It looks like the theme for June will be food and vacation planning. All fun and games, right? Sheesh. I don’t think so! It’s only the 2nd and my tongue’s dragging on the ground. Okay, so not exactly, but still.
On the vacation front…
I finally found Fattoria Settemerli — the perfect farmhouse (lah-tee-damn-dah) about 15 minutes outside of Firenze. Now, being one who will always remember that episode of I Love Lucy when the four friends were headed to California and stopped at that fleabag motel, you know, where Ethel had to tie Fred to the bed with the sagging mattress? And the train. The train…Bwhahahahaha! Cheese sandwich? Not ringing any bells?
Like I said. The perfect farmhouse. There’s a bus stop nearby, and yes, I absolutely Google mapped it to make sure AND checked the bus lines and wasn’t THAT fun. But I did read a few reviews that mentioned something about having to venture up a hill with luggage and wheels bumping over the rocks in the road, so we may be in for quite the adventure. The MoH says that’s the point, so no problem. I booked it.
But my exhilaration lasted about two seconds because the next step in my planning is figuring out how to get from Rome to Naples to Sorrento to Naples to Florence to Rome. We’re taking the train for the most part, but do you have any idea just how many trains there are? It’s amazing. Erm…and so is the cost. But it became a no brainer when I read in one resource after another that road traffic is horrible, gasoline is approaching $10/gallon, and that at least in Naples, no one pays attention to red lights or stop signs. Suggestions mention needing to “Do what the locals do, and make eye-contact with the drivers while you cross.” Now that sounds exciting, yes?
Besides, without the hassle of a rental car large enough to fit the four of us and our luggage, the MoH will actually get to see the countryside with no white-knuckle driving responsibilities this time. Sure, it will be somewhat blurry at about 180mph, but hey!
And for those of you still scratching your heads about why I’m organizing this instead of using a booking agency: A) I’m a glutton for punishment; B) It’s insanely fun; C) I’m a complete control freak about things like this; D) I missed my calling and really wanted to be a Travel Agent instead of a teacher; E) I have absolutely nothing to do with my time and totally miss planning every moment of adolescents’ literate lives 70 hours a week.
If you chose “C” then you are correct, win the Maserati, and can collect your winnings in your dreams. Don’t forget to listen to the engine before you go, because if you’re like me, that’s the closest you’ll ever get to a Maserati, right? But thanks for playing.
On the food front…
I’m the hostess with the mostest for the monthly cyber bake I’ve been participating in for over year now. It’s top secret, so I can’t say what we’ll flood the web with at the end of this month, but part of my responsibilities as co-host are to monitor the forum for the other bakers who may have questions. Um. They have lots?
And you remember that there are nearly 1,000 participants, right?
Thankfully, there are people far more knowlegeable than myself in this group, and they chime in with suggestions and direction, too. It’s quite a bit of fun.
And to get warmed up for our trip, I’m digging into regional Italian. I figured what the heck. I can go to Italy and have a decent source of comparison in my head when I cozy up to a plate of Fritto Misto di Mare or Saltimboca alla Romana. It has to be good, doesn’t it? A die-hard foodie cannot go to Italy and come home disappointed, can she?
On the home front?
My mom is really on the ball. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear her name was Cinderella. She cleans all day. Vacuums, sweeps, waters flowers, does laundry, folds it and puts it away. Cleans cat boxes. Cleans garage refrigerators that should be donated to science, or nuked. I know. You’re wondering if you can get that service. But try and tell her not to. It doesn’t work. She’s downstairs right now finishing dishes I left in the sink last night. This is not a crime in Paradise unless you make it one. Leaving dishes in the sink, not having your mother do them. Or preventing her. We have this problem with never quite being able to fit the dishes into the dishwasher because it fills all day, then only half the dinner dishes go into it. And I suppose I could really wax on about this particular dilemma, but I have trip planning to do.
Museum reservations to make so that we can bypass long lines was numero uno on my list today, but phones ring oddly in Italy. I can’t tell if it’s ringing and ringing, or busy.
Restaurants off the beaten path to find so I can truly say we enjoyed something special while we’re there. This is challenging, but there are some really good Italian blogs with good leads…
Start on our itinerary. I make a small binder for the MoH when we go on vacation so he can speed read through everything while he’s on the plane. It has reservation papers and vouchers, maps, and print outs of possibilities for all kinds of things. He likes it.
Assign homework. The menfolk are getting a subject to bone up on so they can be the expert when we’re standing in front of yet another Renaissance painting, the assigned person can talk about more than our interpretation of it.
That’s enough for a Monday, I think.
You’ll be soooooo sick of this whole Italy thing by the time I’m finished.
Ciao, bella. Gracie per la chiamata. Abbia un giorno piacevole.