I recently went on a wonderful Mediterranean cruise that included four ports in Italy. Here are some of the beautiful doors and windows I found.
Archive for the 'travel' Category
“On Approaching Italy” by Oscar Wilde
I reached the Alps: the soul within me burned,
Italia, my Italia, at thy name:
And when from out the mountain’s heart I came
And saw the land for which my life had yearned,
I laughed as one who some great prize had earned:
And musing on the marvel of thy fame
I watched the day, till marked with wounds of flame
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned.
The pine-trees waved as waves a woman’s hair,
And in the orchards every twining spray
Was breaking into flakes of blossoming foam:
But when I knew that far away at Rome
In evil bonds a second Peter lay,
I wept to see the land so very fair.
Here’s a playlist I put together for an Autumn trip to Italy. Wonderful to listen to on the long flight. One of the stops for this trip was Lucca, Puccini’s birthplace, so a lots of opera.
What do you get when 25,00 thousand or so monarch butterflies come to spend the winter in a ecalyptus grove just a few miles from the Red Door? This morning I saw the first monarchs tasting the oregano plants in my butterfly garden. Who doesn’t like Italian food? It is a sure sign that the seasons are changing when the butterflies stop by on their yearly migration. The first time I visited the grove, I thought the trees had an unusual number of orange leaves. Then I realized those were the butterflies hanging on the leaves. What a sight. Then there is butterfly sex…..doing it in the air.
To learn all about the butterflies, check out the resources at monarchbutterfly.org
It’s time to load up the old mp3 player with autumn songs. I made a classical playlist and one for all other fall inspired music. These are great for walking on cool evenings, sitting by the fireplace with a good book, driving through the mountains with the changing colors of the trees, or sitting at a vineyard sipping wine among the autumn-leaved grapevines. My favorite vacations have always been at this time of year. A special weekend in Santa Fe one October is especially memorable since the aspen trees were in full splendor. An amazing performance by Andrea Bocelli to get you in the mood is on Youtube. Other Youtube clips are shown in the playlists.
Classical Playlist (Listed by composer and missing some annotations here and there, but what the heck!)
- Elgar:Cello Concerto in E minor (adagio)
- Vivaldi: Four Seasons-Autumn
- Tchaikovsky: The Seasons ( October and November)
- Brahms: Clarinet Quintet (adagio)
- Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
- Grieg:Lyric Pieces #1 Opus 12-Arietta
- Smetana: Ma Vlast Vltava
- Chopin: Nocturne #7 C sharp minor Op 27 and Prelude No 15 in D flat Op 28 (Raindrop)
- Gershwin: Prelude #2
- Mozart: Piano Concerto #23 (adagio), String Quartet No. 17 in B flat minor, and Sonata in C Major -2nd Movement K545
- Piazzolla: Otono Porteno
- Schumann: Romance for Piano in F sharp major-Einfach
- Debussy: The Little Shepherd
- Rachmaninov: Prelude in C sharp minor Opus 3
Jazz, Pop, Folk, New Age….(Listed by my favorite performances. Can you imagine how many times “Autumn Leaves” has been recorded? It is always a toss up between Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald for “Autumn in New York.”)
- Frank Sinatra: September of My Years
- Ellie Fitzgerald: Autumn in New York
- Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis: Autumn Leaves
- Andrea Bocelli: ‘Les Feuilles Mortes’ (Autumn Leaves)
- John Coltrane: Autumn Serenade
- Mel Torme: Lullaby of the Leaves
- Nat King Cole: September Song
- Peggy Lee: September in the Rain
- Barry Manilow: When October Goes
- Neil Young: Harvest Moon
- Roseanne Cash: September When it Comes
- Rod Stewart: Maggie May
- George Winston: Forbidden Forest
- Plain White T’s: A Lonely September
- Small Faces: Autumn Stone
- The Vines: Autumn Shade
- Paulo Nutini: Autumn
- From Autumn to Ashes: Autumn’s Monologue
- Yo La Tengo: Autumn Sweater
- Natalie Imbruglia: Come September
- Guns and Roses: November Rain
- Earth Wind and Fire: September
- Green Day: Wake Me Up When September Ends
- U2: October
- Simon and Garfunkel: Leaves That are Green
- Fall out Boy: Grand Theft Autumn
- The Moody Blues: Forever Autumn
I recently went to a wedding at the beautiful Silverado Country Club in Napa, California. It was nice visiting with old friends and family members in such a setting. Sunday morning brunch was on a patio overlooking the golf course. I felt like I was a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Of course, during the 1920’s and 1930’s my family would have been the people in the maids’ and butlers’ uniforms, cooking the food, and doing the laundry and the gardening, not the ones discussing theater, polo, and jaunts to the continent. Amazing.
Napa certainly has changed. It seems more like a bedroom community for San Francisco than anything else. Little boutique wineries and too many strip malls for my liking. I was happy to get back to the little place with the red door. No one told me, however, that a heat wave had hit the coast and instead of the fog, the temperature had soared over one hundred degrees. Headed for the pool, posthaste.