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Posts tagged ‘shopping’

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Broadway

The Fuchsia is Sooooo Beautiful!

The Fuchsia is Sooooo Beautiful!

 

The Parsonage in Broadway, UK

The Parsonage in Broadway, UK

Broadway’s name fits the village.  Village life is lined along a broad grass-fringed, red chestnut way, so we started at the end with the Christmas shop and made our way to the center of the village. Broadway will not disappoint you, as it is chock  full of restaurants, inns, pubs, antique stores, coffee shops, and gift shops. Whew!  In one gift shop we had a big time looking over one gift item in particular! Here is one. Can you guess what it is?

The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows

A porcelain, hand painted nose for  glasses/spectacles!  Never lose your glasses again!  The nose knows! The English have such a sense of humor! It is a gift for my mother-in-law!

There is also a local market, the Broadway Deli,  and a larger grocery, called Budgens, located down a narrow strip of walkway deep in blooming lavender and pale pink shrub roses! It was the first large grocery we were to find in our Cotswolds travels. More dogs lounging here! The dogs are either sleeping under the benches or waiting patiently at shop doors!

The Village Deli in Broadway, UK

The Village Deli in Broadway, UK

Shopping at Budgen's Grocery in Broadway, UK

Shopping at Budgen’s Grocery in Broadway, UK

The Pathway to Budgens in Broadway, UK

The Pathway to Budgens in Broadway, UK

 

Shrub roses and Lavender in Broadway UK

Shrub Roses and Lavender in Broadway UK

My favorite discovery in Broadway was a public restroom right next to the large central parking lot.  Maintained by a meticulous gentleman, he promptly made us aware that the restroom had been declared, “Loo of the Year.”

The "Loo of the Year," Broadway, UK

The “Loo of the Year,” Broadway, UK

The sign was proudly displayed and rightly so. The loo was spotless and the squarish Cotswold stone building fit right in with the architecture of Broadway. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place that can boast the “Loo of the Year”?  My other delight were all the hanging baskets of pink fuchsias and purple cascading vines. They were beautiful and hanging outside several of the shops. We spent a lovely and lively afternoon in Broadway. You will want to add Broadway to your Cotswolds calendar!

For your reading enjoyment I have selected a hand printed and watercolored book by Susan Branch, titled A Fine Romance; Falling in Love With the English Countryside, that I literally devoured. A travel journal of her two month ramble through the backroads and small villages of the English countryside, it is filled with pictures, witty captions and charming detail of her dream to visit her long awaited England. For more information on Susan’s work see: http://www.susanbranch.com

The Wow in Wengen

Wengen

Wengen

This is my final posting of my favorite small villages in Switzerland. Interlaken, between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, is touristy with lots of diverse restaurants and hotels.  Mürren sits high on a ledge and overlooks the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  Traffic-free, it is quaint and picturesque with shops, eateries and hotels.  Gimmelwald is traffic-free,  the smallest of the villages and one of a kind. There are great walks and hikes from Gimmelwald, which makes it very popular with the hiking crowd. But, my favorite of all the villages is Wengen.  Wengen, population 1,300, swells to 5,000 in the summer months and 10,000 in the winter. It too is traffic-free and to get there from Interlaken you take the train to Lauterbrunnen, and switch trains to go further to Wengen. Arriving on the train we see women getting off and unloading large trolleys of groceries and staples to pull up to the chalets and hotels.

The Walk into Wengen

The Walk into Wengen

There is a small grocery shop in Wengen, but for supplies it must be easier to cart them from Interlaken.  I took a tour of the Victoria-Lauberhorn Hotel and Spa.

The Victoria-Lauberhorn Hotel and Spa

The Victoria-Lauberhorn Hotel and Spa

The rooms at the Victoria-Lauberhorn are on the small side, but have a fantastic view of the mountains and the spa facilities were relaxing and calming. There is a one street shopping area, with fine specialty shops for the nicer souvenirs.

Main Shopping Area of Wengen

Main Shopping Area of Wengen

One shop features, crafted in Switzerland gifts only, and I bought a handmade coo-coo clock here and had it shipped home. There is also a very nice jewelry shop.

