‘European traveling water circus’

I contributed an article to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze, a newspaper in Florida, this week about a European traveling water circus. It sounds like a neat show, especially with the water aspect. The producer and CEO offered me tickets to the Cape Coral performances, too bad I no longer live in the area. It would be neat to see what I wrote about.

‘Cirque Italia’ to present multiple shows in Cape Coral

Published in Cape Coral Daily Breeze March 6, 2004

A European traveling water circus, Cirque Italia, will stop in Cape Coral for two weekends this month, featuring a vivid and dramatic experience for attendees of all ages.

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.  Photo provided for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.
Photo provided to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cirque Italia owner Manuel Rebecchi was born and raised in Milan, Italy. To preserve his family’s traditional European style circus, Moira Orfei Circus, he crafted a new brand, Cirque Italia, and brought it to North America in August 2012.Chante’ DeMoustes, Cirque Italia producer and chief operating officer, said Rebecchi was inspired by the European concept of the circus, which is more of a black tie affair.

“He brought Europe here,” she said adding that attendees have an opportunity to experience the feeling of a show that travels to smaller towns. “They don’t have to go to Vegas or New York to experience those types of shows. We are bringing them to their backyard at a fraction of the cost.”

DeMoustes said although they have traveled all over the United States for two seasons, this is the first time Cirque Italia will stop in Cape Coral.

The shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7; 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8; 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9; 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 14; 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15 and 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 16.

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.  Photo provided to Cape Coral Daily Breeze.

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.
Photo provided to Cape Coral Daily Breeze.

The tent will be set up at 917 N.E. Pine Island Road.DeMoustes said the show is two hours long with a 15-minute intermission between the first and second half of the performance.

The 35,000-gallon-water stage, which was custom designed in Italy, is located in the center of the white and blue tent. The 40-foot Broadway, circular-style stage, is 4 feet high with a stage lid that lifts 35-feet up in the air during the show as rain descends and a fountain dances with each performance move.

“Water is the aspect of our stage,” she said. “We have this stage and the water falls from the top of the tent to the bottom of the tent inside a pool of water.”

Delena Fusco, a sixth generation circus performer from Argentina, does an aerial act.

“I’m the mermaid of the show and I also do a traditional act from Argentina,” she said.

During her performance, she is located on top of the water. She said the stage opens up and it rains water.

“It’s not a job, it’s my life,” Delena said. “I have been doing this since I was 3 years old. We came to the United States 10 years ago performing the circus. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Emiliano Fusco does a juggling act with his brother. He said they do lots of difficult tricks, such as juggling with fire and balancing objects on their head.

His brother Maximiliano set the Guinness Book of World Record for juggling five clubs for 57 minutes.

“We have performers from all over the world,” Emiliano said. “It’s fun for the whole family.”

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.  Photo provided to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cirque Italia, a European traveling water circus.
Photo provided to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze

DeMoustes said her favorite part is watching people’s faces after the show.”When they come, they don’t know what to expect,” she said of the intimate, theatrical feel the performance provides.

DeMoustes said the individual acts have their own unique story line, which is not hard to understand once the performance is complete. There is also a humorous act where the performers go in the water.

“There is an act for every age,” she said. “It’s really for all ages.”

Tickets range from $10 to $50 depending on which level is purchased. Free children tickets are provided for youngsters 12 years old and younger. The special is given with every regular full price adult admission ticket for levels two and three only.

“Manuel didn’t want the price point to be $100 a ticket,” DeMoustes said. “He wanted every age to be able to enjoy the show.”

To purchase tickets, call 941-704-8572, or visit cirqueitalia.com/tickets/.

‘Cape Harbour, a Yachting Community’

When I worked for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze I covered many events at Cape Harbour. It really is a unique community. I enjoy writing for this publication, Community Lifestyles, because it’s intersting to learn what each community has to offer in Southwest Florida.

“Community Lifestyles showcases some of the finest communties found throughout Southwest Florida.”

Cape Harbour

Article published in December 2013 Community Lifestyles Cape Coral

Cape Harbour, a yachting community in Cape Coral offers a variety of public events, shopping and dining opportunities for its residents and community at large to enjoy.

