I survived today. I finally fell asleep this afternoon for four hours.

I am sitting at the computer in the library of the apartment I am a guest at. It is a library as you would imagine from days gone by. Two walls of books floor to ceiling. Furniture galore. The room is not small. Furniture all antiques. The desk I am working at is the strangest I have ever seen. Strange only because new to my eyes. Different. Long, tall, wide, fancy heavy wood. A poor description, but the best I can do.  Old prints and paintings adorning the walls.

It is Wednesday evening. Normally, I would be doing this blog in the morning. However, I must be up and out of here at 8 in the morning in order to get to the plane timely. I am not going out tonight. Too tired. So nothing will be missed by doing the blog at this time.

I hope to sleep tonight. Last night and this morning were disasters. I even took a pill this morning. I forget the name. It is what is taken in the United States to reduce swelling. It also induces sleep. It did not help me.

I lunched in at the apartment. The housekeeper took pity on me. She prepared a light lunch for me. She cooked a fish. A whole fish. Actually microwaved it. In oil. The fish is native to the Mediterranean Sea. I do not know its name. The name unimportant. The fish delicious! She served me the fish and a fish knife. She said you know how to clean of course. I smiled and said, no. What would I know about deboning a fish and otherwise preparing it for consumption! She tought it cute that I was so inept.

I followed up the fish with a bowl of fresh strawberries.

When I was walking the streets of downtown Novara yesterday, I saw a chocolate shop. There were many. This one a Lindt. A Swiss company. The store had small thin hollow Easter bunnies. I love them! Bought one. Ate it as part of my lunch.

A couple of months ago, I read an article on Yahoo re chocolate producers. Lindt was listed as #1. The best chocolate in the world! I had asked Lisa to get me one for Easter. She still buys her father candy for Easter. She could not find Lindt in Key West. 

I have spent a lot of time in bed the past 36 hours. Not necessaringly sleeping. Trying to sleep. The mattress is wonderful. Hard. I love a hard mattress. This one the hardest I have ever slept on.

I inquired how so hard. The mattress is stuffed with sheep wool. Stuffed till the enclosure is at the breaking point. The covering holding the sheep wool was thicker than an American mattress and box spring combined. Big time comfortable! Even the pillows were so stuffed.

The mattress and pillows were not as down filled. The one I am sleeping on the rock of Gibralta!

I mentioned the other day my acoustical theory about how pedestrians avoid cars. I was wrong. As far as I myself was concerned. Five times yesterday I almost got hit. I never heard the cars coming. Someone had to pull me aside each time. My theory needs adapting to I guess.

I am anxious to share with you my cherry and strawberry experience.

At dinner the first night, fresh cherries and strawberries were served. A huge bowl of each. Both looked anemic.

The cherries were small. The red coloring dull. Most yellowed.

A large bowl of water was set in the middle of the table. Spaghetti bowl size.

One of the guests had picked the cherries that afternoon. He took his ladder and climbed a tree to pick them. A bushel full.

I noticed everyone was picking up a handful of cherries and dipping their hand full in the water. Hand and cherries combined. Why, I asked. To clean the cherries was the response.

Although the cherries did not look appetizing, when in Roman do as the Romans do. I did. The cherries were the most delicious I have ever eaten

The strawberries looked anemic also. Small. Dull red. White in spots. Sweet! I asked if any sweetener was added. The host looked at me as it insulted. I explained why the query.

I shop at Publix in Key West. The cherries are huge and a deep purple. The strawberries fat and robust. No comparison between the taste of the fruit purchased in Key West and that eaten at the dinner party. The artificial additives to American fruit adds to its appearance, not taste. Whereas the natural fruit served in Novara with no artificial additives had a fantastically superior taste.

The weather is consistent. Hot by day, cold by night. Notice the use of the word cold as opposed to cool. From humidity in the afternoon to three blankets at night. The weather is much like that found in our Adirondack mountains in the summer. Think Old Forge. The only way to avoid the three blankets is to have body heat next to you which, unfortunately, I do not.

I will be in Athens tomorrow night. Another world I am told. I have been advised to be prepared to dance syrtachi and bouzouki. I am sure I have not spelled them correctly. My mind is already filled with Greek music. I can envision tomorrow evening and its pleasures.

So much for today. My next blog will report on my first day and evening in Greece. As much as some of you may not be able to wait to read it, I cannot wait to experience it.

