About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF TRAVEL













With the exception of common courtesy and a respect for human dignity, one must leave all assumptions behind when travelling. This is especially true for Americans in Italy.












Charley and I do not assume the following there:




-that the paper will be delivered regularly or that buses, trains, and ferries will be running (24-hour strikes occur with a day's notice);


-that the road to our hotel, with rock walls tumbling down the hillside at hairpin turns, will be fixed in our lifetimes;


-that garbage will ever disappear from roadsides, or even be collected;


-that drivers will move over for pedestrians (who have no sidewalks), instead of playing "chicken";


-that American prudishness about exposing the body is universal.




It is one of the things we love about southern Italy. Life is exuberant and loud. Neapolitans are brash, grabbing life as it comes and squeezing it tight (as evidenced by the antics of twosomes on scooters or in passionate embraces whenever the mood strikes).




Neapolitans are not afraid to flaunt their assets. The men and women are bronze, the women with thick chestnut tresses and filmy gauze dresses cut to their navels. They have little and live under the shadow of the ever-threatening Vesuvius. They disregard the mafioso clans that rule every aspect of their city: garbage collection, construction, gambling, drugs, pinball machines, and all other illicit activities.




"Humans are flawed," the Ischians tell us. Their island faces Napoli and Vesuvio. "We cannot be expected to perform perfectly all the time."




At our hotel pool on Ischia, I am surrounded by six-foot models in thong bikinis, topless women sunbathing, and men in Speedos. Some of the sights over age sixty are not pretty! Only the English and Russian women in that age group, like me, wear one-piece bathing suits.




Perhaps it's time to dig that bikini out of my suitcase!


























PANIC TIME

I have cartwheeled down an Austrian Alp, after falling off a chairlift; remained confined to a hotel room in Buenos Aires, while a coup d'etat prevailed outside; watched helplessly while a gang of youths surrounded, then lifted, our Volkswagen in Naples, Italy; suffered swollen eyelids from a severe allergy attack on a 12-inch trail over 200-foot gorges on Madeira. But nothing can send me into a panic so much as....................................................................................................................












........................................................................................................................................










......................................................................................not being able to find a toilet when I need one!!!










Charley and I recently returned from our all-time favorite destination of Ischia - an island facing Capri outside Naples, Italy. We attended the last night of festivities honoring St. Vito in the nearby town of Forio. Our friend who owns an apartment there made a 9:30 p.m. reservation for a waterfront table to see the fireworks. In Italy, diners show up an hour before they think about ordering dinner. The wine was flowing. We thought the fireworks would start at 10:00.




"Soon," Daniella kept saying. "Maybe tomorrow. Maybe July! Here - have some more vino!"




It WAS tomorrow when they started - 12:30 a.m., exactly. By then I'd switched to coffee and Charley had switched to Diet Coke.




The show was spectacular - the most impressive we'd ever seen, including July 4th in Boston. Marco Polo had, after all, brought fireworks back to Italy from China.




In fact, there were TWO fireworks shows over the marina. Forio's ended, and the town of Lacco Ameno tried to outdo its neighbor. By then, I was nursing a glass of water.




The shows ended at 1:30 a.m. I hit the toilet one last time. Along with 12,000 Forio residents and thousands more from across the island, we trudged half a mile to get out of the harbor.




Up ahead I spotted an available taxi. We ran! Then we sat for thirty minutes. Like bees (except they were carrying sleeping infants and toddlers), the throngs swarmed in front and in back of us, making last-minute purchases at open stalls. Vespas whizzed by. We progressed one car length at a time. The thought crept into my mind that our progress might necessitate an impossible pit stop. The power of suggestion is a dangerous thing!




There was construction on the road to our hotel. The taxi couldn't get through the traffic. We got out two hundred meters from our entrance to walk.




Ischia is volcanically thermal, lushly colorful, and demandingly vertical. Climbing up the road, I mapped the location of the nearest bathroom at our hotel. Our room was ten meters up the hillside from the lobby. The public restrooms were ten meters down the hillside from the lobby.






"Honey, we'd better step on it," I warned Charley. He knew what that meant.




We arrived at the twelve-foot iron gates marking the entrance to our hotel. They were securely locked!! By this time, I was crossing my legs.




There were two callboxes. I hit all the white bars on the first one. While Charley was pushing buttons on the second one, I eyed the surrounding bushes.




Suddenly the gates opened! We ran for the lobby.




"Room 415, please!" Charley demanded, as the night clerk turned for our key. "Can we get a ride to our room?"




"Certo, signore!" The clerk pushed a button, while I folded myself into a sofa in the lobby.




"Please, St. Vito, we toasted you so many times tonight! Now do something for me," I begged. "Let me make it to our room!"




An attendant on a golf cart appeared. Over every bump I prayed to St. Vito. He didn't forget me!