My Covid Story – Beautiful Denver

My daughter proudly showed us around her new house. It was lovely. A huge balcony opens from her bedroom and overlooks Sloan’s Lake. The view at night is magical. Downtown Denver illuminates the skyline and along with the moon, and shimmers on the lake’s glassy surface. We managed to stay awake for a glass of wine, and then retired to bed. My husband was snoring in a matter of minutes, me…not so much, but I did sleep a little.
The following day was beautiful and I took my first walk around Sloan’s Lake with Princess Tess, the family pup. Still feeling jet lagged, much of the day was spent relaxing in the garden. My son in law was traveling for work, but made it home briefly, before flying again the following day. On Monday I had some documents to take care of for our upcoming house sale, and then Joanna left for an overnight in business trip in Houston. My good friend came to visit, we had lunch (fish and chips) and caught up.
Tuesday is when my husband began to feel ill. He had a fever and went back to bed. I assumed the “travel cold” had him in its grip. It’s not unusual. He seemed better the following day, but still had the sniffles, and a bit of a cough. It didn’t go away as quickly as normal.
The rest of the week was a blur of getting things done, seeing old friends, shopping for things we can’t buy in Italy, celebrating mothers day….and that is when I started feeling ill, mother’s day. We’d tested my husband for COVID earlier in the week, just in case, but the test came back negative. On Mother’s Day, because I felt ill, I tested too, negative.
Tuesday May 10th is a day I won’t forget.
“Mum, I’ve tested positive for COVID” I think you guys have COVID, you need to test again.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
My husband tested first…a very definite positive. I tested positive too. I was scared, angry, and ashamed. We’d traveled from the USA to spend three lovely weeks with my daughter, but instead, we’d given her COVID. It took a long time for my anger to subside. Finally I came to terms with it, but for the rest of the day I walked around in total disbelief. I cried a lot!
We had to quarantine of course. My son-in-law, who tested negative couldn’t come home, and stayed with a friend.
I contacted everyone I’d seen since arriving in Denver, and let them know I’d tested positive, so they could watch for symptoms. What about the people I’d been close to in stores and restaurants? When did I become positive? Yes, this alone kept me awake at night.

My husband seemed to have had the worst symptoms. I had a weird rough feeling in my throat/chest, fuzzy head, sniffles and a bit of a cough. I was tired too. My daughter coughed, sniffled and was tired. She wasn’t able to concentrate on anything. Didn’t even venture into her beloved garden to see how her veggies were coming along. This was not what I had planned for my first return visit to Denver. I was miserable, angry, and overcome with guilt.

I’m begging you all to be more vigilant. If you get a cold, always suppose the worst and test for COVID. If you see someone who has a cold, and they’re not wearing a mask, move as far away from them as you can. Be aware of your surroundings. Some situations are unavoidable, such as passing through airport security, but be as careful as you can. Getting COVID is not fun, but giving it to your daughter, is a nightmare. Luckily we all have a fairly mild dose, and my husband got his first negative test yesterday (we’re doing three before flying), but it could have been much worse.

Take care everyone, this isn’t my usual type of blog, but I hope you learned from it.

Twelve Minutes from Downtown Denver

Note – This will be my last vacation blog for a while. I prepare my blogs two or three days in advance of posting, which gives me time to add things, and edit them. Since preparing this blog I have tested positive for COVID. My vacation has come to an abrupt halt. I suppose I could walk with a mask and keep my distance, but better not to. I’m vaccinated and don’t feel too bad, but just tired of this horrible pandemic and all that comes with it. Will it ever end?

Tess and I walked early this morning. Sloane’s lake was busy with people running, walking dogs before work and strolling with their morning coffee.
Tess was very vocal this morning, especially to passing pups, so I had to make her sit with every approaching dog. She’s small and cuddly, but for some reason, pretends to be aggressive, especially to the larger four legged passers by. I think she picked this up from Fendi, who was the first Thompson/Hogrefe pup. Fendi was small, but liked to make herself heard. She lived to a ripe old age, but left us last year. I miss Fendi a lot.

The tranquility of Sloane’s Lake makes it difficult to believe that Downtown Denver is only twelve minutes away by car.

A family of geese were enjoying the early morning sunshine, not at all bothered by the human presence (or noisy pups).
I watched a solo canoeist slowly glide across the lake’s glassy surface.
I’ll miss my walks around Sloan’s Lake. In Colledimezzo I usually walk in the afternoon, but maybe I’ll fit a morning walk into my routine instead, It is a great way to start the day.

Find your tranquil place and make time visit it often. You don’t need a dog as an excuse to walk, just do it for yourself.

