Monday, February 11, 2008

A Weekend of Food, Travel and Photography

LUIGI CHALLENGEIT’S OVER! On the 37th day he rested. Sunday night, February 10th an exhausted George Contreras checked himself into a local psychiatric clinic seeking help for his sleep deprivation related health issues caused by his assault on Luigi’s record. He was heavily sedated by 11:02 p.m. The Elephants President, Davide Giuliano, refused to comment on the name or location of the clinic but did say Contreras was doing well under the circumstances and that a steady diet of arancini balls would be the likely key to his speedy recovery. Doctors at the clinic said that the mentally Contreras is having a hard time dealing with failure only nine days away from tying the record. The monks at Luigi’s Monastero Maria di Sant’Accelerazione, the patron saint of Italian drivers, in Caltanissetta opened a bottle of champagne and celebrated. This is a monastic tradition that the monks have employed for centuries anytime someone has gone 30 or more days in an attempt on Luigi’s mark and then failed. They did note that Contreras was the first person to get this close to the record in over 40 years.

LAURIE IN ROMA: 17 days and counting!

Friday night I had a panini made of my latest favorite Sicilian food, cipolata, picture, barbequed green onions wrapped in salty bacon that’s been dipped in vinegar. Those are horse meat patties on the left for all you PETA fans.

On the way home we ran into Bob our secretive team owner and linebacker who moonlights as the greeter at Leo’s BBQ. Check out the picture of this strong, silent but generous man.

I also have my eyes on buying an older version of a Fiat, picture, commonly seen as the clown car at Circus Vargas. It would be a great asset in dealing with the rampant parking issues.

Great storm surf Saturday morning, pictures. Forget the sea conditions, fishermen must fish.

If I had to describe Saturday’s defensive practice in a word, the word I would pick would be “frustrating”. Let’s leave it at that. Offense looks very good!

Saturday night we ate a great dinner, pictures, at the home of one of our wide receivers, Salvo Persano. His wife and newest Pink Elephant, Titziana, was a delight and their two sons are 100% boys. Great food, great hospitality and another good feel evening. Salvo has a GREAT family and a very wonderful home. They served us cannoli from Savia’s pasticceria considered by many to be the best cannolo in Catania, who was I to argue!

At about midnight we hooked up with the usual group of fellow Elefanti degenerates and went to a beer garden in Aci Reale to help Jason celebrate his first wedding anniversary (Saturday, paper) and Brandon’s birthday (Sunday, 23rd). Mission accomplished.

Sunday Jason and I decided to get up early and explore the north coast of the island. It must be understood that if you believe in reincarnation then I must be living with the spirit of Margaret Bourke-White. Jason is addicted to photography! He is shooting a minimum of 200 pictures a day and then spends a lot of time playing “God according to Annie Leibovitz” adjusting the color settings, contrasts, etc. of the good shots he gets. I must admit he is getting good but he tends to disappear in the middle of a walk for several minutes when he feels a great photo op calling.

Our road trip took us on the autostrada through the center of Sicilia past Enna and finally onto the northern coast of the island in the seaside town of Cefalu’. It is a gorgeous setting with the best interior of any church, picture, I have seen to date in Sicilia. We met our stud linebacker Gianmarco and his lovely girlfriend Simona who live in nearby Palermo for lunch, good people! While there I found this small bat, picture, that has the words “Doma Sposa” printed on it. It translates into “Wife Controller”, I do not know.

We continued our trek eastward towards Messina and discovered that Sicily leads Western Civilization in miles per capita of tunnels. We didn’t get to see much of the Tyrrhenian Sea because we were mostly underground on the autostrada.

We stopped in Milazzo at about 5:00 p.m., where “Margaret” got an unreal picture of the sunset, no touching up necessary! Then it was the dash home to try to scalp two tickets to the Serie A calcio game between Forza Catania and Inter. The game was sold out and the only seller we could find in the street wanted 150 euros for a 100 euros face value ticket after the game was already 15 minutes underway. Too rich for our blood, so we settled for a cannolo at Ernesto’s for 1.80 euros. Jason was a little down at this momentary setback but he will recover soon.

As noted at the start of the post, I went to bed early last nght, Luigi just flat out broke my will. No excuses, it was a great ride while it lasted.


DPLassen said...

Watched the Catania-Inter game live on the Fox Soccer Channel, wondering if you were there ... I notice there's also an elephant in the soccer team's logo, so I have to ask: what's the connection between Catania and elephants? I anxiously await your in-depth research on this topic.

George said...


DPLassen said...

OK ... Now, I'm not exactly an expert on the Second Punic war, but searching on the internet, Hannibal is from Tunis, not Sicily, and he used the elephants to invade Italy from the north ... so the Hannibal-Catania connection is ....?

George said...

New elephant update: Apparently during the Ice age, thousands of pygmy elephants lived on Sicily. There bones have been found all over the island. It seems that the elephant skulls somehow gave rise to the Greek myth of the Cyclops having lived on Sicily. I know, don't ask. This is my latest story and I'm sticking to it!