April 18, 2014

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Conditions at Parkersburg, Mid Ohio Valley Regional Airport, WV
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Memories Only A Year Old

Was it really only a year ago when we were visiting Italy?

My mother called the other day, just to hear my voice.

She was looking at her calendar and noticed something.

She says it was exactly a year ago that we were taking our Holiday Vacations trip to Italy.  I had forgotten.

The trip, ironically, was positioned exactly with my wife's birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary also. So, how could I have forgotten when October rolled around again?

I've been thinking about that trip again recently.  I find that the thing that I most regret not doing, is buying a little watercolor of the Tuscan landscape from an artist set up outside the walled city of San Gimignano.

This was a colorful little stop that we had made between Florence and Rome, when we had to walk up the hill to the "fortress" perched atop a hill.  An artist had set up their easel and many of their various watercolor wrapped in Saran wrap along the street wall overlooking the vista.  I was tempted, but at $35 Euro, the price for one of these little paintings were almost $50 U.S. Dollars.

I decided not to spend my money on this, fearing it would be wrinkled and not make it home intact.

But now, I think about the trip, the view of Florence, the Juliet balcony in Verona, the canal of Venice, and our guides, and the walk around The David, and the time I got lost in Florence at night alone, and I wish I had something more than my 5-Euro tee-shirt of  the vitruvian man by leonard di vinci .  It didn't fit quite right at the time, but now it is an old comfortable friend on warm days of yard work.

Still, there's that spot on the bathroom wall that is just begging for a Tuscan watercolor. And so, I'm resolving that if I ever get back to Tuscany, I'm going to invest in one of these simple watercolor paintings.  No two are alike.  And I want one with a tall cedar tree around a farmhouse or something with several shades of green...that's what I recall most.   Looks like I'll have to plan a return trip, eh?

One of the other surprisingly good memories of that trip was the little lunch that we had in Manchua, a small cobblestone village that was letting out school about the time we wandered in for lunchtime.

We window shopped and came across a small family diner restaurant that advertised PIZZA and had a Coca-Cola sign.  Typical American tourists, several of us gravitated there.

Now I may have told you this before, but the language barrier didn't really pose that much of a problem.  Yes, they took VISA.  Yes, they served PIZZA, but it wasn't by the slice.  Yes, they could put mushrooms and ham on our personal pizza.  But ICE?   That was a really hard concept to get across.

But with a little pantomime and the few words we knew...(Gratis, Bella, Fungi, Portabella, Poruppi, denaro, aqua, freeze, calde) we were entirely satisfied.

Unfortunately, we had forgotten when others in our group came in to order a Pepperoni Pizza that the word for it is Salami, and so, they got RED PEPPERS on their pizza.  No matter, it was all good, fresh and home-made.

They make for such treasured memories!

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