Good news and bad news.
Bad news first, OK?
I won't be around for a few days because of various work commitments, so you probably won't hear from me again until Friday or so (most likely no What's Cooking Wednesday, sniff sniff).
Just didn't want anyone to worry about me or my Internet connection, so there you have it.
Now the good news:
As I type this, the cuffs of my capri-length jeans are still damp from the waters of the Ionian Sea (although I have changed out of them) and bits of sand are sprinkled throughout my house.
Let's start in the early morning.
This morning I was walking Luna when I stopped to take this photo of a pretty tree in the piazza:
Check out the (untouched) color of the sky. I just knew it would be a good day.
Also, you can't see them very well, but there are some fallen petals on the sidewalk; obviously I got there before the rubbish collector did, otherwise they'd have been swept up.
While I was snapping, P's sister-in-law came over to me. We chatted for a few minutes--P is currently painting her house--and when I mentioned I had to go down to the Marina (part of the village on the coast, 5 km away), she offered me a ride as she was headed there.
This was an hour before I was planning to leave on the bus, so I took Luna home and packed up everything I'd need for my errands, which included the bank (ATM), bakery, grocery store, market, and beach if there was time (not an errand, but a thought).
But soon the whole plan changed.
As I was finishing up at the ATM machine, I got a call from one of my employers telling me that I could go pick up my paycheck (my first from them--only two months late!) at a bank in another town. So I hurried up with my errands in the Marina and caught the bus to the other town.
When I arrived at the bank, I couldn't believe it--only five people in line! Oh. Just one teller.
And there's the rub.
So I waited an hour and a half for a transaction that took literally two minutes. By then, I had missed the next bus back to my village, although I was blessed with the amusing sight of a woman being refused entry into the bank.
[For those who don't know, in order to enter a bank here, you have to press a button for a little Star Trek-like glass pod to open. You step in and the Controller of the Pod (we'll call this person "COP") says yea or nay via a button that opens the other side of the pod leading into the bank.]
This poor woman, probably in her 30s, long black hair pulled back in a pony, stepped in and out of the pod at least five times with no luck. I think she finally went and put her purse in her car because she eventually convinced the COP (with no havoc ensuing, thank goodness).
Anyway, by the time I finally got another bus to the Marina (I'd then need a separate bus, passing through the Marina an hour later, to get up to my village), it was noon and I was starving. So I did what any self-respecting non-Italian would do at mezzogiorno--I got a panino and a peach iced tea and headed for the beach.
Of course at that hour, the seaside was all mine as all the real Italians were home for lunch most likely featuring pasta and not simply prosciutto and provola like I was about to have.
But before I got to the sand and surf, I was greeted by ponies (and a horse and a donkey)!
Circus is in town, you see. Not as funny (and useful!) as these ponies, but that first one really has something to brag about if you ask me.
Soon I got comfy with my lunch.
As this was yet another unplanned beach excursion, I didn't have any of the usual supplies. I had to make do with a scarf, which I always have in my bag, and rolled up capri pants. In the past couple months, I've come to realize that I actually don't dislike going to the beach as I always thought I had--what I hate is the preparation, the making sure I have absolutely everything I might need.
A trip to the sea is quite enjoyable, I've found, when you simply show up.
When my belly was full, I walked along the beach snapping some more photos.
Did I mention that our water is clean, clean, clean?
And then it was time to go.
But not before I grabbed some free souvenirs so that I can always remember those gorgeous few hours.
Ah, and then it got even better!
When I arrived home, a copy of Eat, Pray, Love was waiting for me--my prize for winning Shelley's (At Home in Rome) La Mia Italia post contest with Conquering Evil (One Plastic Red Horn at a Time)!
Hope everyone's week is as lovely as my Monday has been!