….this was our first mix-up. kelly and i thought that we had another student in our class named tutti… what a cute name we thought. we’ll make tutti an extra packet and “be sure to bring tutti an extra print” we reminded each other. we have got to remember to ask about tutti and her ETA, etc.! shortly after meeting with the program organizer we asked about tutti to realize that tutti= everybody and his email exclaiming “ciao tutti” was to us all, and not to the imaginary student we had created. every single time i hear tutti (which is often on these italian streets) i still laugh!

i’m sitting in our small studio apartment in florence that hugh and i have rented for the week. basically just a bed, kitchenette in the closet and bathroom– with a deep lovely bath. there is a candle burning to the quick on the table for two and i am feeling insanely happy and extremely well fed. tonight we had our first home cooked meal of pasta (senza glutine for hugh), pesto and kale and garlic. dark chocolate and fresh blueberries for dessert. hugh is resting his eyes and i am, well writing obviously;)

what can i say? this trip to italy has been just as i dreamt. and more. the class was amazing… the students warm and funny. thank you all!!! the food delicious and abundant… 3 course meals for lunch and dinner, wine for both. that would be my primary switch next time is more breaks and a little less time eating… i never thought i would complain of this!! we ate for 6 hours a day, at least. yes. kelly and i both took flight as teachers and our students as artists. cortona, where we taught, was a picturesque hillside town just as imagined. we stayed in a monastery at the foot of a hill with incredible views. we shared our hotel with germans who were practicing for a tai chi tourney and were our backdrop of entertainment and us theirs.

the first couple of days kelly and i adjusted to jet lag and slept ridiculous amounts awaking for dinner up to town. homemade gnocci, a bottle of wine and chocolate torte was our favorite and soon to become mainstay dinner. mmmm. we watched the town swirl by… men in the courtyard meeting to catch up. couples arm and arm. dapper. men with little hats and canes. women in fancy boots tucked into their jeans as a rule. shop keepers constantly sweeping and maintaining their beautiful shops and greeting one another. ahh, the slow life filled with siestas and wine mid day.

since the class we have focused on art, gelato, salami, wine and cheese at a tiny bar that our local friend elenora from SF introduced us to. in between we visited our new friend shanna’s family olive farm and have plans to go back for their harvest! we’re off to venice to celebrate hugh’s 40th birthday and meet up with our english friend nigel. then to rome and day trips in between. it will go so slow, but fast, as vacation seems to do.

i’m excited to get back to the us for thanksgiving with my family in maine (and continue this feast we’ve begun) and our new president! so proud of our country. yes we can! i’m so curious to see what it’s like when we return and hear everyones stories of election night. we stayed up most of the night watching the developments on CNN with our friend shanna on her olive farm. so surreal and incredible to wake up with hugh holding his i phone over my head with all caps OBAMA wins!

i want to continue taking photos, writing, drawing, taking it in, filling up the well and capturing perspective on our lives back home.

speaking of which, i got word that 7×7 published their article on us and our studio. have a look and please save a copy for us if you happen to pick it up. also, i contributed typography to a publication called “undergound artschool” that i’m excited to see a copy of in person. thanks to both!

ciao tutti! i hope you are very, very well~