IT'S MY BIRFDAY!!!
Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
72Trip End Dec 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
I realize I didn't blog much from Venice, just posted photos from the cruise. Venice was loverly. I happened to be there during the marathon. There were several folks staying in the hostel that were running it -- can you imagine a worse combination? But they all ran well and were pleased so I suppose the combo wasn't so bad. It was a delight being able to dine in Italy with the runners pre-race and then post-race. Granted, I didn't run a marathon and burn all the calories, but you can bet I kept up with them in the pasta consumption
I met a very nice girl at the hostel and we spent lunch and a couple sites together. But I have to say, and I'm sorry for it, she just talked and talked and talked and talked. And not in a chatty-kathy way where she kept going on about interesting things and simply dominated the conversation. But here's an example:
Josie: The shower is open.
Talker: I can't wait to get back to my own shower.
Josie: Yes, that will be nice.
Talker: Because I won''t need to wear flip flops in the shower.
Josie: (polite) Haha, yes.
Talker: Or carry a bag with me back and forth to the shower.
Josie: (polite) Yep.
Talker: I mean the bag has everything I need in the bathroom.
Josie: (polite) Exactly.
Talker: It has my shampoo, my conditioner, my soap...
Josie: (head nod)
Talker: ... my toothbrush, my toothpaste. I have my comb in there and my towel. Plus a change of clothes. My shirt, my...
Maybe I'm not expressing it well enough, but it was comical and aggravating how poorly she read other people's interest level. Half the time I wouldn't even be looking at her anymore, I'd be walking out the door or typing something on my computer or looking in a book. But she continued. BUT all that said, she was a very nice girl. And I'm glad she made a memorable impression. And the next time I'm talking to somebody and sense the glazed-over look I will think of her -- and shut up immediately! :)
So then I was off to Si-ch-il-ia. The time change had been messing with me all week. When we were on the cruise we put our watches ahead one hour on day two, back one hour on day five and then the second day of being in Venice we put our watches back again. Needless to say I spent most of my time in Venice having 3 different times on my 3 different clocks. My flight departed at 12:40 so when I was showered and mostly packed by 10 I was feeling great. At one point I walked by one of my roommate's alarm clocks -- 9:38. Fantastic. I asked my hostel host where to find the post office -- I had plenty o'time. Until I looked at my watch and realized the girl's clock hadn't been adjusted. It was 10:38 when I sauntered by it so leisurely 20 minutes ago. At 11am I bolt out of the hostel for the 10-minute walk to Pizzale Roma. I consider if I should hail a boat taxi and just pay the 90 euro fare to ensure I make my flight. I opt out. Then, being 'smart' I take a short-cut to the Piazzale. It wasn't. I eventually get there and leap on to the bus, which proceeds to sit in the parking lot. Finally it takes off. It's meant to be a 30 - 40 minute ride to the airport. Miraculously we arrive at the airport at 11:45 and I'm able to check in my bag without any issue. PHEW!!! I see signs for a post office in the airport so I check it out
I recognize the juxtaposition of the first paragraph, "She just talks and talks and talks" and the previous paragraph of me talking and talking
And now I'm sitting in my villa. Villa Zottopera is an olive oil producer and their grounds are beautiful. I'm the only guest staying here (they only have 5 rooms/apartments even in high season). So last night I ate dinner with their family. It was marvelous. We all stood in the kitchen, drinking wine and soda and watched the mama (Anna) prepare the meal. Then we headed to the dining table to eat:
Rigatoni con funghi e pecorino -- I personally watched Anna 'stir' by flipping the huge cast-iron skillet pancake-style
Mozzarella di Buffala e Pomodoro
Pizza di Sicilia con patate e formaggio
Uova frittata con ricotta fresca -- This was the best omelete I have ever ever ever had
Grande uve -- Not huge eggs (uova) but huge, fresh grapes
It was such a wonderful dinner. And everybody was speaking Italian and I did a respectable job of holding my own and following along.
So now it's Tuesday and I'm officially venti-nove. I just had my tea and croissant outside on my apartment patio. As I wandered around I found a cat -- well, it actually found me. It is apparently my new best friend and won't let me walk without it walking directly between my two legs. As I walked I also found a huge tub of Calabrese peppers drying in the sun. They were right by the kitchen door so I can only hope that's a hint of what to expect at the family dinner tonight. Que buono!