April 5, 2010

Easter Vacation

This won't get posted until tomorrow (Monday) night , but right now I have a little bit of down time after a crazy day, and I thought I would get a head start on the blogging, since Tuesday morning bright and early I have to get on a plane, and then I have to work the rest of the day when I get to Madrid! So pretend it's Easter again and read on!

For starters, 
Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope your weekends were as lovely as mine! I'm currently in Cabbia, a teeny tiny little town – a cluster of houses, really... there isn't even a store in this place – in Abruzzo. On Thursday we went to Piansano (near Tuscany), where we relaxed at Valerio's house for a couple of days. On Thursday, we had lunch at an Agriturismo that had two donkeys, a pony, a horse, and some chickens. And the food was delicious too!

Then on Friday we took a little afternoon trip to Montefiascone - also a very beautiful little town - and home of Rocca dei Papi, a Italian papal stronghold during the Avignon period.

We had a million things to buy, but we managed to forget to do everything on our to-do list, and after spending an leisurely afternoon strolling around, at 7:50pm we started scrambling to find a supermarket, and failed. Luckily we had enough food in the house.

To be honest, it has been marvelous being completely disconnected everything. I sort of miss checking my e-mail and chatting online with all my overseas loved ones, but it's also nice to just turn everything off, and go to a place where the nearest internet connection is probably about 50 km from here. Honestly. Here it's all green, green grass,

little towns on mountain tops,

flocks of sheep, little crumbling stone houses in fields of grain, snow-topped mountains, and fifty-year-old Italian farmers named Peppe waving a stick and yelling at you for driving too close to their cattle.And yesterday on our drive over here we had to stop for horses in the middle of the road.

 They were just wandering around, eating some grass, totally oblivious to our presence, and certainly not hurrying themselves for anyone. We had to wait until the got out of the way to keep going because the road was so narrow – not to mention flanked by a pretty deep ditch – that it could barely fit two horses side by side, let alone a Ford Focus!

But seriously, it really is lovely.:)

For today we had a big Easter dinner planned for ten people, so yesterday we had to go grocery shopping to prepare for everything, but not before stopping by the local butcher's for a leg of lamb. After forty euros of meat, five enormous bags of groceries, and a lot of stress, today we (or rather, I – since I did all of the cooking, except for a friend of ours who made all of the desserts) managed to throw together a wonderful meal of salumi rustici (prosciutto a salami), tagliatelle with panna e porcini (fresh egg pasta with a cream and porcini sauce), and abbacchio arrosto al rosmarino e aglio con patate e salsicce (a rosemary and garlic roasted leg of lamb with potatoes and sausages). Then for dessert we had a crostata alla ricotta e cioccolata (a ricotta and chocolate pie), torta alle mele (apple cake), a torta caprese (a chocolate and almond brownie cake that was to die for), and muffins alla cioccolata (chocolate muffins). We still haven't touched the Colomba (a traditional Italian Easter cake, a lot like Panettone) which we'll fill with chocolate and fresh strawberries. But we're waiting until everyone can think about eating again without feeling a little sick! In all the confusion - it took something like 5 hours to get everything cooked because we had two ridiculously small/slow/incompetent ovens instead of one decent one - I didn't manage to get any pictures of the actual food, but here's a mediocre shot of part of the table setting.

Now that we've stuffed ourselves silly, I'm resting a bit by spending some quality time with my neglected laptop, some of the others are taking little after dinner naps, and everyone else is indulging in drinks and playing with the at-home karaoke system someone wisely (or not so much) thought to bring for entertainment. Needless to say, my friends' drunken renditions of sappy Italian 1960s pop songs are pretty bad; I have yet to hear someone who isn't completely out of tune and off beat. But they seem to be having fun, and that's what's important, isn't it? :)


Well, now it's finally Monday evening, and I finally have an internet connection again!

(Can you hear me breathing a sigh of relief? All that nonsense about the "joys" of being disconnected was exactly that, nonsense).

(Just kidding, it really was nice).

Today was Pasquetta, or Little Easter - the Monday after Easter is also a holiday in Italy - and so we all went out for a crazy lunch, and then it was time to hit the road.

I thought since I was at it, I might as well include some of the beautiful photos of the amazing sunset we were treated to on our drive home.

(And thank god for that, because everyone and their mother was coming back into Rome today and we were in bumper to bumper traffic for over an hour at the tolls).

And now I have to go and catch up on over five days' worth of Google Reader! 
I can't wait to catch up on all of your blogs!


Aunt of 14 said...

Can I just say... WOW? Looks like a GORGEOUS trip!! I love all the sunset pictures (or were they sunrises?) and I want to go pet a horse now. Well, NOT that one eating poop in your picture, but a hygenically correct horse! :)

-city-love- said...

wow..gorgeous pictures! looks amazing.

Margarita said...

What a beautiful looking trip. I adore all the pictures, especially the one the gate, it`s breathtaking!

my name is lauren. said...

gorgeous gorgeous photos! looks like a great trip :).

leigh ashley said...

i just ran across your blog and wanted to tell you that your photos are beautiful! i would love to visit spain (well, really just europe)! keep the pictures coming!

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