Thursday, June 17, 2010

Letters to Juliet...my own version

At Juliet's tomb in Verona, Italy (I'm back row on the right)

I went to see Letters to Juliet a couple of weeks ago and was hit with nostalgia.

Why? Because once upon a time, I spent three months traveling through Europe. During that time, I visited so many amazing places. One of them...Verona, Italy. And you guessed it, I penned my own letter to Juliet while I was there!

So you can imagine my delight at seeing the movie. I love Italy. Love it. (I secretly consider putting all of my belongings in storage and bumming around Italy--writing, eating yummy food, and talking to cute Italian guys...)

And to get to revisit Verona on the big screen was cool. Honestly...I had all but forgotten writing my own letter to Juliet until I saw the movie. It all came back to me as I watched, and sure enough--when I got home and found the battered journal I filled that summer...

"Saturday, June 14, 1997...I am on a train headed back to Florence via Bologna. We visited Verona today, the city of Romeo and Juliet. We walked to Juliet's tomb from the train station and it was so cool. There were a ton of letters and flowers and we were the only ones there. I wrote a 'Dear Juliet' letter and left it at the tomb. We walked to her house and saw the balcony and her statue..."

I won't bore you with the rest of the entry, but will say that there was a pressed flower stuck in that page that I'd taken from one of the bouquets left at the tomb.

I only have a vague recollection of my letter to Juliet. If I remember correctly, it spoke of true love and soul mates--and was written on a piece of purple notebook paper I borrowed from one of the other girls traveling with me.

Thirteen years have passed since I penned my letter to Juliet. During that time I've had some really bad dates. And some really good ones. Along the way I've met Mr. Almost Right, Mr. WRONG, and Mr. Could Be...If He'd Get His Act Together. (LOL)  But like I told a group of students recently...the path I'm on is the one for me. I look back and those times I thought I was flailing around aimlessly, I was really gathering the experiences that I would someday write about. The experiences that would add up and make me who I am supposed to be.

And I'm thankful that one of those experiences was traveling through Europe and writing a letter to Shakespeare's most famous heroine. :)

Photos of the trip below: (and yes, these are pre-digital camera pictures that I had to scan...so the quality isn't all that great!)
On the train on our way to Verona...yes, that is a Yoda figurine with us. He was sort of our mascot that summer...

Plaque at Juliet's tomb, quoting Shakespeare


Statue of Juliet, outside her house

At Castleveccio in Verona (mentioned in the movie)
And how about you? Have you ever visited a place that later showed up in a movie or in a book? Or is there an experience you wish you could "do over" because it was so cool?


2 comments:

Mom2three said...

My daughter and I just saw this just two weeks ago and LOVED it! It must have been so exciting to see a movie about a place you had been. I can't wait for her to come home from church camp so I can share this one with her.

The only thing I've ever seen or done that has been featured in a movie are the steps of Philly Art Museum (Rocky) (I ran up the steps and swam in the fountain years after the movie) and Extreme Home Makeover (Ty Pennington) did a home make over and featured an organization I worked with for two summers. It was great to see the progress they had make and how many people they were touching.

Annalisa Daughety said...

I loved the movie, too! I thought it was very cute--and especially loved the story with the older couple. :)

I'll bet running up the steps from Rocky was fun!

My latest book (Love is Monumental) takes place in Washington DC, and when my characters are at the reflecting pool near the Lincoln Memorial, they joke about people reenacting the scene from Forrest Gump where he runs into the pool. That scene came about because while I was there last summer researching, I saw someone do that. LOL!

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