Hello Family & Friends!

A Christmas note from Maryann and Marvin to let you know what we’ve been up to this year.

As most of you know it was a challenging year & a half with the passing of Maryann’s dad, both our mothers and then Woody, our sweet Golden. A huge heartfelt thank you to all of you for helping us through this…keeping us company and keeping us laughing. Indeed, the best medicine. Well, maybe wine being the absolute best medicine.

Merry Everything from Fort Worth

Our Move from Sonoma to Fort Worth

Our move to Texas was delayed until May because of some remodeling at the house, but overall was successful. The drive from Sonoma to Fort Worth took five days, as we took side trips to the Grand Canyon (Marvin’s first time) and Santa Fe.

We did have one unplanned adventure during the trip: In the middle of the Mojave Desert an auto accident ahead of us shut down the highway for several hours. Not wanting to just sit in our truck (Type A’s) we decided to bypass the miles long back up by taking an off-road detour through the sagebrush. Gorgeous scenery at dusk but a nerve-racking detour in the dark.

After the long trip we settled in quickly, and soon welcomed Jed who generously made the trip from Italy to hang out with us and get our artwork hung.

It is great to be Ft. Worth again and near friends like Tammy & Jay, closer to my brother, Mark, and reconnecting with old friends. I’ve struggled to get used to the heat & humidity. Marvin, the Cali boy, loves the heat though the humidity has been a challenge.

Marvin’s done wonders with the house and yard. Dad was mowing and edging the yard into his early 80’s so I know he’s looking down and loving how Marvin has shaped it up again. I’m sure Mom and Dad would be very happy with all the updates we’ve made inside the house, too. But more to come including remodeling the kitchen, master bathroom and installing an outdoor living room.

Off-road detour through the Mojave Desert

Off-road detour through the Mojave Desert

Wow!

A bit of home renovation before moving in

Italy – A Much Needed Vacation

Between sick pets and parents over the past few years, we hadn’t vacationed in several years, so we treated ourselves to a wonderful trip to Italy in October. We had an amazing time, thanks to Jed & Simone. I also decided “when in Rome” and started having my first cappuccinos ever. I had never developed a taste for coffee, but I felt like it was important to drink in all the atmosphere of Italy, not just the wine. I’m now a fan of a strong cappuccino!

We flew into Rome and rented a car (!) and I drove us to Abruzzo while Marvin navigated (I’m a terrible navigator!). We met up with Jed and then drove to San Leo Bastia where Jed’s first home is located.

Jed’s husband, Simone, met us there and we spent a few days wine tasting and working on the landscaping at the house. Well, Jed & Marvin worked on the landscape while Simone & I walked down to the coffee shop and plotted how to dog-nap Pinga, the café’s sweet boy.

Then the four of us, with four suitcases and a fragile Venetian chandelier crammed (literally!) into a small Peugeot station wagon and drove 5 hours to Treviso to their new home located in the city center. Their home is amazing!

We also spent time in Venice, Milan, Como (sadly, no sightings of George or Amal) and took a ferry across Lake Como to Bellagio. And, we ate and drank and ate and drank and topped it off with more food and wine. Thank God we walked so much otherwise we’d need double-wide seats coming home.

By the way, we had a case of Prosecco shipped to us from Valdobbiadene, the Prosecco region in Italy. Let us know when you want to come by to pop open a bottle…or two!

Maryann, Marvin, Simone, Jed in Venice

Our view from Jed & Simone’s hot tub in San Leo Bastia

Our view from Simone & Jed’s home in Treviso

Huck – Our best Christmas present

As most, if not all of you know by now, we’ve adopted a wonderful Golden Retriever we’ve renamed Huck. We got him Saturday, 11/23. He’s 4-5 years old and he’s a big, gentle boy. Big meaning, he needs to lose about 15-20 lbs. The poor guy had originally been abandoned at a dog park, and then moved to the Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas. We met him at our first “rescue meet & greet”. There were 14 dogs and 35 groups of hopeful adopters. Controlled chaos, I think they call it. Marvin and I, along with most of the dogs, were overwhelmed.

Huck initially went to another family with kids and an older Golden. Apparently, Huck wasn’t fond of their Golden, so they asked if we would take him. As you can imagine this has been confusing and traumatic for him, but he’s quickly getting comfortable being the center of attention in our home.

Merry Huckmas

Merry Huckmas!

Now as we enter the holidays, we’re excited to share them with friends and family. We’re hoping Kevin and Robert will come for a visit during Christmas. All 3 boys are still living in CA, but we’ll work on them to check out the possibilities in Texas. The economy is booming and housing still affordable, especially compared to CA, but I can see it changing quickly. Get in while the gettin’ is good!

Please know you’re welcome to visit anytime. The guestrooms and pool are ready and waiting.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
With Love,
Maryann, Marvin and Huck

A few more photos

Italy Bound

Maryann at Avignonesi Winery, Tuscany

Pinga with Marvin at the San Leo Bastia cafe

Maryann and BFF Jed at Ristorante La Cantina Di Spello

The bugs are freakishly bigger in Texas

Last moving pod from Sonoma to Fort Worth