Oh What A Beautiful Morning….

It really is…..the sun is shining, it’s relatively warm, lots of birdies at the feeder including the flickers!  But it’s time to get the deck all cleared off for the winter.  The umbrella goes away, the table has to be taken apart to store, cushions put away and the last of the summer potted plants into the green bin.

Fall is just not my favorite time of year.  I love the spring and summer…..a lot especially if we have great weather.  This time of year is the end of all that….the end of sitting outside, BBQs are far and few between, the bright, pretty flowers are finished, the beginning of the cooler weather, rain and wind and around here generally pretty dull and grey.  September is usually not too bad and we’ve been known to have the odd almost hot and sunny Thanksgiving (CDN) weekend.  I absolutely hate Halloween!!  Except for the left over candy….

It’s a lot of work to stay “up” for me…..even before!  Maybe a little bit of post vacation depression???  I still have tons of inside stuff to keep me busy which is good so I just have to keep the lists going to stay focused on getting them done.  Closets to clean out, drawers, that garage room in the basement to pick away at and of course regaining control of the garage itself.  I’ll do what I can outside as long as the weather cooperates.

But for the next couple of days I’m just going to have a good time at my friends place and not worry about any of that……procrastination at it’s best!!

More holiday pics…….one of our dinner feasts.  Fresh fish (sea bream and Lomboca (???)), homemade herbed fetticini with fresh baby clams and other seafood, stuffed zucchini flowers and two different kinds of ravioli and wine of course!  And limoncello after.


Almost everyday lunch and dinner was like this……thank goodness for all the walking we did!




Finished Unpacking

But packing again!!  Only a short trip to visit Shirl in Sechelt, a fun few days for sure.

I have a lot to do around here….putting my kitchen back together now that the painting is all done……so nice to come home to that.  I can get rid of more stuff…..always a good thing.  And I am relocating the laptop and printer to what used to be the computer room downstairs.  I’m reclaiming my kitchen table!  It had become one of those dumping spots for various papers and whatever else happened to be in your hand on passing.  No more!!

My laundry room is also a mess……overflow from my daughters place.  I am determined to get control of all this…..staying focused is my challenge.  Getting my lists going again will help.

I find that I’m missing Ken more than ever these days……he always kept me focused on one thing….or at least he tried too!!  Not sure if this is delayed grief or what……as much as I love my traveling friends, it is so not the same anymore.  I do enjoy my vacations…..how can I not……but coming home now is different…..who do you say “remember blah, blah blah……” too?  There is definitely something missing….

Some pics…..


Piazza Tasso in Sorrento….


many different types of calamari and octopi at the market!


Making limoncello, ricotta cheese and our dinner table full of all the goodies we made that day……

I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do…..partly because I have a lot of pictures of the places we went from other trips there….and I think I just enjoyed being there and taking in all the sights and sounds….saving them in the “mind’s eye” I think is the term.





There really is no place like home!  So nice to sleep in my own bed last night.

The trip was great….good food, good wine and good company.  All the people in our group were lots of fun and really all very nice. Only one lady that had a few moments where a few of us wanted to clobber her and the husband that could be a bit of a know it all at times but still fun.  And of course Rome…..what is there not to like at it??  Other than perhaps the crowds…..I’m sure way more people than I’ve ever seen there.  We thought that maybe more people were traveling to Italy than to France or the other countries where there have been some issues the last year or so…..don’t know.

But coming home is good.

No other trips planned until next spring, which is OK because there is still a lot of stuff around here to do and those fall trips somehow always seem to end up being a little too close to Christmas.  Now of course if some incredibly hot deal to some place exciting should come up and I find someone to go with……I’d be off in a second.

The good thing about getting home last night was that it was pretty much bedtime when I walked in the door!  Did a little unpacking, showered and hit the sheets by 10:30.  I took a gravol which meant that I got a good nights sleep.  Up around 7:30 this morning so pretty much back on my somewhat normal schedule to start with.  I’m sure at some point this afternoon I’ll have a bit of crash, which is OK too…..I’ll just have a little nap.

I do so much miss traveling with Ken!  I’m lucky that I have some good friend to travel with but there really isn’t anything like taking a trip like this with your husband.  Going to places we’d been was such a mix of good memories and sadness….a couple of times those tears came along.  I’m not sure he would have been into the cooking class part but I know he would have enjoyed the rest of things we did.  I guess it just takes time…….

I’ll get a few more pictures posted over the next few days…..just so many!  I said I wasn’t going to take pictures of things that I already had but as usual I did…..oh well.



Last Full Day In Rome

I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone!!

We’ve done and seen so much…..some repeated from other trips but that’s OK….you can never get too much of a good thing!

