Can I {Heart} Ali Edwards and Be Wicked Jealous of Her, Too?

It’s Tuesday night and I’m reclined in bed with my laptop. I had purposely saved THIS entry from ALI EDWARDS’ blog to read when I could sit down and savor it in the peace and quiet once everyone else had gone to bed, so here I am. I just finished reading it and now I’m all in a big Italy headspace.

Italy is my favorite place in the world. I’m part Italian on my mom’s side; our family is from UDINE (pronounced OOH-di-nuh), which is in Northern Italy. I cannot tell you how obsessed I am with Italy! I read books about it and I talk about it any chance I get. {Yes, I am THAT annoying}. I routinely use my DVR to Search “Italy” and “Rome,” and record shows about it. It’s mostly travel shows but I also have 3 episodes of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND where they went to Italy {hee hee, a guilty pleasure}. I also see movies that are set in Italy, like “WHEN IN ROME” and, of course, “ROMAN HOLIDAY” is one of my favorite movies EVAH!

I heard about an Italian miniseries called “BEST OF YOUTH” and searched for months but it never came on TV, so I finally broke down and ordered it on DVD from Amazon.

Crap, I should start a blog called “Italy Obsession,” shouldn’t I? I read the last paragraphs and think I’m a Rome stalker. WOW.

Anyway, it’s been my dream to go to Europe ~ but especially Italy ~ since I was a teenager (and no you may NOT ask how very long ago that was!). When I was about 20 and in college, I had it all planned to study overseas for a year in France (in AIX-EN-PROVENCE), which would be my home base for exploring all of Europe. I had to cancel when I couldn’t save enough money. Then, when I was about 30, DH and I had a Europe trip planned and had to cancel because some of the places we were going were politically unstable and there were travel warnings.

So to say that I REALLY wanted to go to Europe/Italy was an understatement. Yes, I finally did get my chance in October of 2006. I was blessed enough to go on a Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking cruise in the Mediterranean, with LISA BEARNSON, no less! Some of the story is HERE. We basically circled the Med and went to places like Tunis, Tunisia (North Africa) ~ Barcelona, Spain ~ Palma de Majorca, Spain ~ and Valletta, Malta. All of those places were completely amazing and it was the trip of a lifetime. Who would’ve ever thought I would go to North Africa?

But by far, the best places we went were in Italy … Palermo, Sicily ~ Genova, Italy ~ and ROME! As soon as we touched down on Italian soil, I felt like I was HOME. I loved every single thing about being there … the churches, the people, the history, the language, the food, the energy … just everything. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to learn everything I could and see everything I could.

My mom (who I traveled with, along with a friend) had done some online research before our trip and actually located a second cousin of hers! She was a doctor who lived in Rome, and we met up with her. It was just another thing that made me feel so comfortable there, so at home, like I belonged.

The only tragic part of the whole trip was that we weren’t there long enough. Palermo and Genova were just cruise stops, so we had one daytime to do a tour, and in Palermo, we stayed in town after the tour and just walked around. After the cruise, we went to Rome and stayed only 2 nights before we had to catch our flight back to the United States. I was SO sad to leave. I mean, truth be told, I was extremely homesick for my family and I couldn’t wait to get home. But I definitely left my heart in Italy and am determined to go back someday.

~~~~

So back to tonight … That’s why I saved Ali’s blog entry about Italy to sit down and read when I had some time to savor it. She’s an awesome photographer and I knew she’d have some amazing photos to share (she did). I love the way she journals and is so good about capturing her feelings while they’re still immediate (she did). Ali was so smart to write down her “I Want to Remember” moments right now, before she gets caught up in daily life and those moments fade from memory. I wish I had done that.

At the end of her blog entry, she links to THIS trip ~ yep, she’s going to Italy again in October 2011 and we’re all invited this time :) I couldn’t possibly be more jealous. She’ll be in Tuscany, which is my DREAM place to go. I’ve read all of FRANCES MAYES’ books, wrote a poem inspired by her descriptions of Tuscany for my Senior Project in college, and have worn out my DVD of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN.

Ali is also going to Rome, my favorite city in the world and where I’ve been dying to go back to. There’s no way I COULD actually go, as the trip would cost me upwards of $6,000 and we don’t make that kind of bank around this hizzy.

I couldn’t even make myself read through the entire trip itinerary because I, well, it kind of made me want to cry. I want to go SO BAD! This isn’t like a “Wow, it would be fun to go to CHA” or “Gosh, I’ve always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore.” This is like a yearning so deep in my soul that it hurts. {Holy hell, am I pathetic? Get a grip, girl!}

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, thanks for listening to me not only talk about my deep love for a foreign place (just like I subject my IRL friends and family too, the poor things), but for listening to me whine and be so jealous of another scrapper, ha.

And, Ali Edwards, if you were to ever read this, thank you for sharing your photos and experiences. I was able to dream through you for a bit, and to marvel about Italy with you for a bit, and that is a special thing.

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6 Comments on Can I {Heart} Ali Edwards and Be Wicked Jealous of Her, Too?

  1. Jayne
    July 28, 2010 at 5:12 am (4 years ago)

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your posting. My dad was born in Cortina, a hamlet to the north. It is my dream to go to Italy one day. Sounds like you had a wonderful time on the Mediterranean cruise.

    Reply
  2. Chris Hertel
    July 28, 2010 at 5:36 am (4 years ago)

    I found your post very endearing. It’s great to feel passionate about something. I would like to see Italy, although I’m not Italian AT ALL. But, I just admire everything across the pond, their old world values and ways of life. We need to adopt that more here on U.S. soil. We are such a wasteful destructive people, not all of us, but a great deal. We need to learn to give back to the earth, instead of just take, take, take. Plus, how awesome to see such old architecture! {sigh} It’s on my bucket list!

    Reply
  3. Shell M
    July 28, 2010 at 9:22 am (4 years ago)

    awww Erika… if I win the Lotto – yeah right ha ha – I will send you on the trip! I have been to Italy twice… for a decent length of time.. and I love it there.

    Well I love all of Europe. I totally get what you mean about feeling at home… that is how I felt about France (my heritage) – the minute I got there – I knew it was right. I would live there in a shot!

    Reply
  4. Kathryn B.
    July 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm (4 years ago)

    I understand that deep yearning in your heart, and yes it does hurt. It’s so hard to balance the reality of life, with the desires of our heart. Maybe you can’t go on Ali Edwards trip (and yes, I did read the entire itinerary), but maybe you can start planning your own trip for five years from now. In the meantime, put that worn-out DVD in the player and lose yourself in Diane Lane’s trip to Italy.

    Reply
  5. Abby
    July 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow…what a sweet and passionate post as Chris said. I think it’s fabulous to have something special like this to dream about. I’m far from Italian, but as I’ve learned more about Italy the older I’ve gotten, it’s one place I have dreamed of going. The food, the culture, the beautiful landscape…it all is so dreamy isn’t it? I hope you get to go to Italy some day and are able to savor every detail of the place. You deserve it! :) Oh…and I LOVE Under the Tuscan Sun! What a great movie! I still need to watch the other movie you posted though!

    Reply
  6. Delanie
    July 29, 2010 at 12:59 am (4 years ago)

    Being green-eyed about Ali Edward’s is definately something I can understand. For me it’s not so much the trip to Italy as her amazing design and style sense (in layouts and home decoration), emotive use of language that just sucks you in, and the projects she dreams up that have so much heart and relevance. Yep, I’m totally scrapbook crushing on Ali!

    Reply

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