Friday, July 24, 2009

La Famiglia Arrivo

As the weather warms up, the rain fades, and the beaches populate with wrinkled, orange-tinged women and Speedo-clad, beer-bellied elderly men, Trofie Wife and Martello’s popularity quotient seems to be rising; everyone wants to visit! The last week of June it was finally time for some of Trofie Wife’s parenti to find their way to the Mediterranean. I genitori were the first to arrive (after some transportation snafus). They just happened to get here on yet another holiday, La Feste di San Giovanni (aka the Feast of St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Genova), which meant that Martello could join us. We had a quick lunch at one of the beach clubs and later that evening, dinner at our favorite restaurant (we’ll take you if you come!), which always outdoes itself each time we visit.

Martello returned to work on Thursday, while Trofie Wife led her parents on a halting tour of Genova (my padre, il Capitano di Vicenza, has a bad leg at the moment, but the real hold up is my madre, la coniglietta, attempting to take pictures, wherein heads of people, tops of buildings, and the general gist of things will inevitably be missing). I genitori were able to get the general flavor of Genova, aided by the subway system and some benches. It’s always interesting to gauge people’s opinions of the city. Trofie Wife thinks Genova is akin to anchovies in that it’s an acquired taste (I’m riffing on an old Tori Amos quote, but it works!). Just as Martello and I have grown to enjoy and admire anchovies (though we know they will never be the same outside Italy), so too have we come to love Genova, despite its grittiness and nonsensical layout (which a German acquaintance of ours said would be razed by German city planners if it were positioned in Deutschland).

The weekend brought the arrival, over the Alps, of Zurich sister and her brood. The volume got very loud, and we thank the local restaurants, hotels, and shops for tolerating it. Martello had to work past child feeding time, so he was unable to join us for dinner, which Zurich brother-in-law, quite the foodie, deemed superb (and where we dined was far from a fancy joint). Saturday morning and early afternoon was spent on a group pilgrimage to the park (where the peacock was kind enough to strut his stuff for the kids) and the grocery store (note: do not ever go to a grocery store with more than three people, especially if those people are prone to wandering through aisles and getting lost (and those weren’t the children!)) to get provisions for the rest of the weekend.

Zurich sister and Trofie Wife hit the beach.

La coniglietta reminds us that "the sun is not your friend" (the best way to break off that toxic relationship is with an ugly, SPF-repelling hat); Zurich brother-in-law and niece instead choose to embrace the warm star around which our planet revolves.

Martello shows the younguns how sandcastle building is done.

Aside from one interlude (see the following post), we spent the rest of the weekend cooking and eating and sitting by the pool or beach (the whole clan even got to meet Mrs. Furley, a brief and fleeting event which she has already felt the need to discuss with each of us several times in the near month since it occurred). We made fresh pizza (including the dough, which was incredibly easy) Saturday night and then pulled out all the stops for Sunday night dinner—whole fish and
risotto. We were also able to celebrate Zurich nephew’s birthday with two torte (one ice cream, one yellow cake; it’s important to diversify). Sunday evening was capped off by an impromptu late-night walk around town with Zurich sister and brother-in-law.

Our whole fish extravaganza

Frank Lloyd "I Still Don't Know My Left from my Right" Turns Four! Trofie Wife manages to carry the lit cake from the kitchen to the dining room/living room/office without setting the house on fire/fainting from fear.

Flirty Josephine Chestnut decides that Uncle Martello is incapable of feeding himself cake; she sets to work showing him who's boss (yo, niece: he's going to be completely bald by the time you're old enough for him, so I'd just move on...).

I genitori, Martello, e Trofie Wife alla terrazza.

Trofie Wife sent off everyone early Monday morning, as they continued on to their next destinations—the folks to the rovine di Sicily and the others, back to Svizzera. I parenti, used to Trofie Wife staying in bed for as long as possible, were certainly impressed that I left the house before Martello was even due at work. Looks like I’m learning about time management in, of all places, Italy!

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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