Friday, June 17, 2016

And away we will soon go!

Wow you guys! This is amazing. I'm sitting - hopefully out of the way- on the previously mentioned screen porch drinking a little coffee and supervising Lucky the dog, hoping he doesn't start barking. The little darling. Lol.  So the adventure is about to begin- the real party is about to start. I can hardly believe this!!

It doesn't seem like that long ago that I installed my count down app (and I have a mini trip later in the summer counting down too) let alone signed up to go in the first place. Instead of 400 some days- I have 4 hours. 

I feel so fortunate to be here only 30 minutes from the airport. I actually slept a decent amount and feel pretty good! I keep forgetting that this first part only gets me to New York- like that wouldn't be a great place to visit again- and the next leg doesn't begin until late afternoon. 

I have plenty of things with me and room in my luggage to bring some things back- so this should all be good. I know that I have some people following my flight number, which is a cool thing too. Good weather is forecast for everywhere today! And all the rain that was in the forecast over in Italy has pretty much dissipated other than one day- Monday!  It was hard to pack for a warm place when it has been a cool June here so far. 

Anyway, I'm not going to go on and on as I want to preserve battery on the phone and I'm not knowing what else to mention.  I am not sure if I'll have wifi regularly or not, so whether a post gets written again before 6/28 I just can't say! Thanks to all the people who have listened to me yak about this trip. All of you all who have read this and can't wait for pictures (lol- oh the pressure), my hubs and family who have watched me slowly wind myself up into a frenzy, my good friends in town who hopefully didn't roll their collective eyes at me, my sister who hasn't put me in a choke hold quite yet, and my amazing friends who text me daily and keep me grounded. I'm so lucky to have you. So so lucky. 

So until I write again in a few or more days- Buongiorno and arrivederci!!
And have a joyful June. Xo

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Let's spend the final wait with the Seester!!

I really don't think I could think of a better way to spend this day!! Rose and I will use the better part of the morning doing some shopping and then we are getting pampered for a little while and finally spend the evening editing our packing list   

Sounds like a good plan, right? 

I thought so too. 

I don't have a lot to say at this moment. I spent an hour waking up on this lovely screen porch and now we are about to commence with some errands! 

I'm feeling good but nervous/twitchy and seriously ready to get going. Again. One more sleep and then we will be off! 

I can hardly believe it!!

I may write more later. :)

Have a joyful day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lets get this party started! 2 days!

I am not feeling very wordy this morning- as I am really overwhelmed with the things I need to do today.  Fortunately the list really isn't super long, as my new method of doing all things on said list as soon as possible after adding them to the list has worked wonders.  Don't ANY of you (yeah I am talking to you!) think that this is a permanent change or anything- that sort of thing probably won't stick with me.  Because disorganized chaos is part of my charm.  hehehe

Disorganized,  charming chaos- I am a dish of flowers!
Anyway, (forgive my Captain Obvious moments here) I can not believe I am down to the number 2 on my countdown app and amazingly enough that will change to a 1 here in about 4 hours!  The range of emotions I have felt- just in the last 10 minutes even- has been astounding.  So when I find myself way, way out there, I bring myself back to the present and attempt to let sanity rule.  Having a lot of battles between the logical and emotional side right now.

It is time for me to finish up my packing- at least as far as I can here- and straighten up the house a little.  That will serve to make sure I have not forgotten anything. I am having moments of "do I have enough money" which is always something my brain goes to right away.  I am hoping for enough appropriate clothing, that I will be able to find the right pair of walking sandals today, that I will not hit bad weather (I don't think I will), that I will sleep at least a few moments on that plane....

And this is the time that I am going to let it all go and just go with it.  I will make sure I have all my belongings with me and beyond the packing and all, I just need to relax into it.  What happens, happens.  If I sleep I do and if I don't, I have a book to read.  I will enjoy my trip.

So many people have offered so much advice and I really do appreciate it!  You are all so awesome.  I will be using my camera every day, but don't you all worry- it will not be up to my face every moment.  I will be absorbing all the things that will be happening and that I will be seeing, because that is how I roll.  I am such an in the moment person, for better or for worse.  If I am in charge of a situation I will always be thinking of the next thing, but in this case- I am not in charge.

