2011-07-07 Italy Day 8: Patti
- Train arrived in Patti, Sicily around 8am, greeted by my cousin Nino and his wife Sara.
- Breakfast at a place on the beach: rolls and Granita–frozen drink with cream on top.
- Introduced to son Giuseppe & his wife Patricia and their children Ninni & Vittoria at their house in Marina di Patti
- Shown the house in Marina di Patti where we would stay & dropped off luggage
- Shown Nino & Sara’s house in Patti, introduced to son Maulio & Sarina’s mother Santa
- Showed them some pictures and Google translate. Made Nino & Sara draw a family tree.
- Went to beach on our own.
- Lunch at Nino and Sara’s house: Pasta w/ zucchini, cheese; squid & bread; cherries & mini pears
- Fell asleep. Took 4 hour nap.
- Went to bakery for breads for dinner.
- Called Grandma’s house. Attempted to video chat them.
- Dinner: aranchione or something. balls. fried. filled with goodness. also had pizza, bread, squid, fruit.
- Successfully video chatted with Grandma and Grandmpa and Aunt Gayle. A “miracle”, according to Grandma.
- Late bed.
- Sicily is lovely, and my family is extremely nice.
- Nino’s wife is known to G&G&G as Sarina but introduced herself to us as Sara. I am confused.
- Everything about Sara is FAST. She moves so quickly I can’t keep track of her. She walks fast, drives fast, cooks fast, oh my goodness. She is also very short.
- Sara seems to have quickly become really fond of Google translate. Even when we understand what she is saying, she wants to run over to the computer and type it in so we can see the translation.
- The food here is really good. =D
- Communication isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
- Things to remember: Dogs are dirty. The floor is dirty. Cats are dirty. Do not place things on the floor, and if touching any of the above, wash hands immediately. Finish pasta before eating the bread, even if the bread has already been offered to you. Bread is for the second course. Do not drink the tap water.
- Thanks to my prowess at grating cheese, I was not completely useless during the preparation of lunch. Only mostly useless, and definitely in the way anytime Sara wanted to move somewhere. She found a way past me even before it would register to me that she was moving.
- First we went to Manlio’s work, and then later when we went back Giuseppe was there instead. They must be running a family store. It sells printers and ink cartridges and the like.
- Manlio came home for lunch and then ran back to work. I wish I could do that.
- Marina di Patti has a pebbly beach with clear blue water.
2011-07-08 Italy Day 9: Tindari
- Slept in until around 9:30. Offloaded/sorted pictures. Breakfast.
- Lunch at Nino & Sara’s house: Pasta Norma ~ macaroni with tomato sauce, cheese, eggplant; spiced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella tied in knots, bread; figs, provolone.
- Discussed pasta and pasta makers
- Nino showed us around the property, with his garden, workshed, chickens, etc.
- Manlio drove us to Tindari and showed us the church there.
- Manlio and we drove to Messina to pick up his girlfriend Anna from the bus station.
- Big dinner party at Nino’s with Nino, Sara, Giuseppe, Patricia, Ninni, Vittoria, Manlio, Anna, Santa, Nicola, Teresa, us.
- Video-chatted with Grandma again. Stayed up late.
- Bread is better here. It’s not all stale and hard.
- Pebble beaches leave less mess than sand beaches.
- Nicola brought pictures and music for us. But then we didn’t get to talk to him much because he was at the other end of the table.
- Ninni has a lot. of. energy. Oh my goodness.
- Nino and Sara remind me of Ted’s parents–she is sociable and outgoing and always running around doing something, and he is quieter and calmer but enjoys sharing things in his own way.
2011-07-09 Italy Day 10: Montagnareale & Catania
- Got up earlier. Took a walk down the marina. Bought some granita.
- Nino took us to Montagnareale. Showed us Zia Maria’s house.
- Lunch: Botacelli with cheese and vegetables; leftovers from last night.
- Shared pictures, videos, blogs, etc. during the afternoon.
- Manlio & Anna took us to Catania. Dinner with Anna’s parents, aunts, sister, cousin, etc.: Rice salad with prosciutto, cantaloupe, and cheese; fried chicken and meatballs, tomato salad, pizza, bread; watermelon.
- Drove to downtown Catania, walked through popular area with bars, cathedral, fountains, etc.
- Slept late at Anna’s family’s cottage near Mt. Etna
- It seems to be expected that nobody does anything during the afternoon. This is probably a good thing, as it is hot.
- When it is time to go, somehow everyone but us knows and agrees and is ready to go at once.
- Anna’s sister is pretty fluent in English.
- Zia Maria’s house is a bit like a museum–nothing has been touched since the day she moved out and into Nino’s home 4 years ago, and she doesn’t seem to have taken much stuff with her. Luckily, they emptied the fridge.
- Nino says that Grandpa left his shoes in Zia Maria’s house saying he would need them when he came back, and that he never came back so the shoes are still there. Nino also observes that Grandpa has very big feet.
- Catania is warmer than Patti. It also has a ton of people out even after midnight.
- Nino must have somehow understood the note that I left on the door when we went for a walk in the morning. I wonder how bad my Italian was.