Sunday, June 26, 2011

Married Man Date

There have been a few times in my life where I just wake up and decide to do something...something big!  Such is the case when I was living in Northwest Arkansas after college.  I bought my first house when I was 24 there.  I know the house was a goal, but I don't know why I decided there.  I was miserable!  I love Northwest Arkansas, but it just wasn't where I wanted to be in my early/mid twenties.  So!  I woke up one Sunday morning and decided I would move.  I literally looked at a map and thought, "ehh...let's try Dallas."  I started researching Dallas that week and the following weekend I made a trip down there to check it out.  I knew all of 3 people in Dallas when I left--and two of them were family!  The third person I knew was a guy that I had been Internet buddies with for a few years.  His girlfriend at the time called me when she heard I was coming--long story short, she is now one of my best friends and I am so thankful for her in my life! 

So I moved to Dallas after I closed a big deal and could afford the move.  I gave up my faux-finish and mural painting business and decided to look back into health care.  I looked into Physician Assistant programs and I looked into nursing....and here I am, professional student, back in school again....anyway.  I got down to Dallas and I enrolled in pre-reqs for nursing.  The easiest job I knew to get while taking classes was waiting tables and bartending.  Voila!  I had a job in less than three days of being there.  I downsized from my 3 bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment and I was so happy to be in A CITY!!! 

Knowing all of three people when I moved there, I was a smidge lonely.  I felt like I hadn't been on a date in FOREVER, which wasn't the truth, but it's what I felt like.  The restaurant I worked at was a Brazilian Churrascuria and it happened to draw all kinds of handsome Spanish and Portuguese-speaking men to work there.  One of the guys kept asking me out, so finally I gave.  He was from Latin America.  Sexy accent.  Decent looking.  Very very funny.  Kind of goofy--but, smart.  What was the harm in it?  I will never forget.  I was in a Pinot Noir phase and he offered to pick up a bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir and come over after work to have a glass of wine.  He had me at Pinot!!!  Working in the restaurant business for a while, I got to learn so much about wines.  I miss it!!!

I have always enjoyed visiting with people that are so different from me.  People from other countries, religious backgrounds and viewpoints always seem to open my eyes to more out there.  Culture me!!!  So I was a little excited to ask this guy about his home country and maybe pick up a little of his language.  He came over and we sat on my teeeeny balcony at my teeeeny bistro set and had our bottle of Pinot.  My little Leo (dog) really took to him, so I felt okay about having him there.  (Leo is a mamma's boy and usually very protective.)  We sat outside and gabbed for a few hours.  I think he probably kissed me goodnight and that was it.

I had enjoyed our time on the balcony and the Pinot, so what was the harm in hanging out again???  I knew in my gut, this was going no where long-term, but I really enjoyed getting to know him.  He had me over to a house party and I met all of his roommates.  Ummm....all foreign...all very good looking.  Wowzers.  I wasn't feeling sorry for lonely ol' me anymore!  The third or fourth time we hung out (outside of work), I believe was at my place again.  It was the same type of night as the first date, if you'll call it that.  Bottle of wine.....lots of gabbing.  We moved inside to my living room and were snuggled up on the couch.  He started getting a little kissy and said in a very low-sexy-heavy-accented voice, "Errrrica....I have something to tell you."  And of course, googlie-eyed me would've listened to anything when said like that!  "Yes???" 

Then there was a pause....and he said it...."I'm married." 

"What?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I shrieked as I moved to the opposite side of the couch and stared in disbelief.  "Seriously?!  Married?!  What the hell are you doing here?!  Where is your WIFEEEEEEEEEE?!!!!!"  He then explained his marriage as basically fake, which I have no respect for and that was the end of that.  Never in my life did I think I would go out with a married man!  I respect the commitment of marriage so much!  ARGhhhhh..........If I wasn't blessed with such amazing guy friends, I would seriously think ALL men were pigs!  That was my LAST date with a married man......that I know of, anyway.....

Sweet dreams.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mama Mia!!! Italian date.

Stupid-no....Naive-yes... Summer 2001--Firenze
Recently I was reminded by some of my girlfriends, God bless 'em....that I have dated a few men that are very good-looking with very little going on upstairs.  I admit, I am as guilty as a guy about falling for a beautiful smile, but it never lasts.  If you really wanna turn my head and make the butterflies swirl in my tummy, you can hold an intriguing conversation and challenge my thinking.  This dating story did just the beginning.

