Monday, June 2, 2014

La vita e bella!

Random thoughts about Italy Day Two.

1. Brian and i are on different schedules. Because i was awake for 34 hours in a row while we traveled here i finally got to bed at 8 pm our first night here. And i woke up my usual time in the morning around 5 am. I get up for a bit, go back to bed and wake up again at 9 am, just like at home. Brian is still messed up. He didn't sleep at all last night and so at 9 am this morning he went in for a nap as i finally got out of bed. He slept for 7 hours straight and woke up at 4 pm, which is amazing because he NEVER sleeps 7 hours in a row.

He isn't even on our home time now. Not sure how we're going to fix this!

2. We hooked up with Brian's friend Pam and her family yesterday for a trip to Cortona. It was Sunday and very busy. Normally i don't like traveling with a group, especially when it's so crowded but this was fine, only i did start to fade near the end. That's partly why i don't like traveling with a group. You are not allowed to fade out and must hang in there.

I am not a hang in there kind of person.

3. If i am being honest, my gnocchi at our three hour lunch was good, but not fabulous. Not even close to what we get at Marzano's, our favorite restaurant at home which is owned by a real Italian. (I wish we had gone there the week before and asked her about Italy!) Brian said the same thing about his puttanesca. I think i make it just as well. The restaurant was the friend of our friends. And the owner was from Brazil. (Maybe that's the problem?) Either way, it was still fun and Mara, the owner, was a kick.

4. My favorite person, also a friend of our friends, was Gabriella. When Ginny and I got separated because we went to the bathroom we went back to the wine shop owned by Gabriella, from where we had tasted and bought bottles of wine from earlier. Ginny knews her from previous travels and tried to explain our family was lost. I got to practice my one sentience of Italian and she poured us a glass of red that i liked better than the others we tasted earlier because it was a blend. My iPad makes it tricky to post a photo of Gabriella, but i'll try later from Brian's laptop. He has a fabulous photo of her.

5. Many women are walking around those cobblestone streets in really high heels. I don't know how they do it!

6. Before we come back i need to learn more Italian. What i keep doing is thinking of Spanish words to describe what i mean and i realize i learned more Spanish than i thought and i would be so happy if i knew as much Italian as i do Spanish, which isn't much, but at least something.

7. This might be hard to believe but so far i haven't found a killer wine. In a way i am not surprised because i actually thought this might happen. Italian wines I have tasted are too harsh and have too much tannin for me. Maybe if they were aged longer? Like coffee, i am picky about what i like in wine. But then again, we haven't been here that long yet.

8. I did like the gelato yesterday a lot. It's weird that i am not a dessert person, actually no one in my family is...probably because they haven't made a dessert that goes with Coors Light beer... but i did like the gelato because it is not as rich or sweet as ice cream.

9. Brian got us some stuff from the local grocery store and i do LOVE their yogurt. I wish i could get this at home. It's fabulous! And light. So creamy.

10. We are getting a kick out of listening to Italian radio stations and sometimes hearing a Rolling Stones or Jimi Hendrix song on the radio in between the Italian pop songs.

11. I like the family we are hanging out with. Especially Ginny the daughter of Brian's friend. Ginny is 25 years old. Her boyfriend Miles is very funny, a redhead with skin prone to sunburn. He describes himself as an introvert and keeps saying, i'm trying new things! As he did when he had pate during the antipasto and gnocchi for lunch. Ginny is a recent graduate from Minnesota with a Masters in Communications. A free spirit and an old soul, all wrapped in one. They walked back with us from Cortona and we shared a bottle of wine until they got picked up later.

Today is some kind of holiday about the Republic and many things are closed we were told. We were going to walk back into Cortona but it's too late now since Brian hasn't been awake that long and we don't want to get lost in the dark out here. It's a little bit tricky with the turns coming down the road. We took a wrong one yesterday because Ginny (who has done this many times) forget which way. We'll figure it out


jojo cucina cucina said...

I forgot this observation! We were surrounded by many people yesterday but i did not see folks glued to their iPhones , looking like Americans who are constantly walking around looking down at their devices. In fact I rarely saw anyone talking on a cell phone. It was odd to me, and so refreshing.

Amanda said...

I love it, Jo! Can't wait to hear more!

B said...

Glad you're enjoying your trip! I too don't like traveling in a group. Back in my operations management classes, they said a group only moves as fast as its slowest person. Most of the time I'm the fastest person in the group, so I feel so restricted by what I can do in a group. And I'm often more interested in different things than the typical person/tourist & I don't feel like I can do what I want to do.

jojo cucina cucina said...

hey Amanda! We saw you were liking Brian's photons on Facebook earlier. Bethany yes! I am usually the fastest too. I feel a bit like I am being held hostage when traveling in a group. Even when it is just Brian and me we sometimes split up!

jojo cucina cucina said...

Damn ip

jojo cucina cucina said...

This iPad is not very forgiving on blogger. Even before I post I cannot get back to edit because the 'edit cut copy paste' message pops up and simply won't budge to allow for an earlier edit.

pearl said...

You've done good, grasshopper!

The only way Brian is going to acclimate is to NOT let him nap. If you keep moving, and keep him awake all day til at least 9PM, you can get a full sleep cycle in. He may be cranky, but it works. That's kept me alive through 20 years of cross country commutes, and overseas trips. I let myself have a 2 hour nap that first day, but that's it. And I set an alarm to be sure I don't go over. If I screw up and sleep for 4 or 5 hours midday on that first day, I'm toast for days after.

Glad you are enjoying it. Funny about the Italian food. After 2 weeks in the Med, Bud said "I can't wait to get home and have a real pizza!" I still haven't let him forget it.

jojo cucina cucina said...

We are not taking naps for sure to get more acclimated and that helps because we do get tired at 11 pm. However we keep waking up and can't get back to sleep! But that's not a whole lot different from home. We're sleeping in later though.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Thanks pearl! That is funny about Bud and the pizza.