My Tears Aren’t Awake Yet

My tears aren’t awake yet. Those words were the final sentence of a short Facebook status update I posted at 5:30 a.m. from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport as I prepared to return to the United States after a fabulous nine days in Italy. It was time to say arrivederci to Italy. It was also too early to cry. … [Read more...]

A Year in Napa Valley

As July 30 winds down, I can't let the night slip away without acknowledging what this date means to me. Today marks my one-year anniversary living in the Napa Valley, and what a blast I've had these last 12 months. From making new friends (not to be confused with acquaintances) to carving out a new career for myself  to swimmingly adjusting to life in small town Rutherford, this has been a most memorable 365 days.  … [Read more...]

The Marco Chronicles stirs memories

The Marco Chronicles

What a pleasure it was for an Italophile like me to read The Marco Chronicles: To Rome, without Love, written by my friend Elizabeth Geoghegan. I don't know which delighted me more, finding out what a talented writer Elizabeth is or taking a trip down memory lane by remembering my own encounters with several Stefanos during my two-year stint in Italy. … [Read more...]

Eat Pray Love: Take Two

Count me among the over six million people to buy Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. And count me among the many who didn't finish the  New York Times bestseller. My gold Oleg Cassini bookmark is right where I left it three years ago. On page 72. It would seem that I, of all people, would be able to relate to Liz's story for I too had moved to Italy on a quest. But unlike Liz, who embarked on a "search for everything" after her marriage failed, I went to eat, drink and pray for love. And she, … [Read more...]

Next time I’ll ignore the little man

I’m minding my business, wearing a pink Betty Boop tank top, Levis jean mini-skirt and Target flip-flops, waiting for my take-out lunch at Viva Fresh, anxious for my first Mexican food and Bud Light Lime in several weeks due to my travels to Italy, France and Monaco. A short white man, 60ish I suppose, approaches me and says, “You’re so tall and I’m so short. How tall are you, 6-foot-2?” “No, 6-foot-1.” I stare down on his pink scalp and make the mistake of asking him how tall he is as I try … [Read more...]

How I (Never) Met Your Mother

I know some of you envy me for being able to enjoy a six-week holiday in Europe but at times it was torture. It’s like finding the ideal mate and knowing you only have a limited amount of time together. When I told friends I was going to Italy for a month, they wondered if I’d return. Well, sadly I did. I’m back in L.A., though more determined than ever to find a way to become an ex-pat once again. Walking down cobblestone streets in Rome’s Trastevere section or through Tropea's narrow … [Read more...]

Is it time to meet his mama?

Just as Layne and I were complaining vehemently about Tropea men not knowing how to properly treat women, we go out Saturday night and meet due fratelli (two brothers) who show us a good time and can teach these men around here a thing or two.   We met them at a restaurant when Paolo fell innamorato (in love) with me at first sight. Seriously. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me the entire time. Eventually his group, which included his fun brother Giampiero and a quieter friend, Carlo, joined me … [Read more...]

Eat, Drink, Pray for Love

While Layne went off with Corrado, an Italian hottie who says “Call me Coco,” I was left on the beach with a toothless Moroccan who peddles towels (I bought one from him yesterday) asking me how much I’m paying for my apartment for the month and if I’m married. I told him he was maleducato (rude) and my marital status is non importante. We’re into Day 5 in Tropea, in the southern part of Italy, and it’s official: the entire town of 7,000 knows we’re here and knows our every move. After all, … [Read more...]

Did Amanda Knox’s Italian beau work against her?

Today's Oprah featured the parents of Amanda Knox defending their daughter who was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. I didn't follow Amanda's murder trial in Perugia, Italy closely enough to have an opinion on whether evidence proved her guilty of murdering her roommate. And as unsettling as it was to hear the guilty verdict last December, deep down I wasn't surprised. I never thought she'd get off, even if she was innocent. As much as I love … [Read more...]