Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Quiet Week

Buon giorno amici,

Happy March! The weather has been quite mild, all things considered. Except for one day this week it’s been in the 40’s and 50’s here. Unfortunately, not the best news for a ski town… this week it was very quiet at the restaurant. We had 2 or 3 days without lunch customers. The boys seem to thrive on the excitement and focus – not having that actually had them at each other’s throats by the end of the week. It’s fascinating to see them interact with each other. Not only do they work together all day, but during the week, they live with each other. One big happy dorm life. At first I was a little annoyed to be living in another town, having to be picked up each morning and brought back at night. (The drive is 5-7 minutes and to walk it's about 40 minutes.) Larry has reminded me on occasion, when I’ve vented about them, how lucky I actually am that I live in another place!

So, let’s talk about last week. On Monday and Tuesday (my days off) I walked to a neighboring town called Pescocostanza. It’s about a 30 minute walk beyond Rivisondoli. There is a pedestrian walkway around the hills to get there. If the terrain was just flat – the hour plus walk would not be so bad. It’s just the up and down on the hills. Both days turned out to be beautiful and sunny – but incredibly windy! I was feeling very empowered, and did the walk back and forth both days. (Someone remind me how old I am?) Anyway, Pescocostanza is an ancient village overlooking the Quarto Grande (on the hills of Monte Calvario). The town is lovely with graceful piazzas, palazzi and fountains. The town is known as an arts and crafts center with many artisan shops (lace, carving, ironworks).

If you remember, last week I mentioned how tired I was feeling. Well, it was actually a bad cold coming on. Yep… you got it… I was down for the count on Wednesday! So I called Cristiana and said I was going to stay “home.” Wednesday was a very quiet day, so I didn’t feel terribly guilty about not going to work. The rest of the week dragged on. It wasn’t until Saturday and yesterday that we got really busy.

At some point this week they (the boys) all realized that my time to leave was getting closer. So they decided to torture me relentlessly. Sometimes it’s fun… but most of the time it’s completely irritating. I finally had Cristiana say something, which did the trick. Peace reigned once again in the kitchen. (Like I said, when they are left to their own devices, the insufferable 20-year old comes out!)

I’m taking a break from the food pictures this week, to show you a little of the countryside. Most of these were taken on my walk last week between Rivisondoli and Pescocostanza. The countryside in Abruzzo is just amazing. It reminds me a little of the Utah and Montana. Here are just miles and miles of open land, and huge mountain ranges. (So perfect for this “Big Sky”gal!) It really is quite breathtaking and peaceful. Dotted along the walkways there are tiny benches to sit and ponder life. Both days I packed a prosciutto and cheese panino and took it all in! If you look carefully in the Piazza picture you will see a water fountain. The next photo is me standing on it!

I’m happy to say that as of today Lorenzo will be arriving in 10 days, I’ll be done working in 11, and on a plane home in 15. Wahoo!
Enjoy the pictures and chat with you soon!
Ciao ciao!

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