Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meeting Bertie's Gail

We've been great fans of Bouncing Bertie's blog for years, and we were thrilled to meet Bertie's mom, Gail, as she came cycling through the Jura area of southeastern France with a group of friends from London. For logistical reasons, dear Bertie couldn't tag along.

We met up in Pontarlier, France, where we had a lovely dinner with Gail and her friends.

I gave ample evidence of my immediate affection for Gail. Did you know I recently became Bertie's doggy godmother?

Unfortunately, the shortbread Gail brought for me was immediately confiscated by my parents who claimed it would affect my diet and rapidly proceeded to let it affect theirs. Sometimes all you can do is look away. (With all the baguettes and chocolate croissants Mom was eating in France, you'd think she could share Scottish shortbread, but no.)

Gail cycled with Dachshund Daddy from Pontarlier to the town of Mouthe, France while Mom and I drove over in the Dogship to welcome them. Can you believe it was Mom's second time ever driving in Europe?! The first time had been in 2006, when she drove a couple of miles in the Black Forest of Germany.

In the evening, I shared my travel advice to help Gail and Dachshund Daddy plot a special route into Switzerland.

The next day, Dachshund Daddy and Gail negotiated the crossing of the Franco-Swiss border, which was patrolled by a couple of gorgeous Alaskan Malamutes.

Back in Mouthe, Mom used her new driving skills to go to the Boulangerie for more croissants, a piece of chocolate cake, two quiches, and Easter tarts. (Question: Do you think she shared any of it with me?)

Meanwhile, on the Swiss leg of her bicycle journey, Gail treated Dachshund Daddy to a yummy lunch before she continued on toward Geneva.

Dear Gail, we loved spending time with you! Please tell Bertie we were sorry to miss him, and we hope to meet him in person soon. Please give our regards to His Bouncingness!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lake Orta and How To Extend Your Earthly Existence

I recently traveled on the Lake Orta ferry to the island of San Giulio with a local resident, who was puzzled by Mom's barking bag.

Nestled in the foothills of the Piedmontese Alps of northwestern Italy, Lake Orta is a great destination for the savvy (sausage) traveler.

Back in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche visited Lake Orta with Lou Andreas-Salomé, with whom he was in love. (Her mom came with them.) 12 years later, she wrote a book about him.

One of Mom's favorite contemporary American authors, Lance Olsen, wrote a book called Nietzsche's Kisses, which focuses on Nietzsche's "last mad night on earth" and touches on their brief love affair.

We spent several hours on the tiny island of San Giulio, home to seventy cloistered nuns.

There are signs for meditative walkies.

San Giulio Island is the setting of Gianni Rodari's delightful novella Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto, the story of a billionaire whose lifespan is extended by hiring people to repeat his name over and over and over.

I wonder whether that same trick would work for me. I'm still a puppy at heart, but lately people tend to notice the silver strands on my forehead. Well… why not give it a try?

Please repeat after me: Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie, Tootsie...

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Squiwwel from Budapest

Born in North Carolina and raised in New York City, Asta is my wirehair fox terrier fur friend and fellow American expat based in Budapest, Hungary. While in Budapest for a conference, Dachshund Daddy was lucky enough to meet her.

Asta writes a fabulous blog, Asta's World, where she replaces her "r's" with "w's": she wwites like I talk!

DD enjoyed a fun-packed afternoon of sightseeing and a lovely evening of fine dining with Asta and her wonderful parents.

Asta sent me a special present, which Dachshund Daddy brought home from Budapest. I had to look away, because the anticipation was too great.

A squirrel!

Asta gave me a munchy squirrel. A squiwwel!

Dear Asta, thank you so much for this special squirrel. I can't stop munching it.

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