Zion Canyon 2011

Zion Canyon 2011
Zion Revisited 2011

How To Approach an Ultra or Ironman

Jordan Rapp quote sums it up!

This Jordan Rapp quote sums it up.
"It's about the process. It doesn't matter what you do tomorrow and it doesn't matter what you did yesterday. It's about today, and making today count. That's especially true in training, but it's the same mentality that I carry into racing. Focus on the task at hand, not on the finish line, or the next part of the race, but what it is that is right there in front of you in the moment."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Final Impressions of Italy and Some Portage Photos

 Here is some interesting stuff we learned along the way on our trip. Sue Halsall, our guide in Italy, kept up a running commentary on the bus, some of this is information she passed along to us as we went from place to place. Also included are some of Portage's best photos, they are much nicer than mine.You can click on them for a closer look.
Window in Rome
 a) In Italy they use the Euro, which we tended to think of as one dollar U.S. or Canadian. But a Euro is actually $1.40, so we were really paying 40% more than was registering in our brains.
Plant and shadow near the Coliseum

 b) We had to use cash a lot, they don't like credit cards unless you're buying something big.
Stairs at the Coliseum

 c) On our way to Florence, we passed by a cathedral on a hill called Monte Cassino. Italy has a long history of things being destroyed and rebuilt, Monte Cassino takes the cake. It was originally an alter to the Greek God Apollo. Around 540 A.D. it was converted into a Catholic Monastery by Pope Benedict I.
In 584 it was destroyed by the Lombards, invaders from Germany. In 718 it was rebuilt.
In 883 it was destroyed by the Saracens, invaders from Arabia. In 1050 it was rebuilt.
An earthquake in 1349. Rebuilt.
And in 1944, it was leveled by the Allies, who mistakenly thought it was full of German soldiers. And it was rebuilt. Other cathedrals, towers, city walls, feniculars, and towns have been destroyed and rebuilt many times as well.
Wine glasses before lunch in Rome

 d) People from one part of Italy often despise people from other parts of Italy.
People from Anacapri (poor) don't like people from Capri (rich), and they are the only two towns on the Island. A house in Capri will cost you $20,000/sq.ft.
The people from the North of Italy think the south is lazy, people from the South think the Northerners are tight-asses who don't know how to enjoy life.
A bike in Orvietto

 e) The people in Rome are very fit, they walk everywhere. Driving in Rome is insane, especially with all the suicidal  scooters.
Stairs in The Leaning Tower of Pisa

 f) Wine and beer is available everywhere, all the time. Yet we never saw a "local"  drunk. As a rule, Italians only have wine with their meals. They don't just sit down with a glass of wine or beer.
A water fountain spout in Venice

 g) We never saw anyone walking around in track pants, everyone dresses up, everyday. They say looking good makes them feel good. No "People of WalMart" in Rome!
Another window in Burano

 h)  Everyone we met seemed to speak English, which is nice. Of course we only dealt with store clerks, restaurant people and hotel people. A lot can speak French and German as well, which makes you feel a bit inadequate. I heard a girl in a store in Burano do 3 different languages in a row, effortlessly.
Another window

 i) Their history makes our history look pretty sad. Quote-"The original bridge was destroyed by Barbarian invaders, this is the new bridge, built in 1146".
Pigeon in Assisi

 j) A guide was telling us life was good in Naples until a big earthquake hit in 1997. Then, countries from all over the world donated money to help, and a lot of it wound up in the Mafia's pockets, making them very powerful again.
Are they firm?
Those are not giant lemons, they're a citrus called "Canaroni". From a stall in Pompeii.

 k) Italians don't have a "personal space bubble" like we have in North America. If you are standing in a line and leave more than 4" between you and the next person, one or two Italians will sneak in there.

 l)Late September is a great time to visit Italy, all the students are back in school and the weather is still amazing.
Sun dial in Pompeii

 m)There were lots of "Illegals" in your face selling junk all over Italy. The only place we didn't see it was in Capri. Fake purses, novelty items, trinkets etc. They can't kick them out of the country because none of them have passports and the authorities don't know where they're from. Not too many panhandlers though.
An old urn in some shadows.

 n)  Portage threw out all our packages of dry pasta when we got home, she's only buying fresh from now on. None for me, though, I'm back on the Paleo Program.

 o) And the last thing? Italy was our first non-beach holiday, and Portage and me now have the travel bug. Yesterday, we bought 3 more suitcases.
  So there you have it. Last post on Italy. Hope you enjoyed it! Portage will be putting all 1500 of her photos on the interweb, I'll tell you where once she gets done with that.
  We now return to our running and diet blog, as we get ready to rumble in St. George, Utah next month.
Digger out, for now.

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