Spring in the air. We will be soon.

wisteria panicale umbria italy springtimeLook out Umbria. Here we come. Packing today. Puts Spring in our step just thinking about it. Our friend Dily has been sending us pictures of our house there in Panicale in flower and that just reels us in.

First a couple lovely days with Daughter Wiley of London and then Rome. Then HOME. Panicale. Other hits on our list are Trieste, Lago di Como and more and more Panicale. We are celebrating a big anniversary and we are celebrating it with our Testimone (best man) Harry. I was his best man shortly after he was ours. And miracle of miracle we are all still married. And to the same people! And all still best friends. They’ve been to Panicale as much as we have and it should be a joy. Watch this space.

See you in Italy!

Stew Vreeland

Having barrels of fun.

PANICALE, Umbria–Yes, there’s a new guy in town. Welcome Paul Turina. He and his wife Betty are our new partners in the house in Panicale. They are on their way to Italy shortly to take romantic vineyard pictures with Paul and Jane of Avis Studio.
That could be one reason why Paul’s smiling. But on the other hand, he usually is. And why not. As he says “I’ve got the best job in the world.” And what would Job Nirvana be for a died-in-the-wool Italophile be? Right, the first time: Importing Italian wine.
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Visiting vineyards, sampling luscious new wines at any and every hour of the day and night? Going out to eat in all corners of Italy with clients who know the best local places? Writing off your tickets to Vinitaly as a business expense? And calling it all work? It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

We just helped him double the size of the Turina Italian Wines site to keep up with his growing stable of select family vineyards. And the first day the new and improved site was “live” Paul was featured again on Fringe Wine This is the third time he and his specialty wines have been featured on this blog!

If you are eating out in Panicale in April and you see some guy at the next table – with an extra big grin on his face, just raise your glass and say “Salute, Paul!”

See you in Italy,

Stew Vreeland

Kiki goes to prison. And gets a haircut.

alcatrazDay 43, Dateline San Francisco – Went to Alcatraz and loved the scenery. Had big plans to get a makeover in fabulous Dubai. Instead I got a haircut in a California strip mall. Flying home tomorrow Virgin America, which Erich tells me is very cool. But does it compare with Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to San Francisco?

How’s the weather there in Maine?

Stew Note: And then a few hours later . . . .
Sigh. But you know, Stew, of all the places I visited these past six weeks or so none is more beautiful than Italy. E vero. Nice to be home this morning, going thru my mail and watching jumbo snowflakes drift away, Love, Kiki

Say goodnight, Mary . . .

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Stew note: After 40 days and forty nights, it is over. Kiki has officially seen the world. She claims it is round.

Kiki and Uncle Dairmuid got off the ship in Hong Kong and were scheduled to be flying to San Francisco and then back to New England. This photo may be from Southampton at the beginning of the trip. Beginning or ending I’m sure they were looking up at the Queen Mary 2 and relishing their sea time. What memories they surely have. Imagine leaving New England going East and returning. From the other side.

Hong Kong. Day 39. End of the line.

DAY 39, DATELINE HONG KONG – New Year is going strong here with lion dances, cymbals and drums. Lots of islands, neon, high-rise architecture, noodle shops and bowing. I love it!
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Clockwise from top left: Our sampan lady, Floating restaurant, Diarmuid at Victoria Peak, A little bit of Italy, I had the peanut butter sandwich, Night, inside out,30pixelwhiteband3