The weather has been a little strange…..hot as heck one day, then rain, thunderstorms, lightening, then warm again.  Today is no exception….so far.  Yesterday, all day was bright and sunny and hot.  Spent most of the morning doing a Vatican Museum tour, which was good but a very abbreviated version of the one I was on 10 years ago, which is kind of too bad for Donna.  That museum is incredible but oh so many people allowed in at the same time….such a shame that some of those ancient tile floors are being trampled on by thousands.  Or the tapestries….people were touching them!!  But based on our calculations….very quick ones….it is easy to see why Vatican City is the richest country in the world……ay 16 euros a pop to get in they easily make millions on a daily basis…..hopefully not at the expense of destroying the amazing art that they have.


our room…second floor, second two arches from the right


fresh herbs and veg that we picked in the garden


homemade ravioli…….




our table at the villa for the lunches and dinners that we prepared…..and Elsa, one of our group of seven.

We have used the hop on/off bus for the last couple of days…..very convenient for us and kind of fun when they play that Italian music……

Rome is such a walkable city……something new to see around every corner.  It has to be one of the best cities in the world for access to all the famous (and touristy) places to visit.  We’ve basically walked from one end of the city to the other, with a stop or two along he way.  So many restaurants and cafes to chose from…..osterias, trattorias etc..  And purse shops……have a new one of those too now.

So many tourists though……I really don’t remember it being quite so crazy crowded everywhere.  Maybe more people are coming here instead of France or ???  It is amazing to me how many people live amongst all this chaos….good chaos though.  Our neighbours are lovely and right across the street is a family with small children.  They are so totally unphased by all the tourists…..life goes on!

Tonight we’ll get all packed up and ready for our 8AM pick up…..where the driver will come up the 4 flights of stairs and haul all our luggage down for us….definitely worth the extra 10 euros….you would not wanted to see us getting those bags UP those stairs!!

These last couple of weeks have been terrific.  Good fun and good company.  But I will be glad to get back home too……



I Love Italy!

We’re in Rome now and have a great internet connection so hope to get some pics posted sooner than later.

Our trip has been fantastic so far……how can it not be here!!

The cooking classes as Villa Pane were great, those and everything else that went along with it such as our trip to Capri, the sunset cruise etc.

The villa was tucked up in the hills overlooking Sorrento and the Bay of Napoli.  Other than a couple of power poles/lines our view was pretty spectacular.


very early morning from our terrace


There were 7 of us all together.  All great people, which was really nice.

Two of the women were widows so we had some good and interesting conversations…..one for 6 years the other for 4.  Both of them were a little older than me but had been married for a long time too.

The food was very good……and believe me there was a lot of it to eat.  Annamaria, the owner, was wonderful always making sure everyone had everything they could have possibly wanted or needed.  The routine varied each day but we usually did our prep and cooking in the morning.  We’d have some of it for lunch and some for dinner.  On the nights we ate in some of her family often joined us making it all even more fun.

Just a great trip so far……weatherwise, other than a spectacular thunder/lightening storm our last night, it’s been perfect.

I found many places along the Amalfi coast that Ken and I had visited on our last trip.  I felt a little melancholy at first but the remembered we’d had such a good time.  I was the only one that had been there before so was happy to share what I knew and when on Capri, places we’d gone too.  There is a chairlift thing up in Anacapri that takes you up even further…….I do not like those things and didn’t go on it before.  Ken and his brother did and said the views were incredible.  My SIL and I went shopping and visited the the beautiful gardens.  This time I DID go on that chairlift!!!  It was pretty exciting for me at the beginning but once I opened my eyes it was truly incredibly beautiful.

No specific plans for us today……just to wander and take in all the sights and sounds of Rome.  It’s such an amazing city…….every little alley and street has at least one or more restaurants, cars, motorcycles, scooters, dogs and of course a ton of people…..I believe this is the city that never sleeps!!  Or stops eating!!!!

More pics to come soon I hope.


Sleepless in…..

It’s almost 2AM and I’m still up!  I was packed and all ready to go hours ago but try as I might I couldn’t sleep.  I guess that isn’t a bad thing because I’ll be good and tired for the plane.

I’m being picked up at 5:30AM for our 8:30 flight to Toronto.  We have about 3 hours between flights……just in case our first flight is late.

Not sure why I can’t sleep…..I’m excited about this trip but not that excited…..maybe the coffee I had at dinner time….don’t know.

Here is our itinerary if anyone is interested in following along.  sumptuous-sorrento-plus-the-isle-of-capri      I’m hoping to do a couple of posts with some pictures…..it is one of the most beautiful places we’ve visited and look forward to seeing it again.

I think I’ll just get ready to go and read until it’s time…..maybe I’ll nod off for an hour!


