I could not be happier with the inquiries that I am getting about my trip/journey to Umbria. I do plan to make this a yearly, if not bi-yearly adventure (specifically to Umbria, we will also go to France and Spain and ...) - but first, Umbria!
I have found that there is never a "good or great" time to do anything, really. For most of us, we have work, many of us have kids, other family commitments, school, groups we belong to, committee meetings, races, and "life". However, if you really think about it, 5-7 days is only a small snapshot of an entire year. I also think that the benefits of the region, the cooking lessons, the wine, the olive oil, the landscapes, and the people of Umbria, are sincerely and seriously, good for one's mind and heart and soul.
My friend said to me last night "I really want to do this, but how can I do this?" I asked the questions that would absolutely preclude her from coming, "Do you have the money to do this?" & "Do you have a life or death appointment or commitment?" & "Can you get the time off of work?". She said she had the money, she has 8 weeks vacation (after 10 years, saved up, extra vacation), and she has things that she would have to reschedule, but nothing really that important that it cannot be moved. Aha! I said, "the only thing stopping you, is you.".
I don't say that sarcastically. I had many years where I let many things stop me. But....the last 24 months of my life have taught me, again, that there is no time like the present. I had a good friend die. My stepmom suffered an aneurysm, another friend got breast cancer, etc. Life is messy and hard. I actually vacillated back and forth about dates, and excuses as to why I should put it off. How will I make a real brochure if I don't go? How will Lorena and I plan out subsequent trios if we are always on FaceTime? How will i establish deeper relationships, and my knowledge of the area, if I don't go soon...or now. So, I worked out the dates with Richard (my fabulosuly supportive husband) - and bought the ticket and started to advertise.
I am passionate about this place in the world because it is truly magical. I cannot quite convey the feeling of looking out onto the vinyards or cooking in a kitchen that sits in a 16th Century House. I cannot quite make you feel the feeling of walking down the middle of the street to taste frehsly made ricotta. I can't tell you that eating lunch -- while sitting in front of a church that has been there for centuries, does not change you. It changed me. My appreciatiation for history grew deeper. My desire to learn more about ingredients, and sourcing, and time honored traditions of certain techniques became uber important to me. TIME - the gift of giving ones time, and spending time, and not rushing time, hit home with me. I still get busy and run out of time, but not in the way I did before my days in Italy -- and San Gemini.
I hope a few more of you will join my on my first Culinary Adventure. I look forward to the ones that have already claimed space to the next one. I hope to cook with you in San Gemini - as you will never be the same after cooking with Lorena. Email me today @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call me @ (617) 997-5822. October 10-18th is the timeframe, but you could shorten it to October 10-15/16 and i can pro-rate the trip. Carpe Diem!