Life in San Leone

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imageWe have settled into a nice life at our San Leone villa by the sea. We have a few family dinners planned and also some down time for the beach and sightseeing. But our favorite moments have just been hanging around the villa.

Life here is much different from home. We have no access to TV (at least in English) and not too many toys. But it has been fun to see both girls really just enjoy themselves making up their own games and elaborate shows. Their latest venture is to create potpourri out of leaves they have found in the yard, with an eye to selling these Italian home fragrances back in America. They have created a business plan, named their company “Smell Well” and been very industrious wrapping their creations in magnolia leaves for easier transport. (Sadly, they will have to leave their creations here since it is doubtful US Customs will allow this import.)

And I know they do miss their TV. One morning I found both girls sitting on either side of Frank in rapt attention. He was watching a lecture on his ipad on some advanced mathematics topic. He even went to take a shower, and both stayed and finished the lecture. I guess if you are desperate, you’ll take math TV over no TV!

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Enza Arrives!

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Just as we were running out of things to do at the villa, we added another guest who is like Mary Poppins bringing her own entertainment with her. Enza is Frank’s first cousin – her father and Frank’s mother were brother and sister. Enza’s father is the one who traveled with Frank’s mother to Naples to catch the ship for America and to whom Frank’s mother wrote many letters home. Enza remembers the excitement of receiving a letter from Tia Antoinetta. Frank and Enza have remained close, and she has traveled with us through some of Sicily.

Enza is also a former pre-school teacher and, as it turns out, a mean checkers opponent. She beat both CeCe and Sam, who were quite impressed with her. She also taught them their numbers in Italian and sang to them. She does not speak English, and we only speak “un poco” Italiano, but we all managed to understand each other – sometimes with the help of Google Translate.

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The highlight of her visit was Enza’s cooking class. Enza named heself the “Grand Chef,” CeCe as the “Piccolo Chef” and Samantha as the “Piccollino Chef.” They closed the kitchen doors and went to work, boiling pasta, chopping tomatoes and garlic, and creating homemade sauce. We set up on a table on the terrace overlooking the water and had a wonderful lunch.

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We ended Enza’s stay with a memorable dinner overlooking the Greek Temples – what an amazing view. We will really miss this place – and we will all miss Enza.

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