Summer staycation, day 5

It’s official. I will not be spending my summer vacation in Vermont this year. It was a tough but obvious decision. While I can technically go to the US and return to Europe for my job, I don’t trust airlines. I don’t feel like quarantining for weeks in both directions. I don’t want to risk getting my family and friends sick. I feel safe in Italy where things are returning to normal.

So here I am, 5 days into my summer break with lots of time, still mostly home after all these months. I’ve returned to regular running and meditation. I still practice yoga daily and try to read a book a week, although I got stuck last month when remote work started to wear on me. I need this break. I’m working on some personal projects, including a wine app for iPhone. I’ve considered maybe returning to all the cooking classes I thought about putting together once upon a time. Or the podcast. We’ll see. I have a lot of ideas that have grown dusty and which deserve some of this extra time 2020 has gifted me.

We’re thinking of some easy summer trips too, perhaps to Naples or the Amalfi Coast. We’ve thought of the island of Ischia or Elba or maybe a drive over the Apennine mountains into Abruzzo and Marche. We’ve penciled in some wineries and breweries we want to visit. Marked some new restaurants and food adventures on the map. I still want to eat at the Tuscan restaurant of the butcher Dario Cecchini from the Netflix special. Perhaps this is the right time.

But this weekend, we’ll start slow at Lake Bolsena again. Roberto is basically addicted to standup paddleboarding and needs to get back to the lake. There are far worst things than a summer vacation in Italy. Or do I mean, there are few better things? What’s really better than a summer vacation in Italy? Canceling my New England trip is really the only major sacrifice the pandemic has asked of me so far. I am sad, but I am also lucky. I’ve got this.

This morning after an early run to beat the heat, I had Norwegian seeded bread with robiola cheese, sliced tomato and smoked salmon. Everything bagels with cream cheese and lox are one of the US foods I miss most. I’ll make a salad for lunch and an easy pasta for dinner, probably with zucchini or eggplant as they are in the fridge and need to be eaten.

That’s a grapevine on our terrace in the photo. He’s one of the plants I started tending in 2020 when I found myself unexpectedly gardening again. Our terrace is lovely. I am grateful that lockdown-Jill and Roberto put in the time to make it so comfy. I’m sitting there now as it’s the coolest place in the house, surrounded by walls of plants with a strong breeze. The plant goes by the name Malvasia, but he is not Malvasia. He’s not even a European grapevine. He’s American like me.

Stay safe. Eat well.

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