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I can't get over my luck!! This life is one absolutely awesome adventure!! Can it get any better than this?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Breakfast At The Pub....Take 2...

      I was delighted to head out this morning and find that we were going to meet Kerry's friends for breakfast. Trudging out to the car amidst another endless round of pelting Welsh rain, I felt the sting of it being quieter since we didn't have little Elliot....we drove over the absolutely amazingly green roads and roundabouts lined with daffodils to wind up at the classy pub with a trio of chickens in the back...I know, classy, with chickens in the back? Are you out of your mind? But seriously, the chickens add to the tudor architecture and the parking lot. Believe me it was classy...complete with a children's playground tucked inside the chicken coup area, that never has children in it. For me it is always fun to get together with any group of women....but it is really fun to get together with THIS group of women. It is a completely different experience here though for me since I don't follow all the conversation. When a group of women get together conversation is a pivotal part of what the point of the "get together" is about. When you are running behind on understanding the accent of the land...well, it is a good bet that, like me, you are missing the bulk of what is going on. I met with these classy and kind ladies before when I first got here, so I could take consolation in the fact that today I had 30 % more comprehension then a few weeks ago.....And Kimberley was not in the role of having to constantly repeat back Welsh-English to me as a kindly patient interpreter, well, at least not as much as she did the last time. They spoke with speed as they covered a wide range of subjects and I knew I was hopelessly behind but noted that my now 11 year old son was as lost as I was...he fidgeted alot more and tried to create many sub-conversations in order to cover for his clueless-ness, while I soldiered on with smiling and shrugging when I wasn't sure what was being discussed.

     As the rain pelted on, I noticed that many of them had stories of roof leaks. There was one at the pub we were in. One in one of the lady's homes. One at Kimberley's and one next door. I can't remember any leaks but one in the last ten years of stories at home. Why so many leaks here? And then I looked out the window and realized...we don't have the "constant" pressure that a "constant" rain must create on the poor roofs here!!

     But even without a clue as to what was being discussed, there was that same Welsh feeling that I have had since arriving here...they really seemed to be so kind towards me, I had the feeling that they liked being around us even if we are more like puppies in their midst...

     As I write this it is raining just before sunset...very hard. I think this weather is part of it. In California, we have nice dry weather a good chunk of the year. We can always go outside and be without people, instead of constantly being indoors with one another. I think that might be why they are so friendly and people oriented here. They seem to have to spend more time together indoors talking...like a place with a long winter. Well, I don't care about the cause, I like the downstream result! I love Welshies!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Belonging in Wales....

     As a Californian I am used to specific things as part of my life. According to the 2010 Census, 43% of Californians speak another language at home. That is one of our greatest strengths. We are a cultural melting pot inside of one of the biggest cultural melting pots. I have spent my whole life being surrounded by people from all over the world. We have the largest Afghan population outside of Afghanistan. The census says that 27.2% of our population is foreign born. I have always belonged in Northern California and have never felt out of place...you would think it really was a place I belong in, but after coming to Wales, I see everything from different eyes.
   
     I was shocked the first day as we went to a play centre to find that nearly everyone in the room looked exactly like family pictures from all sides of the family. My children had grown up with grandparents and great grandparent's pictures on the wall and those loving eyes followed us for years from their mute positions on the wall, even though they had lived in Nantymoel, Wales. At the Play Centre, I found myself seeing a girl with the same bob cut from the Victorian era, pouting in her father's lap in real life, as if she had popped out of my picture in the living room. I found myself surrounded by people who all looked like me, like my Ex-hubby, (also a California born Welshman!) and like our families. It was an eerie sensation for me.

    It took me a few days of shopping to realize that the people around me who looked the same also had the same sense of humor and adoration for word play that I was accustomed to only finding in my home and a few close friends. The Welsh do not only dabble in the occasional double entendre, but they excel at the triple and quadruple entendre more and use it for casual conversation as if it were the normal way to interact with one another. If you don't follow words quickly, here I suspect you will always be missing out on most of what is being discussed. (Let's face it I speak American English and I am lost most of the time here!) I have walked away from the store in Wales and only realized how to see what was said and meant in the car as we drove off. Over and over again.

