Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, hello from the USA! After 20 hours of travel by car, train, 3 flights and car, I arrived in St. Louis a couple of days ago and was treated to a fine steak dinner by my brother and sis-in-law at his office party. Jim and I took a road trip on route 66 the next day to visit his farm and I pruned his grape vines for him. We stopped at the world’s largest rocking chair and bought some pecans and work gloves, the latter for me and then returned to the big city. Sunday, after church, the family met for early Chriistmas and thankfully, our olive oil and passito made the trip with me successfully and everyone got their own little cruet of olive oil and sampled the sweet wine. Kim and Jim went all out with dinner and I celebrated a bit of Thanksgiving with turkey and dressing and all the fixings.
Tomorrow, it is off to KC on Southwest Airlines, the last domestic airline which will permit 2 checked bags for no additional fees. I noticed it is -11 degrees in Denver today with a windchill of -25 and I brought a windbreaker to the states!
I am in the airport at St Louis looking at weather forecasts from hell. Snow all through missouri and nebraska with ice underneath. Freezing temperatures to boot.
Good news as my airline is on time and those 2 bags got checked for free. Thanks Southwest airlines!
Here I am in Kansas City, making the rounds, seeing new and old friends, trying to drive in weather unknown to the Marche and also trying to find wireless access to post.
I have travelled 7 hours to see my old partner Joe Roh in a nursing home in Omaha where he continues to try and rehab after a severe stroke almost 5 months ago. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Surviving that snowy journey to the north, I returned to my friends Larry and Pam and immediately raided my wine stash in his basement, trying a neat 2001 Syrah from Ridge and a 93 Raymond Reserve Cab. Yesterday was full of travel, coffee and talk and I was happy to meet a few new friends, Elizabeth, Holly, and Cindy, have lunch with my aunt and uncle and then caught up with about 20 of my oldest friends at Jasper's restaurant for a wonderful dinner! (menu to follow) We were treated to a 1st class italian tasting menu and incorporated Raffaele's and my olive oil and passito. It was great to see everyone!!
Today, more coffee and return of the rental car, pickup of the rental truck with its loading and then tomorrow I will meet up with my old bible study group and then hightail it (haha) to denver. Wish me luck.
Pictures are from last night's dinner with our host Jasper Mirabile, my brother's christmas tree and turkey tail and the world's largest rocking chair on route 66
Thanks to Jasper, here is our menu
Jasper's Holiday Menu
Parmigiano Reggiano - Roasted Peppers - Sicilian Olives
- Riccota - Fra Mani Artisan Salumi
Wild Mushroom Cappuccino
Prosciutto & Fontina Filled Polenta
Pasta del Giorno
Pappardella & Tuscan Pork Ragu
Piatti del Giorno
Pesce San Pietro
Pollo alla Chiantigna
Pannetone Bread Pudding
Posted by Dwight at 4:04 PM