No Painting Today :(

The drywall patches were not dry enough to sand…..oh well!  This gives me yet another day to find the right paint colour for the walls in the kitchen.  The ceiling is going to be white, so I had no problem picking that out!

I really hate having to pick a paint colour…..thought I wanted to go more grey tone than the browny beige….but that makes the backsplash look too yellow and depending on where you look in the kitchen and the “shade” of grey it almost looks green….argh.  I have 3 or 4 of the paint chip/sample things, which I’ve stuck up in all different parts of the kitchen and the difference in colour depending on where you’re standing is incredible!  A friend suggested going with a pale turquoise….yuck I thought…..but when I go AGAIN today I may just get a couple of those too.  This is really not something I enjoy doing.  But I have an extra day because he’ll start on the ceiling tomorrow….so hopefully I’ll find just the right colour today!!

I unpacked yesterday and will start to pack again tonight.  I am so looking forward to this trip.  The weather is supposed to be great the entire 2 weeks….NO COAT required!  The gal from Epitourean called yesterday to confirm our arrival time for pick up and said there are 5 other people in our group.  That’s good….the more the merrier!

Last minute cleaning and some running around to do today and tomorrow as usual but I can handle that.  Meeting Donna for dinner tonight to go over whatever we haven’t already talked about so looking forward to that.  I am going to book a Vatican Museum tour but that is it for must sees….and I’ve already seen it but Donna hasn’t.  That’s OK though….just so much to see in there and I’m sure I didn’t catch it all the last time.  It pretty much takes up a day or a good 3/4 of it.

I’ve got to pick up some Euros…..one of those “Ken jobs”….a quick stop at the bank on the way home from work is what he’d usually do.  You would think I’d be used to doing this stuff by now….and I guess I am but I still can’t help but think how much that little job helped or gave me one less thing to have to think about.

Bard on Beach was really good.  The Merry Wives of Windsor…..lots of laughs and good foot tapping music.  They always do a couple of these non-heavy Shakespearean plays with a bit of a more modern twist….still speaking “Shakespearan” but with fun costumes to match the period that they pick, which in this case was the late 60’s.  It rained though….really hard a couple of times which had everyone looking up at the tent roof….all was good though.

Back to Home Depot and those paint samples……I will have to find something today and MAKE a decision!  Although…..it is only paint (and money to have him do the painting…..) so if worse comes to worse and I don’t like it I guess I can always repaint……


I’m Home!

Safe and sound.  A lot of driving but it was a pretty good trip.

The company was good and having a nice visit with Bonny was great.

No bears though.  A couple of deer and a few mountain sheep/goats and that was about it for wildlife.

The weather certainly could have been a little more cooperative but other than a few patches of rain here and there…..mostly through the scenic mountain part….I can’t complain too much.

Would I do it again…..I’m not sure.  I did enjoy parts of it…..certainly the stops at wineries…and seeing new places.  It’s definitely not the same as road trips in the old days.  I never really appreciated how the driver felt until now.  We did stop a lot back then and on this trip too but now I do know how tiring it can be.  I think I would be up to another road trip but maybe somewhere south….New Mexico has always been on my bucket list.  Maybe next year.

Back home to my busy-ness…..today is a little crazy but the rest of the week is good.  Drywall patching and painting will start in the kitchen tomorrow….after we pick up the granite.  Today, before lunch with my old girlfriend Linda, I have to head to Home Depot to pick out paint and pick up a few other things.  Golf later at 4!  It’s all good though because I had a great sleep last night so I’m ready to get right back into it!


No Bears

Yet!  We have seen deer. …the same one twice at a winery.

I am having a really good time!

We’ve made quite a few stops along the way to break it up and the weather has been great.

Oliver was great.  The motel was excellent…..one of  those old fashioned motor inn type places but redone inside with nice comfy beds, a big bathroom and a big fridge!

Last night and tonight we’re just outside of Revelstoke at the Three Valley Gap lodge.  Nice place but not somewhere I’d stay again.  Not the most friendly of staff…..some are but others very abrupt….lots of bus tours stop here.

The scenery is pretty incredible.  Tomorrow we will head through the Rockies and on to Calgary…..I’m hoping to get there no later than 3ish but I completely forgot about the time change…..so we’ll see.

Have some good pics but can’t seem to post them…..that satellite wifi is lost in space most of the time.

All is good though…….this will hopefully teach me to not get so anxious over some things…..

She really is quite good company and when i think of all that she has gone through and is going through, I think she’s really pretty amazing…..incredibly strong and has stayed very positive.  I’m not sure I would be able to deal with what she’s dealing with!  Big kudos to her!

Off  to explore a bit around here today and into Revelstoke to stock up on snacks etc.