Friday, March 21, 2008

Good morning, America!! and the world

21 March
At least I think it is the 21st. I have arrived on my native shores after waking at 0200 at Nascondiglio, showering, shaving and bidding addio a Bacco at 2:35. That was Wednesday and after a 35 minute drive to Ascoli, I boarded the 0320 bus to Roma and thankfully slept a bit arriving much to my surprise at Termini, the railroad station which saved me a 15 minute walk at 6:30 in the morning. Next, it was a 45 minute train ride to the airport, followed by an 11 hour flight to Chicago, a 50 minute ride on the CTA train to downtown Chicago and a final 5 minute walk to the Palmer House.
At my friend Jasper's recommendation, I ate dinner at Osteria via Stato, which strangely enough, is located in the Embassy Suites on State St. and had a memorable 3 course dinner with wonderfully fresh ingredients, followed by a nice chat with the owner/chef, David. His family is from abruzzo and hopefully we will have him visit someday at the agriturismo. I also stepped into Quartino and talked with the manager who will be at vinitaly and maybe we can meet up.
With my jetlag in evidence, I awakened at 0400 and read the USA Today paper and made a cup of Lavazza coffee and watched the time slowly pass until finally I could head on to my appointment with the Chicago consulate. By the way, I probably didn't tell you earlier but after 7 emails with no responses, 8 hours prior to my departure, the consulate sent an email with what i needed and of course, I lacked 3 things which were all in St. Louis. Recording my prior experience with these folks for my student visa, I arrived punctually at 0900 and since this is a public blog and "they" might be watching, I will recount my experience and impression when I actually have the visa in hand.
I took an earlier flight to St. Louis and grabbed my Colorado driver's license, made a copy, had it notarized and included that with my bank statement, my newly purchased (that day) international health insurance and all the other goodies which the website had said I needed (the new 3 were not listed there); I hightailed it to the post office arriving at 16:58, 2 minutes prior to closure and express mailed all the stuff to Chicago-guaranteed arrival by noon today. PHEW!! Everyone cross their fingers for me and Buona Pasqua a tutti!!
The good news is I have my laptop back. It was a tearful reunion!

1 comment:

adrian said...

D-wight...always the seat of the pants drama w/you, but makes for a great read. You need to start on those memoirs.

I've heard the Violet Hour makes great cocktails in Chitown.

Gourmet passed on my review but asked me to pitch them on other ideas. So not a total loss.