Enjoy your day!




I cannot believe I have been in Novara only three days. It seems like a lifetime. Especially in view of my experiences.

Earthquakes still in the news big time here. Much destruction to Northern Italy.

I reported being in two earthquakes yesterday. Turns out it was three. Maybe five. Three hours after publication, I felt another one. I was sitting at the computer at that time also. I did not consider it of any consequence. After all, I had been involved in two already that day. Last night while watching television, it was reported that Novara had suffered two more quakes around eight in the evening. I never felt them.

Many dead. Much damage. Sad. The people of Novara spoke of the earthquakes much yesterday. It was like being in Key West following a hurricane.

Speaking of hurricanes, I was thinking yesterday whether an earthquake or hurricane was worse. One is short and the other prolonged. Both cause significant loss of life and damage. They ended up equal in my mind. Better that both not occur, however.

Earthquakes are not common to this region. So I have been told. The word on the news is that whatever problem there is in the San Francisco area exists now in northern Italy. A shelf or whatever and it is moving. Italian news describes it as a mountain rising to the surface. The scientists have predicted at least 70 more earthquakes over time as a result. We shall see.

Lisa got Skype yesterday. We skyped for the first time in the morning Lisa time. The grandkids had already left for school. Corey joined in. It was exciting to see them both. I hope I get to speak with Robert and Ally soon on Skype.

Around 5, I decided to take a walk. I rambled up and down the streets of the historic centre of Novara. It was a high knowing that most buildings were a thousand years old. The first floor the best quality shops. Top floors great apartments. By the way, people live in apartments here. Homes are considered too expensive. I do not understand. Most of the apartments go for $1 million dollars plus.

My walk led me to discover the Piazzetta Delle Erbe. Piazzetta means little piazza. I am learning.

In English the Piazzetta is the Little Square of Herbs. Back when, probably a thousand years ago, growers and merchants came from all over Europe and Asia to buy and sell herbs at this market.

Close by, I made another discovery. The Broletto. I do not know what the term means. It was the place where the first market in all of Italy was established in medieval times. Everything and anything sold. It helped the Novara area at the time to gain financial independence

The best was yet to come. The Partigiani. It is at the Piazza Dei Martiri. Partigiani means partisans. The Piazza translates to the Plaza of Martyrs.

I learned the story of this special place while sitting at an outside cafe having a drink and watching the world go by. Two gentleman at the next table engaged me in conversation. They spoke English. Americans are revered here. I am being treated with kindness and respect because I am an American. It was not unusual for them to engage me in conversation. They started the conversation with…..American?

Novara was occupied by the Nazis during World War II. Some of the locals were not pleased.They became partisans. Guerrilla types working as the underground. Five were captured. They were placed against a brick wall and shot by the Nazis. In full view of the citizens of Novara.

After the war a small monument was placed near where they were killed. A tree was also planted. It still stands today. The tree. By itself against a large red brick wall.

It dawned on me that the medieval thousand year buildings I have been speaking about were in good shape. I asked were they not destroyed during World War II? Bombs, artillery and tank fire. No, I was told.There was never any fighting or bombing or what have you in and to Novara. The Nazis walked out and the Americans walked in. The people of Novara were very lucky. Other communities in the area, such as Milan, sustained significant damage.


My walk took me past many fine stores. I was particularly impressed with the shops featuring apparel for women. The most beautiful clothes I have ever seen! Absolutely magnificent! Bright, shiny and smart for summer wearing. The thought struck me it would have been nice to have a woman to take into the stores and buy a new wardrobe for.

Remember the 124 steps I spoke of yesterday. There are not 124. I counted them again yesterday. At a time when I was not suffering from jet lag and a bad stomach. There are 68. Still a lot of steps for this old man!

The fefects of jet lag are still with me. I went to bed at nine last night. Did not sleep one minute. Finally got up at 5:30 in the morning to start this blog. I will pay for the no sleep later in the day.

Never got to Milan yesterday to view the Last Supper. The trains were out of commission because of the earthquake.

I cannot let this experience pass. At the dinner party three nights ago, one of the meats was a dark one. Deep purple. Sliced thin. Everly one was going crazy over it. They loved it! A bit of lemon and they ate away!

I had a few pieces. Did not particularly like it. Other guests were surprised I did not.

