Did we see you at the casino?

CHURCHILL DOWNS, LOUISVILLE, KY – Sandro is our Sardinian Italian Language instructor from the Language Exchange in Portland.

We do private lessons with him once a week when whenever we can. It gets technical. And specific. And then it spins out into wide ranging and freewheeling conversations. We were talking about our trip to the Kentucky Derby and that led to betting. And want to guess what the Italian word for Casino is? That’s right: casinò!. Emphasis on the end.

Depending on the circles you travel with, usually you will hear the word without the ending emphasis. And that’s just a mess. Because without the accent it means “mess.” Well, technically it means “bordello” but somehow “che casino!” or “what a bordello!” has evolved to “what a mess!” Hey, wait a minute, Bordello looks like an Italian word too. See how much we owe Italians?

stewvaleriemidgeThe photo is us with the indomitable Valerie Harper between races.

See you in Italy!

we’ll try not to make too much of a casino.
Full breakdown of the race weekend and videos and glimpses at true party ethic in action


Spring in the air. We will be soon.

wisteria panicale umbria italy springtimeLook out Umbria. Here we come. Packing today. Puts Spring in our step just thinking about it. Our friend Dily has been sending us pictures of our house there in Panicale in flower and that just reels us in.

First a couple lovely days with Daughter Wiley of London and then Rome. Then HOME. Panicale. Other hits on our list are Trieste, Lago di Como and more and more Panicale. We are celebrating a big anniversary and we are celebrating it with our Testimone (best man) Harry. I was his best man shortly after he was ours. And miracle of miracle we are all still married. And to the same people! And all still best friends. They’ve been to Panicale as much as we have and it should be a joy. Watch this space.

See you in Italy!

Stew Vreeland