I am surviving on my familiarization of Piedmont with a few things.
1. Espresso. I am not sure why it is I can travel all over the place and sometimes have coffee and sometimes not. At home there will be weeks I go without it. But when I get here coffee is mandatory. Not coffee. Espresso. Doppio. Cappucino. Americano. Macchiato. Cafe Latte. Espresso is fuel here in italy.
2. Chick Peas and Mozzarella Balls. It may sound a peculiar of a combination (it is) but allow me to shed light. In mega-wheat laden land,
3. Nutella. Ah, Nutella! Why does it not taste the same at home? Why is it so freaking delicious here?? I could write an entire blog on my love affair with this chocolate/hazelnut substance (which actually originated in Piedmont, wouldn't you know!). I am working my way through a 750ml jar as we speak. sometimes for desert I just stick the spoon into the jar and eat it straight up. I can just hear my mom's groan. Its OK Mum! I am eating fruit and vegtables too (they taste delightful with nutella as well).
Those may be the food items that are pulling me through. Here are some other important items for my FAM survival.
1. Family Support. In a time that should be so exciting (Yea! here I am in glorious Piedmont! Life is so fantastic!) I have been extremely overwhelmed (New region, 8 hour drive north to a completely non-english speaking town, dropped off alone to jet through a six day trip in 2 1/2 days, dealing with closed gas stations with non working diesel pumps, being pulled over by the Caribinari - the italian police, still can't figure that one out as we couldn't understand each other-sketchy roads, stalled FIAT vans, an entire repitore of facts relating to the trip and Piedmont, and the complete and utter lonlienss that comes from working a 16 hour day to lay down on the pillow and have no one to share the insanity with) there are a few 'moments' that have required some support. And some flat out love. So when people are like, "wow, your life is so great and amazing and what a great and amazing job you have" I can smile and know that sometimes it is just that- a job.
2. My small notebook- chalk full of pictures, notes, cards, old emails and general support... its been a lifesaver when my self esteem is lower then the family ducks (no joke) that waddle around the grounds of the hotel/B&B where we live in between trips.
3. The BR world... ah sometimes they get it... sometimes they don't... but the people out there have been pretty amazing. The Tuscany people who I spent time with the in Spring learning the area have been taking turns calling, texting and emailing to tell me its OK I can't say, "can I pull the van and trailer up this steep hill to your secret parking lot" without the help of my translation guide. B-rad, Lesley, Erin and Molly have been a gift. For real. I am sure Molly thinks I am going to be an A-1 leader after I called her this afternoon in the pouring rain with my stalled FIAT with the steering wheel locked in moderate hysterics.
So there is my survival guide. Sometimes I get surprised at what I ask the universe for. In the van in the afternoon on day one of my non-official FAM day as I am talking to (who am I kidding, I am talking, he is talking, we are not talking to each other) the Caribinari I pulled away frusterated and upset. I said, ISN'T THERE SOMETHING OUT THERE THAT CAN MAKE ME FEEL LIKE HOME! I AM FEELING LIKE GARBAGE AND COULD USE A LITTLE SUPPORT HERE UNIVERSE! PROVIDE IT BEFORE I HAVE A MENTAL BREAKDOWN IN THE BIG ASS FIAT VAN! I turn on the radio and it happens upon centro dua cinque (thats station 125 for the non-italian speaking person) that is a radio station that plays American Top 40- and every hour at 2 minutes after the hour they play U2-one of my most favorite bands ever. So as I am crying and driving around for the rest of the day I slowly realize how my spirits are lifted my Sunday Bloody Sunday, Where the Streets Have No Name and Elevation. Its small. But it is a gift. And I will take it.
So I frantically finish this FAM insanity I launch right into a big long stretch of work. I am unsure what the blogging situation will be like as I happen to be dealing with so much work... but I am hopeful for at least brief updates coming your way.
And thanks for the love and support. And reading this.
If you feels so inclined- drop me an email or facebook me a message and let me know if you read it. I have not a clue who is reading and following... but now is a great time to know as I grasp for strands of home in this little grey murky period of confudeled-ness. Is that even a word?
The net here in the lobby is slow and painful but I did manage to get a couple pictures up.
Monforte d'Alba, one of the stops on this trip.
En bike route... the Moscato Vineyards. Moscato d' Asti... yes... here is where it is from, awesome!
Sunset over the Swiss Alps (1.5 hrs from where I am).