Last year, we reported now and then on “everyday life” activities – some people told me those were their favorite posts. Because it is not all fun and games when you live life on the road – even for Two Fools in Love! So here is a slice of our everyday life (Part I).
Everything in Italy is pretty fresh, which means we go to the market a few times a week. You must pay for bags at the grocery store (and bag your groceries yourself), so we come armed with our own bags and with a plan.
We’ve learned a lot, so we now divide and conquer. When we get to the check-out, Frank loads the groceries and pays – a challenge in itself sometimes to translate the numbers and think in Euros – while I frantically bag. This is harder than it sounds because we need to distribute the weight as evenly as possible because we have a little hike back to the apartment, which includes cobblestoned streets and a few flights of stairs. When you are buying jugs of water (naturale AND frizzante) and wine, packing your bags well makes a big difference!
Even with our well-honed strategy, we still end up with an Italian audience looking at us like, “What the heck are they doing?!”
With our fabulous market finds, we also love to cook at home. We go out a few nights a week, but we really do enjoy an evening in where we can experiment with the ingredients we pick up here and there. We even bought our own basil plant, which we keep on our balcony.
This was our pranzo (lunch) today – pasta fresca (fresh pasta) that I cooked and then put under cold water to create a pasta salad with basil, olives, tomatoes, prosciutto, and freshly grated parmesan – molto buona!
And of course we wash our creations down with a little vino. The wines from Mount Etna are particularly prized because the soil is so unique. And wines here are around 4 Euro – there are some that are even 2 E that taste ok to me. We never buy wine that is more than 6 or 7 (more than that and there is a lock on them).
We are not just on vacation. I am continuing to work a reduced schedule from the road. I’ve set up my home office and work a few hours each day and full days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ve already had a half dozen conference calls – and thankfully the church bells next door have not yet rung on a single one of them. (The church bells do not seem to have a regular schedule as far as we can tell, so it is a matter of time.)
While I work, Frank goes out on the town. First to the gym – it is the same place he went last year, so they were happy to welcome him back. He also visits the market, the florist (who sold us the basil plant), the computer guy, and a number of neighbors up and down the Corso. When we go out at night, they always tell us, “Buona Sera.”
Our basil plant