A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Days of wine and spades (2/8)

The Wrath of Grapes

Well, I'm caught up with laundry and bills. Clothes are unpacked, though souvenir-type things need to be dealt with. I did take time to watch the hockey game last night. Unfortunately the Flames won in OT, so the Lightning are facing elimination this weekend. And the bad thing is that I nodded off right before the gamewinner. I guess I'm still adjusting to being back in my normal routine.

But hey, it's Friday so life is good.

Italy journal - part 2 of 8

24 May 2004 - Il Borghetto

Yesterday it was pouring rain as we drove to Podici. Driving in heavy rain on narrow, curving Italian roads doesn't seem like a fun experience - I'm glad DH is driving and not me. We drove up to Podici to see the castle there. I had forgotten my sweater and it was chilly, so I stayed back at the car with DD. The castle dates to the 9th century, and looked pretty impressive from the outside. It appeared as though much of the inside may have been converted to apartments. M managed to get inside and see from the tower, so I'm sorry I missed it.

From Podici we drove back down the narrow mountain road, passing, of all things, a high metal bridge that advertised "Bungee Jumping", and stopped in a town by a rather impressive waterfall called Cascata delle Marmore ("Marble Waterfall"). The waterfall is a huge tourist attraction, but is only open on weekends - during the week the river is diverted for industrial purposes.

From Cascata we went to Carsulae, the ruins of a Roman city, but we got there after closing. What we could see looked rather impressive, and we plan on hitting it again later in the week.

On the way home we stopped at a pizzeria in Todi and got food to go. We consumed those, and 7 bottles of wine, during the evening. I played spades for a while with L, M and G, then DH took over for me.

I had far too much to drink, and probably spent an hour or two emptying the contents of my stomach when I went to bed. My stomach was a little queasy this morning but that eventually subsided. I'm surprised I'm not hungover, considering how miserable I felt last night. [Ed: I also apparently couldn't shuffle but could still deal, while I was still playing spades.] But at least I'm in good company - G also, from what I hear, impressively painted the outside stairs, and he has been hungover all day. Neither of us have had much, if any, wine today.

Today we drove into Orvieto. The scenery was spectacular - we drove around a lake in the middle of rather impressive mountains. It reminded me of Scotland, but green. Orvieto is built atop a plateau, and dates back to the Etruscan period. The remains of a fortress, from which you can overlook a great deal of the surrounding countryside, have been converted into a park. What remained was still rather impressive, and on the walls you stand at rather dizzying heights. From the fortress, or Rocca, we walked past numerous shops in old buildings to the cathedral square.

The cathedral, or Duomo, is, simply put, rather breathtaking! The facade is gilt and mosaic (or maybe fresco) with lots of carved stone panels. The rest of the body of the cathedral alternates black and white rows of masonry, a rather striking effect. Unfortunately we got there right after the Duomo closed for lunch and we didn't have time to wait for it to open, as our parking expired at 3pm. So we had lunch at a cafe in the cathedral square, and headed back to the cars. DD, DsD and I stopped at a gelateria (ice-cream bar) for dessert. I had kiwi gelato, which was quite good. DsD had capuccino and DD had lemon. I guess G got her hooked on when he bought her a lemon gelato yesterday for her birthday!

On the way back from Orvieto, we hit a grocery store in Todi and H made spaghetti and salad for dinner. It was quite good.

M and G went into Todi again, and L and H are just driving around. I'm still a bit tired so I'm going to turn in early.

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