Yesterday similar meat was served to me for lunch. I again was not crazy about it. I asked what is this? It was horse meat! Horse meat is legal in Italy. There are specialty butcher shops that sell horse meat. And lest I forget, donkey also. That was it. No more of for me! I explained that horse meat was not legal in the United States for human consumption. My fellow diners were shocked.

The big deal today is for me to go to the bank. I have no euros. Only American money. The exchange process should be interesting. Is cash or a credit card required? Can both be used?

Stephanie Kaple is one of the loves of my life. She lives in Key West. She is known as the Island Shoe Girl. She only wears expensive shoes with high high heels. Looks good in them!

Stephanie now plays bocce. She joined the same bocce league I play in. She wears heels while playing. Not wise from my perspective. But that is Stephanie!

She writes a blog as I do. A recent one was interesting and funny. Take a look at it if you have the time. A short read.

That is all for today folks! Sorry for the length but there is much to share regarding my trip. Tomorrow I leave for Athens to start the Greece phase of this trip. Athens, Santorini, Mykinos and some deserted island. Five weeks will be spent in Greece. Then back to Italy for a while. Portofino and Morocco under consideration for the scheduled end of my trip. If I return. I am enjoying everything so much I might stay.

Enjoy your day!






Jet lag is still with me. It hits suddenly and I am dead. Went to bed last night at 10:30. Woke at 1 and could not get back to sleep.

Apparently, I have been spelling the name of this community wrong. It is Novara. Not Novarro. It was easy to become confused. There are signs all over the city spelling this place. In typical Italian fashion, the name is spelled differently each time. I have it correct now, however.

I took a walk at lunch time yesterday. Once more I was impressed with the downtown area. It is referred to as an historic centre. Medieval buildings constructed between 1100 and 1300. Still standing in all their glory as if new today.

For whatever reason, Novara has been sacked and destroyed from earliest times. Even Attila the Hun beat up Novara. The Romans came. They constructed a stone walled city. The wall surrounded the entire city. The wall remained until demolished for purposes of urban development. Not twentieth century development. Rather construction of buildings such as I have seen. Buildings constructed between 1100 and 1300. The time referred to as urban development.

The new Novara was built on the ruins of the old.

I saw part of the old yesterday. The Roman constructed walls were discovered. They had been hidden for centuries beneath the ground. The Roman walls in small part have been excavated and are there for the world to see. I found the walls astonishing! At least three feet thick. Looked like poured concrete with outside coverings of stone. No weapon of the time could have penetrated the wall.

This downtown area is interesting and lovely. I walked up and down the streets open only to pedestrian traffic. Many people. Though not crowded shoulder to shoulder. I discovered cars are allowed. Those owned by the apartment residents. Makes sense. Otherwise they would have to walk several blocks to get home.

The cars came and went occasionally. Not often. Typical of Italian drivers, the cars moved fast. I noted that without looking, the walkers automatically moved over for a car to pass. The car was never seen. The people nevertheless moved out of way way.

I watched this wonder for a while. Then I figured it out. The buildings across the street from each other are very close. Ten to twenty feet. The road is worn brick. The noise of the approaching car is amplified greatly by the buildings and road. It is acoustical. The noise bounces off the buildings loudly. Pedestrians hear it and automatically move to the side.

The car drivers speed. Never slow down. As if they had no concern for the walkers.

The people are strange. They never make eye contact. I noticed this 25 years ago when I was in Rome.

The people are beautiful! No one is fat in Italy. The men must have 28-32 waists. I last saw 32 in college. Male and female alike dress elegantly. Even in  jeans. Most men wear jeans. Topped by a crispy shirt. Crispy is the only way to describe the attire of both men and women.

The people never seem to smile. I noticed this 25 years ago, also.

All of a sudden, I was hit by jet lag. I had to lie down. Rest. I was desperate for it.

I returned to the building I am staying in. There are 124 steps to the apartment. I counted them. Getting to the apartment is like climbing Mount Everest. I had to stop three times to rest.

I was with a group of locals last night. The husband and wife who own the rice paddies, golf course and castle on the hill were there. We found we enjoyed each other. They invited me out for a bite to eat. The wife spoke English. She had majored in it at universities in Italy and London. Her husband spoke no English. She interpreted for the both of us. The couple is in their mid 60s.

We went out for pizza. At a trattoria. Not a Pizza Hut or Dominos type place. A restaurant with tablecloths and cloth napkins. Real silverware. Clean.

