Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Long Day's Journey...

You have probably already read the blog post about our very disappointing 14-12 loss to Ancona.  So this post will just deal with the other happenings of this very long day.

Sunrise at Denver's downtown Catania dorm.

The day started with a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call to get Paul, Laurie and myself ready in time to pick up Denver at 5:30 a.m. for our 6:50 a.m. flight to Forli'.

One of our starters overslept and by he time he got to the airport they were no longer checking in baggage so we had to divide up all of his gear for players to take on board as carry-on items.

The Autogrill

About half way to Ancona by recliner bus we had our usual stop at the Autogrill for a pre-game meal and more importantly for most of our team members to have a smoke.

We were on the road for about 10 minutes when I got the call from the recliner bus we were following the in our rented car, that one of our starters had been left behind at the Autogrill.  It was up to us to go get him.  No easy task since Italian highways are like American east coast Turnpikes with exits about 10 to 15 miles apart.

Additionally, since the bus was now far gone and we had no stadium name or street name we were somewhat lost once we got off the highway in Ancona.  Thank God for cell phones and Garmin.  We got the information we needed and got to the game on time.

Offensive Tackle Tony LoGrande getting on his "Game Face".

Tony would get a memory today when he caught a deflected pass and rumbled for about a five yards gain.

CORRECTION: It was NOT Tony who caught the batted pass, it WAS instead Andrea Specchiarello who lived the lineman's dream.

A Scarf?

Laurie says:  As George begins his 41st year of coaching football, I KNOW he never received a scarf in his spirit-pack.

Our first view of Assisi

After the game we drove about two hours through Italy's Apennine Mountains on our way to Assisi.  We ran into a few problems on the way.  First the cold weather of Ancona turned into a snow storm at these mountain elevations forcing us to REALLY slow down.  Secondly, Garmin tried to take us on scenic routes.

We obeyed her first flirtation with a small road but turned back after going into a low speed slide and getting too close for comfort to a parked car.  Staying on the main highway and thus getting Garmin VERY upset with me several times, we finally arrived at Assisi just as the sun came down.

Our drive had taken us through a "winter wonderland" but we took no pictures because of our desire to get to Assisi before it got later, colder and snowier.

The view out our window at the Hotel San Rufino - Il Duomo.

Deserted Streets

Because of the weather, not too many people were out and about as we hunted for a place for dinner.

Laurie looking up at our room's window.

This Outdoor Menu Caught Our Eye 

The prices and the offerings were obscured by the snow but Rick Steves said it was a good place for casual dining so we went into...

... The Trattoria da Erminio

A very nice and WARM place to eat.

The wine, pasta, coffee and dolce were good.  The company was GREAT!

The Cathedral of San Rufino

About 150 yards from our hotel of the same name.

Laurie in a former archway

We wondered who lives here?


Laurie said it was getting WAY too cold so we ended our after meal stroll and called it a day.  Sunday we will continue to explore Assisi and perhaps go to Perugia.



Andrew said...

All the years of playing and coaching football and I never got a scarf! (Not sure if that is a bad thing though.) Sorry to hear about the loss. Have fun with your travels you two!

Unknown said...

F@*# that uptight Garmin biatch!


Her and her senic routes, must be the proximity to forli that gets her in the mood for scenery.

George said...


You are right, it IS something about the greater Forli' area that drives her crazy!