Day 100 – The winners

I am so excited to write this post! Happy birthday dear project! Along the way, I had a few bumps that almost demolished this whole thing, but it survived and now I am celebrating day 100. Yuhuuuuu!!!! I’ve learned a lot about myself these 100 days and it gave me the discipline of making my writing feel like my job which is exactly what I wanted. I must admit that it also took some things away from me because struggling to write every day, took away those few moments which before I used to create short stories or characters; but no worries, I am learning how to organize my time better as we go and there are still 265 days left. Now, the other thing on today’s agenda is to announce the winners of the contest. Let’s put them in the spotlight and see with whom and why I am going to have drinks or hand a bottle of wine to. Tanananananam!!!!! First place: When she submitted the answer I had no idea she will become the winner instantly, but the minute I’ve read it, my mind went: “We have a winner!!!” This is what she said she couldn’t live without. “In chronological order of importance: First, a rock. A rounded stone that I found somewhere before I moved away from Hawaii at age 12. At the time I was convinced it was an artifact of utmost importance called an ‘ulu maika, most definitely dating back to the earliest generations of Hawaiians. Surely. I’m pretty...

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Day 99 – Gelato and a long walk

Yesterday was the last of the lazy days. We tried to make the best of it and went for the best gelato in town, at Gelatando. We had a wonderful time and after we gobbled our ice creams, we just strolled along the Piazza and watched the beautiful colors of the water fountain. I woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to go, so I decided to take Ephia for a long walk around the neighborhood. We started with a bus and a tram ride and I watched her gazing out the window, being fascinated by all the little things that us grown-ups don’t pay attention to anymore.  We stopped at the store and strolled along the aisles because we both love to stare at the shelves that are packed with nice products, then we indulged ourselves a nice cappuccino and a really interesting conversation in which Ephia was pouring her heart out in an undetected language and I was listening quietly and agreeing with her once in a while. The real adventure was about to begin next, our location being almost three kilometers away from our house and me wanting us to walk all that way on foot, holding hands. She didn’t disagree nor fight me on it, although I was expecting her to put her arms in the air after the first five hundred meters, showing me that she wants to be carried, but none of that happened. Instead she held my hand quietly, sipping regularly from her water...

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Day 98 – Just Sunday

Ever since last week, every day feels like Sunday, but I had a feeling this morning that this is the last Sunday of the week and I should go back to work tomorrow. For a lazy day, I woke up a little early today, although not as early as I promised to and took a friend grocery shopping. I know that doesn’t sound like fun, but I am such a food shopping freak; I love everything about it: watching the cheese and the prociutto, the vegetables and other packaged stuff just sitting nicely in the shelves, waiting for me and others to grab them. For me it’s like a festival of choices and I never have enough of it. The other fun part was seeing someone enjoying it even more than I do, so it was kind of awesome; we were like two kids in a giant playground which is always fun. We came home for coffee in the garden and Ephia showed off all of her charming trades and she even spoke some mixed English-Italian-Chinese language to us. After all that fun I noticed my neighbor talking to D and found out that he is a yoga instructor and actually I like him even more now, because he was so calm and cool that I almost want him to become my new best friend (of course it’s not because of the weed he is growing, it’s because he is awesome hahahaha). So, all of you out there have a...

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Day 97 – Locked outside by Ephia

The title sounds funny, right? Well, let’s say that it was both funny and really scary. D has an event to shoot today so us girls were left unsupervised. After a quick cappuccino and a glass of foamy milk for her, we headed to the park where we met a strangely hyperactive six year old boy, who tried to teach my daughter how balloons can fly. Everything was going great and even the bus was right on time for us to take a quick, fun ride around the neighborhood. After the first part of the event, D came home for a short break. We had lunch and Ephia was enjoying her cartoons, so we decided to go out on the balcony and have a cigarette together while she was still not interested in our presence. I think I had three drags from the cigarette, when I began telling D that I have no subject to write about today and just after that I started laughing and saying: “You know she could easily lock us outside now; she is tall enough!”. I don’t think I even finished the phrase, when the door from the balcony just slammed shut and we realized we are locked outside with no phones or keys (we live at the first floor, if we would have had keys nearby, the solution was very simple). We started calling out for her and tried to show her how to get the handle to move in the other direction, but our cute little monster knew very...

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Day 96 – Contest with wine prizes

Today is Ferragosto and my brain is as empty of ideas as the streets of Florence are. At first I wanted to write something inspiring, but let’s be honest, nobody is in that mood today, at least not in Italy. So, instead I wanted to announce a contest in honor of my 100 day celebration of this project and because we are in Italy, of course it involves wine prizes. The contest should be easy enough: leave me a comment or a private message either on Facebook or here and name three things you couldn’t live without and why. I will select the first three most inspiring answers and they will be awarded in this order: First place: A bottle of Italian wine (red or white depending on the preference); Second place: A glass of wine in my company somewhere downtown of Florence; Third place: A cappuccino in my company in Piazzale Michelangelo (I know it’s not wine, but the Piazza makes up for that). The answers should be submitted until 19 August and for those of you not from Florence, don’t worry, either you will get your prize when you come visit or whenever we would meet back home.