The Chess Pieces

The Chess Pieces

Walking through town there are large parks and huge chess sets. Benches are placed along side the sets so you watch how the match is going. There are also tennis courts and a pool in the upper park area past St Bernards English Church. The priest is available only in the summer months, since it is a rotating ministry.  He was on sabbatical from the UK, but said the church was supported by the parish and held services most of the year, but sometimes without the priest.  It was the same for the local Catholic Church as well. My highlight was the conversation I carried on with a German speaking woman, who invited me into her beautiful abundant flower garden. We got along just fine, mostly pointing and smiling.

Wengen Flowers

Wengen Flowers

The loop walk through Wengen is just long enough to stretch your legs, mingle with the locals and enjoy every minute of your stay. My choice for a vacation in Switzerland would be Wengen.  It is perfect!  Be sure to watch the video to get an idea how beautiful it truly is!

For more information on the Victoria Lauberhorn Hotel and Spa see: http://www.hotel-victoria-lauberhorn.ch

One Day in Milan

San Bartolomeo by Marco d'Agrate

San Bartolomeo by Marco d’Agrate

IMG_1783

We are on the early morning commuter train from Varenna to Milan. We are meeting up with a private local guide, Lorenza Scorti, who knows the city’s history well. We have marked off certain sights we would like to see. We are hoping Lorenza has been able to get us tickets to get into the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Last Supper, is housed. One of the leading families of Italy during the Renaissance, the Sforza Family of Milan, hired da Vinci to decorate the dining hall of the Dominican monastery that adjoins the church. Ultimately, the Sforza family was bribing the monks with this gift so the monks would allow their family tomb to be placed in the church.(Which never happened) The fresco began deteriorating within six years of it’s completion due to the experimental technique used by Leonardo.  Bombing during WWII left only one wall standing in the church.  The wall of the Last Supper. Truly a miracle! In 1999 a 21-year restoration project was completed peeling away 500 years of touch-ups, leaving the masterpiece intact.

Lorenza meets us at the central train station and after going up several escalators in the fashionable shopping area of the train station, Lorenza buys tickets for the metro and we are off! It is early morning and the streets are quiet. First stop, the Duomo, with a forest of spires on its roof, is the fourth largest church in Europe, after the Vatican’s, London’s, and Seville’s. The church was built with Pink Candoglia marble, rafted in from a quarry 60 miles away. We went past this quarry on the train when we went to Cinque Terre. Marble is still extracted from the sight. Inside the church is a beautiful marble mosaic floor and looking up we see The Quadroni, (large paintings on canvas, each about 20 by 26 feet) depicting the life of St Charles Borremeo. The paintings have been brought out and displayed for a special anniversary in the church. The 1st cycle of paintings (starting in 1602), The Facts of Life of Blessed Charles, consists of 28 paintings depicting his life, and were painted by seven different artists. The 2nd cycle, The Miracles of St Charles, consisting of 24 smaller paintings of his miraculous works and healings, were all painted between December 1609 and November 1, 1610, when Charles was canonized. These paintings were displayed for the first time together on November 4, 1610, when the paintings of his miracles could be shown after he had been declared a saint. Now they are only displayed on special days in the church and we were fortunate to be able to see them.

The Duomo

The Duomo

IMG_1765

An impressive, detailed statue of San Bartolomeo Flayed (1562), by Marco d’ Agrate, is upfront and center in the church. That is his skin draped over his shoulder!

After the church, we are delighted to be shown a small museum in a private palazzo. I have wanted to see what was behind those big oak doors! Following Lorenza, we are lead through an intricate laid marble entryway and up the stairs to the private apartments.  Today there are collections of clothing, shoes and those little bitty one woman carriage/carriers that were lifted on the shoulders of servants to whisk one about town and prevent your dress and shoes from being soiled. Boy were those women TINY! On the outside of the palazzo is a beautiful fresco above the rim of the windows.  (See the video I made)

The Palazzo

The Palazzo

The Dress

Inside the Palazzo

Next, we walk to the La Scala Opera House and museum, the world’s most prestigious opera house!  All that red velvet! Following that we head to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a four story glass domed arcade on the main square, featuring all the Italian high end shopping stores and great for people watching as well. It was the first building in Milan to have electric lighting! Oh how Italians love fashion!  Around the center dome patriotic mosaics symbolize the four major continents and the mosaic marbled floor reveals the city’s symbol, a torino. (little bull) Here locals step and twirl on the bull for good luck.