     While I have been here I have seen close families, people who see each other again and again in one week. I would love to see my parents once a week...but I am lucky if I see them once every 3 months. We spread out and move around alot more, I think, in California then they seem to here. This is indicated by how homogenous all of our accents are in California...there are subtle differences between Northern California and Southern California but after driving in the car for 7 hours we all have the same inflection on our vowels and syllables. Here in Wales, I drove from the Rhondda Valley area to Llanelli, about an hour in the car,  and was told to listen to the different accent there. That tells me that here people don't move around so much....it made me think about my family who left and came to America as braver then I realized. I am staying here with family that came to America and eventually came back to Wales during the Depression. Who wouldn't come back to this?! It is stunning to be here. Why didn't my side of the family?

     There seems to be an inherent love of nature here that I thought was sort of a family anomaly, but after being here I see it as a Welsh love of nature. The Welsh seem to almost be so accustomed to the lush green hills and valleys that they barely acknowledge what they intentionally seem to surround themselves with in all directions. The houses in the valleys are all within a few streets of nature whether it is green pastureland or woods or rivers, there are great swaths of nature cut into every town and village that I have visited so far. The locals seem to be almost unaware of how much they have surrounded themselves with nature all around, looking with surprise when I point out that all the little towns in this area seem to have the rows of homes clustered in little rivers down the mountainsides...rarely do they run more then 3-4 houses deep before you have access to a river or an entire mountain. They look at me quizzically and with worried expressions say, "Well, isn't it the same where you come from?" As they say that last word their voices all rise in pitch so that I feel as if I am perpetually being questioned.

I also have been floored by the wonderful politeness here. People are polite everywhere that I have been, but politeness is different here. My sister has bemoaned the fact that the world is not as polite as it used to be, but here I find that my family has a different kind of polite...Welsh politeness is what we were raised with even though we were raised in California by people who had been born in California. Those people had been raised by welsh family though and over and over I have been seeing my Aunt Winnie's gracious host behavior or Jim's gentle coaxing. There is also a way about the older generation that seems to enjoy engaging little children in conversation. I suspect that they are starting them out early with the penchant for word play,making sure they will be able to keep up as soon as they have complete sentences in their repertoire. Thoughtful humor and politeness seem to be a deeply ingrained attitude in all the places we have  gone, whether it is the clerk in the grocery store or the postman walking his rounds as well as just family time after dinner in Wales. I feel as if I am reliving my dad's big family get together's at my Aunties house, all the time here...there is the same light banter all the time going on here.

Overall it is strange for me to come to visit and find such a sense of belonging. I always have thought I belonged where I grew up, and where I have lived, but now I am finding out about belonging in a different sense. Who knew that I belonged in a place I had never set foot on?
   

Money, Money, Money...

The British Pound has a few names it seems...it is a shilling, pound or for casual purposes, a quid. I have been fascinated with the coins and save them like Scrooge McDuck looking them over and over and trying to get the amounts and size straight.

A few weeks ago I was getting used to Euros and their size designed coins that show value by size...the bigger the coin the more it is worth...yet here I still keep counting them on a table every day trying to get them straight and I am still falling into the foreigner's coping mechanism of holding all my coins in my hand and letting clerks grab what they need. I didn't know  I was consistently so trusting.

Yet here is my pile of shillings, or pounds on the upper left. I also have a 2 shilling coin of two colors beside it. The copper coins are both 2 pence (the large one!) and a one pence  pile starting at the farthest left. The 7 sided smaller coin on the very bottom of the photo is a twenty pence pile, while the bigger 6 sided silver coin are three 50 pence coins. The middle pile of silver small coins are 5 pence pieces and to the far right are 10 pence pieces. 

The pound coins have different areas represented on the back.  I saved all the welsh dragons I have run across so I think I have around 4 of them...I also have a couple of leeks in a coronet also for Wales. There are also thistles in a coronet for Scotland, 3 long stylized lions for England etc...I figured out the trick for figuring out what country within the UK is represented by reading the side of the coin...the Welsh ones say Pleidiol Wyf  I'm Gwlad around the edge of the coin for the Welsh national anthem.

And all this is in addition to the notes or paper money...I have never had so much fun with money in my life...I feel like a 5 year old learning this stuff in each culture. When other people find themselves alone at a table they pull out their cell phones...but I have to admit that this entire trip I have been pulling out my little old lady coin purses and dumping out my Euros and my pounds. What a blast!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Welcome and Danger....

Croeso is everywhere here in Wales.....and everything is written in both Welsh and English...even danger comes in two languages here....


Nick's Refreshment Van....

