29 October 2014

corner view

corner view :: tradition

Even when the days get short and the free time is elusive, we make this tradition happen.  This is the first year that Young One carved the entire face entirely unassisted. Hooray for that...because as far as American traditions go, pumpkin carving is not among my favorite.

I've seen the Halloween tradition become more and more popular in my corner of Italy over the years. Imagine...the PTA members at Young One's school are meeting several mornings this week in order to carve pumpkins to sell to students as a fundraiser.  Last year, one of the mothers of a classmate of Young One's sent us all anti-Halloween literature via email...it's the devil's holiday.  I just do what any smart person would do...lay low and pass out lots of sweet treats! It's not exactly an issue for which I'm willing to take a stand.

For additional info on the history of Halloween,including some lovely short videos and the infographic below, you should visit History.com.  And you can decide for yourself whether it's the devil's holiday.

Corner View is a weekly appointment shared by people around the globe, an appointment started in the spring of 2009 by Jane in Spain and currently hosted by Francesca over at Fuori Borgo. We welcome you to join us.

26 October 2014

walk with me | Costozza

We spent a good part of Sunday exploring the nearby village of Costozza, again.
Man, do we live in a beautiful part of this country, this region, this province.

The word "Costozza" is derived from the Latin "custos / custodia," the same as the modern English word "custody" and essentially means "to keep, to protect." The village of Costozza is filled with secret caves and underground passageways, many man made, that have provided protection through the ages, from storage of the local wine to shelter from invading armies.

The Church of San Michele (400)

One of the Many Limestone Covoli or Caves of Costozza

A Few Women Out Doing the Weekly Wash

Villa Trento Carli (1645)

Chiesa di Sant'Antonio Abate

Beware! She has potions!

(She and the wash women were a part of the Spettacolo di Mistero.  Or were they? Things change rather slowly in Italy.)

25 October 2014

throwback halloween

We generally have a good time with this beloved American holiday. Here's a quick look at Young One over the years as I have a feeling this era of childhood is drawing to a close for her.

She was the third girl child in the family to wear this sweet Snow White dress.

This Jo Jo costume is still hanging in her closet.

This was our first DIY costume...Frog Princess.

Who doesn't love Jessie?

And this was the first year we went to the dark side of Halloween.

I think this is a vampiress.

This was the year that we finally let her watch one of those pirate movies.

Isn't this the best mummy? It was A LOT of fun for us to create together.

And this year we present to you, Zombie Prom Queen. She has just eaten this year's most likely prom queen candidate, thus the blood-stained lips.

Dress and shoes are from our local thrift shop, and we are not quite finished with the prom queen sash, a project that involves glitter.  I am utterly surprised with how well she does with the sparkly silver heels, almost as surprised as with the fact that someone wore them in real life.

Happy Haunting!

17 October 2014

ischia adventure or the time we made all those memories related to transportation

Don't let the crappy iPhone photos fool you; this is an incredible place.  I'll write about it here today mostly because I use this space as a reference for future trips and because I think there might still be a person or two who come here looking for travel info. Maybe.

And, because, we love this place...yet understand completely that it might not do it for you.

Cascading Thermal Waters at Negombo

Top Advice
Visit Ischia during the off season, or at least the shoulder season.  We had absolutely perfect conditions for a romantic weekend away (sans kiddo) and were able to stay in a close-to-perfect hotel for a fraction of the cost. It's also kind of nice to be on the island at a time when the rest of Naples is not. Ha!

Some Travel Details

Flight: easyJet | Venice to Naples

Naples | Capo Inn after a late arrival Friday night (This plan was foiled by EasyJet.)
Ischia | Park Hotel Miramare in Sant'Angelo  (4 star)   Boy, is this place nice. Wow. It's not the Roosevelt in New Orleans, but it masters the Mediterranean charm; our room had a balcony with an unmatched view that allowed us to watch the sunrise from bed. Romance, friends. Pure romance. It also offers friendly and helpful people along with a lovely breakfast and incredible terrace for lounging and wine consumption.

