Advent Calendar – Dec 15th: Finding Purpose in Retirement

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers I retired from my career two years ago without a long-term plan. I had very clear ideas about what I would be doing for the first year, but beyond that, plans were still fuzzy. ItContinue reading “Advent Calendar – Dec 15th: Finding Purpose in Retirement”

Visite guidée de notre logement en Toscane – Guided Tour of Where we stayed in Iano, Italy

Alors voici deux video vous donnant un aperçu du village de Iano, dans la commune de Montaione en banlieue de Florence, en Toscane, ainsi qu’un visionnement de notre logement pendant notre séjour de 2 mois. J’inclus d’abord les coordonnées de google maps afin de vous situer quelque peu. Nous étions a 1 heure de Florence,Continue reading “Visite guidée de notre logement en Toscane – Guided Tour of Where we stayed in Iano, Italy”

Oh Italy – You have so much to show us…

We left Tuscany on a beautify sunny morning in late October. We decided to take the scenic route back to Rome, before we left Italy the next day. After two month of visiting all of the hills and valleys of the Golden Triangle that is Pisa, Sienna and Florence we thought we had become quiteContinue reading “Oh Italy – You have so much to show us…”

« I’m toooo young to die… »

Eliza was a greeter we hired when we arrived from Rome to Florence. She arranged for our luggage to be collected from the train, and for someone to hail a taxi for us. While we waited she shared with us a lot of personal information. We told her we just needed a taxi to getContinue reading “« I’m toooo young to die… »”

When Uptown really is Up…

We were dropping off our friends at the Certaldo train station, when on our way home we noticed at the end of the street, a rail track going directly up the hill in front of us. Suddenly, it jogged my memory about something I had read, I believe in Rick Steves guide to Italy. OfContinue reading “When Uptown really is Up…”

Travel? Not without certain comforts of home

When we decided to be world bohemians for 4 months, it was clear that we nevertheless would need (want?) some comforts of home. Mindful of the bags we would be dragging our intention was to be ruthless and pack only what was absolutely necessary. In Italy especially, elevators are few, and the cobble stones streetsContinue reading “Travel? Not without certain comforts of home”

From Farm to Table

The trend in dining is – thankfully – farm to table where one prepares and eats meals using the freshest ingredients available locally, and in the season. We took to this back in 2014 when we were living briefly in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, we were surrounded by fresh seafood, and fresh produce from theContinue reading “From Farm to Table”

Head over heels for Florence

Firenze – you conquer my heart every time. The last time I saw you it was March of ’78. I was a mere girl of 15, and you won me over with your fresh strawberries at every gelateria and your magnifique paintings from Boticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo. Now, I am a mature woman of 55Continue reading “Head over heels for Florence”

This Way Please for Time Travel

It occurred to me this week, as we contemplated structures aged roughly 1600 years and which still serve their intended purpose today, that the most stunning revelation on this trip so far is the idea that cities, inhabited by thousands, existed while our country was not yet born. It’s actually the closest thing I haveContinue reading “This Way Please for Time Travel”

Celebrating failures…

In the years leading up to my retirement, my workplace had instituted a new set of company values which counted among them, the principle of celebrating failures as well as our successes. It is generally known that from failure comes eventual success, and if one can learn from the mistake without fear of negative retaliationContinue reading “Celebrating failures…”

Is it very different where you are?

Travelling allows you to discover the way people do things in their country. As a guest in their country, it is our responsibility to respect their ways, and embrace the unfamiliarity. It is why we travel and hence the expression “When in Rome…” Take eggs for example. Here in Tuscany, we find them on storeContinue reading “Is it very different where you are?”

This too shall pass

Beyond teaching us the history of early civilisations, and developing an appreciation for the natural riches of the region and the culture of foreign lands, what do cities like Volterra bring to our modern lives? Perspective The feeling overpowers me each time I suddenly become aware of how many years have passed since the cobblesContinue reading “This too shall pass”

Travel, some experience required

The sudden comprehension of a problem or situation that our brain has been unconsciously working in the background is called an insight (Aha Moment). These moments often happen when we are at rest, or on auto-pilot, allowing our mind to wander and « connect dots ». The hot September days in Tuscany have provided meContinue reading “Travel, some experience required”

La dolce vita, the roses and the thorns

Ah yes, life in Tuscany. Beautiful countryside – check! Hills of vineyards, weighted by big clusters of dark blue grapes, ready now for harvesting and fields of olive trees to be harvested in a few months. Winding roads, make you drive constantly in S formations. Left curve…straight…right curve..straighten, left curve…etc…At any time, I am drivingContinue reading “La dolce vita, the roses and the thorns”

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