Thursday, July 12, 2007

Italian Adventure

My darling hubby and I had a 16 day trip to Italy, from June 14th-June 30th. It was so amazing! I'm having a horrible time getting back into the swing of things at home. For 16 amazing days, I didn't read a newspaper or watch tv. For 16 days, I had no anxiety about anything and probably for the first time in my life, I was living in the moment. Soaking up life and the experience of really living!

The Italians have the right idea. La Dolce Vita-The Sweet Life. We got to Rome the day before our tour started. We were out of our hotel by 6:30 am the next morning and took a walk around Rome. Because we were out so early, there were very few people around and we got great pictures everywhere we went. It really struck me how when we talk about seeing something old in the United States, we are talking about something about 200 years old. I walked in places in Italy that were dated back to the 4th or 5th century B.C. On that early morning walk, we came to the Piazza Del Popolo, just a few blocks from our hotel. It's a huge square with a fountain and beautiful statues on each of the opposite sides and beautiful churches on the other sides. There is an obelisk in the center. It was an awesome sight. We continued our walk and came to the Piazza de Spagna and the Spanish Steps. The sun was just rising above the church at the top of the steps and was casting a golden glow over everything. We continued on with me asking my DH if we were lost, when we turned a corner and there was the Trevi Fountain. This magnificient, huge, beautiful fountain is in a small square that really surprised us. I expected it to be in a place as big as the Piazza Del Popolo. DH took a picture of me throwing a coin in the fountain to insure my return to Rome. We kept walking and found the Pantheon. I'm really glad we did, because we got to go inside and look around at this beautiful ancient temple that survived because the Catholic church took it over. (I'm also glad we found it because the next day on our tour, we were taken to it in the early evening and it had already closed for the day, so we were the only ones on the tour that got to see the inside.) After visiting the Pantheon, we continued on to the Piazza Navona. What a beautiful place! The only regret we had was that the Fountain of the Four Rivers had scaffolding all the way around it and we couldn't see it except to look through little windows. There was a lot of that in Rome and some of the other places we visited because there is always restoration going on. By that time, we had been walking for six hours, so we made our way back to our hotel by way of Castel St. Angelo and the Bridge of the Angels. I can't believe we did so much in one morning. When we met our tour that evening we went to dinner at the Gladiator restauranta across the street from the Coloseum. We sat at tables in front of the restaurant looking at the beautifully lit Coloseum and listening to opera singers that were entertaining us as we ate and drank great wine! After dinner we had a tour of a lot of the major spots in Rome that were illuminated for night viewing. That was just the first day! I'll try to post more here on this trip but I don't want to bore anyone.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I'm so glad to be a Woman of a Certain Age...

because I know who Frankie Valli is! This past weekend, darling hubby and I went to San Francisco for the day to celebrate our birthdays. We hung out in Union Square and did some shopping. Williams-Sonoma could be my favorite store of all time. We ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. It wasn't very good food except for the "to die for" Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. Yum! We had dinner at what my darling daughter in Tennesee would call a meat and three, Lefty O'Douls. Lefty was a ballplayer and coach. It's basically a sports bar and the food is served cafeteria style. Basic but good.

Anyway to get back to Franki Valli. After dinner we went to the Curran Theater to see "Jersey Boys", the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. They were my favorite group when I was a teenager. It was an amazing play and if you ever get a chance to see it, do it! I would go again. Their music is just so good and the guys playing the Four Seasons, really did a fantastic job.