Bear with us. We know this isn’t Italy. Going there in a very few days. Giancarlo tells me he has a huge list of new houses to see and report on.

Bear with us. We know this isn’t Italy. Going there in a very few days. Giancarlo tells me he has a huge list of new houses to see and report on.

In the meantime we are using that Iowa mention from the previous bit as a transition out of the Pacific Time zone and into Central. This time next week we will be on Italian Time!

Ok, the correct answer is the house on the right is in Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge and the one on the left is in Vinton, Iowa. We saw Vinton’s Victorians while visiting my sister Mary in her new home there. The town was very nice, her home and all the Victorian homes were great, but the high point of the afternoon had to be when the high school across the street let out at two thirty. We are so not in Umbria or San Francisco here friends and I can tell because here in Vinton’s Washington High it was the final day of Ag Week and therefore Bring Your Tractor to School Day. Take that Sausalito. You may think I am kidding but that is specifically why I carry a camera with me. What parents trust their sixteen year olds to take their behemoth rubber tired tanks to school? Yike. I’m from an Iowa farm background but I didn’t remember tractors following us to school. Or tractors THIS big. Maybe they look bigger when there are packs of them roaming up and down Main Street in the rain, smoke billowing from stacks and kids with seed corn hats waving from the cabs. So glad our timing worked out for all this. I put this in the pantheon of wonders with Day after Easter Cheese Rollthru the streets of Panicale in Umbria.

This bird took the long way to its final destination. We bought an Italian Easter Cake called Colomba (nominally shaped like a dove) at Ferry Plaza on the Embarcadero. And brought it to Iowa to share with the family on St Paddy’s Day. The Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk Cheese didn’t go over as well as we hoped but that Italian cake was crumbs in a heart beat.


There was something kind of nice and completing the circle in this trip that made me especially glad we stopped in Iowa. 68 years ago my then teenage dad made the Iowa-California-Iowa trip with a bunch of guys in a 1930 Model A Ford coupe with rumble seat. They shot gophers and tin cans with a pistol from the open rumble seat going across the Nebraska and those other wild and wooly states.

They were in San Francisco when the Golden Gate Bridge had just opened and was in its first coat of Golden paint. Dad said they had no money and just kept getting closer and closer to bridge but did not want to spend the money and pay the toll to actually go over it. At a certain point they got a bit too close, could no get back out of the on ramp and tried to explain their way out of it to the toll booth guard. But any explaining that was going to happen was done by the guard holding out his hand for their money saying Oh, yeah, you ARE going to see the Bridge. And pay the toll, too boys. They were glad they saw it and so were we.

That is all for the moment folks. We are headed off going east to Bella Italia and our home in Umbria during school vacation in mid April – so watch this space. Until next time

See you in Italy,