Gathering Graces 7/3/2017

*Today I celebrated my 54th birthday.  And what an incredible day it was.
*Tina made a delicious breakfast with waffles and bacon, and Eric served up a delicious cup of coffee.
*The morning was pretty slow and relaxed.  Paul has been emailing me while I’m gone, and this morning he sent me lyrics to love songs related to the two of us.  I loved spending the morning listening to these songs, crying (because I miss him so much), and then finding some songs to send to him.  I felt like James Taylor and Carole King captured my feelings for him on this birthday morning.
*We had lunch, then got ready to depart for Fivizonno, a walled city up in the hills.  We walked around a bit, and had a cappuccino, and hot back in the car and headed through more hill country to Fosdinovo to visit an ancient castle. Construction on this castle began in the 12th Century.
*On our way to Fosdinovo we traveled through lots of villages, and saw many grape vines and olive trees.  We stopped in one village, Tendola, and took some photographs.  One of my favorite views was the church tower.  The bell rang while we were there.
The beautiful church tower
*Then we arrived at Fosdinovo Castello Malaspina.  I remember as I thought about coming here to Italy, and that I would see such ancient buildings.  And this was one of them.  This  castle began construction in the 1100’s, and it is still standing today, quite intact.  I put my had on the wall of the castle, so I knew I had touched a building that was over 800 years old.
Touching a castle that was built over 800 years ago
*Our tour began with a woman who only spoke Italian.  But once another tour guide realized were were English speakers, he took over, and helped us understand, and spoke and read English.  It made it easier to know what each room was about, and I loved that some was in Italian and some in English.
Our tour guide and Eric

*For dinner we went to a local pizza place in Aulla for dinner.  It was delicious.  I had pizza with tomato sauce, mozzerella, ham, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, olives, and arugula.  I also got a delicious pastry filled with cream for dessert.  April, Eric, Kellee and Tina made it all very special.
Dressing up for dinner

*To top off the evening, I had a video call with Paul and Zoe.  It was fun telling them about my day.  Christy also sent me a hilarious birthday card.  I also received many birthday greeting throughout the day which was very nice. 

April, Me, Tina, Kellee  (And photo bomber on the right)
*Wonderful friends, incredible scenery, delicious food...what more could you ask for on your birthday??  What a fabulous day.

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