Most of my apps names are still fully in English. Only the names of the native apps are in Italian. The apps themselves are in English. The platform stuff is almost all in Italian now. It's a little disorienting using my phone, almost if it's not mine. But in a week I will hopefully adjust and in a couple months be less disoriented on my trip
Note: Yes, the pis is a penguin roll-on backpack. Yes, it's a real product.
Cocktail hour and all through the night had an open bar. I must stop to describe the candy wonderland they had. An entire buffet of candies (mints, chocolates, gummies, sugar drops, etc) was available - and they provided bags to carry away loot. Simple, elegant, not expensive and a huge "Wow!" factor. I definitely approved.
Dinner was very good (the fish definitely outshined the beef). People danced, exchanged info and generally had a good time. I very much enjoyed my table as well as the other people I met. It was a great time and I only wish I had another day to explore the area and hang out with friends.
Christmas Day: I got some really cool presents from N (a Fluke(tm) IR thermal reader and a kitchen scale with automatic turn off. The first is really fun and the second will save me money on 9 volt batteries - rock! I love my N. He liked his gifts too. Christmas day was good and simple. N and my dad watched sports all day and night long and ordered pizza for dinner. So a good, uneventful, fairly lazy Christmas day with family.
K & A:
I loved the tour of West Seattle. Such wonderful parks in your area! Living there I could see myself wanting to spend as much time as possible outdoors, rain or not! And thank-you for showing us the park in the rain. Living in the desert of LA, one can forget how refreshing and rejuvinating a rain walk can be. Although it was a little foggy that day I can see why you fell in love with the views, the green and the feel .
Thank-you for being our Saturday night/Sunday sherpa. I still remember how enjoyable the food and atmosphere Salvatore Ristorante and Pomegranate were. The tours of Redmond and Kirland got my head thinking more on what kind of neighborhood I want to live in addition to the type of house. Jewels of wisdom, indeed.
Your suggestions for Bridle Trails and Yarrow Point were really good suggestions for Bellevue. I never would have ever though such a wooded area could exist so close to the heart of a down town. N got kinda nostalgic. We may have to check out your suggestions for the islands when we go back up.
At first panic set in. From left to right of my peripheral vision and all the way to the sliding doors was a mass of people. Yelling, waving papers and gesturing in random unfocused directions, they made me want to run back through the "no return point". A small pathway to the exit opened and closed like the walls of an artery, as the mob pushed in and retreated back. Fellow de-planers complicated the scene, crossing wildly and with little warning. Then my well honed LA instincts kicked in. I took a breath and made a beeline for the door as if the crowd would eat me alive if I moved too slowly. I didn't dare look back to make sure N followed and made it through, but luckily he appeared by me side as we escaped through the doors.
Not that things got much better. We still had to catch the bus to long term parking. For those of you unfamiliar with the bedlam of the LAX arrival level, you may want to sleep with the lights on for a few nights after reading this. People are forced to wait for a bus on a 15 foot narrow strip of sidewalk. On both sides cars, tour buses and all other vehicles you can imagine barrel past as fast as they possibly can. Some point their car at the spot you are standing as they floor it only to turn right before they would jump the curb, taking you and 10 of your fellow human beings with them (from both sides remember). You stand there a mix of the anxiety of cornered prey and the calm irritation of prima-donnas.
Three buses came and went, too full to take anyone from our stop. When an available bus finally came, it stopped 50 feet short and drop off its load. Threatening to leave it made everyone run the distance to catch it. On board people jostled and pushed to stake a spot. Luckily both of us were able to carve a space. I'm still not entirely sure if N would have left me and I don't think I would have blamed him.....
But now we're home and re-steeling ourselves for LA life. I plan to post thank-you's to all my gracious hosts once I stop clicking my heels together and realize I AM home. :)