All this adventure is exhausting!

Thermal Spa
Aphrodite Apollon in Sant'Angelo Saturday because it is included in the hotel stay.
Negombo on Sunday because it is simply paradise. (The pedicures and massages at Negombo were not anything to get excited about, though. Skip it. Ask the cab driver for a discount ticket.)

Hotel View to Maronti Beach

This place was completely out of the way, but we had a friend with a car on the island who selected it, so we were able to make the trek. While the cuisine was not exactly typical Mediterranean fare, it was outstanding and the people were, again, fabulous. At the end of the meal, the boisterous Chef Giovanni joined our table to chat politics and philosophy. His self-sustaining life on top of a mountain (hill?) on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean sparks a little envy in me, I must confess. I might return to the restaurant...the drive was horrific; a walk would be impossible.

This is what heaven tastes like.
Not Our Favorite, but the Location is Tops

Transportation (in which I list EVERY type we used the entire three-day weekend)
POV (personally owned vehicle), regional trainfast train, taxi, ferrypublic bus, friend's tiny island car stuffed with five adults -- 3 men over 6 foot tall, private taxi, hydrofoilairplane

At one point there was this horse...we passed on it.
We lived our Amazing Race fantasies, to say the least.

Adventure! on the Ferry to Ischia

A note:
Our easyJet flight became not-so-easy when it was cancelled after several delays Friday night. We weighed the options of waiting for a morning flight, driving a POV or rented car, or taking a train. We ended up in a sleeper car on a regional train with Trenitalia, which was not nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be. ADVENTURE...that's what we called it.  Making memories.

That Tiny Car!
Perfect Breakfast: Fresh Ricotta and Prosciutto

Another note:
Buses on Ischia pretty much circumnavigate the island and are marked with "D" or "S" for destra or sinistra (right or left). Take the wrong direction and a quick 15 minute ride turns into a 90 minute death chariot to hell. Ask me how I know. 
ADVENTURE, friends! 

Ischia Porto after a Long Travel Adventure
Negombo Thermal Pool
Our Hotel Room

Hotel Terrace

A Little Boat We Did Not Take
Park Hotel Miramare

It was a bit more adventure than we bargained for on our kid-free, spa weekend in Southern Italy, but it was all good, nonetheless. We traveled with an easy couple we've know for nearly 10 years now, and after sleeping together in a sleeper car on a slow (-ish) train that we boarded at midnight, I think we can do most anything together. Making memories. 

My next kid-free, Southern Italy trip:  Sperlonga. These, of course, are all romantic places that Richard and I visited BEFORE Young One entered the scene. You understand the desire to return, right?  If only I could remember the name of the hotel in Sperlonga, for it was another that allowed us to watch the sunrise through the open French doors while lounging in our wrought iron bed as the sheer curtains danced upon on the colorful tile-covered floor in the warm sea breeze. Clothing optional.

 You have the place to yourself! I love it. Just a small section of the Parco Termale & Spa Negombo.

01 October 2014

corner view

corner view :: in my wardrobe

Girls' Trip 2012 | London
I have no idea what is so rip-roaring funny here, but I can assure you that this moment is as real as it gets, an authentic capture by the one girlfriend not in the photo who continued with the shutter long after the orchestrated group shot on the London Eye was taken. 

I'm in the middle, with the white shirt & black pants, quite a true representation of much of the clothing "in my wardrobe": black, white, grey, blue and generally very, very basic and informal with an occasional burst of color from an accessory or another here or there. You might call me boring or perhaps "fashion challenged." I'm okay with that, my dear. I own it, in fact.

Corner View is a weekly appointment shared by people around the globe, an appointment started in the spring of 2009 by Jane in Spain and currently hosted by Francesca over at Fuori Borgo. We welcome you to join us.