Eately + the misadventures continue

“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”

We have a laundry list of must haves for each place we stay. This is a new experience for us. Normally when we travel we just look for the cheapest place. But here we want a kitchen, high speed internet, preferably one bedroom instead of a studio, a reliable cell connection, a workspace for Ez and a location that is desirable for me. If there is no construction going on, that is also a bonus. We had a romantic idea of moving to Umbria (the region next to Tuscany) to find some peace and quiet and just stay in one place for the next 3-4 weeks. We wanted to stay at an Agrotourismo because I thought I could take some classes or help out on a farm.


This sweet little notion did not come to fruition. In three weeks we ended up moving 10 times! It was like goldilocks where this house has no cell service, the next one no internet, the following one was great but was only available for 6 days and the wifi was slower than dial-up. The next one was freezing. It’s pretty funny in hindsight. We could not figure out if it was lack of infrastructure or just the old brick buildings – we’ve had better service in some developing countries. We’re considering staying in hotels again.


Regardless we had a wonderful few weeks driving around and soaked up the Umbrian countryside. We got a few days in Le Marche and Tuscany regions to boot. We walked through olive groves and drank a lot of great inexpensive wine. We went to the truffle capital of Norcia, drove over snow-covered mountians, saw beautiful churches and ate an obnoxious amount of pizza. And everyone was so incredibly nice.

IMG_1830.2015-02-28_143423IMG_1757.2015-02-26_112308IMG_1821.2015-02-28_123556IMG_1806.2015-02-28_115708IMG_1770.2015-02-26_115711IMG_1797.2015-02-26_121502DSC06393IMG_1706.2015-02-22_131405 IMG_1693.2015-02-22_123040

A quick obligatory stop thru Pisa.


Then on to Cinque Terre for a week of beautiful weather, cliffs and sunsets. We stayed in the town of Manarola which had great trails for Ez to run and I walked between towns and soaked up some of the warm sun. It was starting to feel like spring!



A quick windy weekend in Florence impressed with incredible views of the Duomo. We were lazy tourists and didn’t want to pay for anything but did manage to get pizza in one more time, walked outside the Uffizi museum and along the river to the Ponte Vecchio bridge which is unique for not being destroyed during WWII.


I had to treat myself to gelato at least once a week. If that’s not beautiful, I don’t know what is! I’m talking about the gelato not the buildings.DSC06654DSC06648DSC06645

A lot of great signage in Italy.


Maybe this was not quite the experience we were looking for, but a good experience found us anyway.


London – round 2

“Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” – Mark Twain

London was a quick trip and the highlight this time was St. Paul’s cathedral and the London museum. I forced myself up the steps to the very top (after turning back once or twice) and trying to breath thru a moment or two of a fear of height. I have discovered I am not a fan of little metal spiral staircases.


I was rewarded for my efforts with a pretty nice view of the city.IMG_1597.2015-02-11_132815 IMG_1593.2015-02-11_132701IMG_1601.2015-02-11_133229

That is all until next time.

Eataly + misadventures in telecommunications

    “To make living itself an art; that is the goal.” -Henry Miller

After looking at a weather map we headed to Rome for its warmer climate, cheaper accommodation and overall Italian goodness. We decided to rent an apartment, try to get into a routine and find a little balance. If I have not mentioned this before – we are always talking about routines but very rarely follow one.


We decided to stay in the Trastevere neighborhood which was really lovely. Even though it rained I was able to get out most days to at least take a walk and Ez had a bit more space to work. We have our priorities straight and immediately went out and bought ourselves an espresso maker – I think our count is now three.


A little cheese please.


We saw sights in the evenings and weekends, although our usual style is to get out around 2:00. When glimpsing the long line at the Vatican we took a picture and immediately headed to the nearest cafe, justifying it with “it couldn’t have changed that much in the last 10 years, right?”


Espresso/vino break – when in Rome…


Here are some of the sights we did make it to.

 IMG_1386.2015-01-27_140242IMG_1338.2015-01-27_132244DSC05237IMG_0984.2015-01-25_123234IMG_1038.2015-01-25_132105DSC05262IMG_0900.2015-01-18_184333   DSC05006DSC04999      DSC05274  DSC04916

After two weeks in Rome we decided to move instead of the original plan which was to stay. On my end I was actually getting into a bit of a routine doing yoga, studying a little Italian, reading books and cooking. Living a pretty good life, but I was looking to get involved in something. Ezra on the other hand was given the role as Project Manager and felt the pressure working remotely. Even with three different SIM cards and a personal modem the connection was horrible. Sometimes I’d see him huddled by the door or hanging out the window trying to get reception. This coupled with the construction going on all around us made for a stressful working condition. So we decided to spend some time in Venice before we needed to be back in London.


I’ve been to a few places that claim to be “the Venice of the East or of the North or of India.” I always kind of laughed about this, but couldn’t compare, as I’d never actually been to the real Venice. I admit sometimes I feel a bit jaded when I travel and wonder if we’ve done too much as of late. Maybe I should give it a break so I don’t feel unimpressed by really impressive things. Venice however was not one of these places. It really was a stark contrast from all the other “Venices” out there! Even with cold windy days and many mornings with flooded streets (including a drowned rat) I really liked it.


St. Mark’s Cathedral and square.


What can I say? Some people are foodies – I’m a veg and fruity.DSC05699

A little Vivaldi in Venice, no big deal! IMG_1528.2015-02-02_195357

We happened to be there the week before Valentine’s day and so everyone was out in their masquerade attire and it was fun watching tourists pose for other tourists in their fancy rags. I looked into going to one of the balls but after seeing quite a hefty price tag I contented myself with people watching.


Of course it couldn’t all be perfect and construction seemed to follow us at every turn. After waking to a bandsaw, and shouting-to-communicate lost its appeal, we changed apartments. The new digs had no cell signal so at a few desperate moments Ezra sat outside, in the rain, on the roof, taking his business meetings. Quickly trying to mute anytime a gondola went by shouting or a boat revving thru the canal. We decided once again this was not the right place to stay in our current situation. Nonetheless we had a wonderful week or two.


Religious graffiti: