Lazy Hazy Sunday!

This morning started bright and sunny so we decided to go ahead with our plans to visit Ortona. Beautiful drive, but by the time we got there it was spotting with rain. Not enough to wet us, and it was still warm, so we enjoyed our walk overlooking the Adriatic. Plan was to stop for lunch, but…there was no room at the Inn. Everywhere was fully booked. Of course there is only outside seating at the moment, so it’s difficult for both restaurants and diners. We enjoyed our walk anyway and headed back to the car.
On the way home we stopped off at a restaurant called “La Scogliera”, (the Cliff) which is just before San Vito and timed it just right. We were shown to a table for two, but after we arrived folks just kept showing up, and being turned away. Busy day!
The food was amazing! I was the DD and drank sparkling water, but my dear husband had two big glasses of wine, and a silly grin on his face.
I’m enjoying my glass of wine right now.
Saluti!

Death and Taxes

Wandering in Vasto

Here I am, enjoying retirement in the country I’ve been in love with my whole life. Can’t be bad!
However, it’s time to file my taxes. UGH! Can you feel my pain. There are American Taxes and Italian Taxes to deal with. We’re definitely not doing it ourselves, wouldn’t know where to start. It’s probably not going to be cheap either, but it has to be done.
Why is the whole world afraid of the Taxman?
Not to worry, I’ll take another sip of my excellent wine, that costs a tenth of the price I’m used to paying in the US, and erase it from my mind.

Death and Taxes…unavoidable.

COVID VACCINE – ITALY

Wouldn’t want to get my vaccine anywhere else.

Vasto – Seafood and Sunshine

My daughter and I flew to Abruzzo in August 2017 giddy with excitement because we were house hunting. Come on, who wouldn’t be excited about house hunting in Italy? It was a dream come true. Our trip was successful! We found a perfect house in the incredibly beautiful village of Colledimezzo.
My husband’s first trip to Abruzzo was in March 2018. Another crazy, busy, whirlwind trip. In two weeks we bought furniture, light fittings and everything else we needed to make it home. Very few people in the stores spoke or understood English and our Italian was terrible, but we managed, thanks to everyone’s kindness and patience. It was exhausting, but worth it.
During our March 2018 visit we stayed in the beautiful Residence Amblingh in Vasto https://www.amblingh.it/
Wonderful place!
Now, in 2021, we call Colledimezzo home and enjoy revisiting all of the restaurants we discovered over three years ago. Today we visited Vasto. It was a beautiful sunny day. Restaurants are open again and we were happy to see Lo Scuda, one of our favorite haunts, has survived COVID. In 2018 we had our first lunch there. Delicious seafood, a little too much wine, and a lot of fun. Our meal today brought back many happy memories. The food was pretty good too!

Colledimezzo and the First Sunday in May

Sundays are lazy in Colledimezzo. Coffee on the balcony while reading the local news gets the day off to a good start. Every Sunday we enjoy late morning aperitivos in the Piazza while listening to the church bells and chatting to the good people who spill out of church for a quick cocktail before eating.
Then back home to cook lunch after which we studied a little Italian. My brain didn’t cooperate today though. I don’t feel as though I’m getting any better, but I must be, its just a slow process for an old girl. Also tough to learn while we were on semi-lockdown. No one to talk to!
Now Abruzzo is back in the yellow zone (zona gialla) we can start exploring again and talk to more people.
After taking in breathtaking views from my evening stroll, I’m ready to relax for the night. I know, it sounds like I’ve been relaxing all day doesn’t it!!! Retirement is like that.

Buona settimana a tutti (Have a good week everyone)

Trials and Tribulations

This week has been a challenge! We all get them at times don’t we?
On Sunday, for no apparent reason other than old age, my back started to hurt. It was a little worse on Monday, and by Tuesday I could barely move. Luckily, an excellent physiotherapist lives very close, and I was able to snag an appointment. I’ve learned from experience (my back is my weak area), that you have to power through it. Lying around moping just makes it worse.
Late Tuesday evening I got a message from “the engineer” letting me know they’d like to start work on our upstairs bathroom remodel early Wednesday morning…something I was looking forward to, but it posed an extra challenge with my painful back.
Tile removal, dust, drilling replacing all of the water pipes…dust settles and re-settles…oh what a week.
Now it’s Saturday and hopefully most of the “messy” work is done. Someone is currently in the room throwing concrete at the wall. Tiling next week? Let’s hope so.
On a positive note, my back feels tender, but much better. The sun is shining, and on Monday with restrictions lifted, we can drive to the Adriatic. My spirits are lifted already.

