Sunday, March 23, 2008

Buona Pasqua!

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!

Since Easter Monday is also a National Holiday, Davide cancelled Monday's practice.  We have just two more practices on Wednesday and Thursday before flying to Milan on Saturday morning for our 3:30 p.m. game.  These will be our 37th and 38th practices over 11 weeks preparing for the season opener against the Rhinos. It has been a long haul mentally as we have had only the one scrimmage vs. the Palermo Sharks a week ago.  I looked on the 2008 schedule for my school in California, Rio Mesa H.S.  At the end of our 38th practice on Oct. 6th we will have had 1 intersquad scrimmage, 1 scrimmage vs. Royal and 4 games vs. San Marcos, Newbury Park, Agoura and my alma mater St. Francis!  All this in only 7 weeks since our first practice.  The hardest part of this first phase of the season is the constant practice vs. ourselves, the Palermo scrimmage was a big mental boost.  Now that we play a game virtually every week the mental pace should quicken!

Jason and Christie took advantage of the cancelled practice and left by overnight train from Catania last night to Sorrento, the Amalfi coast, Pompeii and Rome. They will fly back on Wednesday from Rome. If you wonder about an overnight train from the island of Sicily to the mainland, it's easy!  In Messina they just load the entire train onto a ferry and cross the 2 miles long  Straights of Messina to Calabria.

Davide very graciously invited me to his mother's home for a traditional Easter Sunday Sicilian family get together. His mother, Conchetta made enough food to feed most of San Giovanni La Punta!  Two lasagnas, pork, lamb, wine, desserts, desserts, desserts and her home brew made from tangerine juice!  Mangia, mangia mangia!!!

We were joined by Daniela's (and yes, amazingly she is still pregnant) brother Pietro and parents Mauro and Appolina.  Pietro's girlfriend, Valentina joined us after eating with her family.

Our final diners were Tony "Call me Pony", his wife, Ika and their 4 children who I just love to death, Eduardo (very smart but avoids the camera), Alicia (the ballerina), Ruggerio and Federico.  Alicia and Federico are NOT camera shy.  Ruggerio is the one I really enjoy watching, he is a very much a boy!

The day was just a great family day and I felt very honored to be welcomed into Conchetta's home.  The people who make up the Elephants and their families are just a wonderful caring group!  I am so glad that I made the right decision in coming to Catania.


P.S. After Mass this morning I spoke with the priest about the whole Gluttony episode Saturday and showed him my pictures.  He said not to worry as he was positive that Daniele and Simone are truly innocents.  He was NOT so sure about Lucky though! 

Our hostess and incredible chef Conchetta with her proud son Davide 

Daniela (still a little pregnant) with her father Mauro, mother Appolonia and brother Pietro

Alicia and Ruggerio promising to help each other out if/when Federico attacks them again

Federico fueling up for his next adventure

Daniela's brother Pietro and his girlfriend Valentina

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