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Whoa. Wait a minute!

How is it that we’re heading toward Labor Day already?  I know the holiday is officially designed to celebrate the American worker, and that’s a good thing.  But, it’s also traditionally used to mark the end of summer and that gives me pause.

I haven’t even lost those pounds I wanted to lose for summer!

And yet, here we are.  Scotty goes back to school for his final year of his MFA on Saturday and Lulu returns to Maria Bianca Bianchini preschool a week from Monday.  So while I’m busy pausing that the end of summer is upon us, why don’t I also do one of the things I do best and reflect?

Our Italian friends teased us that since we didn’t take a week – or four – to travel out of the country (sorry, folks, we couldn’t afford to), we didn’t really take a vacanza.  But, I reminded them that for us, simply living in Italy is taking a vacation!

Lulu and I visited both coasts of this peninsula we live on; wading into the Mediterranean as well as the Adriatic.

A clear plastic jar filled with the seashells Lulu gathered from those beaches – which she made me boil in white vinegar to get the “icky smell” out – now sits on her bedside table as a reminder.

And when we weren’t at the beach, we were in our pool.  Who can complain about raging hot Tuscan summers, when you can take a refreshing dip?

We explored Florence with old friends; ancient Tuscan villages made up entirely of stone cottages, towers and castellos with new friends.   We went to friends’ homes for dinners and had friends over here.  I went to a natural spa.  Scotty performed a Cabaret.  We dined where Pucchini dined, Lulu rode carousel after carousel.

And then there was the gelato. And gelato. And more gelato.

But probably my favorite memory for this summer: Scotty and I were given VIP tickets to Arezzo’s famous Medieval Jousting Tournament, La Giostra del Saracino. It was a special pay-back from the city for my writing the English language translation of their website and joust brochures. We both thoroughly enjoyed the event and even though my name isn’t anywhere on the fliers, I still get a sense of satisfaction when I see the new ones now around town promoting Sunday’s final Joust of the year.  My translation will likely be printed in the brochures long after we’ve left our lovely Arezzo.

As will our memories of this:  Our summer vacation in Italy.

Baci,

Gina

P.S.  Okay, before we all begin – as a Twitter friend so startlingly tweeted yesterday – “the sprint from September to November,” tell me about your summer vacation! Where’d you go? What’d you do? Memories?

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