Personally Speaking~Do You Remember When…

 

Gina sent in this amazing video from Piero from yesteryear!   Not only does the song caress the heart, but it shows such creativity on his part.  I remember when this came out.  We were all just blown away.

Gina, this got me thinking that many of our readers may not have been following the guys back then, so I am including some other priceless videos from the archives.  I remember spending hours on Youtube looking for any and all videos of theirs back in the day.  As much as I love seeing all of their new songs, I also love taking a step back to relive some very special moments in time.

This next video is before Il Volo sang, Maria, as a group.  Gianluca sang Maria as a solo and  he owned that song!   Before the song, Ignazio and Piero are bantering back and forth with how to pronounce the word, “world.”

 

 

And here we have their precious little friend, Mia.  Ignazio’s mother became friends with this family through a social media site, and you will see why.  The video her mother made of her singing and reacting to watching Il Volo on TV is priceless.  The genuine love and affection they show for this little girl is captivating.  The song is divine.

The next song, This Time, is an all time favorite as well.

 

More fun on the stage in Westbury, PA, before Ignazio sings Memory.  He has always been known for instigating the impromptu  comedy sketches with Gianluca being the straight guy, back then.  Gianluca has come full circle with his comfort level on stage.  But, there were times where he would look at them acting up, walk away shaking his head in humorous disbelief.   

 

I love  remembering how Ignazio had trouble standing still when songs were being sung.  The music pulses through him like blood through your veins.  He has good moves all the way!

 

 

 

 

I wonder if any of the people sitting in that room listening to them that day have continued to follow their stunning careers?  I sure hope so.  

 

And the rest…is history…

 

 

Thank you, Gina, for the great idea to look back at yesterday.

Credit to all owners of videos.

 

~Jane~

 

 

 

~~The X-Factor~~ by Mary Bohling

THE  X FACTOR??

What  is it  that makes Il Volo so special, so uniquely outstanding?  They are mega-talented, of course.  They are strikingly handsome.  Their personalities are genuinely warm and personable.  All wonderful qualities, but there is something else that has caused them to rise so high in a tough and competitive business.  Is it the magical glow of their faces as they light up when they are performing….something about them that just jumps out and grabs hold of you, drawing you into their aura?

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How did they achieve this unique magnetic attraction?  It is so much an intrinsic part of their  natures that it would seem that they were born with it.  The way that they were drawn together in the beginning is magical in itself.  The perfect match of their voices and personalities is remarkable.  What are the odds that that first concept of putting them together would prove to be the perfect blending of their voices and their charisma?

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Webster puts it this way:  “The X Factor is a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”

 

Urban dictionary: “an indescribable quality about a person that you cannot put your finger on.”

Il Volo—The X Factor personified.

Photo credits to: Getty Images and Il Volo Facebook Russia
 
~~Jane~~

Dandelion Wishes, Dreams, and Il Volo?

 

 

 

Several months ago now, our group at work did a painting event for charity. The painting that was chosen was entitled “Dandelion Dreams.” You are probably wondering how this relates to Il Volo, but wait and see!!


I canvassed the internet, looking for things related to dandelions – wishes and dreams. There is a plethora of notations! Many references were about weeds vs. wishes, nice little sayings, a few poems here and there, even a song or two, and of course if you blow on the seeds of the dandelion flower, you are granted a wish and it comes true. How many of us, as children, found such joy in blowing the seeds into the wind and watching them float away? How many dandelions were wished upon and how many came true? I found several nice sites, which I will reference throughout…

There is one saying in particular I found, through Google Images…..it said, “we made a wish and you came true…” How many of us were possibly wishing for something like Il Volo, but just didn’t know it when we were younger? Maybe some of us wished for imageshappiness, love, friends, joy, or maybe even just some beautiful harmony, in a world filled with discord. Maybe we thought our wishes never came true; that they were just whimsies of childhood, and quickly forgotten as we matured into adulthood, as swiftly as the wind carried the seeds toward the skies.

