WHINING ABOUT WINE

Ok , so you got the idea that wine was a major theme on Monday in Scopello…I awoke Tuesday feeling like I’d just been through a wine-enders program and was really hoping I could just sleep it off. No luck. Had to get up early and trek on. Luckily for me, Tuesday’s agenda included a visit to a winery (help!)… First stop today was the town of Monreale to visit a cathedral known for it’s golden mosaics heavily influenced by the Arabs. It was pretty cool especially the light pouring through the windows firing up all that gold.
Short drive later and just as I was starting to feel normal again we arrived at the Calatras winery for a tour and tasting. It’s a pretty big operation, very modernized, so I did not get to hear Italian women in black dresses with purple-stained feet singing “stomp the grapes” which was kind of disappointing.
We were forced to try more wine and eat more incredible food. This is torture! The antipasti was one of the best so far – more delicious olives, roasted peppers, little meatballs, and other tasty stuff. The pasta was a creamy risotto that I really loved and there was also a penne dish. That was followed by grilled meats – succulent sausages, lamb kabobs, and thin pork chops. The whole meal came to only 3.5 WW points! Really!! Well, except for the dolce which was more of those little cheese packets wrapped in flaky dough that I cannot get enough of.
Then it was back on the bus. Amazingly, everyone was very quiet and I don’t remember much as I was totally zonked out. Not sure what happened, could have been a group alien abduction (or maybe just full bellies and good wine). I awoke as we wound our way into Cefalù a wonderful little fishing village with great atmosphere in the city center, sandy beaches, and la Rocca – a chunk of rock mountain that dominates the city.
We had a great hotel right in the heart of everything with a room the size of a linen closet. Not a villa like the last town, but the roof of the hotel had a patio and the party continued.
A little note of reality…we are in Palermo and can finally see news in English. It looks like the world is going to crap. Guess we’ll be working the rest of our lives, no retirement for us. I’m glad we got a chance to go on this incredible trip now.
Chow for now…

Trek to the Sea

And, we’re back…
On Monday we ended up in Scopello and Ted and I landed a 3-story villa all to ourselves. This resulted in a major party on the rooftop patio. But first, there was the trek to the sea… Above pic is an old tuna processing plant along the coast just down from where we stayed.
We headed into Zingaro National Park along with friends Richard and Gwen. It was a twisty trail along the coastline (a rocky cliff).
Our buddy Don walked the whole 7 km trail!

This is Gwen and me coming out of cave. That’s a painted cart, famous in Sicily.
We only made it part of the way along the trail when the beach called to me. Is this not beautiful? Swimming in the Tyrannian sea is better than a Monday at work…
BR was chillin‘ with us… and of course, there was wine.
Ted invited the group to a 5 p.m. gathering at our villa. It turned into a great party that pretty much continued through dinner and into the night. Much food and wine was obliterated. This was the view from the patio that night…
Dinner was family style with many courses – bruschetta, olives (yes, I ate them again!!), 3 kinds of pasta, 3 kinds of seafood, fruit, little evil cheese-filled tarts for dolci that were so good I was in love! Sorry no pictures of the food. That’s because, there was lots of wine…
Scopello was beautiful…
Chow!

10.08.2008

The Greeks

Sicily has been invaded by so many other groups, but I’m so glad the Greeks were here. On Sunday, we headed to the Valley of the Temples which are said to be some of the best temples outside of Greece. I loved them… it’s hard to imagine how old they are and yet are still here for us to admire. The above picture is a temple at Segesta which we were lucky enough to get to see just before the sun set and the park closed.
It’s times like this that I’m wishing I spent more time at the office. Maybe I could have brought an RFP with me to read while sitting on the steps of an ancient Greek temple, contemplating if I can get away with using 6 point font on a table of numbers. Oh yea, that’s what is going through my mind right about now…
My little friend has become quite the sophisticated tourist.
Ok, so at this point it’s been a few hours since our last meal so it was time for more pasta. We went to a lovely little restaurant in Agrigento. The owner was very proud of his food and made sure we had a memorable meal. This pasta is hand formed into little curls that hold the sauce – made with eggplant and fresh cheese. Yum!
You might notice that I don’t have pictures of every course – each meal starts with an antipasti, then pasta, then meat with some contorni (side dishes), then fruit, then dolci (dessert), then espresso… sometimes I’m well into finishing off a dish before I remember to take a picture. But… I did snap a picture of the dolci that afternoon. Mauritsio, our wonderful bus driver, stopped at this patisseria and ordered these HUGE canoli for us. These things are like 12 inches long!! Are you drooling yet? So good…
This is Nina, our beautiful and talented guide. She has patiently put up with Ted for nearly 2 weeks now. In fact…
She has been indoctrinated into the Pagan Tiki world… the doctors think she may make a full recovery with plenty of quiet rest. (She’s going to be so pissed that I posted this picture…;>)
The fun continues…
Holy Cow! That only brings you up to Monday morning. I’m feeling parched and must now get a little cafè before I can continue.
Thanks to all of you who have left comments. I love getting them. Thanks and Chow!

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