Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Apartment: Day 1

This past weekend I moved into my apartment in Grottaglie.  It's really nice to be out of the hotels  I was able to retrieve from storage things that I had shipped from Japan too. First things first, the landlord left me 5 bottles of premium local wine but ironically not a corkscrew.  So, one of the first things I did was walk a few blocks to the local grocery store and pick up a bottle opener.
 The apartment was furnished but when I decided to live the interior was not installed (apartment was gutted).  When I showed up to pick up the keys, it was the first time I was seeing the inside.  I'm really happy with how it was furnished, I asked for modern and the landlord delivered.
 Living room has a nice TV, dining table and some shelfs.  Like Japan, I ended up not getting cable but was able to hook up an Apple TV.
 Shower is nice.
This is the washing machine.  It took me a hour to figure out I needed to turn on the water supply for the washer to work.  I thought I was just pushing the wrong buttons but it turns out nothing happens without a water. Take note, no dryer.
This is the staircase to the second floor.
 The second floor has another living area with couch, fridge and sink.
The ironing board is also up here.... But I wont be using that very much.
 The roof top is awesome, a huge space, perfect for a BBQ party.  Right now it's actually too hot to hang out up here.  But I thinking this fall will be BBQ time.
 The dryer is outside on a balcony outside my bedroom. I guess Italians feel it's more safe for it to be out here.  The dryer does not have a drain, it just collects water in a bucket.   I need to get a plant to pour the water into.  Since it is so hot outside, I'm just air drying my clothes right now.
 From the roof, I also have a nice view of the sunset.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flying Over Seattle

I had the opperunity to fly over Seattle this past week in a Cessna 172.  Pilot requested a scenic pass over the city from West Point, over the stadiums and on to Mercer Island before turning south to Renton.  Tower approved.
 Always looking for traffic.
A Washington State ferry heading towards the Colman Docks in Downtown Seattle.
 Looking south towards Harbor Island and the inlet to the Duwamish Waterway.
 Downtown Seattle
 It was weird, it was one of the limited number of beautiful days in Seattle but there was not much air traffic around downtown Seattle.

 Over the stadiums looking north towards the Space Needle.
 Car traffic on I-5 was not bad... But I-90 leading into the city was a total mess.
Trying to keep the plane below that 1800 foot celling of Sea-tac airspace around Seattle.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Martina Franca, Italy

Martina Franca or MF is a town not far from Taranto and somewhere I thought about living until I decided to stay in Grottaglie. I think this is the second largest town in the area after Taranto.
 Like most towns in Southern Italy, it comes alive at night, everyone is walking around enjoying food, shipping and life. MF main church is beautiful, being as large as it is,it's difficult to take a photo with all the other buildings around it.
People in transit.
 Another recommended wine.  Primitivo is a grape native to Puglia, it's the best grape, but you can also find it from California under the 'code name' Zinfandel.
 People walking around, daily.  1pm, this plaza is empty and every store front is closed but a few hours later it's very busy.
Later in the evening things quiet down, everyone heads home.