I am looking forward to being in a country that does not have English as it's primary language.  To seeing things that are so much older than anything we have here- things that I learned about in Art History class that seemed so far away and unreachable.  I am looking forward to having such new experiences and ready to embrace the change that will come to my way of viewing things.  Every time I have an adventure that gives me such anticipation, I find that I look  at things in a different way.  That way isn't easy to describe or pinpoint, but it is a new way to experience life and finding some joy in it.  This trip for me is to continue living a larger life.  I began this quest for "more" with my Boundary Waters trip a few years ago, I dabbled in it  a bit when I went on my children's band and choir trips with them.... I definitely immersed myself during my Denver trip last year.  I am stretching my boundaries and seeing where the outskirts lie.  Living a bigger life has given me such joy, and it was beginning when I started this blog even.  Pushing at my boundaries, taking on a personal stance of bravery and doing things  that make me afraid- even if it is clinging to a tree in unusual places, in a location that is way too close to the edge of something.  I don't want to fall over, but inside me,  I want to get as close as I can.  And I am creeping ever closer- my comfort zone has ventured out a bit. I am READY!

So as I spend the morning in a whirlwind of activity, packing up my car, fussing over little things that I really should just leave alone, I will be trying to not imagine what will happen Friday.   I want to be surprised.  Lol.  I am actually so excited about seeing a different airport!  DON'T JUDGE ME!!!  HAHAHA  Actually- go ahead.  I really am not worried.  I am anxious to see what one of those big airplanes look like- want to see the clouds from the airplane again.  Try to sleep in an upright position! Land in a new place unlike one I have been in.  My wish is that every time I do these new things, my excitement and anticipation for them does not fade.  The waiting has been exquisite torture, and I love it!

I will most likely post another tomorrow from Minneapolis, but not sure about Friday!!  We shall see what happens.  Maybe I will do a selfie from the car on the way to the airport at 6 am.  Lol  You just never know.

Until tomorrow, have a super joyful and maybe just a little bit of an adventurous day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3 days and tomorrow

Tomorrow I begin my journey by heading to my Seester-Rose's house!  My plan is to leave in the afternoon (early-ish) to get to the Radio Drive area of Woodbury, shop for a few last things during the rush hour, and then zip around the south side of the cities to her place after about 6.  That should work pretty well to accomplish what I need and not feel rushed to get out of the house in the morning!  I will be gone long enough, I thought I would hang out for one more lunch with the MA and get that last minute laundry and such done.

This marble sculpture is called the Laocoön- it is from ancient Greek times and is housed in the Vatican museum.   It was found in the early 1500's and was highly influential on the artists of the Renaissance. Imagine this being dug up by a farmer in a vineyard.  More can be read about this here  Just when I said I was not going to do any more reading!  HA
This cloudy weather of late is definitely a bummer.  I know its all good we are not in a drought and all, but I just heard that we have gotten 8-12 inches of rain in the last month..... not surprised by those numbers.  I really need to get a walk in today- I had a time falling asleep last night.  My brain is doing that thing where it just is firing off random pictures/songs/thoughts at high speed when I lay down..... obviously I did not get enough exhausting exercise in.

Last night I got caught up reading about long airplane flights, and have decided not to read about anything like that any more.  I really do not need to know.  I can just do it.  Same thing with reading about the art of Italy- I am done reading.  I have read quite a bit, I have my tour book if I need to read more about places in general, but I am ready to experience it all.  I have been in a state of anticipation for a year and a half and now I am ready to go!  All I have to do now is shove stuff into a suitcase and go!

I have plenty to keep me busy today, though. I'll make a cake for the MA, since well- cake- and tomorrow morning finish the laundry for myself, mostly.  I will go wish my friend Luann Happy Birthday, I will go for the afore mentioned walk....  I will lay out all my clothes for real, this time, and assemble a list of sorts that I might need to finish by the end of the day.  Though I will make that effort to do those things as I think of them.

Anyway, what I want to do is spend the day doing things that I want to do and relaxing, just a little bit.  I am trying not to rush away my days here before I leave, but it is so hard when the adventure is about to begin!  Have an incredibly joyful day!

Monday, June 13, 2016

F.O.U.R. D.A.Y.S.