 

But, unbeknown to us, the Universe was listening. It took a while, maybe 20, 30, or 40 years or more even, for some, however, far off in the land of Italy and Sicily, our wishes were heard. In the cities of Montepagano, Bologna, and Naro; our little seeds and wishes were planted – and they grew. They grew into Il Volo! Our precious Gianluca, Ignazio, and Piero. A culmination of all of our wishes. Our wishes may have seemed selfish at the time, but the Universe was wise and knew that the purity of the heart of a child, was truly selfless. It knew, when these three voices were joined together, the dreams, hopes, and desires of not just those who wished for them, but for those all over the world would share in this miracle.

 

Each breath they take and each note they sing, carries the sweet seeds of sound to ourimages0AR4AT1F ears. As the notes enter our spirit, we feel joy and happiness. We also find the love and the harmony of new friendships. All of this, from one little dandelion wish!

 

From http://www.flowermeaning.com/dandelion-flower-meaning/ I thought the meaning of the dandelion flower below was very fitting to Il Volo and the many difficulties they have faced already in their career.

What Does the Dandelion Flower Mean?

The common and humble Dandelion has a surprising amount of different meanings. The Dandelion means:

  • Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike (how many of us have said they have healed us?)
  • Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense (all 3 are very wise, even at their young ages)
  • The warmth and power of the rising sun (O Sole Mio!)
  • Surviving through all challenges and difficulties (each one of them have had to overcome some personal challenge)
  • Long lasting happiness and youthful joy (even when they are 70, they will still be Il Volo, like at the end of L’amore Si Muove video!)
  • Getting your wish fulfilled (they still wish for the US Grammy, could that still be in their future?)

Since the Dandelion can thrive in difficult conditions, it is no wonder that people say the flower symbolizes the ability to rise above life’s challenges. (remember, in the beginning, even their own country did not recognize them and some critics still despise them! And yet, they continue to sing to sold-out concerts, world-wide!)

 

There is also a song, whose words reflect their essence….

From a song by John Adams, called Dandelion Wishes… (select phrases from the song) https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/John-Adams-11/Dandelion-Wishes


“How would it be if I never found you

Would I be me? Would you be you? Everybody’s searching for the one, Oh but darling you found me Everybody’s searching for the one Oh but maybe there’s two or even three?

Dandelion wishes Blow in different ways If the wind should change directions If my wishes were to fall would you love me anyway?

How would it be if I never found you Thankfully, we’ll never know!”


Oh, how some of those words just ring so true with our guys, don’t they?

So, the next time you see a dandelion, make a wish – you never know when or how it may come true!

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I think Cynthia asked me about my other little  piece of art – below is a little triptych of my painted wine glass…my Tuscan sunset from just a little over a year ago!  🙂  (yes, this was a first, never before attempted, free-hand – very impressionistic!)

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Ciao!

Jana

(musical notes photo found on Google Images…)

 

~Gianluca Ginoble~ by Serena

GIANLUCA GINOBLE

The music his passion, has accompanied since his childhood truly handsome, talented baritone, Gianluca of Il Volo.  He has always had the chance, through his father Ercole, attentive interest of good artists, to listen to great Italian songwriters such as Fabrizio de Andrè, and  Francesco De Gregori.  Check out his performance with our three loved ones at 2015:Una Avventura Straordinaria Concert, live at the Arena of Verona.

His grandfather, Ernesto, was a huge Claudio Villa supporter.  That says a lot about Gianluca and his stunning commitment to music.  He is well aware of the importance of giving a fresh eternal life to any kind of music, which willing or not, it was created to last forever.

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One of his idols is, as far as the more classical musical human heritage we are experiencing, Andrea Bocelli.  Watch Il Volo perform Granada, at the Zanetti and Friends, last year in Milan.

Gianluca’s love for music, together with that of Ignazio and Piero, brought a group of great producers to put these guys together as Il Volo.   That is also the reason why these young men with such voices are worldwide extremely appreciated for their, indeed, pure talent.

