There’s nothing like a long, sunny, breezy day to mark the first full day of vacation.
But the first day had a focused purpose–at least for me and Kat.
There’s surely no lack of opportunity for that mission here, and the August sales are in swing–so all the better. Plus for me, it’s my golden opportunity to scoop up gifts and cross off that Christmas list in high summer.
Still, my first purchase is for me alone.
We wandered into a shop, such pretty colors, pretty shells. And what do I spy but a gorgeous compass. It spoke to me even before I equated it with the Guardian trilogy, Sawyer and Capri. I could see it on a shelf in my library or my office, so treated myself.
As much as a treat was the handsome shopkeeper who flirts outrageously, singing straight into my eyes. That’s a trait I’ve noted in Italian men particularly. How they look right into your eyes–it works!
We wander more, and come upon the striking pottery in a kind of open air shop where I’ve purchased before. I recognize the owner, tell him I used a platter I bought from him only a few days before. He’s gracious, talkative, obviously proud of his wares. I don’t need another platter or bowl, I really, really don’t. But . . . The one with lemons is so cheerful! And the little matching bowl and serving set. And I love this spaghetti bowl, and this one.
Plus he takes my hand, kisses it. What can I do?
He’ll, he assures me, pack all my pieces up very, very well and ship.
The men have deserted us, so we hit a few more shops, and now I’m back on mission. No more for me, it’s Christmas in Capri. And yes, I remember this shop where I found several gifts last time. And do so again, now with Kat’s help.
A few more shops, meet up with the men, separate again because we’re not done!
Well, maybe I can have one more thing because that scarf is absolutely delicious.
More than anything, it’s the cheer and delight of the shopkeepers, the saturation of colors, the clever displays that draw you in. It’s just happy.
We walk and walk. Settle on a pretty restaurant where we can sit outside, enjoy some wine and pasta. And more gifts from the shop right across the narrow street. There the shopkeeper–with beautiful gray eyes–flirts and chats. He has his worktable right there, so customers can watch him make his jewelry, and even, he tells me, give him suggestions. He’ll make a pair of earrings for me while I have lunch!
And lunch is lovely. There is no pasta as fresh, no wine as soft as in Italy. I don’t even have room for my daily gelato after.
More walking, more shopping bags, and a return to the hotel where the men take naps. And I take out my little book, make my gift notes. Nearly done there! It’ll be an Italian Christmas for my pals this year.
Kat and I are made of sterner stuff. We need a few supplies from a market, so head out to find one. And find a purse I don’t need but just want, a few gifts to be crossed off her list. The crowds have thinned by this time, so it’s a little treat to see locals walking home from work, or marketing.
We do our own marketing, and wind our way back. A few words with the gray-eyed craftsman as he stands outside his shop–it was a good day, he tells me. He hopes I had the same.
And a return to the potter where Kat’s debating over some tiles. She’ll make a little table or a pot holder for her kitchen. He shows her several designs of four tiles, how they can be turned to make different pretty patterns. She buys two sets of four, and I can’t wait to see what my clever girl does with them.
Then it’s back home again, a glass of champagne on the terrace with BW, the making of loose plans for the next day. And for me, a swim with Paltrow. The water’s warm and soft, and two gulls perch on our roof, chatting with each other.
We’re all so happy and relaxed we decide to have dinner right here, on the terrace. Another drink, and we enjoy a gorgeous sunset. All pink and gold as the sun turns into a red ball that sinks, sinks, shrinks, shrinks, then slides away into soft, soft light.
A lovely meal, a flickering candle and four contented travelers.
I’m out before eleven, up at my usual six to another lovely day.
We’ve got a serious hike planned for later, but I want a workout first to tune me up.