Friday, October 30, 2009

My Favorite trip....The trip of a lifetime.

What is your favorite trip....or vacation spot. Check out the latest post and challenge on What is your Fave thing. The design team layouts are just beautiful! Are you up for the challenge...?We will have 3 winners this time. I am so excited to here about your favorite trip.


I have been blessed to be able to travel to many places around the world.....Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Norway, Denmark, [Sicily]Italy, British Columbia and many of the states in the USA. All of these trips except for Sicily I took with my grandparents when I was a teenager. Now Married with children, it is not so easy to get away!

Well in the summer of 2008 after 1 year of correspondence with a family in Sicily, Italy and many invitations to come for a visit, My husband and I were able to go on a 2 week vacation to see where my husbands fathers side immigrated from. A man, Francesco, contacted my husband thru You Tube. He asked my husband what his origins were....That his grandmothers surname is Muffoletto and he wanted to know if there was any relation. We would speak everyday....Even hooked up a camera to the computer. They sent us a package of wonderful things from Sicily all with special meaning to them. Well The only thing I knew to send back was a few USA souvineers and I made them a scrapbook...I used pictures of our family and photos they had emailed to us....I put most of the emails we had sent back and forth trying to figure out if we were related and a few other unique photos of Muffoletto family members who lived here in the states. They loved it...Well after searching thru records we came to a dead end..... We can't make a paper connection between our 2 families but after 2 weeks with the family, being treated like we were one of the family and living life as they would live everyday life. They forever have a stamp on our hearts. The country is beautiful and we got the best tour of many places in Sicily....Each place we saw had a personal story attached to it...For example....One day we went down by the harbor in Palermo...There was an ice cream shop....Only this is Gelato and served in a bread roll. Francesco told us that when his grandfather was alive every Sunday he would take the whole family to this place and they would all have ice cream and walk by the sea. When we went for a day trip to Monreale....We walked into some of the old alley ways and off the beaten path to this "Forneria" It was a brick oven bakery. We had the most delicious Panini and bought bread for a family gathering we had later that evening. Francesco told us his father goes there every Tuesday for fresh bread! We were able to visit Cefalu which is recorded as to where my husbands family was from. Because Francesco could speak Italian we were able to do some research but because this was in the late 1800's when the family came to America we could not make any connections. One day we went with Francescos sister, Rossana and her boyfriend to Erice. Oh my, We were literally in the clouds this place was so high up in the mountains. It was awesome to speed down the highway listening to music I had never heard but loved and then travel up the this crazy curvy road to the top of this mountain to explore this cobblestone road little town. We saw beautiful churches and ate the most amazing food and met the most wonderful people. It was my true vision of what family is and should always be. Jasin, My husband and his brother were able to go back this summer. They had a wonderful time. I hear they may come for a visit to the USA next time.... They want to meet our children. They invited all of us to come and visit but because it is a 24 hour travel time, I don't think it would be much fun to travel with 4 small children. Maybe in a couple of years. I made this mini book of my trip to Sicily. There is journaling I will add and many more photos....Just wanted to share with you some special moments!

The beautiful lady smelling a rose I cut out of an old wood crate label. The she reminded me of Sicily so I used her for this mini book. This photo was taken in front of a church we visited in Cefalu, Sicily. When we were inside it brought my husband to tears with the thought it was old enough to have been visited by my husbands family when they lived in Cefalu in the 1800's.

Jasin is eating "real" flat bread. We went to a little cafe' in Mondello, Sicily. Francescos Mother and Father live there. We had just spent the morning at the sea. I was able to walk around and take a few photos. My favorite was this one of the little fishing boats. It was neat to watch the old fisherman repairing their nets right in their little boat. Francesco's father took us to on a tour thru some small ports on the sea. In this picture Jasin is eating a gelato served in a bread roll. I wish I had one of those right now! One this day I had my camera but the day before we went on a little tour up into a mountain overlooking this little port. I did not bring my camera. When we walked to look at the veiw....There were 2 young sicilian boys playing their guitar. Francescos dad asked if Jasin could play along with them. Jasin plays the guitar and has since he was 17. This was an awesome highlight of our trip and no pictures....But that is okay had I been taking a bunch of pictures it may not have played out like it did. Everything happens for a reason.

I have left a bunch of space for journaling.... The photo is of a mountain we traveled up to when we went to Erice. When I say we were in the clouds....I mean it! The little town is at the highest peak. I took this photo because they told us that is where we were going. So amazing.

