Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Carrot at the end of the tunnel...

Mixed metaphor, I know, but it seems apt. My big, fat treat/reward for *me* at the end of this portion of the *big job* is a big, fat trip to Italy!

My illustrator/college-teacher sister-and-husband, are on sabbatical this semester and are spending it in Italy, based in a remodeled, old mill located in East Tuscany/le Marche (think "Under the Tuscan Sun". The novel, not the movie. Do click on the link -the site is impressive in its scope and lovely photographs.) They arrived a couple of weeks ago and are waxing rhapsodic about the scenery, food and people.

I am unhappily completely inexperienced in foreign travel (how have I managed over 40 years of living without leaving North America?) and somewhat chicken about having my first foray being to a non-English speaking country. Luckily, my mother will be my travel companion and my sis and/or husband *promise* to come meet us in Rome and accompany us in our touristing and traveling about. I am coincidentally arriving the same week as the Bolognia Children's Book Fair and may get to make an appearance there.

We are staying for 2 weeks, part of which will be spent at the mill house, part visiting Rome and Florence - maybe more? (You more-traveled readers out there, what do you recommend? Limited time - so many options!)

So, as I draw and paint away, I am listening to Italian-For-Dummies tapes and dreaming of Tuscany.... Not a bad carrot.


She Who Flies said...

You lucky gal! Oh but you so deserve this trip and this slice of la dolce vita! You're going to love it bella ragazza! Enjoy!

Soozcat said...

Oh good for you! I'm so excited for you--hope you have a wonderful time. The mill and le Marche look absolutely idyllic.

If you have any familiarity with another romance language (Spanish, French, etc.), Italian shouldn't be too difficult to follow. (Says the lady whose world-travel experiences encompass only parts of the continental U.S. and British Columbia... why do I have that passport again?)

Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

I am so happy for you!
English will take you through Italy, don't you worry!
On my (almost dormant) Rome blog are a couple of my favorite food haunts in Rome:
I can give you more, if you'd like.

Gina said...

Oh how exciting. Can't wait to hear all about it!

natural attrill said...

Oh dont feel chicken, it will be great fun!

andrea said...

I can't think of a better carrot! Seriously. Make sure you bring your paints and take a million photos. I haven't been to Italy since 1990 and it seems like forever!

Roz said...

Oh wow! How very exciting, I've always wanted to visit Italy.
Please share pics during your adventure or when you return!

Rebecca Bush said...

It looks lovely, Tara. I'm so happy for you that you will get to take this trip. I'm no world traveler either, but I think that learning enough Italian to be able to order food, shop and ask "where is the bathroom" should get you by. ;)

Naturegirl said...

yOU LUCKY ladY! You are soon to live my dream!! I always wanted to get to home is painted in the Tuscany paint colors!! My kitchen the same color as the doors in the photo!
I can't wait for your photos when there!! chao bella

Bendtherulz said...

Hey Tara - thats some carrot...I am sure many of us would love to take a bite...don't chicken.
I think visit to Merisi's blog will help a lot...!
We hope to get recounting once you come back !!

Bon Voyage & Have a rocking time in

CJ said...

Oooooh, how wonderful. Never been to Italy 'cept in my dreams but have read all the books from "Bella Tuscany" to "The Reluctant Tuscan". What a lovely incentive! Le Marche looks wonderful :)

Ash said...

That sounds and looks idyllic and I am sure you will love every minute, even the scary ones. A reward for months and months and months of hard graft and surely richly deserved.

weirdbunny said...

You'll have an amazing time. I was in Italy 2 summers ago and really enjoyed it. I didn't go to Rome though as it's supposed to be jam packed in the tourist areas, so I thought will the children it wouldn't be a good idea. You'll have to tell me if I missed out. My son and I one day got lost in one place we visited and couldn't find anyone who spoke English as we had wondered off the beaten tourist track. I was convined we we walking to what seemed the sea far ahead but it was acutally just the sky line in the distance. I was frantically trying to say cruise ship to everyone and showing my cruise ship pass. In the end I had to draw a picture of a ship for a taxi driver and then he knew we needed to get back to port ! You'll have a wonderful time, just make sure you have a street map unlike us!

One Crabapple said...

ohh I don't have good advice about the travel and know you will do fine anyway !!! It sounds like heaven and you have seen Enchanted April haven't you ? ? ?

congratulations. All that hard work- you DESERVE IT ! and you can check out CHOCOLATE IN ITALY !!! aaaa !

That will make you an ICC.

(International Connessuier of Chocolate - did I spell that right ? )

tongue in cheek said...

take little
dream big
kiss the ground
and the babies
and let go
Italy is heaven,
and you are its angel!