Sunday, October 19, 2014

Countdown Begins

Five sleeps before we lock the door to our cozy little home in Provence and head home to our normal life. This is always a trying time. Cleaning and readying our apartment for renters, saying goodbye to friends...

We came home from Venice on Friday early evening after a small accident on the highway left us shaken.  

Last chance to... buy old things: We went to a vide-grenier (village-wide garage sale) in a neighboring town and said goodbye to our friend Nelly. Nelly deals in antiques and when you make a purchase from her, you also get a story about the history of the piece.  We kissed and made a promise to share a meal together next year.

Last chance to see the waterfall: Later, we hiked the 1.5 kilometers along our town's river to the waterfall.  Halfway through our walked I heaved a heavy sigh and realized how tense I had been.

This enchanted forest is like a setting from a child's storybook.


Brother-in-law T. walking ahead of me.




At the end of the walk the lovely waterfall is both dramatic and symbolic.  The waters rushing down are like tears releasing tension, washing away preoccupations.
Nature reminded me to slow down and to live in the moment, not to anticipate too much.  The tug-of-war between enjoying the moment and organizing the departure keeps me on my toes. Life's just like that isn't it? It's a dance that demands strength and control as well as fluidity.

Say-a-little-prayer-for-me.

Stella

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In Venice

In order to do Venice justice, you have to walk and walk to appreciate all of her facades.
Late morning view.

Pigeons seem tame.

Even some small streets are chic.

Vistas from the opposite side are just as breathtaking.

Gondoliers cry: Gondolaaaaa!

Ventians garden however they can.

Some streets belie every day life.

Gondolieri are very chummy and chatty with each other.

You park your boat.

Moorish windows abound.

Postcard beauty at every turn. Late afternoon view.

The view from the bridge is a privileged one.
Stella la turista

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

La Serenissima

After an eight hour drive in torrential rains, we made it to Venice.  Four of us, united in our worry and our determination.  At one point, we looked for bridges to take cover during the hailstorm that accompanied the torrential rains.

Upon our arrival in the city, it's like a giant hand reached out and turned off the tap. Venice opened her arms and heart to us and lead us safely home in minutes.

Today, it was 22 degrees and dry.











This pigeon posed, literally, for this picture.    
Venice is a truly glorious city, meant to be walked and enjoyed at a slow pace.  The spaghetti vongole lunch was simple and delicious, the company delightful.

Although it's easy to be distracted by the too numerous shops carrying all manner of venitian goods from China, every street, bridge and around every corner is a feast for the eyes.  It's aqua alta time but no aqua is flooding St. Mark's square for the time being. 

As I write this, a man is singing O Sole Mio from somewhere in the labyrinth that is Venice. We've decided to let Venice lead us where she might for the rest of our sojourn.

Life is very good.

Stella et compagnie