Friday, October 26, 2007


Today is my husband's birthday. He is turning the ripe old age of 29 (ha!). Obviously age has mattered little to us (if you know my age you'll know why!), but mostly because Luigi, as my brother Michael once said, "is so comfortable in his own skin". This is the part where I get to gush about him (it is my blog, right?!).

Top 10 Things about Luigi (and not necessarily in this order):

1) He wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and a positive attitude. I don't know anyone who does that, not one person.

2) He's super duper clean. Ok, annoying when he spends what seems like hours in the bathroom, but he really smells good.

3) He is respectful. He treats every conversation with interest and looks you in the eyes while you speak. I also learned to use the whole "lei", unfamiliar, be kind to your elders grammar thing thanks to him.

4)He has GREAT hair. It was half way down his back until 1 1/2 years ago. He'd wash it, put a comb through it once while it was wet and then never touch it again all day. And it looked like black silk. I was jealous. Now it's much shorter but still looks fabulous everyday. I am still jealous.

5) He has personality. It is not always easy to translate one's sense of humor or true feelings into another language, but Luigi has that "common sense" talent (which believe many do not) to figure it out a way to get his point across and often with a hint of sarcasm. It's charming to me.

6) He eats everything & anything. Thank God, because I cannot be creative 6-7 nights a week. He is always open to new foods, loves when I "go Mexican" and the spicier the better. On the flip side, he is a black hole and knows this and therefore never complains about the grocery bill.

7) He's "ItalCalifornian". Loves to surf, would live in flip flops and board shorts if he could, and gets the whole SoCal way of life. He too is a "beach person" and would have trouble moving away from the sea. I love that he is so Italian is so many ways, but that little California thing really makes things easier for both of us.

8) He loves Lucy. From day one he treated Lulu like his own. When he comes home in the evening she runs to greet him, wraps her body into his legs and sighs. I think she's saying "Poppy's home"!

9) He has wonderful parents who love him, and now me, with all their hearts. Even when they drive me crazy (is the cultural differences thing), I cannot forget what good people they are.

10) He is more beautiful inside than outside. An achievement few can claim in my book.

Auguri amore...Sei il mio cuore...

    Thursday, October 25, 2007


    Rain, rain, rain go away...It's cold, it's windy, it's ugly. So much for a fabulous fall, winter has arrived. Brrrhhhhh....All Lucy wants is to go for a walk, but it's pouring. Exercise is going to have to wait. She's not happy about that...

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007


    We are having the most amazing fall. Sunny days, mild evenings, and despite the Italian fashion faux-pas it might be, still wearing flip flops. This weekend we decided to ring in the fall by leaving our little seaside villages and heading up, up, up to Campocecina.

    Campocecina is a hiking refuge about 3000 feet above sea level. In fact, it's so high up that you actually look down on the marble mountains of Carrara (the Versilian coast, Portovenere and Mediterranean Sea as well!). You can choose from about 10 different hiking trails here, one that actually saddles the mountain so to one side you have the sea and to the other side you have the Apuane Alps and Lunigiana below. There is also a nice little restaurant called Il Belvedere that serves delicious fresh dishes including testaroli with pesto sauce, cinghale with polenta and one of the best cheese cakes I have ever eaten in my life. Oh, and their wine isn't bad either. You can eat outside in the summer months with panoramic views. They even have some pretty horses to pet and feed.

    After a big lunch and little hike (had to at least feel like we were working off some of that cheesecake!), we headed down to the Fantiscritti Quarry, the only one that allows the public into it's cave. For 6 Euros, you get to go 650 meters into the mountain which is literally ALL MARBLE, and have a 30 minute tour (Italian & English). They show you just how hard the work is there, no sunlight for 8 hours, it's cold, damp and dangerous. Still it is fascinating to think what these people do for a living and to see just how much marble exists after 2000+ years of excavating it!

    It was a lovely way to welcome in the new season and just another easy adventure to do from our little piece of paradise on the hill above the Med...