Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home again!

Well, we made it back from our vacation safe and sound and mostly intact-this seems to be the trip to lose our luggage.  This time, it was on a 4 HOUR layover in Atlanta in which time they somehow didn't manage to get one of our suitcases on our plane.  We informed Milan when we got in and are still crossing our fingers that it gets to us.  It was supposed to be put on the same flight for the next day, and as today is a regional holiday, we're wondering if that meant that local airport told some people to take the day off as well because it was supposedly out for delivery yesterday and didn't show up to our apartment by the end of the day.  Will have to check into tomorrow and see if it's actually going to show up during the day tomorrow otherwise, we'll not be happy.  Chloe either-it has her bedroom doggie bed and a few favorite toys, one of her blankets.  Chloe has been overheated and jet-lagged to the max-I could imagine being tired, too, if I were her!  Like her mom, she doesn't actually fall asleep on an airplane.  She'd like too.  Her body tries to fall asleep but her brain keeps her awake.  And I can't imagine sitting in her travel carrier for 10 hours would be too cozy, either.  Since we got back, she's been melting in the sun and humidity, and barely dragging herself over to the grass outside when we take her down to do her business.  Kris had started to worry a bit until she started to get in play mode this morning and chewing on our fingers.  As it was the aforementioned holiday today, we joined a couple of Kris' coworkers and their families to go to a community swimming pool that's got lanes for laps, a wading/swimming area and a three-lane water slide, which was awesome and provided most of the entertainment for the day.  Today started out humid and very warm, and ended up raining on us by the end of the three hours in which time, we left the pool for the shelter of the cars just in time for it to start pouring down and hailing, super thunder and lightning included!  But the pool was overall way cool, and so think we'll have to make it a regular spot for the summer.  Unfortunately, since Chloe's had a ton of changes over the last three weeks, that when we left her alone (as she couldn't come to the pool) at JG's apartment, we came back to find that with the thunder, which she dearly dislikes, that she'd taken a major-tinkle on the couch.  Yikes!  Luckily, this couch is the easiest thing in the world to clean, apparently, because some cleaning spray and wiping down fixed the problem.  We just need to get her back into her regular routine.  And, with all the dogs she got to hang out and acclimate to on our trip, she picked up the charming habit of now howling while we're away.  Need to break her of that...Living in an apartment means you are going to get some neighborly noise, of course, but we don't need her to be obnoxious while we run to the store for five minutes or downtown for a couple hours and can't take her.  She usually cries a bit and whimpers, but howling is so not cool.  Need to fix.  
Anyway! Salt Lake was awesome, we had a cool party at Kris's sister's house and so all friends and relatives available got to come and see us all at the same time and hang out for a few hours, I got to see a few more landmarks around town, and meet my 9 month old nephew in law, Asher, who is the cutest thing in the world!  The week we were there he was just figuring out how to scoot himself forward on the floor, and is now focused on chasing the 90 pound Bernese Mountain dog my brother-in-law and his wife have, who is so good with Asher.  Asher, is a perpetually happy baby who plays at trying to be mad or fussy but then two seconds later he's all smiles again!  Got to see friends of ours who got married a few months back and had a baby three weeks ago now, and attended their newborn son's brit (pronounced "bris"), which was quite the family occasion.  Met all sorts of people whose names I won't remember or who I probably won't meet again.  But it was good to see Amir and Butterfly and meet their new baby!  
Colorado was excellent-we chilled out with the groom to be for a couple of days and then I hooked up with Kris's fam when they came into town for the night of the bachelor party (we'd been staying at our friend's house and then moved on to a timeshare for a couple of nights before the wedding.)  The weather was gorgeous, it was 75-85 degrees with snow still on the mountains around us in Breckenridge!  A bit bizarre!    But great views.  The wedding site was beautiful, the ceremony was fantastic, the officiate was hilarious!  And the food and music and dancing and reception all wonderful.  Hardly bright and very early the next morning Kris, our friend Rich and I packed up into the car around 4 am to get to Denver at 6:30 to get to the airport and get checked in to our flight with time to take Chloe out to do her business and get through security.  Denver to a very hot Atlanta, and Atlanta to Milan, where we come full circle to finding our one suitcase lost and getting on an hour bus-ride back to Lugano, then on the train back to our apartment, a quick trip to the store, showers, and a major nap-time...I think my schedule is still off!  I did laundry yesterday, made lunch, took Chloe down with Kris when he went back to work, came up, put on a movie and promptly napped out for a good three hours after getting a full night's sleep...It's 9:30 pm here now and if I can have another cup of tea and hold out for another hour, I think that will do a lot to get my body back on track.  Hoping this rain keeps up a teeny bit longer-according to Kris's coworkers July is the hottest month and then it scales back down (though it was super hot when we got here in mid August last year, so we'll see) but the past two days I've been living in tanks, and skirts or shorts, and we didn't get to sleep last night until 2:30 am or so because it was so warm we didn't think falling asleep right away was going to happen.  The rain would be a nice break!  
More trip pictures coming, swear!  