Inside the Galleria

Inside the Galleria

Il Torino

Il Torino

We go to a local pizza restaurant and I am so glad to sit.  The one person pizzas are HUGE (enough for three people) and we wash it down with good red wine.

Afterwards, we make our way to the Sforza Castle, previously the residence of the Sforza family. It is now a museum of ancient art which features the last and unfinished Pietà, by Michelangelo and the Sala della Asse, frescoed by Leonardo da Vinci, who worked for the Sforza family as a painter, sculptor, and hydrologic engineer. Seventeen layers of whitewash are slowing being removed to reveal the entire mural by da Vinci, sections having been discovered on the walls as late as 2013.

The Sforza Castle

The Sforza Castle

The Pietà

The Last Pietà

The Pietà

The Last Pietà

IMG_1834

Our last stop of the day is Santa Maria della Grazie Church and we are thrilled to find admittance tickets waiting for us! The church is now hermetically sealed, so you go through sections of air filter stations, filtering the air from the outside, until it is deemed pollutant free and we are admitted.  At last, a group of twenty, is turned out into the refectory for 15 minutes at a time. In the Convent, where the work on the end wall was started in 1495, the mural, measuring 180 inches by 350 inches, represents the scene of the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples. Completed in 1498, the mural specifically portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray Him. Working a new technique, dry plaster rather than wet, and choosing to seal the stone wall with a layer of pitch, gesso and mastic, da Vinci painted the sealing layer with tempera. Due to this method the piece began to deteriorate a few years after he finished it. As early as 1517, the painting was starting to flake and by 1556 it was deemed “ruined” and so deteriorated, the figures were unrecognizable.  In 1652, a doorway was cut through the painting, so the monks could get to the kitchens easier.  This door was later bricked up, but can still be seen as an irregular arch shaped structure near the center base of the painting.  In 1768, a curtain was hung over the painting to protect it; but instead it trapped moisture on the painting’s surface and whenever the curtain was pulled back, it scratched the flaking paint. In 1821, Stefano Barezzi, an expert in removing whole frescoes from their walls intact, badly damaged the center section of the mural before realizing the work was not a fresco.(Painted on wet walls) He then attempted to reattach the damaged sections with GLUE.  From 1901 to 1908, Luigi Cavenaghi completed a thorough study of the structure of the painting, then began cleaning it. On August 15, 1943, the refectory was struck by a bomb, but a protective structure of sandbags and an additional wall in front of the painting protected it from bomb splinters. Pictures of the damage to the church line the walls upon leaving.  It was the only wall left standing. We leave Milan and return to Menaggio by train and then ferry, weary but so thankful we have been able to see some of the greatest art in the world.

For more information on a private tour of Milan contact Lorenza Scorti at lorenza.scorti@libero.it

The Perfume Collector

The Streets of Marais

The Streets of the  Marais

A Santa Along the Way

A Santa Along the Way

In my pre-travel readings I read a fabulous book titled, The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro. I could not put it down. I was mesmerized. It would set the mood for the Paris vacation.

In Kathleen’s words about the book:
An inheritance from a mysterious stranger…….
An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris……….
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory…….and a scent.

It put me on a quest for perfume in Paris!

After the events of the past days I am determined to go shopping today. I have been ogling shop windows filled with beautiful bling and nuggets and watched women spray perfume on what looks like white plant garden markers, long enough.  I have stopped at every little stand in front of the perfume shops and followed suit.  The perfume dealers are very smart.  These little stands have two or three perfume bottles on them and the white markers.  I spray the marker and “oh” and “ah” over the scents. Off I would go with the markers in my inside coat pocket and whenever I reached into my pocket what a delight of delicious fragrances I received!

