I had the loveliest afternoon with a new friend. She has a project like I do, a little ways from me in Piemonte, near the Ligurian border, called Agriturismo Verdita. Natascha and her dog came to visit and we walked in the vineyards, drank tea and talked about a million different things.

Max adores Natascha's dog Indy. He's so tired right now, dreaming of chasing that pretty little Dalmatian all over the hills. I should have taken pictures, but I was too busy chatting away.
Girl time.
It's so nice when serendipitous things like this happen. We ladies here in Italy really work hard on our projects, whether its writing like Michelle or Arlene, trip planning like Meg, or accommodating guests, like Cheryl, Nastasja, Natascha or myself. We often forget to take time and just relax, and be the women we were before we started living this lifestyle here in Italy! After all, the majority of us are two or three (or more) career people. We did do things like "meet the girls for a drink after work." That was part of our vernacular at one time. Now, just because we busy ourselves with keeping the stufas fed and our blogs updated, our guests informed and our email boxes cleared out, it does not change that a part of us misses just being, well, social!
Let me tell you a little about Natascha's project. Years ago I visited a co-operative called Agronatura here in Piemonte which make essential oils and processes herbs. It's a wonderful place, you get dizzy from the smell of lavender when you just drive into the valley during distillation time.
At Agriturismo Verdita, Natascha and Nicole have just planted thousand of baby lavender plants -- a little piece of Provence in Piemonte. They have associated with Agronatura and will be providing the co-op with lavender in the future. In addition, they have four apartments to rent to travelers, all done with color and flair. It was wonderful to talk about our projects, the common experiences, some of the frustrations. It was also so nice to be reminded of all the good things - the beauty of the area, the happiness that returning guests bring.
Inspiration comes from so many sources, but we have to be willing to look for it. It is easy, way too easy, to get pigeonholed into our projects and forget to stick our heads up once in a while to see what else is happening. Today reminded me of that!