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Day 95 – An empty Florence

I love the month of August in Florence. We have never taken a vacation in August, but I am sure that even if we could we wouldn’t do it. The silence and the emptiness is a vacation itself and also my biggest problem regarding parking is magically solved. My street is always empty on Sundays anyway, but these days, nothing dares to breathe around here. Almost all my neighbors are gone and it feels like the building is entirely deserted except for the occasional noises that come from their ghosts. I wouldn’t trade any exotic vacation for this silence, this complete isolation in the middle of civilization and every year I am amazed by their ritual of putting the lock on the door (either their house or business) and just leave. Downtown of Florence, the situation is a little reversed; the city is invaded by tourists. The noise overcomes in intensity all the other eleven months of the year and they seem to grab the city by its core, surrounding it, strangling it, in the attempt of conquering it. Tourists this time of year are like colonies of ants, exploring every tunnel from this new, left unprotected mound. Luckly my location is close enough to get downtown fast, but not too close so they can bother me with their little ant feet and little ant making noise. Have I told you I love Florence this time of the year?

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Day 94 – Road trip and introspection

As I was saying here, Plan B: Love stories gone wrong has returned to Italy and was shown yesterday at the CrisisARTS Festival, held in Arezzo and that for me meant road trip. Me and the other two partners “in crime” for the road who joined me, embarked ourselves on this beautiful journey that was both fun but also very emotional. We have arrived in Arezzo, at Villa Godiola placed on a beautiful platform that revealed a spectacular view over Tuscany’s hills and the first half an hour we just inhaled and adjust our eyes to the beauty of that place. After the show, that was amazing and very intense, we enjoyed a glass of wine and had a chat with the playwright, Amy. While there, I was reminded of all the years when I used to spend my time at Theater Festivals and that fact made me smile a lot and think about all my friends that are in this world, whom I left behind and sometimes I really miss. There is something about theater people that is both welcoming and intriguing at the same time and they are the kind of people who put their spirit, soul and beliefs on a silver plate for others to judge and slaughter as they please while they watch. Sometimes the audience may place you on a pedestal and sometimes they will cut you into pieces and throw them away, and that is the one of the beauties and the beasts of theater, the immediate response. But all aside,...

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Day 93 – Where are you from?

I have been seen in numerous occasions by new friends, avoiding to answer that question and that arose some other questions, so I decided it’s only fair to explain. First of all I have never stayed longer than five years in a place, so even back home that question was a little hard from me to answer, because honestly I am from everywhere and nowhere. When I came to Italy the answer became simpler because I could resume my whole background to the whole country and not a city in particular, but still I avoided to answer. And now the question would be why? Well, my people are spread around the world and on the other continents they are known as hard working, fun to hang around, ingenious people with amazing skills; but on this continent, well… we didn’t do that much good. Some of the European countries associate us with gypsies and not the good kind, but the kind who steal, stab, and beg, so you could see where I am coming from. The other ones, know the difference clearly, but because many of our bad twigs ran away from the country to do their dirty work mostly in Italy and Spain, let’s say those of us who have nothing to do with that pay the price. It’s been more than once that I have said proudly I am a Romanian to an Italian and he would just roll his eyes and of course make either a comment like:...

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ponte vecchio supermoon

Day 92 – Florence’s moon chaser and a nice stroll among artists

After the resounding party yesterday, coffee at the crime scene was in order. It’s so hot in Florence these days that I would just melt in front of an air conditioner, which I would kill for right now. Luckily, our house it’s pretty well hidden from the sun, so we enjoy shade all day long, but we can still feel the warmth of the air coming through our windows. After all that heat, the photographer of the house had this idea of photographing the moon over the Ponte Vecchio. Nothing was left by chance, everything was calculated and of course he has an app who tells him interesting stuff apparently. I was not at all convinced that us girls should tag a long, but our neighborhood is so empty and quiet that I didn’t have any other choice. So, we placed ourselves on Ponte Trinita and watched the sun go down and then the moon going up. Ephia was fascinated by the small waves of Arno and she stood still but not quiet (hahahaha) more than half an hour. She saluted all the tourists that were taking photos of Ponte Vecchio and then explained to each of them something known only by her. After we saw the most beautiful moon rising, I remembered that I have friends living just around the corner, so I grabbed the little protesting monster, waved to D, who was in the process of creating, and head to Laura and Frank’s studio just to say...

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Day 91 – Party in the cemetery

Yesterday was all about lingering and chilling with my amazing man and my beautiful Ephia. After all the fun of jumping in bed, having lunch together and enjoying a well deserved nap, we went to party in the cemetery. As I have said many more times before, one of the members from my Writers Group, the more colorful one as I like to consider her, lives in a beautiful monumental cemetery and she threw an amazing birthday party on her even more amazing terrace. I have spent many writers meetings there and also enjoyed a coffee once in a while so, by now I am really familiar with the place. Last night I was a little nervous because that was the first time that Ephia caught a glance at one of the places I like to hang around, but my fear disappeared the minute she started taking my hand and dragging me towards the beautiful grassy path, just to stroll and talk into her own created dialect. She loved the place and she loved the vibes that were surrounding her, so maybe this won’t be her first and last encounter with this place (don’t judge, we are a weird, loving cemeteries family). Last night’s party had everything you would want from a successful party: great food, great wine, amazing gluten free chocolate cake and a very weirdly mixed crowed with the most beautiful people. You had your Australian, Americans, Mexicans, Danish, Spanish, Italian…. the mix was incredible and it seemed...

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