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For me and my friends, the Grande Amore tour, back in summer 2015, was a chance to really get to understand what this great baritone from Montepagano and his mates were about, artistically and personally.  To be honest, my support for them was born before the Sanremo contest, but it grew stronger as I met great fans like me.  Many criticized  Il Volo after their victory.  I didn’t  care and I still don’t mind.  They are talking nonsense.  I won’t say to other people they should ever become a Ilvolover.  My message is: don’t go telling lies you heard or read about them, as these guys are true and honest. Il Volo music makes my days.  Listening to them is something huge, Italia sets me free.  No other artists have given me such emotions before.  My friends and I had several chances to meet the three of them.   We have traveled to be at the GIGS.  Every time this all happened, they were all so precious. The best times we had with them have no pics.  

Some things cannot be fully translated into words, but I keep the most like they were tattooed on my heart.

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 I cannot really explain how exciting it was to have them live in Torino for the first time in a gig back in January 2016.  How sweet and caring they were.  Torino was also the city they  started with their Italian tour, Notte Magica.  It was an unbelievable night.  Gianluca was so perfect that night.  Il Volo sang their hearts out completely.  I followed them on their European tour last year and I’m still on the road.

Gianluca is an extremely sensitive guy.  He’s shy.  When he sings he gives you the feeling how much devoted he is to music.  He caresses every word, he bows to the seven notes.  As a baritone, he has a beautiful deep, warm voice.  His eyes speak themselves, so full of joy and the listeners cannot avoid being amazed by his talent.  It just overflows.

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Gianluca is stunning when performing En Aranjuez ( con tu amor).  And what about singing his other idol, Elvis Presley, Can’t Help Falling in Love?  This love hymn makes me fall so, just like he shows every time he’s about to give it to the audience.  I get perfectly speechless and breathless.  Despite Il Volo fame throughout the planet, Gianluca is still so humble, as the kid born in that romantic small village in Abruzzo.  The one that is always so anxious and proud to come back home after days of promotion and tours.  He cannot wait to spend some time with his family and trusted friends.  He is truly fantastic, a prince.

Gianluca has never forgotten about his land and whenever he can, he tells how he adores Italia.  I’m totally proud of him, because when it comes to approach him, he’s always so dedicated, thankful and madly special towards the fans, the people he believes care for Il Volo in their soul.  He understands who does believe in them, in the person and in the artist.  I want to thank Gianluca for being unique in all his ways.   Serena.

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This article translated by Laura, previously published on Torino Aspetta Il Volo E Poi, and printed with their permission.  Photos have been added to original article.

 

Credit to all owners of photos and videos.

 

~~Jane~~

 

My Grand Adventure ~ by Jeannette Giglio

 

We called ourselves, “Il Volo’s Fabulous Five…”

 

We landed in Rome on May 10th. The Rome Concert was our first, on May 12. It was better than any I had seen in the states. Il Volo is more comfortable on stage in Italy and the audience responds with singing along, as well as clapping. When we went to the 19113905_1977407632503664_7370121447132028124_nmeet and greet they were happy to see us. We had badges on with Il Volo’s fabulous five, our name, and the state we come from. We wanted them to know who we were and not forget us. We told them we were going to several of their concerts in Italy and they were happy to hear that.

We left Rome on Saturday 5/13 with two cars to Montepagano in Abruzzo. That is the little village where Gianluca lives. We spent the night at a B&B and the woman who ran it spoke no English, and us five together speak about 10 words of Italian. She was delightful and through hand gestures and Google Translate on our phones we got along just fine. The next day we went to the tiny church where Gianluca and his family attend. He was not there of course because they were on tour. We walked the streets of the little village and the people in the square treated us like super stars. They came out of the woodwork to greet us. It was just an amazing day. And the beauty of the tiny village was more than we could have even expected. It sits on top of the mountain looking down at the City of Roseto and the Adriatic Sea. The next day we went to Roseto and stayed three days in a beautiful hotel on the beach. It was just amazing. During that time, we went to our second concert in Ancona. Again, they were terrific. We met up with friends and it made our days there so very special. We also went to Marco Cardelli’s Dad’s Pizzeria, Don Franchino’s which was fabulous. Joanie, Suzana and their friend joined us and it was a great time had by all. Please forgive me for forgetting your beautiful friend’s name Suzana. I just met so many people and sometimes the names just do not stay with this old mind.

