A Travellerspoint blog

Journey's End

What an amazing ride!

I'm tearful entering in my last blog. Sharing this trip with all of you made it much more meaningful and I both enjoyed composing my thoughts and getting all of your sweet and funny comments. Arriving at the SeaTac airport just feels like coming home and though I'm reluctant to leave my adventure behind me, I am grateful to have such wonderful people and pets to come home to. Monica brought Han, Leia and Reba to the airport to greet me. They had quite the vacation at Friendly Grove Luxury Resort for Pampered Pets. Han had his 6th Birthday party there with all his canine pals. Lisa and the girls went all out! Loki was not his usual standoffish self when I come back from vacation. 3 weeks without me made him quite the cuddlebug. But that only lasted about 24 hrs.

I still sometimes slip into my pathetic broken Italian when chatting with people. I miss hearing that lavishly smooth language all around me, even if I don't understand most of it. And, I cannot get back on Pacific time. I've been rousing between 1 and 3 AM hungry and trying to remember what town I'm in. Then Leia kicks me and I recall my cozy present. Monica seems happy with the new AM Cherish, though a bit baffled. Yesterday, I had breakfast, coffee and lunches for both of us made before 5 AM. Thanks for all your thoughts!!

I will be posting my pics on snapfish and I will post the link as soon as I get them al up!

Weight gain: 0

Weight loss: 5 lbs, seriously, despite my enthusiasm for wandering, I ate such a tremendous amount of pasta and bread. I just don't see how this is possible, but I'll take it.

Things I miss about Italy:

"Ciao Bella"

Frizzante (sparkling water) at every meal

Wine, wine everywhere

The way r's roll off my tongue so naturally when I hear it all around me

"Ciao Bella"

La dolce vita

fabulous mushrooms

Sunshine almost everyday

The character and history of almost every building I go into

"Ciao Bella"

Eating outside

Cobblestone streets

Going everywhere on foot

Christmas season that does not smack you in the face around every corner with ads, music and decorations. It was very mute compared to our commercial holiday.

Did I mention "Ciao Bella"

Things I am happy to be home for (other than the obvious Han, Leia, Loki, friends/family):

Soy milk

Normal toilet seats

My iPhone - though I did surprisingly well and only had one relapse back in Padua when a man on the bus had my same text message bing. I almost took him out just to touch his phone. You guys probably won't believe this, but I am conflicted on getting it back, it has been very liberating.

My comfy princess bed

FaceTime with Josh and my favorite Italian, Sarah


Washer/dryer- can ya believe I did my laundry by hand, I usually struggle just getting it in and out of the dryer.

Wednesday Italian night

Unlimited wifi

A fresh outlook

Arrivederci Italy Blog buddies! Cherish-a

Posted by cherishthelove 04:59 Comments (2)

Farewell Italia

Stuck at Paris airport, won't be home until 10ish tonight.  :( so...

The head sister was up early with me today at 5am.  We had a heartfelt farewell and as the taxi drove away from the convent, she stood in the arched doorway waving until we turned the corner.  I'm so glad I took a chance on the convent, one of my most treasured memories in Rome.  No worries though, I have no aspirations to become a nun.  Like they'd have me anyway...

I opened one of my last Bacci balls and it read:  "Take heart! Someone is expecting you."  Seriously, is someone planting these fortunes for me?  

My last foodgasm in Rome was my favorite veggie pizza to date:  eggplant, fresh peas, corn, olives, onions, tomato sauce (no cheese) and topped with fresh arugula after it came out of the oven.  Mmmmmm....  I am hesitant to get on the scale when I get home because I have eaten more pasta, pizza and bread on this trip than my prior 35 years combined I think.  However, I have taken so, so many steps and climbed more stairs than I can count.  Hopefully I at least broke even on that score.  I will give you the final stats...

Some of my favorite quotes from Italians I met:

Cab driver in Rome when I asked where he was from: "This is-a my only city"

Manager at vegan restaurant in Rome: "Bella, this is your house."

Waiter in Rome when asked how he ended up here from southern Italy: " I came here for, how you say, love-a"     That one just melted my heart

Random man on the street in Florence: "Ciao Bella, I love-a you, come with-a me"

Older Caprician man when I asked if he has travelled away from the island: "No! Bella, who would-a watch my dogs"

Hotel owner in Verona: "Make-a me happy, take your-a coat"

Kitty perched on a bench of the Pompeii theatre: "mmeeeeeoooooowwwww", repeat.  I almost brought him home

Winery owner Cecilia, Tuscany: "In order for wine to be good, you must have the right food, the right temperature and the right mood."

Hot guy at a gellateria in Verona responding to my request for directions in Italian. "ha! Bella, just talk English to me."

Sweet chef in Rome when asked if she could accommodate a vegan: "No capesco. Vegano?"

The wise Donnatto: "If you do not travel it is like reading only the first page of a book."

Travel lessons:

TRY to speak the language even if you are remedial like me, the locals will like you better and sometimes it makes them laugh....alot. And, it helps to talk with your hands.  

