Category Archives: couples

Making the Plan

Tartuffe Festival.

I love to travel.  Each year Camillo and I take at least one major trip.  By major, I mean outside of the country in which we live and to a city where we have never been before.  To a city where we have never been before usually means where I have never been before.  Camillo, who has traveled so far in his life, has usually been to the new city and is eager to re-visit, to show me his favorite places, from restaurants to hill-top views.

    Our trip this year will be to Turin (Torino) Italy.  Nestled in the area of  Piemonte, to the north and  west of Milan.  Torino has, of course, castles, churches,  food, wine and mountain views.   Camillo lived in this area briefly as a child (70 years ago) and spent time as a young soldier on a base right after WWII.  The primary objective of this visit is to spend four days in Alba, to the north and east of Torino, enjoying the Tartuffe Festival.  I am loosing 5 pound as my part of the plan for this trip.  If I start 5 pounds down I won’t once say…. “I can’t eat that.”   Camillo has made a complex spreadsheet as his part of the plan.

Sometimes it is hard for me to believe how well we travel together.  Camillo’s idea of a trip is getting there, arriving, and my focus is often the journey.  His spreadsheet has all the information as he sees as ‘the trip’.  Plane take off and landing times, train schedules, ticket costs, hotel names and reservation information when available.  He has also listed the particular sites he wants to show me, and any restaurants or even special dishes of the area he wants me to try.  As you can tell he has spent many hours making the plan.

My (other) part of the plan is to make suggestions like, “once in Italy,  let’s travel solely by train and bus, lets spend some days in Milan, will we be close enough to the Alps to take a train ride up a mountain pass (?), can we stop to visit Wendy?”  And to accommodate me, he builds my vision of the trip into his vision of the destination.  He only requires of me that I fit 30 days of cloths into one small suitcase, easy to load on and off the trains, and to do that I must make a complex plan, usually in my head, of what I will need to wear in between stops that are long enough to do laundry.   But that is part of the journey, right?

So this years plan is to fly from Rio to Lisbon on September 25th and will return Rome – Rio on October 25th.  We are flying TAP so we stop in Lisbon anyway and we will use the opportunity to spend 3 days walking in the old city.  Then on to Piemonte, Turin, Alba, Milan, Bagno di Lucca, back to Lucca to catch the train to Rome.   Once in Rome, there will be a week of short drives with his sister and train rides up into the Umbria area.  Maybe this is another trip, another plan, but Camillo is flirting with the idea of a small apartment in an ancient town, on a distant mountain top.  This year’s trip not started and our next journey already in the making.


Just Kiss Me

I was twelve years old when I received my first kiss. I didn’t have a boyfriend or anything, but I’ve always been boy crazy. So this first kiss wasn’t planned or expected but surprisingly and awkwardly, good.  It came about one day at a party thrown by three sisters whom I’ve known all of my life. We didn’t live in the same town but my mom drove over an hour so that my sister and I could attend the party. And besides, the mother of the three girls was my mom’s best friend. A win win for the kids and the adults.  I have forgotten many of the details of the party except for what led up to my first kiss.  All of the guests sat on the floor, forming a circle.  Yes, you guessed it. We were playing spin the bottle.  Every time someone spun the bottle and it landed on the opposite sex we had to kiss them.  I’m not sure if my spin landed on him, or if his spin landed on me, but either way, I was very glad it was him. His name is Ron and he is the cousin of the girls having the party, and I have always had a crush on him.  I thought he was very cute. One thing you need to know before I go any further is that I was a very extremely shy young girl. So, imagine how I squirmed inside when it was my turn to kiss a boy. There were some giggles and prompting from everybody to just kiss.  When it finally happened, Ron put his tongue in my mouth, which I was not expecting. It felt kind of funny and part of me was grossed out but another part of me liked it and so I kissed him back with my tongue and even though I was embarrassed, it seemed like we kissed for much longer than necessary. I have never forgotten that kiss and I think it’s why I like kissing so much today.  A kiss is not just a kiss.  It is so much more.

A kiss is so much more than just an expression of passion; a means to express love or a loving act.  There are countless different kinds of kisses, mother to child, husband to wife, friend to friend, pre-sex, post-sex and among different cultures kisses are used for different reasons and occasions.  Lets take Brasil versus the USA, two places I am most familiar with.  In the USA you go to visit your family.  It is the first time you have seen them all in upward of fifteen years.  You walk in the room, say hello to the group, sit down and start talking; it could have been just fifteen minutes since you saw them last and when ready to leave a brief wave and you are out the door.  In Brasil you go to see the family.  You just had dinner with them all last night but as you walk into the room they all stand, you are passed from person to person, a kiss (buss as the British say) is given on each cheek. The 3 or four hours later when leaving the complete process reverses itself.  Some cultures do not kiss as a greeting and in another it is a process to maneuver through whether with family or casual friends. But for women the kiss can still mean more.

For me, a kiss is more meaningful than sexual intercourse.  It is an expression of intimacy that connects you to another person more lovingly.  When two lovers kiss, they are expressing how much attraction they feel for one another. There are many styles of kissing; soft and tender or wet and urgent as an example.   I believe that couples who continue to kiss throughout their marriage maintain a passion that is lacking in so many relationships. So, if you think you don’t have a spark left in your relationship, start kissing your significant other every day.  And I’m not talking about a quick closed mouth peck on the lips or cheeks. I’m talking about open mouth, tongues learning to waltz with each other kind of kissing.  I promise, you will make your partner come to life and have him/her wondering what the hell has gotten into you lately.  It’ll be worth the effort and If I’m wrong, well at least hopefully you had fun trying.  Now go start kissing.


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