We are very sorry, there will be no post this weekend….
The reason is quite simple: All of us three thought the other one would write something. So on the end Odin was snoring through the days and relied on us, while Patrik and I – being busy with work – assumed Odin or the other one would have plenty of time to play author this week…
Well, apparently not.
Means the mood between us is a bit….well, it could be better!
However, we agreed that Odin will write a post for next weekend – he promised and even swore on his paw!
So, there isn’t much more to do for us than wishing you all a cozy and sunny weekend – at least spring sent his prematurely greetings to Switzerland!
PS: The truth of all this is, we honestly lacked ideas…. Bet, that’s what you suspected too!
Not so long ago I’ve heard about LUSH….Well, the soaps….and started to inform myself about these products. Mainly on their website, but also critical comments in the internet, written from people, who tested them.
According to LUSH, everything is produced without animal testing and only natural ingredients are used, which are fair traded. Therefore, these products do not harm the environment and many are even vegan.
Of course soaps are known since, like, forever. So nothing new about that, BUT….
I couldn’t believe my luck, when I discovered they even have shampoo and conditioner in their assortment – as a SOAP BAR! Does that really work? Do you get the familiar foam you want to have? And how nurturing are these products for your hair?
Slowly, it dawned on me that when using these soaps I would reduce the plastic bottle waste a lot! THAT convinced me definitely – I had to test these slippery buggers!
For Christmas I got a shampoo (GODIVA) and a shower bar from my mum, which I couldn’t wait to test. And WOW, was I flabbergasted! The shampoo not only smelled fantastic, but my hair did become clean indeed and…lush! It obviously worked very well and I was positively surprised!
Well, the next step was, A. get one more shampoo (I wanted to test SEANIK), plus a conditioner (BIG) and B. get rid of the existing hair products in our home – and asap (in using them up of course).
Meanwhile, I’ve tested SEANIK and BIG and must say I’m so more than happy with the result! I’m still amazed how much foam you get with the shampoo. The conditioner still seems a bit odd and I’ve got to get used to it, but I really can’t imagine going back to plastic bottles again!
Each less is a win for our world…small steps, but – hey, better than nothing!
LUSH also offers bars as body lotion, face cosmetic and even make-up. And last but not least dental care, such as tooth-”paste” – which isn’t a paste, but powder or tabs. I’ll have to try this soon.
One more plus: When flying with only hand luggage, you have your “liquids” not liquid anymore and much less weight to carry (and more room for other stuff, hehe)!
Well, visiting a LUSH store does take some time (ask Patrik)! Not only have they a huge selection of products, but one can also test most of them. It’s definitely not easy to make a choice at the end…. *sigh*
In order to store these soaps at its best – they shouldn’t be wet or in the shower all the time – I decided to hang them in small net bags on the wall. It doesn’t only look pretty and organized, but the whole bathroom smells wonderful and fresh…shame I can’t include a sample of it with this post.
So, to cut a long story short: I’ve definitely found my products and I’m convinced of doing something good – for myself and the nature!
And you know what? My problem about plastic bottles, waste and not wanting to harm the environment when being on the boat, it’s suddenly solved as well!
On our last visit in Loano, over Christmas and New Year, I’ve made a movie about the marina and our yacht.
We thought it might be helpful, if one can see how everything looks like when entering the marina. How it works with the card to open the barrier, the short drive to the boats and where you can park to unload your car (in the “tunnel”, beside the recycling station).
Afterwards you’ll leave the marina area the same way as you came in and park your car. You can choose either the big parking ground beside the marina office, or the underground car park – whatever you like (either are possible).
The movie about Luna Azzurra became a bit wobbly, sorry for that. Nevertheless, it might give you an impression how everything looks like when you’re on board.
Another movie shows how close the facilities with showers and toilets are from Luna Azzurra. Plus how they look like – very clean indeed!
We believe presenting Luna Azzurra and her surrounding like this give one a much better idea, than just photos. Don’t you think?
Furiends…..I hope you are well and are not freezing (like me)! Winter has Switzerland in its grip and the temperatures are around or below Zero!! Freeeeeeeeeeeeezing!!
