I think that I am unlike most bloggers, in that I’m not all that sure what I should write about! I imagine that most bloggers have something they really want to circulate through the blogosphere, whereas I had to be coaxed into it. So you might call me Dottore Gianni the reluctant blogger. Or you might not call me at all...(drum roll)
It DOES happen that I was moved to begin writing my introductory note while I was actually traveling – on a visit to two of my brothers and their families in sunny Florida! Probably not the most interesting travel tidbit for followers, but great fun for me, so I think I’ll describe it briefly in…bloggo secondo!
I must confess that my attitude toward Florida is somewhat bittersweet. Sweet in balmy January and February, bitter in hot and humid June, July and August. Sweet in its beaches, bitter in its politics. Sweet in some of its cities (Sarasota is lovely) and bitter in others (Orlando is an overgrown theme park). But it is always a pleasure to see my family, even in June. I had to cancel a trip to see them earlier this year, in January, and as I leave soon for a year in London, and as I found a very good deal from the Ithaca airport (and that, followers and friends, is UNHEARD OF) I jumped at the chance.
And was rewarded by beautiful weather, comparatively dry for summer in that state and breezy enough to feel balmy, even in the midday sun. My brother Tom, about seven years younger than I, lives with his wife and daughter in Melbourne FL just off Wickham, a road that seems to go on forever. They have recently added a pool to their property, and have added it tastefully, increasing the charm of their place immensely. My brother Rob, at least fourteen years younger than I, the youngest in our large-ish Catholic family, has been, like his oldest brother, a renter all of his life, until very recently when he and his fiancée bought a lovely home on Merritt Island, which runs along the Intercoastal Waterway. They live on a canal off that waterway, and have seen Manatees and such from their backyard pool. They have room for Rob’s daughter (and my godchild, a rising senior at University of Central FL, who visits frequently) and his fiancee’s son.
The fact that both brothers have pools and that I had not been in a pool for over a decade had, by the way, nothing to do with my taking the trip. I want to assure all of you on that!
We did just about what you’d expect during my brief visit: breakfast on Satellite Beach, at a place cleverly titled “Sun on the Beach” (read it quickly and slur it a tad) followed by a beach walk – lunch at a place in Port Canaveral, dinner at a marina, all in the same day, the food accompanied by such beverages as margaritas and Key West rum runners…on another day (not sure which day – Sunday I think, but every day was Sunday on this trip) a cook-out, plenty of pool time, a game of darts, several family chats, etc, etc. A highlight was an evening at Grill’s Riverside, a great seafood place on the Indian River, at which my brother Tom’s band played – great evening! A little less usual was the inclusion of two Harry Potter films (4 & 5) and thanks to DVR an encore of the Sondheim 80th birthday concert, as I had managed not to have seen any of the above.
A grand time was had by all – but it was not my usual vacation. I very seldom travel to relax. A typical Dottore Gianni trip is well researched and packed with activity. One of the reasons I travel alone (and there are several) is that I generally exhaust any fellow travelers! More of that sort of travel entry beginning very soon, probably with my “highland fling” in mid-August, in advance of my last trip with students to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So stay tuned for that, for reports from Paris, Spain, Oslo, the coast of Croatia and other such places, throughout my year abroad!