Okay...let me explain about my new blog...."the Crayon Profiler"....I was talking with a friend, discussing a new look for my blog and this is what I came up with....I was telling her a story of when I was a little girl and my favorite thing on earth was crayons....I loved every color, and being a lover of crayons, I loved the color RED....but it was such a dominate color and all the kids wanted to use it because they wanted to stand out....and so I felt sorry for the color PINK....it wasn't used as much ....so I chose to use the color PINK (the underdog color of crayons)....and what do I do today, I try to help the underdog's (those less fortunate than I am....I am not calling them dogs)....so I was telling my friend KIM, I bet I can tell a lot about a person by the color of crayons they used as a kid...thus "The Crayon Profiler"....the only thing I can't figure out yet is why I like black....I think it represents my strange sense of humor that is a little weird, according to some people

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a day in venice!!!

Yesterday, we made it to Venice....it is indescribably gorgeous....how I wish that I could show you all 400 pictures that I took....it was so hard to choose just a few....we walked throughout the city, took a leisurely lunch and went on a Gondola ride where we got a lot of information from the gondaleer....for instance, 65,000 people live on the tiny island of Venice and the cost to live there is approximately $35,000 per square meter, so it is very expensive to live there....it is very old, and you can see in a couple of the pictures that I uploaded that they have had to reinforce some of the walls from tumbling down....the water rises during high tide and it looks as though some get water in their homes from the stains on the walls....the side streets are very tiny and some of them barely allow two people to go down it at once....I wish that you all could have been with us....I hope you enjoy just the very few pictures that I put up....we slept in all day today, Chris and I both have colds, probably from being in the wind and rain during his race.....it is now almost 8pm and we are getting ready to go eat dinner, and then we will go to Florence tomorrow....I will post the pictures of Florence when we get back....Love you all.

I thought that I would start with a picture that has all the colors of Fall

Pea, I know what you can do with all of your cats, send them to Venice.
Our little guy that took us on our Gondola ride...he said that he had been doing this his whole life....and he doesn't live on the island.
You can see that the water rises above the stairs.

Everywhere you looked, people had their laundry hanging out...this was probably one of my favorite things about Venice....life seems simple.


Race Day Finally

Race day was finally here for the women on Saturday and then the men would run on Sunday....This is the starting line up for the women, we were there to watch all of our USA Team members and especially Barb Morgan....our friend from Pennslyvania.

On the way there, Chris and I were running to catch it and flip flops are not good to run on where there is nothing but cobblestone....I tripped and fell and busted my toe, peeling off some of the nail...I can tell you that it hurt really bad....just for documentation....it was right in front of the traffic and a car almost ran over me....so embarrasing....the crowd of people that witnessed me go down.
Barb coming past...we had a great view.
Next day, the men start off and it is raining so my pictures are not that clear when I didn't use the unmrella and I was freezing and shaking so hard.
This is Chris and the guy on the left is the Team USA coach Tim, encouraging to Chris to keep going and pick up speed, he was doing great on the run.
Chris got into a pack of men and was coming around the corner smiling and sticking out his tongue at me....I think if he can do that, he is not running hard enough.

Chris in transition getting onto his bike.
Getting ready to get on...unfortunately, he never finished, he flatted out around
miles out on his bike, later finding out he had ran over glass, flattening his tire. This is Kyle, the Morgan's grandson who is 19, his first World Championship and he is doing really well.

We are finally finished with all of the Team USA stuff and are now officially on vacation...early tomorrow morning, we are leaving to tour Venice, so I have to get in bed, it is past 9pm here and Chris is getting irritated at me...so arrivederci for now....I will really have some good pictures after today....love you all.


Hotel Villa Lalla...what a great place

This is the hotel that we are staying at while here in Italy....Hotel Villa Lalla and I have to say, the people here are very gracious, and really know how to make Americans feel welcomed.

This is our room that we are staying in, very modern and comfy.
The bathroom shelving....Chris said I took up all the room....but as you can see, he still had plenty of space to put his shaving cream....I don't understand what is he gripping about.
Hotel Villa Lalla gave us a few gifts, we received two of these nice bags, one of them not shown is orange.
Two pair of slippers that we get to keep without charge as well....I will get a lot of use out of these as we have cold marble flooring in our room.
They also provided a foot washer right beside the toilet for our convenience....as you can see, it really works and the water on your feet feel really good, although I am wondering why it is beside the toilet....hummm....we really have to shake of the water too, because when you hang it back up....it drips onto the toilet paper.
They also provided a little sink to wash your underwear and clothes....although you break your back hanging over it, because it is so low to the ground....but is very convenient.
When you get through washing your things, they have a drying rack that not only warms your clothes, but dryes them really nice....it is really cold here so when you go to put them back, it feels as though you just got them out of the dryer.Okay, I know, I know what you are thinking...I know that the sprayer is for washing your behind and the bedette is for the same thing, but our behinds are clean and we didn't need to use them, but we found a better use for them.....okay truth, my legs hurt so badly walking up and down those stairs with all of our luggage that it was too hard to even try out the bedette....and we brought Tide that you can use in the sink to wash our clothes....I promise the bedette was very clean and sanitized before I even attempted to use it....in fact, it looked as if it had never been used....maybe for cleaning someone else's underwear.
I also posted about our event that took place last night....which would almost be morning to you....so check it out as well below....I hope you enjoy the pictures....off to take some more pictures of the women racing today.

