Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Busy Day Doing Nothing Special

Monday, 15 July, 2019

The slow process of getting ready to return to California after six months of living in glorious Italy continued today under rainy conditions.

No, not one of the short 30 minute bursts of afternoon tropical rains that we have been experiencing over the last few weeks but an actual rainy day.

This was the cause of our unseasonal
weather conditions today

We had no threat of dangerous high winds, instead we just caught the edge the wetness created by this cyclone centered over the Mediterranean Sea.

While Laurie was busy packing and cleaning, I was out running a few errands that included returning books to the Varese Public Library, dropping off no longer needed clothes to a local charity bin and getting a much needed haircut.

I also got into a mood to do a few things that I had wanted to do but had never gotten around to actually doing.

The panini stand at the
Vedano Olona traffic circle

During our two seasons coaching the Catania Elephants in Sicily in 2008 and 2009, we dined almost daily at roadside panini stands like this one.

For some unknown reason, during our two seasons coaching the Varese Skorpions in Lombardia, I had yet to eat at even one of these roadside panini stand.

The first reason is that there are nowhere near as many of these culinary oases in the colder north of Italy as there are in the sunny south in part due to the weather I suspect.

There actually is no second reason for my avoidance of these limited panini stands.

Thus today, on the way home, I had a delicious salamella sausage panini and a Coke Zero to satisfy my midday hunger pangs.

Next up was a stop at the top of Via Mulini Grassi at the Cimiterio di Sant'Ambrosio.

Via Mulini Grassi is the narrow, hair pinned laden road that is the shortest, fastest and most harrowing path between the Villa Skorpion II and Skorpions Field.

As you drive down the hill on Via Mulini Grassi you pass the local cemetery and catch a glimpse of four niches high above the road in the corner of the the cemetery.

When our son Michael visited me during Easter Week, he wondered about the four people in those niches. Ever since then, every time I've driven past these niches I've wondered about them as well.

Today, I finally took a closer look.

Luigi Migliarina

Of the four, Luigi has the best spot to view the daily shenanigans of the passing drivers doing hazardous Via Mulini Grassi runs.

It was hard to read the names on the other three niches but their lifespans covered 1872-1951, 1881-1945 and 1877-1934.

Once my curiosity was satisfied, I took a look at some of the cemetery's statuary that really are pieces of art besides being monuments to deceased family members.

SMASHING beard on the right!

Sadness at the loss
of a loved one


Once back home, we finished up about 95% of our sorting and packing.

We will travel home relatively light as we are both leaving many of our worldly possessions stored at the Villa Skorpion II for our return next January to start our third campaign with the Varese Skorpions.

In the evening, we decided to go to one of Varese's best dining spots, the La Piedigrotta Ristorante & Pizzeria for two of their delicious pizzas.

We were not disappointed in the least.

After our fantastic, dietetic pizzas, we walked down to the BellaVita Caffé to say Ciao to owner Andrea Gorini and to check in with barman Nicolas Principi.

Nicolas, who played for the DII Skorpions in 2018 and was the starting Strong Safety for the DI National Champion Milano Seamen this year, was in Bologna over the weekend at the Italian National team tryout camp.

Nicolas felt that his two days at the tryouts were solid but not spectacular. He will return to Bologna again this weekend for two more days of tryouts. He said that there were about 80 players at the camp last weekend and that after next weekend the cuts would start.

The National Team or the Azzurri (blue) as all Italian national teams in any sport are nicknamed, will eventually be composed of the best 45 players that Italy has to offer.

GOOD LUCK, Nicolas!

We liked this "Closed for Vacation"
sign on one of our favorite
restaurants as we trekked to . . .

. . . one of the best Gelaterias in
Varese for a few scoops of heaven

"FRA-GEE-LAY, it's Italian."
"No, it says Fragile."

In Buosi, we were reminded that if that box in The Christmas Story containing the coveted leg lamp had indeed been from Italy, it would have said FRAGILISSIMO.

Our outstanding Varese Skorpions,
CB Federico Zanetta, is now a
Europe Warrior!

Our latest Europe Warrior venture will be a U18 game in Vienna on the 24th of November against a strong Austrian National team.

The game will feature outstanding European American Football players born in 2001, 2002 or 2003.

There should be a few more young Skorpions on the roster before our recruiting is done.

The EuroBall adventure continues . . .

I will probably have to dress a tad
more warmly in Vienna in November

Wait, isn't Vienna the home of the famed, chocolaty Sacher torte dessert?

This promises to be another rich EuroBall experience on several levels!

We now have only one more full day in Italy before the long flight home early Wednesday morning from Milano via Munich, Germany to Los Angeles on Lufthansa Airlines.

I wonder if my two most faithful blog fans are meeting in Burbank on Friday for lunch?

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