Cape Harbour came to life after Will Stout traveled to Southwest Florida from Atlanta to retire from 30 years of developing properties and owning a real estate brokerage. When arriving in Cape Coral, he discovered a 150-acre waterfront property, which he transferred into his vision of an upscale waterfront community.

In 2000, Stout formed and founded Realmark Development.

Scan0001The community offers estate homes, waterfront villas, coach homes, condominiums, rental homes and “Funky Fish Houses.”

Realtor Ted Stout said the Funky Fish Houses, which includes Gulf of Mexico access, range from $650,000 to $900,000. He said the neat thing about the residential homes, which range from 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, is they are built over the water because Realmark Group owns the water rights.

The community offers a marina that has 76 wet slips and dry storage for boats up to 34 feet in length. Stout said there also is a bait shop, rentals for kayaks and paddleboards and fishing charters. Individuals can also rent a boat by day, join a boat club or hire a guide to go out on the water.

Event Manager Glenda Swager said there are seven merchants related to marine services in Cape Harbour.

There also are 11 boutique shops along the Promenade with the High Maintenance Salon and Day Spa. She said Harbour View Gallery, which offers unique items, has recently expanded their business.

“Even with the tight economy, we have stayed full. We are very happy with that.” Swager said. “It’s because we do the events and bring people here.”

There are two new merchants coming onboard in January – The Wish List and Waterside Wine Club.

The shops are open all week-long from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Swager said.

The community also has four restaurants and a coffee shop that offers coffee, breakfast and lunch items.

There is also live music every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday between the towers and Motown music on Wednesday, as well as live music on Saturday at Pignoli on the Harbour.

The community offers signature events every year, which are open to the residents and the public.

“Our event calendar is always full,” Swager said.

Cape HarborThe 23rd annual Tour De Cape, which always takes place in January, has been held at Cape Harbour for the past four years. (The 2014 run and cycling event has been set for Saturday, Jan. 18, for the 5K and Sunday, Jan. 19, for 15-mile, 30-mile, 60-mile and 100-mile bike ride.) Water and Wheels, another signature event, always takes place in March.

The Farmers Market is held from May until September every year and the annual Great American Picnic Lunch, which includes the famous Patriotic Pet Contest, is held on July 4.

Swager said they recently held Holiday Magic, which has been held the weekend before Thanksgiving for the past seven years, to kick off the holidays. The event includes an appearance by Santa and a tree lighting ceremony.

The final signature event of the year is their New Year’s Eve fireworks show and balldrop to be held this year on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Swager said in addition to the signature events, they also hold many fishing tournaments throughout the year, as well as a variety of 5K’s.

“They are all public events,” she said. “We never charge, unless it’s a fishing tournament, then you pay your dues for the tournament.”

A new event has been added to the calendar for next year, the 1st Annual Racing for Cancer Causes Bed Race. Swager said the race will consist of five-member teams who design a bed for various races.

There is also a clubhouse for the residents to enjoy, which includes a fitness center, tennis courts, basketball courts, a full kitchen, pool and showers. Stout said there are three pools for residents to use depending on where they live.

Felt like I was there

Tonight it felt like I was a part of the second family Christmas celebration, thanks to technology. It was definitely the highlight of the day.

This year’s holiday, although was good because I spent it with one of the most important people in my life, left me a little homesick. Tonight after seeing my older brother and sister-in-law, older sister, brother-in-law and nephews, as well as my little sister’s, mom, dad and grandma made me miss family, made me miss living close by.

Jason and I knew this would be my biggest challenge moving to Tennessee from Florida. I guess being one of six children, that feeling occurs every once in a while. I haven’t experienced this much of that overwhelming feeling until now. But I guess after living here for almost eight months it was bound to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, moving to Tennessee has been wonderful and rewarding. It is absolutely beautiful here! It has brought Jason and I even closer, as well as reminding me just how strong I am. I do not regret making that decision with Jason, I never will.

I just miss family . . .

I loved seeing everyone tonight. My nephews had my cheeks hurting I was laughing so hard – their dancing was hilarious. As Emily said they were being little “hams.” It made me smile watching Ian dance because their craziness usually happens with all the chocolate they consume, as well as the exhaustion and excitement that happens with Christmas. As they were dancing, everyone was laughing and talking, which was so typical of a family gathering. It felt great to be a part of that . . .

