An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Monday, May 31, 2010

If you read this, I am not here

Taking a little blogging break while vacationing in bella Italia. After much deliberation, I decided not to bring my laptop; instead, I will be chronicling our trip the good old fashioned way . . . by writing in a travel journal.

Besides, what's more romantic: finding an internet connection to blog, or sitting in a cafe while writing in a cute travel notebook purchased especially for this trip?

Ciao, ciao!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Promise is a Promise

Nonna: Boys, when we're in Italy I'm going to buy you all the gelato you want.

Boys: Really?

Nonna: Yes. Whenever you want a gelato, you come to me or Nonno.

Me and Joe: Does that include us?

Nonna: No, only the boys.

Well. The boys think this is funny.

Then, the promise is sealed with kisses. I hope Nonna and Nonno know what they're getting into because my boys have plans. . . there are a lot of piazzas, a lot of ice-cream stands, and a lot of flavors.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In Which I Start Getting Anxious

Next week we leave for Italy. We started planning this trip over a year ago (when we cashed in our frequent flyer miles) and, at the time, a year seemed like a long time away.

In the meantime, we organized. We reserved accommodations (a convent, a bed-and-breakfast, our relatives' rustico); we planned itineraries (Rome, Naples/Amalfi Coast, Verona); we wired deposits, secured a rental car, and exchanged lovely emails with the hosts of our B&B in Naples.

Two weeks ago I began packing. With a family of five, there's a special art to packing when limited laundry services will be available: three tops for every bottom, plenty of underwear/socks, an all-weather jacket per person, two pairs of shoes each (exception: me, I get four).

And now, here we are, just a few days away from cobble stoned streets, geraniums in terra cotta pots, vino rosso, gelato, and la dolce vita.

Now is also when I start feeling anxious, and this list only covers my top five anxieties.

*another episode of volcanic ash
*the air strike in France (we're flying Air France)
*that the stomach bug making its rounds will hit us on the eve of our trip
*for my mother-in-law who is battling pancreatic cancer
*that our passports will get stolen (this anxiety blossomed earlier this week when a house in our neighborhood was burglarized and among the items stolen were two American passports. Did you get that? Passports!)

So I am a smorgasbord of emotions: excited (we're really going!); hopeful (all the details are falling into place); anxious (passports? check. euro? check. rental car agreement? check.); and, above all, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, for all of these emotions are part of life . . . la dolce vita.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


An Alphabet for Life - by Renee Stewart

Acce​pt differences​
Be kind
Count your blessings
Express thanks
Give freely
Harm no one
Imagine more
Jettiso​n anger
Keep confidences​
Love truly
Master something
Nu​rture hope
Open your mind
Pack lightly
Quel​l rumors
Seek wisdom
Touch hearts
Value truth
Win graciously
Yea​rn for peace
Zealou​sly support a worthy cause.

(thanks, Lisa, for sharing)

Monday, May 10, 2010


Say not in grief 'he is no more'
but live in thankfulnes​s that he was.

~Hebrew proverb

Goodbye, Steve.

Friday, May 7, 2010

You Are Cordially Invited

Spring Formal hosted by Social, Inc. (a time-honored and well-loved tradition since 1937 in which young men and women learn social skills and the basics of the waltz, fox trot, boogie, shag, and other current dances)

Students in grades 7-12 in Augusta, Waynesboro, Greenville, Aiken

1st year gentlemen: white dess pants, navy blazer and tie
2nd year gentlemen: black tuxedo
3rd year gentlemen: tuxedo w/ white dinner jacket

Augusta Civic Center

The boys with their partners

The Grand March

Yes, this is the Civic Center . . . all these young men and women dancing in unison.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Suitcase

When we were planning our first family trip to Italy three years ago, my husband and I knew we would need a set of luggage. With a family of five (including a two-year-old) it was time to say goodbye to our college suitcases and duffle bags and invest in a sensible, sturdy set of luggage.

We did a lot of research and, believe it or not, our first priority (in addition to wheels . . . we definitely wanted luggage with wheels) was color because under no circumstance (said my husband, who travels regularly) would we buy black luggage.

So, we bought a light green set: one large, two medium and one small. We rolled that luggage through airports, stored them on trains, stuffed them in rental cars, and spotted them very easily on the baggage carousel among all the other black suitcases.

Next month we are going to Italy again, and I have been re-thinking our luggage situation. What I really wanted to do is not even bring the large one and instead purchase two smaller pieces so everyone can have their own.

But what to do with the large one? We only used it once and I was feeling a little guilty about not wanting it anymore.

Then I got a call from Sister. She is graduating May 15 and has received a scholarship to continue her studies in Texas for her master's degree in social work. I was so happy for her, and in discussing her graduation I asked if there was anything she needed. She was hesitant, but . . .

Guess, just guess, what she answered?

Yes, her small, tattered suitcase has finally fallen apart, and she had been praying for a large suitcase. One with wheels . . . one that has a working zipper . . . one that can carry all her belongings back to Tanzania next year.

One . . . just like ours.

Tomorrow I am sending her the suitcase . . . and I just know she is going to like the color.

May Feelings III

For the past two years J. A. Varela of Uruguay has shared two different videos celebrating the month of May which, in our faith, is traditionally known as the month of Mary (you can watch the past videos here and here). I was hoping there would be another video this year . . . and here it is. It's another good one. Muchas gracias!