As we drove up to the right-out-of-a-storybook town of Montaldo (population about 100), I reached the point where I drifted between awake and asleep, eyelids closing of their own volition, the world slowly fading in and out.
Summer came out to greet me and said, "Okay. Biggest decision you have to make all day: Would you like to eat first, or sleep first?"
It was a tough call, I have to say. But seeing as how she appeared somewhat like a mirage to me at that point, I went with the latter.
I woke up after a two-hour nap to my first meal in Italia. Here is what just happened to be ready in the kitchen (though, to be fair, Fabrizio was hosting a lunch for some of his wine distributors…):
- A slice of frittata with hops from the backyard
- Risotto with mushrooms (also from the backyard?), warmed in a pan (#bestofmylife)
- Gorgonzola wrapped in mascarpone cheese?--which Summer said I had to try--spread on fresh bread (Whilst here, I am experiementing with dairy, which I have barely eaten for about 15 years, because it does not make my body very happy.)
- A bite of some kind of apple strudel pie thing
After that, we took the boys to the doctor in also-picturesque Vercelli, after which we had an aperitivo: Prosecco alla fragola (with strawberries), and a few nibbles
We drove home and picked up dinner on the way: Pizza.
We all had personal medium-sized pizzas, and I proceeded to eat half of my verdura (veggie), followed by a few luscious bites of tiramisu...and Fabrizio's wine, of course. It was the most cheese I have had for…over 13 years. And no negative effects, as of the day after...Time will tell.
A few other highlights:
I hear church bells ring on every hour.
My nephew Ettore (three months): Off the charts for height and weight
Gioah (two years) already knows my name and leads me around.
Best quote of that first day: Overhearing Gioah’s father, Fabrizio, tell Gioah (in Italian): “Stop talking in English--I can’t understand you!”
Summer gave me the rundown of next week: A list of wineries and wine events and nonstop happenings.
In short, to quote Annie, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”
ps My exercise for the past two days =
- 10 bodyweight squats + 4 walkouts in my bedroom
- Going for a stroll with Ettore through another picturesque town
I look forward to Summer showing me the running path, after our return from traveling around next week. Yes, I'm itching to move. But also enjoying every moment of all of this--and sounds like we will have plenty of activity next week.
And, you know, I've been eating pizza and all kinds of things that I don't normally eat and feeling fine so far, so...just going with it and trusting the magical digestion that eating high-quality food in a beautiful setting with very low relative stress inspires.
Small potatoes in comparison to the big stuff: Love, family, and the experience of a lifetime.