Italy Day Two

Okay, I have to admit....it is getting better....after a harsh first day here, we had a good nights rest and woke up refreshed. Since my body alarm is out of whack, I woke up at 5:00 wide awake and couldn't go back to sleep. So I got up and got ready and leaving Chris still asleep, went downstairs with my coffee creamer and it is a good thing I brought it and had my first Italian breakfast...I had to add 5 pounds of coffee creamer to their version of "american coffee", it was like dark strong espresso...I took with me the camera instructions so that I could learn how to take really good pictures while I am here because this is the place that you want to take excellant pictures, so this was a practice shot.
I was the first person down while reading my instructions, more Team USA members trailed in one by one....I couldn't read instructions anymore....so I sit and chatted. Soon, Chris, Dick and Barb Morgan came down with their grandson from Pennsylvania, the couple that we like to travel with....today was registration and packet pick up for Team USA, then all their team meetings (I skipped out on those), the Parade of Nations and then the Team USA dinner at a local resturant....I took lots of pictures, but I should have finished reading the instructions because not all of them were good enough to post and even some of these weren't that great and clear.

Registration and packet pick-ups, they each got a brand new black bag with rollers, which you cannot see in this photo along with a whole bag of nice things.
While they were shopping, I stepped on over and got Team Canada's picture as well while they were posing....I thought they looked good.
There were tons of booths set up for all those that wanted to shop and get some last minute things, well not last minute, they are here all week.
Chris is trying to coach Kyle on what type of shoes to buy.
After registering for the race, we went to a little resturant and ate our first Italian meal with Dick and Barb and their grandson Kyle who is racing as well....he one of the top 12 in the nation at his age racing....I think he will do pretty well.
This was my first Italian meal, it doesn't quite look like the picture but was okay.....I won't try it again, I will just say that, but I was starving so I ate it all.
Team USA decided to have their Team pictures at the beach on the windiest day, I couldn't believe it.....I thought we were going to have it where Team Canada had theirs....we were eating sand....it was in our hair, our mouths, our socks even....I was glad to get this part over, but took a few pictures of the beach while I was there.
This is Team USA, I couldn't find Chris in this anywhere....I thought I had found him in a white cap and focused in on that person and then afterwards, realized he was wearing a red cap.....I do have one of him somewhere but when I was posting, the picture was so tiny, I couldn't tell which picture it was.
This is the parade of Nations and I am only posting a few....as you can tell, they are not that clear, so I am posting the best ones....I can't even tell what country this is.....I think it is Brazil, not sure...in all there were probably 30 + countries there represented....it was awesome, just not my pictures.
This is Team Canada, I can tell for sure.
Great Britian
Hungary, where we raced last year.
Ireland, you couldn't see, but they had some girls that were dancing....as each country passed, they played a song from that country.
Japan, they were a proud and happy bunch. Morocco
The Netherlands
You can barely read this one, but it New Zealand.
Slovakia, just say it with me, don't you love to say it, the way it just rolls off your tongue....I yelled it over and over when they were marching by and clapping for them just so I could say it...I also love saying Croatia, but their picture was real blurry.
At first, I thought this was the red cross, then I was asking myself, why is it a white cross though, then I realized it was Switzerland....what a strange flag.....it looks like they want to help someone.

Then the good ole USA....I was wondering what song they would play for USA and I was shocked to find out it was "Surfing USA"....out of all the songs they played for us, they chose that one....SHOCKER!!!! I was thinking maybe "God Bless the USA" or at least "Born in the USA", but not "Surfing USA", that was crazy to me....I think our great Team USA leader picked it out....Oh well!!!! it was still fun.
At the end of the parade, they got to shake military leaders hands and officials from Italy, a nice way to welcome each country there I thought....or maybe they were sizing everyone up. A mixer after the parade with all the countries....this is Kyle and the little boy who carried the USA sign....he lives in Italy, but his parents are from the USA....his grandfather had a book that he was getting all the team members to sign as a souvineir for his grandson.
We met up with Rad again (in the yellow shirt) from Australia....we made friends with him last year in Hungary....he was born and raised in Germany and defected to Australia, but was in a prison camp and he told stories after stories on our way to Vienna Austria last year....the best part of our trip....we were hoping that we would get to see him again....he is 81 and still in great shape....he is a blessing to everyone that knows him....we just love him.
Dick, Rad and Chris
I asked her if I could take her picture, she was on the Japan team and we were telling her that she was so beautiful and she was blushing so bad....she could hardly speak...trying not to cry....she was very sweet.
We had to wait turns to get pictures in front of this huge sign, and people kept running up there, one little Japanese man was getting ready when an Italian ran up there and the Italian said come on, then a USA member ran up there, then.....
Kyle ran up there from the USA, then....
Great Britian and another country ran up there, then......
Hungary and Ireland got in there and the group just kep growing with different countries getting into the picture....one of my favorite moments of the event.....how great if we could all get along like that with no government involved, I think we would all do great because we all bonded....there was no hate....except on race day when you hope someone will fall down so that you can beat them, but other than that....it is all great.

This girl on the right is Shelia, she lives in the USA, but she is Irish....we love her....but she is racing with Team Ireland....somehow she qualified and we are all just standing around chatting and I had to take a picture of her....sweetest lady and I love listening to her talk....I wish that her accent would rub off on me.....I am sure that it won't.
After all the parade, we went back to the host Hotel and they had a Who's Who Wall and Chris is on it, but everytime I zoomed in on him, it was blurry....still need to read that handbook instructions for my camera.
This is areas of the host hotel, very beautiful.

After going back.....we finally went with Team USA to eat at La Logge and had Italian food of course....it was a beautiful resturant....the head at the bottom is a guy that we were sitting with who was hit by a truck just two weeks ago while racing....a car ran into the racing area and hit him....he broke his arm....but still came to cheer on his fellow teammates, but his father is full blood Italian.

Even their toilet seat was neat....I had to take a picture of it....I carry my camera everywhere I go, you never know when you find something worth taking a picture of and I thought this was worth it.