Ciao Ciao, Minnesota

December 17, 2019

After three months in Minnesota, it was time for me to move onto Washington State to see my girls for the holidays. I am closer to home in Italy now and so looking forward to walking the streets of Chiavari beneath portici, arched walkways, and by the winter sea.

I miss the power of the winter sea, the spray of the waves crashing into the huge stone breakers.  If I wasn’t now with my daughter and granddaughter, I would be home walking the empty promenade, cherishing the majesty. I love being with them but am aching for my home in Liguria.

Still, I needed time in MN with family and clients planning their Italian Adventures.

One of my clients sent a photo of their Tuscany  Artisanal Winery Experience that I arranged for them.

Chianti is such a beautiful place. And my friends assisted them in a private adventure including a meal with the vitner and his family at the small biodynamic winery.

It has been so much fun finding unique providers for adventures that are beyond the normal offerings most travelers experience in Italy. My clients have been so pleased with these extraordinary  exploits. I love finding these providers, hotels, classes and more provided by locals throughout Italy. That way I know my clients are receiving the Italian Soul Vacation they chose.

I also have begun revamping my website to help those searching for those special touches to their trip to Italy can better understand what Take Me Home Italy offers. The new information will be coming in 2020.

Besides working, I spent time with my father

 and my Aunt Bena on Veterans Day,

Bena and my father are in their 90s and still argue like young siblings do. Can you see the resemblance of these 100% Italian-Americans? 

My god-son Jim and his son JT also came to town from Los Angeles to see my dad and others. Here they are with my father and my brother Jim

When Jim was born, he was treated like the first Ricci grandchild. He stole all our hearts and we still adore him and his entire family.

When I arrived in Minnesota, Autumn was only beginning. My own emotional state was a bit rocky and I spent a good deal of my time with my sister, Patrice and her spouse, Diana. And, of course, the dogs were my mental health animals. One of the best times with them all was the night my sister took me on her motorcycle at dusk. The feeling of riding really was just what I needed. 

Right around Thanksgiving, Callie, Patrice’s little dog, got very Ill. It was my turn to help be her by holding her for an entire day. They were testing her for cancer and for an immune deficiency disease. She wasn’t eating so I spoon fed her. 

Thank goodness it was not cancer. She is being treated for the immune deficiency disorder now and we hope it will not be forever and are very thankful it was not cancer.

I also was the dog, cat and bird-sitter for the week of Thanksgiving. Patrice and Diana left for Illinois to be with Diana’s family. And, as it usually does in Minnesota, we had a HUGE dump of snow—9.5 inches (24 CM) in one night. It was wet and heavy, and I had to shovel—what????

Here’s Zoe who has vision problems coming in during the storm.

And after I had shoveled some of the snow.

Bah, humbug! Snow is gorgeous in photos. It was time for me to leave.

Now I am in Washington State where we visited the Seattle Aquarium.

Here are my beautiful girls. Maggie earned a Camp Fire Badge by filling out a questionnaire as we enjoyed all the sea creatures.

I was able to celebrate my birthday with them. Maggie’s birthday is after Christmas and I have yet to miss any of her birthdays. December is the best time to share with my daughter Stephanie and her lovely daughter.

Soon I will return home to Chiavari. I am still working with clients as I travel. Let me know what help you need in travel planning. Now is the time to think about travel in 2020. Contact me anytime at   

Enjoy your family time, holiday time, friend time. 

A dopo.

Ciao for now!

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