Yes, The Wiley Traveler has Landed

PANICALE, Umbria, Italy— Finally! A Vreeland is in residence there in Italy. In our Home Sweet Home away from Home. Wiley Vreeland aka: The Wiley Travel flew into Rome Thursday after a couple fun filled weeks in London. And drove straight to Panicale. All business now! She found our house “almost” ready for company. Said it went something like this: Buckets, mops, cleaning products everywhere. Beds stripped. Rugs airing over balconies. Oh there you are, Anna. I thought you knew I was coming? Well, I only ask because . . . you know how we said we had company coming? When? RRRRRRRRRing. That would be the doorbell.

So, that worked out.

And a friend from California, who has a place down the block, just got off the train from Venice. She and Wiley have catching up to do immediately. So, The Wiley Traveler will be A Busy Traveler, immediately. She has her car organized, cell phone powered up and working. Now she is scurrying around getting email and computer hooked up, and up and down the streets of Panicale she is reconnecting with all our many Italian friends in town, too.

She has many, many new places to see on her list and is looking forward to all of the adventures that entails. She and Paulette are hoping to see a new property in San Casciano dei Bagni right away. Paulette says the town is totally A List, with her. We just reviewed the book A Thousand Days in Tuscany set in that very town. Feel like I have been there already. More news on that as it becomes available.

STILL COUNTING THE DAYS: 33

Our trip to Italy is shaping up well too. Midge and I would be there now, but we need to wait for our other daughter to get back from the jungles of Costa Rica. When she does get back, sea turtles and rain forest canopy both sufficiently protected, we are off like a shot. We are happy just knowing our friends, our Wiley and our home await us there in Italy.

We will let you know how it goes routing a trip to Italy through Holland. Several people we know have made connections to Italy via KLM lately, but we had not done that yet, so this is all new for us.

Wait a minute! Wiley! How DOES our garden grow?

Uh, oh. Company Coming.

This is another WileyReport. This was a lost file from last month’s September Grape Harvest festival.

Today- I did two loads of dishes, one of laundry, spruced up the whole house, took out the trash- please tell me I put it in the right dumpster! Swept the garden, scraped all the dropped figs of the ground- there were bucket loads. And buckets more appeared as soon as I had finished. Went to Castiglione del lago for gas and phone money. Worked on a web page.
Went to the piazza and struggled through a conversation with Simone at the bar to ask if there was music in town tonight- there wasn’t -but no matter, but I understood what he said and tonight I go to Bertonni to see Celia.
But man was I tired- never underestimate how long chores can take- if you’re not really sure what you’re doing!

I was just heading over to Celia’s to watch a folk music concert- which actually turned out to be a comedy play and town Cena! When I found a note on my door saying PAULETTE WAS IN TOWN!!!! YEAH!!!!!! The gray clouds don’t matter- life is good I got another party buddy, and an arty, fun up for anything one at that! So I make my way down to her door- and ambush poor, fresh-from-San Francisco-via-a-week-in-Paris, Paulette into coming with to Celia’s- and of course she was up for it. We went to a great Cena (town dinner of Pici and Duck) near Celia’s and then headed home before it got to late, only to go back to Paulette’s and stay up drinking wine and talking until 3.00! Excuse me- how did that happen?! (photo is the kitchen ladies in their official shower caps resting post cena . . .near Bertoni. By Paulette and her trusty Sidekick cell phone)

Then Friday was the day of reckoning- More tidying, more website, at 6.00 Paulette came over for some snacks and wine- and to send me on my way to Rome- alone- to pick up Daniel. OH MAN! Well the drive there was fine; I made it all the way, with surprisingly good radio, and little traffic. Daniel got it at 12.45 from London we were on our way back by 1.00- late but fine.

. . . And then our trip took a little detour! Well, y’know it is such an easy ride back from Rome, and it really is, especially in the daytime- but at night there are a lot of things you took for granted in the day.

