Saturday, June 7, 2008


this morning i woke up at 4:30am. it's better than yesterday's time of 3:30am. my body still thinks it's 6 hours ahead. now it's lunchtime here in ny and i'm ready for dinner.

this past monday, ej and i took a train to bergamo where hanna and pg picked us up for some quality time amongst the foothills of the dolomites. we were tired, but happy to be exploring outside of milano.

this train was where we learned that our train tickets were supposed to be validated in a machine before we boarded. we hadn't done that. thankfully, the conductor was very nice and took pity on us, but did take the opportunity to show us a piece of paper that said
in english that without validation, ticket holders were subject to a 50 euro fine (approximately $75 USD each). he didn't fine us, but he validated our tickets by hand. what a lovely and personal souvenir.

once we were in pg's car, we quickly discovered that he was using a gps gadget for directions. since hanna was sitting in the navigator's seat, it was her job to deal with the gps. here pg shows hanna how it works.

the countryside was rainy, but beautiful.

we stopped at lake iseo for lunch and to stretch our legs. pg chose a lovely restaurant with a friendly chef and tasty, tasty food. here, pg demonstrates how to go duck hunting.

i kid.

the view from our table.

this is how pg stays so svelte. i'm not a big salad person, but this one looked good enough to eat. it included tuna and grilled zucchini and olives and mozzarella. i think he thought i was funny that i was taking photos of the food.

i had a tremendous fruits of the sea extravaganza. fresh, slightly spicy, very good. i do love me some mussels, um, i mean cozze.

ej and his mom each ordered the special that wasn't on the menu. i don't know what it was called, but it had fettucine, cheese, potato, and spinach. wow. it was creamy, cheesy goodness on a plate.

and then something for the sweet tooth. the chef had received four huge cannoli direct from sicily just that morning. we ate three of them. i cannot begin to explain how the filling just melted in my mouth. the inside of the tube was coated in dark chocolate. it was ridiculous how good that crazy cannoli was! i live in ny and i've had my fair share of cannoli, but this may have been the best cannoli i've ever eaten. cue tears of joy.

the man that made it possible: our chef.

the end of ej's espresso. it's always sad to get to the end of good coffee.

fed and watered, we took a stroll through the lovely town of lovere. apparently the impending rain did not deter other people from doing the same.

do tourists really go for this sort of thing?

ej "lakes" it.

i love hanna's jackie kennedy glasses.

the friendly police stop traffic for distracted tourists who need to cross the busy street.

wine press? or olive press? you be the judge.

pg the tourist is ready for any kind of weather.

in lovere, you can mail your letters here.

or walk up these stairs to someplace higher.

or go through this open door. it's been distressed to look old. pretty convincing, yes?

eventually, we drove to val seriana, where pg lives. this is the river near pg's home.

he lives on the top floor of what used to be a hotel. his neighbor gave him the clock on the wall that has a photo of the building back in the day on the face.

pg gives us the grand tour. he redid the kitchen himself.

the building as a hotel.

pg's explanations are always entertaining.

hanna was kind enough to make us sandwiches for our train ride back.

she wrapped them in paper placemats that pg had. they said "mas!" along the edge. why did he have a stack of placemats that said "more!" in spanish on them? i'm still not sure.

the view from pg's window.

the former entrance when it was a hotel.

ny represents. on a wall at the train station.

we had the same nice conductor on the train back to milano. he reminded me of alan rickman. we were so proud that we had validated our tickets before boarding, but he didn't seem to recognize us as the naive tourists from that morning. or maybe he did.


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