Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chuck Misses Wild Partying at Giardini Naxos

If you like hot, you visit Sicily in the summer.  The average temperature in Sicily in July and August demands that you stay at lovely resort villages and spend your days in the water and at the beach. 

On the other hand, we decided to visit Sicily in November when the days were a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the nights, well, you needed a jacket or a sweater because it was a bit nippy.

Chuck doesn’t always understand the finer points of weather and appropriate times to travel.  He knew we were staying in Taormina and that nearby was the infamous and  very popular seaside resort town of Giardini Naxos. Although the town used to be a quiet fishing village and before that--dating back to the mid 1500‘s--it even had a history of pirate invasion which is why the Vignazza Tower was built, since the mid 1970’s all that had changed and now it was known for its beaches, panoramic view of the bay and surrounding hills and almost bustling fishing port.  

Giardini Naxos attracts Italians and foreigners in equal numbers, who flock there--looking for accommodations in its hotels and pensions and looking for food in its pubs, restaurants and pizzerias.  

But neither accommodations nor food interested Chuck.  The rascal cat had heard stories of what happened on the beach and he wanted to be there to witness the sight. 

Chuck heard that people pitched tents and partied on the beach.  And then at midnight they ran into the sea for a swim while fireworks crackled overhead in the dark sky.  

Well, who wouldn’t want to see something like that?

Now the story was true all right, but the only problem was that it took place only once a year--on August 15.  We’d missed that date by two months.

August 15 or Ferragosto is very special in the Italian calendar.  It has a rich history and a varied past.  But in the present day, Ferragosto is when most Italians take a short holiday and go to the beach and enjoy a large meal.  It makes sense that they would celebrate on the beach.  

I tried to explain the reality to Chuck, but he wouldn’t listen.  

“What harm can it do?” Bob asked.  “Let the kid see for himself.”

I was hoping that maybe one confused person would set up a tent, but, of course, no one did.  Giardini Naxos is lovely, but in November it is not the same bustling resort area as July and August.  

That evening as we rode back to our hotel in Taormina, I resisted the urge to say, “I told you so.”  The Chuckster looked just too disappointed.  


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