Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Year Ago This Week

Tempus fugit. Time flies. Where were you this week, last year?

I was in Lake Como, Italy with George Clooney.

Oh, alriiiight.

I was visiting my friend Amy (from Chicago), her husband who hails from Rome and their two boys in their wonderful new hometown!

After an overnight flight from New York, I took a train from Milan to Como and silently cursed myself for packing so much into my wheelie duffel. Long walks and lots of steps...ooof.  NYPD and FDNY shirts for the boys did little to lighten my load.

I was Amy and Guido's first houseguest, and the apartment was still filled with workmen putting the final touches on the plaster, tile, plumbing, etc. The guys reminded me of a scene from "Under the Tuscan Sun" -- they were grilling their lunches in Amy's kitchen fireplace. One of the guys walked in and said "Michael Jackson. Muerto." News travels. Farrah Fawcett died that day, too, but her story got a bit lost.

Before I collapsed into my customary 2pm jet lag nap, Amy and I had a wonderful lunch. I never would have known, but Amy explained that the table was a door, set on top of the washing machine, in the middle of the kitchen. I guess it did seem a little high! All I could see was my smiling friend, in her gorgeous home, and a very inviting salad topped with a big fig, and shaved parmasean. And that VIEW!!!!!!!  Red tile roofs, the mountains, church bells pealing, lightning bolts cracking, old ladies shaking out carpets over their balcony railings across the stone courtyard. There's even a duomo off to the right--WOW!!!

Duomo! Mountains!

I'm only posting a few of the 100's of pix I took...and I can't be very specific, as my travel journal is in the moving truck. I struck out on my own one day and took the "funiculare" up a steep mountain, and wandered around for a few hours. Great view of the lake (below), cool temps, and very interesting ornaments on the houses. They struck me as Bavarian rather than Italian...I love architectural details!

My wanderings took me to a trattoria that was setting up slowly for lunch. I was the first customer to show up, and that's my table there, with the checkered tablecloth. The owner asked what I would like, and I pointed to the basket of fresh mushrooms that a farmer had just put down. I said "Spaghettini con funghi, per favore y birra." That "y" for "and" might have slipped through from 10th grade Spanish class. Not sure, but within 15 minutes, I was tucking into insanely delicious handmade pasta with mushrooms that were beyond fresh, and sipping a beer---YUM!!!

That's where I was one year ago. It's just a teeny tiny peek into my Lake Como visit, which was followed by a week and a half in Tuscany and the Italian Riviera. At lunch that day, I never would have thought that in a year I'd totally uproot, and find myself living in North Carolina. Let life take you where you need to be!
Tempus fugit, carpe diem, in vino veritas and all that good stuff.

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