Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Promise I'm Not Gone!

So sorry it has been a while...I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. When I was in Rome, I had to use Taylor and Heidi's computers because I could never get mine to connect to their internet. Then, when I left, I realized I had left my computer charger there so I have been on a computer "fast" for the past several days now. Of course, I had to leave it right before one of the Italians hundreds of holidays so the post office was closed today. I should have it by monday though.

Coming Soon!

Sights of Rome

Photoshoot of Taylor and Heidi

Some Thoughts...

Meet Fred (Louis' successor)

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Walk Down Fashion Way

It is so crazy to think that 15 minutes from my apartment is where tourists from all over the world travel to come see. Raleigh is great, but I wouldn't say people are necessarily desperate to go there! This is Monte Napoleone, which is the main fashion district. We chose to roam the streets the monday after Easter, which is still considered a holiday here. (Pasquetta: il lunedi dopo la I learned) So, there were very few stores open (except for a few stores that cater to the tourists) and I saw virtually NO italians. Jamie and I got gelato. Mi piace pistachio e fiori del latte. It was a beautiful day and we could have been in heaven walking down beautiful streets with the warm sun, cool breeze, and the creamy-goodness of gelato in hand. 

This would be slightly pricey.

Jamie and I had such a blast! She is the nanny for Jobey and Kristen and is actually from Raleigh! I met her when I came to visit in November. It is so neat to know where each other has come from and also be able to share in experiencing Milano together. To my dismay, she is leaving in one month.

I did like this a lot. 

They are still tourists but I have a feeling they are from not too far from here. 

Yep, they're here. Soccer and fashion: a custom made city for the Beckhams. I'm sure Armani was delighted. This was as good as I could do for an edited photo. 

Back to Pagano, which is the metro stop right off my street. I love the purple flowers!

And, my street! My apartment is on the left after the black building. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Atleti di Cristo: Incontro di Pasqua

I had help this time! Stefano jumped in and was a huge help. 

The one on the back left, Miguel, makes me laugh. He is a rugby player and was very clearly hurting today after a rough game yesterday. He looks all tough but is really funny and really sweet at the same time. 
Pablo, the shorter one:), also makes me laugh. He reminds me of the man on Life is Beautiful. He is standing next to Leandro, who he called (check my Italian) "il piccolino del gruppo." 

He is quite tall.

And newly married to a model. 

Check these out! This lady wasn't with our group but I saw her when I walked out. I see all kind of tights here. These, I thought, made her legs look especially scaly. The shoes are pretty hot too. Welcome to my world.

Jason and Nicola. 

This is Jobey Thomas, basketball player for the Milan Team. (which is called the Armani Jeans team!) He and his sweet wife, Kristin, are actually from Charlotte! He played there for a while but they have lived in Europe for several years now. It was crazy having a taste of home by seeing them! 

I added this picture purely because you can see the Italian greeting in the bottom-right corner. Right cheek, left cheek. All the time. In the picture is Jobey talking with Tomas Guzman, who is a soccer player and president of Atleti di Cristo. He is a great leader, very down-to-earth, transparent, and really has a heart for people. His wife is the one greeting Angelo. 
Tomas again. 

This would be and American basketball player - one of Jobey's teammates. 

Giorgio, the guy in this picture, is a recording artist in Italy. He has done some work in the states as well. He did a great job! 

This is the wife of a cyclist. 

You know you are a soccer player if you stand like this.

Experimenting con Pesce

I went to Esselunga, an Italian "supermarket," today to restock my fridge after being in Germany for a week. I had some pretty big culture shock when I walked in to an "American normal" sized grocery store that was all in Italian. Not only that, it was filled with Italians who were preparing for their big Easter meals. Probably not the best time to be going for the first time. It takes me longer to do things. Reading packages and labels is obviously slower and trying to figure out what things are takes even longer! I purposed in my heart before I came that I would not eat like an American in Italy. I think part of embracing the culture is also eating what they eat. It is healthier to eat the local food anyway. The only downside is the time and brain juice it takes to figure everything out. 

After I got back, I decided to try a recipe I made up standing in an over-crowded Esselunga. 

This is Louis. Once I saw him, I knew he was the one. 

First, I chopped up some leeks, or "porro," as I learned. 
I have always wanted a Dutch Oven and found one at Carrefour for fairly cheap. I have already made several things in it and I absolutely love it. It works on the stove or the oven and makes everything very flavorful and tender. 

Louis thankfully came without his insides so I just rinsed him off...
...and stuffed him with a "lemone" and what I am pretty sure was a bayleaf. (the thrill of buying groceries in another language!) 

I added some pomodori (tomatoes) e capperi (capers), olive oil, some cooking white wine, and completed the burial by placing thinly sliced lemons on top. 
Last, but not least, I added some fresh herbs. This is basillico (basil), origano (oregano), rosmarino (rosemary), and the mystery bayleaf. 
I honestly don't remember how long I cooked him or even what temperature it was. (my oven is not Fahrenheit anyway) But I checked on him a few times and pulled him out when his skin was easily removed from the meat. Be careful not to overcook though. 
And of course I got some yummy fresh pasta to go with him.
I thought I would include this just because I hope there is someone else in the world beside me who did not know how to eat a whole fish like this. I was told to lift back the skin and flake the fish away from the bone. It worked out for me. I still had a few bones in the meat but my flaking skills will hopefully improve with time. 
I hope you are able to find your own Louis and enjoy the process as well as the final product as much as I did! 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Chronicles of a Very Adventurous Roadtrip

Five countries, 23 hours of driving, and 14 throw-ups were the features of our first roadtrip! 

There are so many jokes you can make with German words. This means "exit."
LOVE the autobahn!!
Lovely Austrian town.
And another lovely Austrian town. 
This is Ludwig, who lived in the castle we visited. He and Jason are looking quite similar these days. Sorry for the blur and European hair.

This is the hotel where we stayed in Fussen. 


Is this paradise, or what? 

On the road again...

We stayed in another beautiful area of German countryside.

This is our group who took the Grip-Birkman. We joined the Germany people. 

Jake and his posse.

On the road for the last time....getting geared up to make the entire trip in one day.


We stopped in Switzerland for lunch. I saw these Swiss Army knives and wanted so badly to get them for my brothers...but they were quite expensive. A picture will have to do. 
THEN, after throw up finally stopped and we had full bellies, we were stopped in traffic in the Alps. There was a pretty bad wreck in one of the tunnels. 

We sat there for a couple hours trying to keep the kids happy and get some sleep.

FINALLY! Milano! After 13 hours, we were SO happy to see that sign!