997. Travel thy name is Mattie

First the best news.

Not only did Debbie not bite anyone but she was loved by all.




I will start with my plane travel mishaps.

On the outgoing flight they had to return to the parking spot because the plane was broken.

It took them a few hours to “fix” it and we were off.

On the way home there were unguarded suitcases in the middle of the airport and they had to get dogs and gun guys before they could move it… another 2 hours.


I am a perfect person which is why any country I go to doesn’t want me to leave.

So Roma.

We had a few very important missions in Roma.

  1. find Mac long wearing lipsticks that are only found in Europe. Check
  2. Marcia really wanted to go to the Borghese Museum which had sculpture that she saw 30 years ago and loved. Check

Now as for #1, we did find the lipsticks but they were at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. For those of you who aren’t Spanish here is what they look like from the top:


and the bottom


As you can see we really wanted those lipsticks. It was a sad sight watching two old ladies deal with those steps.  I lay down and rolled the last mile.

I will give #2 a check too. Because we did go go there. Our travel agent, not knowing how very limited my attention span is, booked us for a tour with an “English Speaking” guide.


First of all, if that’s English I’m French. Second of all even if she could speak English I’m deaf as a post so it was all greek to me (Get it?  See what I did there language wise?)

Plus my knees were killing me so whenever we got to a statue with a lap I sat on it.

The most annoying part was that every time I looked at Marcia she was smiling, nodding and snapping photos.

Finally after about an hour into a THREE HOUR TOUR even she  had had enough so we left.

We snuck off pretty successfully but we got lost and ended up back on the tour so the guide had to show us how to get out.

The best part of the time in Rome was visiting with our baby cousin Dru who lives there.

Here she is.  I hadn’t seen her in so long so it was really nice to see that we immediately felt close. Here she is.


Members of my family will understand that we connected on the words “sussy” and “eh eh”

As for Rome itself I have one thing to say.

Statues shmatues. The cab drivers are a bunch of crooks.  They all pretend they have no change so you end up paying them more than the ride costs.

I’d advise anyone who goes there to get a bunch of small change.

Then on to Sorrento. The promised land.

We loved it.

It had everything we wanted, beautiful views, fabulous shops and wonderful restaurants.

I want to mention particularly the one dedicated to Sophia Loren.  And I mean DEDICATED.

The walls were completely covered with pictures of Sophia.


I asked the owner how often Sofia (that’s how he spelled it) came there. It seems she had been there once 20 years ago.

“But she really liked it”

We finished up the trip in a very fancy hotel about 20 minutes from the airport.

The place was magnificent. Why the rooms didn’t even have numbers. They had names.


I know this is boring but I’m going to show you a few pictures of our room.


and of us having fun

Wait a minute. That’s Marcia having fun. I was having fun taking pictures of Marcia.

Looks perfect right?

That is until we went to dinner.

It seems rich people eat all kinds of crap.

Every dish started out great.

Pasta with mushrooms and (here’s where it got dicy) raw shrimp.

I swear there was something just called “pig”.

But don’t ask how great the bread was.

Anyway we had a wonderful time.

Now let me show you what I came home to (video donated by my nephew Dan)

996. The Loss of a Smile

I got back from Italy yesterday.

After a brief rest I was going to write a very clever and informative post about my trip.

That’s going to have to wait a day.

I got a call from my neighbor and friend Jeffrey with the sad news that his husband Dominick died in a car crash.

The world may know Dominick as Dominick Avellino a famous clothing designer and artist who hobnobbed with the rich and famous in the 70’s and 80’s.

Much of this I didn’t know. I’d seen his magnificent paintings in his apartment and recognized him to be more than gifted.

Here’s what I did know about him.

He was warm and lovely. He always greeted me with a hug and a kiss.

Both he and Jeffrey made me feel that they would be there for me on a seconds notice.

I can’t mention them without thinking of 9/11.

As Jews and Italians are want to do when the buildings fell the first thing we did was go to the supermarket.

I met Dominick and Jeffrey there . We hugged and hugged. Instead of buying basics, you know in case we were at war, I bought a turkey and told them to come and eat with us.

We ate and drank that night and thanked everything holy that we were alive and together to weather the horror of the night.

So rest in peace you dear man.

I will miss your smiles and hugs and I promise to look after Jeffrey for you.

995. Here’s why I’m anxious today

On Tuesday my sister and I are taking our yearly trip to Italy.  I love my sister so much and it is the only time we do whatever we want to do without thinking about anyone else.

That is not what’s bothering me. Here goes.

While I’m away my Super’s family is minding Debbie.


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Debbie has some quirks.

  1. She growls
  2. She’s known to nip at people.
  3. Did I say nip? Replace that with bite.

I’m really worried about the family.

I know that after a short time she will accept them and be her own sweet self but I really love these people.

What if she kills them?

Then there’s Debbie’s emotional state.

She’s only been here a few weeks. She’s just starting to feel at home.

I keep thinking that her other family that had her for her first seven years dumped her in a kill shelter.

I’m afraid she’ll be so sad when I’m gone.

What if she hides and they can’t find her


But I’m feeling a little better because I had a very stern talk with her and I think she’ll behave.