The Sunday Traveler~Italy Revisited, Part 2

The Sunday Traveler is looking back at travel memories of a trip taken to Northern Italy in 2002. Photos that have been sitting in an album on a shelf of my bookcase since then, are finally being transferred to my online albums.

The Sunday Traveler mentioned in last Sunday’s post that my early morning ritual began a few days in to the stay in Montecatini Terme; I would wake a little early to have time to walk in to the little town for a coffee and pastry before heading out with the group for the day’s tour. It was the perfect way to start the day for me.

An early morning to enjoy the community vibe, and sights around the main area of town.

A few early morning walkers. The cafe I frequented, Caffe Biondi, was all local business men at the bar for an espresso and morning chatter about the news. I would gather up my courage and sidle up to the bar to order my espresso and pastry, all the time listening and trying to pick up on words I could understand amongst the conversations going on around me.

Mornings cleared to sunny days as I walked back to the hotel, fueled up for the day on that espresso, and everything looked extra bright and beautiful; and a new friend was watching for me at the hotel

Ciao, until next week.

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Wordless Wednesday~A Sunset To Remember

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Monday Missive~Making the Cut

Making the cut.  The conclusions that can be drawn from the words, and the photo alone is one path the mind can take, but what I’m dwelling on here this morning is cutting out everything that isn’t important and letting it go. Specifically, stuff. Things. Sentimental perhaps, but in the long run, of what importance is that?  And I don’t mean the Marie Kondo way of getting rid of stuff. Don’t hold it too long to see if it sparks joy, just let it go. At times, one must. I’ve been helping the new significant other clean out his father’s house; about sixty years worth of accumulations stored in drawers, shelves, closets, sheds in the back yard, in the garage. And I dwell on it because I’ve done this so many times in  my life; my mother’s and father’s house when I moved them from Texas to California to be near me. My dad’s things when he passed away, my mother’s things from her small apartment when she passed away, my own things in down sizings over the years culminating in my most recent move by myself to the small apartment I currently reside in. Over time, cutting things out, letting go, became easier and easier. A sense of liberation! I know it can’t be that easy for everyone, I guess I’ve been blessed, enlightened in seeing the happiness that letting go brings, as if a weight has been lifted in knowing that I have fewer things to worry about, to take care of. And I guess I do go along with Marie Kondo in stressing the joy of having only those things around me that bring me joy, but not everything.

Keep your knives sharp.

 

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The Sunday Traveler Looks Back~Italy, Part 1

April, 2002. Hotel Manzoni in Montecatini Terme was the destination of the Sunday Traveler (before she had even thought of being a Sunday Traveler), well, not destination but the lodging for a little over a week while on a tour of a part of Northern Italy in the Tuscany area. It had been years since I had been in Europe, and I was all agog at everything in this little town, best known for its thermal waters and spas.

The tour guide got registrations started in this quaint hotel, and I was assigned to room 222; I had learned a little Italian before going, but didn’t know how to say two twenty two when I asked for my key, so I simply said two, two, two in Italian. Go figure why I didn’t learn this while I was there either. We all got our keys, went to put our luggage away, and returned to the lobby for a little wine and cheese reception. The hotel had checked my group of twelve Americans in as well as a group of Germans that had come in shortly before we arrived. It seemed a bit funny that as we came down stairs for wine we heard German polka music.

We were off to a fun start, why not? Our group of twelve made this home for the days we were in Italy and loved it there

The hotel did not have a spa then, but a nice little garden

The group would rise early every morning and have a light breakfast in the hotel, but after a couple of days I was feeling very brave and would walk in to the little town about five minutes away and go to a cafe and have an espresso and pastry on my own. The group would then get in our little private tour van and take off to surrounding areas for the day.

I hadn’t met any of the other people in the group before the trip, so it was interesting to learn about all the others amidst our days together; fun exploring with one or two others, or branching out on my own once I knew at what time I had to be back at the van for continuing on, or for our return to the hotel at the end of the day.

Ciao, and I will show you all a few photos of the little town of Montecatini Terme as it was in 2002 next week.  I must say I googled this hotel in putting this post together and saw pictures of Hotel Manzoni as it is today, and it has changed considerably; I’m glad I got to see it as an old hotel with character.