So the summer I was living in Florence with my cousin, we were walking around the shops near the Ponte Vecchio, I believe, and were stopped by an Italian-Romanian man.  She may have to correct me...we did drink vino with our pizza margherita at lunch.  Anyway.  This decent looking guy and his cousin stopped us and wanted to chat because we are American.  His English was excellent.  We were used to keeping eyes forward and walking through the "Ciao Bella!s" on the street, but this guy caught our, maybe MY attention.  He started this conversation up about religion and politics--two things you shouldn't always discuss right away, but I'll be honest, I love to.  I love to know how other people think and what makes them tick as far as ideals and beliefs go.  So we talk to this guy for a bit and agree to meet later for more "discussion."

My poor cousin.  She was an excellent wing-woman.  I don't think she was so excited about it, but I was like, "Look, what could be more fun than intelligent conversation at a pub?!.....It's that, or I'm going dancing with our roommate and my tootsies need a break!"  So, again, my cousin was such a trouper!!!  We headed out to meet this guy and his goober cousin.  Goober cousin didn't speak much English, and at that point, our Italian kinda sucked.  I thought we were going to meet at a pub......we ended up going to a discoteca.  So.  Another night of dancing--but salsa dancing!  Not hip-hop/techno, for a change.  Naive me thought I'd be chatting away with a brain all night.  WRONG.  We go to this back bar in between dancing, and I think, "finally, we'll chat."  I think this guy's mission was to explore my tonsils!  I don't know how he got his face to mine so quickly, but I was mortified and not expecting it.  Again.  Naive.  He really started creeping me out when he grabbed my arm and started kissing it up and down as he said "Bella. Bella."  So, I found my cousin to head home and they insisted on walking us.  Ugh.  When we got to the Arno River, I said, "Look, we can walk the rest of the way.  We don't know you and I don't want you to know where we live."

I thought that was the end of that.  Flash forward a few months from then...fall semester.  I was living on the other side of the Arno and back together with my long-time high school/college boyfriend in the States.  9-11 happened.  It was so surreal being over there while it seemed like chaos at home.  The school advised us to integrate more with the Italians and not advertise we were Americans.  I ran into dude from the summer at the Central Market, and thought, "Eh--really harmless.  I wonder if he would be just friends."....again.  Naive.  So we arranged to meet for coffee and he seemed totally down with just being friends!  I told him about my boyfriend back in the States.  He seemed totally cool with it.  I was so excited!  AND, this guy really did have some interesting views and great conversation.  He said he could teach me Italian, that he'd taught other Americans and he asked me if I liked cinemas.  "Sure!"  So we were going to watch a movie in Italian.  I started getting a little nervous when we ended up at a flat instead of a theatre, but I went with it.  The guy wasn't THAT much bigger than me.....and I said a few prayers to my Guardian Angel!!!

I walked into his flat, and thought, "You've got to be kidding me."  His sofa was already made out into a bed...his VCR....yes, I am dating myself...VCR downstairs was "broken", so we had to go up to his loft to watch the movie.  Totally a set-up?!  Probably.  He turned the movie on and we had a little small talk here and there.  I am asked him Italian words and questions.  About 20 minutes into the movie, schmooooosh!  He suction-cupped himself to me and I screeched, "AHHH!!!  Ricordi il mio raggazo negli Stati Uniti!!!"  (Remember my boyfriend in the United States!)  The only other time I have spoken Italian so clearly and quickly at that point was after throwing back a few glasses of vino.

Dude yelled "Mama Mia!!!" as he flung himself backwards in disgust.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Then he pouted his lip very seriously and told me I would NEVER-EVER learn Italian unless I slept with him.  Ha!  I still don't speak Italian fluently, hell--even conversationally at this maybe he's right!....but no way in hell was I knockin' boots with Mr. Mama Mia! 

I saw this guy at the Market a few more times.  He reminded me I would NEVER-EVER learn Italian if I didn't sleep with him and he'd follow that up with "No..No...I could never be just friends with such a beautiful girl."  I'd walk off, and he'd hit on the very next American girl that would walk by him.  MAMA-MIA!!!

Sweet dreams.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

For the love of eHarmony.....

