When in Rome……….

I love Italy

Italy is the place I love more than anywhere in the world, even more than my home in Colorado. I moved to Colorado from England in 1995, along with my husband and my lovely daughter and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it here, but my heart will always be in Italy.

My first visit to Italy was in 1973. I went to Rimini on the Adriatic Coast with my mother and my aunt. It was love at first sight. I returned in the summer of 1974 and 1975. In 1976 I met my husband and in 1977, we were married and life got in the way of vacations for a while. The next time we visited Italy was 1983. We drove from Germany, where my husband was stationed with the British Army. It was a wonderful road trip in our new black Alfa Romeo, a fitting car for the journey. I enjoyed showing my husband around the wonderful resort of Rimini.

In 1984 I gave birth to my lovely daughter, and vacations were put on hold for a while. In 1993, we took her to Italy for the first time. We stayed in Lido di Jesolo. She loved it and was soon hooked on Italy, just as I was. We visited Venice, Murano, Burano, Verona and Lake Garda. The weather wasn’t always perfect, but the country of Italy was.

In 2010, my husband and I visited Italy once again, this time we flew to Rome. I was overwhelmed by the city of Rome. Two weeks were not long enough to take it all in so there is no doubt I will have to return. When is the next trip planned? 2015 and I intend to stay for a month!



Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

Lido di Jesolo street

Lido di Jesolo street







Lake Garda

Lake Garda
















Where am I going on my next visit to Italy? I have to see Rome one more time, and then Tuscany is a MUST! This time it will be a wonderful trip of family and friends. My husband and I will enjoy the company of my daughter and her new husband, my very best friend and her husband and two children, and maybe one more couple. We will all bask in the sun and enjoy the people of Italy. The land of romance and dreams.

The Wedding of the Century – the planning continues.

It does feel like I am planning the wedding of the century. When my family from England arrive, they will think I have lost my mind.

Back in 1977 my wedding and reception was a fairly simple affair. The reception took place at the Scotch Corner Hotel in North Yorkshire.



It took a couple of months to plan, all by myself because my parents were on vacation. I think they were trying to get used to the idea that their daughter was marrying a Jamaican. Times were different, but when they got to know him, they loved him.

I had three bridesmaids who wore blue dresses. My wedding dress cost around $150.00. The cake was made locally and cost $60.00.

The wedding was at the church on the grounds of  Easby Abbey, just down the road from Richmond, North Yorkshire. It was beautiful.

Easby Abbey CHurch


It was a warm humid August afternoon. Something old, was my pearl necklace bought by my mother, something new was the wedding dress of course. I can’t remember what was borrowed, but something blue was my underwear.

I walked down the aisle to where my future husband waited for me.

When I stood by his side he looked and me and said “Your nose is sweating” Yes he is a romantic type of guy. Because of a football injury he had trouble kneeling while Rev. Stegall performed the ceremony.

That all happened 36 years ago. We are now planning our daughters wedding here in Colorado, in Estes Park. It will be a beautiful day full of warm memories. We have wedding planners, make-up artists, hair stylists and a Momofuku naked wedding cake. How things have changed.

Oh and the price we will pay for my daughter’s wedding dress would have paid for my whole of my wedding back in 1977. Now that’s what I call inflation.



The photo above is where the ceremony will be performed. Isn’t it beautiful? The reception will be just as spectacular, and hopefully a wonderful party for 125 close friends from all over the country (and the world).



Stand by and watch my antics as I help arrange this event. I am sure there will be plenty of tales and mishaps as the plans progress. Maybe you can learn from them.


Wedding Plans, Venues and $$$$$$$

June 2014 seems like a long way off, but not when you have a wedding to plan. My daughter’s engagement was lovely, romantic occasion, but I knew the peace and tranquility wouldn’t last and a tidal wave of venues, dates, tastings, ideas, disagreements, tears, smiles and endless check writing would soon follow. I can handle it and I hope the happy couple will take it in their stride.

Yesterday we traveled to Estes Park and looked at some wedding venues. First of all we visited the beautiful Della Terra Mountain Chateau.

Guest room Guest bathroom Lovely place for the reception Della Terra Mountain Chateau








Who wouldn’t want to get married here? I have to say the photos do not do it justice. This place resembles a Tuscan Villa. It is absolutely breathtaking.

Following our visit to the Della Terra, we went to another venue, which I won’t even mention. The photos on the website were beautiful, but when we arrived, it was nothing more than a seedy hotel. The staff was pleasant and helpful, but the place was AWFUL, and just as expensive as the beautiful Tuscan Chateau.

The Stanley Hotel was next on our list. We were a little early and had time to stop in the bar and enjoy a glass of champagne before meeting with our host. The Stanley Hotel was delightful. I felt like I was stepping back in time, and I won’t even pretend it didn’t feel haunted. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there was at least one spirit accompanying us on our tour. I managed to snap a couple of photos while we were there. (of the happy couple not the spirit).


This really would be a dramatic and wonderful place for a wedding. We were even shown the ‘Stephen King‘ room, where the great man stayed while he wrote ‘The Shining‘. I will definitely stay at this lovely hotel at some time in the future.

After the Stanley Hotel, we made our way to the Taharaa Mountain Lodge.


Tahara mountain lodge

The mountain lodge was delightful, and the owner who showed us around was a GEM. Originally from New Orleans, she had Southern Charm and Hospitality that made us immediately warm to her. The views from the lodge were incredible, and I am sure in many cases, would clinch the deal.

The last venue of the day and the last photo……..CIMG1150


Exhausted after a long day, we drove to Boulder, and stopped in Mountain Sun Brewery for a cold beer and some sustenance. Although we were all tired, we were happy that we had booked a venue and had a wedding date at last.

Which of these beautiful locations took our fancy? The Tuscan Villa of course.

In 2014 my only daughter will have a fairytale wedding at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau.

On another note, check out my other blog…STOP TALKING TO ME to keep up to date on my other endeavor, the launch of my first full length novel ‘Dead of July’. This book will be released in July of 2013 and maybe, just maybe, it will help me pay for the wedding. One can only hope. Preview Dead of July

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