28 March 2012

To Slip the Surly Bonds of Earth

I remember the first time I flew on a commercial airliner. I was 19 and on my way from Atlanta to Knoxville to visit my college roommate. I was absolutely enchanted with the experience of flying, and couldn’t wait to do it again. I loved the rush of takeoff, being slammed back into my seat and that magic moment when this enormous awkward machine became weightless.

Many years later, I had a job that required that I fly about 400,000 km / 250,000 miles a year. Every week I would leave home on Sunday (or the crack o’dawn Monday if I was lucky) and fly to a different city to meet with clients. Often I would repeat this every day till Friday, when I got to fly home. If there was a storm in Chicago or a tornado in Atlanta my carefully constructed week would shatter and I’d have to phone my bff, my travel agent. She bailed me out more times than I can count. 

22 March 2012

Ristorante Zio Gigi: Home cooked food in the heart of Florence

We're traveling again. This time we're in Florence, where we spend our mornings in Italian class and our afternoons exploring this amazing city. 

In Florence there are hundreds of restaurants, pizzerias, osterias, tavernas, bars, cafes. It’s hard to choose; there are so many. We love to wander off the main piazzas, looking for that special little place where everyone likes to go. Where they know your name and they know how mamma made lunch. 

Last November we stumbled on a place like that: Ristorante Zio Gigi. It’s a little place like many others, but something about the menu caught our eye. And when the door opened, we heard singing. Loud, boisterous, welcoming. We had to go in--we had no choice.