Saturday, September 27, 2008


ten hours, a small car - emphasize small, a map and some strong coffee is what we had on santorini. the island was like a cake frosted with little white towns and we were in decoration wonderland.

what's better...

...than finding a portland friend in a small village on corfu when you left the directions back in portland? I'll tell you...

having them invite you up for some greek pastries and a tall glass of ouzo at 10:30 in the morning, because, every morning on a greek island should start with an ouzo induced buzz, pastries and friends far far far from home. then, with said nice ouzo buzz, walking across the road to take a swim, laying in the hot hot sun, and then topping it off with the most delicious lunch. that was the best.

a taste of croatia.

that's what we had so that's what i'll share. it was just a taste; a few hours to see what we could see. one day we'll go back for a eight course indulgence of croatia is what we'll do, because, it will be so worth it.

there were medieval walls climbing up the side of mountains like they were meant to be there all along,
laundry, cleverly placed to brighten up lonely little alleyways,

and there is no surprise that the doors caught my eye. they, like much of croatia, have been untouched for a long time, beautiful and dormant and still so free from the pressures of the tourist dollar...for the time being anyway.

if I could count the ways... which I loved you tuscany, I would. although, I would go on forever and ever and ever and all of your delicious secrets would be out. there are a few things, though, that I just can't keep to myself...

your doors...I could spend forever with your doors,
the way your little cars tempted I could just pick them up and put them in my pocket,
your olives. everything about your olives,
your sunflowers and the way they couldn't hide their love for you either,
watching people find their way around your hilltowns, dancing almost, in those stone streets and alleyways,
your grass and the way it shines in the hot sun...oh! and the smell, I will never forget that sweet smell,

giancarlo, all of his delicious creations, hospitality, and the way he shares his way of life at podere spedalone with his guests,
you and him...together in the quiet warm air waiting patiently for the sun to set.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


that's what it was. morning, noon and night. every sunrise, sunset, kiss, view, farm, hill town, corner, olive and sip of wine in tuscany was incredible. oh...and it was quiet. so quiet. after the hustle and bustle and crowds of the riviera we embraced tuscany's quiet landscape and dirt roads with open arms! there will be more to come on tuscany...I promise.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ahh the riviera...

in addition to morning pastries, pasta courses that would ordinarily constitute the entire meal, gelato, day forgetting, and love affair with doors, here are a few other things we incorporated into our daily italian life there in the cinque terre...

- taking boats to get from place to place in addition to trains;

- actually figuring out how to properly take the trains...there's this whole validation process which we were pretty keen on ahead of time but there's also the element of making sure you get on the right train. luckily...the wrong train didn't take us too far and thank goodness we didn't have our ridiculous amount of luggage (which, was probably average but felt absolutely ridiculous when cramming it off and on the trains in what felt like a fire drill);

- delightful sleep (which was probably more of a food induced coma type state but delightful sleep sounds better);

- browsing the markets to admire things we couldn't manage to carry home;

- loading up on picnic goodies (because for whatever reason between the pastries, pasta, secondo courses and the gelato we were actually hungry)...we blamed it on the dr. seuss staircases;

- late night wine drinking and star gazing (this also often involved eating some sweets that ele sent along with us);

- doing laundry by hand and hanging it from the windows to dry; and

- writing and mailing postcards (we had big plans to continue the postcard writing, but, we didn't succeed). it was SO much fun though, to stick the ones we did write into the cutest little post office boxes I think I've ever seen.