I'll follow my last "First Date Oopsie" blog with one I like to call, "For the love of eHarmony!!!"  I will be the first to admit I've tried online dating.  Where's a single girl to meet guys?!  Okay, well, it's not THAT hard to meet guys, but it is hard to find guys looking for the same thing you are.  Can I get an "Amen, Sista!"?!!  So I have done quite a bit of "match" dating and only a little of "eHarmony."  I think I liked "match" better, but I think the men on it are a small pool of men that have probably been out with some of my single friends...and a lot of people on "match" truthfully, in my opinion, are looking just to "hook-up."  I am not looking just to "hook-up," nor have I ever.  But, I did give "match" a few solid tries--who knows?  Maybe I'll do it again.  The one (and maybe only) eHarmony date I remember was a special one.

I met this guy for drinks at a local restaurant.  He was very nice, obviously, since we were matched up on the site.  He was fairly good looking and had an outgoing personality.  Unfortunately, within 10 minutes of the conversation, I threw him in the "friend zone."  So this was a few years ago and I don't remember all of the details of our conversation, but two things stood out.  I remember he talked about being a part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which really intrigued me.  That was probably my first interest in the program.  AND, can I just say....I HAVE THE COOLEST LITTLE SIS EVER NOW!

The other detail I remember was his profession, which I found very interesting, at first.  He said he was in medical device sales.  Cool!  With both of my parents being pharmacists and my sister being in pharma sales, I totally get anything health care related.  Not to mention, I was in nursing school at the time.  "So tell me about what you sell?"  I asked.  This guy was very proud of his product.  "Well, I sell a product for erectile dysfunction."  He then went into all kinds of detail about this device.  Totally interesting.....until he continued to go on......and on.  The date ended with us walking out to the parking lot and he wanted to show me what he sold.  I was trying to be very polite, "That's okay, I get the picture."  To which he replied, "No.  Come here.  It's the coolest thing."  He popped open his trunk, and pulled out a penis-pump.  And I thought that might be the end of that......then he grabbed my arm and hooked it up to this penis-pump.  I kept saying, "I hope this isn't used!"

So there I was.  My first eHarmony date.  Standing in the parking lot with cars driving by and my arm hooked up to a penis-pump.  Fantastic!!!

Sweet dreams......

Saturday, June 18, 2011

First Date Oopsie

I've had quite the hot date with the books tonight and I soooo need a study break. It was a rather frustrating day having my car worked on for four hours. It gave me the opportunity to do a little retail therapy at Victoria's Secret (semi-annual sale-yay!yay!yay!!!) with my KC bestie, Gina. That girl has been so helpful to me this week!  Don't know what I would do without her.  Gawd, I've got great girlfriends!!!  Since my planned afternoon of studying was shot, I pretty much gave up and decided to take Gina to dinner.  Over dinner we started gabbing and catching up.  It's no secret my dating life is a bit of a joke......and we decided have a good laugh over it.  I've basically been single, and by single, I mean no serious relationship for almost ten years now.  I've dated a few guys here and there, but once it starts to go anywhere they wind up cheating, trying to cheat, or it just blows up in smoke and Princess here has no time for nonsense.  I hadn't wanted to air out all of my dating experiences over my blog, but the more we talked about it......I really have some comical stories.  And at this point, it really does feel good to laugh over these boys as oppose to shed tears and this should prove to be entertaining to write about.  I promise not to embarrass anyone, but myself, in the process!!!

This first dating story I have blogged before--back when everyone was using "myspace" instead of "facebook."  So, maybe I am cheating by not writing a new one tonight, but this is a good intro to a first date Erica-later-twenties-style.  I think I was 28 or so when this happened and I wrote this back then, not stepping back in time for a bit.....

Ah...the joys of a first date.  I found out where this guy and I were eating so I could dress appropriately.  We weren't going anywhere fancy-smanshy, so I just wore jeans.  I did the normal know....shower, hair, make-up, smell goods and did the major double check with the sis.  I had decided to wear the jeans that I had worn for two hours the night before.  I hadn't washed them because they were expensive and really....2 hours?! 

So....I do the double check with the sis.  She tells me I look tall and thin, my hair looks good, so I am pleased and figure what I have on will do.  Thinking I am hot snot, I walk out the door.
So at the restaurant, dinner was good.  Conversation was good.  We decide to have drinks after dinner.  As I am sliding out the booth, I feel something on my leg.  "What the?????"  It was about mid-thigh and on the side of my leg.  My thoughts began whirling...."What the hell could that be?  I know its not a dryer sheet because these aren't right out of the dryer.....A pantiliner?  Am I wearing a pantiliner that has somehow made its way out of place and down my leg?  What the????"  So, I, Miss Hot Snot, climb out of the booth and tell dude that I have to go to the bathroom before drinks.  I had to investigate.

