The arrival of winter weather in Sicily has been putting a serious damper on my local travel adventures, my main inspiration for this blog. We are going out less as a family and I am having to get creative not only about blogging, but also about fighting bouts of toddler cabin fever. That means more visits to relatives, new searches for indoor activities, and more time together at home. On most days, not so bad, really.
I am not one to be kept in by cold temperatures after having lived in climates that are much colder than this one. But what's been keeping us in are some serious storms, one of which is taking place as I write. I'm talking about strong winds (strong enough to knock out the electricity in Catania's entire historic center yesterday), sporadic downpours, rough waters (we woke up to the sound of crashing waves in the middle of the night echoing all the way up from the cliffs across the street and to our house!), and no end in sight. The wind keeps on blowing.
But thanks to holiday shopping I did manage to get out of the house with hubby yesterday. Driving into town we glimpsed the rough wavy sea and got sprayed by water numerous times.We saw many people stopping to take pictures, so we decided to do the same (see the result up above).
We stopped in at some of our regular stores for gifts. Papelu' which unfortunately has no web site but carries fun and affordable items for the home with a great kids corner in the back, and Angelo Spampinato's antique shop for those more special purchases--local treasures of dubious origins. This shopping is in preparation for a trip back home to visit family in Los Angeles--giving gifts to friends and family here in Catania before we leave, and gathering up all the goodies to surprise people back home with also before we leave.
I am pretty pleased with the range of our local finds that will shortly be packed in our LA-bound suitcases. Here's a sampling: Siculamente t-shirts;cannoli-shaped candles; Catania soccer jerseys; Caltagirone ceramic plates; Sicilian torrone from I dolci di Nonna Vincenza.
Although I am so looking forward to going home, I know what I will miss most about being here is the water, waking up with my son to watch the sun rise and cast its colors on both water and sky, experiencing the sea's daily changes in mood, color, texture, sound and even smell that comes with the privilege of living near the water. But I am also over the moon about hugging my friends and family, eating my first burrito, renewing my driver's license, seeing my son play with his American family members, driving without TomTom, jogging by craftsman style houses in Pasadena...and so much more.
So, in case I don't manage to get to a computer during my trip, I would like to send out my holiday cheer now when I have the chance:
Happy Happy Holidays and let's hope for an amazing 2009!