Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Random Thoughts from Italy...

Hey all!
Just back from a forced break from internet (and phone) for about a week.  I'm thinking that lack of internet might be the truest sense of sabbatical we get.  On our last sabbatical I'm not sure the internet really even existed... and I'm positive that we weren't able to share our stories and photos like we can this time.  It's kind of cool to stay connected - but I'm not beating myself up trying to make it an everyday thing like I thought I would.

So here are a few random observations...  
On Breakfast

  1. Breakfast "out" in Italy consists of a cappucino or straight espresso and some sort of bakery item... you stand up at the counter, eat quickly and walk out the door... 10 minutes max.  The idea of a big American breakfast is totally absent
  2. We did find a popover pan, and we have used it twice... but once it was for dinner. We also used up our stale bread by making French Toast...It's hard to go cold turkey on American breakfast!
  3. Breakfast "in" at my house in Italy generally consists of a big cup of hot milk with a shot of espresso in it with a whole bunch of cookies to dip in it.  Milk and cookies for breakfast... I'm in heaven
  4. The grocery stores have whole isles devoted to breakfast cookies - and they look nothing like Erin Baker's!! (a NW reference to a local "healthy" cookie!!)
  5. The coffee is strong and good.  Have not seen one Starbucks, and surprisingly I haven't even missed that.  
Popovers! Who knew there was a special pan!!
On Dogs
  1. I love dogs and I still don't want one
  2. Pompeii has a bunch of stray dogs that obviously live at the site... The dogs are fed and cared for and up for adoption.  You can bring a dog home with you from Pompeii... How cool is that?
  3. Having to walk the dogs twice a day is a great way to get out... but poor Doug walks them every morning by himself.  Oopps.  
  4. My daughter who says she really really wants a dog has not gotten up once to do the morning walk.
  5. The great thing about dogs in Italy is that nobody "picks up after them"... and I know you know what I mean.  In America I'd be sending dirty looks to people leaving that behind.  Here I just keep on walking and I really don't even think twice about it!
  6. We live out in the country.  Dogs live outside.  We got a "gift" in the driveway a few days ago that is too awful to describe.  
  7. I love dogs and I still don't want one
Pompeii doggie for adoption
On Exercise
  1. The walking here is great!  I've mentioned before that we walk in to town most every day to shop for our groceries, go to the bank etc.  We live on a hill so it is a decent workout
  2. My husband of course loves the Y and the weight machines.  We found out at the beginning of January that our little town has a gym!  We are now proud members of Work 'N Progress.  I have no idea why the name is in English - nobody there speaks any!
  3. Zoe love the gym at home where she does gymnastics but is not a fan of going to the gym here.  BIG props to her for doing something WAY outside of her comfort zone!  So far she has taken a dance class for kids in her age range (she now has 8 Italian Facebook friends), a stretch class with me that was mostly for old folks and today we did the Total Body Step class.  
  4. The gym here has a full time weight room "manager" who moves people from machine to machine so there is never a wait, and they make sure you are doing things properly.  You should see Doug trying to convince these guys to let him add more weight... It's hilarious!  I keep telling him that "when in Rome..."!  :0)
On Shopping and Growing Up
  1. OK, if you know me you know I enjoy fashion and shopping! Although  I must say my 20 years of marriage to a "bargain hunting" husband has dumbed down my instincts a bit
  2. One and a half months in Italy and I have not made one major purchase.  I have had lots of fun looking though!
  3. My daughter however has made two pretty big purchases and they are both items I would definitely pick out for myself.  An awesome asymmetrical cashmere/wool blend sweater and some very cool low black suede boots with a wedge heel.
  4. I know!!  Zoe is too big for mandatory MaryJanes, but high heels make my stomach flip... where is my little girl?  The teenager has taken over.  I must say it makes me a little bit sad - but her taste in clothes is usually right on!!
Awesome Black (big girl)  Boots.
More on food
  1. So, other than milk and cookies for breakfast we have done a lot of other types of eating (see blog for New Years Eve)!  
  2. The eat your big meal in the middle of the day concept is a really great one!  We eat a large meal at about 1:30 or 2 and then eat just a light dinner.  I've not gone to bed feeling hungry even once
  3. Pizza is generally only served at dinner time, but that means that the places don't start serving it until 7:30 or 8PM
  4. I mentioned before that pizza is square and you fold it to eat... brilliant
  5. Our friend Gigliola brought us fresh homemade pasta the other day and taught us how to make a really great mushroom sauce.  She also showed us how to make super yummy bruschetta, coconut macaroons and pan fried eggplant.  Yes, you read that right.  I like eggplant, who knew??
  6. On our last trip to Rome we ended up eating at a Japanese restaurant.  Edamame, Pot-stickers, Sushi (only for Doug).  It really tasted great.  Italian is my favorite, but variety is not a strong suit of this country!
Antipasti on our terrace at home

OK... it's time for me to go to bed!!  I'm sure I'll have more random observations another day.  


  1. Love all your observations, especially on food! Have a good week and thanks for sharing. ps: Tell Zoe the big girl boots are crazy cute!

  2. Love the boots, the eating, the dog poo stories and right, Laurie Bunnell eating eggplant? eating mushrooms???????? Will wonders ever cease!!! Oh, and no buying when shopping?! Tell me, you're just waiting until it's time to go home and you'll have carefully studied what you really want, right? Don't let me down girl!
    Keep on bloggin'!

  3. Thanks Laurie. Not picking up after dogs? Well, at least it is "organic" - unlike alot of the trash we see thrown everywhere by people that have no respect for the community. From your photos - the city streets look really clean.