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West Virginia
When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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November 08, 2010

My First Week at Home and Now

My first full week at home was so nice. Mostly because of catching up with all my buddies (and favorite places to eat!), but also, the weather has been wonderful. I think it was early Monday evening that I was watching a very tense murder mystery from this set of DVD's I brought home from the library. When I'm watching something like that I have to take little breaks every so often cause they really get to me. So, I put it on "pause" and glanced out my windows and there was this gorgeous rainbow like right outside my window!! I went to look and it was an entire arch - from basically the roof of the bank across the street over to the riverbank. Huge and bright colors - just stunning. Don't ask me why I would post a couple of the many pictures I took because none of them come even close to doing it justice, but I'm going to anyway.

The rest of the week was pretty much beautiful with blue skies and nice fall temperatures.  I love fall!

Tuesday I had lunch with my friend, Brenda and had decided I was going to go to Octubafest that evening - a free concert that the Tuba and Euphonium Society of Marshall University was putting on.  Decided I would go to Hillbilly Hotdogs first (home since the previous Wednesday and still hadn't been there!).  I went up there around 7:00 or so and there was only one other person there and my favorite waiter and the owner, Sonny, were both there and it was real nice - the waiter actually sat down and we had a nice visit and then when I was leaving Sonny walked me out to the car and I had a nice visit with him too.  They're usually so insanely busy they only have time for a "hi".  I was so full and content I decided to just go home and get in my jammies, so no Octubafest.

Wednesday, Peggy and I spent the afternoon together and I always enjoy that.  Had a lot of catching up to do, went out to the mall for a couple of errands, had a little snack at the Starbucks out there, and talked a whole lot.  Then Wednesday evening, one of my neighbors came down to "hear all about it" and I broke out my parmesan reggiano cheese with some of the truffle honey on some and the balsamic on the rest.  Also soaked some garlic in my good olive oil, spread it on little slices of bread, sprinkled with salt and pepper and toasted them - one of my favorite treats.  Sandy's been to Italy also and loved Bologna so we had an enjoyable time trading stories.

Jamie and I had lunch Thursday and when I picked her up I went in for a bit to visit with all my old work buddies.  Enjoyed that so much, I forgot to pick up my prescription while I was there!

Friday I think I didn't do anything except putz around the apartment and downtown.  At some point, I went back to the mall to return a couple of things I had bought and ended up going to Borders for a cup of tea.  Picked up a couple of magazines to look through and one of them was a travel magazine for France.  It caught my eye because at some point on my way home from Italy, I was feeling a little guilty because all I seem to want to do is keep going to Italy and so I tried to think of other places that might have the same appeal and thought of France - Paris never appealed to me but I got to thinking maybe a trip through some of their country villages would be nice.  Turns out the magazine had several wonderful sounding places highlighted and they even seemed to be affordable too.  So, who knows, maybe I'll be off to France next.  And if I visited the south of France, then I could always end up with a visit to northern Italy. :)

My friend Cindy had told me that she was going to Marshall's homecoming game on Saturday and we made plans for her to come over after the game and we'd get something to eat.  I got in the mood to cook early that afternoon so went and got the stuff to make spaghetti and meatballs so we did that instead of going out and I showed her my pictures of Riomaggiore on my TV.  Figuring out how to do that was one of the things I spent a lot of time on Friday. Turns out with my current TV, I can show pictures from my camera's memory card.  Only problem is, I very conscientously periodically downloaded the pictures from the memory card into my netbook so I wouldn't have to buy a bunch of memory cards.  But Cindy had mentioned that she wished she could see bigger images of the Riomaggiore pictures so it was kind of neat that those were some of the ones left on my card.

Sunday it was Starbucks and crossword time again and finally ran into my Starbucks pal, Shelly, who I hadn't seen since I got back and we had a good visit.

And all during this very pleasant week I kept thinking I need to be writing this down cause I'm going to forget special little things but I didn't so this is kind of a bare bones summary.

So, that was my first full week at home and it really couldn't have been any better.  I had thought I might be at kind of loose ends trying to figure out what to do with myself when I didn't have a country to visit, but my friends and all my favorite spots took care of that.

So now, another week has passed and I wanted to post a few pictures of my latest treats.  Last year in Italy, I seem to feel compelled to buy all sorts of pictures - some just prints and some actual watercolors that I actually saw the person painting.  I got them all home and ended up only getting my huge duomo poster framed.  This year I only bought one very tiny watercolor and when I got home and got it out to get it framed and began to think maybe I didn't want to.  So I pulled out the ones from last year and decided that I wanted to get one of them framed instead.  So, here's a pictures of that one (a close-up which doesn't show the frame which I think is PERFECT with it).

I really like this one - it's a watercolor but all in sepia tones.  Shows the Ponte Vecchio bridge, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, Santa Croce - all my favorites.

I picked that up on Friday and then Sunday read in the paper that a little art exhibit at Heritage Station was closing after Sunday and I decided I'd go take a look at that.  It was quite a small exhibit but the artisans featured (all women) truly creative.  And, even though I hadn't meant to buy anything, I did cause I fell in love with it, but also because it was a perfect addition to a couple of other things I've hung on my walls.  So I'll show you those two first (may have posted them before, but will again).

This first one is a painting my daughter January gave me a few Christmases back that I absolutely fell in love with.  If it wasn't hanging up over my closet door, I'd tell you who the artist is. :)

This this summer, my grandson Johnny sent me this delightful postcard from Paris (and I know I posted this one cause I remember telling about how he wrote on it that when he saw it, he thought "Grammy would like that" which just delighted me.  And he was right - I like it so much I had it framed!

So when I saw this (not framed yet), it was obvious I had to take it home with me.

This woman had all kinds of these whimsical paintings, most any one of which I would have been happy but this seemed meant for me.  Her name is Cher Shaffer.  She lives in North Carolina now but lived in WV for about 20 years.

Anyway, I'll get this one framed and find a little spot for it somewhere.  I'm having to get quite creative at finding places to hang things - the Italy painting is right over my nightstand so it's quite low down, but I see it everytime I get into bed so that's fine with me.


January said...

What a perfect "musical animal" painting to add to the lot! And that rainbow sure was something else - the best kind of surprise outside your window :)
Sounds like a pretty good week to me!

Christopher said...

What a lovely week "transitioning" back to normal... And I can see from the 2nd photo, your rainbow was a double---what a sight!
Those yellow legs on the music birds remind me of your other drawn print, that used to be over the fireplace, with the bare trees and yellow sun...
I know what you mean about getting creating with hanging places... I haven't figured out where to hang my latest, either!

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