71 Days

What I did during my summer vacation…

Archive for the category “vacation”

Tiny wonderful moments

I will continue to add to this, but in the midst of this giant trip, I am truly enjoying these tiny, wonderful moments wash over me:

Katie’s head on my shoulder when we took off to Milan.

Sitting 3-across with Jeff, Katie and me 

Breakfast with Katie and her Nutella-drenched  croissant

Jeff brings me a bottle of water (many times.)

A group of Bologna region chorus (of 50 plus year-old singers) who cheered like crazy for our “Bella,” singers today at their performance in Chianti Greve Music Festival. Such nice people! 



We’ve been looking forward to this trip to Italy for little over a year, and our friends and family are almost as excited for it as we are. Some special Grazies for them…..

Danny, my favorite cousin in New Jersey works for a fantastic publisher and has shared his bounty of Italian language and travel guides over the past year. We’ve amassed quite a nice collection of Italia books. OOPS update – lost my phrase book in Venice. Kind of excited that some other traveler will learn some phrases from it.

Carol, my book club buddy who took a fantastic trip last year to Australia and let us borrow from her collection of travel-tested (and ginormous) bags.

Jake, my most favorite son, who is not joining us on this trip (but has another European trip planned in August). He is staying home taking care of our small pack of dogs who are medium to high maintenance. He’s also working at the dock for my parents and filling in for Jeff in the technology troubleshooting department. Without him, I’m not sure how we could do this.

My parents who will be managing the dock on their own for the next 10 days. Jeff has taken time off before, but was always a phone call or a few miles away. This was a leap of faith for them and it helps to work for two people who love you — makes it so much harder to say no. 

And finally Linda..How can I ever thank her enough? Much of this fantasy trip was paid for by this dear woman, friend, grandma and mom and I am still shocked and a little teary-eyed when I remember the phone call. Last year, Jeff, Katie and I went to a meeting at school about a performance trip (rumors were Italy or somewhere else in Europe.) When photos of my dream city, Venice, were shown on the smartboard, I was really excited. Oh, and by the way, the chorus will perform at the VATICAN. I was vibrating with anticipation. And then bang! crash! the price information came up and I replaced my selfish, personal excitement with some nice motherly excitement for Katie and determination that we’d add the Italy payment to our budget for the next year, but there was no way to pay for two trips.

So back to the phone call. I called Linda and told her all about the trip, this great opportunity, etc. Linda asked if Jeff and I were going. I told her that we’d start making payments but it would just be Katie. And she said, “Oh, you’re going.” I really felt all of the blood leave my body, started crying and grinning (an odd combination I know) and told Linda I’d call her back. She didn’t come to her senses and we met for Chinese food the next week, and started making 3 payments — but mostly Linda did. And that is the end of how we got to go to Italy, or rather the beginning of this adventure.

That was about a year ago, and I’m still amazed at her generosity. We are so truly blessed and I hope and pray that I’ve expressed that to her enough. 

I hope all of my friends and family feel well-thanked when I make them look at the zillions of photographs and tell them all about it over the next decade!

Day 37: Four Days in Philly…packed in a purse

While I wait on my boarding for a fun trip to Philadelphia with my sister-in-law Karen, I wanted to share my stupendous packing adventure. Pictured below you’ll see how I packed two pairs of pants, four tops, undies, extra shoes, makeup, iPad, glasses (two pairs) plus some stunning accessories if I do say so myself. All of this I packed in my $7 good will Sac purse that I have loved despite mom’s recurring question, “Why do you have such a big purse?” Because mom, it was seven bucks, but now, even better, I am saving $50 in carry on bag fees with my wonderful feed sack purse! Using Pinterest power, I searched for packing tips, finding a way to roll all and rubber band. Bonus: if things have to be searched, I can just dump out my clothing tootsie rolls. I also used ziploc bags for the small stuff, put my coconut oil moisturizer in an old lip gloss pot and my favorite-sunglasses in a bottle koosie. May need to drink a Pepsi at the airport! Since I started writing this, we’ve taken off. I’m seated over the wing where I am happy to report, there is no twilight zoned weirdo – much to my relief. On to Philly with an extra 50 bucks in my pocket!

Day 9: Flower Power

I enjoyed a great (hot) walk today through McClellanville and thought a flower photo montage would be a lovely addition to my blog this summer. Since today is June 16th I decided to have 16 flowers, which I thought might be a challenge – of course I found way more than that.

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
Georgia O’Keeffe

















Day 1 of summer fun!

My 3rd year of summer blogging begins today…..

Yesterday morning I was at my school (for a great end-of-year lunch) and today, I’m in super sunny Florida already sunburnt! We are in Cedar Key, home base for all things clam farming where we are picking up clam bags, visiting with another farmer and going on a clam research boat ride and also having some rest and recharge time.

Thank you to friends who have asked if I’d be blogging again. I’m very flattered that my nearly dozens of blogging fans are asking for more! Now I know how Taylor Swift feels.



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