Longer version: of course we have been keeping busy since we last updated you. We had a fabulous week skiing in Steamboat Springs Colorado in February. Nine days on the slopes was amazing, a real treat even if old bodies couldn't keep up. Gregorio and I are dreaming about retirement and how we can insure extended periods of time in the mountains... We had all weathers with the last two days of powder being pure magic, if a little chilly - 1F at the summit or -18C in some people's language!
In April Gregorio celebrated a half century!
I nonni joined us from Rome on a musical tour of Tennessee. The graphic designer in my office had turned the itinerary, planned by yours truly, into a rockstar magazine which Gregorio loved. See photo. We began in Memphis with a memorable gospel church service, quasi rock concert on Palm Sunday ("put your palms together for Palm Sunday") followed by a Love me Tender tour at Gracelands, to singing the blues on Beale Street. We learnt about the birthplace of rock n roll with studio tours and several great music museums and a tour of the Gibson guitar factory. We had tunes ringing in our ears or were constantly tapping our feet. In between we cruised down the mighty Mississippi on a paddle steamer, drove around in 1950's cars visiting Elvis haunts, saw the duck march at the Peabody hotel, climbed a pyramid, visited the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jnr was assassinated and dined on delicious BBQ food and hot fried chicken. Then onwards to Nashville for the final few days, the home of country music - where there was music oozing out of every bar and museum in town. The songwriter's round at the Bluebird Cafe on Gregorio's actual birthday was particularly special. We had quite the best spare ribs we have ever tasted and the most original and indulgent donuts (bacon flavored?!). We even had a surprise visit to a small artisanal pasta factory that Gregorio has been following on instagram! It was certainly a memorable week. Back in DC we had an Easter birthday lunch to round out the celebrations with friends and family.
Oh but wait that was not all the birthday celebrations. He was 50 after all! Just last week-end Gregorio enjoyed one of our gifts - a drive in a Ferrari - all 5 minutes, but still he said it was pretty cool! Later this spring he is going to take an one hour flying lesson.
While the grandparents were here, we have been busy enjoying the sites of DC, including the hot ticket in town - the Yayoi Kusama Infinity mirrors exhibition at the Hirshhorn. After several attempts we were lucky to get tickets, apparently most Mondays there were about 57,000 trying to sign up for for the 6,000 tickets that were released each week! A fascinating fascination with polka dots.
This past week-end we had the largest team ever for the annual Race for Hope. A cool start but it turned out to be a glorious afternoon and we had nearly 60 friends back in the garden for a celebratory BBQ. Isabella was reluctant to join the Survivor's tribute at the start of the race but Mati offered to join her. The team were surprised when we hadn't seen Bella stride by but they were delayed and suddenly made a dash appearance on their own at the end. Rather entertaining. Isabella ran her best time ever and was very happy. It is always a very emotional and moving event, so inspiring to see the survivors and as a family we draw great comfort from the support that our friends and family give us. Two friends flew in especially for the event, one from Italy and another from Belgium. The latter was a total surprise (that I still can't believe I hadn't cottoned on to) we were all truly touched that they wanted to join us for this special annual tradition.
Lots of love to you all,
Emma, Gregorio, Isabella & Mati. xxx