A Spring in my Step….

Hello lovely friends!  Despite a few clouds overhead today, temperatures are decidedly Spring-like so I am feeling quite happy and frisky at the thought of the coming season.  I had an opportunity to go to Florence on Friday to meet my friend Michelle and there too, signs of Spring were everywhere, the most prevalent being Easter preparations.  Chocolate Eggs perched around every corner! Michelle, who lives in Calabria, is also one one of my editors and it was such a treat to actually meet her in person after corresponding through email and facebook for so long.  We had fun traversing the city with her two year old daughter and even managed to find a really tasty hamburger for lunch.

The winter in Montepulciano passed swiftly.  I was busy studying at the scuola guida, and then taking the written exam for the driver’s license, which I know sounds like no big deal, but oh it is! The amount of material to memorize is really unbelievable, especially when you think about how bad the drivers are here. How did they all get through??   In the end, I passed and happily without any errors.  I am now preparing for the driving bit.  Even though I have been driving for 30 years, the practical exam here is still worrying as you have to be ready to identify parts of the engine etc as well as parallel parking and stopping on hills.  And you can’t use the handbrake which is how I learned so many moons ago.  But even if it’s a challenge, when I finally have my license in hand I know I will have so much more freedom!  Then I just need to find a car that is cheap and cheerful!

Other than that, my winter has been filled with writing and teaching English.  As much as I enjoy getting back to work in the Spring, I do love my students and having the time to focus on my writing. Well Seasoned in Tuscany is chugging along and I hope to have it done in the next couple of months.

I also used my downtime this winter to start running… after a 15 year hiatus.  I found a program called from Couch to 5K and started out quite slowly running and walking and now am happily managing 5 kilometers three times a week. I had forgotten how much I enjoy running and doing it here in Tuscany with this gorgeous landscape is enough to get you out of bed even on the cold and rainy days.  I do have to walk some of the hills at times–I love Montepulciano but it is definitely a challenging terrain.  A huge thanks to my running gurus Elizabeth and Erin for answering all my stupid running questions and basically being my cheerleaders!

I have my first day of work on Tuesday at the winery and then a few sporadic days in April and full time in May.  I am so looking forward to seeing friends who come down every summer.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, renewing Spring!!

Sunrise on a morning run!

Sunrise on a morning run!



Pizza night at my friend Laura’s agriturismo.


Girls night out celebrating "La Festa della Donna"

Girls’ night out celebrating “La Festa della Donna”


I learned to make tortellini this winter. This was round 2

I learned to make tortellini this winter with Marisa and Ada. This was round two.


So pretty.... get in my belly!

So pretty…. get in my belly!


Michelle, Marisa and me at Santa Croce

Michelle, Marisa and me at Santa Croce in Florence.


Buona Pasqua!

Buona Pasqua!


13 thoughts on “A Spring in my Step….

  1. Wow, you’re running again. That’s awesome! I just started biking again, oh my bones remind me who’s the boss. Enjoy your beautiful Italian spring time my friend. Xoxoxox

  2. Hey Patty!! It definitely is more challenging now that we are getting just a wee bit older! But we are still fabulous and that is the most important thing!!! Thanks for touching base!! xx

  3. I am very happy that things are going good for you ! Whenever I think of Tuscany I thing of you and that is often .. Lol . You are a good writer and has a wonderful personality ! Good luck with your adventures! Geraldine

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Jen, So glad to hear that you passed the written part of your driving test. It is hard for me to imagine not having the freedom or luxury of driving my car everywhere I go. Best luck of the driving portion of the test.
    Enjoy the beautiful signs of Spring as you are out of your daily jaunts and the most beautiful signs of Easter in all of the shops of your little town.
    Much love, Aunt Krissie

  5. Thanks, Aunt Krissie. I can use all the good energy I can get!!! Have a wonderful Easter and give my love to everyone!!! xx

  6. Just finished reading your book and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. We spent 10 days in Montepulciano last year and your descriptions of the town brought back many happy memories. Keep up the writing, I’m looking forward to reading your next book!

  7. Thank you so much for your lovely note! I am happy you enjoyed the book. Montepulciano is indeed a special place! If you have a chance to write a few words on Amazon, rave reviews are always appreciated. My publisher is small so it helps get the word out!! Thank you again!!! And stay tuned, book 2 is in the works and I hope it will be out by the end of this year.

  8. Hi, Jennifer! It was good to see your blog again. It is so nice to know you are still enjoying Italy. I’m not sure I could do that driver’s license test – you are amazing! Best of luck on the last part. This is not an ITALY year for us, but we are going to Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco. Looking forward to your next book. Have a terrific spring! Hugs, Lynn

  9. I just finished reading “At Least You’re in Tuscsny” for the second time. What a fabulous read. The next best thing to being there. I settle into a cozy arm chair, put on the Mario Lanza cd , pour myself a glass of wine and totally lose myself in this book that wraps aroubnd m e like a warm hug. Brava!!

  10. Thank you so much, Roselle! What a lovely message to start my day!! Book 2 is coming soon so stay tuned!xx

  11. So are you going to write a blog about the driving part of your license exam? I may have to do this one day, and I’m so NOT looking forward to it. Well, maybe more fearful of the written part, because my Italian is not so great yet. Loved “At Least You’re in Tuscany.” I wonder if you’d be interested in writing a guest post on my blog?

  12. Hi Paul! Thanks for your note. I am working on a follow up to At Least You’re in Tuscany and it definitely will have a chapter on the driving adventures. I am trying to get the book done in the next couple of months, but if you don’t mind waiting a bit, I’d be happy to write a guest post. Thanks for you kind words on the book and if you have a few moments to put up a review on Amazon, it would really be appreciated.

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