Monday, September 29, 2008


A Few of My Favorite Things about Italy
- eating ridiculous amounts of perfectly ripe figs - both purple and green - from the trees in my grandmother's orchard
- nightly fires in the giant elevated platform fireplace in the dining room
- finding the same Pro Secco we served at our wedding for the maddeningly cheap price of 4 Euros per bottle
- drinking said Pro Secco every night
- apple strudel (using fruit from our orchard) made by our family friend Breda, who is one of the best cooks I know
- realizing that all I need is a couple weeks in Italy for my Italian to come roaring back
- gelato from the local dairy
- admiring all of the antiques and paintings from the family collection
- catching up with Marino and Breda
- getting on Rico's shoulders to pick grapes
- wandering around Grado and looking at all the sailboats

A Few of My Favorite Things about Austria
- using my neglected cold-weather clothes every day
- new pair of Hugo Boss high heels, 50% off regular price
- visit to wineries near border with Slovenia
- eating a Whopper with chili sauce at Burger King at a rest stop (I know!)
- flavored mustards and vinegars
- the old town in Graz
- the modern architecture of my sister-in-law's remodeled apartment
- picking raspberries and plums
- Rico's face when he realized the "medalhão" he'd ordered was horse and not beef
- talking to Rico and Andrea's dad via Skype video while all piled together on the sofa
- nephews (as Rico puts it, you enjoy them until you are tired, then hand them over to their parents again)

A Few of My Favorite Things about Being Home
- purring cats
- cooking and baking sprees
- no more suitcases
- being able to make jewelry
- no more communication barriers or being exhausted by the effort to speak another language
- all of the jacarandas are in bloom
- being able to stay in pajamas all day without feeling guilty
- catching up with friends
- no children (except the furry, 4-legged ones)
- feeling the shift in the weather - summer is almost here!