The meal also included a baked potato on which you were expected to slather lardon, which I think is pure beef fat. There was plenty of red wine during the meal and grappa, 43% alcohol, to finish up the meal. We sat next to a nice guy from Texas, Ben, about 35 who quit work and is taking 45 days off to travel around Europe. When he gets done with this, he is going to do another trip to the Asia’s. He is set for life, if he wants to travel for quite awhile (as he has many years ahead of him at his young age), and has no intention of going back to work. He said he is enjoying “young retirement” and wants to do so many things, like skydiving in Lugano, (which he already did last week). Norm REALLY LOVED this, of course, and told him we were doing the same, ha ha … except we were a tad bit older, and probably not up for the skydiving!! Ben gave the steaks his TEXAS blessing, as we were greatly entertained and enjoyed the food. We also met a really nice couple from Canada that were on their honeymoon, funny thing, they told us, is…. They couldn’t decide where to go on their honeymoon; it was a hard choice, either Italy or TEXAS!!???? We assured them they chose the right place… LOL!!! After this 3-hour lunch, we could not eat again for about 8 hours.
Today is our last day in Greve. We have been content here. We have accomplished our two goals of immersing ourselves in the Italian culture and Italian food. Unlike France, we did not have a third goal of immersing ourselves in the Italian language. That has prevented us from forming personal relationships with the everyday Italians we come across in our daily lives. While it is sad, it is a reality for us.
Tomorrow, we get up early, get in the car and head north. No, we did not get our invitations to George Clooney and Amul Alamuddin’s wedding in Venice this weekend so we are heading to Milan for a few days and after Milan, it will be destinations determined by serendipity. We will continue to include you in our travels, as hotel Internet permits us to do so.
We know we will be returning to Paris on October 18 where we have rented an apartment for two weeks to say a proper good-bye to the city I (NORM) truly love and have since my first visit there over 48 years ago. And, of course, we have a date with Delta airlines to return to Indianapolis on November 1, God willing, the creek don’t rise and Rita and I get on the plane.