Even little old men will try to steal your bag if you are not on guard...I found this lesson too humiliating for a blog entry but I still have my bag

Sit next to the priest on the train.

Don't be in a rush, Italians take forever to do just about everything except shoot their morning espresso.   

There is no such thing as free wifi in Europe. What!?!?!

Space your time between relaxation and site seeing, it is possible to see too many museums in one day.  

  1. 1 lesson ever- No matter how you are feeling, or how truly lost you may be, hold your head high, and walk with purpose and confidence wherever you are going even if you don't have a clue where that is.

Blue bouncy dot and my babies only a few plane rides away, whoo, hooo!!!

Posted by cherishthelove 00:23 Comments (2)

The Men of Italy Part 4

The Demi Gods of Capri

My picture taking skills were not at their height due to my excess drooling...
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Posted by cherishthelove 08:01 Comments (0)

Heaven on Earth - Capri

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Posted by cherishthelove 07:56 Comments (0)

I Love Roma

I said goodbye to Sorrento in the dark hours of the morning, 6 am to be exact.  I left the hotel about 10 to 6 flying down the street dragging two bags, my hair uncombed and the scarf my roommate sent with me flittering in the wind behind me as I rushed to the bus. (not an uncommon sight for my co-worker Paula who sees me in this rushed state often at 730 AM)   "Please don't leave me!  I don't want to go back to the Naples train station!"  This is the only bus to Rome from Sorrento and though I would have liked to spend part of my day here, I'm not willing to get on the train again.  I made it at 558, an 8 min walk/run that my good friend Rick says takes 15.  Go me!  Well, I will always go back to Sorrento when the scent of lemons hits my nose.

When I arrived at the convent after an hair raising taxi ride across Rome, I was greeted by several sisters who spoke zero English.  It has forced me to speak and try to hear Italian.  All the women who work here are nuns, even the house keepers.  They all talk my ear off in Italian and I catch bits and pieces, hoping that what they are saying is not hugely important.  I did catch the curfew which was repeated several times and they wanted to know what churches I was going to see.  Alrighty then, churches is the theme for today.  Well church, cappaccino, Christmas shopping, church, wine, church.  They will be pleased and I have dressed in my most goody too shoes outfit - black travel skirt below the knees, black tights and shoes, long sleeved gray top with zero cleavage and a scarf.  They might ask me to stay.  We won't tell them I was in the rated xxx portion of the Pompeii museum yesterday. In all seriousness, they are incredibly welcoming and this has been my favorite hotel in Italy. I mean, it's in an old church, so it's covered in marble and has the most lovely terrace on the roof.  The nuns are delightful! And, my hair did not spontaneously combust upon arrival.  Shocker!

As I write this I am having my last afternoon prosseco on a patio cafe here in Rome next to the Trevi Fountain.  I stopped by and only threw in 1/2 a euro so I think Rome will allow me out this time.  I'm under an awning today because my final day in Rome has been drenched in rain.  A fitting sad goodbye and good prep for my return to Olympia.  It did not effect my sight seeing though, I am a Pacific Northwersterner after all.  

I woke up this morning early to see the sun coming up drenched in grayness behind all the beautiful Capitoline monuments from my convent terrace.  I did not linger though because I was on a mission to see several sights I had not hit yet.   I put my scarf over my hair and tied it round my neck and felt very sisterish as I trekked out in the rain.  I meandered around the Baths of Diocletian, perused the National Museum of Rome and stood at the base of the Holy Stairs watching the pilgrims climb to the top on their knees.  All of this before lunch and then an eire tour of the Cappucian Crypt (you xray girls are gonna love the pics from there) and the grand finale at the Castle of Sant Angelo that from the top gives you a 360 view of Rome. Sigh.... 

 Being back in Rome feels like going back to kindergarten after an afternoon in Naples and I have expertly crisscrossed all over Rome on the subway and BUS the past two days.  Can you believe it?  I will be so sad to leave Italy tomorrow because I have loved every minute of this adventure and everything about Italy. I have been giddy all day thinking about seeing my babies, um, oh yeah my wonderful friends too!  Y'all just don't cuddle as good as them.  ;) big shutout to Lisa at Friendly Grove for pampering my poochies and my roomy Monica for helping Loki through his depression.  

Travel lessons and poochie reunion still to come...

Ciao, Cherish

Bacci ball wisdom: Make sure you dreams do not remain dreams - How perfect is that?

VEGAN Foodgasms (yes multiple, this might get graphic, stop here if you are easily offended):
Lightly toasted polenta with pesto and pine nuts
Layered salad- artichokes, arugula, pears, arugula, artichokes drissled with olive oil and sprinkled with pomegranate
Tomato and soya ragu tossed with spiral pasta
Setian filet grilled to perfect texture and topped with orange zest
Dark chocolate cake drizzled with more dark chocolate and pomegranate
(the courses are all very small portions, but I'm still stuffed)

Posted by cherishthelove 07:31 Comments (2)

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