Midway through the drive we found ourselves at the top of a mountain that had so many birds that it was out and out startling! At a parking turnout we stopped and had some hot drinks and Welsh tea cakes from Nick's refreshment van. He told us that the area had many birds...and that he had been feeding some of them to make them even more plentiful. Nick also had cool stories of the birds of prey here like peregrines that are everywhere in this mountain top. If you ever find yourself at the top of Craig-Y-Llyn...stop by and get something from Nick...not only was he kind but he had some good food too...excellent Welsh Cakes made on a proper griddle or "stone" as he called it....
           

Rhigos Road...

There were many parts of our Dan Yr Ogof time so I will take it in pieces. The drive up Rhigos Road was stunning..Again...everything here is stunning.

It was all lovely...the towns trickling down like water in all those little riverlets...or the mines that are no longer terrible black blights on the side of the mountains...so I took pictures of everything I could see, while Kimberley kindly indulged me by stopping the car and giving me time to take the shots while telling me the details of what I was looking at.










Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Busiest Post Office of my Life!!

I have been in the Post Office of the Vatican on Easter week of his very year and yet I have never seen such a busy post office in my life!! There were lottery ticket ads...noisy toys for the kids to play with  and color crayons, and tons of products that have yet to infiltrate an American post office. I found myself so surprised that we only have just barely allowed ours to carry boxes, envelopes and practical things having directly to do with  mailing things...but here the Post office carries so much I found myself overwhelmed by the busi-ness of its interior...stuff everywhere....WOW...

Playing in the Ruins of a Norman Castle, Boys Playing by the Water, A Host of Kind Faces Sing to me at a Church, and Thatched Cottages...

Yesterday was so stunning...it is strange to have my life elevated so to such a level of beauty that like in Florence, I am becoming accustomed to it. The street signs and the little red-rimmed round speed signs have become the norm now I have seen them so much. I have grown accustomed to "round-a-bouts" and hearing Little Elliot's lilt as he says "Auntie Terri" with a clear and clipped accent that makes him sound like a wealthy aristocrat to my California ear.

I have had a sore throat and headache for days but who can pay attention to it when there is so much to see and do? I took along plenty of hankies I snagged from Kimberley's counter and found myself once again in the stunning, green, LUSH, Welsh countryside. Knowing full well that the month of green in California will be gone long before I return to California, it makes this lush area even seem more so. As we drove along we quickly found ourselves on a one lane road....every house here...even the modern mall, is not far from real nature. The mall's parking lot was more of a garden compared to Caifornia for me. They have used that British excessive tidiness that I associate with a British garden, to create townships that carefully  seem to have been placed for maximum visual benefit as well as the best conditions for its inhabitants. I had no idea that the American West is so sprawling and unplanned until seeing these beautiful streets. The locals seem to be unaware of how precious it is to have rows of houses placed within in 2-3 blocks of farmland and woods. Everywhere.

 As we drove along, I suddenly realized that amongst the hedgerows a few thatched cottages were tucked here and there as if hey had popped out of Alice in Wonderland! Every building here seems to be made of stone except these lovely ones and all of them are so pretty to look at...it is just so beautiful in every direction here, I don't know where to focus my attention at all!!
At the grave yard, I remembered that I had forgotten to bring my information about who is buried here in this country on both sides of the family tree, so I decided to count this as our graveyard. I sent loving thoughts to all my Welsh kin...the ones I knew like Aunties Winnie and Katie and Papa Jim, as well as those I did not know like my grandfather Owen. I had also thought of my favorite Welsh song to play on a recorder, "The Ash Grove." The words are "how graceful, how plainly 'tis speaking, the wind through it playing has language for me, when over its branching the sunlight is breaking, a host of kind faces is gazing at me, the friends of my childhood are again before me, fond memories awaken as freely I roam, with soft whispers laden, the leaves rustle over me, the Ash grove, the Ash grove that sheltered my home...."Amidst a plethora of flowers, bluebells, daisies, primroses and daffodils at the Merthyr Mawr Church. While we frollicked amongst the graves searching out dates and stories, I heard a squeaking from the branches on the hedgerow at the side of the grave yard. When I looked up, I saw that it was two tree trunks catching a breeze. I had no idea what kind of trees they were...they made me think of the song and the ancestors that I long for bending kindly towards us...and it made me feel close to them in a way I have felt in a long, long time. I asked Jeff, who seems to know everything, "What kind of trees are those?"
    He answered, "I think those are Ashes...they aways seem to be planted around the churches..."