One day, before Christmas, I ventured into a tiny perfume shop. There was one French woman there discussing a perfume with the owner.  She went on and on……..and on….the gentleman giving her full attention. Now, here is where I want to add my view of French shopping, well most European shopping for that matter. No one is ever in a hurry.  The customer may take hours looking, selecting, trying, and asking questions. More samples are brought, more questions answered.  Get the picture?  Shopping is an art form here. One customer at a time. The customer is special. The clerk sees to that.  My first observance of this was seen in the movie, Love Actually. In one scene, a man is looking at jewelry and the elegant man behind the counter enlightens him on the art of shopping. I loved it! This is a Christmas movie, my favorite Christmas movie, but the message of the movie holds true, so I like to watch it throughout the year. Put it on your movie list, you will not be disappointed! The salespeople in Paris are exactly like the behind the counter clerk in this movie. Here in Paris, I was fascinated just watching the scene play out before me and could not wait for it to be my turn! On this pre-Christmas day we couldn’t wait, but I vowed to be back.

The Perfume Man

The Perfume Man

Atelier Cologne

Atelier Cologne

Today I hobble to the perfume shop, that in my mind is the greatest perfume shop ever! It is tiny with bricked walls and wooden tables with a selected few perfume bottles.  Papa Bear and I are the only customers here today! The gentleman addresses me. I tell him I have been here before, when he was busy with another customer. He shows me all the perfumes.  I sniff, I doodle. I think. I sniff some more. I ask about the fragrances. We carry on a conversation for over an hour and I make my selections.  Oh, but we are not through!  Now he will make me leather covers with any initials or wording I like, to be placed on the smaller bottles I have selected. The leather covers come with the perfume, he explains.

One of the Finished Perfume Cases

One of the Finished Perfume Cases

My Perfume Collection

My Perfume Collection

I choose from the many leather color options.  More time.  We take a seat before his work desk.  A large machine (made in the USA, he tells me) is prepared to take a silver leafing paper that will heat up, leaving the initials I have selected pressed into the leather. The handle is lowered and the foil heats up, transferring silver initials onto the leather case. This takes several minutes, since the heat must reach a certain temperature and the foil pressed evenly. When the process is complete, he takes the leather case from the machine and rubs and buffs and rubs and buffs the leather some more.  He puts on his glasses to inspect the results.  He doesn’t like the look of the initials so he throws it away! He starts over on another piece of leather of my choosing.  Again, it does not meet his inspection.  Third try on one bottle and it is perfect! We have more bottles to go!  At last we have completed the sale of perfume and after individually tissue wrapping each one and putting each one in an individual box, he places the lot in an elegant looking carrying bag, and thanks me. Next he reaches into a drawer and selects a handful of  french postcards, each with a different perfume scent artfully tied to them with brown cording  and places THEM in my elegant bag.  YES, this is shopping in Paris! Let’s move on to the next shop!  Before the day is over I have almost as many free gifts, as the gifts I bought!  Not just trinkets either. In one shop I got a small bound diary/calendar that also explained the history of charms. I loved it! As Kathleen said, “What memories! What scents!”

Also Baby Bear shared her tip from her perfumer.  He suggested spraying or dabbing your favorite perfume on the BACK OF YOUR NECK, for the most lasting results that is pleasant for you (you can smell it) as well as those around you. It really works!  At the end of the day I continued to smell a whisper of the fragrance on my pillow!

PS: The day would not be complete without a stop for shopping fuel.

Must Stop for Shopping Fuel!

Must Stop for Shopping Fuel!

Shopping Fuel

Shopping Fuel

It's Night Time Already!

It’s Night Time Already!

It’s getting dark.  Back to the apartment!  I am really hobbled now!

The Perfume shop was: Atelier Cologne, Nenesse, rue de Poitou, Paris, France

Il Sasso A Day at School

Acquacheta, an Awesome Eating Experience!

Acquacheta, an Awesome Eating Experience!