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Monday Missive~Missing it All

Grabbing strength and hope in memories of travel right now. Stronger in the last few days as we go on with no knowledge of when those of us with wanderlust can take off again on that jet plane; to places from the past that brought joy, slivers of happiness and hope for the future. To new places brought to our attention through the blogs here on WordPress, from travel photos on Instagram, from streaming movies, from books read, from dreams.  If anything, those freedoms taken from us will only return with more appreciation, not taken for granted ever again.

Lead photo taken in the Cathedral of Guadalajara, Mexico 2017

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The Sunday Traveler Looks Back

The Sunday Traveler is looking back; back to before I began to blog here. A Sunday morning epiphany, a dialogue with my friend in passing on the way to the computer this morning.

The Sunday traveler went on an adventure to Tuscany in 2002, a few months after 9/11, a scary venture at the time to get on a plane and travel so far away from the “safety” of home.

I have a photo album of hard copy photos I took, never put into my online photo files (and this was before cell phone photos). Well, I can’t think of a better time to do it, and to share them here. I shall see how this goes with a first few batches of photos I work on.

The Sunday Traveler may not be traveling now, but I can travel back in time through my photos. Fingers crossed. See you next Sunday. Stay safe.

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Words on Wednesday~The Missing Monday Missive

I hope this can help explain the missing missive, the missing everything because the muse has directed me to the kitchen of late.  Easter Sunday was no exception where I created a Quarantine Quiche. I’ve challenged myself to find ingredients on hand in need of finding a plate sometime soon. I had eggs in abundance (my finger got stuck on the + button on adding eggs to my online shopping order), I had leftover matzo from Passover, I had a bag of grated cheese, I had red onions, I had disposable pie pans. Voila, a quiche was born with a Matzo crust. Pretty good stuff if I do say so myself.

I’ve never been particularly interested in the kitchen, but now, in being home all the time, I, for whatever reason, have never had so much fun creating recipes, or just cooking old favorites; and I have a new significant other for whom to cook. *blushing*

My days seem to stay very busy and fly by. I hope you all are coping with the lockdown well. I have some days of bouts of anxiety, some days of complete blocking of all of this, though that is pretty hard, and some days of just being content. But one thing remains constant. Gratitude. Gratitude for everything in my world; family, friends, beautiful surroundings, food in my refrigerator and pantry, and the muse, who keeps my mind mystified sometimes at what she directs and leads me to. I think “me?” “are you talking to me?”.  And I look to see if there is someone behind me that she may be talking to.

I wish you all good health, and days filled with contentment and calm. Days of knowing that we will get through this. Together.

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The Sunday Traveler~An Easter in San Miguel de Allende

Easter week 2016 in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. A trip that will never be forgotten by the Sunday Traveler. A photo that pulls my mind back to a little town in central Mexico that dwells not so much on the material things, but on faith and family.

Easter blessings to all of you. Have faith, stay safe.

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Wordless Wednesday ~ Reflection

 

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Monday Missive ~ Pause

Seems like we didn’t listen, and were given a forced choice.  The busy, frenetic life so many were living has been brought pretty much to a halt; or drastically slowed down. The thing I’m seeing now is that the frenetic busyness has moved itself onto social media. I understand the need to connect as we isolate, to feel that others are having the same anxious feelings, to reach out for consolation, but it seems that it is also days filled with memes, Facebook games to find out what your name is based on what you last ate and color of your shirt, what friends will be in jail with you, and on it goes.

In talking to a friend this morning we wondered if, once we can get out of isolation, people will go right back to how they lived their lives before the pandemic.

I would like to think that maybe once this is over and we’re released from our quarantine, that we will live  in a different way, a richer life of kindness to all of the earth’s inhabitants, all living things, and value each other more; show more love to everyone. Live mindfully. We’re going to need to do that because it will be a very different world.

Hit the pause button, slow it down even more and visualize how a changed life for you will be in the future. And then practice the good parts any way you can, now.

Pause and share love any way you can, now.

 

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