Buongiorno a Italia

Bonjorno, ya’ll!

We made it to Italy safely! Our flight went well, it didn’t take too long at all. It was bumpier than I prefer but I was probably overreacting. The wings and engines didn’t snap off, and my Tylenol PM did a good job of knocking me out. Yeah! Air France gives you those little eye cover thingies that old ladies wear so I put mine on, put a few Tylenol PM’s down with champagne (yes, champagne) and knocked myself out! We arrived to Paris late but when we got off the plane we had an escort waiting for us. Not the police kind of escort, but a monsieur who took us through the airport/security/immigration and to the gate of our next plane. We were the last two folks on the plane but we didn’t miss the flight – merci monsieur!

The flight from Paris to Venice was beautiful. All of the countryside was covered in snow, and then the Alps appeared! We flew over the Alps and didn’t crash there either, and
before I knew it we were descending into Venice. We flew right over the island but couldn’t really see any gondolas or anything.

Maurice’s mom picked us up so I finally got to meet his mom! She is wonderful. We drove home, about 1 hour from the airport, but I couldn’t see much because it was dark by that time. The drivers here in Italy are just as scary as those in Costa Rica, except they use blinkers here before they cut you off. They fly down the autostrada! You know how we have gas stations along our highways? They have little espresso stations – I kid you not!

Anyway we made it to Maurice’s parents’ home and met everyone, including his new niece who is a perfect looking baby. Rosy cheeks and everything, and she
just smiles! 🙂

Saturday we went with his niece Kyla and sister Angelique to a farm so that Kyla and Angelique could ride horses. Kyla takes riding lessons and she’s quite good! The farm was hilarious though – a donkey greets you at the front gate, and then they had about 12 horses in the stables, a half-blind shepherd dog of some kind, and cats everywhere. AND they had Texas license plates hanging up all around the place! The folks that live & work there were all in cowboy boots and wranglers, and belt buckles! I never thought I would end up in Italy surrounded by Italian cowboys! 🙂

We had supper yesterday at a little restaurant that was fabulous. They have a set menu more or less, you can choose different sauces for your pasta, but you get a delicious salad with rucula, marinated onions & fresh tomatoes. Then you get pasta, mine had a really good red fish sauce. After the pasta you get an entire freshly grilled pork chop with hot lemon juice on it – yum! You also get an entire bottle of aqua frizzante (the bubbly stuff) -and- an entire bottle of wine (about half the size of a regular bottle but still, a good 3 glasses), -and- a cappuccino at the end. There was no way I could eat all that food but we sat there and had a great time talking and laughing and catching up with each other. All of that for 9 Euros!

Last night we were invited to their neighbors’ house, Giuseppe (Angelika’s hair dresser) and his wife Giana, and they have a daughter named Giorga and a son named Giacomo. Talk about Italian, and they were all hilarious! They had us laughing all night, and kept feeding us different pastries and of course lots of wine, cappuccino, grappa, and champagne. We were all goofy by the end of the night but today – no hangover. Sweet! 🙂 I got up with the sunrise and have only had a little trouble adjusting to the time change.

This morning we went to the market in a town called Camisanno, about 1/2 hour from their town (Bolzano di Vicentino). They had everything – fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, beautiful flowers, clothes, SHOES, and lots of characters. I didn’t buy anything for myself but I did pick up some nice tulips for the Belleville’s. Now we are all relaxing, I am about to make
some salsa if his parents can find all of the ingredients at the commissary…tonight his parents are going to teach Maurice and I how to cook Indian food! Their best friends are from Bombay and taught them how to make authentic Indian food.

Oh, and did I mention you can see the Dolomites from their neighborhood???

This place is amazing, every bit as beautiful as you think it is when you think of the Italian countryside. The people are really named Giuseppe and they really drink espresso often, the women wear beautiful leather shoes, and there are people riding bicycles and driving little Cinqecento’s everywhere. I love it!

Maurice sends his best, and so does his family. Mom and Dad – they look forward to meeting you guys, I think you will all share some good laughs!

Ciao!

P.S. Just in case you were worried, I did find a good straightening iron so my hair is nice and straight. You can breathe a sigh of relief now. ha ha!

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