Category Archives: Telma e Luisa

Gearing Up!!

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It’s been a winter.  I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between beautiful Beaufort, SC, New York, Chapel Hill, NC, the Caribbean, and Pennsylvania.  I’ve woken up not knowing which bed I’m in. . .really!!  We’ve welcomed our new beautiful grand baby Theodore, made a non-decision to sell/not sell the house in Beaufort, and continued to enhance and enjoy our new home at 1270.

But now we know where we’re going.  Me and my morning cappuccino are putting the finishing touches on our trip to . . . .

I fly off to meet Telma next Tuesday.  We’ll enjoy four wonder-filled days at her Clocktower Cottage in Duras, south of Bordeaux.  When she leaves, Don will arrive.  My plan is to write a blog each day to keep up with the adventures in wine, food, chateaux, and unexpected moments .

You can follow this blog by filling in your email address in the bottom right- hand corner, or just watch for the posts which I hope will be linked to Facebook .  Bon voyage!!

Gearing Up!!

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Gearing Up!!

It’s been a winter.  I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between beautiful Beaufort, SC, New York, the Caribbean, and Pennsylvania.  I’ve woken up not knowing which bed I’m in. . .really!!  We’ve welcomed our new beautiful grand baby Theodore, made a non-decision to sell/not sell the house in Beaufort, and continued to enhance and enjoy our new home at 1270.

But now we know where we’re going.  Me and my morning cappuccino are putting the finishing touches on our trip to . . . . 

  

I fly off to meet Telma next Tuesday.  We’ll enjoy four wonder-filled days at her Clocktower Cottage in Duras, south of Bordeaux.  When she leaves, Don will arrive.  My plan is to write a blog each day to keep up with the adventures in wine, food, chateaux, and unexpected moments .  

You can follow this blog by filling in your email address in the bottom right- hand corner, or just watch for the posts which I hope will be linked to Facebook .  Bon voyage!!

39 Days

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It’s been a long journey. I’m having difficulty remembering that five weeks ago I was a student at BABILONIA in Taormina, Sicily. I’ve traveled, made new friends, seen new places, revisited and glorified in the treasures of Tuscany, delighted in the company of Telma, reveled in the remembrances with Sally and Johanna. It’s been a long and wondrous journey.

As I sit in the Doubletree near Heathrow, I’m reflecting on these past weeks with gratitude, anticipation, and wonder. I’ll share some secrets.
. . .I was brought to tears walking down a small vicolo, alleyway, in Modica, after acknowledging to myself that I can do something I’d never imagined possible. . .speak, and almost, sometimes, understand Italian.
. . .I adore Italy and all things italian. . .even half-italian, like Don.
. . . I believe this will be my final 39 day trip for a long time, for a variety of circumstances.
. . .i can travel through 3 climates with a carry-on bag that’s been crushed and filled with things I never intended to buy.
. . . We shared this trip with Nana Weinberger. Her ashes lie under a lemon tree in Sicily, in the Ionian Sea, in the Alacantara Gorge, in the garden of Bristol Cathedral, and on a beach in Sicily. She was a traveller and we intend to keep her traveling!
. . .I missed my mother on her birthday, November 8.
. . .I worry about my family when I’m away.
. . .Im extraordinarily grateful for opportunities. It’s really about seeing the possibilities and having the courage or stupidity to follow through.

A few outtakes of photos. . .

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Con Te parterò. . . Time to say goodbye. Wheresweinberger closes today, until the next adventure. Where?? When?? Chissa!. . .Who knows?!

Roma. . .Incantata!

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Our final jaunt took us to The Eternal City. Don and I “slept” (as the Italians would say) in Rome for 3days a few years ago, with the accompanying tourist goals and google-eyes. This was different. The hours stretched in front of us with no particular plan and a feeling of lots of time to wander. The rain was behind us in Toscana.

It’s good to be a tourist sometimes and take the tourist shots. I tried not to miss any opportunity!

First stop, the Victor Emmanuel monument, more commonly called the Wedding Cake monument. Made of white marble, it sits atop a high hill and is visible from many parts of Rome. Controversy surrounded its construction, as it took a large chunk of a medieval neighborhood as its footprint. The white marble was also thought to be a bit garish compared to the worn brown of many of the surrounding buildings.

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But for Telma e Luisa it was the first of our photo ops of the day.

