• This Summer Is No Sweat!

    I spent a few days this week with my friend Kristi at her summer place outside of Ravenna on the Adriatic Sea in Punta Marina Terme.  She takes her two sons there in early June and stays until the beginning of September.  Her husband works in Bologna during the week and joins them for the weekend.  She invited me to keep her company during the week and escape the city heat anytime this summer.  Yes, please!

    Calm before the late afternoon storm. I spent the afternoon lying in a chair outside Kristi's camp site reading. I got cold. It was amazing.

    Calm before the late afternoon storm. I spent the afternoon lying in a chair outside Kristi’s camp site reading. I got cold and had to borrow a sweater. It was amazing.

    The camping village they call home for the summer is Villaggio Dei Pini.  It is equipped with camping bungalows, a general store, bar, pizzeria, game room, multiple playgrounds and activity areas for the kids, a sunset deck and after-hours bar and private beach front access.  The public showers, bathrooms and laundry areas are pristine.  It’s a fantastic little community and everyone was very welcoming to me.

    I'm not sweating the summer.

    I’m not sweating the summer.

    We were supposed to play volleyball earlier in the day, but nobody had a ball.  Kristi won us one on the first try with her ninja crane skills.

    We were supposed to play volleyball earlier in the day, but nobody had a ball. Kristi won us one on the first try with her ninja crane skills. “California” was out of reach. Poetic irony.

    I spent a few hours each morning enjoying a cappuccino and brioche al fresco while I checked email and did some work.  After that, I relaxed on the beach, trying to make peace with the sand.  I read, worked on my tan, waded through the surf, people watched… the usual beach time activities.

    Kristi and I were the only two on the sundeck after the afternoon storm. This sunset was fantastic.

    Kristi and I were the only two on the sundeck following the afternoon storm. This sunset was fantastic.

    These blue drinks are dangerous.

    These blue drinks are dangerous.

    In the evenings we enjoyed beautiful sunsets, festive summer cocktails, delicious meals and late night gab sessions.  Poor Kristi spent most evenings translating conversations from English to Italian or vice versa.  It was definitely a great environment to work on speaking Italian as very few speak English.

    Homemade cherry bombs.  Fresh homegrown cherries marinating in moonshine.  I ate two of them and was breathing fire.

    Homemade cherry bombs: These fresh, homegrown cherries have been marinating in moonshine for three years. I ate two of them and was breathing fire!

    Pasta at midnight?  Only in Italy.

    Pasta at midnight? Only in Italy. This is Giorgio… he’s also responsible for those cherry bombs.

    Kristi arranged for Samuele to drive me to the train station so I wouldn’t have to spend thirty minutes on a hot, non air-conditioned bus.  He speaks less English than I do Italian so the trip was a bit comical.  I had my trusty pocket dictionary and Google translate on the ready.  We stopped and checked out an interesting art installation on the way.

    This is Samuele, my driver and Ravenna tour guide.

    This is Samuele, my driver and Ravenna tour guide.

    A creative music and art installation.

    A creative music and art installation.

    Super fly on saxophone.

    Super fly on saxophone.

    Next weekend I’m road-tripping to Narni with my friend L’aura where we’re staying in an old monastery in the town C.S. Lewis named his Chronicles after. Narnia, as it was once named, is the geographical center of Italy situated in the hills overlooking the River Nera. I’ve been told it’s a magical place. I can’t wait to visit and take pictures. It will be my first trip to the Umbria region.

    I’ll head back to the seaside to visit Kristi and my new friends at Villaggio Dei Pini when I get back from my adventures in Narnia.

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