Three days sans cell phone

I am not one to follow technological trends, but I love my iphone. I love even more that I was eligible for an upgrade at the same time that the brand new super fancy iphone is due to come out. So I sold my phone on ebay, bought the fancy new phone, and turned a healthy profit. How tech saavy I am! Well, with some help from my partner/personal IT consultant.

Said transaction worked out in such a way that I was without a cell phone for three and a half days. So many times we say to ourselves, “gosh, what did we ever do before cell phones?” Honestly, I think we did just fine. Throughout the course of the day, I’m usually within fifteen feet of a land line and/or sitting in front of a computer with internet access. I found the change to be, I dare say, refreshing.

This morning, we arrived at a retail store-who-will-remain-unnamed to pick up our “pre-reserved” new phones, and, SIX HOURS LATER, walked out with our new fancy appendages. Oh my, it is so pretty and shiny and fancy.

Worth the wait? Not a chance.
Willing to live without an iphone? Absolutely not.

OK… I know that I’m an all country bumpkin, back to basics, make my own syrup and cleaning supplies type of girl, but seriously-this phone is awesome.

Perhaps if I was living in a place where the pace of life was slower and my personal safety wasn’t at risk on a regular basis then I would be willing to reconsider this position. In the meantime, I’m sold 100% on this little gadget and where’s a techie out there who can write code for the “One Crafty Lady” Ap??

Self-indulgent? Absolutely!

I just love a brand-spankin’-new blog! The picking out of the template, the pondering over a good title, and the anticipation of whether or not your domain name will get to match your title or if you’ll have to pick some ridiculous combination of numbers and characters. It’s all so exciting!

I was previously blogging back and forth between my best friend, who is embarking on an exciting journey to Niger with the Peace Corps in a week. We would talk about day-to-day happenings and our ever present desires to be fit people. Given the magnitude of what she’s about to do, and the personal growth she will no doubt experience, I can hardly ask her to keep me updated with her running schedule and fitness goals….

But what I loved about that process was that I got to be totally open, but at the same time I was able to maintain my smarty-pants writing style that usually only appears when I’m aware that other people are reading. And thus, I’ve released said best friend from her obligation to blog with me and will too embark on my own journey (with the luxury of flush toilets and paved roads).

My general position on blogging is that it’s awesome, most of the time. What irritates me about a lot of blogs is that they are either too personal (i.e. public therapy session) or too mundane to be interesting. It’s the same as, say, a facebook status. You have those people who reveal everything and expect you to comfort them:
” I just want to cry right now because my boyfriend left me when he found out that
I’m pregnant and it’s not his….”

And then there are those people who say things that aren’t interesting and think that you care:
” I already fed Johnny and did three loads of laundry and it’s only 9:00am!”

So I’m left with mixed feelings. I want to be one of those blogs that is genuinely interesting for friends and strangers alike. While it might be self-indulgent and conceited of me to think that anyone cares about the things I care about or the things I will write here…. well–why the hell not?

The only thing left to divulge on my shiny new blog is:
What’s my schtick?

I don’t intend to simply provide you with a public journal, but to give you a tiny piece of one aspect of my life that I’d like to share. Namely, that I am a country girl that has never lived in the country. I have a fierce desire to lead a holistic, sustainable lifestyle, and I believe that it is the key to good health and happiness. Just one crafty lady trying to keep it simple in the middle of the concrete jungle.

A Day in Sicily

Sicily is an absolutely beautiful island off the coast of Italy, and Messina, our first port of call, on the Navigator of the Seas, is only 2.5 miles from the mainland. It originally broke off from the coast of Africa, not the coast of Italy, and the influence of certain aspects of Arab culture and architecture are still apparent. Rising above the island is Mt. Etna, an active volcano that erupted as recently as 2003. Workers have developed techniques over the years to divert the flow of lava away from populated areas, but you can see the toll that Mt. Etna has taken on the landscape. There are sensational cliffs and rugged mountains. The climate is extremely dry, but many fruit trees and beautiful flowers grow on the mountainsides.

Messina itself is not overly impressive, so we took an excursion to Taormina 35 miles away. Greeks originally founded Taormina in 358 B.C., although the layout of the town gives it a distinctly medieval feel. Our guide mentioned that Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, French and Spanish have occupied Taormina at one time or another before uniting with Italy. Additionally, it has withstood earthquakes, fire, volcanic eruptions, and World War II. So, in other words, the whole place is volatile.


Cars are not allowed in Taormina, so the streets are narrow and cobbled. This time of year the area is packed with European
tourists on holiday, and it is scattered with knick-knack shops with unfortunate t-shirts and mugs featuring the Godfather.  In spite of this we managed to find a couple of spots that were less crowded and more pleasant. We ate lunch at Ristorante Gambero Rosso. If you walk by this restaurant, they don’t give you any choice but to come in. You pass by and they say “hello! How are you! How many? Two? Great! This way!” before you can get a word in edgewise. Although we were lured in, it ended up being a great choice. Later on we found Arte Mediterranean Café for the most phenomenal cannoli and gelato on earth.
Honestly, all you have to do in Taormina to have an amazing time is take a long walk.
This evening we’ve been laying low and watching the Olympics which is interesting to watch from Italy…you end up seeing a lot of fencing, weight lifting and water polo…

Travel Bug: Civitavecchia, Italy

 

Travel to Europe is long and at times stressful, but the journey to Civitavecchia was totally worth it.  A somewhat worn-out seaside town, the views from almost anywhere are beautiful here.

Upon arriving in Rome, you board a train out to Civitavecchia, usually for the express purpose of docking a cruise ship a day later, and this trip was no exception.  Having traveled for about 30 hours without sleep, we walked from our charming bed and breakfast up into the town for take out pizza (post-afternoon nap, of course).  The shop was filled with locals, which meant that this was going to be great pizza.  In fact, we hadn’t encountered any American tourists in this town at all.

We stayed the night at Bed and Breakfast Casamica, which has only two rooms.  The other room was occupied by a friendly family from Madrid, who we ended up chatting with for a couple of hours over a bottle of wine and a slab of prosciutto as the sun set.  Our room lead out onto a patio shaded by an overhead lattice of grapevines and a beautiful view of the Mediterrean Sea.  Unlike the other seaside port areas I’ve been to, this town appears to be unaffected by the influx of American tourists that take over every summer.  Maybe I’m just deluding myself, since Civitavecchia is the main port to Rome after all, and, I’m assuming, innundated by tourists during the high season.  But this particular day, I saw few people who looked American (i.e. wearing Nikes and fanny packs), and heard virtually no English.  Although the local venders and business owners don’t appear overly annoyed if you don’t speak more than five words in Italian, they also don’t cater to tourists…. There are no golden arches jutting into the sky over the red roof tops, no run-of-the-mill cheap souvenir shops with stupid t-shirts reading “I got drunk in Civitavecchia”…. you get the idea.   The point is, I’m sure there are far more charming and “Italian” small towns out there, but the view and close proximity to Rome definitely make it worth a visit, perhaps during a few week days that all the cruise ships are at sea.