Tuesday, January 05, 2010

America and back again

5 Jan
Happy New Year, Buon anno to everyone!  I have been gone from the blog so long, it forgot who I was.  I have been travelling the US with a complicated flight from Rome to Zurich to Chicago, connection at O'Hare with AA to KC and then rental car to my friends' house in Olathe.  The days in my old city were full and fun with lunches with my old friends Damon and Sara one day and Bill and Mark the previous.   A little business was performed as Mark is a wine distributor in MO and was impressed by some of our local wines here.  Hopefully, we can use his business also for our wines.   I experienced  a wonderful dinner at Jasper's with 26 in attendance and perhaps the highlight was Jasper making his mozzarella right in front of us and it was tasty as only fresh moz. can be!  Of course, even homemade mozazrella is up against stiff competition with his lobster cappuccino!  Everyone got to try our olive oil and passito as I lugged 8 liters of our 2009 oil to the US and one 750ml bottle of passito.
The next night, a smaller group experienced a once in my lifetime tasting of 11 years of Rubicon by Niebaum Coppola accompanied by the fine cooking of KR and Erika...wow!   I still can't explain the headache I had the day after, but I think I slept funny.
Then it was off to CO where I got to explore Estes Park a few hours and then treat Leslie to dinner in Denver, where there prized lamb dish didn't exactly match up to the lamb we have here in Italy...the company was good.
Never pausing in one place too long, I headed back to DIA to pick up Larry and we headed off to his condo in Beaver Creek where the skiing was great fun as always.  I tried to make Jasper's timballo, which was such a success my 1st try, but failed to take into account the difference in altitude which also affected my bread baking.   I have now learned.   Back to Denver in an ice and snow storm to drop Larry off again at the airport, while I experienced the Cherry Creek mall, super target and petco, stocking up on things not available here or at least difficult to find.
The next day I flew to St. Louis to spend natale with my brother and his whole family.   Good food, fun times and lots of presents and a bit more shopping of the after xmas variety as well as a bit of churching.
Flying back to Rome, I discovered some new little niggling changes in BA's policies, like charging for the 2nd piece of checked luggage.   The flight from Chicago left 2 hours late as the plane was late arriving, due to increased screening at Heathrow.   I arrived with a bit less than 55 minutes to reclaim and recheck my luggage at Heathrow 5, go back through security and catch my flight to Rome.   (normally that is not necessary, but they had scheduled me into heathrow and out of gatwick, which my charming begging and pleading changed)  
The trip ended without incident, if you don't count the cold I caught somewhere along the line.
Back at Nascondiglio di Bacco, we were full of young Romans on holiday for New Year's Eve and had a special visit from my old roommate Michele's sister and her beau on the 1st.
Our next project is pruning and tying 38000 grapevines before May: we'll need some help.  Our ever helpful agronomist gave us a bid of 26000 dollars if we use his workers and we are going to have a little "talk" this week with his boss to explain for the umpteenth time about our priorities and finances.

Here it is rainy and cold, but cold is relative as it has dipped just slightly below freezing whereas my buddies back home are suffering through below zero temps.   Warming is just around the corner and hopefully a bit of dryness.

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