Before I get into my thoughts for this week and any updates, of which there are not many, I want to say just WOW!!! Why, last night’s Super Bowl which I watched a local sports bar near me. It was a nice crowd of people, and the food and service were very good. Even had a heated discourse about what to put on my buffalo wings, blue cheese or ranch dressing. Not really, just an interesting dialogue. For me, as a purist, I am blue cheese all the way and I have to say, they were some of the best wings I have ever had, bar none, and good size. Of course, I have had the originals from the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY. It did not hurt that they had a Super Bowl special on them, but you had to wait until the bewitching hour, so once 6:30 pm hit, I ordered. Other than that, it was nice to get out and socialize a bit with the locals. I had never been to this place and, well, what can I say, the game was really good in my opinion. No dog in the fight. However, it seemed that the locals were mostly for the Eagles and not sure why, as this is New Hampshire, but in any case, secretly, I wanted to see Andy Reid win his second Super Bowl, and well it happened and Patrick Mahomes was, well, Patrick Mahomes, even if he was not spectacular. Even listened to the halftime show with Rhianna which I never do, but since I don’t have regular tv in my place, I had to go out to see the game, and with it the half time show. While I was not a captive audience, I did listen. The commercials were pretty good, as well, especially the Breaking Bad spinoff. What did you think of the game, the half time show and the commercials? What was your favorite?
I had never heard Rhianna sing, until Rosa asked me who the star was at halftime and at first, I was not sure what she was talking about, and of course, she did not care about the game itself. I told her it was Rhianna. When she heard that, she sent me YouTube videos of 4 singers, one which was Rhianna. The other three were Shakira, Samara Joy and Giorgia, the last two being Italian singers. She said she wanted me to listen to all 4 and, yes, I did, even though these are not of the genres I normally tune into, but I did and all the way through each one. I could not tell you the songs now, but she also asked to rank them and why, so I did. I have learned to try to open my mind to other music and certainly music she enjoys, so we can connect on other levels, as well. In the end, Rhianna gained a tie for second place with Giorgia, Samara Joy, I enjoyed the best and Shakira, brought up the rear. It could have been the specific songs she asked me to listen to, in how I ordered them and honestly, I am not running out to buy their latest records. Call me old fashioned with my classic rock!!!
When I started writing this week’s blog, I really had no idea where I would go with this so the Super Bowl seemed a good start. However, I do know where I am going and this is the week I am leaving for Europe, first for one week, back for a few days and then back for 6 weeks, which you have all heard by now. Really it is the start of spending the better part of the rest of the year on the road, mostly in Europe, but places in the states and a quick jaunt to Canada. Why, Canada, you say? Well, I have been invited to do a ship inspection there in May, and this will give me a chance to spend some time in Toronto, and yes, take another Hard Rock, two or three off the chart, the one in Niagara Falls, Ontario, but there is one on the New York side, as well and one in Northern Indiana that need my attention. In the end, I will be trying to make my drive back to Minnesota a bit more interesting rather than simply hopping on the Mass Pike to the Penn Pike, with a clip in New York State to the Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road etc. Boring, so I will make that trek in May and as I did when I came out to New Hampshire, taking a circuitous route, I will do one back to Minnesota to close shop up. Whether I return to New Hampshire, go elsewhere in the States, or not is dependent on the visa of which I have started the application process.
In the end, the nomadic life will continue for me and the goal is to be across the pond full time where I can also welcome many of my clients who will travel to Italy and beyond with many more adventures to come and always excited to share. I also realized that yesterday, one year ago, Rosa and I were flying from Birmingham, AL via Houston, to San Francisco to visit Kenn, so we missed the Super Bowl in flight and when we arrived at the hotel late, the game had just wrapped up. In the end, it was a very special week where I proposed at the Top of the Mark, one year ago, so you know what is coming up and perhaps that open proposal will turn into a closed proposal this year, stay tuned…..
Stay safe, stay healthy and as always, thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business. It is truly appreciated, and as always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook or wherever you read this!!!
It has been a few days since, and the owner came out, assessed the situation, called the plumber and it is a good thing that I don’t have to go anywhere, now, and while the sink in both the bathroom and kitchen are operational, the shower is not, so I have used the time wisely to catch up on paperwork, travel arranging, both client and personal. The plumber came out and give his opinion and apparently in the next day or two, he will come out and get the problem solved. In the meantime, and when I told Rosa this story, she said, it was a sign that I was supposed to be in Italy!!! I do not disagree and will have time to get ready for 9 days from now when, yes, I am returning to Italy to see her to celebrate the 3rd year of our relationship, which is truly crazy to think about, given the craziness of the world. It was meant to be. Of course, I think she also meant for this to be more permanent and we are working on that.
