Friday, May 27, 2011

When (not) in Rome

Please pardon the lack of photos in this blog post. We're unable to put our latest camera shots on the computer to then be posted to the blog. (sigh) Technology...

Here's a first for our trip: a blog post written in a leather-bound, handmade Indian paper journal and transcribed onto a computer at a local gelato and coffee bar. I diidn't want to risk the internet crapping out on me (though, already, the internet service in the little hilltop twn of Trevi, Umbria far surpasses the scattered wifi of Venice), so I thought I'd draft the blog post agead of time rather than feeling I needed to speed through my thoughts while sitting at the cafe. As we've found ovet the course of our 5 months, blogging an be a wonderful and time consuming activity if you factor in the photo viewing, linking and time spent thinking about what to write rather than just letting the muddy thoughts run out of your fingers and into cyberspace. Some people can blog that quickly, but I like trying to craft my thoughts (something I was about to do when the computer sailed on the wind).

Anyway, it didn't seem right to end our travelthelongwayround experience with the sad news of a dead computer. You, fearless readers, have travelled everywhere else on this 'round the world journey, so I invite you to join us at our last stop before returning home. Welcome to the quiet, sunny town of Trevi, Umbria, a gem of a find (thanks to aunt Laura and uncle Pete's introduction) nestled amongst the olive groves. Our original plan was to rest, read, write, knit, and sunbathe in the Umbrian countryside for one week and then have a last huzzah in Rome, but after having many conversations with weary traveler about the wild and craze of the city, we decided to throw in the proverbial towel and save Rome for antoher day. We have not been disappointed...

With the exception of one flying computer, our days in Trevi have been thoroughly stress- and carefree. A 10-minute straight up (or so it feels) walk takes us to the tiny town with its two piazzas where, at any given moment, a dozen or so locals can be found sitting around with their 17th espresso or spritz of the day at one of the two cafes in town. One grocery store provides us with half of our needs (olive oil, granola, milk), whereas the other half is provided by the farmers/antique market (truffle cheese, vegetables, an 18th century cherry wardrobe). When not in or circumnavigating the small town (choking on our handful of Italian words or ogling the glitzy Italian diva wobbling on the cobblestones in their stilettos), we've been spending the majority of our days either on our patio overlooking the valley and town or wandering through the olive groves that surround the town.

Without a computer to provide iTunes and/or the latest baseball stats, we've returned to the vacation basics of the pre-technology days gone by: writing on paper (!), playing cards, listening to the birds, reading thousand-page novels, losing track of time, taking hours to eat each meal and so on. Maybe the Umbrian wind was trying to give us that final push we needed to relax before heading home to our North American loved ones, 2 new jobs, and a move? Maybe 5 monhts of intense travel experiences of hundred os musuems, monuments, temples, churches, shrines, UNESCO world heritage sites, maps, public transport, hostels, hotels, overnight bus rides, new languages, food poisoning, yogurt, not showering for days, monkeys, strangers, bottled water, and mosquitoes deserves 10 days of doing nothing at the end of it? The Umbrian wind seemed to tell us all of we listened.

Tonight, we will return to one of the few town restaurants fo a 1/2 litre of their house red an some pasta and asparagus, and tomorrow, we may just decide to do the same. Then, who knows, we may take an after-dinner stroll along an old Roman viaduct before returning home for a game of gin rummy with an incomplete deck of cards before hitting the hay at 9:30pm. So rarely so we slow down just to soak up the sun and warm wind for days on end - never mind slowing down long enough to do that for an hour.

So, to all of our loyal, new, and passing-by readers - thanks for reading. We may have another postor two for you courtesy of the Hong Kong airport wifi, but I think I can safely say, from the last stop on our roung the world journey, this has been the most fascinating 5 months we've ever had...and thanks for being part of that.



  1. I've loved being able to live vicariously through you over the past five months and will miss hearing about your journeys! Enjoy these last few days, travel home safe and all my love.

    ps - 1000 page books??? How many of them have you been carrying around with you???

  2. Ciao. So glad you are enjoying - really enjoying - Umbria. It is a land where time seems to slow down just a little, and it sounds as if you are doing it in true local style. I hope the last few days are wonderful and look forward to seeing you and sharing more of your stories. BTW - I am writing from the terrace in Tillac and remembering how nice it was to spend time with you guys here. Happy travels.

  3. It has been a pleasure to read your updates. It has provided a nice little stress free window from the daily grind of school. It lets me picture myself where you are, and hopefully that will one day be a reality. I will see you soon! I will definitely be making another visit to canada in the near future.

  4. thank you for sharing with us.....I love this last one.

  5. So jealous... but such a heavenly trip couldn't happen to more deserving folks. For my sake, have another amazing coffee, and a piece of crusty bread dipped in good olive oil (ok,you can add good cheese if you want) That's perfection, in my book.
    Safe return, and I look forward to seeing you guys soon and introducing you to the little boodle...