We left Roseto and went on to Assisi to the beautiful Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, well almost. We did go to one Cathedral which was beautiful, but was not able to go to the Basilica where Il Volo sang on Christmas a few years ago. There was no parking and we just had to move on down the road. The beauty and history were great. From there, to Bologna, which was a short overnight stay, and then on to Verona.

OMG! Verona was just a magical place. I could go on for hours talking about all that happened there. We spent three days in Verona and went to two concerts in the Arena. The Arena was a sell-out crowd which was loud and fun, they made the boys come alive and they were even better than in Rome or Ancona. They just get better with each concert.  At the meet and greet Gianluca shouted “here come the Americans” and then all three sang our National Anthem. We sang along with them and so did the Italians. It was so special that we had tears in our eyes. We watched a Soccer game in the square with about three thousand people. Wow, when their team won the crowd went crazy and in a good way. They sang, and they marched up and down the square. It was just amazing to watch. Then in the middle of all this happening we ran into Gianluca and his family. He was quick to give hugs and kisses and so did his mother. So much going on in Verona that I just cannot put it all in. We met so many friends, there was even an antique Race Car exhibit going on the first day we were there.

From Verona, we flew to London for three days and attended the concert at the Royal Albert Hall. This is like Radio City Music Hall in NYC. You know you have arrived when you play the Royal Albert Hall. They again were happy to see us and gave us lots of hugs and kisses and thanked us for coming to London to support them. Gianluca gave me a hug and cheek kisses and thanked me for having the fan convention in Las Vegas which was last year, I was so surprised when he thanked me. It truly was very special that he remembered me from the Fan Faire. We toured London on the big double decker bus and toured the entire city. Another beautiful concert and Il Volo shined at the Royal Albert Hall.

From London, we flew to Palermo, with a short lay over in Rome. There we had a driver for the rest of our tour of Italy. He picked us up at the airport and we spent part of the day in Palermo and saw the sights and ate at an outdoor restaurant on the beach. Just beautiful. He surprised me. I had told him my father was born in Villabate just a few miles from Palermo center. He took us to Villabate and I was able to walk the streets and saw where my dad grew up before coming to America. In the square, there was a plaque with my father’s Great Grandfather and his Grandfather’s name. Wow that made me cry. We went by the meat market that is owned by the Giglio’s and they are my cousins. They would be the grandchildren and great grandchildren of my Grandfather’s brother Tommaso, who stayed in Villabate. I did not go in and introduce myself because I was with the other ladies and I knew if my cousins knew I was a Giglio from the States, they would want to spend time with them. We had a schedule to keep.

It was then on to Marsala, where we spent two day in a beautiful B&B right on the Square of the city. Oh, so beautiful. This is the home town of Ignazio. We went to the beach which was just beautiful. Met up with some friends we know from Facebook which was delightful. Two days did not seem enough time to enjoy the sights. We did a lot and then it was time to leave and on to our next destination.

Naro was the next stop – home town of Piero. Tiny little town with narrow streets. Amazing how our driver would drive without a care in the world as we kept our hands over our eyes. We went to the top of the hill and there was the Castle where Piero has his Museum. We spent a lot of time there and the two young ladies that showed us around were just so cute. They spoke no English but our driver did all the translating for us. They then wanted us to go back to town and meet their dad. They took us to a little restaurant and the dad treated us like we were long lost relatives. We had a great time, food and drinks. We had a B&B in a vineyard there in Naro. OMG, was it beautiful. It was probably the most beautiful B&B we had stayed in. It was hundreds of years old and the view was amazing. High on the hill overlooking the town of Naro. We had only stayed there overnight, but wished we had planned one more day at least.

