Saturday, August 09, 2003

It has gone by so quickly, this week. It started out with Lori getting here on Sunday night, and now it is already Saturday morning, another year for me, and less than two weeks left.

Perhaps the most memorable things are not even significant for anyone else--helping Corrie clothing shop, meeting up with old friends on Macerata steps, caffe gelato, the beginnings of a full moon becoming a second spotlight for an outdoor opera stage--but as the weeks come to a close, each moment is almost tangible, yet quickly disappearing.

Walking the streets in Modena on Tuesday, we came across the duomo and the tower with feverish expectation. It was to be one of my last trips in Italy, and I wanted Modena to be something special, to be worth all of these days--this past year of them--placed together. And although nothing can meet that hope, arriving on Modena's main piazza felt sort of cumulative--cobblestones like a cranberry bog.

i quit.

Update: I will fix this later. The last paragraph became way too fruity, as you may have noticed. It's that new 25-year-old feeling. Off to eat pizza now.

Happy Birthday Paul, Aunt Dolly, and Carolyn!


Buon Compleanno!

Happy Birthday to Jackie!
Today, Bella turns 25! Buon Compleanno!

Friday, August 08, 2003

Eating in August

Food Tour 2003. Jackie, Lori, and I got hungry and took a trek. First stop was Parma, the city MADE of cheese (the locals didn't think that joke was nearly as funny as we did). The streets of the historic center, the pebbles of the huge garden, the dust of the dry river bed...everything in Parma was hot. We plopped down on a shady bench and melted like thin slices of that famous cheese over hot pasta. A few moments later, we discovered a set of lawn sprinklers between us and the train to if we had any choice?

Modena was quiet and slow, subtle and rich like the balsamic vinegar for which it's famous. A hearty dinner had highlights of refreshing Lambrusco and gelato with a drizzle of balsamic.

A couple hours in Bologna was a capital end to our tasty tour. Shops in the shady vicoli just off the main piazza poured displays of ripe fruits into the narrow streets. Our short time there was just the tease I needed to add Bologna to the "must return" list. In other words, plans for Food Tour 2004 are already in the works!


Thursday, August 07, 2003

Gelato with...Balsamic Vinegar?

My friend Lori and I have just returned from an Emilia-Romagna tour--Parma, Modena, and Bologna. Corrie went on to conquer the Veneto for a day, since tomorrow all three of us have to rest up for La Traviata, which we are going to see tomorrow night at Macerata's outdoor opera house: the Sferisterio.

I plan to write in more detail about our experiences in the upcoming days--memories of grand churches in both Parma and Modena (Parma, covered in Correggio frescoes from here to there, and Modena, stark Romanesque, with an amazingly large rose-window), a dinner of maltagliata e fagioli soup, followed by gelato with Balsamic syrup (a tasty treat, although it must sound odd) in Modena, running through sprinklers in Parma, searching through Bologna's feast of Italian markets for the perfect gifts, and explaining unsuccessfully to an Italian museum worker that we thought Parma was MADE OF CHEESE, not just a maker of cheese.

But now, in the Italy's dense summer heat, we are going to the local mall to rediscover air conditioning, maybe buy a watermelon, and eat gelato.

Just two weeks left before I return home.

Happy birthday Mom, Paul, Carolyn, and Aunt Dolly! I miss you!


Monday, August 04, 2003

The Adventure Continues...

Found an internet lab that is open in August! Yay! This means blogging should continue on a regular basis.

Since our last blog, Corrie and I have:
-Gone on a Sunday spelunking expedition (in Italian)
-taken photographs with foil and crystals
-been confused about the proper use of a camera's flash
-laughed (a lot)
-been stuck in midnight traffic
-been reminded AGAIN that we aren't quite Italian ("and you, you're not from here, right?")
-eaten Crescia sandwiches under the shadow of a mountain
-tried to steal Dick the dog
-made La Traviata plans
-bought tickets for a foodie vacation to Parma and Modena (we leave tomorrow morning, just in time for breakfast)
-met up with a friend from Oregon, England, and Macerata
-eaten cinnamon, lemon, strawberry, and cassata di Sicilia gelati
-and perfected our Italian-style wardrobes

A lot can happen in 4 days!

We will report more soon (after our foodie vacation!). Looks like the blog will continue after all (who could really stop us?)