Friday, July 07, 2006

Visits and Visitors

In the convertible outside of Bagnocavallo

June went by just like that. July is already here, and I feel like I haven't even had a chance to taste the start of summer. Still, while June was a tough month, there were some nice moments--some visits and some visitors--that framed the month, beginning it and ending it with good things.

At the beginning of June, I finally made my way up to Cyndi and Danilo's house to meet their lovely little cats, see their house, and spend the day in and around their tiny town of Fusignano. Emilia Romagna is much different than Le Marche in general landscape, but there's something familiar about the area nonetheless. Every time we drive through that area, it's like taking a trip through Indiana countryside, except for the splendid orchards and hills and mountains in the distance that Indiana lacks. On the train ride up, we followed the curve of the coast, passing some of the most charming, colorful little seaside villages that I'd seen on this side of the Mediterranean.

Visiting Cyndi was fun--we drove to nearby towns in Danilo's opened convertible, testing the weather until drops of rain interrupted our little tour. Cyndi took me on a walking tour of Fusignano and, in the evening, we ate dinner at a charming restaurant there. Before turning in, we made frozen strawberry margaritas as we had promised from the beginning, taking pictures of ourselves with the self-timers of our cameras. We acted as silly as possible. As always, seeing Cyndi and Danilo offered much needed comic relief in an otherwise difficult month of June.

And, as the month went by, turns and curves and not a detour in sight, my friend Lori and I SMSed and emailed, making plans for her to visit at the end of the month. And it turned out that, when the end of June arrived, I really was ready for an escape. We decided we'd meet up in Bologna, and we invited Cyndi to meet up with us, too.

Bologna was a great day away--a little oasis of a trip. We went shopping, bought English-language books, ate at a delicious Greek Restaurant, and got happily lost in the University's web of streets. Afterwards, Lori and I headed back to Macerata, her meeting up with some friends in Civitanova, and me making my way (with three cartons of cranberry juice straight from Milano) back to Antonello.

Lori stayed in town for a few more days. We took little day trips--Loreto by bus, Norcia with Antonello--but mostly we relaxed, the time passing too quickly. Sunday, when we hugged Lori and said our goodbyes (as she wasn't just going back to Milano, but home to the states) and my month of visits and visitors ended, Antonello and I decided to start July off as if the summer had barely begun.

We flipped the pages of all of the calendars, ready for a new month--new pictures and new days. And we grabbed our bags, our towels, our flip flops, and our sunscreen. We went, windows wide open, to the beach. It was windy out, and the heat of June had ended, leaving cool air and bright skies. We passed fields of sunflowers along the way, all of them nodding in the wind, searching for the sun on this first day of July.



At 5:26 AM, Anonymous deborah said...

I love photos like that, taken in car mirrors. Very cool.

And I"m with you. I just noticed today that the days are getting shorter!! but as they say, time flies when we're having fun. sounds like you are.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger rowena said...

What a sweet post. Loved reading about the ride in the convertible and the strawberry margaritas! Yay! Now I'm just gonna have to add you as a contact. Me loves margaritas.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

deborah: this one was the best out of a few attempts: it's hard to take photos in rear view mirrors! :)

rowena: we've been experimenting with many different margaritas (our first hit were mango margaritas, but finding mangoes is HARD!). two nights ago we made peach and frutti di bosco ones :). yum!

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

now that's the way to spend June. I miss visiting all of my friends in Switzerland. It's just not the same here. Maybe that is why I am so homesick for Switzerland. But really I just don't know... What I know is that I finally get vacation!!!

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I can not believe you beat me to posting about our adventure first. I mean, it has only been A MONTH since you were here. One of these days, I will get around to posting some pictures. I love that one of us in the car!

You are such a funny person Yekie. My sides ALWAYS hurt from laughing so much in your company. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! BBQ, friends and MANGO margs! What else could we wish for...except maybe a little sunshine.


At 8:58 PM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

ps. Rowena you should join us for margarita night! Just pick your favorite fruit!

At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Cyndi's MOM said...

Hi Jackie, Looking though your blog and found a picture of you and someone very familiar in the background. I heard about your get together and I am so glad that you & Cyndi can get together. Bet you have a good time. Can the poor guys even get a word in at all? I still think of our visit at your place last February and the fun we had the next day when the five us us went out to see the sights. Bought any crazy string lately? Love to all


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