Where Italian Life Goes, The Sweet Habit of Confetti Follows

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Behind large and ominous doors, they are clamoring over candy. A small wooden desk separates the brassy crowd from ladies in matching blue uniforms, judges trying to keep a little order in the court of candy. Arms flail in the air as if they are betting on horses or partaking in an auction. They are all vying for the sweetness of attention to try confetti, a sugarcoated candy so deeply rooted in Italian history, it practically should get a UNESCO stamp of approval. I head a little bit deeper into the building to see what all of the fuss is about amongst the demanding Italians. Little desks Continue Reading

The Death Defying Ride To Meet a Saint in Gubbio

Gubbio from above

He points to a red dot in the cement, suggesting I stand at its center. A few feet away from my red dot is another where my husband stands. “Do you want to get on first or last?” he asks. Without hesitation and not wanting to be the one left behind at the bottom of the mountain, I scurry to my spot and wait for what looks like a birdcage to come around the corner and pick me up. As quickly as the moving metal basket arrives, I hop on, against all better judgment. We are off, dangling several feet in the air in an instant. It seems most appropriate that in order to meet a saint, you have to Continue Reading

Heraklion, Crete Wishes You Were Here

The Church of Saint Titus

Crete’s most famous writer, Nikos Kazantzakis, best known for his novel Zorba the Greek, wrote in his work Report to Greco, “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.” I arrived to Heraklion as most travelers do, by ferry. What I read about Crete’s capital prior to setting foot on its docks was nothing truly praiseworthy. Most port cities are plagued with the ugliest of realities. The grease and grime of shipping infiltrates every inch of these cities’ characters. As I peered out of my hotel window, I saw the reality of Heraklion. A concrete jumbled mess of Continue Reading

Ruined Ruins: The Trouble with Knossos

Knossos Bull Fresco

“Handmade, you see?” He knocks a vase with an innocent dolphin on the side against the counter top. “See, it will not break!” The gray haired man behind the market stall of mass produced pottery has a hard sell on his hands. He continues to slam his own product against hard surfaces to show me how well made his pots and vases are, ones that are no doubt produced in factories and not in some local potter’s kiln. A theme I would later discover at the archaeological site Knossos, I understand his imagination is far different than mine. He is selling me a lie, but I can imagine it to be something Continue Reading

The Ideon Cave on Crete Wishes You Were Here

Ideon Cave

Some words are never lost in translation. As we arrived to the small town of Zaros on the Greek island of Crete, I quickly learned “coffee” is one of those words. Down the narrowest of alleys and past plenty of Cretan men’s stares, we parked in front of our hotel for the night. The night before was spent sleeplessly worrying about the bed bug sighting. We departed Rethymno faster than we arrived and headed for the hills of Crete to hole up in essentially the next closest thing to grandma’s house. Walking through the threshold, we were greeted by Katerina and her Greek. She chatted and chatted Continue Reading

Roasting Over Hot Chicken in Nashville

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“The path to paradise begins in hell.”--Dante Alighieri “I’ll take the hot,” I casually reply to the woman behind the counter. She stares back at me with a look of wonderment meets stupidity. “Have you been here before?” she asks. I quickly assure her that I can handle a little heat. In fact, I don’t mind spicy food. My husband  smartly asks for his chicken to merely be in the medium range. I, on the other hand, am no chicken. As we passed through Nashville on our way to Louisville that day, I realized lunchtime would be set perfectly in Music City. After a little searching, I discovered Continue Reading

How I Afforded Traveling The Greek Islands

Crete Beach

I put off traveling to the Greek islands for one reason and one reason only. Travel to these pieces of paradise always seemed to cost the price of purchasing one of the islands. Flying all the way to the Greek islands was a charge that appeared as insurmountable as climbing Mount Olympus. Those accommodations with infinity pools to the sea on Santorini remained on Pinterest boards and stayed there due to the reality of what those would cost. Finally in September, I made it to the Greek islands after years of resenting my wallet and bank account for holding me back. And while traveling the Continue Reading