Monday, December 21, 2009

We're at my host mom, Alba's house- and what an adventure it was to get here!

Plane took forever-
When we entered the plane, the snow was coming down gently, and it had just started. Instead of taking off immediately, however, the pilot decided it would be better to wait, as the snow got heavier and began to melt on the wings. As water tends to do, the ice re-froze sitting there. As we sat their, the crew turned the heat up inside the plane, as the temperature outside went down. Within an hour, the plane was a sauna. Sitting in our hot-box-with-wings, we waited, and waited. Over the course of 4 hours of waiting, the wings froze over complete. Twice.
I am thankful that of the over 20 flights scheduled that night, only 3 of us actually were able to take off.
So we finally took off, but the best was yet to come.
When we reached cruising height, about 34,000 feet, pilot left his seat to check on the wings from further back on the plane. When I asked him what he was looking for, he said he was checking if there was ice on the wings.
I wonder- how would one propose to get ice off the wings of a plane, while 34,000 feet above the ground? soar then dive? Jostle things around and shake it loose?

We finally arrive in Italy, but the mishaps aren't over. The fiat ducati that we rented is about 6'4" wide. The space we were, supposed to fit between to get out of the parking lot, is 6'6". and we were supposed to make a 90 degree turn. The scene was unbelievable. back and fourth, we barely made it without scraping up the side.
We arrived in Viterbo about 5PM on the 20th, just as it was getting dark. We quickly found our way to my friend Alvaro's house, where we had the first of many incredible meals. The whole house was filled with the aroma of rosemary and oregano, topping freshly baked pizza. Slicing a few pieces of prosciutto right off the leg in the kitchen and enjoying Alvaro's wine, we spent the whole night eating and joking, playing buwraco (a card game like rummy) and eating some more. Eda made a fantastic calabrese sauce of crushed red peppers. Fernando made the dough himself. He has the habit of speaking nonsense that sounds like Italian to confuse my sister, who tries to understand what he's saying and can't. They had pizza, my favorites were with potatoes and porcini mushrooms, and broccoli and sausage. Whenever you're at Alba's (or any of their friend's houses), you'll think you're stuffed after just the appetizer. However, you find room to keep eating.
So concluded our first day.


  1. 4 hours on the runway... I hope they had plenty of wine for my sister....

  2. hi alex - amy called to tell me about your glob or mo or whatever, blut it is fantastic. Your writing is so wonderful it makes the reader feel he is right there enjoying what you are. I haveto stop and amy is helping me make a google accoun t. keep it up I love it. hugs, mimi