Here are a few pictures from the Italy trip. A bunch more are on my facebook page and even more on my flickr. (link coming soon)
My grandfather grew up in this one room house.
Abruzzo getting ready for The Pope.
This pizza was amazing.
zoom zoom polizia
My mother was born in this house.
prosciutto pizza looks better than pacman.
Recently, I took a two week vacation to Italy (with a few days in Boston). To say that the trip was absolutely amazing would be an understatement. Both in Italy and in Boston, I spent time with great people, ate incredible foods and saw so many postcard worthy things. I have an amazing family and amazing friends and I am so so thankful. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that there aren't any positive adjectives that can convey how awesome everything was.
I didn't want to leave. I want to go back. It's one thing to go on a vacation and have the memories and pictures. It's another thing when that vacation affects how you look at life. The 3rd annual DiGirolamo summer vacation gave me memories, pictures and a new perspective.
Over the past week, I got two care packages in the mail. Both contained food.
My parents sent me apple cider donuts, Boston newspapers sports sections, chestnuts, a birthday card, New England fall foliage (seriously; they sent me leaves), a sonic toothbrush and a slinky. It's like the tastes, smells ans sights of autumn in a box. Love it.
Jessie on the other hand sent me dulce de leche from Argentina. And lots of it. If you don't know, dulce de leche translates into ohmygawdthisstuff is ludicrouslyamazing.
Lets start with this cone shaped candy, Havanna Havannets. (Read more about it in this NY Times article on dulce de leche.) Basically it's a milk chocolate cone filled with dulce de leche. I started at the point and didn't know there was a cookie at the bottom. Let me put it like this: if I gave these out as Halloween candy, kids and parents would be googling "havanna havannets candy" before the got to the cookie. Once you eat this, you want more.
Ohhhhh Yes. Now, I'm not a huge fan of regular Oreo cookies: too much chocolate. If I eat them, I'll split them and only eat the half of the cookie that has most of the "cream" filling with a glass of milk. Well, these dulce de leche Oreos are a different story. I eat them whole and I eat them with great pleasure. I'm starting to think that dulce de leche makes everything better.
Alfajores Jorgito. Guess what this is! Dulce de leche chocolate cookie! Guess what else it is! Amazing! On another note, the kid on the package looks like he's up to something.
And a jar of dulce de leche made by Veronica. I want to eat this with bananas, pecans, crepes, and ice cream. Lucky for me I found AmigoFoods.com, which is "Your Latin food store on the internet!" and they carry lots of authentic Argentine food including 17 dulce de leche products including this Veronica jar. As if I needed another reason why I should be running more.
Dulce de leche is Nutella's sister. I have yet to have them together...be right back. Ok. Dulce de leche and Nutella is a food orgry that I recommend to everyone with a mouth.
And oh, something that's not dulce de leche but still shocking and great. Lays "lomo con cebolla caramelizada" potato chips. That's tenderloin with caramelized onion potato chips. I was excited to see what these taste like...and then I was excited to eat more. I really like them. Other flavors: parmesano ahumado con hierbas (smoked paramsean & herbs) and pechuga de pollo al limon con hierbas (lemon chicken breast with herbs). These are potato chip flavors people. I want these sold in the US.
Here are some Lays Resto commercials, done by BBDO.
A few weekends ago, Vince was out here for work. He was staying at The Roosevelt and on Saturday night we went to the hotel's Tropicana Bar. (I don't think the bar's name has anything to do with the juice.) After the bar closed Vince and I walked to my car so that I could move it closer to the hotel. We stopped at Wendy's drive through and took the food back to the hotel. It's now late Saturday night (technically early Sunday morning but I call it Saturday night until I go to sleep. When I wake up it becomes morning.) and Vince had some great quotes:
"If I had tattoos, I wouldn't be eating this right now." (while eating Wendy's)
the next quote came on Sunday morning:
"B, when did we get Wendy's?"
me: "Last night, when we moved my car."
him: "We moved your car?"
And guess when I heard that, when I was back, home"
Three and a half days in Boston and I made the most of them.
A while ago, Jessie told me about Kanye's Glow in the Dark tour and that's what got this trip home started. She deserves a huge thank you because we all know I don't come home enough.
