Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Roman Holiday...Christmas with the Reedy's

This year for Christmas Ryan's parents and brother came to Rome.

I must first start this post with the story of "The Secondary Meat/Beverage Fridge."  Before the arrival of his family, Ryan and I were busy cleaning the apartment, scrubbing our tiny bathroom, washing sheets, making up guest beds, and stocking up on food.  Especially around holidays in Italy you just never know which stores will be open and when so you really have to plan ahead.  The day before the Reedy's arrival, I had mapped out most of our meals for the week and I set off to the store to see what I could find.  When I returned home there IT was.  Ryan had been a busy little worker bee, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming...and moving a second fridge into our already tight kitchen.  He assured me that this rather large secondary fridge (which makes the constant sound of whales singing) was needed to hold all the extra food and beverages we would be consuming during his family's visit.  I could see his logic but had two major objections, aside from the whale noises.  One, it is tacky looking and crowds the kitchen.  Two, it is an electricity hog that makes it impossible to run more than one other electronic device without tripping the breaker.  For example, you have the two fridges going but it is hot outside so you also have the A/C on, if you turn on the stove to cook dinner...BAM!  Power gone.  Or try to run the dishwasher...BOOM!  Nothing.  You must choose.  You can turn off the A/C and then use the stove.  And when you are done cooking, if you aren't totally melted, you can turn off the stove and run the dishwasher.  My voice of reason was not heard however and the fridge stayed while his family visited us, and stayed after they left, and stayed, and stayed...AND IS STILL HERE!  I unfortunately cannot move it by myself because it is too big, and the other male RA's agree with Ryan that a fridge dedicated to beer and meat is the best idea ever so they won't help me move it...(sigh).  Just know that this is not over.

The rest of the Reedy's visit went very well.  (Except that I feel bad for poor Todd who had to sleep on the couch next to the singing whale refrigerator.)  This was my first time hosting Christmas and I was feeling the pressure.  While we didn't have a tree (sadness), I did decorate the front door and wrap some silver tinsel around a fake potted plant and it was surprisingly ok.  Ryan's parents had never been to Rome and it was lots of fun showing them around.  We mixed things up a bit, seeing the major sites in the city but then spending a lot of time touring the Castelli Romani, going to Anzio, and taking day trip to Orvieto.

Family picture at the cistern in the Due Santi Vineyard. (Just a little bit of rain.)

Christmas dinner!  It was a very exciting prime rib.  I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe and it turned out really well.

Grilling and making pizzas at the Forno.  Obligatory for any trip to the Rome Campus.


Mitch & Debbie at the Colosseum.

Our daily coffee.  It became a ritual to get a daily cappucino.  This was in Orvieto.

Boar's head in Orvietto.  Wild boar meat is delicious!

We really had a great time.  Come again!  There is so much more to show you!

As an aside, I would say that one of my highlights of the trip was Christmas mass in Castel Gandolfo.  I was thinking that just like in the States Christmas would bring out all those people who don't usually go to mass.  I convinced Ryan that we needed to go to the earliest mass possible (and that he could go back to bed after we got back.)  So we got up early and trekked up the hill to the 8am mass, except that I made Ryan leave the house at around 7:15am so that we could get "good seats."  Turns out that Christmas in Italy is NOT the same as Christmas in the States.  We arrived at the church and no one was there.  Slowly, slowly the church filled with NUNS!  Tall nuns, short nuns, Asian nuns, African nuns, nuns in fur coats...so many nuns.  And by  so many I mean about 30, and that was it, just us (oh and the Ambler family) and some nuns for a really beautiful Christmas morning mass in Castel Gandolfo.  And on our way back down the hill we got to see the sun rising over the ocean.  It was pretty sweet.

(Oh, and the campus fire alarm went off while we were at mass and there were no RA's on campus to turn it off.  A wonderful Christmas morning wake-up call for our guests.  Hatlie finally figured out we were gone and turned it off.)

Sweet Success!

I have passed the patente, well the written part at least.  I can only describe the feeling as that of having had a large boulder crushing you.  Once you pass the patente the boulder is rolled off and you are relieved and over joyed but still squashed.  Next up is taking the practical exam on April 23rd, the actual driving part.  I am not too concerned about it but I definitely need to practice my parallel parking.

And now, back to the blog.  Where to begin?...