Nine years ago today, May 29, 2012, was our last night together in Florence. I was in Tuscany with a small group of friends from the National Federation of Press Women, and the next day we were to move on to Pisa and the nearby resort town of San Giuliano Terme. Our last day in Florence together was memorable. We had a Tuscan cooking lesson at the home of a local chef and cookbook author, and everything about it was amazing. Of course, the food was wonderful and great fun to prepare — and I proved to be a natural at pasta making, no doubt owing to my Italian background. But I also loved visiting a beautiful local home; meeting the chef and her quirky, supersized cat; and dining in her lovely garden.
That evening at the hotel bar, we once again scandalized the straight-laced bartender Vinnie with our usual misbehavior. But after most of a week of working on him, we finally managed to break through Vinnie’s mild-mannered demeanor to find the wild and crazy Vinnie within. Or maybe we just managed to corrupt him. By the end of the evening, we were teaching Vinnie to do the time warp.