Now. Where were we when I was interrupted by that 2 week Bataan death march?
I slept last night. A good 8 hours and awoke refreshed but confused because there were no chocolate croissants in the kitchen waiting for me. I'm sure the dogs must have stolen them.
I've spent today (until I went to the airport to pick up Walt, returning from Santa Barbara) working on photos. It takes a LONG time to upload them to Flickr, even having discarded as many as I've discarded. So as of this writing, I have only completed three sets of photos, but they are linked on the left.
Over the next several days, I am going to be going back through all the entries that I wrote on the trip and adding photos to them, and occasionally other details. Not that I expect anybody to go back and re-read everything, but this is my trip diary so I want to make it as complete as possible. I will let everyone know when I've done anything worth looking at.
When I was last writing about the trip itself, I was saying that I was going to stay home from the trip to San Gimignano and Siena and enjoy myself around the hotel. And I did! I took a 2 hour nap, then went down and swam in the wonderful pool, then relaxed by the pool, then picked up a book in the hotel library and read that until everyone came back from the trip. Char said that it was just as well I didn't come and that Ian had to practically drag her up to San Gimignano. But I'm kind of sorry I missed the Siena part of the day because that sounded like fun.
The group came back and got into the pool
After pool fun and enjoying the wine that David (the only man left in our group by now) brought, we got dressed for dinner and went to the hotel's restaurant for what was billed as a "wine tasting and Tuscan dinner."
The wine tasting was great. We had 3 of Cassasfrassi's Chantis and an olive oil tasting. Jeri and I both bought olive oil to bring home (she also brought home wine, but I didn't).
The dinner itself was held overlooking the amazing valley.
And then the dinner started. First there was the prosciutto and the bruschetta. Had I known how much food was to come, I wouldn't have enjoyed the prosciutto quite so much! Everything comes with bread, of course. In this region of Italy, they don't cook bread with salt because they feel it changes the flavor of the food, so you get the "salt" for your bread from the food with which you eat it.
Then came something we thought was going to be a pasta dish, but which was a kind of crepe with a cream sauce.
Next came a pasta with wild boar sauce.
And just when you thought you couldn't possibly eat another bite, they announced that they were ready to serve the main course!!!
This was pork ribs and guinea hen, some sort of beef dish, potatoes (and spinach).
But wait! There was dessert too!
Tiramisu, of course. And coffee. Over the evening (about 3 hours worth of eating), much wine was consumed by many people. I pretty much stuck to water most of the time. It was an absolutely fabulous dinner--but I wish I had had a menu beforehand so I could have paced myself better! (I told Ian I understood the concept of the "vomitorium" much better after that meal!)
It being our last big meal together, there was lots of fraternization and we so enjoyed getting lessons in Italian from our bus driver, Antonio, who was a real gem. Jeri really got into learning from Antonio and says her "fake Italian" is much better than her "fake French."
(Jeri, with Shirley and Antonio)
(I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that it's not "geLAto," but "JAYlato.")
The next day it was on to Firenze for the day but that should take its own entry, so I will write that tomorrow -- complete with photos!