Ian, my oldest nephew is getting so big and Lucah, oh my gosh, he is not a little boy anymore. I absolutely loved seeing them even if it was through my computer screen. These cute little boys have grown tons since I left Florida at the end of April.

It makes me want to make a trip to Fort Myers and spend some time with everyone.

Family is such a huge part of my life, they are with me every day even though they are hundreds of miles away. Not a day goes by without thinking of at least one of them.

For example, the other night I made myself grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup – I instantly thought of my older brother Bill. Or the ducks I saw sitting on a log at the Greenbelt made me think of Mom – I felt her next to me.

I am so fortunate to have such a loving, close family. They all mean the world to me.

Happy tears

Today has been an exceptional day, one that seems to improve as the day continues.

This move to Tennessee continues to show me on a daily basis that dreams come true. That our vision of what we wanted for ourselves is obtainable. All you have to do is set a plan, put it into action and continue to execute it until everything falls into place.

I told a high school friend tonight that it’s an incredible feeling to watch the plan unravel in front of your eyes, in a good way.

Each obstacle has been just that an obstacle . . . we keep pushing forward, so we can witness the dream we had before leaving Fort Myers unfold before us.

With that said . . .

I won’t lie, our move has been difficult, at times a little too stressful . . . . yep a few tears of frustration have fallen. The contributing factor of  course was and is money.

Through that stress I had and have a wonderful man by my side. We always seem to find a way to keep our eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, to keep chugging along until it became a little brighter.

The brightness is shinning a little more . . .

Jason and I were used to a certain pay scale living in Florida, one that left us somewhat comfortable. We knew things were going to be different in Tennessee because the cost of living was much lower than Fort Myers. Well, I was pretty stunned to hear what kind of pay cut Jason was receiving working in the restaurants as a chef.

Me on the other hand, as a freelance writer I get paid pretty well. Well, that is if I can manage my time . . . my pay per article is a good sum of money. The only battle with freelance work is waiting for your paycheck in the mail . . . that’s half of my frustration. After working for a newspaper for so many years, I was used to money in my account every other week.

Things are finally looking up! The stress lifts a little more every day . . . especially now with some promising work in Jason’s future.

He seems to have found a job that he is happy with . . . and just received word today that a second job may be in his very near future. I’m very excited for him, I cannot wait to see what kind of opportunities come out of these job opportunities.

And the good news continues . . .

I seem to have more work than I know what to do with at times. That statement alone brings a huge smile to my face.

What we have worked so hard for, our vision of creating a new life in another state, is blossoming, and it could not have happened at a better time.

Never ever give up . . . keep going until the satisfaction you are striving for becomes a realty. The best part is I would never ever change a thing. What has happened since we moved to Kingsport in May has only made us stronger. It has made me appreciate Jason even more.

Happiness . . . is a measurement of our success.

Now those happy tears . . .

First they came when text messages began flowing back and forth through my phone with a friend I have known since middle school. The words that were shared were words we both needed to hear, words that brough tears to both of our eyes.

“It made my heart smile.”

The second happy tears of the day came from a message I received from a friend I met in high school.

“I look forward to reading your blogs and posts; you have really been an inspiration and a force that has helped motivate me to pursue my dreams of moving to Washington. Thank you so much for that!!”

Wow, simply wow! Like I have always said, I hope I touch someone with my writing. Not a day goes by that I learn just how much it does. To be someone’s inspiration and motivation, what an incredible feeling.

Today was another fantastic day. Another day that showed me just how fortunate I am. I have a good life and I am sharing that with my best friend and love of my life.

Snow falling

This afternoon as I opened our door the cold breeze kissed my face and sent a chill to my toes. My purse was slung over my shoulder, my mini computer tucked under my arm and keys in hand ready to lock the door. As soon as I turned around and looked at our trees, which are now almost empty of leaves, I saw little white speckles float through the air cascading to the ground. I instantly got my phone out so I could take pictures, which didn’t seem to be enough, so I started recording this beautiful site. It was snowing!