We ordered pizza. Neapolitan pizza. Made with anchovies.

I was shocked when the pizzas arrived. We each were served with one whole pizza. Larger than a small and smaller than a large back home. How could I eat it? In Key West, I am a one slice person. Rarely two.

When in Rome…..

We dug in. It was very thin pizza. Crispy. I did not like it. The anchovies were baked into the mozzarella. I am an anchovy lover. But not served that way I discovered. Cooked anchovies were not to my liking. What to do. I ate it. What else. I could not insult my hosts.

They each devoured their whole pizzas. Again, I could not be the impolite guest. I ate all of mine. Horrible!

I noticed a couple of things in the restaurant. One was that every one drank bottled water. My friends, also. I ordered, as I do back home, a diet Coke. I asked why everyone was drinking bottled water. Because it was cheap, I was told. Much cheaper than my can of diet coke.

The other thing I noticed was that none of the people in the restaurant smiled or laughed during dinner. Strange. My table was roaring, primarily because of me.

Afterwards, my new found friends wanted to show me the golf course. We drove through miles of rice fields on each side of the road. They own all of it. They ship rice all over Europe, to Central America and to South America. None to the United States. I did not ask why.

The golf course was to the side of the rice fields. A nine hole course. Tees laid out differently if one wishes to play 18 holes. A nice clubhouse and several other buildings. The drinking/dining area warm and inviting. I was sorry I would not have time to play this trip.

They built the course themselves 20 years ago. The land was not suitable for rice. They wanted to put it to good use. Ergo, the golf course was born.

It was getting dark. I stepped outside. I could see trees every where. I could sense the area. It had the taste and smell of Fourth Lake in the New York Adirondack Mountains on a July evening.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! We just had an earthquake! They had a big one in this area last week. The one today lasted about ten seconds. Everything moved. The chandeliers are still moving. Some of the ladies panicked. Screamed. Still yelling. Italians are very demonstrative. I just sat here and thought…..Oh, shit!

What a trip this is going to be!

Getting back to last night, I returned home with jet lag upon me once more. I fell asleep as I was being driven home. On top of which, I had a sick stomach. The 124 steps were not easy.

Some odd ball items. Nothing can top the earthquake, however.

There are three churches in the area. They all have bells. Apparently large. Each clang very noisy. They all go off on the hour. Fortunately, only by day. They do not go off at the same time. They must be planned. One church at a time with a short separation between each. It is like living in New York City by the elevated subway train.

Everyone drives too fast for me. Most of the roads are narrow, especially in the countryside. One lane. Not each way. Both ways, the same lane.

When an approaching car is seen, both vehicles play chicken to see who is going to move onto the shoulder first.

There is a Catholic church in Milan that has the Last Supper. The real one. I may take the train into Milan this afternoon to see it.

Thursday I leave for Athens. After this earthquake, I think it is time to leave Dodge.

Enjoy your day!

Note: While I was doing spell check, the after shocks came. Trembling. Chandeliers moved again. Someone just ran in to tell me TV announced the disturbance as a severe earthquake. I have been hearing for the past few minutes sirens. Probably fire engines and ambulances. Another person just ran in to tell me that the quake was a 5.8 on the Richter scale. What I thought was the aftershock turned out to be a second quake. 4.0 on the Richter scale. I must admit my stomach is getting a bit queasy. I am uncomfortable. My thought process tells me that if I must be in an earthquake, this building is a good place. It has withstood quakes, floods and wars for over a thousand years and still stands. Hopefully, I will blog you again tomorrow. I am not leaving you yet. TV announced all trains to Milan have stopped running. I do not know specifically why. I doubt I will be viewing the Last Supper this afternoon. It was further announced that a  thousand year old cathedral about a one hour drive from Novara collapsed. So much for my theory that thousand year old buildings are a safe place.





I made it! I am in Italy! Screwed up a bit, no, a lot, from jet lag.

I could not write a blog yesterday. My head was all over the place.

So many things to share with you. I am going to run through as many as I recall.

Lets begin at Key West airport. The family saw me off. Robert and Ally excited. Each pulled one of my pieces of luggage. A big deal for them!

I have not flown in a while. The following may be old hat to you who do. To me it was new.

TSA security now permits those over 75 to go through with shoes on. No more shoes off. I am 76. Three different guards attacked me with shoes off! I looked, smiled and said I am over 75. They looked back in disbelief.  The scenario made me feel good. Vanity involved. Meant I do not look my age.

