Gee, Thanks

North of Agrigento, Italy: Thanks, Mother Nature.
North of Agrigento, Italy: Thanks, Mother Nature.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving arrives with gallons of gravy and pumpkin pie and dredges of “gapers” — the tourists we love to hate because they keep our bank accounts open and drive us insane in the process. But let’s face it: when we skip town for a much-needed vacation, we’re the gapers. We’re the ones in need of directions, dragging our starving, tired families (or bikes) around, totally confused and driving in two lanes at once. Ahhh, winter. It’s here and I’m thankful for it.

You’ll read a lot of “thanks” in this episode of the Sylva Lining. Like, the fact that I’m so flipping thankful that I got to go here:

DCIM100GOPRONobody — least of all me — would complain about a dip in these luscious waters, lapping up against a deserted shore. In the summer months the lonesome beach at Eraclea Minoa is packed with sunning Europeans who jostle each other’s umbrellas in tanned, speedo-ed glory. Tyler and I arrived in the last few days of our Sicily trip — which you will likely never hear about because I haven’t had time to assemble the pieces of my obliterated mind enough to cook up the tale. Because, I’ve acquired a new job of late; it involves an “experience of a lifetime” (thank you Vail Resorts), pots of Gouda, Gruyère and Emmental cheese, a commute by Gondola and a dirndl…

A what? A dirndl. Dean knows exactly what I’m getting at here. It looks a bit like this, minus the apron and the pastoral setting in which to stage Heidi of the Alps pictures. Yes, I will sell you a pic of me in it for a nominal fee — wine is fine, FYI.

Anyway, I digress. Life is a crazy; sometimes it smacks you in the face like a wet noodle and you’re like, WTF? Other times, memories like these are enough to block out the wet noodle entirely:

There’s nothing quite like a van dance party, IMHO — especially with Italian tour leaders Enrico, Andrea and Lisa. And it’s a decent drive from Agrigento to Palermo, especially when we take a wrong turn at Albequerque looking for lunch and end up eating roast lamb served by a large, possibly inbred woman who has a matted black dog the size of a horse and a disposition like a polar bear somebody poked in the butt with a barrel cactus. After wolfing down the delectable lamb, ignoring the strange orange wine and putting down a plate of cannoli, we had just enough energy to blast our theme song one more time:

The fox say: nap. At least, that’s what we all said once we got to Palermo and had oodles of time to kick it while waiting for our overnight ferry to Napoli…

Friends, old and new — now there’s something to give thanks for. And freaking palm trees.

Thankfully, that night on the ferry, I got as much sleep as Miley Cyrus had clothing on at the MTV music awards. I will say, I enjoyed the mammoth-sized kitty on steroids singing along to “Wrecking Ball,” which is the only reason I managed to get through 3/4 of the video on mute.

photoAnyway, I am also thankful for the wee things in life, including the homemade gravy and cranberry relish my boss Doug whipped up so we could all take some home for Turkey Day. And going to my friend Josh’s wedding a few weeks ago in a sweet purple dress, drinking a ridiculously girlie cocktail called a Pink Lady which is farther away than Venus from my normal vodka tonic. And for the fact that I haven’t killed any of my plants this year (some are in fact flowering OMG), that the only kids in my life are other people’s and that I just got two free ski passes with my new job. God bless corporate ‘merica!

Mmm kay let’s get serious for a minute here… because I am actually very thankful for my friends (including but not limited to Kelly Hammond, who has put up with my sh*t since 5th grade), my family (including me mum and dad, who have also put up with my sh*t for 30 years and are the only ones crazy enough to read every one of my blogs) and T$ (who has put up with my sh*t for almost 8 years and has to listen to me read my blogs to him repeatedly before publishing).

Lastly, I’m thankful for this person and the rainbow that made it all possible (hint: past the one minute mark, it gets even better):

Rainbowgasm!!! Happy Thanksgiving — I hope it’s the triple rainbow, weeping and wondering what it all means kind of day. I will be at work tomorrow, serving the masses — but please brighten my day and tell me: what are you thankful for?

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