Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ikebana Class for September

The Main Line Sogetsu Study Group resume our Ikebana year start in September. I am so glad that Hata Sensei is looking well and energetic as usual. We continue studying and reviewing the basic lessons interspersed with freestyle and creative arranging. (9/17/2018)

Lesson 1: Variation No.6  Horizontal Style Moribana or Nageire
My arrangement Nageire ( Burning bush and Mum/ ceramic)
 Lesson 2: Variation No.7  Floating arrangement
Hata Sensei's demo arrangement
My arrangement: Ivy and Mum / ceramic
One of classmate's arrangement
  Lesson 3: Seasonal Plant Materials, (Autumn) book 5-1
Hata Sensei's Demo arrangement
I tried at home with tilted ceramic container
In class: Magnolia, bittersweet, Mum and some green
One of classmate's arrangement

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Time to Say Ciao (bye) - My Thought

Our family vacation trip has ended. It's time to say good by to Italy! Even though my grandchildren said they didn't want to go home to America. Everyone loved Italy, the town Todi, the house, the pool, and all the sightseeing trips. I am so grateful that everybody got along very well, cheerful, loved and cared for each other.
The weather was perfect! It's hot during the day but cool at night. We didn't need air conditioning because this house was built hundreds years ago with very thick walls. So, it's cool in Summer and warm in Winter. We cooked several times in house, it has commercial kind of kitchen, well equipped. We ate out a lot times after sightseeing, I think we had enough real Italian food like prosciutto, all kind of pastas, truffle oil dish ....and wine.
Umbria, the place we choose was full of ancient history. My husband loves history, he helped me to write each subject's history behind it. I truly appreciated for his patience.
Although August is a peak season for traveler, but the places we visited and did sightseeing were not crowded at all. (Only in Rome and London, airports were so crowded, it's jammed). The weather was hot but not as hot as here. It's gorgeous there!
We all are glad to be home. And back to real world! Until next time. (8/26/2018)
Long private driveway to the house up on the hill

We saw many Sunflower fields, almost end of season

Our house keeper (next to my grandson) cooked for us twice

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Family Vacation - Perugia (8)

Perugia, is the capital of Umbria province which was the last city we visited. This city was founded by Etruscan 6th century BC and fell to Romans in 310 BC and given the name Perusia. During middle age, the city was racked by many internal feuding and external invasion. In 1538 the city was incorporated into papal state and under papal control for 3 centuries. Eventually this city was united with other Umbria towns, became part of kingdom of Italy in 1860. Now, it is a beautiful modern city in valley and hilltop of old historic city combined.
Perugia also famous for its Italian chocolate brand named Baci, means Kiss in English. So, we went to visit the Perugia chocolate factory to see how the chocolate was produced, and test many different kinds of chocolate. The kids were so excited and had handful of free samples. It's worth a trip. After that we drove from valley going up to the mountain. The building structures in valley are tall, modern and pretty, and the streets are clean. We found an indoor parking lot and walked 55 steps up to the entrance of interesting modern tunnel, and took 6 very long escalators through the ancient castle to go up the street level of old mountain top city center. We strolled along the square to see museo archeologico nazionale dell' Umbria and palazz(palace) dei Priori and Duomo( big church) and famous Fontana Maggiore. (Mable fountain). Unfortunately we had no time to visit the palace and cathedral to see their arts pieces. Being late afternoon by then, we decided to have dinner in the street cafe, and at the same time, cerebrated my son-in-law and grandson's birthday. (8/24/2018)

modern cosmopolitan building in valley

converted from ancient castle, the path way to go up to street level

escalator exit through this medieval building

old city square ( two daughters and I )

tunnel to escalator 
alley down to many stores
San Lorenzo Duomo ( cathedral) of 15th century

palazzo dei Priori built 1293-1443

Mable Fontana Maggiore built 1275-1278

sala dei notari ( assembly house for nobility ) built 1290s

Duomo Gothic doorway
2 Perugia griffin above the plate

street cafe in evening

we had dinner here, the restaurant is inside alley 55 steps
below street level   

restaurant inside the alley
medieval building

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Family Vacation-San Marino(7)

My other two older children's family went to Florence today. We had been there before, and besides my husband showed more interesting about San Marino, it's about three hours away from our home base. So, we and the younger daughter and her husband went together to San Marino, a small mountain-top independent country surrounded by Italy. Because it is far away deep in mountains, not too many international tourists know about this city state. It was founded in AD 301 as Republic of San Marino, oldest sovereign state in Europe. It has only 24 sq miles in size with population of 33,600. Its constitution was written in Latin in late 16th century, its independence was recognized by papacy then. It is among the wealthiest countries in the world in term of GDP per capita. The country's economy mainly relies on banking, finance, tourism, and industry. This country is a member of United Nations but not a member of European Union, although using euro currency. I did not see any foreign embassy or immigration office in the city. The tourist office stamped our passport not for immigration issue but for souvenir purposes and charged for 5 euro. I guessed it is part of government income. We parked the car in 2nd level parking lot and walked along the medieval streets of 3rd, 4th, 5th level then 6th level to see clifftop castle and towers. On the castle we saw the Adriatic sea on east side. Below the city, you see many far away houses and mountains, it was a spectacular sight. It is a beautiful country. (8/23)
welcome to San Marino
City gate


tourist office center 

monument of speech to freedom
far view of Adriatic sea on east side