Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Italy Recoup Day.

Even though we are in an amazing place i am not able to do a major traveling sight seeing event every one of our 14 days that we are here.

Now that we have a car we have been the last three days in a row to Montepulciana, Pienza and yesterday to Siena. Today i stayed home. Brian's family is very into nostalgia and their geneology, something that has never interested me about my own ancestors. So he took off for Montecantini which is outside Florence, maybe two hours away. That is where is grandfather was born. From what i can tell Montenantini is probably like visiting Tacoma if you were touring Washington State.

So i stayed home.

And so i was able to use his laptop today to load up photos since i am not able to do that on my iPad. So i worked on that today so that i have a head start when i get home to make a photo book. So far i've taken over 700 photos and i get overwhelmed when there are so many.

Random Stuff about Italy....

1. My risotto with seafood at Siena yesterday was so good. I've made risotto on special occasions and it's not easy - my first couple of attempts bombed. But i'm pretty good at it now. This was better than mine.

2. The grocery store down the street is amazing! it's like a super cool Italian deli. I wish we had this store at home. We have been eating out only once a day and then making meals using their fresh homemade pesto, the fabulous mortadella and proscuitto meats, the cheeses. And i have never had better yogurt. They recognize us now when we walk in.

3. I was not a fan of Florence, too crowded, too big....but i have loved the car trips to the smaller towns i mention above. I found a really nice skirt yesterday in Siena without even looking for anything for myself. I think i'll forget about trying to find boots. For one thing - it is so hot i don't even want to try them on. The other thing is i know my fat foot won't fit in them.

4. I swear my feet have gained weight too! And they already were wide.

5. I cannot run here unless i want to risk my life by being hit by a motorcuycle. They are so annoying in the small villages - like mosquitos.

6. I find that i like taking photos of the people more than the cathedrals and churches. I know i should pay more attention to the history, but i'm not wanting a history lesson. I want to watch the people, eat the food, experience the wine. People are so nice here!

7. That might have something to do with my husband's bright happy face everywhere we go and he's always quick to try to say something to them in Italian, and often asks for the right prononunciation.

8. I went down to the pool today to write in my little traveling journal and one of the nice Norwegians two doors down came over and talked to me. He spoke English very well.and we had a nice conversation about traveling Italy and American culture. He was so nice. His name was Lasse  and he and his wife own one of these places. They are so cute all of them. They have been playing Bridge and drinking wine outside on the shared balcony the last two nights and have been so friendly to us. When i told him my grandfather was from Norway he said he would try to find out about our name because we know nothing about it.)

9. Tomorrow we are venturing out by train to Orvieto, which many have told me is a great place to go. Including my new friend Lasse.

9. The smells are amazing here. I wish i could record it and bring it home with me!

10. I have been trying to post photos on my blog but it is impossible. Google tells me others have the same problem so i give up.


pearl said...

Glad you are enjoying it so much. I often wish that I could have a 'recoup' day when we travel, but I don't want to miss a thing! You and I are so different! I like going through the villages along the way, but I'm a big city girl through and through -especially in Europe. Of course, I majored in art history my first couple of years in college and for me Rome and Florence are the first and second rings of heaven! I'm hoping that we make it to the Uffizi Gallery this time - the lines were just too long and it was sooo hot.

Can't wait to see your photos.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I put up 100 photos on Facebook when i was able to use Brian's computer. louie gave me shit about putting up so many but i was organizing for a book i want to put together online for our trip and maybe a video and i was too lazy to make selections.

Yes, i am definitely a skittish traveler because i am so out of my comfort zone since EVERYTHING is unfamiliar which is a thing with me. But i've learned that i don't have to worry about driving around here. The Autostrade is much better than our Interstate where we live in terms of traffic even if folks do tailgate you even as you are speeding. Same with the country roads. And everything feels so safe. Plus the people are so nice. We have great Norwegian neighbors two doors down that we stop and talk to for a bit every evening as we come home while they are drinking wine and playing bridge on the open balcony.

We do love the smaller villages. Florence was my least favorite of all because it is SO big. But then that makes sense, i am not a huge fan of visiting Seattle either and it's right next door and my nieces live there.

IT IS SO HOT here. It's been 95 degrees for the past few days and with the crowds of people it can be quite exhausting after about four hours.

WE only have two more days and then we head out for two nights in Florence before flying out. We want to go to a tiny town with no tourists and eat a restaurant , what i call Nonna's place.

We had our favorite meal tonight in Cortona at the Grotto. Wild Boar sauce Papardella pasta was amazing. The pinot grigios are my favorite wines here. And we met four Americans from New Jersey at the next table who were so much fun that we exchanged emails after the meal.

I also love that Italians don't rush anything when you are having dinner.

The downside here that if i had to have one is too many people smoke and they smoke everywhere. I'm so not used to be eating a meal and having the table next to me with chain smoking throughout their time there.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Actually I checked the weather and San Gimignano was 97 degrees while we were there yesterday. We are not used to continuos weather like that. When we first got here it was so cool outside I was wearing a sweater and jeans.

louielouie said...

It was so hot when Em and I were in Italy too - end of July/early August. It did not stop me from drinking red wine and eating any and everything.. It was cooler in the country side and small towns than Rome. We stayed two places and the both had AC.

I was hoping it might be cooler for you.It does wear you out, that and all the hilly walking.

Glad you are seeing wonderful sights, eating wonderful things and having a great time.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Sarah, i just haven't liked their red wines as much here as our red wines from California and Washington. Maybe something to do with the tannins? Maybe they sell them too young? We have been addicted to drinking Pellegrino too. I bought some peach concentrate and their fabulous Yomo yogurt, which is thinner than ours and i made a refreshing drink my mixing them with ice.

I am pretty much wearing the same skirt every day. Love that Title Nine skirt that is barely above the knee and dries quickly and has zippered pockets.

The pool here is unheated and when we got here it was too cold. Two days ago i actually went swimming and it felt like our heated pool at home because it's been so hot. So glad for the air conditioning!

Driving around here hasn't been as scary as i was expecting and for us so used to I-5, it's unusual that there is so little traffic. But i am glad that Brian is driving and not me. You were very brave to drive here