Allie H.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation in motion!!

Well, we made it to and out of California last week with a bang!  Stayed at my folks' house the first few nights, got to collect my self-presents and all are awesome!  The pants may need some hemming, though, I think, but will worry about that when we get home as I know where an alteration shop is and am wondering if they are any good-it would be a handy piece of information for the future!  Got out to the boat and she looks awesome in person!  Indeed got the hair all chopped off and it feels so much lighter and if I don't want to, don't have to do ANYTHING with it, which makes me happy-got my books, and my pretty sun hat!  Spent a couple days with the folks and then made ourselves scarce with whoever wanted to come along most early afternoons and sail with us!  Got to see a bunch of friends, stopped by my old work and saw the renovations they'd done and had to admit, I was kind of jealous!  Wanted to take a shiny new cubicle home with me....but just don't have the space in our suitcase!  We made it a easy traveling affair-Chloe had her travel carrier, we stuffed everything we could into her regular hard-sided kennel and split the two suitcase compartments between us and counted those latter two as our checked baggage.  As Kris had found a training conference related to his work in Utah that started the day before we were supposed to get in, he came a day earlier, and we did what we could to load him down with luggage, but alas, I had to pull out my stashed purse and fill it full of stuff to have my mom send to me here in Salt Lake as the suitcase was a few pounds overfull and Chloe now counted as my small carry-on item.  But it all worked out.  Ate (and drank) and our favorite places, got in a lot of good sailing, Bagel Bakery bagels and slept a few nights on the boat, were wined and dined by our fabulous friends in PG one evening, and had an all around fantastic visit with my family (grandparents and uncle included as they were nearby for the week) and our friends in Monterey.  Missing them all tons!  So now in Utah for a week, and the Colorado for the week after for our friends' wedding and off back home again- the adventure keeps rolling along!  Cross your fingers, folks-there's a gorgeous boat in the Monterey Harbor at the moment that if we can arrange it, would LOVE to buy from the guy who's selling it for a incredible price.  Come back from SW, have a instant place to live and sail all at the same time!  In the meantime...
Here's a few pics of the boat that my dad bought from my husband, painted inside and out, tinkered, tore apart, and put back together again in time for us to float out on the bay.  Missing the sailing and being rocked to sleep on the water-it's so nice!  

(That's right.  Ginger ale helps settle your stomach on the high seas, and it's a good mixer as well.  It's always cocktail hour on the ocean!)

Allie H.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I'm 27!!  My birthday came and passed on June 1st with some laid-back celebration, which was good enough for me-Kris presented me with a new Terry Brooks novel, which is going in my carry-on, Bram Stoker's Dracula in Italian with audio CD in Italian to listen to as I read, which is awesome, and a tiny little Swarovski poodle!  It's really the cutest thing!  We'd talked about going out for lunch but didn't arrange it the morning of so I cooked lunch, and we went downtown and met up with some friends, had a few beers, got me a chocolate cake birthday shot (which remarkably has no chocolate liquor in it but tastes like chocolate cake), played darts, enjoyed the evening, so it was a great day!

