Sometimes happiness can be found in simplicity. Like a fireplace and a cat purring beside you.
I could stop here and I think many of you would be like me, imagining rolling hills, vineyards, Mountains and Turquoise waters. Today, as you can tell, my thoughts are taking me on a different route. A refreshingly more “upbeat” post I’m sure. This is my reflection of a huge three week portion of our summer – our trip to Switzerland, France and Italy. We spent most of our time in Italy, so this is where I’ll focus!
I’m a self-proclaimed foodie. This is my Mecca.
The word “Italy” alone has sparked a million magical daydreams for my tastebuds of what it would be like to visit. This euphoric world is home to almost every single one of my favorite foods. Wine, Pasta, Gelato, Risotto and oh my GOD – the cheese! Two of my favorite and most versatile cheeses attribute their heritage to
Eataly Italy– Mozzarella and Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano (never settle for the canned stuff).
It was glorious.
Italy floored me. It was a passionate affair that swept me up in waves of foodie glory and overwhelming views. My fiancé and I joked that we would take pictures of the most beautiful views we’ve ever seen – and then turn around and see a better one. At first I hiked so I could eat what I wanted. I ended up hiking because I fell in love with Italy’s natural surroundings.
Italy helped me create a simple mathematical equation to my happiness..
Great food/wine + Art + Hiking = 🙂
Add hang outs with family, friends & of course a furkid (or 5) and I’m over the moon happy. Simplicity can be marvelous.
We starting out in Zurich Switzerland, and drove to Northern Italy- Bormio to be exact. The natural beauty of the Mountains, combined with glacier lakes and abundant farmland were, to put it bluntly – Amazeballs.
My partner wanted to bike Italy. Nope, not the type that Jax Teller rides. This is the old fashioned two peddled kind. He’s a Sexy Spandex Superstar, what can I say.
We ate, hiked, biked and train hopped our way down Italy, and a portion of France. This post could be ten thousand pages long as I ramble about all the amazing encounters. For time sake, however I’ll edit myself.
If you ever get chance to live, or even visit any part of Italy, you’ll understand. I don’t believe there’s any other place like it in the world. Take advantage of the local markets and farms (Stay away from the few Big box stores – you won’t be sorry!), interact with the friendly people, and absorb their importance of family. Take in the culture, the ART, the Architecture, the HISTORY, the Mountains, the Ocean, the food that just surrounds you as soon as you enter the Country.
Eataly, Bike Italy, Hike Italy, do whatever you like when you’re there – If you’re able to – Just go! Although, I will not be held accountable to your loved ones if you choose not to come back.
As a visual person, I’ll tell our story through photos. (Disclaimer – if you don’t like pictures of beautiful views, food or potentially men in Spandex – stop here).
My “Italian” advice, if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
– Eat like the locals, ask them for recommendations
– Walk around. Buses, Trains and Planes are great. Although, sometimes it’s better to walk the lay of the land. I always think of these as adventures. A bonus, you’ll walk off all the amazing food you will eat.
– Don’t go to Rome in July. Lesson learned. HOLY HOT!
– Do not EVER diet in Italy or France, It’s cruel and intolerable punishment.
– Learn the History pertaining to wherever you are. It means much more when you learn about who’s been where you have, and what has gone down. Respect. Italy, Switzerland and France have some pretty crazy history lessons.
– Bring patience to Rome. If you’re going to go down the path of touristy destinations (Especially Rome), visit in early morning and late evening. The exception to this is the Sistine Chapel and the Trevi Fountain – it always be nutso busy whether it’s 4 am or 4 pm!
– Talk to people, you never know who you’re going to meet. This will be my segway to post # 2 – Eataly coming at ya soon.
– Eat Gelato at La Romana in Rome. It’s Gelato I would literally leave my dignity at the door and beg for.
– Lastly, ENJOY. Do not have an agenda for every single day.
Don’t rush. Take a lesson from the Italians – plus it’ll go by all too quickly as it is.
Good morning friends,
I’m sorry for the DELAY! Ask all my loved ones, I’m notoriously late for everything in life. I think I even disclose this on my bio, ironically written after my first few posts went up 😉
So much has happened in the last two months that I almost am overwhelmed with where to start. We finished our basement renovations, Went on our trip to Italy, My sister got married, We sold our house, I started a new job in a new Province and now am currently house-hunting. I’m feeling a bit like this guy….
I can’t talk about them all today (even though we all know I’m long-winded enough to do so), so I’m going to focus on one in particular that I’m still coming to terms with….
We did it.
We left the house that we raised Newton in.
I had a tremendously difficult time with this. It’s just a house, but great life moments made it our home. Memories of Newton topped my “Why I’m thankful we lived here” list I made, during my last weekend in there. Leaving, irrevocably made me confront some painful memories. The house has not changed, but we’ve had to. Each corner, nook and tiny cranny holds for me – special moments suspended in time.
Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.
Memories remind us of what we had.
These two opposing forces led me on a rollercoaster of emotions last week.
It made me deal with something I haven’t been prepared to do – start to let go. I tricked myself into believing it was something I had been doing all along. I hadn’t.
The time a person needs to take, cannot ever be measured in chronological time. Losing a loved one on any level is a deeply personal thing. You start to move on, you’ll start to make new memories. It takes time.
A friend told me she dreamt of Newton waiting for us at our next home. I know where he’ll always be – A monumental part of our past – with us wherever we go.
Yes we left the house that we raised Newton in, but we did not leave the memories.
Inside my thoughts. Forever imprinted.The moment I saw his face before he ran two blocks through wet pavement costing me a few hundred dollars in breakfast sandwiches and coffee for the construction crew, the hundreds of hugs given and recieved, the reminders of our fur-kids playing tag. Too many to list and count.
Memories remind us of what we’ve lost.
Memories remind us of what we can have again.
Great memories give us hope, inspiration and love. They guide us.
I walked around the house and said my goodbyes on my last day. As I reflect now, I realize (as difficult as it is to admit), what I was really saying:
“Thank you Newton – for all the truly great memories. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing”.
Thanks for reading,