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Il Fiume affollata di gente , a crowded river of people, thronged the streets of Rome, the trattorias, the attractions. We made our way to the Pantheon along with the crowds. . . .

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. . .then wandered on to Piazza Navona, filled with artists and street performers.

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With tummies growling, we decided to use Rick ‘s guide to find one of the “best restaurants in Italy.” A quick look through Campo di Fiore didn’t reveal any of the best, so our feet took us back toward the pantheon, along the way discovering two much-needed items. . A car charger for Telma’s GPS. . .and a delightful tassel shop.

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Did you not know that tassels trump tummies?!

Close by we reached our goal:

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Caught between pranzo and la cena, we nonetheless knew we wouldn’t go hungry. The restaurant was brightly modern and simple, and at this in-between time, it’s only patrons. We both agreed the food was good, but not what we’d consider among the best we’d had. But, hey, the rain had now caught up to us and we drank prosecco as we heard it splashing on the cobblestones.

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I had never been to the Spanish Steps, so we soldiered onward, despite the rain. Where were the umbrellas?? In our suitcases, of course.

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Now thoroughly soaked, we did what any sensible women would do. . . We went to la galleria, the mall, and had a drink.

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With the rain now a memory, the Roman streets glistened as we linked arms Italian-Signora style and enjoyed our stroll back to the hotel shuttle. Le castagne roasted on the street corner drew us nearer with their earthy toasted aroma.

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With hearts and tummies full, our coach returned us safely to the Hilton airport hotel. All too soon the next morning it was time to say arriverderci to Telma.

Telma e Luisa have coined our tag line. . . SEMPRE PRONTE. . . ALWAYS READY. . ..for more adventures, fun, food, wine. . .and whatever the Universe serves up!

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Leaving La Loggia

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Toscana wept as we were about to leave her. Our first rainy day in four weeks. Our bags were packed, and we were ready to go. . .to Rome!

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Mine was barely hanging together , having sprung a new crack after the panty repair of one month ago!

So, another largegrazie mille, a thousand thanks, to Telma for once again sharing La Loggia with me. Click the link and visit for yourself.

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Arriverderci, Toscana with love from Telma e Luisa.

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Brunello and Bare Feet

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Both In the same day!! A first stop in Montalcino to browse the streets and enjoy the market.

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At Lillian’s the other night Telma asked about the diffence between a castgna and a marrone. One is smaller and sweeter, one is browner and larger. We saw a great example today:

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After a coffee and juice break, we were ready to climb to the fortress for tasting Brunellos, some of the most famous wine in the world that’s produced in Montalcino. With Telma, the expert, and Luisa, the newbie, we were thrilled to be in the capable hands of Tamas, who presented us with nine tastings. He based his choices on Telma’s knowledge and his own instincts.

I am happy to report that I am no longer new to Brunello. But Telma is the connoisseur and made a tidy haul.

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Two favorites of mine were:

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After that most wonderful event, we congratulated ourselves and set off for Bagno Vignoni, home of natural mineral waters. I read about this town six years ago before our first trip to Italy but never managed to get here. We barely could find a parking spot today, but were not deterred. With beautiful temperatures on November 1, it seemed that everyone had the same idea to be outdoors. We found what had to be one of the last remaining parking spots.

The amazing “piazza” is a giant pool of thermal water, bubbling up from an underground acquifer. We walked further along to discover the streams finding their way downhill to waterfalls and pools.

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Telma and Luisa had no choice but to plunk their Brunello-tasting toes in the water.

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By now we were ready for a little sumpin’, and found the last available table at La Loggiata, a little outdoor cafe. How Tuscan was my bowl of ribollita. . .

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Back at home now, packed, and ready to go to Rome tomorrow. Arriverderci Toscana!

Come Funziona? Or. How does it work?

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As we pulled in to get gas, the first question was, “Which side of the car is the gas tank on?” OK. . .my side.

Next question, “How do we get it open ?” Pulling on the door didn’t seem to work, and we could find no lever inside. A nice young man crawled around inside the car to find it, then shrugged his shoulders. “I got it,” called Telma. A push on just the right place and it opened up, sort of like Ali Baba’s cave.

But how do we pay for it? It’s a 24 hour place with no attendant.

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It accepted bank cards only, so on a wing and a prayer I stuck in a €50 note. Lights, camera, action. . .we were ready to pump!

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With a full tank and a song in our hearts, we headed for Montalcino on this beautiful All Saints’ Day.