Recently, Handsome and I traveled to Italy and boarded a small ship to sail the Adriatic Sea. I like to journal when traveling. I jot down what we did, the weather (unbelievably hot), good–good and bad, but mostly good, people we met, aches and pains, etc. I took a keyboard which bluetoothed with my iPhone and using the notes app, kept the daily journal. When I returned home, I shared them to my email and cut and paste into the journal I keep on my laptop.
Why keep a journal? I pour a lot of emotion and details into my journal. (Maybe my way of having a therapist!) I go back and visit my notes when I need to feel or see or even smell something from then. I put that into my work.
An example from Ljubljana, Slovenia:
Upon arrival, we took a slow water taxi tour to the old city of Ljubljana. The temperature was warm, but not unbearable, especially on the water. The sky was slightly overcast. We disembarked and the guide (most excellent) took us on a walking tour. I fell in love with Ljubljana. The old city is pedestrian-only (nice!) and the town provides little green cars to pick up people and drive them around. The streets are super clean, made of cobblestones, but very even compared to Italy where the streets are a walking hazard.
We saw fountains, sculptures, dragons, and a lovely recently restored, salmon-colored church. The guide told us about the bridges, the ruling family Hapsburg, the wars (always a war). We went to the Green Market (like our Farmers’ markets) where vendors sold flowers, vegetables, and fruit. After we passed the city hall, we stood at the base of the castle high on a hill. After lunch, we could purchase tickets for the vernicular and visit, but opted to tour the city instead.
The guide circled back to the river where we walked through the old Jewish quarter. The Hapsburgs expelled them, and now, no one remains, except for a lot of empty buildings looking for tenants.
Finally, we ended at our restaurant for lunch. The interior had a trendy bistro look. Chandeliers were shaped like deconstructed lampshades (I want some!). Impeccable waitstaff served perfect sesame and flax seeded bread, mushroom soup in a flavorful clear broth, chicken rolls fat with broccoli and spinach, a spicy gravy poured over mashed parsnips, and thin roasted carrots. I longed to see what was for dessert, and I wasn’t disappointed–apple strudel. Thin sliced apples inside dough which flaked when touched with a fork. Delicious!
After lunch, Handsome and I walked on our own. The old town is built next to the river. We followed it and found the green market area. At one booth, we bought a Pinnochio for our new granddaughter and a mouse. The wooden toys were connected to a long spring and when pulled, bounced lively.
I found tiny animal drawings created by a young lady from northern Slovenia. She told me her inspiration for her work comes from the animals on her farm. I purchased a pig looking at a heart-shaped balloon and a girl walking a dog that resembled the kiddoes beloved. Handsome had dropped to a curb to wait for me. I sat by his side and showed him the treasures. In no hurry, we people-watched other shoppers. A woman threw a bone for a stray dog. Young couples passed with babies in strollers or backpacks. Truly, a delightful atmosphere.
On our way to our meeting place, we paused at a window. Handsome was intrigued by an antique shop. I thought why not because I love antiques. We were wrong! The shop owner designed and painted porcelain. A very nice surprise! I bought a plate decorated with poppies and gold curlicues, and two small white bowls embellished with the same kind of golden curls.
Next to that shop, we peeked in another which featured all kinds of handmade goodies. Nirvana! Handsome found a knitted doll for the baby. I bought a handpainted ceramic brooch (the shopkeeper said the tiny, delicate flowers were painted with one hair on a brush).
Handsome told me I’m buying too much (after all, this was Day Two on the cruise). Laughing, I said I bought for Christmas.
While the journal isn’t perfect, I instantly am transported back to Ljubijana and can picture myself in various places, what I’m eating, seeing, and doing. All is pot of wealth for someday (maybe a Christmas story)!
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