Money on memories!

Vacations are certainly not cheap. But the memories you create with your family are priceless!

When I was young–who am I kidding; even when I was not so young—I used to spend my (and more often than I care to admit, my parents’) money on material things. Whether it was cool jeans or the newest pair of “Jordan” sneakers when I was in high school and college or fancy rims for my car or cool electronics equipment when I was a little older; I never hesitated to spend money on “stuff”. Just “stuff”.

Well, whether it was because I was furthering my career in corporate accounting and finance and wanted to at least pretend to be responsible or because I got married, had children, and actually had to be responsible; I did a complete 180 with my approach to money, spending, and saving.  Rather than spend money as freely and carefree as I wanted and when I wanted, I began to deprive myself of almost any enjoyment or material ‘toy’, feeling that I was being selfish for spending on myself or, worse yet, that I hadn’t yet earned the right to reward myself.

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Ode to Dino: Happy Father’s Day to All You Nerdy Dads!

My dad is 79-years-old and currently traveling through his ancestral home town—Castelvetere— in Northern Italy. My mom, who struggles with arthritis pain and heart issues, decided to take a pass on Dad’s latest inspiration to find his parents’ childhood homes. He found the ancient housing structures still standing on Google Maps and the wheels started spinning. Mom decided to take advantage of a week free from her groovy retired life with Dad and travel with her sister to world-renown Rancho La Puerta Spa in Tecate, Mexico to work on her mind/body/spirit connection and give vegetarian living a whirl. Having my two (dare I say it?) “elderly” parents on different continents is…unsettling. Because of iPhones and time zones my sisters and I have been in touch with Auntie and Mom, but until today, day five, Dad has been incommunicado.

Armed with his brand new iPad, I anticipated at least a quick message on Dad’s first day or two. Turns out the iPad is rendered useless in the mountainous province of Benevento (which translated means “good wind,” significance to come later in this piece) and he’s had to resort to archaic methods to communicate, including dial-up. That’s what my dad gets for jetting off to remote Italian towns in search of Antonellis, Morettis, DiPieros and LaMarcas (yes, I am 100% Italian!). Thinking of my dad farther away than a tap on my Favorites list got me thinking about…me and Dad, back in the day, back at MY ancestral home in Saratoga,CA. Read more of this post