- I landed at Logan and took the T to Government Center. I miss taking the train, so taking the T was both welcomed and relaxing. The T is so much better than LA traffic and $4/gallon gas prices. I walked from Govt Center to my brother's work and seeing everyone out with their Celtics (and Red Sox) gear on was awesome. There was a sports buzz in the Boston air that can't be matching by anything in LA; not even Laker playoff "buzz."
I went to game 5 of the Celtics/Cavs series. Jay-z was there cheering on his boy Lebron but it didn't matter: my brother and I were there. Vince had his "Paul Pierce throw your 3's up foam fingers" that he made and I had my Celtics gear on. Those 3 foam fingers are the greatest thing I've seen in a while and V is a genius for making them. C's won by seven.
Kanye West. Possibly/probably the best live performance I have ever seen in my life.
Seriously, I can't say enough about how amazing his performance was. If you still have a chance to see him live, go see him live. You can thank me later. Even if you think he's an arrogant douche, go see him. He was that great. 90 straight minutes of Kanye West. 90 straight minutes of Kanye giving it his all...he was on his game like a perfect game. The only person there who didn't love it was the dude sitting next to Jessie. He slept for Kanye's entire performance. No Joke. He was slouched in his chair and asleep for Ye's whole set. I have no idea what his deal was.
More family & friendsPizzeria Regina
I went to my friend's brand new condo. It was awesome; I loved it. It rekindled my desire to buy my own place. I hate renting...
Henrietta's Table - Mother's Day Breakfast with the fam.
Every time I go home, it's never for enough time. Three days makes me want to spend three weeks there and I know that three weeks would make me want to spend three months at home...
These CA wildfires are miles from me but I still felt/saw the effects. During the day it's unusually hot outside and the ais is smokey. My breathing feels it. My eyes feel it. I look north and see blue skies. I look south and see gray/white skies that look like death. The moon looks orange. I always say that I smile when it rains in LA. i really wish it had poured over the past week. You may be aggravated that you're stuck in traffic on your way home from work but at least you have a home that didn't burn down to ashes. LAtimes.com has some amazing photos of this tragic beast. Another painful reminder never to take anything for granted.
Manny loves to knock his helmet off when running.
"FRIED CLAMS" is what i read/saw whenever the "FRED CLAUS" ad was up on the backstop during games 1 and 2.
My family was at game 2 of The World Friggin Series. I was 3,000 miles away.
In 2004 I didn't take one picture of anything World Series related. Right now, I want to fly home and take pictures of everything. and see family and friends. and be home for all this Red Sox and Patriots awesomeness. and feel what fall weather feels like.
Next week, I'll start a job with an "end date" for the first time in my life. I can not wait to start.
Recently, I took a much needed trip home. I saw lots of family and friends, ate lots of great food and did a bunch of Boston things. Still, it wasn't enough time...here's the first set of pictures:
Two things: 1. I need a hair cut. 2. I ate the hell out of that lobster roll. It wasn't from "The Wall" (it has a real name, but we call it "The Wall") but it was still good...(Vince, next time we'll eat our way from The Cape (melt aways) to Maine (The Wall).
Ahhhhhhhh. As Henry Santoro would say, "The best bar in Boston."
Wow. Words can't describe how this made me and every other single person who saw this feel. Seven-year-old cancer survivor Jordan Leandre of South Dennis sang the National Anthem before the game that I went to because it was part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. After he finished singing, he ran the bases as everyone (every fan, every Sox player and every Angels player) gave him a standing ovation. His wheelchair is gone and so are his leg braces and he's doing just fine without them.
His name might ring a bell because he sang it before the Jimmy Fund game in 2004 (he was 4 years old, people.) Or maybe you rember him from singing it in Fever Pitch. sang it at the Sox home opener in '06 while in a wheelchair. Remember, Ortiz pushed the wheelchair from the Sox dugout to the firstbase line... He's done it nine times in four seasons.
I don't care if you don't click one other link, but please click this one. I still gets chills when I watch it.
After it happened my brother said, "That was awesome! I want to quit my job and go work for the Jimmy Fund."
Brownbag your lunch a few days this week and dontate something to the Jimmy Fund.
And think about what Jordan's done in the seven years that he's been alive. Think about what he's had to deal with; what he's had to fight; what he's had to overcome. Think about Jordan Leandre the next time you're facing something "difficult" and then think about all of the other kids that still need your help and support.
I couldn't have asked for better weather when I was home. Warm days surrounded by cool nights and mornings.