Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pizza is like sex...

...when it's good it's good, and when it's bad, it's still pretty good.Let me start by saying that before going to Italy, I LOVED Italian food.
After visiting Italy, I realized what is the case with a lot of things. I love the Americanized, gourmet version of the food. When i go to Grappa in Park City, I leave thinking "That meal was amazing!"After every meal in Italy, I left thinking "that was pretty good."
My wife is a wonderful cook and i am treated to a lot of great food. I had heard that real Italian pizza was different than the American version, but i wasn't sure how i would handle that. It turns out that it is pretty good.
I don't know if part of it is because i have been spoiled by my wife's cooking, or if we were in very touristy parts of the cities so all we found was what the foreigners are looking for in the cheap pizzas and pastas.
I tried gnocchi and spaghetti and ravioli and LOTS of pizza. To be honest, the pasta wasn't anything you couldn't have gotten at the Spaghetti Factory here for $6. With the dollar being weak over there it was more like $20 a plate.
Don't get me wrong, I could have been quite happy eating nothing but that pizza and pasta for the rest of my life, but it wasn't amazing.After every lunch and dinner, we would walk around and find a gelato shop for dessert. Now Italian gelato, on the other hand, is amazing. Much better than ice cream and better for you, or so we convinced ourselves.

Niki and Joey were in Germany for a few days before we got there and we were lucky enough to have them come down and meet us in Italy. Joey and i had some meetings for work and squeezed in some days of sightseeing between appointments. Lucky for us that Niki was there, otherwise we would still be in the Venice airport wondering where our hotel was and how we were going to get there.It was amazing to walk around and look at the buildings. These are the kinds of buildings that Disney pays set designers lots of money to come in and build at their amusement parks. These buildings looked this way just because they were genuinely old.But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon Who is already sick and pale with grief
We went and saw where Juliet lived (even though she is a fictional character). We learned that it is believed to be good luck to rub the right breast of her statue. After watching Joey, i have a feeling he is going to have A LOT better luck than the rest of us.
It was great to see some of the art that i had learned about in art history classes in real life. Those 2 x 3 inch black and white pictures in the books don't really do them justice.
The statue of David was absolutely breathtaking, but they wouldn't let me take any pictures of it. Actually, they wouldn't let you take pictures of a lot of things over there and the things that you could take pictures of were either half covered in advertising banners, or scaffolding because they were under construction, or they had cranes around them because something nearby was being renovated. I don't know how they get those beautiful postcard photos you see, because half of the cities are constantly under construction. I guess that's the trade-off for having buildings thousands of years old.
By the end of my trip, my neck was sore from looking up so often. The architecture was amazing.
I found a statue of one of the phases of the beard i left off when i recently shaved. I guess i will have to start growing again.

I would love to go back and see the Tuscany country sides when things are green and growing, but now i really want to go to Paris and see the art there. I guess in another 35 years i might make it to Europe again.I was a little nervous about how megan was going to do without being able to play words with friends on her phone while we were gone, but she did okay. Once in a while i would catch her just getting it out and looking at it and wishing she had an international data plan, but then she would put it away and we would go and see something else amazing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bike Races and Weight Loss

The 2010 road race season started on Saturday.
When i walked out my door to head to the race, i still had 5 inches of snow in my yard.
It was fitting considering last weekends rides in St George.
The wind was enough to keep all of the early breakaways from sticking and everybody was a bit tentative after not having ridden at intensity or in a group for 5 months.
A 4 man break got off with a few laps to go. With 1 lap to go, the break dropped to 3 men and the barely held it to the line. I was in good position coming around the last corner for a mid season race, but this early in the season, no one can hold their sprint for very long and i ended up getting out front way too early and burning up.
Lil bills dad came out and did his first race ever and caught the bug. He did very well and hung on until a half a lap to go. I remember being dropped from my first several crits at around the halfway point, so to be able to hang on until the final lap on his first race is great.

I thought i was on doing fairly well with my weight after the holidays for the upcoming race season until i went and bought a REAL scale and stopped using the $7 scale we got several years ago. I was off by about 7 lbs.... in the wrong direction.
The doctor is worse off than me in trying to lose weight for this race season, and is going to very extreme measures to do it. He decided that he would just scrape off large areas of excess skin in hopes of getting down to his race weight. It seems a bit extreme and painful if you ask me.
The Dr. and DC also have a bet that they need to be down to their goal weight by May 1st. If they are not to their goal weight by then, the other one gets to pick out and outfit for the loser to wear on our next big group ride.
I have money on neither of them making their goal weight so i am picking out some sweet princess dress ups for both of them.
Stay tuned for when and where they will be prancing around in sparkles and tiaras.

There are times as a cyclist, you have to question your masculinity.
I wear spandex that leaves nothing to the imagination, i shave my legs, I worry about my weight and have started eating more salads than burritos. I have several pairs of expensive leather shoes and i have become increasingly conscious of the fact that lots of times, my shirt, shorts and socks have all matched each other.
I guess the only response i have for this is that i still love my wife very much and have never found another man to be attractive, whatsoever.

But still, i can' t help but be a little insecure when i find myself looking twice at another guys legs, and i'm not even a leg guy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunny St George Cycling

We got to go Down to st George over the weekend and ride in some nicer weather.
By nicer weather, I mean it was 4 degrees warmer in sandy than in st george on Saturday.
Friday we did Utah mountain to mesquite and back and saw patches of snow on the side of the road at the summit. Actually we turned around at I -15 and got something to eat at the dam store because there was a wicked wind we were going to be fighting the whole climb back.
cousin Kevin is training for the st George ironman and put the hurt on the rest of us who are all a year older and a little fatter and not doing 4 hour trainer sessions right now.

Saturday we went out to quail hollow then to zions where we had another headwind going out, but by the time we grabbed something to eat and turned around it had all but died.
After most of the guys we rode with turned off to where they were staying or where they had parked their car so they wouldn't have to ride the whole distance, it started raining.
We got to ride the last 45 minutes in the rain.
Awesome warm st George riding.After riding in the rain, I was really looking forward to a nice hot shower.
Right after taking off all of my soaking clothes in the garage and walking in the door, we were greeted by the kids all wearing swimming suits.
We headed over to the community pool where we swam for almost 20 minutes before they shut the pool down because someone poohed in the pool

Here is the guy that had to scoop it out

The main reason for this post is so the child molester picture isn't the first entry when you pull up this blog.