It is practically impossible to express the 1,398,973 volumes of gratitude I have this morning.
I am in Italy.
‘Nuff said, right?
But no, there’s more. I am on a yoga retreat celebrating my most exceptional teacher’s 20th studio year (Roni Brissette Yoga) with a stupendous and interesting group of people, put together by Morso Soggiorno, owned by the warm, exuberantly passionate travel planner/social worker/chef, Linda Plazonja who, while being able to do almost anything, can also drive a nine seat van with a stick on the hairpin turns of Tuscany like she was competing in the Indy 500 and winning. If you want to take a trip that’s beautifully curated, she is most definitely your girl (I would be remiss not to mention her funny husband, Jonathan, because he’s a hands-on part of the company as well).
The hotel we are staying at is an old farmhouse in Contigliano that has been renovated down to the pencil. To. The. Pencil. It’s both rustic, sophisticated and more perfectly appointed than the human body. I cannot find fault. Every time I think I wish they had this, there it is, and in the most stylish version that exists.
The patchwork view surrounds us on all sides–rolling hills of farmland, in verdant green and varying hues dotted with lines of the Italian Cypress trees, so synonymous with the area. There are fields of orange poppies, light brown rolled bails of hay, white cows and herds of singing sheep. And we seem to own this valley–there appear to be no other people anywhere near us.
The first day we arrived, I became very sick with what I now believe was food poisoning, but thought might very well be the flu (Toilette sightseeing was not on my agenda for this trip, however there I was). But after sleeping 13 hours straight and having depleted whatever badness was in me, I woke up yesterday and felt just fine. So, that alone is a big pasta sized plate of gratitude right there.
The food so far can be summed up in one word for me: truffles. More later (a few pounds later).
I’ve not traveled without my husband in, well, maybe forever. And while I wish I was sharing all this beauty with him, I am in the best company and enjoying every millisecond (and morsel of pasta).