Next was Siracusa. We stayed in a beautiful hotel there and it had a Romeo and Juliet balcony overlooking the square. It was just wonderful to be able to hear the music and sound of the city from our balcony. We spent a lot of time taking pictures and enjoying a restaurant by the sea. We were outside and we planned to only order drinks. They 18582570_10202831851873245_413411820531021061_nbrought the drinks along with enough food to feed an army. We never did bother to go to dinner because what they brought us for happy hour was a full meal. I was sorry to leave Siracusa so soon, again I could have spent a few more days enjoying the different areas around the city.

Next on our grand adventure was a flight to Malta. What I beautiful island it is. Our first day was pretty much taken up with the flight there, getting our hotel room, dinner and taking in the view of the area. We met up with Madeline and her friend Tanya on our second day there and they showed us the beautiful areas of Malta and a lot of history. It was a beautiful day. On the third day we took a boat cruise that was very enjoyable along with a bus tour. The bus tour was not quite what we expected and we were tired after that long tour on the bus and was ready to relax. Madeline came back that evening and we had a wonderful visit . She is delightful and we enjoyed spending time with her and her friend. It was a whirlwind adventure but a fun filled three days. Back to the airport and on to Taormina.

We are now leaving for Taormina, the true gem of our entire trip. Again, the narrow streets, but our driver had no problems with them. We were dropped off at our B&B which was in the center of all the action. Our apartment was just a few steps from the Bambar and the restaurant where the Il Volo group family, friends, and management team hangs out. We met up with Piero at the Bambar, and he chatted with us for quite a while before leaving for his apartment. We later ate dinner at the same restaurant as the Il Volo group and after dinner they put on a mini concert. Singing and laughing and just having so much fun entertaining everyone there. It’s hard to believe that they are superstars and yet the next night here they are at the Greek Theater and you know that they are superstars and powerhouse entertainers. We went to three concerts and each one better than the last. They were energized by the crowd and gave their best performances because of it. Taormina was my favorite place in all of Italy. So beautiful and five days was not enough. I could stay there for a week and just enjoy all the beauty Taormina has to offer. But I will again make sure there is an Il Volo concert in Taormina after all they make the vacation worthwhile.

Our grand adventure came to an end, but all five of us have left our hearts in Italy. It is, after all, Il Volo-land. It was wonderful going to see their towns in which they live. It brought us closer to them in our hearts. It was great to meet so many of our Facebook friends throughout our travels and most of all it was so exciting to see Il Volo in concert in the grand halls and arenas, and the smiles on their faces when they recognized us. It truly was, “THE GRAND ADVENTURE for IL VOLO’S FABULOUS FIVE!”

Ciao!

Jeannette…

JEAN MG TAORMINA 1

 

 

 

Personally Speaking ~ Italian Correspondent Extraordinaire!!

  Some companies have CEOs…  Well, the Flight Crew is so fortunate to have an ICE…ITALIAN CORRESPONDENT EXTRAORDINAIRE!  I am speaking of our very own Daniela Perani.  She is no doubt blushing about now, but hang on Daniela, you deserve every word that is coming.

  Having had the pleasure of meeting her in person last year I can tell you she is a genuine treasure for many reasons.

 I thought it would be interesting every now and then to tell you a little bit about those of us who love the men of Il Volo just as much as you do and whose words you come here to  read everyday.  Daniela has graciously allowed me to give you a little insight into her life.  

Did you know she used to be a ballerina??  Just look at these beautiful photos of this young woman at the age of 19!20170620_075556

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She carries herself with style and grace to this very day.

 

Daniela and her Sicilian husband, Beppe, reside in the beautiful town of Brescia.  They have two grown children and one precious granddaughter.  She also owns and runs a Bridal Store business with her daughter, Stephanie!  How special is that?  🙂

 Both she and Beppe  possess a passion for Il Volo that runs deep.  Maybe it’s the boys from Sicily that he connects with so easily, but either way he is right there next to Daniela at concerts and listens to Il Volo music cranked up real loud!  The best way! 