If you want to read about Princess Tess, click on the link below.

Sloan’s Lake and The Highlands – Denver

While it was cool this morning, I walked around the Sloan’s Lake and Highlands neighborhoods. For those who know the area, I walked along 26th and turned left on Tennyson, then right on 32nd. This brought me to the Highlands, where I wandered past shops, bars and cafe’s. At 10:00 am it was lovely and quiet. My return route took me on Tennyson to Yates, passing beautiful homes and gardens on the way. Many of these old homes have been tastefully revamped. Most of the gardens are well tended and lush. The different home styles compliment each other. What a lovely area.
Now I’m resting a little, my poor old hips are stiff, hoping its something I can resolve without surgery…who ever thought getting old brought so many aches and pains. Still, glad to be alive and enjoying this beautiful weather.
Colorado was my home before Abruzzo and it is a beautiful place to come back and visit.

Explore your local areas and enjoy the best of your surroundings.

Stay safe everyone and make the most of today because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Keep a smile.

Delicious Indian Food, Huge Trucks and Baby Geese

The days are flying by! It’s taken a week, but we finally got to satisfy our craving for Indian food. Every bite was heaven. Vegetable Samosas followed by goat curry, poppadoms, garlic naan, lamb marsala and mango lassies to go. Once isn’t enough! I think one more visit is on the cards before we return to Italy.

The drive back from south of Denver wasn’t fun, it seems the rush hour starts earlier now. I25 was packed with traffic at 3:00 pm. I’m not used to being boxed in by huge trucks anymore. It wasn’t scary, just annoying. I miss the quiet rural roads of Abruzzo. I took Princess Tess for a short walk when we got back. We came across a family of geese strolling in the late afternoon sunshine.

Despite wearing several layers of clothing my husband got really cold on the flight from New York to Denver. I knew he’d get sick. On Sunday, I started to cough and sneeze too. We both did the COVID test to be safe and it was negative, so we just have to patiently let the cold run it’s course. Probably the dry air of Colorado, the altitude and air conditioning isn’t helping. We’re used to the gentle humid air of Abruzzo.

Speaking of Abruzzo, even though we’re far away, our new home purchase is progressing. When we get back to Colledimezzo it will be full steam ahead with our packing. We’ll have a month before our furniture is loaded up to move to Teramo province. Exciting and heart wrenching times. A new adventure, but hopefully the last one.

What is on the schedule today? Maybe some more hot spicy Indian food to help kill our cold, or maybe a steaming bowl of pho.

Thats it for today folks. Thanks for following my travels and stop by soon.
Remember, stay safe and keep a smile.

May Daze in Denver – Colorado

When we landed in Denver last weekend the weather was beautiful. Then we had a cold snap, which isn’t unusual in this part of the world. Now the weather has settled in the mid to upper seventies and it feels so good.
I’ve been enjoying the best of Colorado. On Friday my daughter treated me to a massage at the luxurious Woodhouse Spa on 17th Avenue. When we got back home Jo stayed outside in the sunshine and worked on her front yard. That made me very happy because it seems gardening runs in our family. My mum spent hours tending her flowers and vegetables, and when I got my own home, it became my passion too. Now I’m thrilled to see the family tradition has trickled down to my daughter.
In the evening I met with my good friends from Western Union, the company I retired from. We had a long leisurely chat over drinks. It was so good to see them and laugh with them. I’ve missed them all.
Saturday was the perfect day for grilling and drinking Mimosas! I finally feel like I’m on vacation.
Today was Mother’s Day! I was spoiled rotten and enjoyed every minute of it. Especially the Mimosas with brunch at Bistro Vendome in Larimer Square Denver. One of my favorite restaurants! The weather was perfect. Afterwards we enjoyed a flight of wine outside Cru Wine Bar and people watched. Perfect Day!

Whether you’re a mother or not, I hope you had a wonderful Sunday.
Stay safe and keep a smile.

Sloan’s Lake – Denver – Old Meets New

Finally I slept well. Still getting tired early, not sure if it’s the altitude (Denver is at 5000 feet), or jet lag. I walked Princess Tess by 8:30 this morning.
The first two photos above show the different styles of houses around Sloan’s Lake. Old meets new, but all with heaps of character.
Third photo is my daughter’s new hobby, growing things in this amazing indoor garden. I need to look out for something similar in Italy.
The last three photos are, of course, Sloan’s Lake. The Rocky Mountain backdrop and the clouds reflect perfectly on the glassy surface. The geese rest peacefully on its banks, and the snow capped Rockies rise against the clouds.
Today was warm, I enjoyed a wander around the Cherry Creek shopping district and visited some of my old haunts. I looked at all of the pretty things I used to buy when I was still working, but can’t really afford now. I don’t need them. I have everything I need in Italy.
Finally I visited XOXO Salon and my best friend Rocco. He’s been styling my hair for around 20 years. After my “do”, we went for lunch and chatted about everything, just like we always used to.
Back home to Joanna’s and straight out for margarita’s. It is Cinco di Mayo after all.

