I've been to Italy before this trip. About 15 years ago, my brother Duncan, John (my boyfriend at the time), and myself went backpacking across Europe. Dad gave us some spending money, but we were in no way living the good life. Venice was the first stop we made. The first thing I remember is the light. The light is different, especially in Venice. You can't find the source of it due to the water, surface, and reflection. Light is everywhere. And of course I remember San Marco. And being hungry. I'm almost always hungry.
My brother is a cautious and frugal traveler. I say that about him when I really mean it about myself. We both are. We had very limited money. So, while in Italy we bought two things. Not a fake David, no poster of Venus on the half-shell. We indulged ourselves with a pound of cherries and a bag of sugar cookies. Those two things took us all the way to France. My stomach hated me later, but while eating the cherries, life was good.
And now I'm back, and the cherries are in. Like tomatoes, pasta, garlic, olive oil, and food in general, Italians do cherries very well. No, they don't have the splendor of the Cherry Festival in DC. In fact, I rarely see a tree. But the cherries are in full. Big, beautiful baskets and buckets of cherries. It almost, but not quite, compares to the kind of blueberry bliss that I have just outside of DeFuniak Springs, Florida on my cousin Johnny Hugh's land. Certainly now there are blueberries weighing down those silvery bushes? But I'm here. And for now, the cherries must appease. Just for old time's sake, I splurged on a bag of sugar cookies too.