New cell phone a disaster. I still do not have its use down. This one has bluetooth. Decided to use it in the airport. A mistake. I screwed things up. Every time the phone rang, no one was there. I could not correct it. I needed to put the cell phone on airport mode. Took me 20 minutes.  It is still on airport mode.

Trip from Atlanta to Milan a pain. Nine hours. I did not sleep a wink. It seemed like the whole plane slept but me. I walked the aisles and everyone looked dead as they slept.

Because of blood pressure and heart problems, I have a fluid problem. My ankles swell occasionally. I feared they would be huge by the time I reached Milan. I visited with my heart doctor before the trip. He said wear compression socks and take a water pill as soon as you get on the plane in Atlanta. I did both. Peed a lot. It worked! Swelling very minimal when I got off the plane in Milan.

Arrived in Milan 8 in the morning Milan time. Two in the morning my time. Permit me to interject, Iwas up 34 straight hours before I went to bed. There was no time to rest once I arrived.

My driver took me to Navarro. I am staying in Navarro a few days till I am over jet lag. It was a 30 mile drive.

The scenery reminded me of two things. First, it was like driving route 5 from Utica to Frankfort in upstate New York. A smathering of houses and barns. Fields otherwise. Second, in many places there was heavy foliage. Like that I saw in Virginia near Mount Vernon.

The fields were rice paddies. As far as the eye could see. Pools of water with what appeared to be blades of grass growing above. I had never seen rice paddies before, except in movies about China. Turns out northern Italy is one of the largest suppliers of rice world wide. The reason is the area sits at the foot of Mount Blanc. Water flows down the mountain. Fills the many streams and rivers. Water abounds below the land surface also. Easily tapable well style.

After miles and miles of rice paddies, there appeared a castle. Sitting on a mountain nearby. The driver told me the man who lives in the castle owns all the rice paddies. Plus a golf course nearby.

We drove over many bridges. All old in appearance. Some stone. Others metal. Napoleon responsible for them all. The people refer to Napoleon as King Napoleon. He conquered northern Italy in the early 1800s. Many French persons came to live here under Napoleonic rule. Their descendants still speak French. France itself is a hop, skip and jump away. Switzerland is nearby and French is common there.

I found it strange that in our 30 mile drive I saw very little traffic. Whether on a major highway complex or on a back road. I was told it cost money to drive. The price of gasoline is $12 a gallon. Additionally most roads have a tolling system which is expensive. When contracts are let to build or repair a road, the contractor now gets a long time deal. Beside the construction or repair, the contractor gets to maintain the road for 30 years. It is the law! The contractor charges tolls purportedly to pay the cost of repairs. Actually it is a big money maker. Called positive cash flow. The tolls are very expensive. Some of the persons I discussed this topic with blamed the Mafia. In fact, in the short tinme I have been here I have discovered Italians blame the Mafia for everything.

We entered Navarro. Iwas impressed!

There is an extensive downtown area. Most of the buildings were built 1100 to 1300. They still stand. Are referred to as medieval. The roads are narrow. Very narrow. Like downtown Boston. The streets are all closed off, except to pedestrian traffic. No cars. 

The buildings are magnificent. Majestic. Most muted pastel colors. Yellow, gray, tan and pink. Some concrete colored. Nothing big. Three to four stories. Ground floor expensive stores. A restaurant with outdoor seating here and there. Apartments on the floors above. The buildings appear to be of poured concrete. No wood. Tile roofs. Where ever stucco or brick is apparent, it is a facade. Merely attached to the wall of the building.

I am staying a few nights in one of the apartments. The buildings are magnificent as well. The staircases! I am staying in an apartment on the second floor. It is actually two stories. Once inside the apartment, there is a staircase to an upper floor. The apartment I am in is at least 4,000 square feet. Many rooms. Many baths.

The ceilings are art. Each is painted with a story. My bedroom is a hunt involving stags and dogs.

The furniture is all antique. It is like walking into a museum.

Every room has one or more outside balconies. Overlooking the street or inner court.

The inner court is a beauty in itself. Entrance is gained through a heavy wood door. The courtyard reminds me of the Roman courtyard to be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The exhibit on the first floor to the left of the staircase as you enter the left hallway. Resident cars are parked in the inner court.