I try really hard to go outside, but somehow I hardly make it through the cat flap. When outside, I want to go inside as quick as possible, before my whiskers get frozen and break….I just can’t stand the cold!! *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*
But I wanted to share my happiness with you: Dad is finally home again! He left us for Texas (a one-horse town called Fort Stockton) on the 8th January and should be home again the week after…well, “should”! The first delay came around 16th January, when he told my mum, he had to visit another customer in Houston and therefore wouldn’t be home as planned. But he aimed for Sunday, 20th January.
That was still (almost) OK, because that was also his birthday (yes, 25+ as usual *smirk*), and we planned to pick him up from the train station around lunch. We still would have time to celebrate!
On Saturday, came the news that he had to stay longer. His replacement came down with the flu and couldn’t come to work. Meant, my dad was the fortunate one, to spend more time in the desert and Fort Stockton, where his hotel was! At least the weather was pleasant, sunny with 17 – 20 deg. C! Boy, did I envy him…
He told us that he saw one of these roadrunner birds and a coyote! The bird would have been my point of interest, though, since they are running instead of flying (even if they are able to fly). God knows, why….they haven’t met me, maybe that’s why!
But I’d rather not have met a coyote, though. They remind me too much of dogs. My dad said he saw many dead ones, lying beside the road….poor things…
Anyhow, Sunday came and went and we weren’t sure now, when my dad finally came home. He would let us know as soon as he knows more, he said. He knew more on Tuesday, and wrote to my mum that he definitely would leave Texas on Wednesday, which means he would come home on Thursday, 24th! Yeah, finally!!
On Wednesday he held contact with us, whenever possible and arrived in Houston — too late, so he missed his connecting flight to Toronto. Bugger! He finally managed to get a new ticket and had to fly to London and from there to Zurich. Well, better late than never, right?!
So on Thursday morning he arrived in London and the plan was that he should leave London around lunch time…. But no, again there was a delay: The flight from London left two hours later than planned… *argghhh* what was next??? Meanwhile, my mum was at work, waiting for updates, about when she could pick him up from the train station and go home. Nerve-wracking…
At 16.45h my mum could finally pick my dad up…muuuuch later than planned! I was impatiently waiting at home! Was grooming my fur like a maniac to look the best of course! And finally he came through the door, lifting me up hugging me….erm…that’s enough dad!
I told him, though, what my mum did to me: Last Wednesday morning she locked me in their bedroom – and left me there the WHOLE DAY!! All I did was sneaking in while she was doing the bed. How the hell should I’ve known that she hasn’t seen me! So she closed the door (from the outside) and left for work… That wasn’t very nice, was it?! She was lucky I didn’t pee on the floor….or even worse (I thought about it, though…hehe)! My dad felt definitely sorry for me!!
However, both had to work on Friday, so I decided to be useful for once as always, and prepared this post, including some photos my dad took, while he was away! I’m pleased with the result, I must admit – I hope you like it too?!
Well, I wish you all purrfect weekend and stay inside – it’s too bloody cold outside! =^.^=
And it’s actually such a shame, since I’m half Italian: My mum is Swiss, and my dad is Italian. But my parents divorced when I was two, so sadly I never learned this beautiful language. (But I grew up with a very loving, Swiss stepdad!).
I did two attempts, though, to learn Italian. First time, when I was still child and the second try was 19 years ago. Both courses weren’t very successful…and since I never had to use this language in my daily life, I forgot most of it again. Only a few scraps remained and when I hear Italian, I understand a word every now and then, but never enough for a proper conversation.
Nevertheless, I do have the Italian look, though. However, it’s more frustrating than enjoyable, because, when travelling to the canton of Ticino (Italian part of Switzerland), or to Italy, many people there think I’m Italian and start speaking in their language to me. When they realize I do not understand them and cannot speak, their reaction is often quite irritated. I guess, they think I don’t want to speak Italian (for whatever reason that might be), therefore, I never really dared to travel to these southern parts of Europe. Wanting to speak and understand the people, but not being able to, was getting on my nerves.
