A full house for awhile with the cleaning crew and the gardener. I got an earliest start experimenting with water bottles as free weights. Not bad—but the big still water bottles are a little wide for smallish hands. Have to modify some lifts because I can’t get a solid grip for things like upright rows.
Next round, the slimmer sparkling water bottles.
I expect the quiet man who came to water the plants wondered what the strange woman was doing playing with big-ass water bottles on the lawn. But he made no comment.
Kayla and BW take off for the village with the many towers. [Ed. note: San Gimignano] Jason, Kat and Griffin will meet them. I opt to stay home, avoid the very real possibility of car sickness due to snaky, windy roads.
Before too long things get pretty quiet around our Italian homestead, so I set up to work.
While I do, the two groups meet up, explore the medieval village—I can see the towers from where I sit. Jason and Kayla climb the many, many, MANY steps to the bell tower. I’m told you’d think you were at the top, but no. More. Then ladders. But they reached the top and got their reward in the view.
Kayla wore shorts—short ones—so had to don a kind of clear plastic skirt provided at the church for entering. Apparently Griffin was disturbed by this. I might have been, too.
They have lunch. I have chips while I work. If I’d had Cheez-It’s it would’ve been just like home.
It’s hot. I like the heat so it doesn’t really bother me, so I’m surprised to learn it hit 101.
Just as I decide enough work a strong wind comes up. Feels like a change is a’coming.
The gang returns with many pictures and stories about steps, a toy store full of toy weapons (!), crystal staffs, armor, steep hills.
Images from inside the Duomo in San Gimignano:
A brief respite before all but BW and I head to the near village and the grocery store—which was, it seems, packed and confusing. Now we have fresh Italian bread (for the upcoming Italian Egg Breakfast), and plenty of supplies. This includes rice as Kayla, Kat and Griffin yearn for rice. I am not a fan myself, but know how to make many dishes that include it.
For tonight, I’m going to make a pretty simple pasta—oil and herbs. We’ll have a salad and garlic bread. It takes no time to discover the knives are pretty dull, the range top complicated, and we have no garlic press.
But we work it all out.
Boil pasta (reserve a good cup of the water before draining), thin slice some garlic and sauté in olive oil—add a pinch or so of crushed red pepper. I have the rosemary bush, and there’s potted basil in the kitchen. Oregano in the spice drawer. Drain the cooked pasta, dump into skillet with the garlic and oil, add herbs, salt, pepper. Let it sauté a minute or two. Add pasta water and simmer and stir till it absorbs.
For the garlic bread I basically mince and squish the garlic because no press.
And the oven, we discover, has no setting for broil. It has one for grill, Jason tells me, so we try that. Does the job.
Table set by many hands, citronella candles the gang picked up at the store lit. Let’s eat.
Despite the strangeness of the kitchen and tools, we have a good meal.
Gelato to follow. I can’t manage it tonight, but I’ll dig in later.
No racing tonight. Griffin takes to the pool instead with his mom.
When I walk down, I can hear him enjoying it before I see them. And when I do, Kat—who’s a smidge or so shorter than me—says she’s standing on her toes as the pool’s a steady five feet. But it’s fun anyway, and breezy. It’s not heated, so they may be the only ones to take a dip. Even baking all day, the water feels pretty chilly when I stick my hand in.
I am seriously not a fan of ‘bracing’ pool water, and can have my fun watching others splash around in it.
And here’s the sunset. We enjoy it tonight from the lower terrace just above the pool.
A little puzzle time, then bed.
Chain Saw Man’s busy again today. And it’s much, much cooler.
I think I’ll work out on the grass by that lower terrace today—little change of scene.