh, and thanks for the head's up on your comment on my blog. Something was wrong this morning (I couldn't get my comments to publish) but it seems to be working now.

    Happy weekend and Go Obama!

  12. Kathy, a co-worker just sent me a link to this amazing cat sanctuary in California. I don't know if it's close to you or not, but wanted to share the links because it's so cool AND they have kittens for adoption!

    And a video:

  13. Lovely photos, Kathy!

    I went to Siena once as a day trip from Florence but didn't have enough time to really enjoy everything it has to offer. I hope to return one day.

    I've seen a few Smart cars here. I love the car and wold love to have one but it scares me so much seeing them alongside the huge SUV's and trucks people drive here in the Wild West.

    Fiat is introducing in the USA the 500 or 600 model in 2010 and I told my husband that I'd love to have one of those. I had a Fiat in the late '70's and it was so much fun to drive.

    I'm still looking for the microphone for the iPod. Walmart doesn't have it. I'll check Fry's on the weekend.

    Have a great weekend Kathy!

  14. Hi Annie, I totally agree with you that Biden was a really great choice for Obama and I'm glad he picked him. That's a pretty accurate quote. Palin did stumble a couple of times during the debate.

    Thankfully, the election will be decided on the choice between Obama or McCain. And I think that's who Biden was really debating with . . . McCain and his policies, voting record and ineffective policies. And Biden did his job in pointing out McCain's failures. I agree with you that Palin would have scored major points if she would have responded differently to Biden's emotional moment. I also agree that the past should be considered when making decisions and policies. That's how we learn from our mistakes. Excellent point.

    Glad to know that it wasn't just me after all when I couldn't post. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing that great link! I had not heard about that sanctuary. It is located about 4 hours north of me which is pretty far, but when I checked out the video and saw the little kittens she has up for adoption, I was like Hmmm . . . maybe four hours doesn't seem all that far! :) I will definitely have to check out her website a bit more.

    Happy weekend to you too Annie! Don't forget, next Tuesday!

  15. Hi Maria, thanks for your comments. I think you should definitely return to Siena. It's a great mid sized town to visit. And the area around there is beautiful. As much as I love SMART cars, I share your same concerns about driving them at home. In Italy on the roads, they are fantastic, but next to big a SUV or Semi Truck . . . scary!

    The Fiat sounds cool! Too bad it doesn't come out until 2010 that would make a very nice birthday or 30th Anniversary gift! :)

    Bummer that your Walmart doesn't have it. If you don't see it at Frys, remember to get in touch with me so I can send that extra one that I have. I'm not sure why I even purchased two, maybe this is why...I think you have my e-mail to my iPhone. I could send it priority mail or something so you will have enough time to work with it before you leave. It is very cool. After you record, you have to save it. When I was practicing with it I couldn't figure out where my recordings were. I forgot to press the save button.

    Thanks again for you comments about my photos. Have a great weekend and don't forget to contact me if you can't the device at Frys.

  16. Four hours is pretty far away. I looked at the map and couldn't tell, and thought it might be closer. Oh well, there are so many kittens out there who need homes and you will find the perfect one(s) at the right place and right time!

    I watched a little bit of Spain: ON the Road Again (I was switching back and forth between that and the Obamas talking to Diane Sawyer). Toledo looks amazing! And all the food I saw looked really wonderful. I hope to be able to watch the whole show when they re-run it.

    Hope you're having a great weekend! Pretty cool to have Anne posting from Florence!

  17. Hi Annie, I'm glad and very appreciative that you gave me that link. It's 4 hours away, but not an impossibility for me. I looked through her kitten photos and they are all so adorable. Some of them remind me of your Maria and Lulu. I will continue to visit her site, because you just never know!

    That's great that you saw a bit of Spain on the Road. The Madrid episode is tomorrow and I can't wait. Since it'll re-run for you, I don't blame you for switching back and forth to Obama. Too bad I missed that interview. Where was I? I can't wait for round two. Just think, before I leave for Spain and before Maria and her husband returns from their trip we will have elected a new President! And god I hope it is Obama-Biden. I read somewhere that when the debate was going on there was a measurement tracking the value of the dollar (don't know how they did that) and whenever Biden spoke the meter rose.

    It is totally cool reading Anne's posts. I'm glad she's enjoying her first couple of days in Florence. The weather is kind of cooling a bit here, but still pretty nice out. Hope you're having a great weekend!

    33 days! :)

  18. Oooohhhh!! You rented a Smart Car? You are my idol!! How lucky!! I am due for a new car soon and have considered getting one but agree with everyone else on the safety issues. I still have my Smart Car photos to post from this year's trip.

    Great photos of Tuscany!!

    I agree with both you and Annie on the debate. Straight talk to the American people, you know, Joe six-pack and the hockey moms, which golly gee actually wasn't really so straight after all since she didn't answer half of the questions asked!!!! And she said she wouldn't be answering them but instead would be straight talking all in one sentence!

    And now today, the nastiness is back. Since they are realizing they can't win on their non-factual maverick plan which actually is just more of the same (and yes that would be the past) they are now starting with the dirty politics once again. Let's just hope that no one falls for it.

  19. Hi Girasoli, it was so much fun driving it around. It's so small and compact. You have to try it on one of your trips to Italy one day. You could choose an easy to nativagate road similar to the Chianti loop and you won't get lost. Buying one at home would be great too. I'll look forward to your smart car photos. I'm sure you took a lot of cute ones on this last trip.

    That's so funny what you said! :) Maybe she thought looking straight into the camera to us while talking meant straight talk ... Oh well. My favorite was when they were asked a couple of questions about whether there was something that they learned and changed during their career and also is there one thing that they may have done differently (not sure if I quoted exactly correct) and of course Biden was very honest with "yes" and gave a good example. She on the other hand said McCain had none! Wrong answer! There is not one politician that can honestly say that they were perfect and error free during their careers. To say otherwise is a big fib.

    Are they being nasty again? It must mean that they are getting desparate. I think Obama will still maintain the high road, because he's just that kind of person.

    Thanks for your comments. Have a great Sunday! There's another long holiday weekend next week!

  20. I called Fry's Electronics and they have the voice recorder so I'll get there tomorrow. I probably won't have time to play with it at home but I have 20 hours of travel and transit time ahead of me on Friday so I'll be playing around with the recorder.

    Have a wonderful week, Kathy.

  21. Hi Maria, that's great news! I'l think the voice recorder is very easy to use. You basically connect it, go to Voice memos on your ipod, select Record now and voila you can start recording. Then when you stop it, just make sure you save the recording. It'll be fun to play around and practice while during the long wait at the airport and flight over.

    5 days for you (Friday), time just really flew. I can't wait to hear about your experiences and see all of your photos.

    Have a great week Maria! Hope your packing is going well. I'm sure it is.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.