Sandwich tea…

I have lived on Cape Cod for what probably adds up to a total of, well, hmmm, yes, a long time…I drove down from Cambridge to visit my family almost every weekend while I was in college many many many years ago, I cat-sat for Micia, our much-loved Italian black cat (I am tempted to tell the story of how Micia came into our lives, but that would be too much of a digression…sooo, next time!), plus I lived and worked here on and off…well, as I said, the bits of time that I have lived here do add up in the end and turn into…years!

But I had never, until yesterday, been to Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod. In fact, Sandwich turns out to be one of the oldest towns in the entire U.S. Shame on me for not knowing that.

Yesterday’s  weather wasn’t great…rather dismal and cloudy, in fact (luckily for us, though, the predicted thunderstorms never materialized), but, in spite of that, we very much enjoyed our stroll around Sandwich. And when I say “around,” I really mean it. At the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, you see, I was given a tourist map that highlighted the main attractions and shops. In the late afternoon, when it was time for us to leave, I remembered that we had parked my parents’ car in front of a bakery. I found the bakery on my little map and suggested to Stefano that we take an alternate route back to the car. He asked, “are you sure that that is the right way to go?” “Of course it is! Don’t you remember that we parked in front of this bakery? Hah.” “Okay, fine.” Off we went. Well, it turns out that there is more than one bakery in Sandwich. Need I say more? Yes indeed, we had quite a WALK. Who needs aerobics to stay fit? Just go to Sandwich MA and park in front of a bakery…

At any rate, we had lunch in an extremely cute little tea house and then went on to the SandwichIMG_1708 Glass Museum. So much history…I had no idea. After admiring the nearly 5,000 pieces of glass produced at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company between 1825 and 1888, we watched an informative three-minute presentation on the history of early American lighting…from candles to light bulbs. Those interested can click here:

So, if you happen to be visiting the Cape on a rainy day, especially if you have a bunch of rambunctious kids, I can now recommend two places: the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster and the Sandwich Glass Museum. Enjoy!

Whales, whales…and more whales!

I have been on several whale watching trips off the coast of Provincetown, in the national marineIMG_1622 sanctuary known as Stellwagen Bank, but yesterday’s trip beat them all. In the past, a typical sighting would have been the end tip of a whale tail way out in the distance. Sure, that was exciting, but…nothing compared to what we saw yesterday.

Yesterday, we had whales swimming near and under our boat (by the way, I have always chosen the Dolphin FleetIMG_1461, mainly because of their commitment to responsible whale watching, information concerning the welfare of whales, collection of scientific data, having a naturalist on board, etc.).

Stefano and I chose different sides of the boat so we would have most of the water surface covered. As luck would have it, he was on the BEST side…at one point, two and sometimes three whales surfaced right next to his side of the boat to feed, so he got some super duper photos with his super duper digital camera. I got some decent shots with my not-so-super-but-certainly-adequate camera, tooIMG_1632…so, since his photos (400 or so) would be more difficult for me to post right now, you will have to be content with mine (“only” 230).

In total, we saw 14 humpback whales, 2 minke whales and 1 right whale. Not bad, eh!

After our exciting whale watching trip, we spent a couple of hours walking around the charming, lively and picturesque town of Provincetown. Since Stefano and I are magnet collectors, we bought an Obama magnet…and also T-shirts depicting a black cat, yes, a black cat, not a black dog (those of you who have been to Martha’s Vineyard will know to what I am referring!). Anyway, another lovely lovely day. In fact, I hope we have the time to go on another whale watch before returning to Italy…(IMG_1644by the way, the last photo is of a T-shirt that I did not buy…but I liked the message, hehe…).

Moving on to another topic…my first order of supplements has been delivered, and I am now waiting for the second. I intend to test most of the substances that I have posted about in recent months—boswellia, ashwagandha, reishi, inositol, IP6, etc.—I am probably forgetting some, but these are the main ones. I have chosen only reliable sources, organic whenever possible…and none of my capsules contain silicone dioxide.

The upcoming year should be an interesting one…!

A perfect day

Yesterday we drove to Boston and spent a few hours at the Museum of Fine Arts. I hadn’t been there in years and had, er, forgotten how wonderful it is. We particularly enjoyed the Egyptian exhibits…and the room filled with Etruscan finds (as a child, I thought that I would be THE one to solve the mystery of the Etruscan language, so I have a soft spot for Etruria…), including two eIMG_1275xtraordinary volcanic stone sarcophagus lids, both portraying the loving embrace of a husband and wife.

But then we wandered into the Impressionist area…and I saw one of my favorite paintings in the world: Renoir’s “Dance at Bougival.” I’d forgotten that it was there. Super! To my amazement, photos (no flash, of course) are allowed in the museum…so I don’t think that I have broken any laws by publishing this photo. Of course, the REAL painting is…much better!

