Sunday, April 22, 2018

Shopping, Practice and a Saturday Date-Night in Italia!

Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Glorious is the only word to describe today's weather in the greater Venegono Superiore megalopolis!

It was a perfect day to drive Laurie around a little bit more of our fair neighborhood.

First up was a little more shopping, this time at the Iper La Granda Supermarket.

Another hearty Italian breakfast

The blood orange juice was superb!

Laurie marveling at the Iper's
cheese selections

I was marveling at this roast pig

After a few minimal purchases, we headed home via a detour to Castiglione Olona historic center.

Now, THAT'S an old face

Me with St. Christopher

Interesting beer selections at a caffé bar
in Castiglione Olona

More interesting toilet at
the same caffé bar

They really need to add handrails when they install this type of public convenience.

At 4:00 p.m., it was time for a light walk-through practice before tomorrow's home game against the 1-3 Cagliari Crusaders.

Our U13 Flag team was also holding a practice at this time.

U15 Coach Enzo Petrillo trying to
start up a U4 team it looks like

Coach Tex and her U13 defenders
practicing Flag tackling

Seniors enjoying the rarely seen Sun
during our walk through-practice today

We accomplished what was needed during our brisk one hour practice.

In the evening, I decided that I needed to take Laurie out on our first real dinner date since she arrived in Italia.

A scouting trip to the
Varese Gorillas (0-3) at
Busto Arsizio Blue Storms (4-0)
game it was

For Laurie, life with an Italian sausage hamburger, fries and a beer from the Blue Storms Snack Bar is simply fine dining. She was ecstatic at this most Italian of dining experiences.

Throw in an American football game and there was no containing her glee! 

The game started at 8:30 p.m. under
a beautiful Lombardian sunset

I was impressed by the effort of the heavy
underdog Gorillas, they came to play

In the end though, the Blue Storms superior strength, skill and numbers simply wore the valiant Gorillas (now 0-4) down slowly and methodically.

The men from Busto Arsizio (now 5-0) were ahead by about 30 points when we left at the end of the Third Quarter at about 10:15 p.m. for the 45 minute drive back to the Villa Skorpion.

Contreras Family news
from Las Vegas, Nevada


Jenn, Andy and Kevin
got to go on a tour of
Andy's Water Project tunnel

They descended 537 feet underground, much to Kevin's delight.

Good Times INDEED!

Skorpions Game Day tomorrow, stay tuned . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Search for George Clooney Intensifies with a Trip to Como and a Dinner with Friends

Friday, 20 April, 2018

Every adventure should really start with a healthy breakfast I've been told, so . . .

 A cappuccino and a ricotta filled,
fried Sicilian pastry worked for us

I know, we are just a pair of madcap kids on a long road trip.

Sated, we were off, once again, in search of George Clooney in his hometown of Como.

It was my third attempt at seeing him but I knew that this time, with Laurie at my side, success was in the cards!  

 Laurie liked Como's
Liberty-style buildings

 I liked the colorful pasta

 Another Italian Los Angeles Rams
fan residing in Como?

 Laurie in front of Como's
Basilica di San Fedele

 A church next to Como's Duomo
from the 11th-century

 It had nice looking doors . . .

. . . VERY nice looking doors indeed!

It was colorful as well

Como's Duomo . . .

. . . with Laurie about to enter

I was scared to dip the fingers
into the Holy Water
 Angelic Laurie in the Duomo

The Duomo's Blue Ceiling

In the Catholic Church's traditions, blue is the color of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Speaking of the BVM . . .

 Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio

A rich tapestry of the BVM in "transition"

 The Duomo has a LOT of tapestries

 At only one Euro per candle,
any size, any style . . .

. . . Laurie just could not resist

I was informed by Laurie 
that this was a sconce

 A minimalist side altar . . .

. . . and another

Laurie liked the Duomo as much as I did the first time that I entered it months ago but we really needed to keep looking for George Clooney.

EXCELLENT Street Musician

I guess that you have to be excellent if you are going to drag along a piano with you everywhere you go.

Selfie on Lake Como

Beautiful lakeside scene

In the final analysis, we failed to spot Signore Clooney once again. We will need to intensify our efforts in the near future!

