Ann and I just got back from 2 weeks in Italy on a tour organized and led by Stephanie Chance. It has been our dream to visit Italy for years, including the Amalfi coast. This was a tour of southern Italy and the island of Sicily, so there was much left for the next time we go (including Venice and Tuscany). It began with 34 hours of flying and layovers, followed immediately by a bus ride and a huge meal with wine at an old convent converted to a modest hotel on the outskirts of Erice. The village itself is a walled medieval town perched on a mountaintop 2400 feet above the Mediterranean in Northwest Sicily.
The following day we explored the town of Erice itself, still largely enclosed within its old stone walls, so high up that it sometimes sits atop the clouds.
Maria Grammatico’s mother could not afford to feed her children and sent her daughter to the local convent, where she learned the art of making marzipan from the nuns, who eventually told her she was too old to stay and put her out on the street. She began to make her own marzipan in town and the nuns grew hostile. Today Maria is famous and the convent is no longer a convent. Got to love a happy ending! You can read more here. And even more in the book, Bitter Almonds.
I haven’t taken a lot of pictures lately, but here are some from the past six weeks or so, with at least one from each of my four digital cameras. Yeah, I know, but I love all four of them for different reasons.
It’s okay to bring the puppy home for a little while though, and shower squeaky toys and treats on him. He is, by the way, a he. The pink collar in the top photo was a gift from a family member after our neighbors found him as a stray in their driveway. He has grown quite a bit during the three weeks that separate these pictures.
Ann and I traveled to O’Fallon, Missouri to see Lauren and Jesse over this holiday weekend. Yesterday we visited Lafayette Square, and today Jesse and I went to a baseball game in St. Louis. The Cardinals pulled it out in the bottom of the 8th to beat the San Diego Padres 2-1.
Yes, it’s another new start with a new blog. I haven’t been happy with what Blogger/Blogspot has been doing to my pictures, always assuming it knows better how they should look and ramping up the saturation and contrast. And I just wanted something simple, and WordPress seems to excel at minimalist layouts. So, anyhow, here I am, planning to do new posts weekly or so.