       As if that wasn't enough I got to watch the boys swim in a water free moat around an old Norman Castle and its ruins, cross a river over stones, walk on a footbridge, and the 3 boys play along the river as girls on horses rode through the riverbanks...and when I say 3, I mean the full grown one who moved as fast and excitedly as the children. Here is Spencer swimming in the moat around the castle.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breakfast in the Pub, Feeding at the Farm, Shopping in Pontyclun, and tea and cake at The Prince's

I was so excited when Kimberley told us that we would be having breakfast at the Pub with her mom's friends! I have always wanted to be in a Pub at all but to eat in a Pub and meet with buddies, well that is just way above my expectations. I was awestruck by being with people in a pub...but it was even friendlier then they seem in the movies...

After the Pub...my practical and intelligent family realized the way out of my dilemna of not having packed sweaters and warm coats by taking me to a charity shop and dressing me more practically for Wales and its chilly cold wet weather. I was thrilled as we paid a pittance for clothes that I am not sure I can pack out of here...and Kimberley and Kerry dressed us in Welsh clothing that looked like everyone else. Now I have a wool coat...and Spencer has a wool coat and his makes him look like a character from Narnia and we both are set for whatever the weather holds while here....they even picked out a smart bag for my purse...some brand name of some sort...Debenhams....here I am showing off the useful and large selection of suntan lotions that the Welsh need to have for some reason...though I did not see enough to burn my skin while here yet.
Next we went to a farm and fed the animals and, oh boy, was that a skinny and beautiful road we came in on...tons of quaint hedgerows between the farms...I felt like James Herriott himself would greet us at the gate when we came in...


Shopping in Pontyclun and tea and cake at The Prince's was also a wonderful experience...in The Prince's we ate at a table from The King's Speech...I felt like I was in 1930's England complete with ladies in black maid's uniforms serving us our lovely tea and Welsh cakes and Coffee Shoe Buns.....What a splendid experience all the way around and it is only 5,30 in the evening...!!!Gosh what fun!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hair in Santa Cruz, California, in Italy and in the British Isles...



I spotted a new trend when placed on board a flight out of Munich for London's Heahrow. All the returning people had really expensive looking haircuts...women and men...they all had perfect cuts...and therefore it made everyone looked stylish in a way that suggested messy hair was not the way in England. I also saw it in Heathrow, (Which looked just like in the movie, Love Actually) the same well cut hairstyles...the kind that do not need to be styled with appliances all the time. In Wales, as in the picture above of my cousin,  the trend continued and the rain gave me a hint as to why..in Italy they are big on saving energy and do no have the ability to waste alot of elecricity on drying every female's hair all the time...hair was more curly and free flowing there...but in Wales and London, everybody has to have proper haircuts because it rains so much. At least that was my conclusion. I noticed all the women in our family here have perfect and up to date worry free cuts that are apparently very affordable here. None of them looked as floppy haired as I have the days I have been here...

In California there is also an easier less exact haircut style then here...so this island wins the cup for being so stylish and coiffed in their hair...at least to me.... 

Traveling Suits Me Fine....

My metamorphosis is to find that I can do this....I can go to an airport with Spencer and make my way...I have had huge problems that did not stop me from moving forward and getting where I need to go. I have never felt so capable and so together. When you talk about acceptance I see myself as a product of my people since coming to Wales. While in Italia I was a foreigner...or "stranieri" ...stranger, as they call them...on an adventure but here, I am with people who GET me as is. They have my sense of humor already. They have me laughing and crying in deep soulful ways I can't explain. They are loving and dang smart and savvy. They are just like everyone in both my family and Gordon's and it feels so good to feel like I make sense. I am a Welsh person who was raised in California. Every clerk, every child, certainly my relatives who are letting me stay here in their lives for this brief month, all are not just extending their natural warmth and hospitality...but they are also showing me that much of what I thought was my odd individuality is simply a product of the people here in Wales. Everywhere I look I see noses, eyes and faces that look just like a family member or even me. I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and everyone around me was a mix of cultural traits...I went to school with kids from Asia and Mexico, and all different shapes, colors and sizes, and I loved that, but here, I have never had this much of a sense of belonging in my life and I find that both surprising and odd. Yes, you could say I am going through my own metamorphosis...I love traveling...this is truly the life for me...I should be living like this, traveling serious distances and exploring the world, all the time...I am already  a success...I feel it in my bones....I am all my insecurities and tons of confidence and I am a very exciting person who is not just accepting about me, but I am appreciating myself on this real spiritual journey in Europe...I suppose even this late in life, it is nice, even for a brief moment to live like I am actually geared for...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wales...Home At Last...Easter day 2012



The experience of hanging out with family is a ritual we all know for Easter....my family is ALWAYS my children and my sisters, parents and the men in my life...yet this year my family experience came at arriving home in a country I have never set foot in before....Wales....

