by Melinda Gallo

Dave and I are missing Florence. Our daily dose of pasta, my trips to the market for fresh fruits and vegetables, Italian coffee, and our view on the terra cotta colored tile roofs. I miss our small terrace filled with plants that sometimes has big black bees flying around and geckos climbing the short walls in the early evening. It has become our home and we love it.

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August has always been a birthday month in my mind. My father was born on the 8th, my grandmother on the 9th, and my mother on the 10th. It was nice at times because I couldn't forget any of their birthdays; however, nowadays they are not my favorite three days of the year.

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Today started like every other day here in Corsica. Breakfast on the terrace looking out over the Mediterranean with fresh bread and/or croissants and a caffè latte. After having so many heavy meals, I decided to only have coffee so that I could be hungry for our special lunch at "Le Caraïbou."

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Living in Florence :: To the northern tip of Corsica

The day started with fresh croissants and bread that the baker delivered up to the small village where the house we're staying in is located. Dave made a few caffè latte and we sat outside on the terrace under the mulberry tree. We looked out over the Mediterranean sea and discussed our plans for the day. We found out that our afternoon would start with an apéritif at a cousin's house, then lunch up at another small village, and end with a drive along the western coast.

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Living in Florence :: Tour d'Erbalunga

Today we ate in a small restaurant on a sandy beach only a few minutes from the house. We were planning initially on going into the water, but it was a little too rough. We heard there might be jelly fish as well, so we didn't push it. Especially since Dave got stung by a wasp of some sort during lunch. Instead we drop down the coast a bit more to Erbalunga. We were lucky that it's the other town near our small village with an ATM as well.

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Today was my friend Todd's birthday party. He and his wife Marie are our hosts here in Corsica. Because Marie is Corsican, her family is all here for the month of August (at least the beginning of the month). Since we've been here we've met her mother's side of the family one night and then her father's side of the family the next night. So, tonight was the gathering of them all and then some.

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Living in Florence :: Going to town

After getting up late, having coffee, helping prepare lunch and eating again, we decided to take a small trip to Macinaggio. I took one picture of the main street along the coast with a large port and many boats. It's the closest town to the village where we're staying. And the closest town with an ATM machine.

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Living in Florence :: Our first day in Corsica

My friend Marie told me about the convent at the top of the hill, but I figured it was farther up the hill or somewhere else. When I woke up this morning, I realized it was outside our bedroom (there are four: two face the water and two face the mountains). I decided that if I wasn't going to walk up there, I could at least take a picture from our window.

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Living in Florence :: Partiamo per la Corsica

After staying up until 2AM working last night, I needed a strong caffè latte to wake me at 5AM to call for a taxi and get us on the 7:30AM train to Livorno. We arrived at the Livorno train station and took the last taxi (there were only three). Simone told me that we could take the bus, but between buying tickets, figuring out which bus to take and our ship departing in less than an hour, I didn't hesitate walking straight to the taxi.

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I officially started looking for an apartment today. I have been surfing the Internet, talking to a few people I know, and buying La Pulce to check out the classified ads. But, today I finally saw an apartment. Simone (our landlord) will continue renting to us, but he'd like to move back within the next 6 months.

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At first I thought maybe this is how they do things in Italy. Three out of three friends told me that they'll take me to a bank and introduce me. I figured they would escort me to the bank, introduce me to their banker, and then the banker would help me open an account offering me plenty of benefits.

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And so, today August 1st marks the beginning of Summer here in Italy. Most of my Italian friends sent me emails on Friday wishing me buone vacanze (a good vacation). So many people seem to be taking part or all of the month off. And I've already noticed how much quieter the city is.

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Living in Florence :: Is vandalism illegal?

Last night, we ate dinner on a terrace of a restaurant near Piazza della Repubblica. As we sat there, I noticed two police officers drive up and get out of their car. Then, I noticed two young guys spray painting an edicola (news kiosk).

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Living in Florence :: Un concerto all'improviso

As we walked down the Via di San Giuseppe next to the Santa Croce church, we could hear music blaring. It is quite common to hear people playing in the piazza. There are summer concerts in many of the piazze in Florence on the weekends.

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Well, for the second day in a row it's been in the high nineties and probably reached 100 degrees. The lows are a in the high sixties, low seventies. Just a week ago, it was cool and rained off and on for two days in a row. Everyone talks about the heat. How can you not mention it? It's all around you.

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