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But first....beaches, birthdays and blunders


Before diving into my 4 week intensive workshop, I decided what better way to release the stress of trying to keep my small business alive during a world wide pandemic than a week at the beach....

ahhhhhhh....THE BEACH! The waves, the sun, the sand! Not knowing the coast of Italy, whatsoever, I blindly chose the little town of San Vincenzo as my region of relaxation. Based purely on location and some Airbnb photos, I booked a week‘s retreat, to get a little R&R. It had been quite some time since I’ve been able to soak in the vitamin sea, and I’m sooooo glad I did. Now, I have done this type of thing before, albeit not in a foreign country, but blindly chosen a vacation spot based on staged photos and flowery descriptions of the area only to be disappointed upon arrival. Casa del Mare did not disappoint! The Airbnb photos didn’t do this not-so-little two bedroom apartment on the sea justice! Perched on the second floor, I have views of the Ligurian Sea from my living room and kitchen, both connected by a wrap around terrace to enjoy my morning espresso or an evening glass of wine. The beach down below is quiet and private with the occasional sunset seeker or dog walker. The waves are not like the little ripples we see back home on the Long Island Sound, but 6-8 foot swells that attract the local surfers. The sound of the sea crashing against the shore has been lulling me to sleep nightly and any jet lag I had experienced quickly dissipated after one night of salty sea air. The seaglass is abundant, as are the sea stones, but I cannot say them same for any seashells. To my right is a view of the marina jetty and the harbor are located and where a 20 ft statue of ”The Sailor” stands looking out at the sea, representing a “desire to look toward the future” and to my left are miles upon miles of walkable beach with a view of the Isle of Elba in the distance. The town of San Vincenzo is small. Only 6000 people reside here full time and it seems as though they all know each other. They gather at the outdoor cafes, restaurants and bars, wave from the windows above or as they pass by on scooters and motorbikes. I suspect as with any beach town the population triples in the busy season and I’ve noticed the hotels and resorts are working to feverishly reopen. The local market is just across the street at the end of the apartment driveway, as are several restaurants, gelaterrias, cafes, and shops. The effects of the pandemic are as evident here as they are back home. Everyone is masked, sanitizer is applied and temperatures are taken. Outdoor dining only and limits on how many patrons can be in the shops at once are in place. Oddly, all of that feels normal to me now. Maybe being vaccinated has brought me some sort or psychological relief or maybe in some way I’ve come to accept that the world may never be the same as we knew it, pre-covid. Before coming here, I was asked why I would want to travel to a foreign country at a time like this. My answer:

When covid hit hard in March of 2019, I was beside myself thinking that my business and my life would be shut down for 2 weeks, maybe even a month!! Those two weeks turned into 4 months, which turned into over a year of readjusting life to avoid a virus. Life completely stopped as we knew it. People lost their lives and others lost their livelihood. People avoided each other, stayed inside, stayed away...covid stopped people from living the way they had. Well, it is my opinion, that covid will be always be a part of our lives and there comes a time when you have to begin to live with it, instead of hide from it. That will look differently for each of us and I don’t judge anyone for how they move forward after this year. For me, I choose to go safely back into this big beautiful world and enjoy traveling and discovering new beaches, and meeting new people, enjoying new cultures and continuing to educate myself. But most of all I choose to show my children that we cannot be afraid of the unknown, we cannot hide from a virus, we just need to be smart and safe as we slowly emerge from a year in the life of a pandemic. Life can get a little scary sometimes but we cannot let fear stop us from becoming who we are meant to be. And right now....I am meant to be a beach bum with a new book that is calling my name 😉


If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to celebrate my birthday. I can’t understand the people who don’t like to make a big deal about their big day. It’s the one day when you can selfishly soak in lots of attention, be showered with gifts and unabashedly enjoy being pampered! Being born on Cinco de Mayo, when all of America joins together with tacos and tequila, what’s not to love?! There’s always a party to be had and plenty of people to celebrate with. My family does it up for me with an annual fiesta and makes me feel special and loved in every possible way. (They are pretty good at doing this every other day of the year too, I have to say) This birthday was a little more subdued to say the least. Nonetheless, I enjoyed a beautiful beach day and a long walk. I poked around in some shops and I treated myself to an outstanding meal at a Michelin rated waterfront restaurant, where I watched the surfers catching their last waves as the sunset painted the sky with a hundred shades of blues, purples, pinks, reds and oranges. I have not a clue what I ate, but I ordered two courses and ended up being served five. I’m not sure what was lost in translation but this birthday girl was not complaining!! I didnt even miss the tacos, but of course we celebrated 30 de abril before I left so I didn’t miss out on my margarita🍹 I missed my family and my friends immensely but thanks to the internet and social media much love was sent and I felt all the feels from afar.💗 I’m looking forward to my 44th year in this world and have to say that my mid forties feel like exciting things are in the horizon, but maybe thats because my horizon is the Lugarian Sea viewed with my buttcheeks planted in the sand! Whatever is to come in this next year....bring it on, I’m ready for ya!!

Blunders....(from the looks of it this may be a daily topic!)

Ok, so I’ve been in Italy for 6 days, I’m feeling pretty good. Upon arrival I’m totally clueless. I don’t speak a lick of Italian, but I’m getting by! I’ve got the basic greetings and pleasantries down. There’s a lot of gesturing and most people seem to know a little bit of English and are incredibly helpful. We are making this work!! So now it’s time for me to go to the farmacia to get my 5th and final covid test of the week. I need to take one last self administered covid test before I can begin my program on Sunday. I’m nervous about how to ask, luckily I’ve got my translator app and I’ve typed in my request ahead of time, all I need to do is show the pharmacist what I need. I get up to the counter and try to open the app...the translation has disappeared!! Shit! There’s a long line of people behind me and three other pharmacists assisting other customers...I try to mutter something that’s an Italian fusion of English, Spanish and French “eprueve tampon con rapido covid per favore”🤷🏼‍♀️ and then “Mi dispiace non parlo italiano.” (I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italian) He seems to understand and he speaks a bit of English!! Phew😅 He grabs the test for me and asks if I want a single or a double. Now I’m confused again! I ask what’s the difference? He grabs another brand of test with two sticks in it this time. This one has a label in English....”Clear Blue Easy” Now, I’m a mother of 5 and I have definitely seen this test before....No, No!!!! No pregnancy! Covid per favore!! Everyone in line had a good laugh at the stupido Americana and I was mortified as I walked out. I’m just so glad we got that sorted out and I didn’t return the next day having stuck a pregnancy test up my nose! 🤣🤣

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