When I was a child my aunt Winnie, who was born in Wales, had a dictionary of Welsh on her coffee table. I remember being VERY young and desperately leafing through it trying to figure out how to count in Welsh...I knew I did not have much time before we left and then I would have to wait until the next visit. I remember having to go to the beginning and reading the key that explained how to do the pronunciations for each vowel and consenant.

I know I made it to pump...number "five" before it was time to go...and Aunt Winnie, who I suddenly realized was pleased...gave me the book. I have moved alot in the last 5 years, but I know exactly where my Welsh dictionary is at this moment in my house in the Santa Cruz mountains. I really have ALWAYS wantedto be here more then any OTHER place on earth...after marrying a Welshman in my twenties...the two of us filled our home with Welsh coutryside linens and tea towels as well as posters of green Welsh hillsides.

But this Easter started off with me wishing a group of carbinieri (officers of some sort), "Buona Pasqua" as a Happy Easter when they helped me figure out the ATM was out of cash and that it wasn't a problem with my card.

After scurrying through hectic airports in Munich and Heathrow London, I was doubly impressed to have familiar faces to greet me when we got out of the luggage gathering zone....there was Pat and Kerry..my kin from Wales!! I wanted to cry then but I knew that they would probably be more embarassd then I was at my outward show of affection for them.

Driving through the English countryside on the way to Wales with Pat and Kerry chattering in that cheery Welsh way I gaped lovingly out the window at hedgerows of trees between fat VERY happy looking cows and pig huts that were circular and dotted hillsides...Spencer startled us all by realizing that Kerry's steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car...he was worried no one was actually driving! I think that was when it hit him we were also driving on the wrong side of the road!

Later, after laughing together with the SAME EXACT sense of humor that has always been a tad off in California...I realized, my family's sense of humor is Welsh...I was eating my Easter dinner at a lovely table surrounded by people I was proud to feel so at home with...they talked about exactly what I was interested in, ate and dressed like I felt comfortable with and seemed like shadows of family I have always known.

Oddly, though I missed my family back home so much during the Easter day, I can honestly say that this was my favorite and happiest Easter ever....I LOVE WALES and my peeps inside of it!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Nerd in Roma....

    I consider myself to be a bit cultured. Certainly I am not more cultured then most but I do study an awful lot.... even before I went back to school. My heart has been in scholarly mode for most of my life, and that has helped me to usually have a vague idea of a possible outcome....imagine my shock and surprise when we went to the Coliseo and it was surrounded by history. How come I have only seen the Coliseum and the traffic flying right by its base? For me, this implied the Italians...maybe just the Romans had little inerest in their past, since they must have watched its decay for an eternity. I was SSSSOOOOOOO wrong!!

     We had only walked about 10 minutes before we found a crumbling Roman Ruin of ancient wall. Spencer and I were so excited that we had to climb up the stairs..taking Bart and Gordon along with us....we found ourselves in a lover's courtyard of a park filled with headless statues and as we worked our way to the end...we came out on a lovely view of so much my eyes could do nothing more then oggle all that was around us...

We popped back down to the street and found ourselves being drawn towards a large piazza that also had lovey ruins out there in the open. Pieces of Roman forum were everywhere...the center of Rome is Roman in its totality. They have saved everything. I was stunned by how many lovely ruins there were in every direction.

The newest thing within view was a huge white marble building that was amazing. It is so big you can see it from everywhere! I was shocked at how it was completely surrounded by ruins as well. This place was so full of things to see we realized quickly we totally did not have enough time to see all that we wanted to here...and there is alot more of Roma then this section.