Day One
I had to take a test.  After finishing one third of a page on page one, I was whisked away for the oral section of the placement testing. I could hardly speak. I was placed in the Beginners Class which was fine by me.  I was in that class for ten minutes when I was whisked off to the second floor and placed in a class with four men and one other woman.  My first thought was “I have been demoted to lower than the beginners class, ” but as it turned out there were so many beginners we were separated into two classes.  I could hardly call my classmates beginners. Two of the men knew a great deal of Italian, but wanted to be more comfortable speaking it at random, in different settings, off the cuff.  A great deal more complicated then practicing from a book. We would get plenty of practice doing that.  We had two teachers a day, each for two hour periods.   Day one we learned the alphabet and how to pronounce it.  Who knew that an A is not an A.  A would be Ahhh.  I would be EEEE. It was a wonder I could say anything in Italian. R was erra.  S was esse. We would have worksheets to do, all the while the teacher speaking and teaching in Italian.  If you did not understand something the teacher would look at you and say, do you understand?  The reply and phrase I knew very well the entire time of my studies was Non lo so.  I don’t know.  She then would try to show by writing pictures on the chalkboard or explain it over and over until you got it.  The teachers had the patience of saints and a very good sense of humor. One morning after studying the mercato and all the fruits and vegetables we could buy there, the afternoon teacher came in and in groups of two, the students went to the front of the class to do a skit.  One student was the buyer and one student was the vendor and we bought and sold practicing our hellos and how much do I owe you and everything in between.  It was fun, practical and nerve-wracking all at the same time. This was our routine everyday. With compiti almost every night.  Homework, not a lot.  Just enough to remind you to think about what you learned or would be learning the next day. So the classes consisted of work from a workbook, working with a great deal of extra printed material and speaking either in small groups or in front of the class. And of course answering the questions the teacher asked you, in Italian.  It was challenging, fun, practical and I met several new friends from all over the world and in different levels of education. Many business and governments send their employees to Il Sasso to learn or perfect their Italian skills. The second week all but two students had finished their course and Andy and I moved up to Elementary 1 Level and joined other students.  New teachers, new students and new material to learn.  We learned a great deal, there was no loitering and we moved along at a fast pace.  After the morning classes,  there were options of private tutoring or field trips.   Cooking classes, tours of the historic towns, and walks in the countryside were just some of the many choices to make your stay memorable.  In the evenings the students would meet up at the local restaurants, trattorias, osterias, enotecas and bars, so we became good friends and learned from each other. The third week I had my third set of teachers.  I liked having the rotation. The teachers were fantastic, humorous and very caring.  They wanted you to succeed and have a good time.  It was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life and keep me studying Italian. To all my Italian classmates and teachers, ciao, ciao!!!

On the next to last evening the class went to Acquacheta to dine.  A small osteria, family owned that specializes in steak served family style. Steak cut to serve.

 

 

The Owner at Acquacheta Preparing the Meat

The Owner at Acquacheta Preparing the Meat

The Owner Showing the Steak for Approval

The Owner Showing the Steak for Approval

The Steak Closeup

The Steak Closeup

If you would like more information about Il Sasso, Scuola di Italiano contact:

http://www.ilsasso.com

Via di Gracciano nel Corso 2

1-53045 Montepulciano, Italy

Facebook:  Il Sasso- Italian Language School

If you would like more information about Osteria “Acquacheta”

http://www.acquacheta.eu

Via del Teatro, 22, Montepulciano, Italy

Il Negozio di Alimentari (Grocery Store)

Sant Antonio, Montepulciano

Sant Antonio, Montepulciano

I was on the plane from DC to Zurich. At the beginning of the flight the seat next to me was empty for a while, then the stewardess directed a young man to the seat.  He proceeded to strip.  One layer of shirts after another, six layers in all.  He folded everything precisely and placed them in a Disneyland plastic sack. As he sat down he added that he was wearing several layers of pants too.  We got to talking.  The young man from Switzerland had been in the US on a student exchange and work program. But, he also had been shopping.  In Wal-Mart.  He told me he had never seen anything like it.  So much to choose from, so cheap. When he was not working he was at Wal-Mart shopping. He had bought gifts for all his friends and perfume for his mother.