Another problem is of course, eating in a restaurant and do grocery shopping. I’m vegetarian (no fish and seafood either), so it’s important to me, what I eat and buy. And sitting in a restaurant with my mini dictionary all the time is annoying! Luckily, the Italian kitchen is already much veggi-friendly, but even so…
Well, suddenly a new motivation to learn Italian has occurred: Luna Azzurra, who lies in Loano, Italy! Although, the Italians there speak surprisingly well English, Patrik and I want to blend in and belong a little bit to this beautiful part of Italy. Even if it’s just for a few weeks per year!
Matteo, though, doesn’t speak English at all, so the communication between us is – mildly said – complicated. Writing emails and Whatsapp works very well, a lot of good translation programs exist. But every time we meet, it’s frustrating and embarrassing!
Basta! End of 2018, Patrik and I signed up for an Italian course. We chose a small group (8 participants at the most) and it started this Monday, 14th January. Patrik had, of all things, to travel to the states last week, so he missed the first lesson. Never mind, I was there naturally, and it involved more like, introducing each other, getting the books and being informed, how the course will be held. I must say, to my delight, we are a very likeable class, surely also thanks to our teacher. She actually is Italian, but married a Swiss guy and, therefore, chose to live here 40 years ago. But her heart still beats for her home country, according to her! Lucky us, that means we have a teacher who is determined to teach this language to us with her whole heart and soul! So yes, I have a very good feeling and look forward to continue!
I am right now in West Texas for work. Must say this parts of Texas have its beautiful side and its hmmm not ugly but boring side.
We where told to stay at a hotel in Midland/Odessa which should be the closest place to live during this time.
When I was still waiting waiting in Toronto for my flight down to HoustonI was informed that this was not the correct hotel. Midland/Odessa was about 2.5 hours drive from where I should work (5 hours rive a day is a little much.
We had to start searching hotel at once, with help from our US company this was solved….. We still had to take the 2.5 hours drive for two more days. In the end the closest hotel was hmmmm only an hour away (60 miles)…. Not to bad. The name of the town is Fort Stockton.
This part of Texas is quite depressing when you drive through some towns. most of the houses have not received any maintenance the last 40 years it seems.
The nature or view is quite boring, just low trees/bushes… On the other side you can drive for almost an hour without seeing any house, That I love.
Together with colleaguesI did some sightseeing when we had a Sunday off.
After a late breakfast we left around 10:30 and headed west to an old cavalry fort. Town name is Fort Davis. This town is up in the mountains. To come there gives you a wonderful drive through valleys and up and down some nice hilly surrounding.
We would like to visit the museum but as it was closed due to the budget between the president and the government.
Here some info about Fort Davis:
Established in 1854 and serving the Texas frontier until 1891, provided a strategic factor in the defense system of the American Southwest. The Fort’s garrison protected settlers, mail coaches, wagon trains, and travelers enduring the San Antonio-El Paso road, and, until 1861, soldiers stayed busy driving Comanche, Kiowa, and Apaches from the region.
The Fort’s location, at the mouth of a box canyon on the eastern side of the Davis Mountains, provided a suitable advantage for fending off attacks, mustering troops, and staging defenses. Abandoned for a period after the Civil War, the Fort’s primitive structures had little to offer the Ninth U.S. Cavalry who arrived in 1867 to reoccupy the post. In two short years, however, permanent quarters, barracks, a guardhouse, and storehouses were raised and by the end of the 1880s Fort Davis harboured more than 100 structures and quartered more than 400 soldiers, including the famed Buffalo Soldiers.
After Fort Davis we drove to a town named Alpine which should be nice and …..
Yes it was but when we where there no one of us knew/remembered what we should look at. The town had a huge university though and it looked really beautiful.
After this we headed for Marfa which are famous for the light play which occurs on clear nights. As for today no one can explain this phenomena.
Here some info about the Marfa Light:
Referring to the Marfa Lights View Park east of Marfa, James Bunnell states. “you might just see mysterious orbs of light suddenly appear above desert foliage. These balls of light may remain stationary as they pulse on and off with intensity varying from dim to almost blinding brilliance. Then again, these ghostly lights may dart across the desert…or perform splits and mergers. Light colors are usually yellow-orange but other hues, including green, blue and red are also seen. Marfa Mystery Lights usually fly above desert vegetation but below background mesas.
