Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 4 Cousin Catch Up

Never a dull moment for me and Annie. By 9 am Annie got stung twice by a scorpion, I nearly stepped on a 5 ft rat snake and I found a dead chicken in the coop.
But the day got better when we went out to pull up our crab pots. We got a nice catch. Mike steamed them Maryland style. Our dinner was steamed crabs, clams and fish all caught by us.
 Tomorrow I leave I'm going to miss Cedar Key and my cousins.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day Three Cousin Catch Up

Morning was sent hanging out and chatting. After lunch we hopped in the truck to go into town to shop.
I got all my gifts to take home then we rode around the islands just checking out the sights.

Of course I had to take photos of doors because that's just what I do. 
We visited a cemetery. So cool and old with the moss it was pretty spooky.
 After that we swung by to pick up Mike, a pizza and headed over to Mike's Uncles house. A great day. Tomorrow we clam.

Day 2 Cousin Catch Up

I forgot the blog yesterday. So here's my yesterday blog.  Well another day of cousin catch up. 

In the morning, I got up at the crack of dawn went out to the chickens and found a chick running around. Mike went in and retrieved it and found another one. Each day we have to be on the look out for the little ones so that the rooster doesn't kill them. The Mike put them in a little growing pen.

Aside from as usual talking til the Sun comes up mode. We also went out to catch our dinner. Yes you read right...caught dinner. We went out on the clam boat to various locations to set some crab traps that we will pull on Friday.  Mike caught mullet which we had for dinner. Now in some areas mullet is bait fish but evidently in this part of the Gulf because it's a conditions it is suitable for eating. Mike grilled fish and they were awesome.

Later in the day, Gina stopped  by. It was nice to see her aside from Facebook where I usual find her.    
...and of course we talked all night long, so that's why I forgot the blog so hopefully at the end of the day today I will do another one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day One Cousin Catch Up

Well I made it. Finally at my cousin Annie's. Mike her husband pulled out some fresh clams which were in no time cooked up into spaghetti with clams. Yum. It was fun going out to the garden to pick fresh herbs.

Sorry I didn't get a photo of the finished product but I was famished and couldn't wait to gobble them up. We spent the evening catching up on memories even singing " say, say playmate together" the song I taught her when we were little. Its late good night. ..more Adventures of Annie and Joanna tomorrow.

Monday, May 26, 2014

On the Road again.....One More Day...

...and I go to visit my cousin Annie, known to her friends as Anna but she'll always be Annie to me.
Here's a photo of Annie and I when we were kids and one with us last year. We haven't changed much, we are just xxxx years older, she's now taller even though she's younger, we both wear glasses... We were thick as thieves. In my heart, she was the sister I always wanted to have. You would never know we are cousins by looking at us. Yes I am 1/2 Italian but I got Mom's color genes so I always stuck out in the crowd at my Yori family get togethers. I used to pray to God to make me look more like my Italian cousins but I never got the tan. LOL

 Last year I went to visit her in Cedar Key, Florida with my Dad. It was his last plane ride anywhere. I just happened to have 2 free airline tickets courtesy of Delta SkyMiles (thank you Delta). I'm so glad I took him here. He had a blast.  Annie, cousin extraordinaire wears many hats, singer, song writer, children's book writer and Clammer. Yep you read right. She's a clammer. The only woman waterman there is down in Cedar Key. Some call her Clamourous!

Well Dad was in 7th Heaven because he could eat all the clams he wanted and believe me he could put away some clams and Annie and Mike (her husband) kept them coming.

Mike showed Dad around their operations, explaining to him how they seed the beds with clams and later drag up the bags to harvest them.

Dad was fascinated.  He really wanted to get on that vessel and have a hand it in but it was blowing pretty hard that day so Dad couldn't go. But Annie, God bless her sent text messages with little videos of them on the boat and the harvest so Dad could feel like he was right there.

A few month's later my Dad passed away, June 20, 2013 just a few days after Father's Day.  And now I am making this journey by myself on Tuesday but I know in my heart Dad will be with me again on this trip. And this time, I'm planning to go on that clam boat blowing or not and I'm taking Dad along with me in spirit as an extra hand.

Here's a link to Annie's Facebook Music Page:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Back to the Eternal City

Ciao Fiuggi. A piece of my heart remains. But life moves on and I need to make my way back to my family and fur baby.

But before I go back I had one more day in Rome. After checking in to Nerva Accomodation, we hurried over to the Vatican for our guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. The guide we had this time was much better than the one we had in 2008.  I really enjoyed her. Jay had never been to either place so it was good that I managed to get the tour in spite of the millions of people here.

We got to see lot more than the last time but I still have not seen the whole thing. I would have to spend days.

Afterwards we tried to get in St Peters but the line was  long so we hoped a taxi back to Nervo.  Then Jackie and I went for gelati and shopping. On our journey we stopped by St Mary Major and I stopped to pray at the reliquary of the wood of the Holy Crib of Christ for my prayer list intentions. Then we stopped in the church store for a few things.

Now its back to our rooms until we leave tomorrow.

What a week. It has been an incredible journey for my soul and for my roots...I won't say goodbye because I will return one day. Rome and Fiuggi will always be a part of me and I of them .  Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

welcome home Fiuggina

Woke up early and went to breakfast...Which I might add  was wonderful. Then we went to Terme to  catch the bus to Fiuggi Citta (old Fiuggi) . When we arrived there was a large sign in the Plaza that said Benvenuti a Fuiggi. (Welcome to Fiuggi) . We walked up the spiral staircase and we were transported in time to the Middle Ages.

It was amazing. It was like nothing had changed for hundreds of years!   Many of the streets were so tiny and were essentially just steps. You could never ride a horse and cart much less a car down them. They were very steep too...quite a tight and butt workout.

We found grandmoms street almost right away. But we couldn't find house number 12. It was as if all the even numbers were gone. Grandpop's street was more difficult. We had to ask directions from a man who ran a restaurant who also didn't speak English. We managed to convey we were looking for my grandparents streets. He asked who and I told him. He didn't know Grandmom' s family but knew Grandpop's and pointed out where it was on a map he gave us. He also showed us where some Ioris lived. We found it. Then off to the church they were married in~S. Pietro. It was opened so we went in took photos and I prayed for the people on my prayer list.  The man at the restaurant was so nice we went back there for lunch. It was awesome.

We spent about 5 hours in old town then hopped the bus back to Fiuggi Fonte. When we got back that sleepy quiet town was hopping. There were lots of people. They closed the street and all the shops were open now and there were street performers. I went in a souvenir shop and there was a lady who spoke no English but I managed with my little bit of Italian to get across that my grandparents were from Fiuggi.  She knew the Pannoni's but not the Iori's. We talked a while about them, then she said I was a Fiuggina at heart like her and she hugged me..I was honored. Then as quickly as all the people appeared they were gone and the street was quiet again.  Today I walked 6 miles...tomorrow back to Rome.