Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Winter Olympics, North Carolina style

February 1, 2010

Yay! We got our first substantial snowfall since moving here from New England in 2003. As you can see below, our low-riding dachshunds were not pleased, but Wessel and I rejoiced, along with much of North Carolina. Durham, where we live, got seven inches, which almost — don’t laugh — qualified it for the top-10 snowfall list started in the 1920s. (The record is 14 inches, in 2000.) We still have our cross-country skis, minus one pole (oops) and managed to ski out the back door both Saturday and Sunday. Temps climb into the 40s this week. Farewell, old friend! 

Sabrina was not amused when she ended up belly deep in the white stuff

Wessel swooshes down a hill on one of our neighborhood streets

If you don`t own snow boots, just make them! (We spotted several of these)

Diane puts her keen herringbone skills in place up this tiny golf-course hill

Diane lobs a snowball at Wessel, plucked from the mountain formed by a plow

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High and dry in Venice

December 11, 2008
Gondolas moored nearby the Piazza San Marco

Covered gondolas moored near the Piazza San Marco

I was reading how Venice has once again flooded, and I feel so lucky that our visit there a year ago was relatively dry. We had rain and chilly weather, but no flooding. We saw the hip high rubber boots that people wear when it floods. I wonder if they rent them to tourists.

Heavy boat traffic in the Canal Grande

Boat traffic in the Canal Grande

Wessel had never been to Venice, and it was so exciting to see the astonishment on his face when we got off the train and started to explore. Nothing, but nothing, compares to Venezia. It was Thanksgiving day, and though the tourist count was low, the center was still crowded. I have no desire to be there in August.

Spaghetti and red sauce as Thanksgiving Dinner

Wessel relishes a traditional Italian Thanksgiving meal of spaghetti with tomato sauce in Venice

We had “Thanksgiving Dinner” at Osteria Kalia (5870A Castello, Calle del Dose. Tel. +39(0)41 528 5153), a reasonably priced restaurant just off the beaten path enough to appeal to locals. In fact, the menu didn’t have a lick of English on it. Wessel ordered spaghetti and red sauce with asparagus and I, already overloaded on starches, avoided pasta and had chicken and potatoes. Of course a little vino came with the meal, and we ordered a nice strong espresso to perk us up for more hours of walking. Even Wessel, with his keen sense of direction, kept getting turned around. That’s the pain and pleasure of Venice.

Venice covered with snow in 1987

Venice covered with snow in 1987

Other than that day with Wessel, my fondest memory of Venice was in 1987. I was living in Vicenza, an hour west. The big news on this February day was “neve” — snow. I hopped on a train, and after several delays reached a completely snow-covered Venice, a rare sight I was told. I ran into a woman I knew who was an art student there and she took me around. She was as enchanted as I was with the snow, and we didn’t get lost once.