I walk straight into the stall and pull down my jeans......low and behold.....a sexy little black thong!  My panties from the night before!  I had made it over half-way through the date with a black thong stuck to the side of my leg in my jeans!  I was crying I was laughing so hard in the bathroom.  "What if I hadn't noticed and the thong had slipped out the bottom of my jeans!.....Did he notice a buldge in the side of my jeans??".......Embarrassing thoughts kept racing through my head........My first instinct was to call my mom or my sis and tell them of my little mistake, but I knew it would take too long.....and I didn't want dude thinking I was dropping kids off at the pool, so I shoved my thong in my little black purse.

At the bar, drinks were good......(like they ever aren't!)  It came time to pay and I wanted to pay for drinks.  Fortunately, dude insisted because I couldn't figure out how I was going to open my little purse without my little black thong falling out!!!  How embarrassing.....Miss Hot Snot, my ass!!!

Sweet dreams.......

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm back....Happy Father's Day!

Wowzers!!!  Well, if my very few followers haven't noticed......I haven't blogged in TWO MONTHS.  I NEED CREATIVITY!  I started the CRNA program on May 31st.  Prior to that, I felt like a mad-woman trying to make sure everything was in order and finished with work before starting school.  Not to mention, a surprise trip to Vegas for my sister's 30th.  I still can't believe we are both in our thirties now!  AND, I REALLY can't believe we pulled off the surprise Vegas trip without her knowing.  She didn't know until 10 minutes before we arrived at the airport where we were going......and the surprises just kept coming when we got there--from family showing up to her bestie from New York, it was a helluva trip.

So, here I am...back in school.  I am so itchy to paint, sew, bake, ANYTHING artsy right now I feel like I could go crazy!  The most creative I have been since starting back to school is hot-gluing bling-blings on my big hat for my sister's birthday hat party.  And yes, we have partied for a month for her 30th.  Those that know her will attest--"it's all about her!"  Anyway, the long and the short is.....I'm back.  I started this blog so I would have a creative outlet that wouldn't make a big living room mess and that I could do while in school.  Maybe I'll tackle a small project this weekend...besides studying my "bone box."  I've got 2 blank canvases staring me in the face and I don't even have to brainstorm about what to paint!  I already know what I want to do!!!....but, until I get a big enough school break....this blog will have to do. 

With Father's Day approaching, I'll end this blog with a blip on my dad.  He is the best...and if I haven't said it a million times, I should--I AM SO BLESSED WITH THE BEST FAMILY.  My dad came up last night for a program at school.  We were supposed to have our "support person" come with.  I think that usually means a spouse, while not being in that position, I knew exactly who to call.  Dad.  And, he was more than happy to come up and such a joy.  My dad is hilarious.  I would probably have a more popular blog if I just blogged about the stories he tells.  He really is kind of a red-neck...and I love him.  He calls with stories about varmint traps--apparently, he has the sweetest grubs in Northwest Arkansas because he has to trap all of the, that is not a typo.  (I think he says stuff like that to get a rise out of us.)  Anyway, all of the armadillos in Northwest Arkansas apparently dine in his backyard and he traps them in his varmint trap to take them down to the "back 40" for a little funeral because otherwise, they terrorize his 4, yes 4, German Shepherds that live like dog royalty in his backyard.  Plus, if you didn't know, armadillos are nasty creatures that carry leprosy. 

This is the same man that will stand outside with a cup of coffee at daybreak as quiet as can be to catch the moles that tear up his yard.  Just last week I called and he answered in a whisper because he was "on a lookout."  "Dad, what are you on a lookout for?  And why are you whispering?"....."Gotta go, shug (short for sugar)--I'm catching moles."

My dad is one of the most intelligent people I know, and definitely one of the funniest.  He is the genius pharmacist that knows everything about every drug....meanwhile, his keys are locked in his car or stuck in the front door.  He makes up pet names for all of us, as well as all of his dogs.  I forget his male's name most of the time because he has about 5 names for the dog!  I have started keeping a list of "dadisms" because he says things that always make me do a double take.  "Shug, it don't get greener 'en goose-shit"  means the light is green so you better go.  "Light a far."  "Far" meaning "fire.  I could type a bunch of these, but I won't embarrass him.

I love that my dad loves history and traveling and his big desire to learn, learn, learn.....and while he doesn't get my artwork from college and he loves to make fun of the music I listen to, he actually really respects me and loves that that is what makes me, ME.  I could go on, but I won't......some of the pics tell it better.  Happy Father's Day DAD!!!