From the MFA, we drove to Cambridge, where we spent a couple of happily nostalgic (for me) hours wandering around Harvard Yard, taking photos, having hot fudge sundaes at Herrell’s…yes, a perfect day…and today we are off to Provincetown, hoping to see some whales!

Beach patriot

I grew up in Italy, where patriotism is not overtly expressed. The only time you will see lots of Italian flags waving about is when Italy wins the WorldIMG_1004 Soccer Cup. And perhaps on a few other occasions.

The opposite is true here in the U.S. There are flags everywhere. I don’t mean that in a negative sense, eh, please don’t get me wrong. It’s just different, that’s all.

But…a flag stuck on top of a…beach umbrella?

A morning walk on the beach

IMG_1034Fabulous long walk on the beach this morning. We happened upon a laughing group of friends playing bocce and having a great time…further down the beach, a few brave folks who must have been related to polar bears were in the chilly water…but what kept my attention was…this (see photo). Hmmm, not something that I would personally choose to do…but today was certainly a glorious windy day, perfect for flitting about over the water…I guess!


This morning, while waiting for Stefano to wake up so we could go for a walk on the beach before the crowds took over, I came upon a bit of online news that explains something that happened to me a few years ago:

Now I know why I screeched a few, er, unladylike words during my second bone marrow biopsy (I have had three in all, and the first two were excruciatingly painful)…in my defense, the person performing the procedure was a medical intern…and I was her guinea pig, though nobody told me that until it was too late to say NO! There was an overseeing doctor, of course, also a woman, who began guiding the intern through the procedure: “do this, do that…no, don’t do it that way.”

As the intern pierced my hip bone with the needle, though, instead of continuing in a calm and reassuring manner, Dr. Nutcase began yelling bloody murder at the trembling intern. Right over my head. Things that a patient should never have to hear: “no, don’t hold the needle like that! Can’t you tell that it’s shaking??? Hold it steady, for crying out loud. And push, darn it, push, no push harder, puuuuuushhhhh!!! Harderrrrr!” (=the equivalent in Italian.)

I remember an initial attempt at humor on my part, something like “oh yeah, please do be steady with that needle, will ya???” As my pain increased, though, I remember moaning: “sorry, guys, but I have to do this…” And then I let out a couple of Italian swear words…similar to “darn it,” nothing too strong, mind you (“ma porca miseriaaaaa!!!”). And I really did feel better. Now I know why…

Easy to forget

_MG_5784This morning I woke up thinking how easy it is to forget that I have cancer cells inside of me…I haven’t given cancer half a thought since I’ve been on holiday (until now, that is!). Even my daily dose of curcumin and fish oil doesn’t remind me…

It’s easy to forget about the evil cells when you are walking along a nature trail in Nickerson State Park and practically stumble upon a couple of red squirrels at play…chasing  each other around and on top of a pile of dead branches, putting on a real show for Stefano and me.  What a fantastic moment that was…

It’s easy to forget…while on a Cape Cod beach at sunset, watching children fly kites or try to save their elaborate turreted sand castles from the advancing high tide. Ah yes, it’s easy.

Sherlock sent me a study that I mentioned in a recent post…but I am in no mood for research right now…and even though I am and will be answering e-mails and posting a few photos on my blog, the serious stuff will just have to wait for another couple of weeks…

Commuting cat

Stefano and I arrived safe and sound last night at my parents’ home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (U.S.A.)…our Florence-Paris-Boston trip was uneventful…hmmm, well, okay, except for a bit of turbulence toward the end…oh, and having to sprint like cheetahs through the Charles de Gaulle airport, pant pant sweat sweat…now why the heck were we not allotted more time to catch our connecting flight to Boston? We ended up having only a half hour or less to change terminals and go through security checks again, hello???…Afterwards I thought that if we’d caught the wrong bus to the wrong terminal (an entirely possible scenario), we would have missed our flight for sure (not that being stuck in Paris for a night would have bothered me that much, eh!)… 

This morning, after five hours’ sleep, we went out for breakfast (if you visit Cape Cod, you have to have breakfast at the “Red Cottage” in South Dennis, yum yum!)…then we stopped by the supermarket to buy some food (y’know, I could spend an entire week wandering around a U.S. supermarket…an entirely fascinating experience!)…and late this afternoon we went for a walk on the beach. It’s so lovely here. I feel fabulous…so relaxed…hmmm, could be the jet lag…zzz…in fact, I think I need a nap right about now 😉 

I’d like to leave you with a link that my cousin sent to me…an adorable UK cat story that made the Italian news, too: Enjoy!