Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A day among the vineyards

Visiting local vineyards gives someone the opportunity to basically taste the land. Sounds odd to word it that way but that is essentially what you're doing. You're sipping in the air and the dirt through the wines. The hard work of the vineyard staff, the lengthy amount of time and the process from which a seed turns into a glass of wine is so impressive. Hopefully you're touring a vineyard with a knowledgeable staff member and you hear a little about all that goes into the method. It's so impressive and kept me in awe.

A particular cantina we visited had such an effect on me. Claudio Quarta near Lizzano, Puglia. From the turn into the vineyards to walking through the stone walls and seeing the natural beauty all around, I was utterly amazed. Jaw-dropping kind of amazed at the sheer beauty of the place. Our tour guide was very well informed, spoke of the process, the wines and the land with such heart. The wines were also very delicious, always helps out with a wine tasting too.

But what I loved the most. Almost more than the wines, the herbs. When you entered through the stone entrance, you passed first through a massive and aromatic herb garden. You could smell the basil, the rosemary and the lavender from still steps away and it swept me up. I could have spent such more time just in that impressive herb garden alone. Taking pictures of course, but just running my hands through the various herb selections and taking in each and every beautiful perfume.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Matera for the day

Not too far from Mesagne, in the Southern region of Basilicata, is the town of Matera. An extremely old and beautiful town, but wait, aren't they all in Italy?! Matera is made famous for many things but probably most known for the Sassi. The hilltop "home structures" carved right into the rock and stone that served as dwellings for the townspeople when they were forced to flee the main city, many, many years ago.

We took a day trip with my in-laws while they were in Puglia this past summer and while it was one of the hottest days of the summer, it was worth every drip-drop of sweat beading off our heads. Nothing a hat, occasional shade and water breaks every five minutes can't cure.

Oh and the views. The views help a lot too when walking around in the blazing sun.

One beautiful church after another...

views of the town from every angle to take your breath away...

and the food. Helps that the Southern Italian cuisine is spectacular and exactly what you need at any time of day. We ate a very lovely meal on our day trip to Matera, smiles all around.

My kids had never been before and I loved being able to show them another part of Italy. Not too far away, a pleasant drive from Mesagne and well worth the roadtrip. Especially when you get faces like these...

Monday, October 9, 2017

An afternoon in the City of Brotherly Love

On a rainy Sunday when cross country and family photo sessions get cancelled, Olivia and I headed out into the city for a couple hours to see what we could see. Due to the weather it wasn't great walking tour thru Philadelphia, so we drove around and checked out the mural arts which Philadelphia is pretty known for, Broad Street and all its theatres and of course, Geno's. Had to stop for some fries!


It went from raining to just basically spitting, so we decided to go down South Street and take in the mosaic wall art too. Such a diverse street with shops of all sorts but the art there is my favorite. Trash cans, utility units and walls so beautifully decorated. Makes for great conversation with an 8-year-old.

Peek-a-boo Olivia!

My girl is so creative and artsy that I just knew she'd love this little section of Philadelphia. A couple hours out of the house, making the most of the inclement weather and some delicious fries to boot - could you ask for anything more?!?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Oh honey!

Straight from the bottle, added to tea or mixed with lemon and essential oils for a sore throat, honey is everything. The beauty of living near farms that sell the good local stuff!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fall is here!

Fall just may be the best time of year. School is underway, summer tans have just about faded and flip flops stowed away. It's pumpkin time! And I'm not a pumpkin flavored anything kind of gal either. I like the scent of pumpkin muffins baking in the oven and the occasional non-overwhelming pumpkin candle but that's about it for me. Apple cider, pumpkin and chocolate chip bread and bringing out my scarves.

Mario and I are loving our time to ourselves. Now that he's begun school I cherish the time we do have together. It'll go quickly and I'll take what I can get right now be it staying in at home and playing, running errands together or taking a special morning trip to the orchards.

A great shop to browse through complete with fairy garden accessories that he loved rearranging. And rearranging again. And their park! It's amazing and he has so much fun there running from one thing to another. The best set of wooden structures made sure to bring a smile to my little man's face.

And then the animals too! We fed the ducks, clucked at the hens and watched as people fed the horses. Just near the sign that said "Please do not feed the horses."

Peek-a-boo Mario!

My Fall Bucket List: 

- Pumpkin pie for a surprise mid-week dessert
- Visit a new-to-me orchard for fresh apples
- Fall foliage photography - OF COURSE! 
- Scones! Maybe cinnamon or pumpkin 
- Appreciate the sunset against the colorful Fall trees 

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