Sunday, August 31, 2008

a little conversation over breakfast in vernazza.

lucy: what do you want to do today?

greg: let's go to portofino.

greg: i can't believe we're in italy.

lucy: me either.

greg: what day is it?

lucy: *smile* i have no idea.

buon giorno riviera!

after arriving on the late night crazy train (literally! if you've ever been on the italian riviera trains you'll know there a little crazy, especially during european holiday) and carrying our bags up a narrow alley of a million stairs resembling something straight from dr. seuess's imagination, waking up to see the sun shine on colorful little vernazza was spectacular and refreshing. we were glad to leave the bags in our room, ditch the train and take the day to hike from one little colorful fishing village to the next.
a view looking back at vernazza from the trail.
corniglia and the solidification of my love affair with italian doors.
riomaggiore and then back to vernazza for a nap.

we topped off the day enjoying dinner of grilled octopus with potatoes and fresh herbs, anchovies drizzled with olive oil and lemon, fresh pasta tossed with tomato goodness and a sweet chocolate ending accompanied by a little caffe and a sunset, naturally.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

where to start???

at the beginning will just have to do!

quick note to say sorry for the lack of posts...we were delightfully preoccupied and internet access wasn't as easy to come by as we thought. by the end of my attempt to try to make up for it I'm sure you'll be tired of hearing about our travels. a part of me wishes I could tell you that we've been swept away...busy flat hunting as greg has taken on a job as a mediterranean food critic and me as a student of fashion in milan. rather, we are happy to be home in portland sorting through photographs and so many wonderful memories of our trip. oh, and doing laundry of course!

first stop - piemonte to visit family and see where my great grandparents rosie and lorenzo called home for the first 20 or so years of their life.

the last time I saw my cousins I was awkwardly thirteen, maybe fourteen. they were just as wonderful then as they are now and we couldn't have orchestrated a more perfect introduction to italy. so, with that, I'm going to try to hit as many splendid moments of our first few days as I can... alessandria with rita and elena to run some errands and have an afternoon caffe,having lunch and visiting with roby before she and bepe left for holiday in sardegna,touring the garden with ele,

seeing giuseppe and his brother enjoy their daily afternoon visit,

seeing the houses that my great grandparents grew up in,

morning breakfasts consisting of home baked pastries, fresh brewed espresso, handpicked fruit and all the warm loving hospitality in the world,

taking the train with ele to visit the girls' flat in torino and tour the city,

the best garden grown lunches and dinners at the loveliest little eat in kitchen with countless courses consisting of prosciutto and melon, salami, bread sticks, fresh baked bread, numerous varieties of cheese with honey and marmalades, cherry peppers stuffed with capers in olive oil, rice mixed with giardiniera mix, ravioli tossed in olive oil rosemary and fried sage, pasta with fresh pesto, mushroom risotto, eggplant parmigiana casserole, zucchini cake, rosemary potatoes, turkey cutlets with rosemary, fish steamed with fresh herbs, tomatoes, figs, peaches, apricots, hazelnut torrone, sparkling water, wine, caffe and yes, even a little homemade limoncello, a visit down to alba with ele and tea before catching the train to the next stop on our trip.

see some more pics of our visit with the family here!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

rare moment in amsterdam...

greg slept about 30 minutes on the flight from portland to amsterdam versus my 4 and a half hour snooze (thanks to glass of red wine and half of an ambien, which, is sooooooo much better than tylenol pm BTW). that coupled with the three cups of STRONG coffee I had with breakfast before we landed (not to mention the natural high from finally starting our trip!) has turned me into a somewhat energetic chatty cathy. I had to document this rare's not too often that I have more energy than greg.

I'm going to try to update the little blog throughout the trip and will definitely post some pictures when I get a chance! for now, enjoying this cute little airport lounge while we wait for our flight to milan, listening to people speak in all kinds of other languages and being thankful for a great flight over the pond and the beginning to a wonderful trip!