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Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm Sailing!

Mario Martini, home from a two-year stay in Italy, called me Thursday. After a glorious catch-up session over ice cream sandwiches at Westwood's famous Diddy Riese, he said, "Luisa's home from Ohio. Our family's going sailing tomorrow."

Sailing. Ice cream sandwiches. Luisa. Does it get any better?

Quick recap of the Martini family:

Back in my youth pastoring days, Luisa and Mario Martini were in my youth group.

Their parents, Jim and Michelle, fed me on way too many occasions and even housed one of my boyfriends.

Jim, the dad
CURRENT REIGNING TITLES: Best barbecue chef I know
RIDICULOUS FACT: Insanely competitive. Will stay up until dawn playing Settlers of Catan with any taker. Actually he'll stay up playing any board game until dawn (or until he wins, which he will by finding some house rule he forgot to mention).

Here's a neighboring sailboat he insisted that we beat on our way out of the marina.
We did leave them in the dust, Jim was sure to point out.

WHICH MARTINI: Michele, the mom
CURRENT REIGNING TITLES: Artist extraordinaire! Michele's artwork was recently on display at the Glendale Library. She uses staples, zippers, and strings to raise the awareness of abuse. Here's her website if you want to see what the heck that looks like:
RIDICULOUS FACT: Michele is down to earth and tough as nails. When the kids take her on extreme adventures, she doesn't bat an eye.

WHICH MARTINI: Luisa, the daughter
CURRENT REIGNING TITLES: intramural racquetball champ at her school for the past two years; MVP quarterback for co-ed football league
RIDICULOUS FACT: Luisa, although she looks like she's 12, received her B.A. in Engineering and just finished her Masters at Franciscan University. She also recently nabbed her first boyfriend at the age of 23. And trust me, it wasn't lack of opportunity. Luisa is one of those girls: confident, gorgeous, and ready to take on the world. She was a crazy gymnast growing up, and good at every sport she attempted. Not even kidding. I took her surfing once, and she stood on her first wave. Talk about aggravating! She's a certified white water rafting guide; she also never stops giggling, which makes for quite an interesting rafting experience.

WHICH MARTINI: Mario, the son
CURRENT REIGNING TITLES: B.A. in viticulture and enology (aka wine making); Ski Patrol stud at Sierra Summit
RIDICULOUS FACT: In college, Mario would always examine every class syllabus and find out the least amount of work he could do to pull a passing grade, and never do one assignment more that that. I suppose that's brilliance in a way.

Here's Gerard, the cousin. He told me the sweet story of his grandmother on a recent visit to the hospital. Grandpa was having problems with the wheelchair so he went back up the elevator to get a replacement. A nice lady offered to stay with his grandma so she wouldn't wait alone. Grandma kept looking at the lady thinking she was a family friend. She had such a familiar face. Finally she asked the lady, "What is your first name?"
The lady said, "Maria."
Grandma thought that would ring a bell of some family friend, but it didn't. "What is your last name?"
The lady told her, but Grandma just shook her head. They continued to talk and Grandma still couldn't place it.
Later that evening she asked the family, "Do we know someone named Maria Shriver?"

Well, onto sailing.

There’s a bit of basic terminology that every non-sailor should know so that if you ever go sailing with friends and they point out dolphins on the port side, you’re not searching the side of the boat where you left your wine.

Things that you might not know if you’ve never been sailing:

A sailboat moves because wind fills its sails and pushes it from behind (Okay, hopefully you know that much). But what if you’re going against the wind? Then how do you move?

It’s called “tacking”, and it’s a fancy way to say, “Let’s zigzag so we can keep filling the sails.”

Here are two videos that demonstrate "tacking".

Here’s a simple diagram of a boat, and four words to memorize today:

Ready for the advanced lesson? If you’d like to share with your spouses that while they were away at work paying your mortgage, you were diligently mastering all the parts of the sailboat, here’s a couple of quizzes to hone your helmsman skills.

We sailed from Marina Del Rey down to Redondo and back. Mostly Luisa and I let everyone do all the work while we had a starboard photo session,

but I did jump in and steer the boat for a while, which is quite a rush.

The Marina was gorgeous.

We said hello to our barking friends.

Sometimes it looks so good, you just want to give Him a little pat on the back.
Good job, God!

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