There is a photo of a gorgeous church. On the inside it is covered in real gold mosaic of bible stories. Such a magnificent place of worship. This church is in Monreale. We went for a short walk into the back roads of this little town to a real brick oven bakery. Francesco bought bread for a family gathering we were having later that night and we all ate a sandwich....could not tell you the name of it I was too busy savoring each and every bite. I could eat those everyday all day. It was cheese and fresh tomatoes taosted in the brick oven...a little seasoning and voila! Mmmmmm. Do you see those cakes...? On the last night one of Francescos cousins had a birthday. Yep. another family dinner, home cooked and very delicious. These cakes came from a pastry shop. Yummy, mini strawberries and sugar glazed fruit...Very different from any cake I have ever had.

Carmello, Francescos father and Jasin cooking up some BBQ. On this night they had many family members come over to Modello for a wonderful dinner. They had a little of everything...It was funny to us that they eat in several courses and use a separate plate for each course. The food was better than any I have ever tasted. The next photo is all the ladies we met and grew to love.

Here are all the men.....Francesco is on the right end. I love what this tag says.....
What we choose changes us.Who we love transforms us.How we create re-shapes us.What we do re -makes us. Many people told us we were crazy for trusting this family we did not even know. I know we live in a crazy time but had we not trusted them or ourselves for that matter we would have missed out on this amazing experience, one to cherish for a lifetime. It is one of the best times in my life.

The back of the mini book....Our trip began June 11th....And we never wanted it to end. One night we had a dinner with the family Francesco pulled out the scrapbook I made them. It was so cool watching them look thru it. They had never seen anything like it. Well Francescos dad stole it from Francesco. He loved it most of all. On the last day he gave me a piece of paper.

1. For us were really a pleasure to have you with us!
2. Embrace your childrens for us.
3. I hope for you it has been an important experience.
4. { this is what happens when you don't scrap things that are important right away but I truly can't make out what #4 says}
He had put some sentences into google translator and wrote them down in english. This was the hardest part of the trip trying to express our inner most emotions and feelings. We paid for nothing on this trip. 2 weeks of just amazing sights, family and love. We left with the money we came with and an experience of a lifetime. I remember saying goodness, there is not enough of anything in this world to repay the kindness they shared with us. Well when he handed me the paper he asked one thing of me.....I was a picture taking crazy woman on this was actually annoying I think at some points. But he asked me if I would make him a scrapbook of all the photos I took and send it to him. I did with pleasure....So I will say this mini book is the first thing I have made for me as a momento of the trip...I plan on making a bigger album and hope to finish that soon......


  1. Such a great book, Amy, & such great memories! How awesome to be able to track down ancestors! Most people never get that opportunity! How wonderful!

    (And I think you & Chris should definitely fly out & surprise us... LOL!)


  2. Your story makes me feel so happy and at the same time, my eyes are tearing up. What a fantastic experience and what wonderful people! Surely you must be related and yet, what does it matter? We are all children of God and all brothers and sisters - it's just so wonderful and inspiring to read your experiences and know that connections like that can and do get made. I love your stories of the trip and the beautiful mini album that you made. Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for the lovely comments you left on my blog.

  3. wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww......that story is truly amazing!!!! how wonderful!!!!!! and i gotta send u an email.....see if i can find out something for u..... :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  4. Your trip sounds so amazing!!! It always enriches my life so much when I travel and look at the world through different eyes.

  5. Wow Amy that sounds like a awesome trip...what wonderful people to invite you over!
    And traveled a lot!!
    Beautiful mini you made,just gorgeous memories!

  6. Oh my goodness Amy!!! I read every word and I felt like I just went on that journey with you! Wow that was sooome awesome trip!!! Your album is just absolutely stunning!!! And your little note at the end is priceless!

  7. I already loved your mini the first time I saw it!!! But now that you told us the whole story, I love it even more!! What a special vacation!!!!!!

  8. First of all: you have been to England, Ireland, France, Norway, Denmark......and why not to Holland???????? Lol. You were sooooo close!!
    What an amazing story about an amazing trip!! I'm happy that there are still people like this family, they make the world look a little bit brighter!
    Don't you miss traveling now???
    I LOVE your mini! And you know I love that photo of Jasin and you!

    Hugs, Jenneke


Pieces of Me

Blog Archive

Just Add Music

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones