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.

Back to the USA

It’s our second day back in the good old US of A and we’re slowly getting over the jet lag. I went to bed at 9:00 last night and straight to sleep. Although I was awake at 4:00 am, I felt rested. I’ll try and stay up a little later tonight.
I decided to do some laundry today, so I bundled up all of our dirty clothes and put them in the washing machine…then stood back and laughed. I’d forgotten how big the washing machines are in the US. I need at least another couple of days worth of dirty clothes to fill its gargantuan mouth.
It was a rainy morning and a slightly overcast afternoon, but it made for a lovely walk around Sloans Lake with Princess Tess. I remembered to greet people in American today. When I walked around the lake yesterday morning I greeted everyone with “ciao” and “buongiorno”.
I forgot to tell you about my other mistake, I tried to purchase snacks in New York with Euros. It’s also tough remembering to say thank you instead of “grazie”
I’m still practicing my Italian every day while I’m here…but maybe I need to practice my American too!

Enough for now, hope you’re enjoying my little mishaps.
Have a wonderful week everyone and mantieni un sorriso. (Keep a smile)

Sleepy Sunday – Day of Rest

I’m having a lazy day because I didn’t sleep too well last night. It happens sometimes. Some silly, unimportant thing will flutter around in my mind and keep me awake. Today is Sunday though, even God rested on a Sunday didn’t he?

Maybe it’s a good day to write. My current book is progressing very slowly. The title is eluding me. I played with “Fleeing Trump’s America”, but Trump wasn’t the reason we moved to Italy. It did speed up our plans a little, but I’d rather keep politics out of it. I’m aiming for an amusing insight of our adventure, along with its pitfalls, yes there were a couple.

Enough of that. I’ve attached some photos for your pleasure. The top three are from my husband’s bike ride on Friday. It was a gorgeous day, although a little windy. He rode 63 kilometers, mostly up hill (not bad for an old guy). I believe these were taken in Quadri, Penadommo and the other side of Lago di Bomba. The two photos at the bottom are from my more relaxed activity, and afternoon stroll in Colledimezzo.

Time to cook I think. Lazy Sundays are always better with a good lunch! I hope you’re all enjoying your day of rest too.

Keep a smile!

Calabria – A nice surprise

Tropea, what a beautiful seaside town. Not at all like I expected.

Sad start to our four day break when I heard my daughter’s dog Fendi, had to be put to sleep. She was fourteen years old, and suffering with renal failure, it was the kindest thing to do. She had her favorite meal of steak, and then was put to sleep peacefully in the arms of my daughter. Yes, I’m still shedding tears over it, loved that pup. Can’t believe I won’t see her again. Wish I’d been there to hug her one last time.

Pictures of Tropea, Calabria. I don’t think I need to say much about it. Beautiful, unspoiled, great food, friendly helpful people. The rock sticking out of the sea in the background of the first picture is Strombli, an active volcano. Everything about Tropea makes it a fantastic vacation spot. We’ll be back again next year.

More photos and experiences to follow. Our next trip? Returning to Rome in September if this crazy Delta variant doesn’t prevent it. What a mess this last couple of years has been.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, and stay safe, we’re not out of the woods yet!

And for my Next Trip

Revisiting the Amalfi Coast was wonderful. Just as fresh and pretty as the first time. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it equally as much if I go back again. The walks, the views, the food!!

I’m so lucky to live in Italy! My next trip is going to be a fresh experience. We’re driving to Tropea, Calabria, right on the toe of the boot. I’ve never been that far south before and can’t wait…only a month to go!

Above is a picture taken while walking one of the beautiful paths between Minori and Ravello.
Below is an image of Tropea, can’t wait to explore.

I just ordered a Limoncello!

The short three and a half hour drive from Colledimezzo to Minori was easy. Lovely countryside, small villages and beautiful blue skies We arrived at the Minori Palace Hotel and were pleasantly surprised. Beautiful hotel and lovely friendly staff.

It didn’t take us long to unpack our small bags and soon we wandered down the cobbled road looking for a place to eat. We weren’t hopeful because in the past, restaurants on the Amalfi Coast opened in the evening. Lunch time was always a challenge. COVID has changed things a little. We hadn’t gone far when we came upon a lovely looking place. We stopped and had a delicious seafood meal. I decided to have a Limoncello with my dessert, and laughed when I was presented with a gigantic lemon to go with it, only in Italy!

Our quick four day trip has started well.

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?

Just Chill!

Do you find it hard to relax? I do! We go on vacation and unwind, but why can’t we do that at home? Life is way too short to keep up the crazy pace we set for ourselves.

Its the weekend, kick back and chill.


Shimmering Adriatic


I was fifteen when I first went to Italy. I went with my mum and my crazy old Auntie Jennie. I’d dreamed of Italy from a very young age, and my mum had always promised she’d take me. Finally, she could afford it. I’ll never forget the thrill of stepping off the plane into the warm night air. I was in love with the country before I ever saw it and after my first visit it was firmly lodged in my heart. The two-week vacation wasn’t long enough and when we left, I cried.

As the jet climbed into the night sky I looked longingly back at the bejeweled coast line of the Adriatic and wished I didn’t have to go home.

My first visit was to Rimini, back in the early seventies. The photo above is a little further south. It’s the coastline of Vasto, taken on my last visit in August of this year. Now I can visit this beautiful place whenever I want to, and call it home. The Chieti Province of Abruzzo. My new home. It took me 45 years to realize my dream, it was worth the wait.

Mission Accomplished

DSC05320Five short days ago I arrived in Rome Airport, met my daughter and headed out to Abruzzo to buy a house. I’d made arrangements with a realtor to view five. The first two were okay, but the third one was outstanding. A quirky old olive mill that has been remodeled into a quirky, but beautiful home. We made an offer which the sellers accepted. Can’t wait to start buying furnitre.

The photo above is Vasto, which is a beautiful seaside town in Abruzzo. I’d forgotten how stunning and soothing the Adriatic is. I’m sure the road to finally exchanging contracts on this home will have its bumps, but it will be worth it. Hang in for the ride.

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