Sicily Vacation…Part 5!

Okay, I know I need to be wrapping this up soon. Especially since life keeps going, there are more events to share! But I must finish this complete picture of our vacation; I can’t leave you (or me!) hanging:

(June 17, ’15)

Gole Alcantara

Gole Alcantara

“So, on Tuesday (yesterday) the 16th, we got up and went just us four to Taormina; with plans of possibly stopping at Gole Alcantara on the way (a gorge nearby that we decided to visit)…It was a lovely drive. But the gorge proved to be spectacular: we paid the 30 euro and went down the elevator to the clear, crisp stream below. We had grabbed a few things from the car and stuffed them in a back pack for being about to go in the water. It was so much more amazing than I though it would be. At first, I couldn’t get used to the water though and I made my hubby piggy-back me to the first embankment on the other side. The rock formations were so surreal-looking! But after that first spot, I got some courage to step into the cold water. Its initial shock wore off surprisingly fast. The kids were hilarious! They were even running under a water fall spray – not me! We decided to go on through the gorge as far as we could – and that was a fun adventure… fighting the current, me trying to keep my purse dry and take a couple of photos, and Husband showing the kids how to cut through the water and not be taken downstream. we got to this one spot where we couldn’t tell how difficult things were going to get — having never been there before and not knowing what to expect. DSC00368My hubby went on ahead to check it out. The current was pretty strong and deep in places, so he carried the kids one at a time to a rock out shoot where we had a pretty view of another small waterfall across the river. And that’s where the kids and I stopped. There was an older couple there also, German, who were also venturing down the gorge. Hubby helped the man cross the rapid/waterfall to see if he wanted to keep going, but his wife stayed and chatted with me. It was fun to watch. If I had the right shoes on, I probably would have joined them a little. After the couple decided not to go further, my husband went ahead while I stayed there with the kids on their rock perch.

Finally about the same time I was feeling the need to get them back since they were getting cold, another family was braving their way into the area. The gentleman and I chatted a little, as he scoped it out to see if his crew would try to keep going (they decided not to). But before they turned back, I asked the man to help me bring the kids back to where they could walk themselves out. He was super nice and said sure. So after he had gotten us a little ways, and I was thanking him for his help, Ralph was just then making it back out from his solitary adventure (which I would love for him to write down). Ralph also said thanks then turns to me and said, ‘you know that’s a famous actor, right?’ I didn’t realize it, but later on we looked up his picture at the car and saw his name: Diedrich Bader!…Anyway, that was an entertaining tid-bit event. We spent quite a long time at the gorge before heading up to Taormina.” Continue reading

Sicily Vacation, Part 4, the Mishaps

So, something I was thinking about when I tell people about the things that went wrong, or accidents that happened. I like them. The bumps are part of the fun. My husband has been my best teacher that when ‘bad’ things happen, it doesn’t have to be taken badly. So here are our three from the trip. And when you read, please laugh! We did: Continue reading

The Day I Went Out in My ‘Nightgown’

So my grandma, Carolyn Gazzano, went home to heaven yesterday. She will be missed until I see her again. It’s good to know she’s in a better place; she meant a lot to me. Here’s one sweet memory from my last visit with her. I’ll share more over the next few months.


So I’ve been home from Germany for a few days now to help take care of my grandma. It has been rewarding, contemplative, bittersweet, nostalgic, and fun. Yup, I think that describes it well. But I will definitely emphasize the fun. My 95 year old grandmother still knows how to laugh, how to have a good time, and how to give her grand-daughter a hard time. Which is great, because then it gives me material to write about, hee hee.

Yesterday, my mom and I took my grandma out for Chinese food. She loves Chinese – and since she was having a good day, it was a day to celebrate. My kids were spending the day with my in-laws, so it was just us ‘girls.’ We got all dressed up to have a nice lunch together. But when I came out in my version of all dressed up, my grandma…

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Sicily Vacation, Part 2

Okay! Post number two with highlights from our vacation in June. Keep in mind, these are excerpts I am picking from my journal to share with you the highlights. Here it is:

(June 11) “…What can I say about this vacation? It’s my favorite, most memorable, most peaceful DSC00247one yet. Father, I don’t know why you are so good to me, but You truly have given us above and beyond what we could think or imagine. I’m journaling here on top of a foothill sitting on a homemade swing with my feet up, the breeze flowing beautifully by just enough to rustle the leaves and cool my skin. It blows up here the sound of the cows, the cars, and the smell of the country. I’m not sure how much closer to heaven a person can get…

the swing I sat on to write at Agriturismo Ruvitello

Continue reading

Sicily Vacation, Part 1

So I am going to share excerpts and photos from our family vacation this June. It was really fantastic. Okay, yes, we did get to go to an amazing place with amazing family/friends – but I think the key that made this absolutely wonderful can be seen from 3 points:

1) God set it up – the original plan was for the kids and I to go. Then circumstances changed and my husband was able to join us as well.

2) We went without a crammed schedule. Our adventures and days out were well balanced with days in.

3) There was just as much time spent eating as sleeping….okay, that last one is kind of a joke (kind of). But really – the amount of time that we spent enjoying family and conversation and simple things like good food was the majority of the time. The activities and sight-seeing were truly secondary.

So, enough introduction, here’s part 1 – of I’m not sure how many, we’ll see. I won’t share it all, in it’s totality my journaling takes up 18 pages (typed!), but I’ll pick and choose so you can get a very good idea of this magical 2 weeks. Continue reading