Everything looks beautiful when bathed in the rosy late afternoon light of Italy:
We are having such a wonderful time on our Tuscan retreat, and feeling so grateful to have such wonderful friends with whom to share our time. We've spent the past week with David and Jil Cohen who are departing tomorrow. Jil completely dominated our daily tennis matches
7-6 (3), 6-4
6-4, 5-7, 6-1
but we've agreed to be tennis friends for the next 30 years at least, so I'm hoping to get another set next time.
Here we are before tonight's dinner:
Brad is wearing his tuxedo t-shirt in honor of the occasion.
And though we are truly sorry that David and Jil are returning to the mountain time zone tomorrow, we have been joined today by Brad's parents, Stanley and Cecelia.
Here we are practicing our VC hand sign:
The moonrise photos are from the nights that the nearly full and then full moon rose, in case you couldn't figure that out -
At the end of another work week here in Tuscany, I'm accomplishing less and less writing and doing more and more relaxing. Here are photos of the tomatoes in the gardens of Casetta, which we are enjoying every day:
Here is Brad after a long run, coming up the drive like Maximus in Gladiator. You'll have to play your own Rocky theme music to complete the image:
The most exciting thing this week was capturing a harmless grass snake in the house and transporting it to a safe place outside where it belongs.
From Casetta we can see the San Michele a Torri vineyards (pictured below) which produce the organic wine which we are enjoying nightly with our dinner. Or, to be accurate, all of the other lucky folks who aren't allergic to wine are enjoying while I drink frizzante water.
Our first week in Tuscany has been glorious in every way; accomodations, weather, food, clay court tennis, and especially hilarity and laughter with friends Mark and Pam Solon from Boise, Idaho, and Howard and Ellen Lindzon from San Diego, California.
Mark has kindly offered some of his photos for me to share:
The happy group before dining out on Saturday evening, including our hostess, and Kelly Collins of Foundry Group, who joined us earlier that day.
Our welcome dinner at Casetta, our home away from home for the month:
Here we see an important meeting of serious guys: Howard, Mark, and Brad, hard at work:
Last night, arranged through the kindess of the owner of Casseta, we all attended a cooking demonstration class and dinner by Jeff Thickman, which was truly amazing. I didn't take many photographs, but I will post again in the future with a full description of the experience.
Now we've moved from a spectacularly beautiful urban environment to a spectacularly beautiful pastoral environment in the Tuscan countryside outside of Florence. Here's a panoramic view that Brad took last night.
And some photos of the place:
We played tennis this morning on clay courts with visiting friends Mark and Pam Solon. The clay shouldn't have surprised us since most European courts are clay surface, but it did. We'll probably play every day, and have other tennis playing friends arriving next week. It is definitely hot, and we're shifting into the Italian pacing of getting up early while it's cool, then a nice long afternoon siesta, then later dinner.
And the wireless is obviously working quite well -
We've eaten so much incredible French food that we almost decided not to have a final celebratory Parisian dinner with Jason, but then we got a last minute reservation at Taillevent and just had to go.