Monday, January 29, 2007

A List of Little Things

Like Corrie, I am drastically behind on blogging, and it's not for a lack of things to post. So, I'm copying her idea of a quick list of updates. More blogging relatively soon--this week is going to be a busy one (and, anyway, you're better off following Colts Superbowl coverage this week than reading our blog--what kind of Colts fan are you!?! :) That said, In case you need more Colts stuff to get in the superbowl spirit, go to Indy Star's Superbowl center to download some cool desktop wallpaper for your computer, featuring your favorite Colts player--mine's up, and it's Marvin Harrison. Plus, RIGHT NOW go and sign up for Cyndi's superbowl party--I'm gonna be there, are you? Hey, we're talking virtual chips and dip!)

1. Waaay back in December (it seems so long ago!) I had a very special moment in my Italian driver's-license-adventure. I passed the Italian driver's ed theory test, a test I spent a good three months preparing for. Regular classes and frequent studying helped me to figure out the theory, and by the last few days before the test, I was explaining to Antonello the rules of the road (which he wasn't exactly happy about!). Despite all of my studying, nothing could prepare me for what happened that day: I had been planning to take the test in English (all of my study materials were in English, and the Driver's ed school had told me that the test would be in English), but upon arriving, I opened my test and found it to be completely in Italian. Ahh, wonders never cease in Italy. Luckily, those classes I had been attending had been in Italian too, so the strange new vocabulary I had gained regarding trucks and road blocks and headlights and more turned out to be my saving grace. Next up: the practical test. Wish me luck!! (and maybe it's best for you to stay off the roads in Macerata for a bit? Just until I figure out how to change gears...)

2. My parents were here for Christmas and New Year's, and we celebrated with time in Le Marche as well as trips elsewhere. After a couple of days in Bologna and a day trip with Antonello to the Umbrian town of Spello, we rented a car and headed down south, following the coast to Puglia and hoping to both hit some warmer weather and see a different side of Italy. Well, warmer weather, there wasn't. Somehow we were immediately hit with biting cold wind and even rain--what kind of southern paradise is this?!? Still, we did manage to see a completely different side of Italy: Puglia in itself is made up of so many facets--from the mountainous Gargano peninsula--the spur of Italy's boot--to castles galore built by Frederick II to whitewashed seaside towns, we saw as much as we could in just a couple of days. There's so much more to see, so we took this trip as a little taste of the south (and that taste of course included culinary specialties as well: I think we're hooked on homemade taralli and Puglian wine now, and here's a recipe for the delicious orecchiette I tried in Monte Sant' Angelo). Anyway, it was a great trip--next time, though, we're going when it's warm!

above: Trani's romanesque wonder, its cathedral. below: the famous Castel del Monte built by Frederick II (check out the back of a one cent Italian coin to see what I'm talking about) and a view of the white washed houses of Monte Sant' Angelo, a pilgrim's path town on the Gargano peninsula.

3. As a way to get back into blogging, and to use the new camera that my parents gave Antonello and me for Christmas, I want to start posting a weekly Macerata picture and explanation. I think Monday is the obvious day to post, since it's my least busy, and it's the start of the Italian week. More about that soon (aha, it's Monday today! I'd better get working...), so be on the lookout for a Macerata Monday post and picture. Perhaps Corrie could start a Parma Friday picture? Heck, every day is a good day for cheese!

4. School starts this week, so things are getting busier over here, work wise. The whole SEASON of autumn felt like a year of unpaid leave, so I'm glad to be getting started again, even though this year the lessons are fewer and far between (10 lessons a week for 10 weeks, instead of our usual 15 lessons a week for 14 weeks). Anyway, wish me luck as I try to explain the principles of American football to a class of 30 twelve year olds. Hmmm, maybe I'd better think of another lesson plan...

5. A couple other things--I recently received a WONDERFUL pacco from my friend Lori back in Virginia--complete with a handmade scarf that I've been wearing everywhere! Thanks again Lori, and we look forward to seeing you in March! Plus, this upcoming weekend, after my first busy week in a while, I get a vacation (already?)--Corrie and I are meeting up in Florence for a couple of days to relive our bottle-throwing days. Yearly, Corrie, Erin, Cassie, and I make a point of remembering that day, 8 years ago (has it really been that long?), when we threw a bottle filled with love letters into the Arno River and watched it head toward America. This year will be the same sort of memory, but a little closer to the place it all started: Cass and Erin--we'll be thinking about you, of course, and we will throw plenty of things in the river for you, so be on the lookout in your local rivers and lakes! Wish we could all be together on this bottle-day...hopefully we can make some phone calls from Florence? :) Anyway, I'm really excited about it: reliving bottle day (a few days early) with all of us somehow connected to the place it started: the city of Florence. Read about the bottle experience here, and relive past bottle days here.

Okay, that's it for now. I've got a busy morning ahead of me, and I need to get going. Have a great week!



At 9:56 AM, Blogger Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I can't believe you went to the Gargano side of Puglia (and Monte Sant'Angelo) and didn't tell me....I was there from Christmas to New Year's!! My husband was born in Monte Sant'Angelo.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous cyn said...

Um, since I am already in Tuscany, can I watch you guys throw your bottle into the river?

Looking forward to seeing you girls at our REAL LIVE super bowl party (as well as the virtual one)! Should be a lot of fun! I was thinking we could make Mexican food for dinner!

See you soon and looking forward to seeing some picture of Tuscany (I mean Macerata)!


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