Published: December 31st 2011December 31st 2011
Greetings from La Rocchetta as 2011 is ending. The future is finally here. Sorry it has been so long since we were able to publish a blog, but we spent the middle of the month in Rome, and the Christmas season with no computer access, so we'll just combine it all into one big blog entry. After our last entry, we spent five days in Rome, taking in all the sights we could, eating kebabs from friendly egyptians and saying hello to claudio's daughter in law and grandchildren. We found a little hostel right near the railroad run by some eastern europeans who drank a lot by themselves and made origami christmas ornaments. No kitchen at this one so the italian cuisine was a bit more limited, but we got by after finding the korean store down the block with its vast array of dumplings and soup cups. You can see all the things we did from our pictures, but one of the serious highlights was the Museum of Musical Instruments, a little out of the way museum in which, for a mere 4 euro, you too can learn about amazing instruments you never knew existed, such as Ben Franklin's unnamed
contrivance constructed of a set of nesting glassbowls on a spool, about 25 of them. When the spool is turned, and one's fingers are moistened, you can make a sound similar to running your finger around the rim of a wineglass, only times 10, in various harmonies! If that isnt the coolest thing you have ever heard, you obviously arent a music dork. It was the biggest disapointment of my life that we couldnt play it, touch it, or even photograph it, although we did get some photos of other parts of the museum. The reason for the photo prohibition was never explained, but it was enforced by and extremely elderly lady who was the only other person in the museum besides ourselves. This place had 18 rooms, and everytime we went to another one, she would heave herself painfully out of her chair, and slowly hobble to the room we were in, sit down, and continue glaring at us. She followed us to 18 rooms and even down the stairs on the way out. I dont know why she hated us so much, but it was hilarious. We also spent an entire day at the Vatican, looking at all
the Christian-ness, and hit some of the other major landmarks. In front of the colluseum there are these street performers who dress as gladiators and offer to pose for photos for money. There are at least 50 of them, and in 5 days I never saw even one have a single success, so I'm not sure how they stay around, maybe they sell drugs too. We usually spent our nights at the hostel, making friends with the other guests and the owners, dodging Lithuanian sex addicts and drinking the ridiculously cheap wine they have here. One of the nights we did go out, we ended up in an Irish Bar called the Fiddler's Elbow, drinking Kilkenney and enjoying chatting with some people who spoke our language (although the accent is so strong it barely matters). Rome was beautiful for the holidays with lights and trees (sponsored by Mercedes Benz) everywhere. While in some ways it wasnt as charming as Firenze, it was great to see so much history and soak in some more Italian culture. We also managed to find Piazza Sant Eustachio (oh yeah, I'm named after a saint) with it's beautiful church nativity scene.
When we made
Still got dem Rocky Mountain Youth Corps skillz!
it back to Bomarzo, everyone was gearing up for Chrismtas. The hunters brought by some wild boar, Michelle was putting up lights, and she kept Dov busy making marmalade and putting the labels on all the various products destined for presents. I managed to finish the driveway (although the rain and hard freezes at night are rapidly deteriorating it again), and we continued with the consistant little jobs such as splitting and stacking the wood, pruning everything, mulching the veggie beds and planting fava beans anywhere that can take it. Michelle and Claudio left for Christmas on the night before my birthday and were gone till the 27th. We took it a little easier over Christmas, and mostly switched to indoor jobs, such as peeling and caning the pomegranates and cracking all the walnuts from the fall. We also managed to cook quite a lot. Dov made pizza, latkes and delicious cinnamon cookies, and I managed to turn out an excellent Christmas breakfast and some Yorkshire Pudding with gravy that night. We spent our free time watching bad movies and old Simpsons episodes, and also managed to take a walk into Bomarzo through the woods. When the family came back,
they brought their son, Daniele, so we moved up to another room above the house. Dov started to deal with the giant compost pile, bundling all the wood ans forking up the good dirt. My new job is turning over an old garden and sowing it with beans and peas to provide enough nitrogen so it will grow some lettuce in the spring. We are getting excited to come back and see everyone, although both of us are wishing for the occaisional Sunday in New Orleans as the playoffs start. I hope that eeryone is doing well over in the US of A, and Dov and I send our love.
There are more photos below