Sunday, March 18, 2012

Italy - from Vision to Reality: Cloudy Vision

Italy - from Vision to Reality: Cloudy Vision: Buongiorno! Since we postponed our trip to Italy until next year, my vision became cloudy.  I have not been as compelled to listen to and ...

Cloudy Vision


Since we postponed our trip to Italy until next year, my vision became cloudy.  I have not been as compelled to listen to and practice my Italian language CDs, read other Italian blogs, or watch Italian food networks.

This morning, though, I opened and re-read my blog posts and some others that I have links to on my website. 
Love this one from Rebecca...Gnocchi Guruand I am inspired.

Does anyone know of a visual learning tool for learning Italian?  A book or flash cards?  Please post and let me know.  

Ciao!  Kathryn

p.s.  Family update - my mom is doing better today...she has been in the hospital or rehab all but 7 days since the middle of December.  I am grateful for the prayers and well wishes on her behalf. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vision the same - time frame changes

Thanks to everyone who is supporting my vision of traveling to Italy.  We are going to have another year to explore the vision and the journey to get there.  A few nights ago over dinner, Rick and I determined that this May/June was approaching quickly and that we weren't ready for our trip yet.  I'm still studying the language, and I want to be in better physical shape for the Earthwatch part of the trip as well as the walking and bicycling parts of the trip.

Another consideration in moving the trip has been my mother's ill health.  My January post told of my mom's health challenges.  She continues to be in the hospital as I post today.  I am so grateful I had the opportunity to spend time with her for a few days in January and I appreciate everyone's prayers and healing thoughts on her behalf. 

My bucket list trip to Italy will be sometime in 2013 (probably May/June).  Between now and then, I will continue to study Italian, exercise and post frequently about all of the magnificent things I am learning and intend to experience once there. 


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Real life events - How they inspire my vision

Real life events since Thanksgiving this year have challenged my belief system and my vision.  I believe that things happen as they are supposed to and that thoughts create our reality.  That is why this vision blog has been so important to me.  I believe if I "put it out there", and take action steps, that this vision, like so many others that have manifested in my life, will become a reality.

When I was young and in junior high and high school, I had lots of friends. Going to 10 elementary schools and 4 junior highs (luckily 1 senior high), I learned how to make friends quickly.   As I matured and my life became full with family and career, I noticed I didn't have a lot of friends.  I had many acquaintences, mostly through my jobs, but not a lot of friends.  I realized that having a friend took more than just being a friend, that it took both people making the friendship a priority in their lives. Mio marito, Rick, is my best friend, hero and love of my life.  There are friends that were in my life for a time but due to geographic or time distance are fondly remembered but are not a part of my life today. 

Bill & Sandi - Christmas 2011
My friend,  Bill has been my best friend since I was 18 years old...I've known him longer than I've known Rick.  Uncle Bill to our daughters, he loves unconditionally, is always reliable and trustworthy.  One of the main reasons we moved to Florida is to be closer to Bill & his wife Sandi, and we now live about 10 minutes apart. 

My sister friend, Marcia, has been my confidante, mentor and shining light.  Just being in her space, to feel her energy, is inspiring, healing and joyful.  She and her husband Chuck, raised three amazing sons, and she was the first person I called when I had parenting challenges.  Marcia's insights, sense of humor and empathy helped me navigate bumpy parental and job-related roads.  We don't see each other or talk to each other as much as we would like, but there is an unbreakable bond that comforts me.  I know if I ever needed Marcia to be by my side, she would be there without question.

My friend and life mentor, R, has helped guide me through some dark times, counseling and loving me through them.  We talk by phone every week, conversations that are often brief, but are touchstones that keep me grounded.  Sometimes, I think R knows me better than I know myself, and she gently reminds me of my truth when I need to be reminded.
Melanie & Kacy

This brings me to my friend, Melanie.  I met Melanie through mutual friends.  A hairdresser with quite a large clientele in St. Louis, she quickly became mine, and Kacy & Emma's.  It is true that hairdressers know everything about us...when we are getting our color done, our eyebrows waxed, out hair cut, styled and blown dry, we spend hours upon hours together over the years.  Melanie became much more than our hairdresser as she became a member of our family.  She attended every celebration...graduations, anniversary parties, weddings.  She was the last stop for Kacy & Emma before their prom dates in High School.  An "old hippie", Melanie entered a room with a sparkling smile, fashionably "cute" outfit and just the right shoes and accessories.  It meant a lot to her to be a part of our family, and vice versa.  She had a lot of clients, but Melanie didn't make a lot of money, so it was really special that she would work to save money so she could come to Florida to see us.  She came in June 2010 and we had the most wonderful time together!  She loved Grouper and had it everywhere we went.  Melanie was going to come see us again this month, January 25.  My dear Melanie passed away suddenly due to surgical complications, the week before Thanksgiving, one week after she retired from her long hairdressing career.  She was surrounded by friends and much love. 
Melanie & Me
Rick and I are going to be in St. Louis to celebrate Melanie's life with her large circle of friends and I am so grateful.  Melanie supported our vision to go to Italy (she actually went to Italy once, shortly before I met her) and loved to talk about it with me.  I feel like I have a vision angel in Melanie and she will be thrilled as Rick and I experience our Italy moments.

