Monday, August 15, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Jiggety Jig!  And oh, so glad to be here!

It was a busy six days with two very long travel days involved.  I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that I am officially done with flying into or out of the Philly Airport, the hub for USAirways in those parts.  (I'll just say this - I could have flown to Madrid in the time it took to get to Erie, mm'kay?!)  My daughter and I travel to Cleveland (and skip over to Erie)  periodically ~ 2 to 4 times a year.  This trip we spent only a few hours in Cleveland, and the rest of the time in Erie to visit some friends and family.

The weather was absolutely glorious while we were there, and although our hotel room had a lake view, we never actually went to the beach.  Living near some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, we spent our time on other things.

*We spent a few short hours in Cleveland, not long enough to go fabric hunting, but we met one of my dearest friends for lunch at La Trattoria.  I had the best eggplant I've had in ages.  La Trattoria will be on our 'to do' list every time we go to Cleveland from now on, as will the bakery across the street, "Corbo's".    Monday is the Feast of The Assumption, so all the vendors in Little Italy were busy setting up for the Italian Festival.  We enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the area, and snapped a few cell-phone pics:

Biscotti and Butterballs from the bakery.

Little Italy Courtyard

This courtyard had a circular stairway up to a walkway with wrought iron railings.  

*We visited the cemetery and cleaned up, planted flowers, and mulched around the headstones of the graves of my sister, my grandparents, and a great-aunt & great-uncle.

*We visited several relatives that we didn't get to see on our last trip because of a terrible snow storm.  We basically ate our way through both cities.  We are Italian, it's what we do.  We had lunch with one of my favorite cousins, Debbie.  I just loved seeing her.  We made plans to visit the family mausoleum and clean it up on our next trip up there, as I didn't think to bring the keys this trip.  (Do we know how to have fun, or what?!)

*We had dinner with another cousin, Mary, and her mom, my aunt.  I helped Mary get set up on Skype so that we could all video chat along with another cousin who lives near Cleveland.  I took a picture of this picture while I was there:

Now do you believe I'm Italian?

     This is a shot of my grandmother and four of her sisters, at the funeral of another sister, many years ago.  My Gram is the second from the left (she was also cousin Mary's Gram, and her mom's and my mom's mom - got that?).  The little one next to Gram was my Aunt Annie, who was my cousin Debbie's (from lunch, above) grandmother.  The next one over, my Aunt Lizzie, is buried at one of the graves we spruced up.  The last one on the right, Frances,  was the last to go, just a couple years ago at the tender age of 91.  She was the youngest sibling out of 13 (as far as we can tell).  The first one on the left died when I was very young.

*We revelled in the divine weather up in Erie, and got in our exercise outdoors.  We took a two hour hike in one of our most favorite spots, part field, part wooded, complete with a creek, and searched for wild berries while we hiked.  They were not plentiful as they have been in prior years, but nonetheless, we had a great time and I was delighted that my daughter suggested it.

We picked a few wildflowers!

This hill is bigger than it looks.  The picture is blurry, probably because I was about half way up, totally out of breath.

*We had a lunchtime get-together with some  girlfriends from high school and their kids at one of their homes.  My daughter heard way too many stories!  It was so much fun, and therapeutic also.  We are all at that age where we have had or are currently having issues with aging parents.  And not surprisingly, all the girlfriends are Italian also.  In fact, I'm the only one whose family didn't speak the language at home. I forgot to take pictures that day, but just imagine several middle-aged Italian women, lots of food, and a bunch of kids swimming in the pool.  ;)  It was truly wonderful.

*We had lunch with my brother and his son, my nephew.  Said nephew came to dinner with us later at my daughter's Comara's (godmother) parent's house.  A meal at Comara's is always epic and most memorable.  I always eat more than I think is possible, and the food comes in many courses.  Their garden is amazing, and all the vegetables served at dinner came from the garden.  Comara and I grew up down the street from each other, and her family still lives in the old neighborhood.  They are beautiful people, and my daughter thinks of Comara's parents as her own grandparents.  They are aging, and time with them is always the highlight of our trip.

I have been searching for a pattern to make a light housecoat for Comara's mom, like this:

     I snagged one of her housecoats to make a copy from, and will mail it back with the new one.  It has proven difficult to find a pattern, but a knock-off should be easy.

We enjoyed the change in weather, driving around with the windows down, taking in the fresh air.  Florida in the summertime can be oppressive, and we have a tendency to hibernate.

I miss the summers we used to spend up north, until we sold our little house a couple of years ago.  Life just seemed to have a different pace up there in the summer - sitting around backyard bonfires, toasting marshmallows, catching lightning bugs, taking hikes in the cool shade of the woods, taking sunset walks on the beach, picking and enjoying a plethora of fresh garden produce all summer.  I miss my mom, the reason we spent our summers up there.

We so enjoyed our visit, but let me just say I am SO GLAD to be home again.  :)

This week will be busy with back to school sewing and shopping and generally getting back into the routine of things.  Summer is way too short, isn't it?

I promise there will be some sewing on this blog in the coming week, and even more once school begins again.  

Enjoy your week,


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