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,
Well big news in our household. Since we lost our wonderful pal Newton, it’s helped put things into perspective.
Such as, I’ve tied myself to a job that has an 8 hour round trip drive from the people I love most in the world. Why is this?
Another life lesson taken from my pal – surround yourself by those you love most in the world.
So I took the bull by the
balls horns and applied for an internal position a 30 min drive away from all friends/family. The last month has been quite the process, applying, going through 3 rounds of interviews, plus a presentation. Oh, and don’t forget we’re still renovating from the FLOOD. Whoa
So I’ve decided to put a 45 day to-do list together for my life (
I love lists!):
– Finish renovations
(Here’s how it’s looking so far! Bonus if you can see Stewart’s photobomb)
– Sell house
– Buy new house
– Train for new job
– Go on Honeymoon
– Get ready for maid of honor duties in sister’s wedding
Is this worth it? Hell YES! I’m getting pumped for the move, but am getting a little anxious with my “to-do” list.
Just wanted to give you a heads up that I may be a little distant from my blog for a bit. Love ya’ll, but as you can see I have my hands full. Can’t wait to share all the changes once we get settled! Here’s to hoping there will be puppy news to share on the next feed.
Cheers to fresh starts,
Good morning friends,
Let me start by apologizing that I’ve been a
little lot lax in my writing over the past two – three weeks. I hit a speed bump in my healing process.
It hit me like a ton of bricks one day. I was walking home from work (something I hadn’t done in some time), and realized that the last time I walked this path was with Newton.
I couldn’t help myself, I found the nearest bench and had a “moment”. As much as I wish, it was not the kind where your makeup stays immaculate and your polish still shines. It was the kind of moment that makes you want to curl up in your favorite jammies and hide from the world with the curtains drawn – yep it was an ugly cry.
I felt like I had lost my best friend all over again. Experiencing all these “firsts” without him is heartbreaking. All these moments can be heartwrenching. Almost like constant reminders telling you what you no longer have.
I’m writing you this because some of you are going through what I am as well. After taking some time to think about it, it’s unfortunately part of the process of moving through the guilt, never forgetting – but functioning and enjoying the life we are fortunate to have. I realize I’ve made an effort to stay positive and upbeat – offer solutions to your own healing processes. Sometimes, however, you just need to take a moment, feel the pain and then try and patch yourself back together and carry on. Remind yourself only of the wonderful times spent together.
There is a feeling of guilt that I believe is natural – moving on without your companion. This is where my “Newton principles” kick in and remind me of what life is all about – Love, peace and joy. Stop and be thankful for what we have, enjoy the little things in life.
I’ve surrendered to the process of moving forward, understanding that there will be moments like this – lots in fact. It feels at times like it is a step backward, but grief does not have a time limit. My words of advice – it’s ok to get lost in the moment, just don’t lose yourself in the process.
Give all your pets an extra snuggle from me today!
Ok so maybe not chickens – but how about puppies?? I took my sister in law with me yesterday to walk some wonderful dogs at the SPCA. I was reminded that Spring also means an influx of puppies to the shelter. Once we were finished walking our big guys, we treated ourselves with a walk through the puppy room and saw these little angels.
As most of you know, Puppies need to be socialized. It’s so important for them to experience a variety of people early on. I’ve even heard a raw statistic that a puppy between 3 and 6 months should meet 100 people, and have a positive experience with every single one. This will help them be less fearful or nervous later on in life. A balanced dog, can be a wonderful thing. So why not start with them when they are at the SPCA.
“As the weeks go by, exposure to a variety of experiences is crucial to his becoming a well-rounded adult. Studies have shown that a puppy’s experiences in the first three months of life strongly influence what kind of companion he will grow to be and how he will react to the world. ” – AKC
Early socialization is a vital piece of a puppies’ life. I took full advantage yesterday. We played and took these little angels for a walk, hoping to encounter many people along the way. Of course, then we treated ourselves to some snuggles and play time in the front yard.
These little guys are Shepherd/Border Collie mixes. Huge paws and beautiful brown eyes. My heart melts everytime I see them. Need I remind you that “Puppy Therapy” is the very best kind there is?
So upon one of my wonderful trips to the local SPCA this week to snuggle and walk some great critters, I came across this….
Be still my heart!
If that wasn’t bad enough, she waved to me to say “Hi!”
Meet Ellie. She’s a two month old Border Collie mix that was brought in with her four brothers when they didn’t sell on Kijiji (sidenote: I feel the need to attack a punching bag when I hear stories like this – NEUTER your pets people).
Nonetheless, How can you turn down some bonus snuggle time with this little gem!
Her cute little face and eyes got to my soul. My mission (as always), find Ellie a wonderful forever home. I took her and her brother (now adopted) out of their kennel for some fun play time. Introducing them to new places, people, sounds and smells is a GREAT thing.
I took the cutest pictures I could of her and posted to my facebook wall (as I do with most of these wonderful critters). I don’t want to jinx myself here, but low and behold my facebook peeps were as hooked as I was. One of my childhood friends has submitted paperwork, and is pending approval – we should hear back tomorrow.
This friend has a sweet 2 yr old Duck Tolling Retriever mix, who would make a wonderful big sister. Socialized and affectionate with other dogs, this dog would make a great role model for Ellie. I’ve encouraged my friend and her family to come and meet her face to face, and she is this weekend.
I thought I’d share my (hopefully) uplifting news – Thank you Social Media for working for the better good!
Have a great day and cross your fingers that it all works out!
This past weekend, I took Richard with me to my parents house for some extra spoiling. Mom gave him a new “Baby” that accurately describes his personality…..
Needless to say we are ALL enjoying our time with him 🙂
Richard – my newest boarder this week!
I snapped this one as this was his face greeting all yesterday at the park. Can’t you just see the tail wag in this picture?