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The Christening

It’s been another long hiatus here on the website, but nonetheless, our life of Saturdays continues to role on.  Let’s leave the Aegean Expedition where it is for the time being, and jump ahead a year or so to a much more pertinent photo exposé…

There are a few events in a man’s life which stand as milestones, which rank as the most important, the most memorable, the most significant experiences in his life- be it graduating from college, getting married, eating a 72oz steak, winning the lottery, etc.  Well, I just so happened to be lucky enough to have had such an event recently and I’d like to share it with you all…

As you may or may not know, Kacey and I have had a long standing dream of owning our own sailboat.  And not just any sailboat, but a big, strong, blue water, ocean crossing, take-you-to-Tahiti kind of a sailboat.  And no, this dream doesn’t stem from spending our childhoods in Nantucket or having boats in the family, or any particular desire to become pirates more than the average person.  No, it is more practical than any of that- after years of doing our best to travel around this big blue marble by car and bike, and by train and airplane, it has become increasingly clear to us that the best way to see everything on a big blue marble might be to go by boat, over the ocean, over the endless globe covering BLUE, dare I say as god intended!

And, so it is that one sunny day last June, we finally bit the bullet and bought one!  It was everything we had dreamed of and more.  It promised to be a comfortable home, a reliable, easily sailable ship, and a stalwart passage-making nautical legend, that will take us to the ends of the world and back!  The only thing it was missing was a suitable name…

Long standing nautical tradition says it is bad luck to re-name a boat, but considering the previous name of our boat was pretty lame, we decided to temp the fates, scrape off the old one, and slap on a new, better, and far more catchy sobriquet.  Luckily we were not the first foolhardy sailors to become disenchanted with their vessel’s moniker, and as such, the tradition says that even though you shouldn’t rename your boat, if you have to, there is strict protocol to follow and an elaborate ceremony that must be performed- else the wrath of Neptune, Poseidon, and all the other gods of the winds and waves will fall on you with biblical furry.

Well, we didn’t want that to happen. So, almost before the ink of our signatures was dry on the purchase contract, we were thinking about where and how we were going to fulfill the requirements of the re-naming tradition.  Ours plans started off modestly at first: maybe a few friends, a bottle of champagne… but before we knew it, they had ballooned into an epic five day event, with baseball games, booze cruises, a pre-party, a pre-pre-party, an after-party, birthday cakes, gob hats, swords, cases and cases of champagne… and with as many invitations as were sent out for our wedding!

All in all, it was a smashing success (quite literally, considering the home run hit Kacey delivered to the bow of our boat with a fine bottle of bubbly).  And so it was, with that fateful swing, we officially christened our floating future:

A great big thanks goes out to all our family and friends that helped us celebrate this momentous occasion, all of whom travelled hundreds, if not thousands of miles to come stand on a crowded dock in the Baltimore harbor, on a hot day in May, and cheer us on as we welcomed the newest member into our little family (a family that is actually going to get a little bit bigger in a month or so, but that’s a story that can’t be told yet, and is actually why I needed to get on the ball and get this one posted and out of the way :) ).

So, as a warning, this is going to be something of a photo bombardment.  I have split it up into a few different posts: we’ll start with our night out at the Orioles game, and the pre-pre-party at Smaltimore’s great Beer Exchange.

I hope I have thanked you all personally, but just in case, a special thanks to all who sent me their pics of the weekend!

 

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Milano

Leaving Siena on the morning train, we were excited for our next destination, Milano.  It was a place that we initially had no intention of visiting, but found that the route of the iron rails we were tied to not only detoured to the city, but we would be required to change train stations as well to continue our journey north to the tranquil shores of Lago di Como, our ultimate goal.  More often than not, when confronted with an inconvenient road block such as this, we try to flip it round, and show it who’s boss, rather than the other way around.  Thus, we converted what would have been annoying layover into a deliberate 24-hour stay to give us a chance to see what this new and bustling city had to offer…

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

Milan, it turns out, is the second largest city in Italy.  And though it can’t compete with its big brother Rome when it comes to ancient ruins, grandiose monuments, or shear historical pertinence, it does do a fair job in entertaining the curious traveler with a day to kill- the massive cathedral is quite impressive; Leonardo De Vinci put his stamp on the city, most notably with the Last Supper; and for the consumers among us, the famous Galleria is a must see- shopping and fashion being Milan’s greatest attractions.  Though Jake and I’s better halves do love a good shopping spree, by some miracle we managed to keep them out of the stores, and most of our euros in our wallets- it might have been because the prices were as extravagant as the designer labels, or the fact that we were only three days into a month long vacation, but in the end we were all contented with some casual window shopping followed by a cold gelato to cap off our day.

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Siena, Part IV: All the Beautiful People

And here is a collection of photos of the protagonists in this little adventure.  As you might have noticed, I usually like to present our photos in chronological order, but due to the sheer number we ended up with from our time in Siena, and the repetitive nature of many of the subjects… I can’t tell you how many photos I took of that damn tower in the central plaza, from every angle, at every time of day, whenever I looked up it was practically begging me to snap the shutter! Thus, for this particular chapter of the story, I decided to group the photos by theme- the city, the pre-race, the race, and now the people- to help the photographic narrative run along a little more smoothly.

All the beautiful people

All the beautiful people

I know a few of us don’t think a picture is worth taking unless it has a familiar face in it, artistic intent be damned- so if that is you, than this post is for you!  Enjoy.

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