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Manic Monday: Here, there, and everywhere

Manic Monday has returned! It was always one of my favorite weekly posts back in the day, so I thought I’d resurrect it. At least for now. Here’s a little bit of everything, probably more than you need to know.

Viewfinder: So much to see this week, much of it not my own. My other half is visiting Rome for the first time, and so, of course, his photos have captured my heart. Here’s one, the view from his hotel window. Funny thing is, as soon as I saw this photo, I realized that the yellow building with the tan awning is the very same restaurant where I sought shelter from a ridiculous storm when I was in Rome almost five years ago. And now Dennis’ hotel window looks out on it. Kismet, even more than 20 years later.

Albergo Cesari

And on the home front, we’re doing back-to-back out-of-town dance competitions. Here are a few quick glimpses of our down time at yesterday’s competition in Gloversville:

ballerinas 1

 

ballerinas 2

 

ballerinas 3

Bookshelf: Just a few nights ago I started Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy brought our Family Home by Susan Pohlman. It’s the story of a married couple who decides, on what seems like a whim, to leave their life in the United States behind and begin again with their two children in Italy. Yeah, I’m sort of living vicariously through that one. Say the word, Dennis, and I pack my bags and go to Rome. Yup, I love Rome — and Dennis — that much. I’d follow him anywhere. Okay, except to Houston. I believe I was once pretty adamant about Houston (a very different animal from Austin, by the way, which I love almost as much as Rome).

On the menu: We had to do the Italian thing in solidarity with Dennis, who is eating copious amounts of authentic Italian food. I made pizza the first night he was gone. Next night we went to Sam’s Italian-American Restaurant, just a few minutes from us over the border into Albany. My girls clearly take after their dad with the shellfish obsession. Here’s Chiara with her child’s portion of mussels over linguini: Chiara mussels

 

In addition, before Dennis took off for Rome, we continued our recent pub crawl. Last week we hit the Red Caboose in Oneonta. Great Belgian beer and equally great food. Then we spent an afternoon at the City Beer Hall in Albany. I posted a review HERE, in case you missed it. This week we hit The Merry Monk in downtown Albany, another great Belgian beer joint. Even the burgers are made with Belgian ale. Great little place. Go on a Wednesday and you can get BOGO (we’re talking pounds) on the mussels, as Dennis did on our visit. We will continue to visit new pubs and restaurants and post about them here. Stay tuned… Here’s a quick glimpse of an evening at The Merry Monk:

Merry Monk 1

 

Merry Monk 2

Soundtrack: This one was on Sirius every time I got in the car last week. And now I can’t get it out of my head. Love it. The Fray: Love Don’t Die. A few lyrics and then the video:

“If there is one thing, that’s true

“It’s not what I say, it’s what I do
And I say too much, yeah, that’s true
So just listen to what I do

“A thousand years go by
But love don’t die

“No matter where we go
Or even if we don’t
And even if they try
They’ll never take my body from your side
Love don’t die.”

Here you go. Listen to the whole thing:

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