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Posts Tagged ‘Pasquale Orso’

This really has been a heck of a trip so far…By Wednesday I figured Joel would be over his jet lag NOT! So best to let him sleep late because we  have a 2:30 appointment with my friend, Raffaele to take us on a tour of the medieval village.  Sleep deprived and a little grumpy, it’s been hard to get him eating on an Italian time schedule.

We are blessed to have Raffaele as a tour guide because he actually lived in the medieval village. His was the world of these myriad stone paths and steep stone steps to where?

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Enjoying the view!

We spent a couple hours traipsing through the labyrinth of narrow streets, spotting the churches, small plazas, steep stairs going where(?), the new doorways and the abandoned

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I Wonder Who Lived There?

All throughout this formerly abandoned town (village) you can see the reclamation and restoration work of the 100+ expats who have bought homes here.  The following photo was taken on The Artist’s Way, a street called that because many of the houses are owned by artists, one being Clare Galloway, a Scottish painter who was the first foreigner who moved into Guardia.

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Along the Artist’s Way

Clare was featured in three episodes of House Hunters International, probably the main impetus for infusion of  Americans and Canadians in Guardia.

In the midst of one of my descents down some stone stairs, my phone rang and it is Peter.  He was at the airport and his flight had been cancelled!  Was this airline crap ever going to end? He had been hanging around for hours with about 22 other angry passengers, getting mixed messages from TAP.  He thought they might get on an AIR Italia flight ( didn’t happen).  I would call him back when I left the village.

After the tour, we went to the Bar for a drink and joined a festive group of expat friends, Mike, Cindy, Steve, and Dawn.  It was lovely sitting out on the terrace sipping wine and nibbling on snacks ( except for the noisy diesel tractors coming home from the fields). I called Peter and he didn’t pick up – maybe he is on a flight.  So I contacted our house sitter who was going to leave tomorrow and asked him to contact Edith, our NYC cat sitter and ask her to feed the cats  because only God and  TAP know when Peter will get home!

Drinks turned into dinner at a new restaurant in town, Il Platano, the place is lovely, pizza is good, it’s really hard to get bad food here, lol 😂.  It was late, we had climbed up and down a lot so going home and to bed sounded like a great idea because we had to get up early the next day for a trip to Caserta.  I tried Peter one more time with no luck.

My phone rang at 1:30am! Guess who? My husband was excited to tell me that finally TAP flew them to Lisbon, put them up in a fancy hotel 50 minutes outside the airport and will fly the tomorrow to JFK.  I said, it’s 1:30am here, I’m in bed, have to get up early, glad you are at least in Lisbon, nice you are in fancy hotel, I took care of Seth who should call Edith, make sure you pay when you get home, pay the electric bill too, I love you, good night, talk to you….

To Be Continued…

 

 

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STAY ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW

It took a few more twists and turns but eventually the road widened and was paved.      We saw the sign informing us we were entering Guardia and I quickly entered the address of La Tana dell ‘Orso into the GPS where we would meet up with Pasquale.  I was fairly sure that the main street in Guardia was also known as Corso Umberto and that the Bed & Breakfast was located on that main road.  

We slowly climbed the slight hill of the main road and I didn’t see a sign for the inn nor the the name of the wine bar above which we would find our apartment.   The road narrowed and I mean really narrowed to the point where we came upon a red light.  It was an alternating stop light.  We stopped, they came down, they stopped, we continued up.  And once past the stop light the buildings looked really old and gray.  We kept on driving along the road while the house numbers grew higher.  We need to turn around but this is not East 86th Street where Peter can easily make a U-Turn or a K-Turn, we have to practically go to the end of the village before we can turn around easily.  So now we’re heading down the street, stopping at the light to let the other vehicles go by.  I noticed all the other cars were really small compared to our Ford Focus (which I thought was at least a compact car).  We did this ridiculous redundant routine at least 3 more times.  By the way, our Italian GPS kept telling us we had arrived but where?  I said,” stop the car and let me out to ask someone”,  someone who only spoke Italian where the B & B was.  I made myself understood and she pointed down the street to a large yellow building. We drove down past it and turned around again this time as we passed it a small group of people were all waving to us.  I waved back and once again we had to get to the other end of town to turn around and head back to them.  We discovered parking was only on the other side of the street and made no difference what direction your car was facing!

Corso Umberto

Stay On The Straight (NOT) And Narrow

The whole famiglia plus some patrons of the bar greeted us with hugs and kisses.  Finally we are here!  I had a present for Pasquale’s mother, Anna and I tried really hard to explain what it was to her.  I enlisted Pasquale’s translation but I truly believe she didn’t get it.  I had purchased a clever Joseph Joseph hand soap dispenser.  It was encased in some metal and the purpose of this gadget was that when you have been peeling and chopping garlic or onion, the metal would work some molecular magic and remove the odor from your hands.

Joseph Joseph
A Very Clever Device

We had no idea what New York item to bring to Pasquale, so in the end we opted for several take-out menus from Italian restaurants in our neighborhood.  We thought he might find interesting to compare to what he served in his small cafe.

Pasquale took us to our apartment so we could rest a bit; we have been up for a very long time.  The apartment is wonderful!  It is bright and light with skylights, the kitchen is open to the great room with a large TV screen and also a dining room table that easily sat 6.  The bedroom was certainly fine with a queen size bed and huge closet and another TV.  The bathroom was clearly new and very European, meaning the shower stall was the size of a phone booth with door that closed magnetically at a right angle and there was a bidet.   I couldn’t keep my OCD need to unpack in check so while Peter laid on the bed, I unpacked EVERYTHING and set up my toiletries.

Thinking ahead to what I hoped would be a late morning, I knew we needed to go to the grocery store and get at least milk, cereal,orange juice and bananas and some cheese and crackers. Pasquale told us to come to the cafe any morning we wanted to for breakfast, all included.  We found the DECO Supermarket and with carriage in tote I walked in and went to the left because that’s the way I have always shopped in  Wegman’s.  The few aisles ( I think 2 1/2) were narrow, and of course I had to go back and forth looking for a few things and mulling over every decision.  When I checked out the manager said something to me and pointed to a clearly visible arrow sign that said Entrada.  Not even in town for 2 hours and already I’m an ugly American.  Next time I say, la prossimo volta.

It’s time to go to B&B to get a glass of homemade wine, (it seems everyone grows grapes) and some dinner.  Peter wants to go to a restaurant across the street from our apartment but I think I might fall asleep at the table.  We hadn’t eaten all day and on the small front porch of the B&B was a tall metal roaster with chickens slow cooking for hours.  God, does that chicken look good!  Pasquale served us a salad, the chicken and the most delicious chewy Italian bread.  The wine was spectacular with a clear flavor, slightly redolent fruit taste and so smooth it was like drinking ice cream.  I know that seems like a weird analogy but if you know me, you know my favorite food is ice cream and how I feel about it is aptly described in the post linked here:  https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/its-not-sex/ . I loved the wine so much I had to photograph it and send to my friend, Alice with whom I share a love of Pinot Noir.  BUT THIS, this is exquisite!  

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                                                        Un Bicchiere di vino rosso locale

 

to be continued….

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