Thursday, June 28, 2012

They're Back!

The funny thing about saying good-bye to a fellow expat is that they often come back for a quick visit, just passing through town. Each of them has a special memory, a place they want to revisit while they are in town. And, if it hasn't been too long, we manage to round up a few familiar faces for a reunion.
A morning walk around Hyde Park and coffee with Rita.
A shopping trip to the Burberry Outlet with Ann.
Lunch at the Mango Tree with Sue Anne. It's like they never left! I ran across this fun BLOG...I appreciate her humor and although I don't have "4 kids and beagle" I can still relate to her story about being a "trailing spouse". I think you will too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a SUNNY day at ASCOT

We look forward to this event all year and it was the perfect, sunny, opening day at ASCOT! We were all frocked up in our proper hats and heels! After a month of Jubilee the patriotic theme of Red, White, and Blue seemed to be continued this year at ASCOT...... Even the Queen wore blue! There was some serious betting going on but as always, for me it was more about special friendships and moments of laughter.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"You can't even say it's blue"

The Mediterranean has the color of mackerel, changeable I mean. You don't always know if it is green or violet, you can't even say it's blue, because the next moment the changing reflection has taken on a tint of rose or gray. Gogh, Vincent Van So take some blue sapphire and teal green..... Shake that up with a little lemon yellow...... Add azure, cobalt, turquoise and a few distant white sailboats ..... We searched the Amalfi Coast for a true representation of the colors of the Mediterranean in a small oil painting. Do you love it? My special painting has been framed and added to our "memories wall". There is still room for a few more trips!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hotel Villa Gabrisa

The best part about Villa Gabrisa was our balcony and the view of Positano... and a glimpse of the small beach..... And, although the locals have been climbing the hillside of Positano their whole life.... the steps are probably what I will remember the most about our lovely Villa Gabrisa.... At the end of each day it was worth the climb to enjoy a pink sunset and a glass of wine on our balcony.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Villa Tenuto Santo Pietro

If you are planning a trip to Tuscany in the near future make note of this family owned B&B. It is a beautifully renovated 13th century monastery tucked between the villages of Pienza and Montepulciano. The pool overlooks a working farm including an olive grove and a hillside vineyard where all the olive oil and wine for the restaurant are produced. The owner, Giuseppe, speaks English, is a valuable resource of information and exudes a love of the area and lifestyle. I'll just let the pictures tell the story..... There are plenty of trails to explore the Tuscan landscape...... There are plenty of places to just relax, read a book, or share other travel stories..... We took our cooking class in the outdoor kitchen where we learned to make Pici -a long thick pasta, and traditional Tiramisu...... and don't forget the local pecorino cheese with pears, walnuts and parma ham....Bellissimo!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giant Buddha

No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to the Giant Buddha which sits serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau amid the spectacular mountain scenery of Lantau Island. To get there we took the MTR line (incredibly clean and fast!) past Disneyland and then stood in line for the Ngong Ping 360 ...... a 5.7km cable-car journey up the mountain.
If you know me you know that I am not thrilled with heights, especially "boxes" dangling from a cable....must get that from The Colonel who loved to fly but hated heights! But I must admit the views were extraordinary and walking was out of the question!
The majestic figure of the seated Buddha was cast in China and took 12 years to complete. Visitors can climb more than 200 steps to reach the platform where the Buddha is seated. "The eyes, lips, incline of the head and even the right hand (raised to deliver a blessing to all), combine to lend great depth of character and dignity to this extraordinary statue." Only 9632 km to Big Ben!