Buongiorno!

April 22nd, 2019 – Safeway Route.

Another nice morning walk with only a slight off-and-on drizzle.  We got a honk from Mr. Handyman and a black SUV.  We saw Salinas Construction but too late to wave.  The driver of the Salinas Construction truck donated our walking vests to us.  We flung an ill-fated rabbit off the road.

A rare pair of matching work gloves. 20190422-9We haven’t seen any rubber gloves for a few days.

But we have had an uptick in McLitterer bags. 20190422-7It had been buffeted by passing cars, so the unopened utensils and condiments were out of the bag.  We did find the tea cups.

Someone left us two tamales. 20190422-4They weren’t hot tamales at this point, so we passed on them for breakfast.

The small change just keeps coming. 20190422-6A nickel and a quarter today.

What the… 20190422-8The leaves aren’t supposed to be falling this time of year.

A marijuana jar. 20190422-2Empty, of course.  The High Road and Get Elevated.  Marijuana growers advertise getting high.  You don’t see brewers advertising getting drunk.

Someone threw out a bunch of ripped-up lotto tickets. 20190422-3Sore loser.

We got an unopened bottle of bubbles. 20190422-1We don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but we’re a bit old for this.

Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, collard greens, lemon, mint tea, ginger, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass. 20190422-5Sounds yummy.  The bottle says shake well.  We should hope so.

 

April 23rd, 2019 – Park-and-Ride Route.

This morning’s walk was quick and uneventful.  We did get a honk from Mr. Handyman, though.

The first thing we found a glow stick. 20190423-1But it had lost its glow.

Next we found a matchbook.  20190423-5It had no matches.

Then came a money clip. 20190423-6It had been run over and had no money.  It’s like three strikes and we’re out.

Another hubcap. 20190423-4This one was broken and ended in our recycle bin.

Suorin Drop Cartridge box. 20190423-2This took some help from Google, but this is yet another vaping device.

We’ve found these before. 20190423-3Cartridges for whipped cream dispensers.  These cartridges contain nitrous oxide and some people use them to get a mild high.

This post was written on May 11th since we did not have time to write on April 23rd.  We caught a plane for over two weeks in Italy travelling with good friends, Vance and Kandi.  What follows are some random photos we captured on our travels.  We did not pick up any trash while we were there.  Well, not much, anyway.

We flew from Seattle to Frankfurt Germany on a trusty Boeing 747 taking the polar route. 20190501-5.pngIt looked awfully cold down there.

 

Roma.

We started our tour in Rome and took in all the major sights.  Our hotel was in a well-travelled alley and about 100 feet away was a square with Temple of Hadrian20190501-3820190501-33

Farther down the alley is the Pantheon20190501-32

We took a good tour of the Colosseum20190501-30

This is a view of the Roman Forum. 20190501-31We also took a tour of the Forum, but the weather turned and we got soaked.

Please read the second line.  20190501-29A Roman Eye Test.  This is an advertisement for a perfume shop.

The Italian Supreme Court. 20190501-37

We visited the Vatican.  The Sistine Chapel ceiling. 20190501-36Michelangelo’s art is amazing.

St. Peter’s Square. 20190501-35

On a bridge across the Tiber River, we saw a hat in the middle of the street.  Janet rescued it. 20190501-34It’s a nice cap but had been run over a few times.  Probably a keeper.  It got through customs, anyway.

Out our hotel window, we saw this pint-sized street-sweeper. 20190501-28It’s kind of like an Italian Roomba.

 

Toscana.

On our last day in Rome, we picked up our rental car at the train station and charted our Google GPS course to Tuscany.  The GPS was not very reliable in the city with the tall buildings and we ended up missing several turns.  At one point, we were 25 minutes into our journey but were four minutes closer to our destination.

Once we escaped Rome, we had an uneventful trip to our destination, the Colognole Castle in Tuscany.  20190501-4120190501-4020190501-39This castle has been comfortably converted to a bed-and-breakfast without losing the authentic rustic feeling of the original architecture.  Highly recommended.

We accepted their offer of a home-made dinner by Rita, one of the two sisters who hosted us.  The cost was 40 Euros per person.  This was not only delicious, but was the bargain of our trip.  During our stay, we visited nearby Greve in Chianti and other destinations, but for dinner, we ended up back at the castle with more wine and some delicious left-overs.

We visited Florence (Firenze) by bus.  The trip was fine, but we inadvertently went on a Monday when many sites were closed, including the museum that houses the statue of David.  We were able to visit the Duomo20190501-25Since the last time we were here, they opened a museum downstairs that highlights the older church that this new one, was built upon.  New meaning it was started in 1296.

