“Come stai Sarafina?”- Tuscany, horses and carrots


Bella Sophia adores horses. Growing up, my sister and I collected toy plastic horses; with the barn and accessories. That was as far as our horse stage went. I think it is a common focus for little girls. Look at the popularity of ‘My Little Pony’.

In Firenze Italia, Bella Sophia is charmed by the horse drawn carriages.

We take a walk along the cobbled courtyards, stopping to visit Bella Sophia’s four legged friends. After a few days she easily recites the names of her familiar buddies.  I hear her chime, “Ciao my bella Lucinda.” “Come va Sarafina?” “Buongionrno Vicente.” She greats her equine companions one by one. Thank goodness for my hubby, he loves animals. I call him a “horse whisperer.”  Nonna Cathy and I, we take immediate advantage of their distracted moment. It is our chance to sip cappuccino and observe from a distance.


After a long and leisurly walk, we are hungry and want Tuscan steak. Even with a daily stop for gelato we are ready for our dinner, accustomed now to eating late… on Italian time. Food is so glorious after exercise and when you are really hungry. Don’t you love that feeling? You feel you’ve earned it! Gourmet food under these conditions is dynamic. Yes, fellow foodies, we want our high quality food how we like it and under the best of circumstances.

Today, Bella Sophia wants to take a stroll and see her horse friends. She loves it at the Pebble Beach Center! It’s a favorite neighborhood visit. As a matter of fact, her last birthday was at the Equestrian Center and Polo Fields. These horses are her dear companions.

Did I mention my husband is a horse whisperer? I am not! Not even close. I think, I can do this. Come on, take your daughter for a springtime walk.

In the neighborhood, the rain has stopped. It is foggy. The huckleberry bushes and green ferns envelope a coastal haze. I am by the kitchen window, making my coffee latte and there is a visitor in our forested front yard. I stare and watch. As I sip I’m entertained by a very well-known local chef… with his truffle stick. This is like Tuscany…right on Monterey Bay. No need to travel.  I think, wow, this is cool.  I mentally gear up, and finish every drop of my coffee. No more daydreaming, no more being lazy…  I am resolved.

Mini carrots go into my purse.

Well, I did it, all by myself. No hubbie required. I am proud. We ended up having a delightful time. It felt good to move around and work off some of those chocolate Easter eggs.


At the Equestrian Center, I was reminded that this is one of the free and delightful local activities in Pebble Beach. Bring carrots, check in at the office, visit the stables. Fresh air and lots of fun.

I’m back home and laughing, thinking about past travels with my mom, Nonna Cathy. For a lady who keeps her distance from horses she has had a blast around them. I giggle thinking of our mother/daughter  ‘Lucy and Ethel’ experiences. One involves a horse ride in Central Park. Another a hysterical horse and buggy ride in the beautiful Pennsylvania Amish Country. Next time I am at the stables we should bring Nonna Cathy for some fun.


Have you visited your local equestrian center? With the kids or grandkids? Any tips? What springtime walks do you enjoy?  Feel free to contact me and share these or your “Lucy and Ethel” experiences.  I would love to hear from you.

Huckleberry Hugs, Maxine (AKA Molly)

Visiting the 17 Mile Drive…check it out:

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center

Phone 1-831.622.5985

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Pony rides for 3-6 year olds are $40.00. Of course, feeding carrots to the horses and taking a walk is  always free!