I attended a dinner party last night. Great food!

There was a mixture of people. Navarro is obviously cosmopolitan. People from all countries. I spoke at length with a woman from Morocco. Actually, Casablanca. 35ish. Lovely. Dressed like every one else.

I said Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman. She did not know what I was talking about.

Her husband is Italian. He converted from Catholic to Muslim to marry her.

They have two grammar school age children. Both attend Catholic school. Neither has been baptized or confirmed. Their parents are leaving it to the children to decide when they are older. The Catholic Church is giving them no issue. The priest and nuns welcome the two into school with open arms. I doubt such would be permitted in the United States.

I was told that Morocco is very modern. None of the women cover their faces or wear long black robes. Mini skirts are very much in style. Although there are wars in the African countries all around Morocco, there is no conflict in Morocco. The people are of a different mind set.

We drank Italian champagne. By the case. Apparently it is the drink of choice here.

Everyone was dressed as if we were at a party in Key West. Casual. Women in jeans. Men in  jeans and khakis. Too cool yet for shorts.

Everyone wanted to talk with me. All were interested in our Presidential election. All like Obama. He is respected for his international endeavors. They knew we had financial problems also, but did not understand them. The euro is on their mind. They agreed however that if Greece goes down, so will the rest of Europe. With the United States being severely impacted.

I am sleeping in a suite complex. All for me. A bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. Bathrooms are big in size. Decorated. Different from ours.

Mine has a bidet. I was pleased. I have one in my Key West home and have become accustomed to its use. I found this one strange. A bidet requires a water spout near center from which the water can shoot up to cleanse the underside. No spout.

I inquired why. Turns out Mussolini was the driving force in bidets. He made sure every Italian home had one. Like a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. At the end of World War II, Mussolini was not too popular. You will recall that he and his mistress were beaten to death and then hung by their heels. The post war government decided to do away with bidets since they were Mussolini inspired. A law was passed outlawing the spout on the theory it was bacteria/microbe infested. My bidet is nothing but another sink. Based on its height, for child use I assume.

I got to bed at 10:30 in the evening Navarro time. I had been up more than 30 hours straight. I fell asleep immediately. Woke at 2. Was awake till 4. Then slept to 8.

Writing this first blog has been an exercise. A frustration.

Electricity is rationed in Italy. The computer I was working on had rationed electricity. Fifteen minutes and it went off. And stayed off for an hour. All to conserve electricity. This blog has been written piece meal over the course of a day.

Enjoy your day! More to come tomorrow!







This is the day!

I leave this morning for Italy and Greece. I will write you tomorrow from Italy.

I have never taken such a long trip. Two whole months! I am anxious to begin the venture. No, adventure.

Yesterday was busy doing last minute things. Packing took a while.

Dinner last night with the family. Fun, as always. Ally’s birthday is June 1. I will not be here. I gave her her present last night. She was excited. It was a game. I was not sure she would enjoy it. It was the right thing to get her!

Robert and Ally wanted to do something special in view of my trip. They have ice cream cards for Dairy Queen. They took me to Dairy Queen for ice cream.

Love them!

The next time you read this blog, it will be from somewhere in Italy. You will experience the trip with me.

Enjoy your day!



A tough day yesterday. Tons of running around. Some in further preparation for the trip, some for last minute things which popped up.

By six last night, I was beat. Brain dead. Sloan was here helping me. I told her to go home. She was tired also. I worked her hard this week.

I had many good intentions as to what I would be able to do from Italy and Greece. I will be doing this blog every day. It will be terrific as I spell out my previous day’s exploits. Amazon Kindle will also be done, as well as my weekly KONK Life column.

I wanted to do my weekly internet show from abroad. Turns out visual and audio both complicated and expensive. It is out. Audio alone not worth it. Ergo, no weekly internt show. It will start again when I return.

At some point, I will start doing my new daily You Tube show from Europe. To be called Key West Lou Commentary. Two to three minutes a day. Will be available 24 hours a day. Still working on it. Close to completion.

I have to remind myself occasionally that I am taking this long trip to relax. It is intended to be a vacation. I want it to be.

My biggest pain yesterday involved my prescription drugs. I need a 2-3 month supply to cover my needs while away. An ordeal to set up. Between Walgreen and the insurance company. I won’t get in to the details, but both should be ashamed! It took me 3 days and many phone calls and visits to get what seemed to me a simple problem resolved.