We're a day and a half or so from departing on our trip back to the States for three weeks and it's going to be fabulous!   Since our plane leaves at 6:00 am we have to spend tomorrow evening in Milan since the bus doesn't leave that early from here.  I tore through my closet all yesterday trying to make sure I had everything that I wanted ready to be packed and spent quite literally about an hour and a half looking for one particular sweater that didn't want to be found.  Never mind that it's always the black sweater the crops up when I'm looking for a different black sweater, but oh, no, this time it was playing a very annoying game of hide and seek on me.  I swear, stuff in this apartment grows temporary legs from time to time and moves on it's own when I decide to run down to the store for ten minutes to grab fresh bread for lunch or a quick coffee at the cafe next door to the grocery store.  Augh!  (The sweater eventually did allow itself to be found, but it was quite the hunt.)  

As well as the sweater, Chloe's Swiss pet passport also grew legs and has wedged itself into some deep, dark corner that we won't discover until we move apartments in a few months, so had to take her to the vet yesterday and get her signed off to travel and have the vet fill out a whole new passport for her.  She was none to happy about the visit-the first time she saw him, of course, she got a booster shot injection for some disease that pets get here that they don't get in the states-needless to say her first impression carries with her.  Any vet's office, pretty much, she's not excited to be in.  She can smell all the other small dogs in fear for their lives, I think.  We have to carry all her paperwork with her anyway, her rabies shots and chip ID and everything (which, I'd found the form for the chip ID sticker that Switzerland gave us, part of which was required to be placed in a section in her passport, so thank goodness we didn't realize and do it to the old passport before we lost it!)  
But we're going to be in California in two very long days!  Our longest leg is eleven hours, which won't be fun for Chloe at all (she refuses to eat anything, hardly drinks any water, and quite literally shakes the whole time from when the plane starts moving to when it lands on the ground and when people can vacate their seats.)  It's not a very good trip for her which was one of the main reasons we didn't go back home for Xmas last year-it was way too soon, and she actually lost weight on the flights from being to traumatized.  Expecting a slight weight loss again for her.  And of course, airline regulations being what they are, flight stewards/esses are for the most part sympathetic but still won't let us take her out to calm her down.  Ascending and descending elevation are the worst for her-I can't imagine how much more air pressure messes with her ears and such but during those moments she's scratching at her carrier and crying and the most unhappy about it all.  But she'll have a whole week before she has to get onto a remarkably shorter flight between states, and another week before we do it again, and a short week before we go for the long haul back home.  It's going to be hectic for her but she'll get to see people she hasn't seen since we left and smell new smells all over again so I think she'll adjust okay in between.  

Cannot wait to get out on the water!  My father is rapidly finishing up the last few things on our ex-sailboat that need to be done in order for us to be able to sail her and spend a couple nights on her so that we can enjoy and get some ocean-time in!  It's going to be such a blast to be out on the water and even just to relax and hang out on the boat in Monterey so our friends can all come by and see us-it's going to be great!  In Utah Kris's sister will be sponsoring a BBQ at her house so everyone can make plans to come and see us all on the same day, so that will be fun, no doubt.  Then off to Colorado and pre-wedding party and madness for our friend Scott who was Kris best man for our wedding, and has now turned duties vice-versa.  We'll be staying with him and his fiance for a couple of days and then Kris's parents will join us and we'll re-locate to the timeshare they allocated for the weekend, and then it's to the airport the morning after the wedding!  It's going to be such a great trip, so good to see everyone, and to celebrate life and friends in general!  Will be taking plenty of pictures so will do what I can to share some here.  Cannot wait to be there, cannot wait to get all my hair chopped off in a couple days (it's been humid and hot here for a good month so it needs to be done!)  Just going to be a blast all around!  Will post when we get back, I'm sure. 

Allie H,