My goodness, I am on the home stretch here!  Yesterday was a day of gardening and doing some things around the house and such.  Not a lot of excitement, but that is ok too.  Today I should get the last of my Amazon order and I will see what MORE I want to do around the house.
A little peace and tranquility in green- my hosts, gentian, lilies and a peek of a dark perennial geranium

I began gathering the bags and suitcases I plan to use to get to my dear Seester's house- and there, apparently, I will find a selection of luggage sizes that will appropriately fit my packing needs.  Mostly I need to leave room for additions to my luggage while over there.  I am thinking a hoodie or t-shirt might be coming home with me! Certainly we plan to ship some of the local consumable items home as a group.  And yes, we mean wine! Plus some olive oil/olives as well.

I am getting to the point, now, that I feel like I am somewhat prepped for this trip.  Both in terms of having all this stuff together and also in the being aware of some of the things that I am going to see.  I did a little looking and one of the things that is a must see during a walking tour of Rome is the Trevi Fountain.   AND I discovered that there are several "live cams" there.  I am a fan of the Bayfield Inn Live cam, I can be transported there and watch the ferry travel across and just feel generally at home, envious,  weepy, PIE!!,  relaxed when I tune in.

I am amazed when I look at the above number of 4!  I remember sharing with a few people the fact that I had loaded up a countdown app on my phone- maybe in January?- when there was about 140 days to the trip.  Heck I remember knowing that the tour was approximately 548 days away!  And it was decided that time would fly and then suddenly it would be only  a few days away and I would be freaking out.  Lol, oh some people are always right.

I really think that I have enjoyed the anticipation of this trip as much and fully as possible.  Doing a little art research has made this particularly rich, and I feel pretty peaceful now.  I am just waiting for the mailman and my Amazon order!

I hope you are on your way to a spectacular week, everyone!  One that should be filled with some summer time joy!  It is my wish for you today.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

T minus 5 days to take off

I had sort of an off day yesterday--  I was strangely tired (gee- I wonder why) and right before I picked up my keys to run to the gym for a quick workout, I got dizzy.  Not cool, man.  Fortunately, I figured out that it was from a stuffy sinus and perhaps a bit of a sore neck, and I was able to eventually solve the problem with Ibuprofen and Sudafed.    I actually took a NAP, and that is with Sudafed in me and that stuff keeps me awake.  Those of you in the know understand how unusual this whole thing is.  But I went to bed and slept like a log for once, so I guess I needed to rest.

We also went to see the grandkiddos and their lovely mom and dad, plus exchange a few items back and forth.  Always nice to see them- little Ruthie was in fine form and has apparently gotten over her "stranger danger" phase, as I didn't provoke any crying or looks of distress.  We had a good old time playing and laughing and having fun together.  Little Greggy was his usual busy self, and is always so entertaining.  Greg and Sarah-Jane were looking a bit tired, they have a lot to do setting up their little farm and they use their days to the fullest.

So back to the preparations, such as they are at this point, I spent a good hour discussing life and packing with my Seester-Rose and then an additional almost that long discussing life and other things with my Mad-Missouri friend!  After which I took the nap, lol.  I have now shifted my focus to using all my veggies up in the refrigerator, finding little things that need dealing with in the house, pointing out to the MA what plants need supervising inside and out, and making a mental list of some things that I need to get at the grocery store to begin the almost 2 weeks that I will be out of the house. Not that he isn't a big boy and can take care of himself, mind you, but at least it will be a few days before he starts mooching off his children or eating at McDonalds.  LOL- kidding, that probably won't happen much at all.

Last night I decided to look into more travel locations- shocking, I know- and began by looking into the Sorrento/Capri region, but that is not a place to see "things" it seems like that is a place to look at the scenery.  Which is fine with me!  So I did a little search about Rome- and found the Roman Forum!  This is a place that is going to push all of my buttons.  Columns, antiquity, ruins......  ah yes. I can hardly believe that I am saying I will be seeing these let alone imagine being there.  SO FREAKING COOL.

One place I have not even looked at yet is Assisi. No idea what is happening there, but if it is on the tour, there must be some redeeming qualities. Right??  (LETS GO BACK TO FLORENCE!!) (shameless link to David again) HAHA.  Seriously though, I have been telling everyone that after I get my fix of Florence, the rest of it I am going to be a non-interfering art teacher (quit laughing) and go with the flow.  I actually love just going along and letting stuff happen, it really is fun to relinquish all control and go with it.  I find it quite easy to step out of my teacher and parent mode and become a different person all together.  Doesn't happen much, but I can play that role!

