29 October 2012

How a Woman Living in Italy Lands in the Storm of the Century in the States

It was just a two week vacation with my Honey to see family and friends in the states ending with my niece's wedding in Ohio. Our departure date, though, coincided with hurricane Sandy, which morphed into superstorm Sandy, smashing the east coast, including our port of exit, Boston. Which means that I'm writing this from an airport hotel in Columbus, Ohio after our flights were cancelled and rescheduled for two days from now providing Boston's Logan Airport is up and running by then. Our flights were among about 11,000 flights that were cancelled. Do you know how many other travelers were attempting to change to alternate routes to miss the 1,000 mile wide storm? Too many, as it turns out.

All other family members made it out (most driving) so I have a stretch of two days to catch up with all the things I've neglected while devoting myself whole- heartedly to visiting. I want to figure out a way to blog and travel/visit at the same time. I miss my blogosphere friends when I'm gone. The TV coverage of the storm is enough to scare the wits out of any watcher that has family or friends in harm's way. Columbus is on the outer edge of this massive storm and still we have rain, cold, winds and emergency contingencies at the ready, but it's the population dense east coast that is feeling the brunt of it. Heart- felt prayers to them.

My Honey started with a cold last night and felt it full- fledged today so he's in bed and I'm out doing email, facebook, blogging, reading, organizing my vacation photos and using the fitness center since I can't go outdoors. With no distractions, it's rather enjoyable. Another advantage of retirement- the ability to roll with what is. I've even played Words-With-Friends real time with my daughter and a friend, got myself caught up with DragonVale as well and made myself some new (young) friends along the way to share DV gems and strategies with. What a fun game with ever- evolving features to keep loyalists like me happy.

Fall in New England, celebrating my father's 96th birthday, seeing friends from where I used to live in Maine, touching base and catching up with old, dear friends, conducting our 9th annual gathering of the women in my family, alone time (four days!) for the first time in ten years to talk with my daughter, and attending my youngest brother's youngest daughter's wedding stand as high points of the trip up to this latest experience of nature's power shared by many millions of my Country people. It's been a rich vacation.

01 October 2012

The Luncheon

I went to a luncheon given by my friends Marcello and Roberto with my Honey and our next door neighbors and first friends in Italy, Emily and Enzo. I share two photos so you can smile as we did, be delighted as we were.  Roberto fashioned ladybugs from cherry tomatoes and olive pieces for the appetizer course and dolphins from bananas and grapes for the fruit course; our appetites were sparked by the symmetrical beauty of the food and our surprised delight at a friend's efforts on our behalf.

It gives you a sense of why I love living here. Imagine this thoughtful, delightful, creative touch to a simple luncheon with friends? Add in the conversation, the day temperate enough to be enjoyed outdoors and the sheer good will of building relationships across language and cultural boundaries and it defines more than anything else "la dolce vita" for me. Sweet indeed.