Monthly Archives: August 2015

Dream Italia – August 29 No “If only” for this gal….

When I watch a program about places such as the Vatican,  Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, how Rome was built as well as places like Saint Mark’s Square or the Doge’s Palace,  I certainly appreciate the grandeur, the beauty and the history.  I am taken aback  by the power and wealth that built them. I marvel at the engineering that went into these places so long ago. I am amazed that despite being 2000 years old, their ideas are the basis for structures still today with all of our advances.  And there it ends. It leaves me cold. I don’t think about it much after that.

On the other hand, last year I watched a special filmed in the (what was)forgotten town of Matera, I watched the slow reincarnation of this ancient town by some of its young inhabitants whose ancestors once lived  in these cave dwellings.   I have watched women in the Umbria region walking through a field picking the tiny Saffron flower.  I watched a woman work a loom hundreds of years old, the same loom her ancestors used.  I watched artisans repairing mosaic pieces from local churches in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence, one tiny piece by tiny piece.  I watched a proprietor cut huge pieces of beef, cook each one himself and serve it with such pride in his tiny dining room.  These things made me feel. They move me. They speak to me.  They create a warmth in my soul. They make me misty eyed. They make me have to experience Italy.

I mentioned in my last post that I am feeling a bit unprepared for my trip, despite my having had  a very long time to prepare. I am an experienced traveler as a my friend Deb pointed out, so why am I feeling like this? Why do I feel like I am not ready, and unorganized? Continue reading

Categories: Italy, Italy Updates | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Dream Italia – August 26

Dream Italia is getting closer and closer, anticipation is building, excitement is bubbling over.  I feel unprepared for the trip for some reason. You would think with over a year to be planning, that I would have all my ducks in a row wouldn’t you? You would think that, but you would be wrong.

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Dream Italia – August 19

30 years ago this month, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Based on the symptoms I’d had over the years and the amount of scar tissue/plaques on my brain, my Neurologist estimated that more than likely I had it for about 10 years already. It has been a wild, unpredictable, crazy roller coaster ride.

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Categories: Italy, Italy Updates | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Dream Italia – August 13

36 Days and counting until the Dream Trip. The actual planning process started about 13 months ago. The plan has taken a few detours along the way.  I am traveling with someone, I am traveling alone, I am once again traveling with someone. My focus however, has remained constant. I will spend 6 days in Venice.  That has been non-negotiable. Do I want to go anywhere else? It is costing quite a bit of money in airfare and I feel as though I should make it worthwhile and visit another city as well.

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Fog Upon San Francisco

Fog is as much a part of San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge, as its hilly streets and hippies of yore. You cannot think of the city without thinking of the fog. To me, it is fascinating how you can literally watch it creep across the city, and then march right on out again. In my trips I have often heard it uttered, that the Golden Gate Bridge is covered in fog more times than not.

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My Neck of the Woods

My drive to work is 45 minutes each way over back roads in mostly wide open spaces and corn fields. The winds can be fierce in the winter months creating white outs with less than an inch of snow on the ground. Ground outs are also common – at least that’s what I call them. The roads can be icy and hazardous when the wind swept fields dump the snow onto the road. When it is foggy, it is really foggy. Open fields create very dense fog and as it is the country, at night it is especially hard to navigate as the only ambient light comes from the occasional house, many of which are hidden far off the road.

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Categories: Home Photos, Photo Journeys | 1 Comment

Gloucester, MA

Gloucester Massachusetts, September 2003

I’ve always wanted to go to the East coast – I just love the sea, the crashing surf, the shorelines lined with rocky cliffs which is what I picture when I think of the East coast. The coast of Maryland, at least the areas I went, were beaches rather than the rocky coast lines I had envisioned. I decided to go to Gloucester Massachsetts for a week. I am upset with myself that I didn’t keep a journal. I started to, and never kept up with it after the 1st day.  This is the first vacation that I have taken in over 10 years.  I hope that it is just the start of many more!

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Becoming A Thespian

I was found in a local Pub one nite way back in 1983. A large group of people were gathered around a piano singing, drinking, and having a good time. They invited me to join them. They were a group of people having just finished a rehearsal of “Brigadoon” to be done at the Woodstock Opera House. They were with the community theatre company, TownsSquare Players, Inc. Also known as TSP. Apparently, they came to this bar after every rehearsal to wind down and let loose. They told me they’d be there the following nite and why didn’t I stop by. Stop by I did.

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Dream Italia

As a young girl I watched the movie Summertime as I’m sure many have. I was too young to know what a Bucket List was, however, Venice Italy, struck a chord with me that I was never able to shake.

Beautiful. Alluring. Playful in the laughter of Her children. Seductive in Her shadowed Calli. Worn and weary Her buildings may seem to some. To me, they are full of character, full of the heartbeats of those who dwell within.

In recent years, I have become absorbed not only in Venice, but in all that is Italy. I see the faces of Her people, smiling as they go about their daily lives. I see the gnarled hands of the fishermen repairing their nets. I see the Artisan, painstakingly carving from a piece of wood or marble that will be transformed into a magnificent work of art. I see the Nonna in her kitchen with a few simple, fresh ingredients, turning out a delicious meal. I see the family, the generations of family, all sitting at the same table sharing the love of not only the food before them, but of each other. I see in the daily life, the son carrying on the traditions of his Father, and his Father’s Father before him. Their shop, their Ristorante, their workbench, they need not be grand in design, the product that emerges from within is far more precious than anything that comes from a gleaming storefront. The simplicity of and non hurried pace of going about their daily lives makes me smile and warms my heart.

Italy reaches into my soul and I am overcome with an emotion I have not felt before. She grabs hold of my heart with a fierce tenacity that overwhelms me. She envelops me, with the same indomitable strength as the sea. I cannot explain it. I don’t know from where it comes. Somehow, I am connected to this place that I have never been to. Yet I know without a doubt, with every ounce of my being, that I belong to Her. I am completely at Her mercy. I yield to Her with utter abandonment. I cannot escape Her, nor do I want to. She is a Temptress. She entices me. Over and over she beckons to me until finally, I can no longer evade Her calls, and I surrender, willingly, to all that She is.

Some say I won’t return home, and that will be fine with me. I can think of nothing better than to bask in Her glory for the rest of my days; as this, this is what Italia is to me.

I invite you to join me on My Dream Vacation to Italia in September 2015!

Thanks for coming. I’d love to hear from you, so please, leave a comment.

Categories: Italy | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

About Rae

I am a Traveler. I am a Chef. I am a Biker. I am a Photographer. I am a Stage Hand. I am a Woodworker. I am a Writer. I am a Warrior.
I am now, or have been, each of these things, and all of these things.

I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 1986. MS is something that is very important to me that people be educated about. Because it is a very large part of my life, it is even more important that friends understand as much as they can about it. Please visit my posts to learn about it and how it has affected my life. I will warn you, there is a lot to read. (they don’t call me “Bard” for nothin’!) The more people I meet, the more I hear that they know someone with MS, but know little about it. I urge you to take the time to read it, not just so you have a better understanding of me, but perhaps it will help you better understand someone else you know as well.

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