||Great Little Books, LLC
||Jan 15, 2009
True stories, travel tips and lessons from the road.
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Up at the Villa
Up at the Villa is a beautifully illustrated collection of stories, personal essays and poetry written with passion and wit — but it’s also a journey into a marriage and a story about trusting that something new and wonderful is always just around the corner, even if you haven’t found that particular corner on the map just yet. It’s a testament to the fact that what makes for fundamental conflicts in day-to-day situations can actually result in amazing discoveries on the road.
"Anyone dreaming about renting a villa in Italy must read this book… and at the very least…you may consider kidnapping her husband Tim as your permanent chef and navigator. After renting villas in Italy to thousands of travelers a year, I finally figured out why people love the concept so much."
— Mario Scalzi, president and founder of The Parker Company
So whether you’re planning a trip to the Sistine Chapel or to your comfy flowered sofa, Up at the Villa will be excellent company. You’ll explore Tuscany, Lombardy, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Brugge, Paris and a moveable feast of other destinations. You’ll get practical advice from a seasoned traveler and even a few treasured family recipes. Funny and poignant, Up at the Villa is ultimately the story of every woman’s journey with the person she loves, for better or for worse.
We sit at the kitchen table in the morning
Drinking the juice of mangoes and blood oranges
Eating creamy yogurt out of chipped white porcelain cups
Planning our day, as if we needed anything more than this
The early sun and strong black coffee are enough
The easy laughter and deep breathing are enough
Flowering magnolias and the scent of wild jasmine are enough
Anticipation and memory are enough
Today, we agree, we will go nowhere
Because for now, everything we need is right here
In the warm June breezes of plenty
Laundry dancing in the yard
c. Linda Dini Jenkins 2009
Richmond Times Dispatch
“Anyone who has traveled with a significant other knows the ups and downs of the journey. And Midlothian resident Linda Dini Jenkins recounts them with wit and warmth in Up at the Villa: Travels With My Husband (192 pages, Great Little Books, $17.95). A love story as well as a travel memoir, Up at the Villa combines stories, essays, poetry and photography -- as well as recipes and tips for travelers (through the world and through a relationship). So are we there yet? Maybe, maybe not, but the journey's the important thing, as Jenkins points out in every page of this book. “
—Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Home and Away (AAA Magazine)
“I was hooked at the first few lines of the prologue in Linda Dini Jenkins’ Up at the Villa: Travels with my Husband. Recounting a wildly romantic tale of a young, ’60s-era Southern California man and woman who meet by happenstance at lunchtime one day and set off on an extravagant life of love and travel, the book’s introduction is enchanting. Being a sucker for a great love story, I was eager to see where this travel book was going to take me.
But a reader would be mistaken to think this is just a travel book. In fact, it is part travelogue, part memoir, part recipe book, part poetry tome and part advice column. And it is, in part, a personal love story, as Jenkins is clearly compatibly connected to her travel cohort, husband Tim, who sounds like exactly the type of person everyone should travel with — adventurous, fun, impulsive, intrepid and unflappable (except when pressed to speak French, as the chapter titled Lost in Lille attests). . . “
— Karen Eakins, Home and Away AAA magazine
Amore Travel Guides
“Up at the Villa is part travel journal, part cookbook (yes, there are recipes!) and part poetry book. There are even a few travel tips and language guides. It is just the kind of book I love because you never get bored reading it. Linda Dini Jenkins has done a superb job of capturing the joy of traveling whether it is a day trip or a two-week adventure in Italy.
“Jenkins is a storyteller and a poet which is an interesting combination in an author. Some of her stories read as poems and some of her poems tell a story. Ms Jenkins tells stories of traveling in groups or with her husband Tim both of which bring their own challenges and joys.
“Anyone who has traveled will relate to the stories in Up at the Villa. I laughed out loud when she told the tale of arriving in Italy at the rental car agency only to find that instead of the smaller car her group had requested they were given a SUV – one that would be difficult, if not impossible to navigate in the narrow streets of the small towns in Italy. Having had a similar experience I found myself remembering and laughing at my own trip. Maybe that is what makes Up at the Villa so much fun is that the stories are so different and varied and common that everyone can relate to at least one of them whether they are experienced world travelers or never venture further than an overnight trip a few hours from home.
“Travels in Italy are the primary theme of Up at the Villa, but there are also stories of trips to Paris, Brussels, Vermont and even South Orange, New Jersey (which happens to be where I was born). If I had to pick one theme in this collection of travel memories it is that you have to enjoy whatever experiences come your way when you travel. As much as you may plan, things never go exactly as you think they will when you travel, but often the best experiences are the ones you did not plan.”
— Jackie Willey, www.amoretravelguides.com
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