Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adventures and first and second honeymoons

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been off on an adventure
delightfully off the grid for three weeks wandering in Italy.
After 46 years together, my husband and I decided it was time
for a second honeymoon.

Below is a photo of our vehicle for out first honeymoon,
a 1947 school bus which had been converted into a camper.
(It was still yellow and black) We were married in Palo Alto,
CA, drove up along the California/Oregon coast camping on
 the way. Then we headed East to Boston for graduate school.

Hmm I look a little younger!

Only it was a bit more of an adventure
than anticipated.  To make a long story
short, after 7 breakdowns we  called
the couple who hired us to drive the bus
East and they agreed we should
abandon it in the Wisconsin Dells.

Here is Jon,  also looking rather young, changing
a  tire. We were given the spare at our reception!

One of our breakdowns was in Haugan,
Montana where  we waited two days in
the snow for a part for the bus... and
visited its Silver Dollar bar. Someday
we'll have to go back to see if we can
find our  names next to the silver dollar
we gave them.  The Lincoln Silver Dollar
bar is still there in Haugan.

We eventually made it to Boston (after an additional breakdown
of a new rental van) and figured having  survived the honeymoon,
we ought to be in good shape for a long term marriage. Which, as
it turns out was a good prediction . The honeymoon was also a
good predictor of all the car trouble we would have through
the years.

So back to our decision to have a second honeymoon -
Jon studied in Florence, Italy, with Stanford's program
winter/spring '62-63, then hitched hiked around the country
for another 6 weeks and has  wanted to to return ever since.
I studied in Tours, France,  with Stanford Spring/Summer '63
and stayed in Paris with a family Fall '63. Our group had
traveled to Italy. (Jon and I  hadn't met yet.) We'd thought
about returning to Europe together, but somehow life
had involved travel elsewhere. Recognizing we weren't
getting any younger and that no new grandbabies were
going to be born this Fall, nor other major family events
happening, Jon looked at my show schedule and began
to plan.  He secured a flight via frequent flier miles and
then started researching agriturismos and B&B's where
we could stay for a reasonable price. We opted against
camping this time and chose a  smaller vehicle:

We rented a Fiat 500 which we started calling our
“Topolino Grigio” (little gray mouse). It's the car on the right
Although a couple times, we wished we had the one on the left!
We brought along a GPS whom we named Matilda. She didn't
always appreciate the detours we chose, but she kept our stress
levels down. Jon enjoyed the car and did all the driving, which
definitely kept my anxiety down.

Our plan - to spend most of the time in Tuscany and
Umbria, revisiting some of Jon’s favorite places in Florence
and exploring the medieval hill towns; then drive down to the
Pulgia region so I could see the trulli, magically looking stone
structures which I was sure must  have been designed by elves
or dwarves.

For quite a while, I have been aware of the influence  my studies
in Europe had on my artwork, but this trip made me realize the
depth of influence.   Mythic creatures and figures and their stories
are omnipresent -  in sculpture, in paintings, in frescoes on walls,
on  ceilings. The sound of  vehicles and footsteps on the ancient
streets  and stairs sing out tales. The  intriguing doors - small,
large, and huge ask you to imagine the tales of all  those who
have walked through  them or  lingered behind.  The dimly lit
alleys, narrow  streets, brick  arches  between buildings,
gateways leading in and out of walled cities, towers overlooking
the countryside, cities perched  on one hillside after another call
out stories.

In my next few posts, I will share some of the images of our
trip, artists I met and more of my thoughts.  This was not a trip
to seek  inspiration or with a specific agenda.  It was mostly just
to “be” together, to wander, to meander, to discover.  But of
course, it is just such times that can often stir up the most insight
and surprises.

But before writing more... I'm off to participate in the American
Craft Show NYC at the Javits Center this weekend.  All info
at:www.americanartmarketingNYC.com   My booth in #166.
If you're in the area, please drop by!!

Adventure on!  Wendy

1 comment:

  1. oh how i love hearing about your travels! can't wait for photos!
    Linda E