Then we went to the McDonald Observatory Center which is close to Fort Davis up in the mountains. On our way there we even got stopped by the police due to speeding (I was not the one driving) It was a Georgia guy.Anyway the drive up there was beautiful and the view when arriving was nice but it was quite cold and everything was closed so we could not go in for a guided tour.
After this we all was tired and went back to our hotel for a 2 hours brake before dinner. It was a wonderful day and it is nice to drive around and see the nature in West Texas.
Hi everyone! We hope your New Years Eve was as much fun as ours!
As mentioned earlier we had booked a table at “Shardana Wine and Sea” and from the first moment, we didn’t regret it! I must admit though, I was a bit sceptical…not that I didn’t trust the chef and his ability to cook lovely meals, or the restaurant itself. But how do you celebrate New Years Eve in Italy? What were we supposed to do? Since we don’t speak and understand Italian, I was a bit worried about that.
Well, no need for that, as it turned out! The restaurant was fully booked (which means about 25 guests) and the atmosphere very familiar and heartily! We arrived just after 9 p.m. and the chef and his wife guided us professionally through the menus and the wine, explained our food and what would happen next.
Karaoke was surprisingly a highlight and – while singing and partying – we truly felt like being part of a big family! We had so much fun!
About half an hour before Midnight, the obligate panettone was served, plus a bottle of prosecco. Yes, a whole bottle was included with the menu – unbelievable!
While the countdown was on, people started to open their prosecco bottles and counting loudly backwards accompanied by the oversized clock on the screen!
ZERO – HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Hands were shaken, people were hugging and kissing each other – even Patrik and I got involved in the overwhelming event!
Around one o’clock, the “leader of the pack” – Giancarlo – announced that we would relocate to the the Yacht Club! All righty, said and done. People were grabbing their jackets and belongings and off we went. Patrik and I stopped at Luna Azzurra on the way, to leave our half a bottle of wine, which was leftover from the dinner. At the Yacht Club, Giancarlo offered a glass of prosecco to all of us, and we tried to mingle in. Some were dancing, others just talking. A live band was playing, but even so, the atmosphere was gone somehow.
So after finishing our glass, Patrik and I decided to call it a day….well, night….and started to leave. Meanwhile, the owners of Shardana also had arrived, and we took our chance to say goodbye and thanking again for the fabulous dinner and evening!
Back at the boat, Patrik and I started to watch a movie and at three o’clock we went to bed. Tired and very happy we fell asleep – nighty night!
The next day – sunny again, by the way – we didn’t do much, except of sleeping in (me at least), removing the old bimini bares, mounting the outboard holder and completed this and that. No stress!
All in all we completed everything we aimed for while being in Loano. The garage is organised and looks very tidy, Luna Azzurra has been baptised once again, we met Matteo and his wife and discovered some new shops in town and outside (grocery and handy ones).
A cool thing was clearly to get to know our “next-boat” neighbour Alberto, who owns the beautiful ORION, and the boat owners on the other side. It was good to meet and greet, even other boat owners on our pontoon, who were there for a few days, waved their hand and we said our “buon giornos”, buon natales” and “buon annos”. Slowly but steady, it seems like we start to belong to the Marina di Loano, which is a lovely feeling!
Sadly, our day for departure came too early and on the 3rd of January, 1 p.m. We left Luna Azzurra and Loano. Everything has been cleaned and is in order again. – ready for our future guests on board.
Our journey home took almost seven hours, including two short breaks. On the northern side of the San Bernardino tunnel, the temperatures were tangible lower – around zero deg. C – and we had some fine snow fall. Luckily, we had no traffic jam or some other delay, although the radio warned for traffic problems and icy roads.
Odin yawned at us when we finally entered our house! Our Sweetie-Pie! In we went with our baggage and stuff, afterwards we sent a quick Whatsapp to our parents and our catsitter. Letting them know that we arrived home safely.
Well, Saturday today, and most of the laundry has been done, we went grocery shopping yesterday and. Patrik is already packing his bags again…..yeah, his work will get him to Texas on Tuesday. Visiting customers in the States, he will be away for at least 10 days.
Me, I’ll start working again on Monday. …looking already forward to Easter, when Patrik and I will return to Loano and to Luna Azzurra!