Access to the Duomo itself is free, unless you count two hours of standing in line. 20190501-27

This is near the front of the line.  When we got in line, it wrapped all the way around to the back building.  And it is a big building.

We walked across the Ponte Vecchio20190501-26This is nicknamed the Bridge of Gold because it houses primarily jewelry shops.  Too rich for our pocketbooks.

 

Taranto.

Next, we traveled toward Taranto to visit with some friends.  We drove down the Adriatic coast stopping at service centers for coffee and gas.  At one of the stops, we found a penny! 20190501-24It won’t make a dent in our expenses, but every little bit helps.

We stopped in the town of Trani where we spent the night.  Trani is a very picturesque town and we had a room very near the marina. 20190501-23We had a very good dinner at a restaurant in the area.  The next day, after seeing the sights around Trani, we traveled a short distance south to the town of Molfetta.

Molfetta was another small town and we spent a few hours wandering the alleys and checking out the sights.20190501-21

We also stumbled on a farmer’s market and ended up buying some olives. 20190501-20

The next stop was Alberobello, famous for the Trulli houses.  It was very crowded with tourists like us.  20190501-19The Trulli houses are a conical construction of flat stones and traditionally do not use any mortar.  Many of the houses are lived in, but a lot are souvenir shops that cater to the tourists.

Our next stop was Matera where we made a very rushed visit to the beautiful old city. 20190501-43Unfortunately it was getting late and we were not able to spend as much time here as we would have liked.  We continued to Taranto to our friend’s home where we spent the next few days.

Our friends have a very nice house on the Ionian Sea and we awoke each morning to this view. 20190501-42

One day was spent touring the sights of Taranto.  There is a very nice cathedral originating in the eleventh century. 20190501-48

The ceiling. 20190501-46

The walls consist of inlaid tile. 20190501-47

Downstairs are murals from the 1300s. 20190501-45

Taranto was established in 706 BC by Greeks from Sparta.  It is the only Spartan colony and the founders were “Sons of Virgins”.  No, really.

We spent some time in the very nice Taranto Archaeological National Museum that houses artifacts that were found in the area.  This vase was particularly interesting. 20190501-14It depicts Aphrodite spanking her son Eros with her sandal.  Spare the sandal, spoil the child we always say.

A fishing boat on the “Little Sea”. 20190501-15

Irresponsible dog owner, Italian style. 20190501-16

Our second day in Taranto was spent shopping and preparing a big dinner.  First the shopping, we stopped at five different shops: fresh produce store, miscellaneous natural foods, cheese shop, fish shop, mussel shop.  This is the fish shop. 20190501-13That’s our snapper next to the guy cleaning the fish.

The mussels were obtained directly from the fishermen. 20190501-49They invited us to go out on the boat with them, but we didn’t have time.

The rest of the day was spent in preparation and a cooking lesson for Vance. 20190501-51

The results were spectacular. 20190501-44

Menu:

  •  Raw oysters with Cheese
  •  Raw clams
  •  Broiled mussels with bread crumbs
  •  Focaccia
  •  Hand-made pasta with mussels
  •  Fava beans, peas, artichokes and other veggies
  •  Zucchini fried in olive oil with tomatoes garlic and vinaigrette
  •  Another green vegetable.
  •  Snapper tempura
  •  Pan-fried snapper
  •  Lemon cream sponge cake.

It was delicious, but too much food.

Sorrento.

Our next and final destination was Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.  We followed Google maps and at one point it notified us that it was rerouting due to a road closure.  The road closure turned out to be a major highway and we ended up on a very narrow street with cars going in both directions, no doubt all were also following Google. 20190501-50At one point we were totally gridlocked with every proximity sensor in the car beeping at us.  With the help of some local citizens directing traffic, we eventually got untangled and were on our way again.

We stayed at a nice hotel in the hills above the town of Sorrento.  20190501-11It had a beautiful view of Sorrento and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance.  The hotel provided a shuttle bus to take us to and from the town.  We spent time wandering the town’s shops and doing some gift shopping for folks at home.

We did find a pop tab at the bus stop in Sorrento. 20190501-12The Italian pop tabs look just like the ones in the States.

On Monday, we had tour tickets for Pompeii, but Kandi and Chuck came down with something and ended up in the hotel for the day while Vance and Janet toured the ruins.

