domenica 10 agosto 2008

Pools, lakes, rains, pizzas e Olympics!

We have had another happy week here in Sansepolcro. Un giorno alla piscina (a day at the pool), una sera al lagho (an evening at the lake), Orgoglio e Pregiudizio (Pride and Prejudice in Italian), i gioci olimpici (the Olympic games!), pioggia (rain), and as always, lots of really good food.

Lunedi was a longer day, or afternoon really, because it was one of those days when Patrizio worked a post-lunch to evening shift. Before he left, he told Sara and me that all he wanted to do when he got home was put the kids in bed and finish watching Orgoglio e Pregiudizio, a sentiment Sara and I couldn’t have agreed with more. It was a long afternoon and evening, but we survived! Sara’s parents joined us for dinner and helped with the kids a bit, but we were still pretty much spent by the time Patrizio got home. But then at long last the kids were asleep and the film was resumed and loved by all (okay, I don’t think it is fair to say that Patrizio loved it, but he certainly didn’t detest it either).

It was absolutely hysterical to note the differences in their responses and reactions throughout the film in comparison to the first viewing. They both laughed a lot more, Sara sighed and “awwwed” a lot more, and Patrizio kept making noises of realization and comprehension (“ohhhhh” or “ha senso!”). It was interesting to watch a favorite movie with different voices too, and to my surprise (and theirs) the subtitles didn’t match up with the dialogue much of the time. Sara and I agreed that the original voices (particularly of Lizzie and Darcy) were infinitely superior, but were impressed by the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, which were cast quite well indeed.

On martedi (Tuesday), Sara e io took the kids – minus Veronica – to the local piscine (pool). As we walked through the front gate, Sara immediately began forewarning me that it wasn’t a very good pool, but as you probably know from experience, “good” is a very subjective word. So there I was expecting something close to dreadful, and I walk in and see a very large and well-kept outdoor facility, not unlike many pools I have seen back home. There were two huge slides (and I mean huge – think water park size), a diving well with two large boards, a nice baby pool (which is where Sara and I spent much of the time chasing Ginevra), and a large, shaded area reserved for tables and chairs.

All in all, it seemed much like American swim clubs, but there was one major difference that was impossible to overlook – and that was the amount of skin displayed by its inhabitants, both male and female! It was very distracting at first, and the funny thing was that my own considerably more conservative swimwear seemed equally novel to them. Thankfully, I had plenty of distraction from said distraction in the form of little Gigia because she was all over the place – in and out, here and there, running away one minute and then crying for me the next. I am never ever bored by Ginevra!

That evening we had another amazing dinner of pollo, zucchine, pane di Toscana, vino ... and it was just wonderful! Patrizio had an old friend over to join us, a guy named Alessio that Leonardo just adored. After dinner I fed Veronica her evening latte and was thrilled to discover she was in a particularly cuddly mood that night. She is the sweetest little thing! Here's a picture of her getting a bath in the sink earlier this week:

The next day (mercoledi), we made another excursion to a large body of water, this time minus Veronica and Ginevra. Sara, Patrizio, Leonardo e io met up with couple friends at a nearby lake to picnic, swim, and enjoy the gorgeous views at hand.

Of course, as it would happen, after over a month of no rain, the night we chose to visit il lagho happened to be the evening a thunderstorm erupted (only thirty minutes after we arrived too!). Patrizio and his friends went swimming despite the foreboding sky and were able to get in a decent swim before we had to make a run for the van.

The picnic, however, was nixed and moved to a different location – Sara e Patrizio’s backyard, under the protection of the canopy. On the way to the house, Sara brought up the question of gelato, which, though it meant an extra trip, was deemed necessary by the females in the car, so Patrizio graciously complied (as he jokingly chanted “Mrs. Darcy” at us). The twenty-first century "As you wish," if you will.

A lovely non-picnic of sorts ensued, with good food, plenty of gelato, and lots of laughter (accompanied by funny stories in both italiano and inglese. I had met both of the friends before at other dinners hosted by Sara and Patrizio, and they both happened to speak English fluently, which was nice. I know it must be a relief to Sara to have extra translators every now and then!

Giovedi evening was one of my favorites so far. It was just the six of us, and we ordered pizza then ate out in the back yard. Italian pizza really is the best! Then, after we were all stuffed with the wonderfulness that is pizza in Tuscany, we all walked down to the center of Sansepolcro and participated in the local passeggiata, an evening walk and social time Italians often take advantage of in the evenings. Leonardo of course rode around the piazza on his bike, Ginevra ran around talking to herself as Patrizio chased her, and Sara and I strolled around leisurely with Veronica tucked away in the stroller. Then to top it off, we also bought gelato and ate it on the front steps of the cattedrale.

Afterwards, I stayed in town and went to a jazz concert being held outdoors in one of the piazzas. The music was just wonderful because they played beautifully together - sax, trumpet, pianoforte, bass, and drums. It was late evening so the temperature was cool and the air breezy, plus, the sound carried nicely through the cobblestone streets. I loved it!

The rest of the week has been equally enjoyable, though less eventful. The usual everyday chaos that I love. Check out the decor on the entryway mirror ...

We’ve been playing around the house, watching the Olympics, battling zanzare, enjoying the cooler weather brought about by an all out storm we had on Friday afternoon, and of course, eating more excellent food and enjoying the company of more friends. Friday night I was plagued by a loud, green bug that decided to join me for bed, but of course this happened right after Sara e Patrizio had gone to bed so I was on my own. After three futile attempts at smashing the brute with my book, I gave up – climbed in bed, turned out the light, and pulled the covers over me with my eyes tightly shut. When I checked on his whereabouts the next day, I discovered – to my horror – not the probably harmless green bug (which had since disappeared), but a huge, brown spider. The next word out of my mouth? “PATRIZIO!” Not knowing the word for spider, I had to run to Sara and find out in order to describe my attacker. Il ragno. A spider is un ragno in italiano. So then I was equipped to run around yelling, "Io detesto i ragni!"

I really have loved watching the Olympics here, even though the majority of the events I have seen have involved Italians and not always Americans. I also can’t understand a lot of what they say, but that has provided valuable learning opportunities, so I’m not complaining! For example, the afternoon of the opening ceremony, Sara was busy tutoring a high schooler in the kitchen and the kids were asleep, so it was up to Patrizio to explain a lot of what was being said. We each had an italiano-inglese dictionary in hand and the globe pulled out in front of us for frequent reference. It was hilarious!

I hope you all are doing well and that it is not too hot. We were pretty miserable until the rain came, but now the weather is perfetto.

Well, that’s all I have for now! Much love and molti baci.

A dopo,


2 commenti:

Samantha Bruna ha detto...

Mi piace molto la tua fotografia di Ginevra nella questa posta! Mi sembra molto cosi Ginevra. Nella fotografia di Nardo, ho pensato che la sua faccia conoscevo dagli tempi quando Nardo e io giocavamo calcio. I bambini mi mancano. E tu mi manchi anche, naturalmente! Ti voglio bene, mia Bekah.

Samantha Bruna

Amber Bowen ha detto...

I love the pictures and always enjoy reading your posts! I hope you told them that I am totally going to invite myself over this time next year! :) I love you and miss you a ton! Oh, and you'll be happy to know that Kelli and Will weren't able to come this weekend so I can't say that I have met him before you quite yet!