     We ate at a place across the street from the Coliseum...I had to cry...so much beauty...so many lovely trees...so many arches...Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man was one of those things Dad had us watch....I loved the way he made it seem that the arch was the moment we became more then primitives...and I could see the arches everywhere on the thing...and we are on a hunt for the Pantheon tomorrow...that was the last dome before Brunelleschi found the way to create one again...this is a walk through humanity's greatest triumphs...too moving...Harrison would have loved this!! Brittany would have too...so much to see and so much to do...we ARE coming back with the whole family...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Florence Fills Me with Wonder...

    Bart took this picture when he first got here. It is amazing how there are statues everywhere.Such an attempt o really make every nook and cranny beautiful. I leaned in next to Spencer's ear and said, "We have a statue of Yoda back in San Francisco."
     It is a funny thing when your ten year old is cultured enough to laugh at his mother being crass.
Right behind the above photo, if we had turned around, was this small nook devoted to yet another pair of greats who had been in Florence.
Galileo is on the left. He qualifies as a favorite of mine. I sent him a loving thought while running around near Pisa's Leaning Torre.
Walking on the tiny sidewalks is actually more of a challenge then one would think, especially when large buses and tiny cars regularly try to squeeze through the tiny roadside passing one another and ride over the curb rather indiscriminately. Gordon and I held Spencer in a death grip for the first few days but by the  time Bart got there Spencer was rather deftly negotiating his own way around the citta` and acting like quite a seasoned Florentine.
Since violence is so unheard of here, I found that running around in Florence feels really safe, whether in sexier clothes or alone for a moment or late at night. This place feels good....not only does it have a pretty face, but it feels good.

We ate at a lovely restaurant, Osteria Del Porcellino, after we ran our hands across the famous fountain's snout. The boar, is supposed to grant  wishes and roving bands of students with their teachers were showing their students how to get their wishes granted. I marvelled at how many large classrooms full of teens we have seen since coming to Florence. This was at 10 O'Clock at night!

At the restaurant we had all decided to skip dinner when we slipped in to go for a dessert instead. After eyeing the menu we went to a primi piatti anyway and had a light dinner. It is fun since we all share the same spirit of culinary adventure. We all share a portion of what we got this time and compare it to what we had at the last place. 
                                                                           
As we sat down at this place we noticed a rough but beautifully rendered painting of a firetruck next to our tavola. It turned out to be a Palo Alto firetruck complete with English on its side. American icons are everywhere! Oddly one of us at the table was BORN in Palo Alto. I took it as a sign we were supposed to find this place...

After we were done eating, for free, the waiter brought us each a little shot of Lemoncello a hard drink that made me gag. I was torn between polite behavior and my dislike of much alcohol but polite behavior won out and Gordon and I downed our alcohol and thanked the man profusely.

We have been sharing post cards of Santa Cruz we brought from home with businesses that catch our fancy.I think I want to go back to the pig's place and bring them a post card from home in Thanks....

Uffizi Galleria....

We have been in Florence for days now and I feel very happy and satisfied...

We ate at a lovely restaurant called the gatto e volpe based on the cat and fox from Pinocchio...there are alot of Pinocchio things here...Spencer wants to get his big brother a Pinocchio thing since that is one of ttheir favorite movies to watch together!!

We waited through a long line in a wonderful statue filled area of a Piazza to get into the Uffizi. It was so worth it. Though we were hungry and tired we walked from room to room struck by all the paintings and beauty. There were lovely gold framed paintings that reminded me of a beautiful altar at a Greek Orthodox Church in Felton that some friends attend.

There were rooms filled with paintings I had seen before including a lovely Rafael. The room that knocked my socks off was the Botticelli room with BOTH the Primavera and Birth of Venus!! What stunning beauty. I just stood and stared!! Of course we were not allowed to take pictures but I am loading the paintings to jar your memory.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Out the Window....

In Italy there is a constant cheerful torrent of bells...but it is always cheerful especially in the morning... it is quite cheerful. Here I am not wearing a bell bracelet or any bells on my purse, like ususal, but I guess I don't need them since we have so many bells in the chapels and Duomi here...

We seem to be here when schoolkids are on vacation and learning there history...just like 4th grade California kids traipsing into Columbia from all over the state...we got here during the traditional time to take school kids here to learn of the history of Italy...they look just as bored as CA kids do when forced to study their history...it is funny since I totally agree with them HAVING to visit these sights...we are all bright eyed and bushy tailed in the museums but Spencer glosses over after so much beauty too...Youth...is wasted on the young...

Bells are going off again...we have several chapels within earshot....