I did a lot in just one day, but it was fun.

Don’t waste a minute of your lives, live like there is no tomorrow and always keep a smile.

A Vacation in Colorado

We finally made it to Colorado, the place I used to call home!
The journey was tiring, but fun. We travelled by Pronto bus to Roma, where we spent the night in the lovely Rome Park Marriott. It’s been a long time favorite hotel for us when traveling through Fumicino. We enjoyed a nice early dinner and then relaxed ready for the next leg of our journey. The flight from Roma to JFK Airport in New York was long, but comfortable. I read, watched movies and relaxed. Then we had a 3 hr 45 min layover in New York…not so good. That’s when the fatigue started to hit. The plane was late getting away, but managed to arrive on time at 10:45 Denver time. I lost count of the time zones we’d crossed, there were two in the US alone.
It was marvelous to see our daughter at the airport, and it made all the tiredness worth it. We managed a glass of wine when we got back to her lovely new house, first time we’d seen it. Then, of course, my husband slept like a log. Me…not so much!
Today we had brunch, played with Princess Tess and had way too many Mimosas, all while relaxing in the glorious Colorado sunshine.

I think it is going to be a very good trip. Never thought I’d be vacationing in the city that used to be my home. How life changes.

Take care everyone. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Walk Away Those Monday Blues

Today was frustrating. Paperwork that I’m not in control was stressing me out. I’m retired now, but when I worked, it was in the legal field. That means anything less than perfect isn’t acceptable. Today I was dealing with the unacceptable and it made me jittery.
Luckily we’d invited friends around for drinks and appetizers so I was able to focus on something else. Cooking is my passion and soon my stress faded.

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday we leave for Rome and spend a night in a hotel that brings back wonderful memories. On Saturday morning we fly to Denver. The thought of giving my daughter a big hug makes me happy. I can’t wait to see her new house for the first time and hug her silly pup.

Happy Monday everyone, keep a smile.

Soaking in the Sunshine

Look at the sunshine and blue skies I enjoyed on my afternoon walk today. I’ve taken hundreds (or even thousands) of photos since moving to Colledimezzo, and will take many more before we leave. The views are too beautiful not to share.
Our days are numbered now. The lovely family from Holland, who viewed our home yesterday, made an offer. We accepted, I think they will enjoy “the old olive mill” just as much as we have. I had a good feeling about them as soon as we were introduced.
I’m thinking of notes I need to leave to help them settle in, but know I don’t really need to make any, the villagers will take care of them. We don’t move until late June or early July, so we have plenty of time to say good bye.
I’ve been in love with Italy my whole life, and retiring here was my dream, no more moves after this one. I’m too old. Now I can spend my days pottering around in my Italian garden.

Thanks for stopping by, and sending me positive vibes, I think it helped. I’ve made such fantastic friends over the last few years, both in Colorado, and in Italy. I’m very lucky.

Take care and stay safe. Keep sending those vibes to the people of Ukraine. May the troubles be short lived.

House Hunting in Italy – An Emotional Journey

The photos above show the beauty of the Abruzzo region of Italy. The first and second photos were taken during my daily walk in Colledimezzo. The third and fourth, during my visit to Carpineto della Nora on Wednesday. Colledimezzo is in Chieti Province and Carpineto della Nora in Pescara Province. The distance between the two is almost two hours, but they both share the same rugged beauty.
I don’t know anyone (yet) in Carpineto della Nora, but everyone we spoke to was very friendly. I have so many good friends in Colledimezzo. So torn, such an emotional decision to make.
If we move I’ll miss our beautiful home in Colledimezzo.

Stepping back a little further, I loved our home in Colorado and always said if I could pick it up and take it to Italy with us, I’d be happy. It was remote and surrounded by nature and tranquility. The house we’re looking at in Carpineto della Nora is just the same. It tugged at my heart strings the moment I saw it. So far we’ve only viewed it from the outside, but on Friday we open the front door and see what lies within. Wish me luck, this is such an emotional time. I want to make the right decision.
The link below will show you the home I’m saying goodbye to.

Take care everyone and follow your dreams.

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