At Mayan ruins

Dad making fun of how I pose for pictures.....he's just about right-on....

Seaweed King bobbing around in the ocean with I get stung by Jellyfish!

I think he'd be embarrassed if he saw this pic all over the internet....but, I love it.

Tailgaiting with his girls......

Our first "Bullethole" experience--fantastic!!!

Did I mention what a good teacher he is???

Okay....this picure is probably over ten years old.  He went with me to Seattle for my boyfriend 's (at the time) Military Ball.

Deep-sea fishing somewhere between Cancun and Cuba, I caught the fish Dad is standing next to.  I know I look like a 13-year-old boy.  My uncle helped me reel this 91 inch, 80+ lb Sailfish in as I was about to puke from sea-sickness!  My dad thougth it was a super-cool fish, so he had it mounted and shipped back to the State.  What the hell am I supposed to do with this damn fish?!!!  It's been following me around for years now--a giant reminder of good times with Dad!

God bless our fathers and loved ones!  Love you, Dad!!!
Sweet dreams.......

Sunday, April 24, 2011

So FRESH.....Fresco

Ok, I'm living and dreaming in the past lately, but this is MY blog and documentation of MY projects and dreams, so I think it's okay to re-live and remember happy times.  I have had a passion for painting murals on walls since I was 15.  I painted my first murals at a pediatric clinic way back then.  In Florence, I learned to first paint frescoes, then restore them.  WOW!  What an opportunity!  What a DREAM come true!  I had no idea how much I would fall in love with the fresco process.  Frescoes are paintings in wet plaster that you will commonly find in the old churches in Europe.  There aren't really frescoes here in the USA for me to restore, so occasionally I will flip through pics and daydream.  I'll keep this one short--the pics tell the story.

So this first picture on the upper right I am probably up about 30 feet in an old church on Via Faenza called Chiesa di San Jacopo.  The first step in fresco restoration was cleaning.  This was pre-ipod time.....I would break out my portable CD player, sit with my legs hanging over the ledge and work away.  I generally get really weak in the knees with heights, but not painting/fresco restoring--takes me to another world.  Alicia Keys was just making it big about this time--she was my favorite to slip off into a trance to and work away.  She still is one of my favorites--beautiful and real lyrics.  I listened to Laura Pausini and other international artists, as well.....ah....miss that!  This fresco I was working on was 16th-17th century, I believe.

 This is a picture from my restoration scrapbook...hard to see, it just tells the layers of the wall and shows a pic of the pigments we used.

Another scrapbook picture--this was when I learned how to actually paint a fresco--the whole process.  Class pic on the top.  Lorenzo, my professor, was AWESOME.  The man is married to art restoration.  He teaches at the school and restores art through the Pitti Palace in Florence and all over Italy--as well, as the world.  Such a surreal opportunity!  Again, I have the best parents for supporting me in this adventure.

This is one of my first completed fresco paintings.  I believe it is a recreation of a section of Botticelli's "La Primavera"...part of the Three Graces.  As you can see, I hit the detail ok, the problem is that the fresco dried and I didn't have a grasp on pigment matching once the fresco was dry.  Fresco painting is much more complicated in color matching than any other medium that I have worked with, in my opinion.

Clearly, I did much better after a little practice on this guy.  Color looks much, much better.  This is what I refer to as my fresco baby.  I think my mom has him framed and hanging at her house somewhere.

 This is another scrapbook shot.  Just part of the angels and columns that we worked on.

                                 Closer view of filling in the cracks and preparing to fill in the color.

Lorenzo, my professor, showing us how it was done.

Clearly Principessa here had probably spent to much time at the discoteca the night before...Either Salsa dancing or techno shaking...and I'm sure there was absolutely no alcohol or smelly Italiano boys involved...nah.  No way....Nothing a big cappuccino and bomboloni couldn't fix!  So there you have it.  Nursing was not my first experience with syringes and cloves.  We had to palpate and auscultate for hollow spots in the wall where the old fresco was detaching.  We then cleaned and re-sealed the fresco to the wall.  That's some sort of adhesive in that syringe.

Just another practice fresco painting...I definitely did a good job making her look old and aged!  Another of the three graces, I believe.....

I still dream of fresco painting, scaffolding, cappuccino, and vino rosso.....
-Sweet dreams....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Passport on the verge of EXPIRATION!

