With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I want to give a shout out to New York. I’m a proud New Jerseyan, but living so close to Manhattan (just 15 minutes over the GWB, which is literally in my backyard), I have developed a fondness for the Empire State, too. Two weeks ago, I brought our friend Francesco Serpentone (Big Snake), our friend Ludovica, and my husband Antonio to the Empire State Building. Looking up at the top of the building from the ground has one feeling as tiny as a bug. It inspires and motivates you to keep growing. Looking down at all the buildings and beauty below, you feel like pushing hard to find success, to be a part of that business underneath you. To get through today, in fact, I might have to hum Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind“. I love New York for its wonder and its ability to push people to change themselves for the better or the worst. I’m choosing the better. I hope all of you will do the same. Perhaps, my picture of a sparkling Chrysler Building amid Manhattan’s bright skyline will get you started. (To see more pictures of our day in New York, please visit the “Big Snake Comes to America” photo album.)
Our friends Titti and Domenico returned to Italy a little less than a week ago, and we’re already missing them. But we have lots of photos to remind us of all the fun we had. One of the highlights of the trip was breaking bread with them at our house, my aunt’s house, and my cousin’s house. (For pictures of us at my cousin’s house, see the “NY Tourists Break Bread” photo album”.) Even though they were trying to watch their weight and eat healthy, we managed to sneak in a cheesecake and some cookies. Yum!
The tourists from Italy have arrived. My parents and I have been hosting Titti and Domenico, friends of the family from Ischia, since Thursday. Ludovica, another Ischitana, as most of you know, has been in the States with us studying English since November. On Sunday, Antonio will return from Ischia with our friend Francesco (a.k.a. Serpentone). The best part about having all these foreigners around is getting to see New York through their eyes.
New York is magnificent with its towering buildings and characters roaming the streets at all hours. We can’t get enough of it (even though we’re happy to call New Jersey, right on the other side of the bridge, home). You can check out photos from Titti and Domenico’s first day in town at the “New York Tourists 2010” photo album and expect more entries about our Italian friends and their American journeys. Buon viaggio a tutti!
Last week, my husband Antonio and I prepared a Thanksgiving meal for the ages. It was the first time ever that we hosted a holiday — and it was the Super Bowl of American holidays. Still, I think we pulled it off successfully. It helped that two of our guests were Italians, and Thanksgiving isn’t their holiday. If you don’t know what Thanksgiving is supposed to be, you can’t really gripe about it, right?
Seriously, we had a blast, and I wrote all about the prep in the About.com Newlyweds blog. You can also join us at our Thanksgiving table by visiting the “Our First Thanksgiving” photo album. I hope your holiday was as wonderful as ours.
Wherever you go in Italy, especially in the southern part of the country, you’ll find that Italians have opinions on just about everything. And they’re almost never afraid to share those opinions. I bet you have a little Italian in you, too. That’s why I’d like to invite you to share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and opinions on the pages of the Newlyweds site that I maintain for About.com. Below are just a few places, where you can pipe up about a topic related to married life (and you don’t have to be married to participate).
Just click on the underlined words below and follow the instructions on the new page.
Birthday Ideas – Offer suggestions on how to the birthday of your husband, wife, or significant other special.
Halloween Costumes for Couples – Add to the list of ideas on Halloween costumes for couples. The first person to make a suggestion can use the horse’s ass and head idea. I’ll approve it – but I get to be the head when we put on the costume. Ha!
Should Women Change Their Name When They Get Married? – I posted this debate just yesterday, and I already have six comments. It’s an interesting issue with more facets to it than you’d imagine.
Should People Wait for Marriage to Have Sex? – Ever since I wrote a blog about first-time sex on your wedding night, hundreds of people have been weighing in with comments about having sex for the first time. That leads me to believe that this question will get a lot of people talking. Don’t be left out of the conversation. Pipe up. All opinions are welcome.
The people of Ischia are sighing with relief because the month of August is swiftly coming to an end. For Ischitani, August means work because the rest of the country heads to the beaches and mountains for vacation. That’s right. Just about the whole country, except for those who work in tourism like most of the Ischitani, have at least a few weeks off in August if not the whole month. If you can’t take off in August for some reason, then you usually get to take time off in July. Unbelievable, right? As an American, who barely gets two weeks of vacation per year, I can’t fathom how Italians can ever get work done with all their vacation time. How can the country earn anything if everyone takes off for the whole month at the same time? I guess that’s what “la dolce vita” means.
For me, August in Ischia wasn’t much different than June or July in Ischia. I work for American publications, and therefore I’m always on call and on the job. But I did get to see more of my relatives in my down time. One cousin, who lives in France but married a woman from Ischia, spent a couple of weeks on the island — and we all got together to break bread one night at another cousin’s restaurant (see photo above). And cousins from Australia and the United States are headed to Ischia at the end of the week for a long weekend that will have us all bidding farewell to yet another August in Italy.
I think Ischia, perhaps myself included, will need a vacation to recuperate after the August summer vacation.