Sunday, June 15, 2008

American's Land More Troops in Sicilian Campaign


Another wave of foreign invaders hit Sicily on Saturday by sea and air. Two of the marauders were Mark and Susie Johnson, no relation to Jason's family, from Seattle, Washington.

I have known them for a long time, Mark since college in 1966! He and I even went skydiving one gorgeous autumn day in 1969, alcohol may have been involved in our decision making process at the time.

Their first stop had to be Mythos

They arrived on a Windjet flight from Rome only 35 minutes late which equals "on time" for this less than reliable airline. They were a little hungry so we went to Mythos in Aci Trezza for their first taste of real Sicilian granita. Mark opted for the strawberry while Susie went for the strawberry-lemon combo. No need to say what I ordered. Throw in some pasteries and our day was off to a good start.

The Johnsons at Malibu

After walking around a little bit, Susie announced that she was hungry due to the fact that she had not felt well the night before and had not eaten dinner. The obvious choice was Al Tubo's for the shrimp and asparagus spaghetti. The only glitch was that Al Tubo was not their to greet them. He was probably at the beach with some of his women.  

Saturday Walk Through Practice for Bolzano

We play the first place, 8-0 Bolzano Giants at home on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. It is our last regular season game although the IFL still has games scheduled for the next two weekends. We appear to be mentally loose for the game.

Before practice some of the Elephants were showing us the new rage in how to wear shorts at the beach this season.

You HAD to be there, I wish I hadn't!

Parson's Project?

We drove up to Taormina after practice. Actually, we drove all the way up to the top of the hill behind Taormina first to the town of Castelmola. You need to know that the building Mark is inspecting is located on the side of a sheer cliff. Needless to say the work may be a little behind schedule.

Castelmola's patron saint is San Giorgio... I love this town!

Do you really want to sit in this chair?

As I said, Castelmola is built on a sheer cliff.

Life is good!

Once we drove back down to Taormina, we found this family enjoying the fountain in one of Taormina's many piazzas.

Dressing Up on a Taormina Saturday Night

It was Saturday night and I got a totally new perspective on this beautiful town.

First, we must have seen at least 10 different brides parading up and down the main street of town.

Next, well over half of the people we saw were VERY dressed up in all the latest Italian fashions. I was impressed! Some of it was probably due to all the weddings but a lot of it was just what you do on the weekends in Taormina according to my source on all things Sicilian, Claudio Mangano.

He can't help staring at a another beautiful bride either!

Gelato

First granita, then Al Tubo's, now great gelato in Taormina. Can it get any better than this?

You would think that Mark is holding my gelato while I take this picture... possibly.

Mark has always liked antiques and a good bargain.

Susie found these ceramic pieces that have my favorite pattern.

Would they fit in my carry-on bag?

Mt. Etna and it's plume

The volcano has been active for weeks now and we could see the lava flow glowing in the night sky on our drive home. We drove up the mountain to get a better look but our camera's zooms were not strong enough to capture a good picture. Still, it was very impressive to the naked eye.

Jonathan's

We decided to drive back to Aci Castello to Jonica's Pizzeria for a late night dinner. The traffic was horrendous! The tourist season is making everything much more difficult. When we finally got to Aci Castello we found Jonica's packed with about 50 people waiting in line for one of their outdoor tables.

We decided to fight even more traffic and go into Catania to the always reliable Jonathan's Pannineria.

As you can tell from the look on their faces, Mark and Susie were pleased to finish their first day in Sicily with such a culinary flourish.

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