Thursday, July 30, 2009

Visitors from Belton, MO bearing gifts, english is spoken here

30 Luglio
I was excited to host the Bradleys the last couple of days as they took a little Marche break in the midst of their mad dash through Italy. They started in Rome, then from here to Umbria, Tuscany and then finishing in Venice. Charlotte brought me some powdered brown sugar, which is hard to find here and Doug brought me a Research Belton Hospital shirt (see photo), which I will wear proudly and a wonderful little book in which the nurses and Dr.s from Belton wrote very nice notes to me. That was very special! We toured a bit, seeing the lace makers in Offida, a bit of Ascoli Piceno and Civetella del Tronto. I even let them sit at the pool for a couple of hours. We had a bbq one night with KC Masterpiece and Gates rubs (gifts from the Simmons) which I used on the chicken breasts, sausage, pork chops and spiedini with cherry tomatoes and our onions and finally our zucchini. We washed all that down with a couple of wines from our friends Roberto and Jasmine who joined us for dinner.
Nascondiglio di Bacco has been blessed with a bunch of folks from the low countries, Finland and England as guests, so I have been speaking english for 3 weeks. It has been great to have new markets open up for us, but I was confused about how all the Dutch and Belgians and Danish were finding us. Evidently, in those 3 countries, they have a reality show wherein 3 couples move to Italy and restructure an agriturismo, learn the language, build a pool and try and make the thing work. The people in the local town vote on the winner (loser?) and that couple is given the keys to the place for a year and then have the chance to buy the property after the year. We are getting the overflow from them I imagine; many thanks to Cristiano for making our website so beautiful which attracts our clients!
The family from Belgium have 2 little girls and after going up to Sirolo beach yesterday, the older one made me a present which I have pictured. Very cute!
This is festival season with Ascoli's medieval festival on Sunday, food festivals for everything from maccheroni to wine and concerts almost every night within 20 km of us. Friday, I am off to Colli del tronto for a jazz concert combined with a food and wine festival.
The lentils are in bloom in the Castelluccio plateau, so I need to get up there as well.
We have been full for a couple of weeks, but will have a few rooms available from now until August 7-17, which is a sold out period for their big summer vacation Feragosto.
We are now 2.5 weeks into a dry period, so the vineyard is healed from the perinospera infection. I am cutting the vines back still and feel about half done.
The workers are finishing up the poles and wires in the new part of the vineyard as well.
After 2 years, I am finally meeting some americans and english, although they are concentrated 30km north of here. It is still nice to have someone to meet up with and share our mother tongue.
dds PS, finally got the right photo of Doug, Charlotte, Roberto and Jasmine on here. Blindness stinks!

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