Like it’s only my 5th day driving in Italy. I’m driving a new car (see photos) that has loads of new dash instruments, a little distracting green light in the rear view mirror, a massive overhead skylight. Italian direction signs that look different at night. Loads of twists and turns, and an exit that goes straight! While the main road takes a jagged badly signed veer. Then when you take that exit, and realize it seconds too late, because its easy to see in the day, but invisible at night, you think you’ll be able to just hop right back on…oh no! You drive 20 minutes until you see a hotel, run in and teach your boyfriend how to say- bona sera, parla inglese? Oh thank goodness the answer is yes! He tells us how to get back onto the main rd. where I see a sign for the airport and think ’ forget it I’m starting over’! So back at Fiumicino we begin again. I tell Daniel to take a nap- and head out- and I feel relaxed, until I see my knuckles are white and my jaws clenched- ok relax girl, there is no traffic and its easy- stay focused- don’t look at the clocks that say 3.30- eeek! But we make our way back and are home by 5.00 am. When Daniel suggests I open my birthday presents! Yeah! I feel my second wind! So we do that, and they are all great! Really lovely and I even got a jacket which I needed as it’s a touch cold and rainy lately, but never mind that, because after all the excitement of the night before- we are ready for the Festa!!!

WHEN IN ROME . . . .

ROME, Italy— Were they in the right place at the right time or what? New pope’s first public mass and Sean and Dayna were right there. Sean says his first clue was all the guys in red dresses on the balconies of St Pete’s. The next thing they knew, here came the new popemobile and bob’s your uncle there was Benedictine numero 16 — an arm’s length away. Actually we call him Benedict 16 and Italians say Benedetto 16. Regardless of how you say it Sean, ever the consumate professional, was right there with a camera in hand, taking full advantage of the lucky turn of events. That was Sean and Dayna and Harry watching the sun go down in our garden, it was at the top of a blog page a couple days ago (and now on our home page ) at our annual foreign correspondent’s picnic. And now here’s a note from See You In Italy’s Chief Vatican Correspondent and continental man about town: Sean Riley.

Stew, attached are my pictures of the Pope. It was way cool. We took over 200 pictures on our wonderful trip. You will be happy (or Sad) to know that Dayna started pouting after leaving your little town. Yikes! I had told Sean that, like him, we discovered Panicale on a 25th anniversary trip and my wife had pouted until we bought a house there. ’spensive trip. But, Yes Dear, worth every penny.

You would be so proud of me. Being the non-creative guy in the family and company. I took tons of pictures of little alley ways with hanging flowers and little old lady’s walking through. I thought about doing posters and calling them “Alleys of Italy”

Sean & DaynaWe had such a wonderful time. I still think the dining highlight of the trip was with Andrea (Masolino’s Restaurant, Panicale), especially the second time we went. The food was so delicious. But I asked if I could say hi to Mama Bruna. The whole family came out and we took pictures. I know this might sound silly, but that was one of the experiences I was looking for. It was a definite highlight!

Thanks so much for your hospitality. It made it so much more meaningful.

We also loved our stay at. the Villa Lemura We loved the place and the people!

Thanks again Stew!

Checking out. Italy and NYC

Since last we spoke I have checked out several new properties and now I am checking out of Casa Vreeland too. Taking flight out of Rome this time but only because I will have a co-pilot and navigator. I am covered with new properties to describe in great detail and have an ocean of photos to sort as well. They really cover the waterfront from small 100 square meters (1,000 square feet plus or minus) attached homes with gardens to regal town houses fit for a duchess. Well, a duchess that does not mind having a few projects going on. Some assembly required as they say. But a great selection to work with. Stay tuned to this channel for more details. Going to have to really hold my feet to the fire to get them all up on the web site here right away. Starting the process Valentines Day.

In local weather, it is fine in Italy and we even saw a bit of melting of the snowcap here at the end of the trip. Maine on the other hand has been swallowed whole by one enormous snowbank my wife Midge tells me. How much snow I asked? “Oh I don’t know”she replied. “Three or four feet?” FEET? Yikes. Can not wait to see that. She closed our office early one day and completely closed it for the whole next day. All the schools were closed and even the ski mountain! It was more about the roads to the mountain than the mountain I am sure.

OK, New York City in a week or so to visit family and check out Christo’s Gates. Then off to California for a couple big Spannocchia fund raisers in LA and San Francisco. And back to Italy at the end of April to see more properties and to see how our garden has weathered the winter.

Until next time, we will wave goodbye and say

See you in Italy,

Stew