Saturday, May 27, 2017

Art Continued

I've been to Rome a few times, the last being about 6 years ago.  A lot has changed since.

The city has been cleaned up (much cleaner than Paris!), made more pedestrian friendly (walk between the Pantheon and Trevi), the monuments restored (didn't remember so much blue in the stonework in the Pantheon -- Gorgeous!), new trendy restaurants and bars have replaced most of the tacky souvenir shops in the core, the city just shone.

My last memory of Rome wasn't overly warm but I wanted to return for the art and the food  It was a long way to go for 4 nights but so happy I made the effort.  Ended up being my best visit ever.  Had a lot of fun and the stay was surprisingly nurturing for my soul.

I didn't want to give too much away so only 1 photos from the Borghese Gallery.  You really need to be in that space in person -- Beyond Outstanding.  Take time to wander around Villa Borghese park while you are there.  Another highly recommended gallery is the Gallerie Nazionali Barberini -- Went twice -- Completely different feel (2nd photo).

Happened to be there during the Maratona di Roma and decided last minute to sign up for their 4 km charity fun run.  It was one of those mega events with upwards of 80000 participants.

The end of that run was at Circo Massimo -- Pretty cool when you think about it!  The skies opened up about a minute after the start and poured rain  (9 C too!), resulting in much laughter as we all got completely drenched in disbelief -- The rest of the days were over 20 C.  Was worth it, as over 9 million Euro was raised for dozens of charities.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

It's Over

After much angst, it has been decided that D will not continue to pursue new job opportunities.  Rather than endless dwelling on how much his current position isn't ideal, instead focus on continuing to lay further foundations supporting our current and future life.  

The current reality isn't bad or tragic or truly difficult.  He isn't underpaid.  His ego may be taking a hit right now but there isn't any real harm.  And the cost of creating an upheaval in our life isn't worth the extra amount of income or perceived glory of yet another job conquest.

Income is a driving factor for many of us, me included, up to an extent.  But neither of us are in the early stages of our career or marriage, where you are building and would consider more drastic changes for the sake of more money or career growth.

There comes a time where we just need to put our heads down and finish what we started.  And this is one of those times.  It has taken many years of work to get to this place in our lives where we have a good amount of recreation and freedom.  Why mess with it?

I'm not about to watch it get torn, however temporarily for non necessary reasons.  And do not wish to entertain any more discussion of work changes unless something untoward were to happen.  This topic has been beaten to death over the past decade and it needed to be put to rest.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Life Lately

  • Happy that the quote and work for my car repair has finally been completed.  The cost came very close to what I had put aside, so that worked out just fine.  Turned out I had to replace the 2 front bearings as well (included in the quote), which I questioned as our previous symptom experience with similar repairs did not match at all.  
  • They were right that it needed it as when they corrected what I felt was the main issue first, there was still some sound.  The most surprising part was finding out that I could have a bearing problem and not feel anything shaking, compared to previous vehicles we have owned.
  • Am currently quite captivated by "Captain Fantastic".
  • I've been trying hard to squeeze in a return to Palestine this year but it is not looking possible.  Really want to stay at "The Walled Off Hotel".  D questions whether that would be in line with wanting an easier travel year...Hope the hotel continues to operate into 2018+.
  • Awaiting 3 more stocks to be transferred to my new investment account.  Sent an inquiry as to why it was taking so long.  I've put investment plans on hold until everything shows up.  Update:  One stock showed up this morning.
  • I'm quite enjoying my shorter trips.  Having fun places to look forward to more often.  Energetically feeling quite well and experiencing a high level of focus, despite dealing with a minor head cold right now.
  • Looking at a couple of tougher locale flights previously booked way in advance on points.  Not convinced I'll have enough energy to tackle them but have the option to cancel without penalty, so trying not to let its presence pressure me.  Update: Cancelled one of the bookings.  
  • I've signed up for a surf camp next winter.  Will give me the impetus to continue training as it kinda scares me quite a bit.  Fortunately there is time to get ready.
  • If I want to, there are opportunities to participate in a couple of homestay immersion experiences.  One lifestyle related and the other language related.  
  • Unexpected car event occurred recently on my way home (D's car) from a flight in the wee hours of the morning.  The steering wheel became super tough to turn.  Cannot believe I made it home.  Thank goodness I was driving at a quiet time as I could barely stay in my lane when making a turn.  Made it into my driveway just as the steering column completely seized.  
  • Vehicle has since been towed to the dealership as refilling the steering fluid (advice from dealership) did not work enough to safely drive it ourselves.  On the way there, one of the tow truck dollies dropped and consequently the one tire dragged and blew up.  You can imagine how the news would have affected us, when the call arrived while we were shopping at a sports store for a warmer sleeping bag for me.
  • We now have a loaner car for approximately 4 days while the part is on order.  D's not impressed with the Nissan Sentra.  He claims he can accelerate faster in his mountain bike than that car is capable of...
  • Learned something out of this -- Please check your roadside assistance plans carefully.  D switched us to one that came with his credit card a few years ago that looked like it was comparable to what were had at the time.
  • But when it came right down to it, we weren't able to request towing up to 250 km to the destination of our choice (dealership), but was only eligible to the nearest authorized mechanic, which could be up to 250 km away... big difference.  Needless to say, we will either be switching back to our old company or self insure.  
  • The extra distance to the dealership cost us $155 out of pocket.  Our old plan cost $199 a year.