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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

A Shag in South Carolina

This week I write from Charleston, South Carolina.This is perhaps my fifth visit to Charleston, a number which will surely increase in the future as my parents have chosen this southern city as their future retirement spot.

Spanish Moss: a sign of the South
The southern United States has a very distinct feel. Yet, despite all the items that could easily remind you of this particular southern state, pecans, palmetto trees, Spanish moss, light houses, beaches etc., South Carolina always reminds me of one thing: Shag. Not the British meaning of the word, but the America-in-the-1960's meaning: a beach dance mildly related to swing. And more than the dance, South Carolina reminds me of "Shag" the movie.

Set in the '60s but filmed in the '80s it was one of those innocent, girl-flicks about a mild form of rebellion. Like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or the classic, "Dirty Dancing," "Shag" is about four girls tricking their parents into allowing them to go for an educational weekend to historical Fort Sumter when in fact they go to Myrtle Beach, to... oh-cover-your-ears... meet boys!

Sullivan Island beach perfect for 90+ degree weather

While I knew that my particular trip to South Carolina was never going to follow in the foot steps of the "Shag" girls, I couldn't help wishing I would see a shag competition, just as a nod to a movie with which I was mildly obsessed in my adolescence.  No, decidedly a four day trip with my parents would not be about rebellion; the trip would more aptly follow Luanne's famous line from the movie, (cue southern drawl): "Now we can have a good time, but we cannot be wild."

Wild it was not, but sun, beach time and restaurant outings weren't too shabby for a vacation. As for shagging (reminder: G-rated blog), that would be for a different trip. 

Poe's Tavern- Sullivan's Island
No alligators in this particular marsh,
but you always need to be on the look-out

A bare palm tree