Ben & Christopher

The week before Christmas, I lost another friend.  Christopher, the life partner of my friend Ben (who passed away suddenly in October 2010) died of a brain aneurism.  Ben & Christopher lived their lives LARGE.  They did everything together and they loved to travel.  Their facebook pages are filled with photos from their trips.  They inspire me to DO and not just to dream about it.  While I grieve for Christopher and Ben, I am comforted because I believe they are together again, as they should be.  Theirs is a beautiful love story.

My Mom & Me

As I write this, my mom Colleen, who is 75 years young, has been in the hospital for the past week or so.  She has been diagnosed with shingles, which is extremely painful.  She suffers from COPD and has a heart condition as well.  Having her down makes it a challenge for me to continue to focus on my vision of going to Italy.  And yet, I'm inspired to focus on it even more. 

Life is not a dress rehearsal.  It is ours to live, by the choices we make. I encourage us to make choices that support our visions.  So our realities will be inspired, meaningful and memorable. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giomo Due a Roma

Day 2 - Rome

Campo dei Fiori
We'll begin at Campo dei Fiori, a piazza in the historic center of Rome, one of the top squares in Rome.

Here is where the Theater of Pompey was built in the 1st century B.C. In fact, the architecture of the some of the square’s buildings follows the curvature of the ancient theater’s foundation. By the Middle Ages, this area of Rome had been largely abandoned and ruins of the ancient theater taken over by nature. When the area was resettled in the late 15th century, it was called the Campo dei Fiori, or “Field of Flowers,” even though it was promptly paved over to make way for lavish residences, such as the nearby Palazzo dell Cancelleria, the first Renaissance palazzo in Rome, and the Palazzo Farnese, which now houses the French Embassy. Bypassing the Campo dei Fiori is the Via del Pellegrino, the “Pilgrim’s Route,” where early Christian tourists could find food and shelter before traveling on to St. Peter’s Basilica.

During the Roman Inquisition, which took place in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, public executions were carried out in Campo dei Fiori. At the center of the piazza is a solemn statue of the philosopher Giordano Bruno, which is a reminder of those dark days. The statue of a cloaked Bruno stands at the spot in the square where he was burnt alive in 1600.

Then we're off to the Capitoline Museums.  We will see 5th Century BC's La Lupa, the defacto symbol of Rome, ...and Romulus & Remus. 

Other well-known works from ancient times are Il Spinario, a first century BC marble of a boy removing a thorn from his foot; the original equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius (a copy of this is located in the center of Piazza del Campidoglio); and fragments from a colossal statue of Emperor Constantine.

La Lupa

For dinner, we will explore the Testaccio District.
Testaccio District

The Trattoria Checchino dal 1887 is highly recommended for traditional Roman food and offers over 600 wines to choose from! 
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Roam Roma!

Assolutamente!  My favorite Italian word I've learned so far...It is so musical and I have to bring my fingers together on my right hand as if a puppet to say it completely.  Assolutamente!  Certainly!

Assolutamente!  Rome will be an important part of our Italian trip itinerary.  I think three days.  We will spend the first day seeing the Roman Forum.
We will see Palatine Hill and the Roman Colisseum.

The Colosseum, sometimes spelled "Coliseum", was built between 70 and 82 AD in the heart of Rome. It was called the Amphitheatrum Flavium or Flavian Amphitheater because it was built by the the Flavian emperors, Vespasian and Titus. Some say is was able to hold 87,000 spectators, but more likely it was around 50,000, still monumental for the time.

Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills in Rome and probably the most famous. This is where the rich and famous ancient Romans used to live. Emperor Augustus was born on Palatine Hill and lived there all his life. Cicero- the great orator lived there as well as Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony). Later emperors Tiberius, Caligula and Domitian built palaces there. Most of the ruins that we see today are from the Domitian’s palace.

Accommodation choices are that looks very nice is the Daphne Hotel.  It's a B&B close to a train station.  I've also read recommendations about the convenience of tour buses; you buy a 2 or 3 day pass and you can hop on and off at different sites. 
Will add day 2 and 3 on upcoming blogs.  As always, your feedback and comments are greatly appeciated!   Assolutamente!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Treasures to discover!

I am loving my Italian lessons via the Pimsleur audio CDs. It is especially fun to practice with Fabiola at our neighborhood Ristorante de Mario! I've learned several phrases...but not a lot of nouns. I'm sure those will come.

Since my last post, I chatted with Elliott Wiser of VP, News & Sports Programming at Bright House Networks and charming host of Vino Vino TV. Elliott has been to Italy numerous times and generously offered recommendations...including the name and number of his travel agent! He also strongly recommended Anacapri. Just look at that view!

Another part of my acclimation to all things Italy is learning about true Italian food. I am absolutely loving the Italian Food Net. It serves as a language tutor as well as educates me about cooking Italian. I am surprised at how pure and simple the recipes are. They are fresh and incredibly delicious!

Another aspect of preparing for the trip that is calling me is the "musica". I already love the beautiful Italian's one that was featured on NPR this past week, Joseph Calleja, The Maltese Tenor. I don't need to understand a word he sings to absolutely be mesmerized! So my plan now is to listen to the music on my drive to work, and practice my Italian on the drive home.
This is so much fun...and I thank you for sharing the journey with me. Arrivederci!