Family Friends

Looking for a break from the crowds at the Trevi Fountain, I sit at an outside table on the cobblestone road of Via del Lavatore and order a beer. Next to me, two American college guys are talking to each other in low, monotone voices. As I look up, one of them flashes a smile. He has rectangular, thick, black glasses, a light five o’clock shadow and a rash of faint pimples all over his neck. Leaning forward he says to his buddy,

“So any cute girls in Madrid?”

“Yeah, there are cute girls.” his friend replies matter of factly. There’s an awkward pause between them.

“Do you have a girlfriend or something like that?” asks the guy with the glasses.

“I did …at some point…” his friend says. As he leans back in his chair I notice his blue, flannel button down shirt is tucked neatly into his pants. His hair is neatly trimmed and his skin is smooth and shaven. Before he can finish he’s interrupted by, “At some point? Where was she from? Did you split up or something?”

“Nicaragua. Right before summer,” the guy in the flannel shirt responds quietly.

There’s a lingering silence in the conversation. Two more people sit down at a table on the other side of me. The guy in the blue flannel shirt leans forward and rests his arms on the table hugging his beer.

The guy wearing glasses asks, “Yeah… sooo…how do you like the Peroni?”

Looking up from his beer he perks up, “It’s good… remember when we all went out for dinner that night with your father and we were so smashed. Charlie was SO nervous and he was like, the only one who was completely fine. It was me, I think both Joes were there, Connor…”

They laugh together.  Tossing his head to the left, his heavy bangs brush against his thick glasses as he remembers, “Yeah, you guys were SMASHED. It was so funny.”

“I think your Mom knew and like, that’s why she drank back that whole bottle of wine,” the guy in the flannel shirt chuckles.

The kid with the black glasses has an air of cool, collegiate confidence. “She totally knew. Yeah, you can’t fool Carrie, she the master of knocking back bottles of wine.” He laughs at the thought of it, “Yeah good times. A lot of fun.” Sitting up in his chair he looks into his glass before taking another sip. In a slightly louder, sing song voice he says,

“Sooo, tonight we’ll go to Campo de Fiori … 1 Euro shots…then Trastevere. Trastevere’s fun, it’s like where all the study abroad students go. Some cool bars there.”

Both sit back in their chairs as the late afternoon breeze ruffles the red and white checkered table cloths. People walk by looking at maps and pointing towards the Trevi Fountain. A waiter leans against the doorway of the restaurant with his arms folded watching people go by. I glance over at the two guys and smile, remembering a time when I had almost the same conversation in a different setting.

After a moment, the guy with the black glasses breaks the silence, “Well, do you want to pay and keep walkin’?”

“Yeah”, the guy in the flannel shirt says, “Sounds good.”

The Path of the Gods and Beyond on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast such has spectacular scenery and views that even the LAZIEST of walkers will push themselves for a day.

Starting from Positano, before even warming up, we climbed at least 1600 steps, drenched in sweat and taking them 2 at a time sometimes.

The reward was 1) some of the most amazing scenery of my life 2) I’m now a “badass”. The hike up the killer staircase took us from Positano to Montepertuso.

Then, what some consider the authentic, “Sentiero degli Dei” – The Path of the Gods from Montepertuso to Nocelle.

From Nocelle we descended another staircase of over 1000 steps to get down to Praiano.

Crazy? Perhaps…and ecstatic with some fantastic photos. Favourite quote of the day, (from my 20 year old nephew) ” You kept up with us AND you got great photos??”

BADASS

Wandering the Ligurian Coast

Ann and I spent two days wandering through different fishing villages. One day we hired a driver to take us to Camogli and then caught a boat to San Fructtuoso, had lunch, stopped for ice cream and caught another boat to Portofino. From Portofino we walked back to Santa Margherita. The coast is lined with fishing villages, some are sleepy, some are touristy and some are warm and lovely. Rapallo was our surprise. It’s a village next Santa Margherita with a really pretty walk to get there. My friends Mike and Natalie got engaged on that walk. Mike picked a beautiful way to propose, it’s really stunning.

Those walks are some of my favourite memories of the trip because Ann and I talked, reconnected and ate some fantastic gelato! Spending time with her also means visiting multiple bakeries, so I learned to photograph instead of eating. A great way to spend  quality time together.

These photos are a mix of Camogli, San Fruttuso, Portofino and Rapallo.

Portofino

Portofino

San Fruttuoso

Rapallo

Frigidarium in Rapallo

Camogli

San Fruttuoso

Santa Margherita Ligure at Dusk

I met my brother and sister-in-law Mark and Ann with my two handsome nephews Jordan and Spencer in Florence and from there we rented a car and drove to Santa Margherita Ligure. That was a beautiful drive.

It’s in the province of Genoa in the region of Ligure and commonly called  “The Italian Riviera”.  Originally “riviera” was an Italian term from the Middle Ages that referred to that specific coast of Liguria. Yachts dock there to enjoy the area so we saw some enormous yachts.

The pier was the perfect place for Jordan and I to go with our cameras and shoot the coastline at dusk. I went out with Spencer the next night to check out yachts that had just docked.

Jordan – Money Shot

Spencer

Wandering Around Florence with the Family [Instagram]

Just spent the day with my brother Mark, sister-in-law Ann, my nephews Jordan and Spencer, wandering around Florence eating gelato and drinking wine. After being away for over a year it was so fun to meet up in Itlay!

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