On the train from Switzerland to Italy a young couple boarded the train struggling  with huge suitcases almost bigger than they were. I struck up a conversation with the shy young woman from Indonesia while my husband talked with her husband.
“Have you been to the US,”  I asked.  Yes, her husband had studied there.
I eventually got around to, “What did you like best about the US?”
“Shopping in Wal-Mart, my husband would drop me off and I would spend the entire day there.”  Her eyes lit up as she talked about her shopping experiences.

Shopping in Wal-Mart.  I heard it over and over. Visitors to the US loved walking down all the aisles, looking at all the merchandise.  The Wal-Mart that had the grocery store included was a special treat for them. Double delight.

Shopping in Montepulciano

Shopping in Montepulciano The grocery is to the right with red letters on the building

I know what they mean.  My first grocery shopping experience  in Italy was a highlight for me. We arrived at the monastery outside  Montepulciano on a Saturday night and at the welcome/introduction were told the grocery shops were closed on Sunday in Italy.  After the welcome the guests made a beeline to their cars and the grocery store on the outskirts of Montepulciano.  We had to wait a while to get a parking spot.  It wasn’t really a parking lot just a pull in.  Cars were parked  at the front doors of the shop like someone had just dropped someone off so they could run in.  Except no one was waiting in the car.  Finally we followed other cars to the church lot on the corner and squeezed the car into the piggly wiggly parking spaces. There was no rhyme or reason to the parking.  It looked like the cars had just stopped and parked.  It didn’t matter if you were blocking cars or if the backend of the car blocked the road.  Total chaos. It was exciting!  We walked down the hill and into the store that looked on the outside like any grocery store in the US only smaller.   There were not many carts and the store was crowded with shoppers.  In order to get a cart you put a euro into the box on the cart to release it from the line.  The aisles were tiny with just enough room for the cart to pass.  As we zipped around the store I tried to figure out what the items were by looking at the pictures on the labels.  I found peanut butter next to the Nutella.  Was Nutella peanut butter?  There was lots of that. We got to the vegetables and fruit. I’ve learned to watch before I leap.  The women placed plastic gloves on before touching the fruit or vegetables. I followed suit. There was a counter with meats and cheeses that I just pointed to as I made my selections. The store closed at six, hurry hurry. There was an aisle of t-shirts, shoes, mops and brooms. At the check out the woman gestured, did we have a bag for the groceries?  No? Plastic disposable bags  were dispensed, with a fee of one euro.  A deep breath and out the door we went. What did we buy?  It was all such a blur to hurry up and shop.

Uptown Menaggio

Uptown Menaggio

Another time arriving in Menaggio,  late on Saturday afternoon, we walked up the hill from the boat dock.  On the corner was an old building with a grand stone stair entry that faced two sides of the street.  It was the local grocery complete with so many sticker advertisements on the windows one could not see in or out.  While I stayed at the bottom of the stairs with the luggage my husband hiked up the stairs and into the shop.  I waited and waited and waited.  Finally he came out with two cans of coke, Pringle looking chips and candy bars.  What?  “You will not believe that store, it is one way with yellow tape arrows on the floor to direct you through the aisle. I had to go around twice to find this stuff,”  my harried husband revealed. I would get my chance to see the grocery later in the week.

On my visit to the store I found items from the floor to the ceiling.  How you reached the items on the top of the shelves was beyond me.  Everything was jumbled together so I had to go slow and look at it all. There was a vegetable and fruit section with a young woman there to provide you with the plastic gloves.  I had to go around the store three times to find my items, each time passing the cashier, leaving my items, and then going out and in again.  If there was someone behind me with a cart they had to go at my pace because the aisle wasn’t big enough to pass. The store had everything, I just had to really look for it.  Again I paid for my plastic sack.  One thing you didn’t have to worry about was parking.  There wasn’t any. No one would take out a grocery cart. You had to go up and down many steps to get in or out. There wouldn’t be  weekly shopping, too much to lug home at once.  Daily shopping, walk to get there, bring your sack.  I also did not notice any new cars.  The small cars had scrapes, scratches and dents on them. The buildings had swatches of color  on their walls that matched the  colors of the cars. Nobody got too bent out of shape over parking here. Just stop the car and get out.

