Sunday, March 8, 2009 Venice to Palermo

Dinner in Monreale

Originally uploaded by marymompics

Grrrr… I just lost my whole post due to this flaky system. I shall be much briefer this time.

First, happy birthday to Nathan. He turns 3 today. He is the sweetest, cutest, smartest grandchild ever! Of course, Sam is tied for this position as well.

We took a water bus to the airport instead of a water taxi this morning saving ourselves at least 75 euros. It was not a hassle at all. Two flights later and we are in Palermo, Sicily. We rent a car and plug in the Tomtom that George has generously lent us so that we won’t get lost. Hah! The Tomtom is sending us the wrong way down one way streets and had us turn left by turning right and then going around the block so we can head back in the right direction. We cannot find the hotel. Up and down hilly, twisty, narrow streets we search. We ask directions. Not so much English here. Just when we are about to give up, we come across the hotel by accident. Whew!

We are staying at the Conca d’Oro which is a very large hotel more given to wedding receptions than the casual traveler, I think. We see several young couples having interviews with the guy manning the desk. One man is wearing peach colored pants and a matching peach colored sweater. What was he thinking? We are taken care of by the general factotum, a spry older guy who carries oiur bags to the room, vacuums the rugs, acts as bartender, and drives us in the hotel van to our restaurant of choice and then comes back and picks us up. The hotel restaurant again is closed.

John and I practiced a lot of Italian before we came here. We are finding that our Italian is good enough if the person you are talking to speaks English, not so much when they don’t. So we are muddling along trying to understand what they are saying. But do they just say si or no or something short? No, we ask a question in our limited Italian and they go into this big explanation in rapid fire Italian. Non capisco.

Okay, just lost part of post again. We had dinner at a place in Monreale called Taverna del Pavone. It was pretty good. Some dishes we had were antipasti of fish, octopus and potato puffs, pasta one with broccoli and currents and one with beans and pancetta and a whole red mullet for John and veal in an almond sauce for me. Tired and stuffed we were happy to see our ride waiting for us outside the restaurant.

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