I have a couple things on my agenda today, so I suppose I should work on them sooner rather than later.  The day is supposed to begin nicely, with rain forecast for later.  Maybe would be a good morning to go and remove a few weeds from the flower garden before the MA decides that he should take it upon himself to rip off the tops and not invest the time to get the roots of said weeds out.  We shall see how this all goes!

Mostly, I have to keep my mind from running off into panic mode and keep making little lists that I can accomplish in a timely fashion.  And do the things on my list RIGHT AWAY instead of waiting for the last minute- not that I do things like that or anything......  hehehe.

So until tomorrow, or later, or whenever- Be a joy giver everyone

Saturday, June 11, 2016

6 days away now

As a strange calm falls over the Mad-Art teacher.....  yes, this is setting the stage for some uncharted territory, here.  My previous big adventures have found me reacting in a similar way: running around to different places shopping for necessities that are not usually part of my daily life,  spinning my wheels, moving things around and making lists and not actually accomplishing a whole lot, feeling anxious and nervous and not sleeping well/at all....  Well, I have already reached all of these pinnacles of self-induced hysteria- so now what?

So much beauty here on Madeline Island
There were 2 other time that caused my similar reactions: My boundary waters trip and my Denver trip.  You would think I would have done this for the band and choir excursions that I went on when the kids were in High School, but I did not.  Probably because I had a minimum of one other person to be concerned about, or more likely, these were not quite so far out of my comfort zone.

The Boundary Waters involved camping and things I hadn't done since I was a kid.  It also was something that I never EVER saw myself doing, in my wildest dreams.  At that time I was doing that cliché "discover myself" sort of thing after losing some weight and gaining my present fitness level.  Cliché or not, it was a life changing period of time: I discovered the real person inside me was not afraid of everything, and more importantly, it was discovering that I can do what I want in spite of being afraid.
Had the beach to ourselves 

Denver was flying for the first time and making sure I could navigate life without getting totally lost (and you can read that as on whatever sort of level you would like).  Flying is something I do like!  And getting lost is par for my course, so fortunately I will be with a lot of people and most importantly: that international calling plan.  Haha.  Hello, cute tour director, Daniele??  This is Debi.  Again.  Can you help me find my way back to the hotel?  Again.  Could happen!  We will not discuss whether or not wine was involved.

Anyway, both trips have found me similarly affected but this time I went through the whole thing a week in advance.  I think it was because school was keeping me from dealing with most of the things I wanted to do/buy/think about and once it was done- Bam!   Uncontrolled mental chaos and panic.
And pretrip freaking out, which I am super good at.
Rocks and trees

So here I am today, feeling like I pretty much have things under control!  It is the FIRST day since school has finished that I have NOT had plans for the day.  I have a few ideas for what I want to do today, but nothing is set in stone.  Sort of like my actual first day of summer vacation has finally arrived.  The things left on my list are few- one I have to get clear plastic bags for my carry on, not green tinted and set up my little kindle thingy and download some books.  And talk to my sister, who just finished school and is behind me in the whole whattheheckdoIneedandwheredoIbuyit point in preparations.  She has the luxury of living in an area that actually HAS these things and doesn't have to Prime everything.  But still, I know that feeling.

I was hoping to get out into my kayak sometime in the next couple days.  Today does not look likely, it is super humid here- foggy even, and the weather will be a bit unsettled again.  I am hoping for tomorrow!  It has been a couple weeks and I really want to get out there.  It might have to wait though.  Otherwise, I am going to lay out the clothes I am going to wear, finish up odds and ends here and there, and generally organize a few things.  And just enjoy a day of doing what I want.

We all stand like this on the ferry- enthralled and absorbed 
Speaking of that, I did sit and edit some Madeline Island photos last night while watching a Netflix show- Person of Interest.  Well that is a good series!  And I didn't get much editing done as you don't just listen to that particular program.  You have to give it some attention!

Anyway, I suppose I should be getting on with my morning here.  Whatever that morning brings will be fine.  As long as I can find some joy in the mix!  And you need to as well!  :)

Last night's sunset
*no art in Italy today as I got myself lost in reliving the Boundary Waters.