A Travellerspoint blog

7/4/08

A couple of firsts

First night sleeping in my new house. With the time difference, 20 hours of travel, a different bed (never bothered me when I was 19...slept under the boardwalk, on a picnic table and once in a bathtub after a particularly hard night)and the anticipation of this adventure just begun, I woke during the night. It was either 10:11 pm or 3:56 am. I couldnt figure out how to change the time on my Camp Hill cell phone and couldnt figure out how to set the time and alarm on the Italian cell phone. Actully, all I can do on the Italian cell is answer it and call Suzy.....Anyway, so I looked at both times through 1/2 awake eyes and after calculation, determined that it was damned early. I lay there and listened, listened, listened. Not a sound. If quiet (tanquilo) is what you seek, Paciano is the place. Not a car (close or distant), not the quiet hum of an air conditioner, not a chirp or peep or flutter of wings. We have noticed over the years that after July 1 the night birds either leave or chnge their pattern. Before July, the nightingales sing all night and you can hear a lark song well into late dusk. But now, silence.

Second first (oxymoron?) First caprese salad, with mozzarella di bufalo, Jenny and Mikes olive oil,m fresh basilico and bread from Napoli. I had hoped to upload pics, but will not have the time. When you see the pics, the beautiful dishes are Suzys and when I see them come out, my mouth starts to water knowing a wondrous, fresh, local treat awaits. This was my first, but ill not be my last! Thank you, Suzy.

Caprese.jpg

Third First (oxymoron doppio) Wine from a "gas pump"! This is an "only in Italy thing". You choose from among their 3 house wines, (table, Umbrian and white....white???? why????) and they grab the nozzle, flip the lever and pump out 5 lt for about 7.50€!

Danny_pumping_wine.jpg

For those of you joining me later in the journey, the good news is that it is very good wine. The bad news is that its heavy and Ive carried my last 10 lt. up the hill to the house. Hint: Do bicept curls!!!

Posted by Allegra51 02:02 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

7-3-08

Of butts, Enrico Caruso, stress and a cuckoo...

I was thinking today, how on a usual day, I bump butt cheeks or graze thighs with very few strangers. It was one of the first things, however, I did when I began this journey. I didnt start as soon as some (late butt bumping bloomer). Since I had a "driver" (read a hoochie mama...thanks, Val) I didnt have shuttle butt compression, but once at the airport the butt bumping (BB) began! Some were more notable than others. There was BB in the security line, waiting at the gate for the ID check, in line to board (an Aussie serial bumper...Crikey...sorry!), boarding the plane, sitting in the plane (Joshua on his way to a wedding in the South), in line for the train tickets (BBd and then adeptly passed on the inside for a line cut), in line to board the train (a very pushy Brit) on the first train (a little German boy), on the second train, (a Nigerian woman to Orte and then an Italian gentleman Orte to Chuisi). Butt (pun intended...I was going to say bun intended butt...) it was worth it, for now here I sit, liberated from the international compressed cheeks and thighs of the last 20 hours. I am on the terace of "my house in Umbria", the voice of Enrico Caruso floating across 2 terraces, a black cat finding the last of the sunlit tiles on the terrace wall, the fresh evening air heavy with the scent of jasmine, the swallows swooping the valley in silent, precison squadrons, the lake in the diatance, perhaps 10 miles away, my stress, my cares and any distractions from life and living also in the distance, perhaps 4,286 miles away...perhaps a million. I have waited a long time for this..................................AHHHHHHH.

ps-Across the valley, near the stone house on the hill shining golden in the last of the day's sun-a cuckoo.

Posted by Allegra51 01:46 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

I'm here...

...but have not time on the computer to blog...

I have been writing, but will not have access until Tuesday to put it online. I'm at Suzy's for a little while before picking up my car and so I just hopped on.

I arrived after an uneventful trip and am already into the rhythm of life here. Coffee on the terrace, a short run to the store for mozzarella di bufalo and a quick stop for vino (dispensed from what look like gas pumps...pic to follow) and I'll be back at home by around 5 for my afternoon riposo........ahhhhhh. I'm on my way out to pick up the car. A little adventure, yes? Film at 11.

Posted by Allegra51 05:55 Comments (0)

T minus 9 hours...

...and counting...counting...counting


View Italy on Allegra51's travel map.

Since I have nothing at all to do until I leave, I thought I'd make a blog entry.......oh, wait. That's me hallucenating again. I got a letter from the IRS stating that I had to redo my '07 tax return within 15 days of receipt of the letter...today...guess what I've been doing. Also, got a letter from PA Tax Bureau (they're in cahoots, I just know it) that they didn't have my W2 form..........hmmmmmmmm.........I have a copy of what I sent and it's in my copies. Had to go get copies made and send that off. I had to switch the car pick up and it will not be confirmed before I leave because it's a "last minute" change (at the time I made the change, it was 28 hours away). Anyway.........I keep looking at the clock praying it will say 3pm and I'll be on my way to the airport!

If, after 3pm, you see a newsflash that the trains are on strike in Italy or the Rome airport is closed for Gay Pride week or something, do me a favor............don't call!

Posted by Allegra51 09:21 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

T minus 3 and counting...

...counting...counting...

My coursework is 99.9% completed and will be mailed on Monday. My small carry on bag is out and taunting me with the stuff of dreams.........earplugs, power converters and Ibuprophen.......oh my! For those of you that enjoyed or endured my last Italian travel "gornal", I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack. Return at your peril.

For those of you new to the experience, consider yourselves warned. There are likely to be more pictures of food than of ruins. More reveries about poppies than Pompeii. More odes to local drivers than to Tiberius and Caesar. I prefer the road not taken....as long as it ends up at an enoteca or trattoria or caffe bar.

I will not have reliable Internet access this trip, but vow to journal nightly and attempt to process pics as I go so that I know "what I are looking at". I will post as I have access and inclination. If this is the last post until 8/7...you will know I was either unable to get to an affordable Internet connection or I was just too relaxed to worry about it and will email the journal and post the pics to Shutterfly when I return....sigh......let's not think about that yet. I haven't even gotten there!

Posted by Allegra51 17:59 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

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