Friday, May 22, 2009

Cefalú, Palermo and a WCE Dinner at the D'Arpa's

THE HEAT IS ON!  Summer has arrived with a vengeance in all of Italy, so we decided to go to the beach in Cefalú before going to Palermo for our Thursday night West Coast Elephant practice.

Before I move on to the day's events, let me make a comment about "Thursdays in Palermo".

When we were first presented with the idea back in January by Davide that we would have to drive four hours round trip to Palermo once a week to hold a practice for our newest Elephants, I was a little skeptical.  I had visions of only one or two players showing up and it being a colossal waste of time.

As it turned out, our five WCE's have had almost 100% attendance with only one absence in all these weeks.  We have made some very real progress with these players and they have become a vital part of our team.  I think that Paul, Laurie and I all feel a special bond with theseGREAT guys.  I love that they just like to practice hard, play hard and have fun.

Now, "Thursdays in Palermo" has become a day I really look forward to because I ALWAYSleave these guys with a smile on my face!  THANKS WCE!!!

Cefalú Parking Attendant

I just liked the fact that she was smoking while using a "NO SMOKING" ash tray when we paid our 5 Euros parking fee.  Summer must be here officially because it used to only cost 3 Euros to park in this lot a month ago.


Cefalú is in the background.

The Tyrrhenian Sea was NEVER Better

Gypsey Boots made a rare appearance in Cefalú too!

Mike protecting Sicily's northern coastline.

The Entrance to Cefalú's Duomo

Andrea Specchiarello, a.k.a., King Kong

Milan Rhinos Scouting Report Meeting


Our Scout Team QB in action.

One on One


Sara is always at out training facility and is as cute as can be!

La Ragazze di Eurocalcio Palermo

In orange, Palermo's next great wide receiver.

He just does not know it yet and still thinks he is the next Alessandro del Piero.

Retired, Decorated Fire Captain
Antonino D'Arpa

After practice we were all warmly invited into the D'Arpa family's home for dinner.  Antonino is Alessio's father.  One of the decorations on the wall behind him is for saving a man's life.

Alessio D'Arpa and his semi-new Under Armour 3XL Sweats

These were given to me by our God son, Scott Fujita who plays for the New Orleans Saints.  Alessio has had his eye on them since our first day of practice together.

Italian men in general are not very big, so guys like Alessio have a hard time finding clothes.  I think these will fit Alessio just fine when winter rolls around again.

The Four Suits of the Traditional Sicilan Card Deck.

The D'Arpa's have all sorts of artwork in their home.

Sneaking a Peek

Andrea tries to get a preview of the dinner that Alessio's mother, Lidia, is preparing.

Golden Sunset in Palermo

Palermo at Night from the D'Arpa's Home

Cool Guillotine style window between the kitchen and dining room.

Alessio's father, Antonino, is a GREAT woodworker.  This is one of his many creations now that he is retired.

Andrea Specchiarello
Palermo's "Mr. Lobster 2009"

After spending the day in the sun at the beach on the Island of Women, our fair skinned Left Tackle easily won the Mr. Lobster contest sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The island got it's name because it used to house Palermo's Women's Prison.

Food Orgy, WCE style


After eating a great antipasto, an outstanding risotto, a fantastic plate of meats and potatoes and fabulous fruits, out came these mini-ice cream drumsticks.

They came in four flavors, chocolate, strawberry, coffee and hazelnut.  I had one of each plus a second strawberry one. . . I had to be polite to the hosts.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

A little "digestive" and a caffé and the fantastic evening came to an end.

The skinny ones are SO messy at times.

WCE Group Photo

Our Hosts Lidia, Alessio and Antonino D'Arpa

THANK YOU for welcoming us all into your home!!!

I LOVE "Thursdays in Palermo"!


Anonymous said...

Thankfully I was able to partake in our weekly coaching venture to Palermo, and the squisito Italiano foodfest offered by Lidia and Nino D'Arpa! Tante Grazie to Lidia and Nino for the fantastic meal, and their gracious hospitality. Tante Garazie to the entire West Coast Gang, but especially Alessio, for organizing the after practice treat. Tante Grazie to George for dutifully playing the role of taxi driver to an invalid all the while his son Mike was here to see him!
However, a clarification is necessary. I actually did handle the paper work at Victoro Emanuele Hospital, not Gus. In so doing, I convinced the doctor to allow me to wear a stiff boot, instead of get casted ( I brought a boot with me ). The doctor at the other hospital was a casting specialist only. Had the cast been put on, it would have stayed on until our team doctor game back from out of town. This would have put my trip to Palermo and the game trip to Milan this weekend, in jeopardy mostlikely.
Today I stayed at Malibu to rest my foot prior to practice tonight. The owner of Malibu, Pierluigi Lo Menzo, stopped by to take photos for future rental adds. He is a young engineer born, raised, and educated in Catania. However, he now works for a Silicon Valley semiconductor and solar panel company in the NW region of Spain. This region may be the area of your family roots, George? He is now living in Santiago Compostela Vigo. While he was here, I told him about two malfuntioning air conditioners that were reported to eby George: one in George and Laurie's room and the other in the main living room. Pierluigi found the problem in the latter to be only dead batteries in the remote control. In George and Laurie's room, where the malfunction was reported to go back through last year, I found a cord under their bed that had never been plugged in. Presto, which the hot season coming on, we have two downed air conditioners ready for service!
Now you have the rest of the story, which has a moral ( Ha! ). I guess we all have our piculiar strengths and weaknesses that can be synergized for the greater good. Ciao, Paul

George said...

Anonymous, a.k.a., Paul,

The heater/AC unit in our bedroom was unplugged by us because, even though it does make the requisite noises, it DOES NOT WORK!

So UN-presto the summer season is coming and we are still screwed.

George and Laurie