Monday, July 10, 2006

Sicily and WHO'S THE CHAMPION???

Whew. Another HUGE weekend, this time I took Friday off so we could go down and see Sicily. This is my favorite part of Italy to visit. The land, the history, the food and the people are all amazing. Now as far as living, Puglia is better for me because it seems a little more stable and flat. I like visiting Sicily but I’m not sure I could live there. The real down side of this weekend was how long we were in the car. The drive down and back took much longer than I expected. The A3 from Naples to Reggio Calabria had way too much construction and truck traffic on Friday. Then on Sunday there weren’t many trucks but the A3 was closed for a good part of the way. It was a royal pain but I’m getting off the subject. Our hotel in Toarmina was great and Roberto was perfect host. Also I’m glad I was able to get a room with AC. When we arrived in town it was raining hard. The heat and humidity were teaming up to make just walking a real sweaty experience. The rain actually ended before we reached the hotel and then things started to feel better. Friday night we walked around Toarmina and it’s a great city that I thought I had seen before. It turns out the town is much bigger than I ever knew. Even Saturday night we were still finding new streets with more restaurants and MORE shops. Saturday we spent the morning at the Greek theater that has Mt Etna as a backdrop. This place still gives me chills, just think how long it’s been there and how easily Mt. Etna could have destroyed it over that time. Then in the afternoon we climbed Mt. Etna. We were prepared with jackets, long pants, and shoes with warm socks. This all came in handy because we saw snow! It’s 90+ when we leave the hotel and at the top (of where you can go-9,500 ft) it was 9C (48F) with a HOWLING wind. It was cold. Your ears and nose really felt it. We also were very lucky because as we were leaving the clouds came in. It was really strange because the already completely barren and rock surface was now in the midst of clouds blowing through. This was a perfect movie set for some far off planet where you would be surprised to find life.
Sunday morning we saw an exhibit of Miro in a local church that was turned into an art gallery. Kent managed to enlighten some nice old ladies on what Miro was doing. After that we picked up some traditional Sicilian delights, cannoli, paste di mandorla, and marzepane. All of these things were good at halftime of the game. Speaking of the game, we had the usual crowd over and again the game was a near heart attack for all watching. Everything was life and death at this stage, the penalty kick, and the goal by Italy to level the game. The second half we were begging for more offense from Italy. In the end it came to penalties and for the first time in history Italy won in a penalty shot out. Game over and EVERYONE in the streets!!!!!! It was a flood of people, scooters, cars, and flags all heading to the center of town. I love living in town. All we had to do was cross the street and join the river of people. It was fun to see the celebration because people were having fun but they weren’t getting falling down drunk or doing stupid things like destroying stuff. A good party atmosphere and I think my ears are still ringing this morning from the horns, whistles, fireworks, and screaming. IT WAS LOUD!

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