The Donkey and The Gypsies

I turned the corner and there he was: the town donkey. Well, at least that’s how I think of him. Or her. I’d seen her once before on a different patch of grass on the outskirts of town. Someone told me she and her companion, a mini-horse, get moved around. Days later the donkey and…

I Live on the Camino de Santiago!

Many people that walk the Camino de Santiago dream of one day living on it. And some are lucky enough to make that dream a reality. I write this post today from my living room a mere one block away from the Camino de Santiago. Were there pilgrims walking the Camino del Norte route, I…

A New Chapter

Just weeks into dating, Michael gave me a gift: a ceramic journey boat filled not with people or goods but with a scene. An old church sits upon a green hill, a river flows in front of it, a small stone bridge connects the churchyard to another tree-dotted hill. It was one of many precious…

A Day in the Olive Grove (Part 1)

You would think it wouldn’t be too hard to find an olive oil tasting experience in Tuscany. You’d be wrong. Back in September, Michael and I tried but the tourism office said wineries grow olives as a side business, so we’d have to go for a wine and olive oil experience. Which, let’s be honest,…

If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live?

“It’s be nice to live in a smaller town,” I said to my husband Michael. “One that has its own life–doesn’t close down in the winter. And it would be great if the city center streets were closed to traffic. And it was close to a big city if we needed it.” “In your travels…

Breaking Up with Valencia

After a break up with a boyfriend, I would do my best to focus only on the things that didn’t work between us. Because if I remembered all the good times, all the things that were so perfect about our relationship, I might never recover. And so it is with my relationship with Valencia. When…

How To Recognize an American in Valencia

Usually it’s just the look. As evidenced by the woman who literally walked up to Michael as he was sitting with me drinking coffee, pointed to him, and said “Americano?” He was stunned and asked how she knew. “You just look like an American.” Which I used to think funny as Americans have quite a…

Becoming Italian Part 5: Approaching the Finish Line. . .

I pulled the pile of papers off the bookshelf then opened my computer to the page that listed the requirements.  My heart pounded in my chest as I made a checklist. I had done all the work, and now I just wanted to check once more that I had everything I needed all in one…

Becoming Italian Part 4: The Locals

(Originally posted January 7, 2017) The first time I took Michael to New York to meet my family was on the occasion of Grandma Gallo’s 90th birthday party (March, 2014). “How many people will be at this party?” he asked. “I don’t know. Fifty?” “Fifty?”  “Well, her four kids, and their spouses. That’s eight. Then…