after getting whiplash from dropping off to sleep so many times while trying to type on the keyboard last night, i finally crawled into bed and slept solidly until i woke up at 3:30am. i was able to drop off to sleep again a couple of hours later, but both ej and i are a little wiped out today. we treated ourselves to the new indiana jones movie at the ziegfeld, the first showing of the day so we could be sure to stay awake for it. it was fun. then we stopped at trader joe's (where i picked up some arborio rice so i can start practicing my risotto!). i also picked up the summer edition of their newsletter which i love to read for the descriptions of their food items and it makes me wonder who gets the excellent job of describing their yummy treats.
earlier, i transferred lots of photos from my computer to cds to make room for the last of my italy photos that were still in my camera. at some point, i'm going to have to break down and buy an external hard drive, but for today, i'm good to go:
before leaving the loft in milan, i had to take a photo of my favorite loft that was across the way from ours. the front was lush with flowering plants and sometimes they'd leave their front door open so i could see the coziness of their home. they had red floors and yellow walls, and although that may sound very ketchup and mustard-y, it really worked. there were lots of photos and artwork. the kitchen was warm and welcoming. it was what i try to create in my home, only they do it more successfully. gaby had been eyeing the same loft all along too so i had her pretend she lived there.
different loft, but i'd never seen what looks like a yellow calla lily.
the morning we moved out, gaby, ej and myself met laura and matteo at cucchi for breakfast beforehand. on the way, we passed the duomo. this is part of the backside. every time i saw this building, it looked as if it were a fake hollywood backdrop.
they have some darn good cappuccino action going on at cucchi's and i wanted ej to try one.
one of the many reasons why i'm so fond of laura.
i don't remember being in a bad mood that morning, but i sure look like i was. maybe my cappuccino hadn't arrived yet. the strange thing is that i'm the one who took this photo, so why didn't i at least make an attempt to look somewhat pleasant if i knew that a photo was being taken?
later, after helping laura and gaby pack up the car with assorted items from the loft, we got a ride from ej's mom, hanna and her handsome italian fella, piergiorgio, to our new abode in milan. hanna had been extraordinarily generous and as a gift, rented an apartment in the san ambrogio neighborhood for ej and myself for our last few days in italy. san ambrogio isn't just a nice neighborhood, it's also much more central than our loft had been, so it was a treat to have easy access to a grocery store and cafes and a metro station. heck, it was a treat just to ride in a car and not have to schlep our luggage on public transport. if you look carefully, there's a bit of one of the old, orange trams that i love.
from the car window.
after depositing our bags, the four of us went in search of food. it was sunday (lots of restaurants were closed), it was midafternoon (the ones that were open were closed between lunch and dinner), and we were all starving and overheated, so it was not the ideal time to be searching for somewhere to eat. we wandered through the navigli neighborhood and after heading to the one restaurant we knew had amazing pizza (which was the furthest point from where we started) only to find it closed, we ended up at the very first restaurant we had passed on our search. this photo is right after we were seated. i was parched, famished, and happy to be somewhere that promised food. i barely had hold of my senses.
that night, ej and i were invited to laura and matteo's for dinner. matteo made pasta alla carlofortina, which, i'm happy to report, is one of the recipes i got from laura's dad. it was deeeelicious.
and for dessert, matteo had purchased two tubs of gelato from rigoletto's. i love that they carefully wrapped the precious cargo.
the reveal. from left to right, starting in the front: chocolate, cream, hazelnut, strawberry, lemon, melon, and some mystery fruit who's name escapes me.
alessandro (the photographer from the day before) is a gelato fiend. he waited for the rest of us to have our fill, and then he cleaned up.
this is the bouquet of flowers that laura's mom sent to the cast.
it was one of those nights when everyone seemed funny to me. as i'm uploading these photos, i'm seeing a resemblance between matteo and ej.
it had been a long day for everyone.
and this is the Tired Hand Clasp position.
but the boys got a second wind when video games and cartoons became an option.
if ej grew a beard, he'd look even more like his older brother.
when the dinner party was over, i had to say goodbye to gaby since i wouldn't be seeing her again before i left italy. it was sad and i don't have any photos of that. ej and i got to say goodbye to laura and matteo the next morning when we joined them at their house for breakfast. they were so kind and generous to us throughout our stay. i got a little weepy when i hugged laura goodbye. there are no photos of that either.