We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our North Africa trip, with Egypt, plus Israel and a bit more of my beloved Turkey (southern coast) plan for September has been cancelled because Egypt, Tunisia, etc seem iffy right now. A shame. I wanted to get back on a ship. Readers know I love ships and boats, and I was in the mood for an exotic trip.
Mrs. BD also vetoed my alternative notion of a big house in Provence, to invite friends and family - and all of our Maggie's readers - to visit. She wants to give the kids time to get a bit more settled in their lives first.
She wants the land of the Umbri, with just grumpy Bird Dog and a rental car. Assisi, Orvieto (I do not like their wines), Perugia, Todi, Spoleto, etc. Etruscan walled cities and Hannibal's victories at Lake Trasimene, and Roman highway towns on the Via Flaminia. Maybe a day trip back up to Siena. OK by me. Love Italia, as my Brit cousins do - as long as there is no pasta or red sauce. And Mrs. BD has been working hard on her Italian. Dove cabineto?
Next year, God willing, either a south of France villa like this one, or the North Africa trip, but this seems not the year for that. Who makes the plans calls the shots.
I'll bring cameras of course, to bore our readers with my travel pics, but I'd be surprised if any of the old castle and rustic villa agritourismo inns Mrs. BD has picked out have Wifi. (When places say they have it, it's usually not working when you are there.)
Photo above is Assisi, a major tourist trap thanks to St. Francis' marketing skills.
Such places are good reasons to save one's pennies. It all looks good to me. I am always happy to be banging around Italy (except Rome), although I have already done a lot of it. Thanks, Mrs. BD, for taking the time to plan it so thoughtfully.
I am sorry we cannot meet up with my wife's late cousin, Archbishop Prata, on our Italian trips anymore. I think of him every time I head for Italy. He was full of vitality and full of the joy of the Spirit - and could make doors open like you would not believe with a flash of his ring. Besides Jesus, the Church, and the Mass, he loved opera, food, wine, his relatives, Limoncello, Hazelnut gelato, and Italian pastries. An intellectual sort, he had been a professor and university president before they brought him back to the Vatican. My lad and he used to chat in conversational Latin. Very cool for them. We all miss Gennaro.