Day Trip to Morristown, NJ

I heard from some co-worker last year that this little town in NJ was worth a visit, so Lisa and I jumped on Ruby (our Burgman 650) and took a ride out there. New Jersey highway quality aside, it was a fun trip and the town was, in fact, worth a visit. Just barely. The main attractions (George Washington’s Headquarters, Benedict Arnold’s trial was held there) were closed by the time we got there so we walked the town square and had a nice dinner and went back home. We did find this pretty statue in the town square of a revolutionary soldier saying goodbye to his family. Moving.

Back in NYC!

Much to our surprise, we’re back in NYC! After nearly 7 months in Europe and an extended and very welcome stay in Utah with family, Lisa and I have returned to the scene of the evacuation just over a year after the move from the underworld (both meanings). At least this time we smartly left the move to the professionals. Thank goodness. I can honestly say I’m not incredibly happy, nor am I necessarily disappointed to be back. New York is an anomaly among the places I’ve lived. There are very many things I love about it, and there is an equally long list (maybe a little longer) of things I absolutely hate about it. But now that we’ve gotten a few things squared away, like a couple methods of transportation out of town whenever we want, and home delivery of most of what we need, then some of the worst aspects are minimized. Then we can leave the house for work and pleasure, and less often for errands (which seem to eat too much of our free time), and get out on weekend day trips or overnighters with ease. I probably sound nit-picky about the hassle of NYC, but it’s the little things that really get under my skin. What can I say. I know I sound very down on being back, and admittedly, I’d like to have tried another place since life is so short, but honestly, I’m pretty excited to do a few things we didn’t get around to last time and now we have the chance. Having a great place and a great location are really making it nice.

Anyway, Lisa has been too busy to write since we were in Italy. Perhaps my mentioning her delinquency here will be inspiring. Love you Sweetie! A good way to get back into the habit might be to describe our very cool apartment, its amazing location, and the new wheels we have acquired.

Italy Wrap Up in Pictures!

Our last few weeks in Italy were a whirlwind of activities and travel and preparation for repatriation back to the good ole’ US of A. Being that I didn’t have time to prepare individual posts given our frenetic pace, I thought I’d tell the story in pictures. It’s a big blur of locations and activities, including our home base of Cortona, plus Florence, Siena, Bologna, Ravenna, the Republic of San Marino, Assisi, Perugia, Chianti, San Gimignano, and Cinque Terre. We are so blessed! Looking at all the pictures, I still can’t believe it.

All Saints’ Day: Cortona, Italy

November 1st is All Saints Day and the residents of Italy celebrate by making a pilgrimage to their local cemetery to decorate the graves of their loved ones. The graves are then illuminated with artificial candles after dark. Cortona’s only cemetery is perched dramatically on the edge of the hillside – it’s spectacular! Larry spent some time in the cemetery with the tripod after we got back from the antiques market in Arezzo, with some beautiful results.

Cortona cemetery on All Saints' Day
Cortona cemetery on All Saints' Day
Looking across the cemetery
Looking across the cemetery
Larry and I liked the name on this grave: Simply "La Mamma"
Larry and I liked the name on this grave: Simply "La Mamma"
Cortona's distinguished former residents
Cortona's distinguished former residents
Looking up at Cortona
Looking up at Cortona
Looking up at the church
Looking up at the church
One of the things I love about Italian cemeteries is their custom of putting a photo on each headstone.
One of the things I love about Italian cemeteries is their custom of putting a photo on each headstone. It's great to see their smiling faces and know how much they were loved.
Looking down on the cemetery from above
Looking down on the cemetery from above

The Largest Antiques Market in Tuscany: Arezzo, Italy

Larry and I had read that the largest antiques market in Tuscany takes place in nearby Arezzo on the first weekend of each month – of course we had to be there to experience for ourselves. We set out one afternoon for the 45 minute drive north to check it out, and then spent at least another 45 minutes looking for a parking place. The antiques market attracts over 500 vendors and over 20,000 visitors so you can understand the challenge. Arezzo is a beautiful town, with one particularly stunning main piazza. We had a great time walking down the streets and through the stalls – they had everything from jewelry to china to silver to furniture to maps to cashmere sweaters.

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