Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Oh, I know, it has been months since I have written. I have no good excuse other than I have been thoroughly enjoying myself in Italy. Last time I wrote, I was in Slovenia. Then it was Thanksgiving and after that, Tim came here for Christmas, as well as our good friend Sydney. In January, I went home to the States for three weeks. After I returned, Tim's lovely mother come to visit for two more weeks and somehow, now, it's March. Last week was Spring Break here and I celebrated by staying in Florence! It was wonderful to just be here with no pressures, no agenda, and such a beautiful apartment to call home!

So much has happened since last I wrote. First, my friend Andriana and her husband welcomed their first child, a son, a couple of weeks ago. As well, 3 other couples I know are now expecting their first child, including Joe and Donna who are hopefully reading this! My friend Doug was married in November and my friends in Pozzo are soon to be married (May 8th). Congratulations to everyone! What a year!

The weather and the food continue to get better with every day that passes. (Not that either were bad to begin with.) And each day here, I still find something that is new to me or just makes me smile and be thankful for this experience!

So, why am I writing today? Because spring has sprung in Florence and I just feel like doing a dance or something and sharing it with all of you. It is only 8:30 a.m. here and I've already been up for almost three hours. In that time I have scrubbed the bathroom floor, put the laundry in, done the dishes, gone to the market, and made what could be considered my best omelet yet! It was very simple, but using only the freshest ingredients from the market: eggs, pecorino cheese, and scallions; it was also incredible. I topped it off with slices of tomatoes (uncooked!) and some fresh Tuscan (unsalted) bread. YUMMY! Today I was also fortunate enough to find strawberries ready to eat! I am saving these babies for later on today though, when I need a break from work. Boy, I love the food here!

If you have never been to a European market of any kind, you are really missing out. It is a place full of action, tantalizing smells and a world of color! I usually go late in the day, but thanks to whatever is going on with my sleep cycle, I was able to get there very early this morning and what a difference it made. Instead of being a frantic atmosphere where all the farmers are trying to get you to buy something, while all the clients are pushing their way to the front of the stands; this morning it was a pleasant place to stroll through. Before 8 am, the market at S. Ambrogio (and maybe also at S. Lorenzo) is just for those with a plan. It is for residents and citizens, not tourists. You could tell the difference. Those of us there this morning, knew what we wanted and from which vendor we wanted it. It was the time that folks come to chat with their favorite vendors, who have somehow also become friends. It is also the time to get what you need and peek at the those items that you might consider for tomorrow's meals. After this morning's experience I am now hoping that I can get myself up and out early from now, just so I can take advantage of the market as much as possible before I find myself on a plane back to the states in August, which I am sure will be here before I know it. :(

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