On the drive back to the Villa Skorpion we got a message about meeting for drinks and munchies at the Bellavista Caffè in Varese NOW!

The Skorpion Gang was in full force

We even had Skorpion NG Andrea, SS Nicolas and RB Ema working at the caffè tonight.

We enjoyed our friends, the warm weather, the libations and some really good appetizers for about an hour before opting to go to one of DJ and Cinzia's favorite pizzerias near Lake Varese, the amazing Ristorante-Pizzeria Il Canneto.

Decisions, decisions . . .

Before ordering your favorite toppings, at Il Cannot, you have to first decide which of their 13 different pasta mixtures you want for the crust of your dining experience!

This is the black carbone vegetariano that was tremendous!

Once again, this evening with friends and family made me think that . . .

"It's GREAT to be a Skorpion!"

All in all, a great, full first day for Laurie in Lombardia I would have to say.

A fun FaceBook notice today

Romania's Baia Mare Miners were publicizing their latest player recruitment drive with this poster and my eyes were instantly focused on the team picture.

About five years ago, I answered their call for help getting equipment by sending them what I thought would be great maroon and gold practice jerseys that Coach Dean Herrington at Alemany H.S. in Los Angeles had graciously donated to the greater EuroBall cause.

Even though they were fine game jerseys for Alemany, I sent them billed as practice jerseys since the Mariners colors are blue and gold definitely not maroon and gold.

Apparently the quality of the Alemany jerseys instantly overpowered the Mariners sense of color and they have been using the Alemany jerseys as their game tops with blue and gold still being the color scheme of their helmets and pants.

Five years later and they are still wearing the Alemany jerseys in the recruiting poster . . . I love EuroBall!

The just released complete 2018
Los Angeles Rams schedule

The Week 11 game against the Chiefs at Mexico City interests me greatly!

Road trip anyone?

Friday, April 20, 2018

What a GREAT Day!

Thursday, 19 April, 2018

As I woke up this morning, I realized that after 94 days of living the bachelor life in Italy, that today the daily countdown was down to . . .

. . . Zip . . .

. . . Nada . . .

. . . Zilch . . .

. . . Yes, ZERO days until Laurie
arrived in Italy!

Today was THE DAY!


Of course this event had its dark side . . . house cleaning!

Fortunately, I had a few tools at my disposal.

 This instrument actually sucks
dirt and crumbs right off the floor!

It was simply AMAZING!

 After using that first instrument,
I tried this cool gizmo that further purified
the tile floors in the Villa Skorpion

I was flabbergasted at how efficient these two tools used together cleaned the floors of the Villa. I just wish I'd known about them years before.

With the Villa in order and the car washed and filled with gasoline, I was off to Milan's Malpensa Airport to meet Laurie's British Air flight 566 from London's Heathrow Airport scheduled to land at 16:00 in Italy.

She had flown, smoothly she said, on New Zealand Air from Los Angeles to London.

By the way, a huge GRAZIE! to Koreen Fitzgerald for driving Laurie to the airport in Los Angeles.

 Art in the Malpensa Airport

It was a nice touch as you enter the airport from the typically overpriced airport parking lot.

Her plane arrived only four minutes late and after the usual 30 minutes or so wait for her luggage and customs clearance . . .

. . . She was finally here!

We still had enough time to drive to the Villa Skorpion to drop off her luggage and let her freshen up a bit until the start of tonight's Senior practice.

 As always, the effort was good
but we were missing most of our
Offensive Linemen as usual

We will have a light, walk through practice in Saturday as a final preparation for Sunday's crucial playoff implication game for both teams at home against the Cagliari Crusaders.

The other BIG NEWS today
was the announcement of the
Los Angeles Rams 2018 home schedule

Financially, I'm good for one, maybe two games a season. There are some really good ones here to pick from, I'm excited!

Reading Is FUNdamental

She never disappoints

Thanks again to Judy Warner for putting me on to Donna Leon's series of books about Commissario Guido Brunetti set in Venice.

This was the 12th book of the series that I have consumed so far. I'm now about half way through these interesting, thought provoking mystery novels.

I highly recommend them to you.