Saturday, June 18, 2016

Extend Your Trip for the Price of Your Imagination

Traveling can be so expensive these days! The ticket prices; the hotels and BnB's; admission prices to the museums,  gardens and historic sights. It all adds up. They say that planning a trip is one of the most rewarding parts of the whole adventure. I agree but I also like to extend the trip by sharing the memories, looking at photos, placing your souvenirs where you'll see them each day and especially by recreating the scenes, the aromas, and the feel of the area you visited can make your trip even more enjoyable. 

Let's face it, sometimes traveling can be stressful. Driving in another country, hauling bags up flights of stairs, dealing with language barriers or just jet lag can put a damper on the fun. All of that can be easily forgotten when you focus on all of the wonderful parts afterwards.
This is the per liter price, not per gallon!

We recently took our son and daughter-in-law to Italy. It was spring time, beautiful, and so different from home in Wisconsin. Tuscany is like heaven.

The trip was great! Although, like I said, there were stressful moments, they're easily forgotten, especially when you get home and start recounting the stories and try to explain how beautiful it was.

So, as my senses are still tuned to Italy, I notice things I wouldn't have before. I saw this painting at a garage sale and snatched it up!
It captures the feeling of our place near Montecatini Terme

This little piece of rock was carved thousands of years ago and was just sitting along the walkway at the Forum in Rome. 
It reminds me of some chunks of an "old" broken cement planter I use as stepping stones. They're "relics" now!
I was amazed at the size of this Rosemary bush! It must have been 6 feet tall!
My little plant is about 4 years old and I bring it in the house every winter because it wouldn't survive the freezing temperatures we get. 

This sage just seemed to spill out into the courtyard. The owner encouraged us to use it in our cooking that evening. The Norwegian couple who were also staying at the bnb were similarly overjoyed and  eager to pinch off a few leaves.
My sage plant is tiny in comparison but it brings back such wonderful memories of our dinner out on the terrace in Tuscany.

 While I'm pretty sure we can't grow olives in the upper midwest I may consider planting a new Russian Olive the may be hardy here.

Outdoor dining spaces are not completely practical when taken to this extent but I'm sure we can imitate the feeling on our patio. Garage sales are great places to find furniture that has already seen better days, something I wouldn't cringe at leaving out in all conditions.

Garden statuary seems to have fallen out of favor here, lately, but for me, now is the time to pull out my small versions and remember the many, many, MANY statues we saw across Italy!
It even makes me see my once pretty mosaic bench in a new light, I found it at the recycling center, tossed aside after most of the tiles had fallen off. To me it now looks centuries old. I can  say, "Look, see how you can make out some of the mosaic that once adorned this ancient looking bench! Imagine the Roman patricians that would have sat here, had it been in Rome in 200 BC."
The same goes for vines of all kinds. Though I may not be able to grow jasmine or passion flower vines that hang heavily over trellises, walls and columns the clematis and honeysuckle that I can grow will have to suffice and remind me of the sights and scents we had all around us.


 Finally, as much as we enjoyed the wonderful wines we tasted all over Italy, I do not have the ambition to grow my own grapes and make my own wine at this time. This is something we can easily recreate with a bottle and a glass. Buonasera! 
Montalcino Rosso in Montalcino

and at our BnB 

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