05 June 2013

European Vacation Epilogue - Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

Omaha Beach Normandy.
Life flows like a river. We're back from our trip but never left it were never there and will always be there and here and wherever else we've been and we'll go. Don't try to divide life into portions. It is all of the same.

I am refreshed. Rejuvenated. I could have stayed another three weeks or three months or three years. But it was not possible. Not this time. Now I am part of this part of the Earth in this time doing these things. Work beckons next week and as a labor of love I not only won't resist but will go willingly and happily.

Other people.

I saw.

I saw places where the great and famous and the infamous and the awful once lived or walked. I felt their shadows. Hemingway Hitler Dickens DaVinci Fellini Mussolini various kings and queens and popes and dopes. How many living people did I see? I forgot to count.

Highlights: 

Beaches once red with blood. Shadows of the ghosts of those whose intestines spilled out as they writhed in agony struck by bullets as they served god and country and their comrades. The stillness there today.

The view from the Arc De Triomphe. Seeing how magically Paris was laid out by some wise men centuries ago. Soaking in the beauty of the city. As if that city was a living being lovelier than all the rest.

Porto Venere.
Lunch in a cavernous restaurant in La Spezia. Most people know one another. An older man holds court at the table next to us. There is no menu. Our choices are told to us. They are limited. The meal is sublime. The atmosphere enhances the delicious. Yes it does.

Porto Venere Italy at the end of a peninsula on the Ligurian Sea. Magnificent views from  thousand year old structures towering from the rocks. Then an espresso.

The Trevi Fountain found after a long meandering walk. It was near midnight. It was raining lightly. I visualized Anita Ekberg. Then I just enjoyed being there with the love of my life. Then a gelato.

Cinema. My wife said I am a film geek. I accept. The cinematheque in Paris. Cinecitta in Rome. The cineteca in Bolgona. The sites where Midnight in Paris (2011) La Dolce Vita (1960) Rome Open City (1945) Gangs of New York (2002) were filmed.

Oldest niece and her lovely family. Meeting the baby and learning of the success of Germano's latest film. Bravo! Can't wait to see it.

The great meals. Pasta with sea food. Pizza with anchovies. Salmon. Sea bass. Classic English fish and chips. And of course the gelato.

Trains. Take note USA. Train travel within Italy is affordable efficient and fast. Subways in London Paris and Rome do not require 20 minute waits.

Tower Bridge in London.
Walks along the Thames and through Hyde Park.

Seeing Helen Mirren and a great supporting cast live on stage in a wonderful play.

Coming home to see my darling daughters. Being the father of two such women is evidence that I have not been a failure in this life.

But the number one highlight was my travel companion. She is far far more than I ever have or will ever deserve. Putting up with me is a difficult task and she carried on with nary a complaint. My wife is an amazing woman.

So. Back in Berkeley. Jet lag not a problem. Already been to the gym. Have a lot of films to watch the next few days having seen but one the past three weeks. Better get started. Oh and...

I miss Paris.

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