26 October, 2008

buon giorno from a very happy camper!

Hello from paradise! We left a cold, gray and rainy Stuttgart yesterday morning. This morning we woke up to the sound of birds singing and the wind rustling the trees on our campsite direct on Lake Trasimeno in the heart of Italy. The sun is shining, the skies are clear blue and we enjoyed a leisurly breakfast wearing t-shirts in the sun!

After I beat M and the kids at cards we walked into Passignano sul Trasimeno and meandered through the ancient streets. Lunch consisted of excellent pizzas at a pizzaria-- and M breathed a sigh of relief, because for once I didn't need to guilt trip him into eschewing pizza in order to try local culinary delecacies.

With full bellies we hiked up a road above the city for a spectacular panoramic view. On the way back down, we passed some olive groves and heard laughing voices. We stopped to watch 8 spry senior citizens harvesting olives. They were lively and laughing- it was a scene straight out of a Bertolli commercial!

B, who can be quite shy, summoned up his courage and walked into the field for a closer look. Next thing I know, he's got a tool in his hand and has joined the crew! S and I both jumped in to help as well, and we spent a happy hour picking olives among this gaggle of happy, chattering people! it was a perfect serendipitous vacation moment.

The kids just went swimming and I'm going to end this to savor a glass of wine and watch the sun set across the lake. No need to search any further for utopia, because we've found it right here...


anno said...

Sounds wonderful -- a perfect escape!

Africakid said...

Oh my goodness, almost too amazing to be true! I can just envision the olive harvesting scenario. Can I join you in utopia? Please, please??

Betsy said...

Come on over! The more the merrier!

The weather has turned cooler, but it's still better than the 2 degrees and rain they're getting in Stuttgart.

Come on over-- I'll pour you both a glass of wine!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Wow. Oh, I'm so jealous. It's freezing in Michigan (well, not really, but I'm being a wimp) and a return to sunnier days, especially in Italy, sounds, yes, like paradise.


Goofball said...

you got to pick olives! Wow, that's quite an original vacation experience? is it hard work?

Betsy said...

We only did it for an hour, so it was a lot of fun.

I was amazed, however, at how much of it has to be done by hand! They cut down the branches and then used a small hand-rake to pull most of the olives off, but then you still had to go back afterwards and pluck the rest off one by one.

the best part, though, was the industrial-strength espresso they gave me. I'm not sure that stuff should be legal, as it had about the same effect as I imagine Crystal Meth might have. After that any physical work would have been a breeze! ;-)