Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I've arrived! -

Well, today made it official, I've arrived in Ascoli! The local crazy man saw me twice today and greeted me both times....I am now a local! It's that easy!

Meanwhile, the weather has finally turned warm and today is the first day I am not dressed in multi-layers and do not need a bath to warm my bones. Simple t-shirt covered in very dark chocolate ice cream which I drooled onto myself with great pride! I'm telling you, this stuff is dangerous. My two favorite flavors are "dark" chocolate (I mean really, really dark) and pistacio (like you've never had pistacio before!).

Not much to talk about today; it's a pretty relaxing day. After my lesson, I went for my usual pre-lunch walk and then decided to sit at an outdoor cafe and feast on grilled fish (shrimp and calamari) kabob and salad. Had a nice cup of coffee, soaked in the sun, reviewed some Italian and generally relaxed. It's a tough life!

Then I went for my after-lunch walk with no focus or mission except to eventually turn up at the bank.

Plans for my departure from Ascoli have changed just a bit. It turns out Rome was basically "booked" for this Saturday (at least at the places I could afford) and so I'm staying in Ascoli one more day (maybe head to Grottomare and rent an umbrella for the day--not a bad idea, ha?) and will depart for Rome on Sunday. Have secured a reasonably priced hotel (recommended by Dante (Daniela's brother) walking distance from the bus and train station. I'll stay in Rome Sunday and Monday searching for a small/medium sized suitcase that I can travel better with. This hotel will keep the "gorilla" in storage until I get back from Sicily. So, the plan right now is that I fly to Sicily on Tuesday and return to Rome on Saturday (or sooner or later).

I still have to book my flight. Interesting discovery today when I went to the Italian Al Italia site, my round trip flight was only 93 euros ($114); then for the heck of it, I went to the Al Italia US site and the same flight was $283.00! What a difference!

Meanwhile the dollar has really gained some strength since I first started pricing this trip. Originally, the 2 weeks of private Italian would have cost me $522.22; I just paid up and it was $496.00 - hey, that's a difference of at least 3-4 plates of spaghetti! So, this makes me happy.

Tomorrow, MariLena and I enjoy a day in the town of Offida! I'll take photos.

May write later, but this is all I have for now.

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