**The dealio on the photo situation. We are currently staying in temporary housing, and the housing does not have Internet access. I have been using the computer in the base Library. I thought I'd be able to upload some photos onto my laptop, then transfer the photos onto a thumb drive, and bring the thumb drive in to the Library and upload them here and post them to my journal, but I can't seem to get it to work. Frustrating!!!! I'll keep trying, though.**
What a FUNNN weekend!! Saturday, one of Token's workers (John), came and picked us up and we went car shopping. I think it's going to be tough finding a car here, because I don't drive stick and that seems to be all there is around here. We're hoping to find something from someone in the military who's leaving. The cars here are hilarious. They are teeny tiny. There are a gazillion of those Smart cars here. Do you think this trend will eventually hit the States? I have probably only seen a handful of SUVs (and small ones!) since I've been here, and chances are, they were being driven by Americans.
After we did that, John dropped us back at the Magnolia (our temp. residence) and we lounged around the pool. Italian women wear really skimpy bikinis. Yikes! The guys all wear little bitty Speedos, too. Ha! Around 4 p.m., we started getting ready to go out. The security officer from the base, and his wife came and picked us up, and we headed toward Achireale (which is where we'll be living!!!), toward John and his wife's, Patrizia, house. Patrizia is like the Italian Martha Stewart. You guys, the food she made was amazing. Oh man. She made bruschetta, proscuitto wrapped seseame sticks, buffulo di mozzarella with little cherry tomatoes, and olives. I also had my first lemoncello, and ummm... it might be my last. It was a wee bit strong for me. (sidenote: I did try melon lemoncello on Sunday and am a big fan of it, though!) We sat around chatting for awhile, and then headed into a town close to Achireale called Vaverde for a beer festival. SO.MUCH.FUN!!!
The beer fest was on this little narrow street that went down the center of the town. There were beer tents set up all along the sides of the road, food vendors, bands, and lots of people. It was awesome. I was a complete glutton and had some pistachio gelato, AND a nutella crepe. Oh man... my jeans feel so tight after this weekend. This CANNOT be an all the time thing. We spent a few hours at the festival and then headed back to Motta (the town we are staying) and called it a night.
Sunday, John picked us up and we headed back up to Achireale to look at the townhouse we are interested in. It's actually connected to his place, which is freakin' awesome because we have a cat sitter if we ever go on vacation, plus the security stuff, and having an Italian friend next door is really great. We toured the place and said we're in. It's perfect for us... you walk in and there's a big room with terracotta floor. Keep walking back and to the left is the kitchen, staight ahead is the bathroom (another sidenote: showers in Italy SUCK. They are so small and it's sooo hard to shave your legs. I need to figure out what to do about that.), and to the right is a little closet. Back out in the main room, there are dark wood steps that go up and down. If you go down, it's one big room. John says that in his house, the first two floors are the "Italian" floors, and the basement is his American one. There's also access to the garage down there, as well as the washer dryer, and another bathroom. If you go upstairs, there are three bedrooms and a bathroom. The view is aaaammazing. It looks straight out to the ocean. Bliss, I tell ya. One bummer is that the place won't be free until October 20, so it looks like we'll be in the Magnolia for awhile longer than we thought. Ah well, it's not a terrible place to be, that's for sure!
After we toured the place, Patrizia made lunch. You guys, she puts me to shame, seriously. She made me some pistachio pesto pasta, the guys had some kind of shrimp pasta, made these stuffed zucchini things, melon di creme stuff, coffee... ahh! It's intimidating! When she comes over to our house, she's going to be so unimpressed with my mac and cheese from the Kraft box! ;) After lunch, we went to one of the newer malls here. I got a flat iron (FINALLY!!) to fit the plugs here, got a cute little lamp to go on our yet-to-be bought desk, and a frame. The mall is awesome... I can see many trips there. The only downfall from it is that it's all in Euro, which sucks because the dollar is so weak here. Ugh. Maybe that'll change soon? Wishful thinking, I'm sure.
And that, my friends was our Italian weekend. Lots and lots and lots of fun. I like it here!!!!!