No, not for Brad and I. THAT Anniversary is in September. But just two years ago, today, I became a member of the Slow Travel family! I can't believe it has only been two years since I started reading travel information about Italy, trip reports, and posting questions and comments on the Slow Talk message boards. At first, it was just a great source of information. Soon, I developed relationships with members, made friends, and found myself an actively participating member of the community, and THAT was the first six months. We took a pasta class from Diva and attended out first GTG in Sonoma in March, 2007. That was the beginning!
Fast forward to the present. Brad and I have both formed deep and growing friendships. We have attended many Slow Travel GTGs and hosted one last fall. Our social life, like a magnet to a compass, has been pointing more and more toward our ST friends. In 2007, I met Beth in Las Vegas for a quiet cup of coffee, kicked off the year with the fabulous "Slow Bowl" in Paso Robles, dinner at Mozza in Los Angeles, and dinner in Pasadena when Jerry was in town. We had an evening in La Quinta with Carole and friends. We flew across the country in April to attend the Brevard, NC get-together. Sheena and her daughters also visited us in the desert in April. In June, we had dinner with Nancy and Bill in the desert. WOW! I have not made it to a Bay Area event yet this year. That must change!
This summer we met an amazing number of friends in Italy: first Sheri and Joe in Florence; Gloria and Marcel in Pisa; and old friends, Ida and Bill in Montalcino. We spent days with Barb and Art, and Judith in Umbria. We were able to visit Jane, Ken and Casey twice and THEN, we saw everyone again at the big get-together in Umbria! We met Mary T., Corrina, Janet, Valerie, Karen, KimC and Kevin, Mary Jane, Ann, Janet, Rebecca, Letezia and Giulia! We visited with "old buddies", Pauline and Steve, and Marcia and Dave.
This weekend, we are off to San Diego for "Pinot and Ponies" with Shannon and the gang, and a "Missing Italy" dinner with Jane and her family. We'll be home four days before trotting up to Vancouver to meet the Pacific Nortwest group for a foodie market and scavenger hunt to make dinner together. A whole new group of playmates!
It is starting to look as though Slow Travel has had a MAJOR impact on our life. You think? We are looking forward to the "Second Annual Desert GTG" in October, and our next TWO Italy trips in 2008 will be spent with friends we met as a result of the group. In May we will be in Montisi with Gail, John, Jerry, Sandi, and company, and in the fall we will return to Piemonte for a week with Diana, Micha and Max!
I have spent many hours working with my wonderful co-committee members, Sheena, Kathy, Terry, Jan, and Leslie E. planning the "Great Slow Travel Gathering 2008" in Savannah next spring. THAT will be an amazing event!
I look forward to weekly chats, try to attend the Concentric Reading Circle when possibe, and then there is THIS BLOG! My how my life has changed!
Those we have met and bonded with have been so genuine, fun, and share the joy and fulfillment that come with exploring the world. We are of all ages and interests, have different travel styles and budgets. We certainly PACK from one extreme to another! None of that matters. We seem to love food, wine, and our trips, whether they be European adventures or weekend get-aways. You can't keep us home for long!
So to all Slow Travelers, I raise my glass. May we continue to travel, meet, nurture our friendships, and enjoy sharing our stories. I hope to see YOU soon!