Trail of Crumbs

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I may have given you the impression that the only thing to see in Ravello is the Villa Rufolo. And that’s not entirely right. Sure, the Villa is the full-sized Reese’s peanut butter cup in your Halloween bag: hands down the best thing in there. But if you look around a little, you’ll find a couple of Kit-Kats, and maybe a mini Twix (also, as this metaphor illustrates, I have a hankering for some candy. I blame Rand, who brought me a “fun-size” Almond Joy this afternoon, which I consumed in nearly one bite. I now have the overwhelming desire to eat several dozen more).

My point is (rummages through purse, finds an almost-full box of Tic Tacs. Proceeds to pour them straight into her mouth) the entire little village is lovely. Here are a few more scenes from the afternoon we spent there.

 

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“I have to run to the bathroom. Here, hold my camera.”

“Okay.”

“Wait, why are you smiling?”

“Huh? No reason.”

 

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In Italian, because when in Rome Amalfi …

La fontana:

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At nighttime, the village glowed yellow as the light bounced off the stone walls and roads.

 

It felt like the set of a movie.

And I kept chasing the leading man through the shadows.

Sometimes I think I have the maturity level of an 11-year-old.

Other times, I am absolutely convinced of it.

We’ll be walking around someplace beautiful, and instead of taking in the amazing architecture or historical significance of the place, I’ll be doubled over, laughing hysterically because there are two stray cats getting it on in the distance.

And then I’ll take, like, two photos of the UNESCO site that we’ve trekked to, and like, THREE DOZEN of the mating cats.

I also took a photo of this pregnant cat, in case I needed a cautionary tale for any horny adolescent felines that I came across.

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On our last morning in Germany, we went to Seeshaupt.

I was absolutely not drunk, but some of my photos seem to suggest otherwise. I can only assume that wandering around a picturesque lake on a quiet morning has an intoxicating effect on me, and that I shouldn’t drive after visiting one.

I also shouldn’t drive because I will spend far too much time searching for something called a chococult. Though to be fair, that’s true when Rand’s behind the wheel, too. (But more on that in a moment.)

Seeshaupt is rather lovely, and is located on the Starnberger See (which, despite the homophonic tendencies, is not actually a sea but a lake). If you go early on a Sunday morning in the springtime, you’ll find that the air still carries a chilly edge to it, and the water is remarkably still and clear. The only sounds are the calls of a few birds, the constant hum of buzzing insects, and the occasional chime of a church bell.

If you have the misfortune of being there when I am around, that soundtrack will also be punctuated with me making lots of terrible jokes. My apologies. (In my defense, I was provoked.)

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My dad lives in a small Bavarian village about an hour outside of Munich. I usually don’t blog about it, even though it’s crazy adorable, because it’s also immensely sleepy and boring. The little hamlet shuts down after 6 or 7 pm on weekdays. And pretty much all day on weekends. And Mondays, too. It’s virtually closed whenever it rains, or if it’s chilly out, or when it’s too sunny to do anything. Also, on holidays dedicated to random saints you’ve never heard of (St. Klaus of Kartoffelsalat, St. Franz of Ausfahrts, and others*), which seem to happen every other day or so.

If someone could explain to me why St. Sigfried of Wochenender’s Day is celebrated on a Tuesday, that would be very helpful.

Also, the internet connection is very bad, so Rand has to work outside. Yes, his laptop is balanced on a stump.

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The point is, there isn’t very much to do. I doubt you’d find it all that interesting. But that’s kind of why we love it. Sometimes, when life is really overwhelming and crazy (and for Rand, it often is), there’s nothing better that being bored out of your skull, you know?

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I have trouble describing my dad. He’s not incredibly cheerful, but he isn’t melancholy, either. I don’t think anyone would call him warm, nor would it be accurate to say that he’s unfriendly.

If I were forced to put his demeanor into words, I’d say he’s rather serious, and often rather annoyed. His annoyance usually stems from the fact that everyone else around him is failing to be serious.

Yes. That sounds about right.

This makes it rather difficult to take a photo with my dad, because for the most part, photo-taking is not serious business. And the command to stand and smile while someone snaps picture after picture of you can annoy just about anybody.

Consequently, I’ve stopped asking him to pose for pictures, and just nab a few candid snapshots when I can.

But on this trip, he was uncharacteristically chipper.

It was kind of weird.

So Rand and I decided to press our luck. We made my dad take a few photos with us. And, well, they turned out quite nice.

Here’s my dad with Rand:

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