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…

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…

A Day Trip

Not to brag. . . but yes, I’m going to brag: Michael and I and a friend are considering taking a road trip to Barcelona on Sunday. How amazing is it that I can even say that? A day trip! To a major European destination! It would be a long day trip. It’s a three…

When Worlds Collide

Michael and I arrived in Asheville 48 hours ago. And ever since then, the universe has been gently saying, “This is still your place, kid.” The morning walkers took me back into their fold like I’d never left. On that walk, I was delighted to see a new Little Free Library in the neighborhood —…

Oh, The People You’ll Meet (Part 2)

When you apply for Spain’s Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV), timing is everything: there can be no more than 90 days between the date you get your first required document and the date you present your entire portfolio of documents to the Spanish Consulate. So when my husband Michael and I our started our process in May…