Let’s fill you in on what happened on the 19th through the 21st; the days here have already melded together and it’s becoming harder to distinguish between them – effects of the Lazyworm. Friday we spent dining al fresco, as is the norm around here, and then it was off to the beach for many hours. We played catch with a small, pink football and I was impressed that I could still throw a mean spiral (admittedly though, it is easier to do with a bit larger ball). Ri stepped on a sea urchin, but I was told that they don’t hurt nearly as much as it sounds like they would. We played more Farkle at the beach, and I was having a tough time gaining any points, needless to say, I did not win any rounds. It was then back to the house for showering off the salt and getting dressed up for Rovinj. Rovinj was described to us as Venice without the canals. What a GORGEOUS town!!!
The town of Rovinj reminded me of every Italian village I’ve seen on TV, complete with cobblestone streets. I don’t know if the cobblestones were original, but they certainly looked the part! Artists, jewelers, and a variety of vendors all lined the streets, but sadly I saw the same items repeated (other than many paintings) at numerous stalls. I like to purchase items that are unique to the area, but when you see ten different jewelers all selling the same items, it’s hard to justify buying something from them for being “local”. I’d rather buy a mass-produced item from Barbariga, as it’s where we are staying. We visited a large, Catholic church on top of a hill in Rovinj that, while very dark, had a large tomb back behind the altar where many visitors were patiently walking through, observing the frescoes and reading a large description/fresco on the wall. It appeared to be more Latin than Italian, and I think the description stated that it was believed that Daniel, who was a martyr (he was fed to the lions), was allegedly entombed there. It was a beautiful church, very ornate, though the outside appeared very tired and worn.
After the church it was back into the winding streets of ancient Rovinj, past artists and jewelers, vendors and Trattorias until we reached the waterfront and Konoba Trattoria Lampo. This is the restaurant that we were told that had the BEST Chateaubriand in the world. R & M, Ri & T both ordered this while DH ordered pasta and I ordered gnocchi (Istrian style). One thing of note that has surprised me again and again in this area is that pets are welcome at the restaurants. It’s common for people to bring their dogs with them, the dogs lying under the tables as their owners eat, and in the case of being at Lampo last night, one patron had their cat with them. How ODD! But apparently it works. Dinner was delicious, and of course, with my tiny American appetite, I could not finish all of the food on my plate… The portions here are large, and “doggy bags” are not something that is done (at least it is highly uncommon). With dinner had, we headed off for drinks at a nightclub, Masterpiece of Nature, along the harbor, and it was Jaegermeister night. I’ve yet to drink Jaeger, and didn’t start then either, though I must say that the shoes the Jaeger Girls were wearing were lovely. I opted for the Cuba Libre, everyone else ordered their drinks and we kicked back and relaxed, watching a bartender juggle what were Molotov-Cocktails (light versions) for the patrons. At some point a group of four men were sitting at a nearby location and they were snapping photos, and as we were contemplating leaving, I noticed that the camera appeared to be pointed in my direction. There was a flash, and shortly after the Jaeger Girls moved to another nearby seating area to talk to some new patrons and I saw the men turn their camera in the direction of the Jaeger Girls, and another flash of the camera happened. Somewhere, some Russian men have a photo of me… Hope it was a good shot. We came back home after that.
Yesterday was another lazy day. It’s been very hot here in Istria, yesterday the thermometer reached 40 degrees Celcius (about 104 degrees F), and today it reached 38 C. Ri and T had to pack, as they left early in this morning to return to Sweden, and so we lazed about as they got themselves packed and Benji spent time with his grandparents and got in a good nap before we headed to the beach again. I waded in for a bit, we tossed the football and then it was off to nap in the shade. I’m quickly becoming Heathenish in color and decided that I’m going to have to invest in some anti-aging serum to correct the dark spots on my face and hands. The heat has also caused me to get heat rash (sexy!). Sometimes I really dislike being so sensitive! But, I’m surviving and pushing the need to scratch every itchy patch out of my mind.
After the beach, it was back to the house for showers and getting ready for dinner with the whole family back at Konoba Lucky, this time I knew I’d be getting the stuffed squid (DEVINE!) and opted for grilled vegetables on the side. No appetizer for me this go around, so I knew I’d have room to finish the main dish and not offend the restaurant owner by leaving half of what was on my plate like I did the first time. Good plan! I had two bites of squid left, that I REALLY wanted to finish, but there was “no room at the inn”. SOOOoooo good. (As another disappointing aside… I seem to have developed the same issue with squid as I have gotten with mussels… time to lay off the shellfish, lest I ruin another variety for myself)
We were served Grappa (for the men) and Hruskovec (for the ladies) after dinner, and then it was a nice walk back to the house, where we ran into more Swedes, Ricardo and his wife (I failed to catch her name). What lovely people, and fellow Americans, the rest of the world really DOES pay attention to what we do in the USA. Even Ricardo knew about the troubles that we’ve had in the state of WI with our newly elected officials – it’s been on the news in Sweden.
Today, we lazed about some more… We woke early to see Ri, T and Benji off and then headed back to bed. I feel like I did when I was younger. Growing up in a house with no air conditioning meant that when it was really hot outside, and I couldn’t make myself move about in the heat, I slept, a lot. So, we woke mid-morning, ate a light breakfast and then relaxed inside the house, in the shade, under the ceiling fan. I have some new ideas for photo shoots (one I even drew out!), some new ideas for clothes that I want to copy, and new posing ideas thanks to Vogue, Lucky and Vanity Fair magazines. We had lunch with M’s parents on the veranda, leftovers still taste good, and then we had a couple of rounds of Farkle where we were teaching M’s parents to play. By then the thermometer had risen to 42 degrees C in the sun, and despite an intermittent breeze and being in the shade of an umbrella, it was HOT. Just sitting there was making me tired. DH too, so, we went back to take a nap, and it literally lasted 3 hours. M’s father was about to break out the bright red (and LOUD) alarm clock to startle us awake. Good timing on our part.
We’ve just finished some ice cream and picked up some bread for tomorrow mornings trip over to Venice, and M is now tapping her knee impatiently for me to finish up with this. Guess I better hurry.