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Daniela is always there for us to help with translations, stories, explaining the meaning of Italian ways as well as providing translators for others who have written for us.   She is never too busy when asked to do anything for us, except if it’s the middle of the night in Italy and evening here in the states. She will say she has to sleep and get back to it in the morning.  Ok Daniela, if you insist!   She even gives HUGS and KISSES to us on the site in the classic Italian way.

Thank you, Daniela, for being our very own ICE!

~~Jane~~ 

Summer Is Here! Choose Your Brew!

Ann (Anncruise) sent in a photo of a delicious looking cup of Italian iced coffee.  I love iced coffee year round, which got me wondering about how many other types of  summer Italian coffee drinks there may be out there.  Here is but a few of the many tempting delights I found!  Thank you Ann, for the wonderful idea to research yet one more thing we love about Italians…their specialty coffee drinks!

As the temperatures begin to rise, bars all over Italy start serving iced coffee, a beloved summer tradition many Italians enjoy. How do you like yours?

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Italy’s Answer to Iced Coffee

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It makes sense that the Italians would invent a most exquisite coffee drink for the summer. It’s a shaken-over-ice, slightly sweetened espresso called shakerato, served in a stemmed glass, prepared in bars all over the county.

The shaking process yields a thick crema that floats on the espresso. In Italy, ice is viewed with suspicion, and you’d never be served a tall glass of coffee over lots of ice, the way iced coffee is in the U.S. Too dangerous!

(From The Atlantic.)

 

Coffee granita

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You have surely heard of granita, the Italian dessert consisting of sugar, ice and flavorings. The original recipe comes from the town of Messina, in the region of Sicily – that’s why it is also called “granita siciliana” – and it derives from sherbet, an Arabic dessert. Today we teach you how to make a real granita siciliana al caffè (Sicilian coffee granita).

The original granita siciliana is made from three simple ingredients: coffee, sugar and ice.

Prepare 10 ounces coffee using a good Italian blend. A strong Arabica blend is the best choice. In a small pot, pour 16 ounces water, 9 ounces sugar and one vanilla bean. Cook over low heat until the sugar has completely melted and has turned into syrup. Take out the vanilla bean. In a steel pan combine coffee and syrup and stir using a wooden spoon. Let chill, then put the pan in the freezer.

Now comes the most important part. After one hour, take the pan out of the freezer and use a whisk to scrape the ice. Put the pan back in the freezer and do this every 30 minutes for three or four times. Serve the coffee granita in small glass cups and add some fresh whipped cream on top. Garnish with coffee beans or a dust of cinnamon powder.

Fun fact: granita siciliana was historically eaten along with fresh crisp bread. In today’s cafes it comes served with “brioscia”, a typical Sicilian pastry.
Enjoy your granita al caffè!

 

Coffee frappe

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In Italian it’s called “frappè al caffè” and it’s usually consumed during an afternoon break rather than as a dessert. A coffee frappè is a milkshake made with Italian espresso, milk, sugar, ice cubes and chocolate powder. Some recipes also feature two scoops of coffee gelato

 

Coffee soda

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This coffee drink can’t be found everywhere in Italy: it’s a recipe from the southern region of Calabria, where it’s known by the name of Brasilena. It’s a sweet, cold drink made of Italian espresso, sparkly water, sugar, caramel and lemon juice

 

Coffee cocktail

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How about an alcoholic drink with your favorite Italian beverage, to enjoy with your friends after a nice dinner? To make a high-quality coffee cocktail you will need an Italian coffee blend, vodka, coffee liquor and some ice cubes

 

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I do not know what Piero and Max  are drinking, but it sure looks like it could be some sort of coffee cocktail!!  Looks good what ever it is!

(Credits to Filicori Zecchinis Usa…one of the most ancient coffee roasters in Italy, founded in Bologna in 1919.)

 

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Well I don’t know about you,

but I am ready to settle down in a comfy lawn chair on the beach

gazing out over the Adriatic Sea,

while sipping on my coffee cocktail listening to Il Volo.

(Oh yes, and it would be perfectly alright with me if that nice young man in the blue shirt and glasses wanted to sit right next to me.)

  Anyone want to join me?

~~Jane~~