The title of this says it all.....I HAVE GOT to renew my passport.  It is so about to expire and strip away my dreams of running off to a foreign country when this one does actually fall.  My long time ex-boyfriend, and one of the most intelligent persons I have ever met, used to say the USA will one day fall--just like the Roman Empire.  (I know, shocker--I do ACTUALLY have an's only been a decade, but there you have it.  I can actually be serious in dating, it just takes a lot!)  I am just about convinced the great fall of the USA is happening right now as I type this blog!

I woke up one day in my third year of working on my biology degree and decided I wanted to study art in Italy--it was much like that Sunday about six years ago when I just woke up and decided to move to Dallas.  Sometimes there is a compelling force in the universe that causes one to do things they don't quite get, but they are so confident it is the right decision.  Italy was THE RIGHT decision...applying for the passport, also THE RIGHT decision.  So there you have it...I called my mom and ran my idea by her.  As long as I finished my biology degree, the parentals were totally in support....have I mentioned I have the best parents on Earth?!  So I looked for a program online and applied for my passport.  I skipped walking for graduation and hopped on a plane to Europe as soon as I finished my bachelor's.  I was in Florence at a school from May 2001-May 2002 studying different types of Art Restoration, Interior Design, and a little Fashion design... And Italian classes, of course.

Since traveling is definitely one of my passions, I am sure I will blog more on my passport usage.  I have really been thinking about my studies abroad lately.  I really miss that time in my life.  I learned SO MUCH about myself.  Backpacking France BY YOURSELF in your early twenties is really liberating and I did so much soul-searching.  I really got to know myself in so many ways--one of my happiest times in life.  I loved learning other points of view.  I was over there during 9-11, such a surreal day, and it was so interesting to see what other countries thought of Americans and the differences in what their medias told and what our media was telling.  I think I learned so much about myself and my beliefs by being exposed to other ways of living and thought processes.  I felt more at home in Italy than I do here--I actually had more culture shock moving back to the United States than going over there. 

My mom said something very profound when she visited me.  She said, "The one thing I have noticed is that when you ask a person in Italy what they do...they tell you about there hobbies, interests, and life.  Pose that question to an American and they tell you about work or occupation."  I really learned to stop and smell the roses there.  You never know when there may not be a tomorrow--so I'm soaking all I can up from this life and loving every (well almost every) moment of it.  I've been getting a little bit of flack for my extremely busy social life lately, but I wouldn't change it for anything--I start school in just over a month and I'm going to enjoy the freedom of no test anxiety while I can.  I'll sleep when I'm dead...although I do love to sleep and dream great dreams!

So right before Easter when I was in Italy, I traveled with a girlfriend and a male friend to Sicily.  What a cool trip.  We took the train from Florence south, and the train actually got onto a ferry from the mainland and ferried us to Messina.  We saw the catacombs in Palermo.  Gotta be honest, Palermo gave me dark vibes.  I have a great ghost story from the hotel we stayed entire other blog.  I learned to drive a stick-shift in Sicily--that was entertaining to say the least!  We saw the Greek ruins in Agrigento.  I saw the most beautiful man I have ever seen in my life at the ruins.  I swear he was a Greek-Italian god sparkling like a gem in the sunlight!  We drove through Cortona.

BUT, the one thing I am remembering most right now, with Easter approaching and my passport on the verge of expiration, is meeting a family with my mom's maiden name--some sort of very distant relative in Castelvetrano, Italy.  My Aunt that does genealogy hooked us up with this family that she had corresponded with.  There was a street name the same as my mom's maiden name (her grandparents families were from Sicily and Naples,) as well.  This family treated me and my friend like family.  They owned a pasticceria and sent us home with cookies and a Pasqua (Easter) cake.  They gave us a tour of the pasticceria--smelled so good.  Maybe baking does run in the genes?!  They drove us around the town.  It was fantastic.  Not many Easters go by that I don't remember that family and their generosity while we were there.

At the Pasticerria in Castelvetrano with distant relatives about to receive fantastic Pasqua treats....yah, I know I'm looking pretty stellar in my glasses and travelled hair-do.  I'm not shy about being a nerd at heart.

I'm pretty sure there is the most gorgeous Greek-Italian god about to pop out from one of those columns and whisk me away.  His name is David--pronounced know, like Michealangelo's David?!  Oh yes...and keep on your fig-leaf please, it's not pretty under there (for those of you that followed a previous blog.)

Agrigento--I do have better pics, but I think they are in storage from my last downsize and move.  Bummer. 
So there you have it......with my passport on the verge of EXPIRATION, and my insane addiction for traveling I MUST get on it and get it renewed!!!

-Sweet dreams......