My party last night was a great turnout, as evidenced in the pictures below!
They were laughing at this.
More on my Facebook if you want to see them.
Fun night, indeed.
Here are some pictures I took in the past week and half that I feel are post-worthy.
New Year’s Eve at Jana and Erwin’s abode
Hiking with Mom and our dogs
Drinks and games at Stephanie and Tyler’s
Never a dull moment with these people!
My trip to Italy is gradually becoming a reality. Although I wasn’t planning on having a travel companion, a good friend of mine, Kim, expressed an interest in joining me. I’m generally picky about who I travel with but, honestly, I can’t think of a better travel companion than her (well, other than Rachel!). We have traveled together to Mexico, California, Colorado and even Italy back in 2005…and had an amazing time each time.
We will probably start in Roma where I have several cousins that I want to see – Antonio and his family, Ciro and Mauro.
Then we will spend a few days in Toscana and visit the towns that we haven’t been to yet. We’ve already been to Cortona, Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and Firenze so we will skip those places. Although we’ve already been to San Gimignano, there’s a little, cozy bruschetteria, Antica Taverna, that simply has the best bruschetta my taste buds have ever come across. While we ate there, we befriended the vivacious owner, Sergio Orlandi, who spoke excellent English. He loved us so much that he had us sample wine from a bottle that cost him thousands of dollars. So, needless to say, we will make a pit stop there.
After visiting San Gimignano, Arezzo, Montalcino, Gubbio and Todi in Toscana, we will go straight for Napoli where my cousin Dario resides. Dario is the great-grandson of my great-grandmother’s sister, Maria Luigia. Soon after my family moved here to America, they lost touch with Maria Luigia and her family. It wasn’t until recently that Dario’s family and my family are in contact again, thanks to Facebook.
After Napoli, we’ll go to Capri, Positano and Amalfi Coast for a day or two… then we’ll make headway for the best part of the trip, my ancestral town of Calitri, where I hope to stay for at least a month.
Because I am deaf, I have always wanted to meet other deaf calitrani. I recently learned that a distant relative, Katia, is an interpreter for the deaf in Napoli. Imagine my excitement when she mentioned that her mother, Luigia, is deaf and lives in Calitri. I’m going to make it a point to meet her and hopefully other deaf calitrani. This will give me an opportunity to brush up on my Italian Sign Language!
14 more days until I will be purchasing my ticket!