On a Few Bits Upon Return

Greetings readers!

My wife and I returned a week ago from vacation, so I thought it was time to say hello to fellow bloggers. Below are a few tidbits that are on my mind.

I know … some of you are eager to know where we went, so here’s the scoop. We spent 2 ½ weeks in Tuscany on a trip that combined vacation time for the two of us and time with my family (an aunt and 4 first cousins). More on that trip over time.

Life in the rolling hills of Tuscany with the olives and grapes is a difficult task, but we were willing to accept the challenge.


On this trip I almost made a connection with Debra, the Australian blogger who vacations in Bagni di Lucca. (One of my favorite places) Maybe next time! … but at least we talked on the phone.

We definitely don’t enjoy journeys involving three flights, but given our destination, we had no choice … Cincinnati to Toronto to Munich to Pisa … .and the reverse on return.

I’m looking forward to returning to my volunteer efforts with English Second Language students (adults). Before leaving I only had one class with them, so I’m anxious to help and get to know more good people from around the world.

I’m still at the golf course, but hours are less (and that’s OK). Because of work, I haven’t been volunteering at ballroom dancing with Down Syndrome adults. Hopefully, that trend won’t continue.

Thanks to DVR, we used last week to get up-to-date with Dancing With the Stars.

The handbell choir played last Sunday. Because my wife and I haven’t practiced in three weeks, we had a chance to listen. Nice piece … hopefully I can find a video in time.

This may have been the case three years ago when I visited, but I didn’t notice – but Italians now have a recycling program. Whew … is it ever different than what we do. At least they are trying something.

Being away from the election madness was more than wonderful. No news – no talking heads – no political gibberish – pure silence. In one location we only had Italian television, so we didn’t watch anything. Two of my cousins had satellite television that offered English stations (and I assuming CNN International) – but we resisted the urge. The day after the debate I looked at the headlines in Politico, but didn’t read any article because the headlines told me everything I wanted to know.

The first Republican debate was many months ago. I didn’t watch any of them … I didn’t watch any of the Democratic debates … and I have continued my pattern during the general election by not viewing any of the 3 to date.

Italians were very interested in our thoughts. I frequently answered this way: Non mi fido di lei, ma lui è un matto pigliacchioI don’t trust her but he is a mad clown. They also seem very confused about how Donald Trump can even have a chance.

Meanwhile, cheers to the Dutch team that came up with this one.

57 thoughts on “On a Few Bits Upon Return

    • Angela,
      Isn’t unplugging wonderful!!!! Wyoming and Utah sound wonderful to me as those are two states we have yet the visit (SLC airport doesn’t count). You were also gone during a good get to get away from the election noise. What did you do there?


  1. Welcome back, Frank! I missed you. (I miss Italy too — it’s been too long since I’ve been there.)

    And thanks for the clip. I heard an announcer talk about it on the radio this morning, but forgot about it until I saw it here.

    Trump and the Trump folks are clearly losing it. I just got an email from them, in fact, informing me that Donald is “surging in the polls.” I’m not sure what polls that refers to — the poll of people who thing he hasn’t a snowball’s chance of becoming president?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elyse,
      Thanks … and of course I missed you too.

      I saw the clip this morning on Today show. Awesome!

      Surging in the polls … now that’s a good one. I would be surprised if he gets out of the race with 10 days to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s good to hear from you, Frank. I was thinking about you the other day.
    I’m sure you had a good time in Tuscany (TUSCANY! Of course you did.) Too bad about the extra long journey to get there and back.
    I had seen that clip on FB. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Cindy’s comment – Tuscany!! My second favourite place in the world ❤ I shall refer to your candidates as Humpty and Dumpty from now on – either leaves the US on the outs with the rest of the globe I suspect. I have missed this latest DWTS – must follow up on that! Welcome home Frank, nice to see you back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy,
      Great hearing from you. Yes.a very nice trip indeed … and I will have more about it in due time. Sorry about your decision to watch the debates. Oh well … as we know, life is about living and learning from experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So good to see you back, my friend and -o- I am so looking forward to hear about your trip [you were very near Greece too!]. The idea of the clip is brilliant – after all they were both …performing! 😉 Happy Thursday and a wonderful Autumn!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marina,
      Although I was on or closer to the west coast of Italy, I could still feel the closeness of your vibes. Autumn is usually very pretty here. Some leaves are changing color at the moment, but the majority not … but that will change in a short time! Glad you enjoyed the video!


  5. Great video. I only wish they could have run it BEFORE they started debating.

    Your trip to Tuscany sounded wonderful, but I’m sure it was tiring to get there with all the airplane on and offs.

    I’m anxious to hear details of how your impressions of Italy compared to your trip there several years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I knew you would enjoy the video. Cheers to the creative Dutch!

      The trip was a good one as we did a lot. Two differences with the trip of three years ago …. 1) my wife was along and 2) so we did much more on our own.


  6. What a wonderful opportunity to revisit Tuscany, Frank. I think being “cut off” from the majority of American noise would be excellent! I will need to watch the video later because I’m not at home and I don’t seem to have the necessary bandwidth, but I am very curious. I’m so caught up in the political circus at this point. I try to turn away, and just can’t seem to do that. I’ll look forward to your photos from your wonderful vacation, too. Glad to find you posting again!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Debra,
      Great hearing from you … and yes, Tuscany was wonderful, but how can it not be. 😀 … then again, it’s is a home for my heart.

      You’ll love the video, so don’t forget about it. In terms of the political events of the day, yes … “circus” is a wonderful word – which may be one of the reasons I haven’t watched the debates. But I can only take so much of the news in the morning.

      Oh well … on to a new day!


  7. Sooo glad you had a chance to travel unplugged – and we can hardly wait for the pictures and stories. You;ll ease back into your activities at home – maybe keeping the “unplugged” is a good idea even locally!
    We simply cannot watch /listen/read any more with this grocery scandal sheet election process – I think third graders on the playground show more maturity. A real Halloween horror story.
    So we are really anxious for your tales of fun and adventures (we’re still waiting for fall – 90’s here this week – not normal…proabably from so much politicans’ hot air?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mouse,
      It was the perfect season for unplugged. Meanwhile, I can only watch about 20-30 of CNN in the morning before switching to Today for a break. … but with 20-some odd days to go, I suspect we haven’t seen the last of the unexpected craziness in this election saga.

      Warm here too … actually part of the same weather system that is yours … but I imagine things will change over the next two weeks.


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