Dentist in the middle of yesterday. I think…..I emphasize the word think…..that the problem is resolved. My implants should be ok. Two parts malfunctioned. Defective. I hope we have it right now. Whatever, I will have to put up with it the next two months. I hope I will have teeth. I am going to look pretty stupid sitting in a bar in Santorini sipping ozou with teeth missing!

I quick visited Lisa and the grandkids late in the afternoon. Ally did not know where Italy was. Robert did. He also knew it looked like a boot.

A couple of days ago I stopped at the airport. I wanted to buy one of those things people put behind/around their necks to sleep while flying. I went to the store located on the departure floor of the airport. A small crowded place. Had never been there before.

Met Keren. That is how her name is spelled. A lovely Israeli. Oozing with personality. She owns the store. Jet Lag Accessories. Stop in and look around some time. Even if you are not traveling. Her store has many interesting items.

Three things confront me today. Then I shall be ready. Need a couple more items from the drug store. Have to visit Diego at Verizon. I have voice on text and e mail re my new cell phone. I talk and it prints. The problem is I cannot figure out how to do the voice part. Packing to do also. Not difficult. I have my clothes for the trip laid out on a bed.

Dinner with Kurt later last night at Michael’s. He left me after dinner to bartend at Don’s Place till 4 this morning. Suzzette bartending at Michael’s. We had a quiet dinner and some good talk.

Please continue to read this blog while I am gone. I look forward to sharing with you whatever my exploits might be in Milan, Navarro, Athens, Santorini, Mykinos, and finally Portofino. Should be good!

Enjoy your day!



Yesterday was another busy day. It seems like I am running all over in final preparation for my trip.

My day started with the dentist. Another mechanical failure. Another part. Being overnighted from California. I hope it gets here and in before I leave Saturday. And that everything works properly!

Worked hard with Jenna yesterday. With the new cell phone and tablet. This is not the time for me to be learning two new machines!

Sloan showed up for a brief time. She is working on the You Tube show. I had to do a quick video for her.

Jenna and I enjoyed a late dinner at La Trattoria. The new one on the ocean. In the former Martha’s Restaurant spot.

The menu and food exactly the same as the La Trattoria on Duval.

The atmosphere was terrific. Sits right on the Atlantic Ocean.

I liked it, but not as much as the one on Duval. I know everyone working the Duval location.  Knew none of the staff at the new place. I like the warm feeling of Duval. Inside, the new location is cold.

Remember Joran Van Der Slooth? He is that young Dutch man who it is alleged was involved with the disappearance some 5 years ago of the American Natalee Holloway. They were both in Aruba at the time. He was arrested several times, but never prosecuted. Insufficient evidence.

Justice has a way of triumphing. Recall O. J. Simpson.

Van Der Sloot recently was sentenced to a long term in jail in Peru. For strangling a 21 year old girl in a hotel room.


I published yesterday the story in its entirety in Key West Lou Law on Amazon Kindle.

Bocce tonight. I will not make it. Sloan and I will be working long and hard on You Tube.

Enjoy your day!


What a busy week!

In two days, I will be off on my trip. An adventure. I leave for Italy and Greece saturday morning. For two months!

I am excited.

Getting ready is a lot of work. I am not complaining. When I am lying around on the beaches in Santorini and Mykinosis, it will  have been worth it.

Yesterday started with the dentist. I thought I was finished.  Am not. I will be back there again at 9 this morning. Something is wrong. The implants are not working. That is the only way to describe it at the moment.

Ran around a lot yesterday. The bank. Had to figure out the euros situation. If Greece collapses and the eoru with it, the American dollar will be king. Sloan and I worked diligently preparing for You Tube.  Spent time at Walgreens getting my prescriptions in order for two months. Shopped for some incidental clothing. Key West needs more than a Sears and K Mart.

Speaking of You Tube, I now plan on starting my daily You Tube show next week. It will be a 2-3 minute commentary. Daily. One issue. It will come to you for the first time from Italy and then for several weeks from Greece. I am excited about the show!

Last night the Chart Room. I needed a couple of drinks. Then to the Hot Tin Roof. I watched a bit off the Miami/Indiana game while eating. I left before the game was over. Do not know who won. Miami was ahead by about 8 points when I left.

Another busy day ahead of me.

