July 31, 2014 – We are in Portofino, Italy…

Where has the time gone? We last posted two weeks ago. You are probably wondering if we are still alive. We are alive and well. But, we have been busy with visitors, packing up our house in St. Leon sur-Vezere and changing countries. Let us explain.

When we last left you, we were preparing for a visit by Yann, Peggy, Cheyenne and Tinael Desmadryls. They arrived on the 19th. We had a great visit. The kids loved playing in the pool.   Cheyenne is 10 and Tinael is 6. We were amazed that a brother and sister could get along so well and play together for four days without any problems. What great kids and a lot of fun. We visited St. Christophe Rock where the Troglodytes lived. Over 1000 of Troglodytes built homes in the rocks above the Vezere River. The homes were carved out of 1.5 kilometers of rock. Next, we visited the Prehistoric Park to see how the Troglodytes lived and hunted 40,000 years ago. Then, we visited the Chateau de Losse. On our last day, we visited the Chateau Clerans, which is next door to our Maison Clerans and owned by the same English couple. Cheyenne showed us her gymnastic skills at the pool and her artistic side by making a computer out of paper. Tinaeal is into soccer and practiced in the court- yard kicking the soccer ball. Yann and Peggy were a lot of fun and we enjoyed eating out and cooking in with them.   Yann does not eat cheese or drink wine. Can he really be French???   Peggy puts Camembert cheese on a baguette with butter and dunks it in her coffee for breakfast. Now, that is very French.   Yann, Peggy and the children left on the 22nd for three weeks on the Mediterranean Sea.

As soon as Desmadryls departed for the coast, Rita and I started packing for our move from the Maison Clerans to Italy. It took us longer than we thought because we had accumulated a bunch of kitchen items and food that we planned to take with us. We also had to say goodbye to all our acquaintances in St. Leon sur-Vezere. We will miss Nadine at the grocery store, Lyon at the Auberge du Pont and Marie at the Le Petit Leon. We will also miss the Thursday night market in St. Leon sur-Vezere where they play French music, eat, drink and shop for fresh produce. Finally, we checked on our neighbors Blanchette, Mon Ami, Lydia and the fourth cow whose name I have forgotten. One of the cows is pregnant and is due any day, but she did not have her calf by the time we left. We will miss St. Leon sur-Vezere. It is a small, quaint, quiet village of 400 inhabitants, but we have grown very fond of it and the way we were welcomed into the community.

On July 24th, we loaded the car and headed for the Mediterranean Coast, like all the other French. We worked our way to Eze Village, a stone city on top of a mountain on the French Riviera next to Monaco. From our perch on top of the mountain at the Chateau Chevre d’Or, we had a spectacular view of Cap St. Jean Ferrat and Cap d’Ail. It was amazingly quiet on the mountaintop. Yet, we could watch all of the yachts, and there were too many to count, come and go up and down the Mediterranean Coast from Monte Carlo to Nice and Cannes.

On July 30th, we said goodbye to France and drove from Eze Village to Portofino, Italy where we are staying at the Hotel Splendido Mare. Rita did the driving. As you know, she hates tunnels. So, as we left Eze Village I suggested we count the tunnels we had to pass through on our way to Portofino. I guessed there might be 20 such tunnels. Well, three hours later and 218 kilometers later, we arrived in Portofino after Rita had driven through, DRUM ROLL……….. 140 tunnels!!!!     We could not believe it. We averaged a tunnel every 1.5 kilometers.

Today is July 31st, and we are resting another day in Portofino. It is a lovely Italian city on a small port. Although the port is small, the yachts are not. Some of the yachts are over 300 feet in length and have helipads for landing helicopters. One of the yachts, which is tied up in the harbor, is owned by a former partner at Goldman Sachs. He was involved in a $1. 6 billion buy out. I guess that is how you get a yacht. I thought it was interesting that his nickname is Captain Magic! In contrast to Captain Magic, you can also find a gentleman feeding the pigeons on the harbor early in the morning. The world takes all kinds of people.

Tomorrow we head for a destination unknown. We will decide in the morning where we are going when we get in the car. Love the freedom.

We do know where we will be on August 2nd. We will move into our new villa in Greti, Italy. It is 2.5 kilometers from Greve in Chianti, virtually the center of Tuscany. Until then, keep smiling.

Peace and Love.

Norm & Rita.

P.S.  We’ll post pictures soon, our internet has not been quite strong enough to download all the pics!

5 thoughts on “July 31, 2014 – We are in Portofino, Italy…

  1. dear rita and norm – I know we haven’t responded to you this summer, but we’ve loved your newsy letters about your trip – we envy you your freedom and your fun! years ago ric and I were in Portofino and felt it was like a walt Disney set – it was so perfect! we even purchased a dinner plate from the restaurant where we ate yummy food and wine – enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and please keep us in your “loop”. love, cathy and ric mahaffey Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 13:41:34 +0000 To: ricmahaffey@hotmail.com


    • Great to hear from you Cathy and Ric. Glad you are following us. We spent two days in Portofino and had a wonderful time. It is so beautiful. At night, after the tourists go home, the harbor is lovely and peaceful. I love your idea of collecting plates from restaurants you visit. That is so cool. By the way, please accept my condolences on the loss of John Bruch. He was always so kind to me. I loved the big bear! –Norm


  2. What an unbelievable adventure and you both derserve the best life has to offer!! Have a great time in Italy!! Ciao Bella!! Love you – Mary


  3. Sounds so wonderful!!!!! Enjoy, drink a cabernet for me. Wish i could’ve come !! Since you had such a pleasant experience at your rentals, mayby you might go back again. ???


  4. Another amazing post, I’m surrrre your enjoying the freedom and the carefree days.
    god has made a beautiful world for us to enjoy, so happy you are getting to experience it.
    Praise the Lord daily and live life to the fullest as we do not know when our hour will come…..Rita, do you remember Mike Fridley, 59
    Passed away last week, viral infection 😦
    God’s Blessings on you both, be safe and enjoy


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