I just returned from a short week in Iceland, my 21st time there with a mix of business and pleasure. And, weather did play a part last week, as all flights were cancelled due to weather in and out. I guess I am legal now, and we will see when next, I will return, but the experiences I had, exploring South Iceland, and East Iceland, a place I had not been in probably 20 years were wonderful and both experiences offered some new things I had not experienced before. I also did my routine of exploring Reykjavik itself, but I had a different feel. Don’t get me wrong, I love Iceland, and absolutely enjoyed connecting and reconnecting with people and even doing a little bit of people watching, but the vibe was different, not the country, but for me. I know I will return, but I don’t feel the urgency to do so, as my priorities have changed. As Bob Dylan sang, The Times They Are A-Changin' and my focus is different.
It is funny that when people have asked me what my favorite place was, it was always, without hesitation, Iceland and even as many times as I have been there, I still have new places to explore, people to meet and experiences to have, but that was BR, before Rosa and since meeting her, almost 3 years ago now, with our 3rd “anniversary coming up in February, my favorite place is with her, wherever that may be. The excitement of being in Iceland was very much tempered, and very noticeable to my colleagues and I hope that someday, she will come to Iceland with me, so I can see the country through her eyes and get a new and different perspective. One, as I had when she came to America last February, seeing many places I had seen before and some new, but definitely through her eyes. I learned much and also about myself. Most importantly, it solidified my feelings, but I think everyone knew that.
Another event happened this week, and again, I am comfortable with this and as I mentioned about a month ago, the last days at the Christmas Tree Shops were going to happen and, well, Saturday was my last day, mutually agreed upon, but as an old school guy, I had given plenty of written notice, so another chapter, this a mini chapter of about 1 ½ years is done. Not being around much and this pattern continuing as you will see in the next few months, it only made sense. I had thought about staying on for two weeks beyond my return from Iceland, but now, I have my total focus on my business and my future. No regrets and frankly, quite relieved. I was there for a time and for a reason and it was time to move on, it was only a matter of time and that time was now.
It is amazing to me how things sometimes come about and I have been lucky that many of the pieces of my future are falling into place. Yes, there will always be bumps in the road and my ultimate goal is to permanently be across the pond. I expect it will be this year, but if not, I will continue my nomadic life, which has become the norm and continue this way. I want to focus on my life and my business. I want to maximize my experiences and of course, be with Rosa as much as possible, so since I did not want to wait three months more, I am heading to see her in February, and March and April and beyond I am sure. I am also excited to say that she will be joining me on the Danube River cruise in March, so I am very excited about that. I am very much at peace with everything that has happened already this year and we are only three weeks into the year. What happens going forward, we shall see, but I have a plan.
I was not sure what to write about this week, as it was not really a week full of anything special, but really every week is special. Business is moving briskly and a week from now, I leave for the Land of Fire and Ice, so definitely looking forward to that. Even more importantly, and perhaps, a snap decision, but really not a decision at all, was going to Europe. What, you say, we know you are going to be there again, and again and again. Well, yes, that is true and that was to be in March and April, next, and that is still happening, but I can’t wait three months to see her, and so, knowing that I applied for a conference in Copenhagen in February, and had not even set up the plans for it yet, including air, hotel etc., because I was so busy working on my valued client’s travels, I knew it was an opportunity to return to Rome, if only for a few days and then go on to Copenhagen for the conference, and so, I jumped on it. Any chance I get, and I will go for it.
February, also, is the month we met, just before Covid and the closing of the continent and the world. She and I met, when she was my guide at the Borghese, almost three years ago and if you remember this last February, she came to America, and we spent three weeks together, and celebrated that special day. Since she was not able to come here next month, it was a no brainer and the other day, I told her, don’t be surprised if I show up on your doorstep. She then said, so you booked a ticket and at that point, I actually had not, but that night, I did, and I will be on my way, and this breaks up, what would have been more than three months and that is way too long. Besides, not being with her di persona on the 3rd anniversary of our meeting in that crazy year of Covid, was not going to happen. This little weeklong trip will be a repeat of the time we had together, that first time in Rome, and yes, then I went on to Copenhagen, but really, I just want to be with Rosa.
Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin