Wish I Was There . . . Again (Part 1)


SicilyThere was a time when cameras used film, and that film had to be brought to a photo developing retail outlet, and that outlet would print your photos and supply a free second set.  One set for the photo album; another set for . . . well, I guess, a box.

That’s the box I recently came across while in the attic — for Joe and me, that’s 25 years of negatives and photos of vacations gone by, and so many “ahhhhh” moments captured — the sort of moments that begin with a single picture and then goes something like this, “Remember when we. . . and that’s when . . . and we saw . . . “

Soon, the moments are stitched together, like a verbal photo album.

In the photo above, Joe and I were driving through the heart of Sicily in search of the village from where my maternal great-grandfather began his journey to America.  At one point, there was a curve in the road and a view of the valley, orderly rows of olive trees caught in a game of hide-and-seek sunlight.

Join me as I take a walk down memory lane, or, rather, down the global garden path . . .

No garden tour would be complete without a detour to Giverny, Monet's magnificent garden.

No garden tour would be complete without a detour to Monet’s magnificent garden.

I was mesmerized by some of the design elements and techniques used in the garden.

I was mesmerized by some of the design elements and techniques used in the garden.

Every garden should have a water element -- and a stroll (and lunch) along San Antonio's ribbon of water is perfect for a warm afternoon.

Every garden should have a water element — and a stroll (and lunch) along San Antonio, Texas’s, ribbon of water was perfect for this warm afternoon.

Not necessarily a garden in the "garden" sense of the word, but a tree-covered courtyard on Mykonos is an ideal location for an early dinner.

Not necessarily a garden in the “garden” sense of the word, but a tree-covered courtyard
on Mykonos was an ideal location for an early dinner.

There are, of course, mansions in Newport, Rhode Island -- and mansions usually mean gardens.

Newport, Rhode Island, is known for its mansions — and where there’s a mansion,
there’s also a garden.

On one of my first trip to Europe, I was intrigued at the pruning of trees -- a style I  had not really seen on Long Island.  This is a street in Cannes.

On one of my first trips to Europe, I was intrigued by the pollarded trees —
a pruning style I had not really seen on Long Island. This is a street in Cannes.

Maybe not a garden, but a photo of my other favorite -- clay pots.  These were in Pompeii -- amazing to think of the hands that created them, carried them, worked from them, were buried with them.

A photo of my other favorite — clay pots. These were in Pompeii —
amazing to think of the hands that created them, carried them, and were buried with them.

I always find myself drawn to the structure of formal gardens.  This one was found in a monastery.

I always find myself drawn to the structure of formal gardens.
This one was found on the grounds of a monastery overlooking Nice.

While strolling around Capri, we made a few turns and were surprised to find this arbor covered in wisteria.  I like the inviting mystery of what could be at the end of he path.

While strolling around Capri, we made a few turns and were surprised to find this arbor covered in wisteria.
I like the inviting mystery of what could be at the end of the path.

It’s almost time for Margaret Roach Week!

This Sunday is the kick-off.

The Backyard Parables

30 thoughts on “Wish I Was There . . . Again (Part 1)

  1. Great photos NGDM!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW, my father’s side of the family is from Sicily. And his grandparents, my great grandparents (I recently learned over Thanksgiving) are from Libya. So I guess I’ve got me some mixed blood. 🙂
    My mom’s side is from Aquaro Calabria and Ancona Marche. But I was born here in USA. Never been to Italy; however, it’s on my list.
    xx
    GiRRL.

    • We could be related! Actually, I’m a bit of a mutt: Sicilian, French, German, Scottish, English, Irish . . . My maternal great grandfather arrived through Ellis Island. My father’s side of the family arrived hundreds of years ago, in 1675. With lineage like that, I should probably be living in Hyannis Port, next to the Kennedy enclave. 🙂 Oh, well. I’m pretty happy right where I am.

  2. Love these photos! It’s wonderful to see such vibrancy when my own outdoors is a mat of thick snow and slush.

    I shared your sentiments about the pollarded trees when I first visited France. It was early spring and they had not yet begun putting out new shoots, so they looked almost sinister along the streets of Millau.

    • Hi Jenny. The very first time I ever saw pollarded trees was in a remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” At the very end, the trees are in the background of a scene (I believe in San Francisco) — and I remember thinking how creepy they looked (which is great for a horror movie.) Now, I’m fascinated by the process and the look it gives the trees when they bloom. Stay warm! 🙂

      • Yes, same here! One of our neighbors have a pollarded tree and it looks just beautiful in the summer and spring.

        Thank you, I am staying warm! In keeping with the times we are having a very mild winter, by and large.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing “real” photos. They are all beautiful places but my fav was the Mykonos tree covered courtyard. I could just imagine walking in the hot sun and I noticed how they painted everything white to reflect it. I could just imagine sitting down to a meal there feeling the cool respite it offered. It must have been so wonderful. Thanks for sharing these treasures- l LOVED them! Sandi

    • Hi Sandi. It’s very sad to see the economic turmoil in Greece. It is one of the most beautiful places on the planet — and there is so much there to see and appreciate, including a meal in a shaded courtyard. Stay tuned for more photos after Margaret Roach Week.

  4. I enjoyed taking this walk down memory lane with you. I still enjoy sitting down with old photo albums and leafing through them to savor the memories (somehow a thumb drive full of digital images just isn’t the same). The photo of Newport made me realize that I spent my college years among the mansions of Newport but never paid any attention to gardens — oh callow youth!

    • LOL. I wonder how many gardens I missed in my younger years — but it is nice to look at what was captured on film. And I do agree with you about the difference in looking at digital photos versus touchable paper photos. Always great to hear from you, Jean.

  5. Thanks for letting us share these memories with you, I also treasure my thousands of paper photos from when I used film, and my negatives are among my most valuable items.

    I guess being European I am so used to seeing pollarded trees that it didn’t really cross my mind that you maybe didn’t do that all over America too? I have a huge London Plane tree right outside my house which is pruned that way every other year by the council, it is lovely when the branches grows out the year it has been pruned, the second year I just can’t wait for it to be pruned again.

    • Hello Helene. Pollarded trees are rare here, but I wonder if the tree were trimmed this way if it would mean less damage during storms. I loved seeing these trees throughout Europe. Our London Plane trees are huge, with branches stretching over the streets. Hold onto those negatives — they’re priceless!

  6. absolutely loved your post. I am a genealogy nut so when I see someone integrate it into their post as you did-well- it just brings a smile to my face. BTW-I love old fashion photo albums. : )

  7. Hi Kevin! Nice pictures and sweet memories to share with us! 🙂
    I guess in Italy and France they keep the trees pollarded to avoid old branches to fall in the street and maybe hit something or someone, in that case the town hall is supposed to pay for any damages.
    (as for the award, I really thank you but I don’t follow memes nor awards)

    • Hi Alberto. If that’s a reason that trees are pollarded, then American cities should certainly follow in Europe’s footsteps — especially since we just experienced so many power outages as a result of Hurricane Sandy’s winds snapping massive branches onto power lines. You’re very welcome for the award, by the way — and even though you don’t follow them, just know that I (and many others) think you and your blog are amazing. 🙂

  8. What an incredible stroll down memory lane! Thanks for taking us along! I remember well the good old days as I worked at a photo shop & we developed our own B&W film. Those pictures are some of my favorites. Most of mine never made it into photo albums, just into picture boxes.

    • Hi Peter. Every so often, it’s fun to break open the photo albums or boxes and flip back through time. While digital photos are convenient, there was something magical about images appearing on paper dipped in chemicals. 🙂

  9. The pollarded trees are fascinating and I was intrigued by Helene’s comment that they still do this all the time in Europe. I wonder if that’s to keep breakage from happening. An interesting idea since we often lose power in storms here due to trees losing limbs.

    • Hi Marguerite. I wondered the same thing. In my area, the power company will swarm into a neighborhood for its version of pollarding — usually hacking out all branches that surround a power line. The end result is a massive tree with its center removed. Not only is it ugly, I think it damages the tree and makes it even more unsteady in stormy weather. Pollarding seems like a better technique.

  10. Pingback: Wish I Was There . . . Again (Part 2) « Nitty Gritty Dirt Man

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