Stay safe everyone and have a lovely weekend!

Freedom

Beautiful Vasto

One week from today, numbers permitting, Italy begins to open up a little. Outside dining will be allowed. When I heard the news, I couldn’t help but think of Vasto. My daughter and I visited this beautiful little town, on the Adriatic Coast, just after we’d put in an offer on the “Old Olive Mill’ in Colledimezzo. That was almost four years ago! A lot has happened since then.
In 2017 life was much simpler. We weren’t fighting a pandemic.
Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the anticipation I feel is almost as intense as I used to feel prior to a vacation in Italy.
Yes, I live here now, but haven’t been able to travel since September. Now I can visit Vasto again, it’s on my list for next week.
Hopefully this is a new beginning for us all.
Stay safe everyone, we can do this!

Reflections on Retirement

A good way to end the day

If you really enjoy your job, and love the folks you work with, retirement is daunting. I longed to move to Italy, and dreamed about the day I’d retire there. It was planned for 2022 at the earliest, so I had a little time to think about it. Then came Brexit…the rest is history. Retirement to Italy after Brexit would have been complicated in so many ways, so instead of ambling along the road to retirement, I had no choice but to sprint. It was a real wrench!
The first month of my new life was exciting, fun, no work, lots of new places to visit. Lunch by the Adriatic, a lovely piazza to enjoy a late afternoon drink, pizza night, or just meet friends for coffee. Life was good.
And then came another COVID wave, was it number two? I forget, we’ve had so many.
The first “light lockdown” put us in the Yellow Zone, which wasn’t too bad. We could travel anywhere within the region, so we were able to walk along the shores of the Adriatic and take advantage of its lovely restaurants.
Then we were plunged into the stricter Orange Zone. Bars and restaurants only open for “take away” curfews in place. Carabinieri drove through the village often. We were only allowed to leave our municipality once a day, and only then for a good reason, with documentation stating that reason.
Over Christmas and Easter, in and out of the dreaded red zone.
Luckily Colledimezzo is beautiful, and there are many spectacular walks…are you bored of my photos yet? I long to see the Adriatica again. I did see it in the distance when we went shopping to Lanciano. It was tantalizingly close.
Shopping locally is nice. There is everything I need, butchers, small supermarkets, flower shops, hardware stores, furniture stores etc., so I have nothing to complain about, and I’m not complaining, I do like it here. A few things make my heart ache though. My daughter was set to come here for Christmas, but of course couldn’t. Summer is probably out of the question too. I’m not wishing my life away, but…I am so excited to see her and her husband at Christmas. I know it’s a long way off, but it is the light at then end of the tunnel.
On reflection, retirement is a good thing. If I hadn’t retired, I’d be dreaming of Italy, and you all know how much I did that. Now, I’m dreaming of freedom, and I know it’s in sight. Rumor has it May could be a good month. Vaccines are picking up steam and numbers are going down.
Have a lovely day everyone and “In bocca al lupo” (Translates as “in the mouth of wolves” and means “good luck” in Italian)

Remembering Rome

I’ve visited Italy since I was a teenager, and always been smitten, but Rome sealed the deal. In 2010 we spent over two weeks in Rome. It took my breath away. There was a surprise around every corner. We’ve visited often since then, and never tire of its ancient beauty.
Now Rome is only a three hour drive away, but of course with the current situation, a drive we can’t make. Today, feeling optimistic, I’ve made a reservation to stay in Rome for four nights in September. If it’s not meant to be I can cancel the reservation. I don’t need to book flights anymore, so what do I have to loose?

Largest Loaf on the Van

Largest Loaf on the Bread Van

This morning I woke up full of energy, so I breezed through my housework, repotted plants and rearranged furniture. That wasn’t enough! After brunch I was still full of energy. It was a beautiful day, so I took a walk. The clear blue sky was a perfect backdrop for the snow dusted mountains.

A three mile walk was easy, and brought me back to the piazza. A glass of wine seemed like a good idea, followed by another…and then someone persuaded me to have a third. The villagers, (cittadini) were socially distancing, but enjoying the sunshine and each others company. Then the bread van turned up. Lester, a huge bread fan, decided to purchase some delicious freshly made bread…and bought the biggest loaf on the van.
A good day I think, lets hope summer brings a drop in the new cases of COVID. We’re all ready to mingle and have fun.

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