I believe in miracles.
I try to change the world every day.
I love my husband, my friends, and my family.
I plan my next great adventure constantly.
I think most occasions call for a dress.
I write what I know and believe.
I want to believe that the city of Dallas is mourning with me. Crying with me. But they’re not. At least not where I am right now.
This morning I woke up to news that we lost one of the members of the David W. Carter Class of 2017. He was shot. And killed. On his graduation day. He won’t use his football scholarship. His life – his beautiful life – is tragically over far too soon.
My heart is breaking. My head is screaming. And yet, all I can do is cry.
There’s no chance to “pay his mom back in 4 more years” as he posted a mere 3 weeks ago on twitter.
It’s not just the shooting that stokes a fire within me though.
It’s his friends.
The one who say, “This city is getting crazy, we have to get out of here ASAP.”
The ones who say, “All he ever talked about was trying to move his mama out of the hood.”
The ones who say, “Another Dallas football player shot and killed.”
The ones who say, “Lord, I ask for you to watch over me and my loved ones and my brothers while we try to fulfill our dreams.”
That I had to get them out of here as fast as I could, but I couldn’t.
That I couldn’t save them fast enough.
This is why I’m crazy.
This is why I want to change the world.
Because there are people in my community who are counting on it. Because they have dreams like I did – but because of the zip code they were born into – it’s much, much, much harder for the to reach them.
This is what inequity looks like.
To our David W. Carter High School Class of 2017, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Good food can be hard to find, but luckily I’ve got the best restaurants in Cinque Terre for you today. (If you’re looking for the best gelato, I’ve got that covered as well.) For the past two years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best focaccia and the best pesto. I think I’ve succeeded.
Trattoria dal Billy– Since it was fairly late (for us) when we arrived at La Torretta, we decided to walk over to dal Billy. We arrived at 9:30pm on a Saturday night and had a short wait for a table in the lower dining room. They gave us a complimentary glass of prosecco while we waited, too.
I knew it was going to be good when I tried the bread. Side note: Dal Billy also had my favorite basalmic vinegar from this trip. It was so creamy, I bet it would be delicious on gelato! For our primi course, we ordered two fresh pasta dishes – the tagliolini al scarpara and the tagliolini al pesto. Both tasted extremely fresh. The pasta was perfectly cooked. The portions were fairly large (by Italian standards). I had the veal scallopini with wine sauce for my second course, and it was good but not great. Go for the pasta or the seafood.
We had two pasta courses, a meat dish, and 2 liters of water and it was approximately 40 euro. Service was attentive but not intrusive. It really hit the spot after a long day of travel. We ended up going back on our last night after our tour guide recommended it as one of the best restaurants in Cinque Terre. It was just as good as the first night.
#62 Via Colombo (also known as Focaccia e Faina according to the reciept) – I had the focaccia con olive. 3 euro is a little on the high side for focaccia, but it was delicious. It was light and airy with a great flavor. It wasn’t oily, it wasn’t dry. Perfection. That’s the word for it. If I had to find a negative, it was a little smaller than the other focaccia I tried, but it was worth it. I was game to just eat this for dinner one night, but it looks like they were only open for lunch when we were there. Plan accordingly.
Our tour guide also recommended Rio Bistrot in Riomaggiore, but we couldn’t get in this trip. Next time!
P I N I T Best Restaurants in Cinque Terre – Vernazza
Belforte – We had a 9:00 reservation on the terrace, but when we arrived, it was pretty dark so we opted for a cozy dining room instead. It was quite romantic and we enjoyed the house red wine, which was good but not as enjoyable as the house red at Gianni Franzi (definitely worth a visit!).
Since it was so late, we both opted for pasta courses. My husband went for the squid ink pasta, which he proclaimed the best pasta dish he’s ever eaten. I went for the trofie con pesto, which was very cheesy. It had a stronger parmesan flavor, but it was still tasty! Don’t let the picture fool you – it wasn’t oily at all. It was cheesy! If we had been more hungry, we would have opted for the flaming seafood risotto dish. The presentation was so impressive!
Dinner ran us 49 euro including wine, bread, and two pasta dishes. I think it’s absolutely worth a visit, but I would highly suggest coming at sunset to enjoy the view.
P I N I T Batti Batti – We popped in here for some focaccia con olive before hiking up the hillside to enjoy the view over Vernazza. A large piece was 2.50 euro and they warmed it up for me. It was more dense than focaccia I enjoyed in Riomaggiore and Monterosso, but it was very soft and very fresh. I would definitely stop in for a snack in Vernazza. Also – the cashier didn’t criticize my Italian or speak to me in English. Totally a win!
I’m really looking forward to going back to Cinque Terre and trying more restaurants in Monterosso al Mare. Wonderland Bakery wasn’t open yet, and there were some dinner places that were completely booked while we were there. There was one stand, however, that stood out on this trip.
Il Massimo della Focaccia – It’s 1.50 euro and it’s the best 1.50 euro you’re going to spend. I went with the plain focaccia. Olive oil and salt. It was HUGE. It was light and airy – just how focaccia should be. The texture was slightly crispy and perfectly cooked. It was so good and so cheap that we bought a couple to keep in our hotel room, and my husband proceeded to enjoy them for the next few days. Il Massimo is right under the train station and across from the beach. If you’re looking for cheap, tasty eats, Massimo’s is where to go.
The past two weeks have been incredible. Watching my Class of 2013 graduate from college (and on time!) has been incredible. I’ve been wanting to write them a letter like I did for their high school graduation, but I’m so overcome with emotion that I don’t have the words yet. Yet, the words I wrote still ring true:
“Today, I have to send you, my babies, off into the world. I have been blessed, challenged and loved unconditionally by each of you. I have tried to teach you how to be an advocate for yourself and a voice for others who cannot speak for themselves through my words and actions. I have tried to push you to your fullest potential, and I hope you believe me when I say that I know you are capable of everything and beyond. Should you ever doubt yourself, please remember that I will always believe in what you are capable of and that you have no limits to your ability to achieve.
You will forever be my little world changers – if for no other reason than you changed my world.
At times, and today especially, it is beyond my comprehension.”
I was going to say more, but there’s nothing else to say today. Linking up with B for weekending.