Monday, June 19, 2017

From Italy Con Amore

Just spent two crazy fun weeks in Rome with my family with side trips to the Tuscany region, Florence (my fave), Pompei, Positano and the Amalfi Coast.  I'm pretty sure I ate my body weight in gelato and pizza and spaghetti with clams. Thank goodness for all of the walking.  We had an incredible time.

We saw all of the sights in Rome, including the Colosseum, Vatican, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, art museums and at least 100 churches.  At the crazily crowded and popular sights like the Vatican and the Colosseum, we were fortunate to find exceptional guides so that we could really understand the history.  So glad we did.

One thing I realized from the first day was that Rome was larger than life: everything is grander in Rome--the churches, the statues, the fountains. The crowds! There is artwork on every building, on every corner.  There's a sort of organized chaos and you just have to swim with it to truly enjoy and experience the city.  You also have to learn to ignore all of the panhandlers and watch out for pick-pockets, like any big city.

We logged about 75 walking miles in Rome, never taking a cab, except for one time coming back to our hotel the day we visited the Vatican because the temps were pushing early 90's and we were all starting to fade from all of the walking and the heat.  So we hailed a cab.  And promptly got a cold scoop of gelato near our hotel. Followed by dinner at a lovely rooftop restaurant.

Fun trip. Great adventure. Wonderful memories. I'm posting a few pics here but there's a bunch more on my Facebook page, if you're interested in seeing more or traveling to Italy.  Happy to have had the experience of this trip.

Hope you're having a great summer!
Ciao, for now!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Reaching Out

I shared this post on my Facebook and Twitter pages and certainly wanted to share here as well.

A good reminder to reach-out to your parents, grandparents, and elderly neighbors, especially those living alone.

This story is heart-breaking.

Click HERE.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Has Sprung in the Sonoran Desert

I usually post these photos to my Facebook account, but the desert has been so beautiful this year (thank you, Rain!) that I wanted to post them here as well.  Here are just a few pics from my desert hikes. (Click each image to enlarge.)

Beautiful yellow wildflowers surrounding a saguaro that's, surprisingly, still standing, given all of the little birds that like to burrow inside of it.  Each "arm" represents 25 years.

Octotillo looks so gorgeous this time of year. From a distance, the red flowers at the top kind of look like Arizona cardinals.

Pink flowers on cactus might be my favorite desert color.  So vibrant.

And, last but not least, some desert wildflowers, all purples and yellows.

Hope you are enjoying your Spring wherever you call home.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Ring of Fire

Last night, I had tickets to the Arizona Theatre production of RING OF FIRE at The Herberger in Phoenix. Battling traffic to get there from all of the Final Four tourists and downtown events was a hassle but, in the end, so very worth it.

In short: the play was FABULOUS!

It's an autobiographical of Johnny Cash's life, told through 38 songs.  The actors and musicians were amazing; their voices were perfect.  It's equally impressive at all of the beautiful music that Johnny and June Cash created. While I loved all of the songs, their rendition of "The Far Side of Jordan" was my favorite.  If you live in Phoenix or if this production comes to your city, grab tickets.  You won't be disappointed.

The music was wonderful. Standing ovation at the end. And, Bravos all around.

Monday, March 13, 2017

When Life Intersects with Reality

This is quite possibly the cutest thing on the Internet right now. Definitely share-worthy:

There's a story here, waiting to be told. :)

Happy Spring!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Super Bowl 2017 Commercials

Until the second half of this football game, I was only in it for the commercials.  But then, wham, what a comeback by the Patriots...

Anyway, this is the only time of year worth watching television commercials. I always hope to see something new, creative, and exciting, especially when they spend a gazillion for a commercial.  Usually, most of the commercials disappoint--maybe because the expectations are too high?

I noticed that this year that the commercials were less about cute babies and puppies and more about celebrities.  More about cars and phones; less about Doritos and beer.  And what happened to the Clydesdale horses?? Did I simply miss them this year?

Here are my top 3:

1) Cam Newton. I thought his commercial was hilarious. He was selling Buicks. I think...

2) Skittles.  I thought that one was funny and clever and kind of gross at the same time.  But I laughed.

3) Melissa McCarthy and the tree-hugging.  Hilarious. I think she too was trying to sell a car in the end.

What were your faves?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Good Reads

Over the Christmas holidays, I read a ton of books on the gorgeous beaches of Turks & Caicos (shared some pics on my Facebook page!). Two were outstanding and I wanted to share those with you.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Loved, loved this story. Ove is a curmudgeon and you're all prepared to hate the guy but as the story progresses and you see how his life intersects with his neighbors, you're pretty much cheering for him at the end.  This story is set in Sweden and it is translated into English and my hats off to the translator.  The translation is excellent as well.  I don't want to give too much away--just read it. You'll love it.

Next is a non-fiction selection called Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.  This was recommended to me by a friend.  I recommend it now to anyone who has
an elderly parent/relative.  It talks candidly about end of life situations and the disconnect between the medical field and the aging patients and their families. It's the kind of book I wished I'd read about five years ago.  A very worthwhile read.  While it did not necessarily teach me anything ground-breakingly new, it reinforced some of what I was thinking before (and after) my own parents passed away and, in a weird way, gave me some comfort. Highly, highly recommend.

What did you read over the holidays?  Hey, by the way, Happy New Year!