Yankee Jack made a funny yesterday. Yankee is a dear friend. Everyone’s friend. He is a bit over weight. Weighs about 440 pounds. No kidding.

Yankee wrote me on Facebook yesterday. We have not seen each other in a while. He sings at the Bull afternoons. He said stop into the Bull and see me. I’m the thin guy!

Enjoy your day!


I leave saturday for Italy and Greece. Worry not, I plan on doing this blog daily from where ever I am. I will also be doing my friday morning internet show from were ever. The wonders of modern science!

Trip preparations kept me busy busy yesterday. Included were two doctor visits. I was looking for any marching orders regarding the trip.

Last night was special. Not because of the places I visited. Rather one of the persons I talked with.


I have not seen Che in months. He was/is a Chart Room regular. In fact, his is one of the two remaining holes in the bar for receipt ashes. For whatever reason, Che has not been frequenting the Chart Room of late.

Che is not a Cuban guerilla nor a Cuban expatriate. Though his name suggests both. He is a Jewish merchant from New York who found his way to Key West many years ago.

Che is very opinionated. Dialogue with him makes for interesting conversation.

It is well known in Key West that I generally press my own shirts. To be sure they come out correctly. No one in Key West does shirts properly.. Last night Che tells me he presses his own shirts, also. Ironing for him is a “Zen moment” as he described it.

Some one at the bar was speaking loudly. He used the word “awesome” as it related to some  beer. Che was disturbed. He said the only thing he considered awesome was when God walked out of the bushes and gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

Such is Che. A Key West figure. A Key West icon.

Dinner was at the bar at Michael’s. I enjoyed the house specialty. The veal chop.

I do not know the name of the barmaid. She knew me.  I was embarrassed to ask her name.

The reason I mention her is that she brought Marty up. Yes, Marty, you are remembered!

Marty and Che used to stand at the end of the bar at the Chart Room and argue. Over everything. Every one in town knew Marty. Unfortunately, Marty is no more in Key West. He has sort of retired to his home in Fort Lauderdale. He visits Key West infrequently.

I miss you Marty.

I start this morning with a dentist visit. Certain parts of my implants were defective. Defectively manufactured. They are being replaced this morning. Will this saga ever end? I had to wait for the shipment to come in from the plant in California. There will be no pain involved. The problem is time. I still have much on my plate that has to be completed before I leave for my European trip.

Enjoy your day!



Sunday in Key West!

Did something different yesterday.

The sun  was shining. Finally. It was early afternoon. I put the top down on the convertible. Threw a baseball cap on backwards. Off I went!

My goal was No Name Pub. Some 30 miles away.

The convertible, the wind, the sun…..the best.

I arrived. Not many people. The off season. Sat at the bar.

The bar is high. The bar stools correspondingly high. Hard to get on and off. I did not fall, however. Ho ho.

I enjoyed a Philly cheese sandwich. I think they are the best at No Name Pub. Grandson Robert agrees with me. We have made a study.

No Name Pub is an interesting place. It appears to have formerly been a small two story home. Before and during World War II,  a whore house. Now a restaurant.

Afterwards,  decided to visit No Name Key. No Name Pub is not located on No Name Key. It is about a half mile further down the road. Over a long bridge. The Pub is located on Big Pine Key.

Seems confusing. It is not. Once you understand.

No Name Key’s claim to fame is that it has no electric power. No utility lines of any kind. This is roughing it. At least from my perspective. The people living on No Name Key have propane generators, solar panels, and I assume candles. They like it that way. The State of Florida is trying to compel the residents to get electric power. The residents do not want it. There is a new lawsuit pending by the residents to bar electric power from coming to their island.

No Name Key is a desolate place. The homes are not close together. Though the homes are visible to each other. Some large homes, small small ones. All weather beaten. It appears no one paints. Most run down.

All of the preceding adds to that strange feeling one experiences when they visit No Name Key. To me it as a cemetery grown up.

One has to go out of his way to get to No Name Key. Once there, he cannot wait to leave!

There is something lovely and beautiful on No Name Key. Little deer. No more than two feet high. The young ones even smaller.

I was driving through late in the afternoon. The deer were c coming out of the woods. There were literally hundreds on and around the roads. Traveling in packs. Gave no concern to my car. It was their home, their place. I was the one who had to be careful.

The drive home was a delight. The top still down. My head this morning has a large burn spot on the upper forehead where the hat failed to cover.

It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Enjoy your day!