Buona Sera, amici,
Yes. I am home. Florence really is my second home. Today, being Saturday, we started the day by going to the San Ambrogio Mercato, to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat.
Massimo had found my trusty shopping cart, which made the trip to the market so much easier. I thank the group that stayed here with me in 2010, for this cart. Those ladies, very much concerned with my staying here by myself for six months, bought this cart for me, and filled it with bottles of wine. That is a gift I shall remember for the rest of my life. I am happy that the cart surfaced again. However, someone needs to fill it up with bottles of wine again. Seriously, grazie mille, I miei amiche.
At the market. You will notice that porcini mushrooms are in season now. Still expensive, but they lend such an elegant touch to so many dishes.
Later in the afternoon, we took a walk through the neighborhood, going to the grocery store, then finishing with a beer for Frank and a glass of wine for me, at our standby,
The OK Bar. This bar is just kitty-corner from our hotel, and has been my place to go, for a neighborhood “Cheers” type of bar, with cheap wine, some snacks, coffee and pastries in the mornings
Well! Imagine my surprise to find that this place is no longer the OK Bar, but has expanded and upgraded itself. It is now “L’Osteria dell OK”. They have bought the little shop that was next to the bar, then expanded to the back, and increased in size over 100%. Some of the same staff are working, and two of the guys remembered me from previous years.
They have their own wine label. I am so impressed.
I was even more impressed when we wanted to order a light lunch, to know they are making all the food in-house, and have a gluten-free menu.
I had a gluten-free pizza that was very good. So, now I have more reasons to go to the OK Bar…mi scusa, L’Osteria dell OK.
At any rate, the day being another gorgeous 78 degrees (F.). we walked around a bit, then came back to the apartment, where we relaxed by doing a load of laundry (washer in house), and I prepared a little home-cooked meal from the treasures we found at the mercato this morning.
After dinner, we just kicked back and watched an Italian game show, with word association. That could be helpful for enhancing my Italian language skills. At one point, I asked Frank to turn up the volume so I could hear what they were saying, but that was pretty silly of me. It was fun watching the program, anyway. Some more perks of getting older: I am easily entertained.
I am happy being back to my second home. I am so very comfortable here, that I don’t need to run around and do everything.
Today, while we enjoyed our afternoon break at the Ok Osteria, we sat outside, and visited with a young lady, who was from Moscow, Russia. She was on her first visit to Italy, but she had traveled extensively to other countries. We had a delightful hour with her, then she was off to see as much as she could see in the rest of the afternoon.
These are the experiences that make foreign travel so interesting to me. I so enjoy meeting people like her.
Likewise, I am also so glad that we made friends with Natalia and Walter in Rome, the owners of Dolce_Roma rentals. They have three apartments that they own, and are so attentive to the needs of the renters. I gave the web address in an earlier post, but I will be ever so happy to tell you more about the rentals, if you ask.
And of course, fortune was with us in 2011, when we met Massimo and Magda Carli, owners of this apartment in Florence, as well as the first rental we ever made, Mutino farm house in the Tuscan hills, between Lucca and Viareggio. Since that time, they have been more than good friends: they have come to my rescue more than once in the past 16 years.
You will hear more from me from Florence. I hope that Frank and I get a good walk tomorrow. I must go to Mass in some church: not sure where, but I do enjoy going to church on Sunday when I am here.
So, tonight, I will say, Buona notte, and I will see you soon.
Ciao for now,