Daddy-Daughter Tour de Force

Babbo and Bets

I just returned from a daddy-daughter tour de force (Quintana style) of Tuscany. My father turned 70 this year and I promised him a trip to his favorite part of Tuscany, the Val D’Orcia, to pick grapes during the harvest vendemmia. He is a big fan of red wine, especially the Brunello and Nobile of Montalcino and Montepulciano. As they say in Italy “La vita e breve, vive.” Life is brief, live.  Believers in seizing the day, off we went for two weeks.

In our time together we traveled the entire length of Tuscany and west to the beautiful island of Elba. We ate and drank our way through most of Tuscany and enjoyed the autumn beauty of that wonderful place. I did business as my father followed along visiting cheese, honey and wine makers, grape picking, sea kayaking, trekking the trails, staying at new agriturismos, building contacts for my business. He was great sport in keeping up, enjoying all the specialties and special people that we came in contact with.

Traveling with anyone for that long can be difficult, but to come face to face with yourself, through your parent, is eye opening. My father is a mini me, I can say that since I am at least an inch taller than him, but mostly because, all the qualities that makes me me, I saw first hand in him. The endless energy,  impatience, humor, vivacity, willingness to make new friends, hard work ethic, promptness, the latin attitude and the laugh…. oh my! After a few glasses of wine, people would watch us as we filled a restaurant with deep, satisfying belly laughs. A woman from Iran commented on how friendly, open and joyful we were together. Really, it is hard to contain the humor he has, laughing mostly at his own jokes. I have seen him laugh so hard that tears come to his eyes. Oh my God– I’ve become my father– he’s me on steroids! I thank my dad for all his unique qualities that I inherited (except the naz), but mostly his humor and positive outlook.

We won’t be around forever, and I so grateful that I got to spend some time traveling with my dad– babbo Bob. Sharing a beer together or several glasses of wine, I will always love those memories and laughs.  “We usually like to have one or two every night….(pause)… bottles that is!” (belly laugh– gasp)- “oh that’s a good one!”, one of his favorite jokes. Our trip was was a great way to indulge in our shared passion for Italy, our love for wine and reconnect.

Love my Dad!

Since photos speak louder than words, I will just share our experience through this slide show. I like to refer to this tour as ‘Tuscany for big kids’! For a unique theme tour for you and a loved one, feel free to contact me betsy@customtuscany.com Enjoy!
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10/11/2010 02:12 pm | Share | 8 Comments
 

8 Comments

  1. Hola Betsy,
    Love, love, love your blog, pics and details of your trip. Bob is a trip! Love him, too. Wonderful, that you two are able to enjoy each other and your favorite people and places in Italy together. Looking forward to your visit this week. Miss you and love you. Thank you for being the wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and friend that you are. As you say, ” every day is a gift; that’s why they call it the present.” Grandma Lin

    Reply

    • CustomBetsy

      Thanks Lin! Such a gift to have such a kind, loving and positive mother in law! You’re the best! Can’t wait to see you!! xoxoB

      Reply

    • CustomBetsy

      Thanks Lin- You’re the best, kindest and positive Mother-in-law a gal could ever wish to have! xoxo a presto! B

      Reply

  2. Great video & great adventure! Your dad is a luck man!! By the way, you two look VERY Italian…Way to fit in with the culture!!!

    Reply

    • CustomBetsy

      Thanks Jill! We love our Spatalian roots- Hee! We can certainly keep up in the wine department with those locals!

      Reply

  3. carissima – bellissime foto proprio come abbiamo vissuta la parte di montalcino e montechiello. tuo padre è fantastico , vivace , gentile , un attore un vere “grand’uomo” (gentleman) . la vendemmia è stata buona anzi buonissima anche grazie a voi . un abraccio agnes P.S mando il link a Wolf il lupo !§

    Reply

  4. Betsy, loved the writing and slide show. What amazing memories to have made with your pops!

    Reply

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