Well my fingers started to become frozen, so I walked to the car a few steps away in a rather rushed motion, so I could get out of the cold. I opened the car door, set all my stuff on the passenger side and looked at my black jacket, and my dark hair, both full of little snow balls. I couldn’t help it a smile crept across my face.

I turned on the car and my dashboard starting flashing telling me the roads may be icy, again a little smile spread across my face. Well, like they say there is no better time than the present, so I put the car in reverse and went on my way to Greeneville to do my in-person interview with an artist.

You see, although I lived in Illinois once upon a time, we moved to Florida when I was only 8-years-old, many years before getting my driver’s license, many years before the thought of driving crossed my mind.

So, as I drove down our driveway I was thinking, “oh my gosh I am driving for the first time in snow!” I have to admit I was a little nervous about it, but as soon as I turned down the road that took me to the interstate the nerves started slowly going away. I actually became emotional. The emotions started deep down and slowly made its way up to my throat where I fought back a few tears. You ask why? I have no idea. Maybe it’s because this is Jason and my first winter together in a state that actually has a winter, maybe because I was driving in snow for the first time, who knows.

It snowed the entire ride to Greeneville (40+ miles) and the farther I drove from home the larger the flakes became. It was an experience like no other.

I’m used to driving in the rain. After living in Florida for most of my life, it became second nature to flip on your lights, turn on the wipers and drive until you reach your destination.

It was crazy driving, and having these, what looked like little cotton balls, hitting my windshield. It was incredible really. I felt like a little girl seeing snow for the first time. It was almost like there was a little wind tunnel right in front of my windshield grabbing a hold of all these little white circles that hit the windshield before flying off the side or onto the roof.

As soon as I arrived at Lawrence’s house, I apologized for being a little late. Yep, I was a little cautious driving in these new conditions, so my lead foot drove the speed limit and at times a little below.

We instantly hit it off . . . he lived in Fort Lauderdale for 30 years after growing up in Chicago as a child. I love interviewing artist, especially this gentleman because of his love for animals. His paintings were incredible, each set of animal’s eyes drew you into the painting.

I have to be honest when the interview was over and I said my goodbyes, I was a little disappointed that the snow stopped.  But with that said, I made it home a lot faster.

I remember driving the entire way home excited to tell Jason about my new adventure. His excitement matched mine . . . he said he stuck his head out of the door at work a couple of times to look at the snow, which in Johnson City he said were a good size.

So now that I drove in my first snow, the next battle to tackle, the ice!

It’s in the high 20’s right now and I plan on getting up early to exercise before my hectic day begins with writing. I wonder what kind of weather conditions I will face then.

Days full of writing

I feel complete once again … my days are full of writing … therefore full of my all time passion.

I love piecing an interview together to create a story that others can follow and hopefully enjoy. I love incorporating the emotions I feel from an interview to further portray their story.

My favorite conversations are those that move me, those in which I can feel their passion about a particular subject.
I just finished writing about a gentleman who lives in Gilbert, Arizona …  his passion for helping others was contagious as our conversation continued. Those ate the stories that give me the drive, those are the ones that I want to tell.

My opportunities for writing are soaring once again. I never thought I would be where I am at – have as many opportunities as I do. My calendar is once again filling with times for phone interviews.

Although my full-time job didn’t pan out the way I hoped, things couldn’t be better now.

I started working my editors position for the Neighbors section of the SanTan Sun News, a publication in Arizona, today. It felt good to sit down at my desk and organize and rewrite content that is beginning to trickle into my email.

On top of that, I was excited to dive back into interviewing people to do articles I love to write.

My editors in Florida and Arizona are keeping me busy, they are pushing a good assortment of articles my way. I should be adding Tennessee to that list as well, as I am waiting to hear back from the publisher about my first article.

When we first moved to Tennessee all I was doing was freelance work. After a while I needed a change, I needed to actually get out of the house and interview people in person. This is why I started looking for a full-time job. I believe I fixed that urge this time because of the partnership with the paper in Tennessee.

The ability to write is an amazing feeling, the opportunity to do it for a career is indescribable. I’m on cloud nine, I am beyond excited for what my future holds again.