Shopping in small towns

Shopping in small towns

Italy Sep _ Oct 2009 656Italy Sep _ Oct 2009 679In the smaller villages of Italy the grocery shopping is more defined.  A different shop for selected items.  The wine store, the cheese shop, the butcher, the baker.  I didn’t find a candlestick maker.  These shops tend to be very small and full! Everyone knows everyone. I had a great time.  Enjoy the pictures of the shops in Italy!

It’s All About the Borsa, the Skinny on Bags

 

There once were three Borse (Italian word for bags) that lived in a long skinny house. They were very excited to be going to Italy! Papa Borsa was big, blue and handsome with lots of pockets.  His favorite feature was a big pouch for an extra pair of shoes right on his front that was easily accessible. He could carry a newspaper, an umbrella or sometimes a yoga mat for mama in another side pouch. He also had a heart sleeve, a place he held dear, that carried mama’s lipstick and chapstick and anything small that would make mama look good at all times.

That’s why mama fell in love with him at first sight. He knew he was the brains of the family and carried the computer so he was always ready to compute.  He was so thoughtful, with a plastic sturdy bottom on the outside, so he wouldn’t bring dirt into the skinny house. He came from Lug and had lots of brothers and sisters in bright cheerful colors.

The Borse Family

 

Mama Borsa was an organizer, she wasn’t too big or too small, but just right. She had lots of pockets and zips and came with several straps so was very adjustable to all kinds of situations.  Since she was in charge of the purse strings she had a small change purse for credit cards, money and identity cards that clipped to her innards and could never be dropped or left on tables to be lost. She came from the family of Baggallini’s.  They were a family of zippy deep pockets and closures, known for their endurance and strength.  She was called Odessy by her family, but just mama at home.

Papa and Mama Borsa, had many children, but they decided for the trip to  Italy this year it was Veggie Borsa who should go. He was adopted from the check out aisle at the market and was the baby and liked to carry lots of things with him all the time and was very stretchy.  Mama had to keep an eye on him when shopping if he left her side.  He would be found with all kinds of gifts and goodies and since he was so flexible he would stretch and stretch until he filled up. Mama and Papa were always surprised that he could carry so much and still not be too heavy to carry home.  Papa Borsa was so proud of him! Especially when they went to market.   With Baby Veggie Borsa along you didn’t need to pay for Papersacks Borsa to carry the groceries home.  Baby Borsa was glad to help and never dropped or broke one thing! Even wet he never let the family down. He was a real bagger!  After a big day when he was ready for his nap he would fold up so tiny and could be tucked in almost anywhere!   And they all slept.

The Borse looked forward to the big plane ride to Italy. There was a big overhead bin where they all could cuddle.  Papa hoped he would meet a briefcase to discuss the world in general.  Mama hoped to delve into all the fashion and food of Italy with her new bag friends.  And Baby Veggie thought he might be the only one along for the ride.

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Official Home of Lavinia and Rick Ross

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes

Local Roots Flower Farm

Farmer Florist - Nephi, UT

Red Dirt Farm

Ramblings from a chicken wrangling mermaid

Grey Tabby Gardens

Growing Flowers in Central Florida

Light Words

Better Living Through Beauty, Wisdom and Whimsey

The Garden Gate is Open

Gardens, Garden Visiting, Garden Photography, National Garden Scheme, Flowers, Trees, Sculptures

a mindful traveller

explore, live, love...

Midwestern Plants

Hardy Plants of the Midwest, Border Collies and Camping !

An Evolving Life

Observations on food, travel, history & tradition

Do What You Wish

THOUGHTS & PHOTOGRAPHS

lunanista

Standing up for sanity (mine anyway) through art and humor.

Nick Watkins Photography

A sample of my photographic images displayed in "theme" galleries

The Photo Junkie

An Art Junkie Photography Site

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