I feel very blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to get to know such an amazing person this past week. I am almost at a loss for words to describe how wonderful this past week has been. I mentioned in my previous blog that my sister and her father (Joe) were here in Sicily to visit. I have also spoken of how being military allows you the opportunity to create your own family. Adam did ask Joe to be his honorary Grandpa. Grandpa Joe graciously accepted his invitation and an amazing relationship has blossomed. I asked Adam what he would now call him and he stated "Grandpa Joe will be fine but when he turns 66 I will call him Gramps". Although Adam prayed that the last day of his visit would go slowly, it did come to an end and they had to leave. I trust that this was only the beginning to a life long friendship.
During their visit we visited many places which included: Taeromina, Siracusa, Agrigento, Patti and Sigonella. While in Taeromina, we rode the sky lift down the mountain and discovered a wonderful beach. As usual, I met the owner of a great little Ristorante. He invited Adam and I back to enjoy an afternoon on the beach and he would make sure that we received VIP treatment complete with lounge chairs and an umbrella.
We took an ITT trip to the town of Patti on Thursday. Patti is home to the Caleca Factory. Caleca is famous for ceramic dishes. (they are sold at Williams Sonoma). Again we were treated as VIP's and given an exclusive tour into the creation of their beautiful dishes. This was not my first visit to Caleca. Last time we lived in Sicily, we visited Caleca and purchased 8 place settings. I did not want to settle for one specific pattern so each place setting is different, however, they all coordinate. One of the downsides to being a military family is having so many items broken during a PCS move. I was able to replace the items that have been broken in the past few years. One of the photos shows me standing in a sea of dishes. I always purchase from the dishes that have flaws. After the tour, I appreciate these flaws so much more. Each dish is completely hand made, from beginning to end. There is one artist assigned to each pattern and she is responsible to the dish from beginning to end. I love finding finger prints in the paint!!!
It was very difficult to hug my sister and say goodbye because there is no telling when I will see her again. Outside of my husband and children, my sisters (Sarah and Jana) are the only close family I have. As you know, I take tremendous pride in being a military family, however, saying goodbye so often is tremendously difficult. I hope that you all know that my door is always open and I can't wait until my next house guest arrives.
Tomorrow I will be spending Mother's Day with my son. We are taking a day trip to Cefalu' which is on the other side of the island, close to Palermo. Besides the spectacular beauty of the area, we will be going to the Cartiofi (artichoke) festival and enjoying a typical Sicilian, six-course meal at one of the area Agritourismos. Whether you are celebrating your mother's memory, her presence or the joys of motherhood, I hope that you all have a wonderful Mother's Day.