Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

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

Send to Kindle

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.

Your Favorite Scrapbook Gifts for Christmas?

Send to Kindle

Welcome back to blog-world, after that little break we all took for Christmas. I have to admit, the only day I stayed entirely away from the computer was Christmas Day itself. We didn’t go out of town, but stayed close to home attending family events. On Christmas Day, after all the gift opening madness, just our little family went out for a fancy dinner. We spent scads of cash, and ate whatever we wanted for desert without worrying about calories or the future additions to our tushies. I mean, once a year, ya gotta throw caution to the wind, right? I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well.

I was lucky to receive some wonderful gifts. My MIL got us a set of those glass photo coasters, telling us how she was up very late the night before going through old photos to put in a set of coasters for each family. It was so touching to look at those photos, and to think of the care she took to pick them out for each of us. I have to selfishly admit, it was so extra nice to be on the receiving end for once of a gift that involved someone taking the time and love to do a project like that, and making something that we will smile at every time we use it. Thanks MIL ~ you rock! And there’s more! Mi madre gave me something handmade and special also. Have you seen those little wire and beaded “wine glass labels”? You know, you’re at someone’s house for a party and everyone is drinking wine, so you put this little cutie around the stem of your glass, then just remember, “Oh, I have the green one.” Well, my mom made me two sets of them and they’re personalized with the names of all our extended family (i.e. the folks we party with). The “girls” set is for we wine drinkers, and has little girly colored beads and grape charms, with our little tiny name tags. Then the boys set has boy colored beads and little beer charms. I figure we can hang them from the tabs of the beer cans, or insist that DH stick to longnecks which will absolutely break his heart (NOT).

Speaking of Mr. ScrapbookObsession, one of my bestest gifts was a $100 gift card to Starbucks (aka StarCrack) from him and the kids. Now, this was a HUGE thing coming from my Way Better Half, “he who always has a sarcastic comment about my level of latte consumption.” But the little note on the card holder said a thank you for all my late nights working and may this card help me get through those nights. I swear, sometimes he makes me so mad I just ball up my fist and say, “Straight to the moon!” and then he does stuff like the Starbucks gift and I decide to keep him forever :)

There was a thread on CKMB about “What gifts did we buy ourselves?”, so I was glad to see I wasn’t alone. “DH” bought me a cute pair of black shoes, and a huge book about the art of Rome. (Yeah, he was more surprised than I was when I opened them…and he was pretty impressed with ‘his’ gift buying abilities). The plan is also to get me an iPhone, hopefully later this week, AFTER we see how much the washing machine repair is going to cost. Yeah, I might have to take one for the team. As I started opening my gifts this year, I have to admit to a teeny tiny drop of disappointment when nothing was scrappy related. However, when my mom arrived lastnight with gifts from she and from my brother’s family, my faith was restored. My SIL (okay, we know my brother didn’t think of this) got me 3 Perfect Pages scrapbook kits from Colorbok, called Family Ties, Christmas and School Days. I’ve never seen them and was so happy to see something that didn’t come from Michaels or Costco, which is about the only scrapbook shopping I get to do anymore with all the LSS’s gone. To top it off, my mom got me a pack of scrapping stuff that she had hand picked from her LSS – papers, embellishments, large eyelets for my Cropadile, and {GOD BLESS HER} some Bazzill cardstock to match it all. So, my little Scrap Angels did take care of me after all. While we all watched We Are Marshall tonight, I just sat there stroking my new goodies, looking through them over and over. I think all eyes were on the TV, so no one saw my Scrapbook-Obsessive behavior. It’ll just be our little secret, kay?

The best “gift” I was given was so many opportunities to take wonderful pictures for my scrapbooks: warm family dinners; candlelight ceremony at Christmas Eve church; Christmas Day walk on the beach; and ~ the best ~ catching the amazed and happy faces of my kids as they saw each new present. I want to journal the wonderful conversations we had and remember this Christmas always…

What were your best gifts this year? Any scrapbook-y kinds of gifts? C’mon, we all want to hear about them! Anything scrapbook-related you were really hoping for but didn’t get? Tell us how your Christmas went…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...