What Friends are For

Last night, we had a nice evening; wine and dinner and conversation with a friend and his partner.  My friend made Chicken Provençal, served over rice, with a nice salad on the side; excellent stuff!  We always enjoy visiting with these guys.  They are warm, funny, and they share many of our intellectual and political interests.

Although we have much in common, there are very significant differences (aside from heterosexuality versus homosexuality).  My wife and I are much more adventurous in terms of food, for example.  Last night, my wife and were discussing some of the foods we enjoyed during our visits to England over the years; our comments about our appreciation of steak and kidney pie were met with mock shock and horror.  Similarly, our enjoyment of sushi and sashimi do not parallel their taste.

“Do not feed me raw fish,” my friend said when I mentioned we want to have them over for dinner before we sell our house and move away.  I promised I would not place organ meat and fish corpses on their plates when we make dinner for them.  They say they would be happy for me to smoke ribs or a brisket for them, though.

One of the topics of conversation related to my friend’s plan to visit family in Greece in September.  He will fly to Athens, then go by train, I believe, to spend seven days with relatives who own a manufacturing plant somewhere on the coast.  From there, he will take a ferry to Italy, then take the train to Rome.  He’ll spend several days in Rome before flying back to the U.S.  He had been planning to travel with another friend who, for some reason, had to back out of the trip.  Had his friend not had to back out, they were planning on spending their time in Italy on the Amalfi Coast. a very popular tourist destination on the west coast in the Province of Salerno.  He told us about the hotel where he had been planning to stay, a place called the Hotel Onda Verde in Praiano.  I’ve taken the liberty of capturing some of the images from the hotel’s website, which are shown below:


After hearing him talk about Italy, the hotel, and the Amalfi Coast, I began thinking we might want to wait to go to the Pacific Northwest; maybe we should, after we sell our house, take a 2-3 week trip to Italy! I would love to do that. But, while we’re there, it would make sense to then travel to the east coast of Italy, get a ferry or a ship to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and explore that spectacularly beautiful area; my five or six days in Dubrovnik a few years ago were wonderful…I fell in love with Dubrovnik!

Anyway, what was intended to be simply a nice evening with friends turned into a reexamination (at least on my part) of our plans to move, as soon as possible, to the Pacific Northwest. Maybe a trip to the Amalfi coast is in order, instead. Plans derailed! That’s what friends are for, right?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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