However, the next day we all took the train to Ercolano toured Herculaneum the other major city that has been partially excavated. 20190501-9This is a view of where the sea was before the city was flooded with mud.  In the archways at the old sea level are skeletons of people hoping for rescue. 20190501-52

In Ercolano, we saw an Amazon Prime box. 20190501-10It looked just like the ones we get at home.

Also, a rubber glove to ease us back into walking when we get home. 20190501-6

We also saw this. 20190501-8 A plastic bag hanging on a nail in a concrete wall.  We didn’t open it since it is not our territory and we were not picking up trash.

We saw several empty cigarette packages. 20190501-22The Italians have gone way past our Surgeon General’s Warning.  Thy force the manufactures to add very graphic pictures of the effects of smoking.  It doesn’t seem to slow the smokers down, though.

In the train station, we saw this poster. 20190501-7It brought back bad memories to Chuck whose wallet was lifted in the Naples train station about 15 years ago.

 

Home again.

We headed back toward Rome and our hotel in Fiumicino, the town near the airport.  On the way we stopped in Cassino to visit an ATM machine (again) and have lunch.  While we were walking around, we found a bristle. 20190501-2We now have an Italian bristle in our bristle collection.

We also came across a broken mirror just like we find at home. 20190501-3

For lunch, we ended up at a vegetarian café.  It was very good. 20190501-4Hmm.  What is that last item?  No wonder it was good.

In Fiumicino, we walked along the fishing channel where one of the fishermen posed for us. 20190501-1

We had dinner and left early the next morning for the flight to Frankfurt.  In Frankfurt, there was a slight delay that turned out to be drone activity at the airport that closed the airport for about an hour.  The rest of the flight home on the Boeing 747 was uneventful. 

We arrived back in Seattle on the afternoon of Thursday, May 9th.  We intended to walk the next morning, but overslept, but we did trash-walk for the first time in over two weeks on Saturday morning.

 

May 11th, 2019 – Riverside Drive.

We flung three rabbits and an unidentifiable animal.  On our Riverside Drive walk, we pass the Securite Gun Club.  It is still under construction and we have been watching its progress.  Today, as we passed, one of the owners came out to talk to us and thank us for helping to keep the area clean.  We will probably check the place out when they open.

The McLitterer’s left us a welcome-home gift. 20190511-19In addition to the usual contents, this one contained an extra set of unused plasticware.

We got two hubcaps, both in good condition. 20190511-18This was a third-party replacement hubcap.  The person who lost this does not have much luck with hubcaps.

20190511-8This is a smaller cap on sale for $25.  It didn’t cost us anything.

We gathered six gloves. 20190511-20The top two are matching gloves found about 30 yards apart.  You could say the others are matching gloves, we just didn’t find the mate.

Someone tossed a CD. 20190511-15It had twelve audio tracks on it, but was too damaged to play, so it was not music to our ears.

Mirror, mirror on the road… 20190511-7Carbon-fiber motorcycle mirror.  No sign of the rest of the bike.

We went to the Sammamish River Park to check if the guy left any wine bottles or condoms and found that the City of Bothell had started some kind of construction project. 20190511-14This will put a crimp in the guy’s style.

There’s another rabbit without a tail out there. 20190511-10

We got a nice baseball for our ball collection. 20190511-11

We found part of a steamer pot under the freeway. 20190511-6The bottom was missing and it was heavy.  It ended up in a recycle bin.

At an apartment building on Riverside Drive, we find some kind of chewed gum balls. 20190511-12Someone in those apartments chews them and throws them in the street.  They have made quite a mess.  They must be very proud of how their mother raised them.

Another game of Name that Roadkill.  20190511-13

This week’s winner will get this wallet. 20190511-9It has only been buried by the side of the road for a month or two and does not look like it had ever been used.  Sweet!

I Love You a Bunch! 20190511-17We assume there are grapes under the purple blob.  At least they got the color right.

Someone must have known we are freshly back from Italy and left us some pizza. 20190511-1Thanks, but we’ll pass.

National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. 20190511-16We want to know when the National Stamp Out Litter drive is.

There is a Sammamish River access road along our walk.  This morning we ventured down to the road and found this. 20190511-5There are other smaller piles of trash along the road.  We notified King County.

We found a Ram’s baseball cap. 20190511-4Wait, is it called a football cap?  A football baseball cap?  Whatever it is, it will be washed and sent to Goodwill.

Finally, to show what good citizens we are, we walked an extra twenty feet into Woodinville to pick up this food container and spoon. 20190511-3No, we didn’t put it there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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